Posts Tagged ‘Heinrich Sam’

Featured Footer: Brody Meskers

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

When Brody Meskers was three years old, he watched some skiers barefooting in a Chetek Hydroflites Ski Show and told his dad, “I want to learn to barefoot!”  Rick Meskers wanted his son to learn to water ski first.  Brody quickly became frustrated with skis that he couldn’t control, so Rick put him in a swing off the boom.  Brody was all smiles when he put his feet in the water.  The following year, he learned to barefoot off the boom and pestered his dad to teach him more.

“Right from the beginning, Brody loved barefooting,” said Rick.  “We never worried about having to teach him as he always wanted to take it a step further each time.”   At that point, there was no holding him back.  Rick added a rope to the boom and Brody taught himself to start on his stomach and tumble up on to his feet–he didn’t like getting water in his face with the deep water start.  By the time he was five, he was barefooting with a twenty-foot line and at six, he entered his first competition.  Because of his tumble up starts, the tumble turn became his first trick–even before he learned to wave.

Keith St. Onge became one of Brody’s idols from the very beginning.  The Meskers met Keith while visiting friends in Florida and Brody took a clinic with Keith when he was six.  “The night before the first clinic, Brody went to bed early so he would be fresh the next morning,” said Rick.  “This is the kid who never goes to bed early!  That was a big deal to him, to ski with Keith.  Anything Keith told him, he took it to heart and repeated everything he said.  Keith is his hero–he loves him to death.”

Six-year-old Brody competed in the Midwest Regionals and Nationals– and he won both tournaments, edging out boys who were 7, 8 and 9 years old.  The following year, Keith told Brody that it was time for him to learn to barefoot backwards.  This proved to be a challenge for him, because he did not like putting his face down in the water.   “That was not a fun year,” Rick recalled.  “Brody promised Keith he would do three backward starts every time we went out on the water.  We had to try to convince him to do it.  That was the only time that I thought some of the fun was taken out of him.”  Brody persisted, and after about 100 starts and many plants, he finally stood up backwards on the water.

Today, Brody is a sponsored skier at the World Barefoot Center and he works with Keith, David and Swampy.  “I like barefooting so much because there is so much to learn,” said Brody. “You can always get better and better.  Sometimes I don’t want to ski, but if I want to become the best, I have to go hard at it.”

This year, Brody focused on jumping and surface turns.  “The first time I jumped, I was with Keith in Florida,” Brody said. “I asked him if it would hurt, and he said no.  I was scared.  I went over the first time with shoe skis and I was so excited.  It wasn’t the cleanest jump–but I landed it!”  Brody recently accomplished his surface turns behind the boat.  His goals this summer include slaloming 12.9 and hitting 3000 with tricks.

“I see Brody being the next Heinrich Sam,” said Keith.  “He is way ahead of the learning curve for a ten year old.  I’ve worked with Brody since he was six years old, so I would love to see him go all the way and accomplish whatever his goals are.”  Brody still has a ways to go to catch up to Keith’s trick scores, but he is determined to make it happen.

Brody spent the month of June working with Swampy, A.J. Porreca and Ben Groen down at the World Barefoot Center.  “As parents, it’s tough to let your kid go,” said Brody’s mom, Tracy.  “But Brody really wanted this, so we agreed to send him off for a month.  They are great guys at the WBC–they are teaching him so much about skiing and life.”

Today, Brody is even more fired up about barefooting than ever.  When people ask him if he wants to be like Keith St. Onge, he’s got an answer ready:  “I want to be better than him.”

Watch out, KSO!

Brody and Ben Groen

Five year old Brody on the water

Nine year old WBC Skier Brody Meskers

Hanging out at WBC

Written by: Karen Putz