Posts Tagged ‘jerry kanawyer’

Jerry Kanawyer: I Found the Cure for Elbow Pain

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

I have been competing for 28 years now. Wow, I can still remember my first tournament, but that’s not the issue that I’m here to address. From the many years of skiing and especially for me, tricks like the flip have taken a toll on my elbows. I have had tendonitis in my elbows for about 8 years now. It gets so bad at times that I can’t lift my arm. It really makes it tough to train, and it cuts into my time on the water. I have tried numerous ways of trying to get them healed. I have tried Aleve for a long period of time. It does help a little, but it never completely heals them. I have tried weights, working the muscles around the joints. I have tried rubber band work outs and stretches. What finally worked for me was I made my own elbow braces. My elbows don’t hurt while or after I ski any more. I do have to wear them every time I ski, but it’s worth it, having the satisfaction that I don’t have to worry about them anymore.

Watching Barefoot Water Skiing for the First Time with my Dad

Monday, June 16th, 2014

My first introduction to Barefoot water skiing was in the late 1960’s when my dad was teaching himself how to barefoot. He was wearing a life jacket and a swim suit. There was no protection for him like we have today. He had a low profile, 18-foot jet boat. He used a slalom ski that he had taken the bindings off of, so that he could step off of the ski easier. I can remember him taking some wicked falls trying to teach himself. This was back when there were very few barefooters and no one around to give pointers to him.

He was very determined to learn, after a good year of stepping out of a ski he was able to do it about 50% of the time. Of course, I know what his main problem was; it was that he skied in too high of a position, which caused him to catch a toe or two, LOL.  I could have told him that back then– if I knew what I know now.

My dad has been battling with cancer for the past 5 years. Now, as the doctors give him no hope or help, we scramble to find a doctor that will treat him and not just let him die with no help.

Jerry “Flipper” Kanawyer

Jerry Kanawyer: My Trip Down Under

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

I spent three weeks in Australia, Natasha Derry and the kids picked me up from the airport after a 14 hour flight. Kenny was home in bed with a bad back. We went straight to Liverpool, the site of the 1998 World Championships. It was nice after skiing in cold water, to get back into warm water, where I got my first ski in a wet suit in months. I stayed with the Derry family for the first week. They live in Toukley which is just about an hour north of Sydney. They were great hosts! Thanks to Rocket for giving up his room, for me to stay in.

While at Kenny’s we skied in salt water, their lakes are right off of the ocean. We skied there for a couple of days, then drove north to an awesome place which I compare to the Delta water ways like what we have here in northern California. We skied behind a flight craft while there for the day. When we were leaving, to head back to Kenny’s, when we got attacked by mozzies (mosquitos). They’re pretty aggressive, hundreds of bites in seconds, boy do they itch! We left the next morning to head to Muwala to meet up with the rest of the Aussies. The first two days there, they had a tournament in which I skied. I stayed with Pete O’Neal for the first two days and then with his parents until the American clan arrived. They were awesome; they spoiled me like no other. They fed me some amazing meals and they made sure that I got enough ski time too. Thanks, Pete for the lesson on the fly board. It was so much fun!

Team USA

The American clan has arrived. I moved over to my new hang out with the rest of our clan. Thanks to Lauren St.Onge and Kami Koehler for handling all of our arrangements and clothing. We had a great bunch of people. We all got along great and had so much fun! How could you not when your hanging with Lee Stone, he always has you in stitches (laughing). It was great to see all my longtime friends. Our sport is very unique as we all are like one big family. We left for the airport a few hours after the banquet so there was no time for sleep, just finish packing and on the road to Melbourne to catch our long flight home.

Jerry Kanawyer

Cold Weather Barefooting

Friday, January 31st, 2014
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Keeping warm!

ome winter there’s no reason to stop skiing. I have learned through the years on the best ways to keep warm. It starts with padded shorts, and a flomo vest. Next I prefer to wear a one piece suit instead of sweats; you can always feel the cold in the area that they meet. The main piece is the Dry suit, the dry suit seals around your wrists, ankles, and neck. If all seals work properly, you should stay dry except for your hands, feet and head, which are exposed. I have found that water will get in through the neck when doing a back deep. If you use a neck brace this will stop that from happening. A set of neoprene gloves and a scuba hood will help keep the hands and head warm.

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Even warmer!

Hot water is a must for cold weather skiing. Sticking your hands and feet in after every pass. If your footin, that will help, if you’re shoe skiing, WBC shoe skies have the neoprene boots on them and that helps a lot. I do enjoy the hot tub on the dock that warms the body up fast.

A nice feature for the driver is to install clear plastic from the windshield to the Bimini top this will put the driver in a capsule and keep them warmer.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)

Jerry Kanawyer: Thank You, Swampy

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

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I will be traveling to Australia three weeks early, prior to the 2014 Barefoot Waterski World Championships. I will be training with Ken Derry,  hoping that some of his slalom skills will rub off on me lol. I met Ken back in 1990 when he trained behind my 1989 Barefoot Nautique, in preparation of the 1990 World championships.

I’m coming off my best year in slalom. I posted a personal best score of 16.6, which put me 2nd in the nation with only the legend Keith St.Onge having a better score. To my surprise the elite team needed a slalom score for the world championships. The event that rarely is ever needed.

As I reflect back two years ago, I remember Swampy telling me to concentrate more on slalom and less on jump.  Swampy, I took your comments to heart and it paid off. I’m going to say it… Yes, Swampy, you were right. Thank you for being a part of making a goal that I set out to achieve 25 years ago.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)

Jerry Kanawyer: The Wedding

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

It was an extremely busy time hosting Nationals and having my wedding at the same time. Thank You Kami Koehler for suggesting it. It was the only way to have a lot of my ski family at the wedding. It was the wedding that I wanted inmy backyard with all my family and friends. I had the most beautiful bride that I could have ever hoped for. There was a slight delay in getting it started. OK it was an hour late. It actually gave time for some to arrive from the tournament.

The flower girls, Jadzia, Aubrey & Gretal were priceless.  As one dropped the flower petals,  Gretal starting picking them up. Then Grant the ring barrier dropped the ring in the grass and looked at his mom in a panic, it took a few minutes to find but it was found. The two small mishaps made the wedding just that much more memorable.

I was disappointed when David Small’s girlfriend, Tab, had to go back to Florida before the wedding. I had a great plan to ask her and Dave to come up for a double wedding lol. That would have been hilarious.

The 2013 Barefoot Nationals Results

Monday, September 16th, 2013
Photo: 85-year-old Jim Boyette does a flyer.
The 2013 Barefoot Water Ski National Championships was held at Mossdale Quarry Lakes in Lathrop, California.  Unfortunately, the site changed six weeks prior to the tournament. A key part of making this change happen, though, was Tim Pellaton, who no matter what I needed was able to find it for me, from a trailer for the scorers, to a motor home for the officials, to a gas trailer. A key thanks also goes to Mike Temby for donating his personal jet ski for a pickup boat.
The site was a big challenge to set up with depths of fifty feet and inclines that made it nearly impossible to set up the course. Tim and I spent ten days setting it up with help the last couple of days from Claudia and Dave Landon and Casey and Judy Meyers. Andrew Martin and Andy Conway handled all the electronics, video,
web site, programs, and t-shirt design. Thank you to Mark Hobson and Mike Temby for their assistance with fundraising, as well as Doug Jordan for handling
the jump!
Photo: Nice water at the Barefoot Nationals.
And what can I say about Scott Pellaton, Mike Ehlert and Teresa Wallace! Teresa went out and skied 92 mph on her feet, during a down-time for rough water that
we had put a hold on the tournament for. Scott’s 1981 Sanger Mini Day Cruiser (with Mike Ehlert as his observer) got the hair standing up on all of our backs with
that Blown Chevy 540 cubic inch engine pushing about 900 horse power. Thanks, Scott, Mike, and Teresa!
And a Big Thank You goes to all of our sponsors! Dublin Toyota, WBC (World Barefoot Center), Sanger Boats, Delta RV and Boat Storage, Flipper Roofing, Flipper Sports, Pape Material Handling Company, Temby Properties, The Boat Dock, Mike Molepske, Don Stoppe, and our host hotel Comfort Suites.  With the short amount of time we had to establish an alternate site in close proximity to our lake, the Mossdale Quarry site was all we had. While it wasn’t perfect due to the wind mentioned previously, and even though the backwash made the competition a little tough, the skiers stepped up their game and took those challenges head on.
I was a little disappointed with the turn out, as it was one of our more sparsely attended National competitions with only 68 skiers. If we had more skiers, we
would have run out of time for the event unless we had shorter turn-around times. Regardless, I want to thank all of the officials for their huge time investment in
order to make this event happen. A final bit of appreciation goes to the owner of the lake, Robert Brown, for working with us to get this event on the books.
By: Jerry Kanawyer
Tournament article by USA Water Ski via WaterSki: 36th Annual Barefoot Nationals

Jerry Kanawyer: Why I Continue to Barefoot Competitively

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

At the age of 50, I have been competing since 1987. Wow, that’s 36 years, I must be getting old, LOL. I have also competed in every Nationals since 1987 , with the exception of 1995, due to an illness in which I was bed ridden. I still have the drive to continue to improve my scores. As long as I can keep improving I will keep competing.

As I grow older, there’s one person that stays in my mind, that’s Don Mcfeters. Don was one person who knew how to ski and improve in his later years. In his 70’s he was able to continue to improve his scores. He slalomed in the 12’s and tricked in the 1500’s. Don Mcfeters is an amazing man. He would take a fall that would have hurt most people, but he would jump up and go for another pass, like it didn’t bother him. He’s a joy to be around, one of the nicest person you would ever meet.

A Barefoot Proposal

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

I went to Texas for two very important reasons, one was to ski in the 2012 Barefoot Waterski World Championships. It was held at Stuart Parson’s amazing site, the Barefoot Ski Ranch.  (Thank you for having all of us, Stuart!)

The other was to propose to my girlfriend, Tracy. She told me months earlier that no one has ever been able to surprise her, because she always finds out. So I was on a mission to get it done without her finding out. I was going to do it at the banquet. This was a challenging task for me, being someone who has a tough time speaking in large crowds. (Okay, let’s get real; I don’t talk that much ever.) This is something that I really wanted to do, in front of my ski family. The first thing that I needed to do was to give the ring to someone so Tracy didn’t happen to see it. (Thanks Kami for holding onto it for me. I really needed my support team– thanks to the Koehler and Derry Family.)

Needing some encouragement, I downed a Rum and Coke. Kenny and I went and spoke with Dale to see what part of the night that we could fit the proposal in. With the Koehler family behind me, Dale walked up and handed me the microphone.  Tracy thought that I was just giving a speech. I was halfway through the proposal before she figured out what I was doing.

All of a sudden, she turned red and said “You’re not doing this now are you?” After I finished with the proposal, she very softly said yes and not into the microphone. The crowd then started to ask, “What did she say, what did she say?”

She said yes!

Flipper (Jerry Kanawyer)

Preparing for the 2013 Barefoot Nationals

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013


I have been in this sport for many years; my first tournament was in 1987 at the Oakland Estuary in Oakland California. It was also my first experience with William Farrell. He was very helpful and supported of all of the new skiers. He rallied us to get out there and give a 110% and have fun. Very early in the day I started to say, wow this guy sure talks a lot. I found out later that there is no off button for West Coast Willie; he’s the original energizer bunny. No one can ever say that Willie isn’t a social butterfly.

Scott Pellaton wowed us with a 110 Mile per hour pass. That was a sight to see for a rookie barefooter. I was hooked after my first tournament. I started looking for a barefoot boat afterwards. I found a 1984 Barefoot Antique. It had a great flat wake, but some of you newer skiers would not know about the cliff that you come off of; the wake was tall and wider. It was still a great wake but it made it difficult learning back one foot wakes. You thought the falls on our current boats are bad, it was twice the hit taking falls from skiing behind the Barefoot Antique.

We have had a cold winter for northern California. This winter has been all about letting the body heal, working and planning the 2013 Barefoot Nationals which will be held at
Diablo Shores in Brentwood, California.

For this tournament, we are trying to put a lot of emphasis on getting some spectators in the seats as well as putting on a great Nationals for all the skiers. For the last four years, Mike Temby, Tim Pellaton, Rick Fuller and I have put on an air and ski show. On Saturday with the finals, we are planning to add in a mini ski show to add to the event. Some possibilities would be acrobatic jet skiers, a speed barefoot run with the top female or male record holders, Scott Pellaton and Theresa Wallace, an air show by the patriot jet team–the only privately-owned jet team in the world. We might just have some skydivers coming in to show us their stuff (and no, it’s not going to be Small’z!).

The host hotel is the Comfort Suites in Oakley, California. Book your rooms early as you can– the room rate is $99.00 a night. The hotel is about 10 minutes from the site.

We are surrounded by four airports: San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento, all within 75 minutes. I would check all four for flights, because sometimes there’s a big difference in price. Sacramento has the least amount of traffic, almost none. The other three just depend on the time of day. The traffic is heaviest between 2 PM – 8 PM.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)

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