Posts Tagged ‘Jumping’

Kenneth Eissler – Live Interview

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Last weekend was very special to me because I was invited to a German TV show. It took place at a big festival and was broadcasted live on TV. I arrived early at the place and was already excited, there was a big stage and many people running around and working to make this big show happen. After the first trial I became less nervous and really enjoyed answering the question about barefoot waterskiing and explained why this sport is so special to me.


Finally at 8pm the show started with a few famous German singers and interviews of other young sportsmen. It was such a great feeling to sit in front of thousand people talking about my big passion: jumping! I really relaxed myself and just enjoyed the interview. This was such a great experience and hopefully it wasn’t the last interview on TV for this year.


by Kenneth Eissler

Lizzie Rhea: Jumping Inverted for a Dog

Saturday, December 6th, 2014



One of my most exciting experiences was at the WBC during fall break this year. My Dad really wanted me to start trying to jump inverted, so he made a deal with me that if I jumped inverted on the 5 foot rope, he would get allergy shots, so that I could get a dog. I have always wanted a dog, but my Dad is really allergic to them. My Dad wanted video evidence of the jump. We shook on it and made the deal official.

I was not even close to jumping inverted, and Ben Groen did not think I could do it after that first day. I tried a million times. I thought I could not do it, and I gave up. I was so sad that I could not even eat supper that night. I could not stop thinking about it, and it was driving me nuts!

The next day, I went back to the WBC thinking that I would not even try it anymore. (I kept thinking that it was not very smart to hit a piece of fiberglass on my bare feet going 40 mph anyway!) However, David Small was determined that I could and would do it, and get my dog! I had to trust him because he is the best jumper in the world. I knew if I listened to him, I would have a chance. He is always good at motivating me and making me believe in myself. I decided to put my game face on and try again.

The first 3 jumps on the boom were awesome, so David let me move to the rope, which wasn’t so awesome! He kept telling me to raise early, but my body just wouldn’t do it for some reason! I was getting really frustrated because my set was almost over. I had to keep telling myself that I could do it.

David told me he would let me try the 5 foot rope if I promised to raise early. Of course I didn’t do it the first couple of times, but all of the sudden I did it on my 3rd attempt. Mrs. Karen Putz got a video of it and sent it to my Dad.

My Dad went to an allergy doctor and has just started taking weekly shots. It will take at least 6 more months, but I am going to get a chocolate toy poodle just like Charlie, David Small’s dog. I am going to name him Dave, in honor of David Small, because I am so thankful that he didn’t give up on me. I can’t wait until I get it!

Lizzie Rhea

Will Rhea, Dealing with an Injury

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

I had my first true barefooting injury in July, while skiing at the WBC. I have always had to deal with bumps and bruises from barefooting, but never anything serious. This time, however, I had a bad fall on a jump that made me lose my breath and my ribs were in a lot of pain. I tried to keep skiing through the pain, but it just got worse.

I was so disappointed and did not want to stop skiing. I kept trying to ski, but my focus was on my ribs, and not my skiing. This was not how I had planned my training time! I had several days left at the WBC, and two upcoming tournaments. I took the next two days off to rest and recover.

The morning I tried to ski again, as soon as I crunched my abs forward on my toe up, I felt a pop and a jolt of pain, and I lost my breath again. I was in even more pain than the first time. This is when I knew that I could not ski anymore.

I was so crushed and disappointed to have to stop skiing. I missed out on competing in the Southern Regionals, as well as Nationals. I did enjoy watching my sister, Lizzie, compete though.

I went to the doctor as soon as I got home, and he said that I had damaged the cartilage on the front of my 8th and 9th ribs. The pop I felt was my cartilage. He said that I had probably bruised it on the first fall, and did more damage by trying to keep skiing through the pain. He told me that it would take 6 to 8 weeks to heal, and that I had to be inactive for at least a month (which was the worst part)!

It has now been 6 weeks, and I have been cleared by my doctor to ski again. I am not in pain anymore, and I am so ready to try to ski next weekend! I will never take my health, and the opportunity to ski for granted again!

Will Rhea

Will Rhea: Jumping at Worlds

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

I was very lucky to be chosen as a member of the U.S. Junior barefoot team for the 2014 Worlds in Australia. I had only competed in one tournament, but I learned to jump inverted at the WBC, and that became my ticket to Australia. I really want to thank Swampy and the ABC for taking a chance on me, and giving me the opportunity to compete at Worlds. The entire experience was amazing. It was by far the most fun trip I have ever had.

Having just learned to jump inverted in October, I was very nervous when Swampy told me that I had to land a jump at Worlds. I landed two jumps in the first round, and thankfully made it to the second round. On the ride back to the condo, Swampy told me that I had to land an 18 meter jump for the team. I started to get nervous, but inside I knew I could do it. All I could do was pray that God would help me do my best, and that helped me not to be so nervous.

Thankfully, I landed my first jump in the second round. I heard everyone cheering, and found out that my jump was exactly 18 meters even! This gave me a huge boost of confidence, and with Swampy’s coaching, I landed my third jump at 19 meters even! I had made it to the finals!

I was the first jumper on the water in the finals. I landed all three of my jumps, and the biggest one was 18.7 meters. I was very happy to finish strong, and I sat down to watch the other jumpers. After everyone was finished, Ben Groen came up to congratulate me on winning a bronze medal. I was very surprised and excited at the same time. It was the greatest feeling, and I think that was the best part of the trip for me. I will remember my first Worlds forever!

By Will Rhea



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Chandler Cargile: Using Video Review to Improve Your Barefooting

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

There have been many things help me learn a new trick such as the coaching, the training, the encouragement, and reviewing videos. It is amazing how much it has helped me in my skiing after watching my skiing and studying it closely. The reason it helps watching video is because I can watch my own skiing and watch where I am messing up, plus I can watch it in slow motion and get into detail on where I am really going wrong. Even more than watching my own skiing, watching Keith St. Onge’s slalom and David Small’s jumping and tricks have helped me a numerous amount of times. Watching it has shown me how down weighting and being slow on the jump gives you big pop and keeping the handle out gives you more distance and time to come down on top of your feet. It has also shown me, in slalom, I am supposed to be aggressive on the transfers, shoulders forward and drive as hard as possible. And in tricks, I see how every turn is supposed to be slow and every turn is a one foot turn with a quick handle pass.

Watching my videos and going back and watching theirs has made a big help in my skiing. I recommend other skiers watch their and then watch Keith and Dave’s. It unbelievable how much it really helps.

David Small’s World Record Jump

Keith St. Onge’s video

David Small’s video

By: Chandler Cargile

Johnathan Martines: The Hardest Thing to Learn

Friday, August 30th, 2013

As you all know, barefooting is not an easy sport. In barefooting, almost nothing comes easy. No matter what you are learning, whether it’s a toe-hold, a back deep, or a line turn, you are bound to take your fair share of falls and encounter some hardships. Throughout my barefooting career, I’ve had my fair share of struggles, but my most difficult and frustrating challenge to date was learning how to jump inverted.

In April of 2012, I went down to the WBC for a week of training. Having learnt all of the basics, it was now time for me to start learning surface turns and jumping. I started jumping about my third day in. Once I learned how to jump traditional style, I started to work on inverted.

Everything went well in the days that followed, and by the end of the week, I was jumping inverted and landing on the ten foot extension on the boom. After spending a few months home training and not jumping, I came back at the beginning of June for a month. One of my priorities for this trip was to learn inverted jumping behind the boat before the 2012 Worlds.

My first set back was terrible. I would lunge, come forward on the ramp, and be early every single time. For some reason, I was afraid of jumping. This fear hurt my skiing for weeks and weeks. Some days I would go out on the ten foot and look great. Other days, I would go on the five foot and not even be able to land a jump. One thing was the same, though; I could not land an inverted jump behind the boat to save my life.

Finally after a month of jumping every day, something clicked. I went out one afternoon in early July and landed my first inverted jump behind the boat! I was ecstatic! One thing I had dreamed of doing all my life finally came true! The struggle didn’t stop from there. Even though I could land jumps now, they were still very small.

Even today, I still struggle a bit with my jumping. The struggles, however, are on a higher level. Moral of the story, push through your hardships in life and in barefooting and it will be very rewarding.

By: Johnathan Martines

Recovering After a Barefoot Injury

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
As you might know last August I dislocated my shoulder on jumping, it happened in Texas during the the team training, 2 days before the world’s began. Such a frustration after months of getting ready for the biggest competition of the next 2 years, travelling that far from my country to be injured on the first set. Even if I could not plan what would happen, that would have to be the worst experience as a skier, so much invested time for nothing. Instead of pain what’s kills me more was seeing all those peoples that you met all along your trainings and travels skiing and enjoying there tournament as a skier, and I was just beside them couldn’t do anything but watching.

Back home many poeples were sorry for me. But after that I just had to wait for things to get better.. 6 weeks later I was able to start a physiotherapy to recover, 4 times a week I used to go to get back in a good shape for 3 months. When the physiotherapy  had finished, the skiing season was already done so I couldn’t “test” my shoulder for a while. So far my goal was to get back in shape and make my shoulder stronger but what could I do until the season began? I used to practice in winter times as rugby and gymnastic where forbidden. But I couldn’t wait anymore, I just needed to move so I chose to go back on gym to keep a descent physical activity and it would permit me to find my limits.
After a couple training sessions I was still feeling pain on my shoulder and gymnastic crave a lot on this, but the more I was going and the more I practice I was feeling better and better so I keep going and looked forward to barefoot. Then I enforced the training and started to work out more and more meanwhile the barefoot season started.

I’m in Florida for two weeks now and I didn’t have the opportunity to ski before I come here because of the very long winter we had in Europe.  I feel so good to ski after an eight-month break, even if I keep having pains sometimes. I don’t give up and manage with it, the most important thing now is I focus on for this year and next Worlds that I don’t want to miss this time!

Clement Maillard

Off season, off the water training… Get in better ski shape!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

If you are serious about barefoot water skiing or any other sport that is relatively seasonal then you will need to think about what you are going to be doing in the ‘off season’. Unless you live in Florida or some tropical climate then it will be hard to train on the water when the lakes are frozen or it is bitterly cold and raining all the time……… I.E. England 😉
You don’t need to be a member of a gym and have to drive miles to get some basic work out in. Barefoot water skiing is a lot of core work and balance so working this out will make a big difference when you come to start skiing again.
Some basic things you can buy for your home are a chin up bar, swiss ball (big blow up ball), bosu ball circular top with half a blow up ball underneath and some basic weights. Using these simple things you can get a decent work out at home and can stow all of this stuff in a corner somewhere out of the way so that the wife doesn’t moan at you.
Here are a few simple exercises that you can try at home…

Stand upright on the Bosu ball holding some weights by your side. Try to keep your feet as flat as possible and your back as straight as you can and slowly squat down.

Position at the top of a squat

Bottom of the squat

Drop the weights and stand on one leg, lift the leg in the air in front of you (like a toe hold) and then keeping your core tight and foot flat slowly move in to a back toe hold position. Keep doing this until your standing leg is fatigued (you will start shaking).

One leg balance

Continuing the one leg balance exercise

Another balance exercise is to, again standing on one leg, reach your leg in the air off to the side and arms up in the air. Once stable, reach the leg across and behind your body and brings your arms in the opposite direction. It is important to keep your stomach muscles tight and engaged to get the full benefits from this exercise.



The last couple of exercises on the bosu ball are using some dum bells. Engage your core, have a slight bend in your knees and complete slow bicep curls, shoulder press’s, side and front arm lifts to work your shoulders.

Biceps on the bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Setting up for front arm lifts

Front arm lift

Setting up for side lifts on bosu ball

Side arm lifts on Bosu

Setting up a chin up bar in your house is easy and is a good way of working your shoulders, biceps, and back….. all good for footing. You can do chip ups with your palms facing back, forward, arms narrow and arms wide. This will work slight different muscle groups and then you can lift your legs up in front of your hips for an abb workout at the same time.

Setting up for a chin up

Top of chin up

For abdominal exercises you can sit on the swiss ball with your legs together and do some front and side crunches. This will work your middle and upper abs. To work your lower abs you can lay in your push up position with your feet on the ball and roll your legs to your chest and butt up in the air. You can also sit on an upturned boss ball, sit slightly back with your legs outstretched and then bring your legs in to your chest.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Set up for lower abbs

lower abbs

Lower abbs on Bosu

Lower abbs on Bosu

Side to side abbs on Bosu

All of these exercises will give you a little head start in to the on season but you need to be engaging your core muscles and concentrating on good technique.


Written by David Small


Ben Groen, Back in the USA

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Ben Groen is back at the World Barefoot Center after spending a few weeks back home in New Zealand.  Before he left, he took one last spin on the water.  What a spin it was!

Check out the cool camera footage taken with the GoPro camera:

David Small clinic at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

My second stop on my Summer clinics was at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  Stuart Parsons had arranged for me to come up to his site for a week however the place is such a great ski site and the guys were learning a lot so I stayed an extra week. For those of you who are not up to date with the 3 event Barefoot calender this is the site that the next 2 Nationals are going to be held and where the 2012 world championships are going to be hosted.  It is probably one of the best ski sites I have ever been to… and I have been to a lot of sites all around the world!! There are 2 main ski lakes with one at 3700 feet long and the second is 2600 ( and waiting for some rain to come and fill it up).

Royal Tee, Haden and David Small after a great day on the water

3700 feet of glass!!

3700 feet of glass!!!

2nd lake waiting for some rain

Stuart has also dug out a straight line cable lake which comes off the main lake and there was talk of him putting some kickers in there as well as a barefoot ramp at the end where you can jump and land in to a foam pit….. very cool.  On top of all this there is a 4th lake back in the woods which may be turned in to a cable park by the time Worlds comes around!  The main lake has a dye in it which makes it look like a swimming pool and deer come down to the waters edge to cool off orr take a drink while you are sitting in the water waiting for the boat to return…… Did I mention that this place is amazing?! Lol.

Deer drinking from the lake and checking out the footing

The clinic was a great success were we had complete beginners like 7 year old Haden Parsons doing one foots in the swing all the way to Royal Tee Wiseman completing 100 turns in a set with only 3 falls as well as amazing me with his jumping!

Haden doing his one foots

Royal Tee half way through his 100 turn challenge :)

Royal Tee after completing his 100 turn challenge! woopwoop

Stuart Parsons along with Lee Stone, Blake and Landen Ehler were all working on their jumping techniques and progressing comfortably in to the inverted jumping technique.  Its great to see more and more people pushing themselves to try this exciting and crowed pleasing jumping technique!  If you have the right instruction from the very start so that no bad habits creep in it can be as straightforward as learning the ‘traditional’ style.

Stuart Parsons invert jumping

We had a couple of girls out there barefooting with us as well.  Landen brought his girlfriend, Elizabth, to try skiing and she was a great listener!!  She managed to get out there on her bare feet and ski down the lake in just a couple of short passes with the aid of the headzone headsets that I was using.

Kim Taylor showing us lads how its done

Landen showing us his sliding skills

Kim Taylor also came and tore it up and learned how to get up backwards and ski in a perfect backwards position! Aaron York, part owner of the BSR, came and did a fair bit of skiing as well which was good to see him back on the water and he figured out a lot with his turns and his slalom as well as dabbling with a little jumping.  A nice surprise was getting to ski with David Howze who is down working for Stuart in his Summer break from ATM (lol).  This kid (21) had only skied a few times before the 2 week clinic and he came away with doing front one foot wakes on his feet, toe holds long line, backwards long line, back toe holds on shoes and much more so congrats to David for skiing up a storm!

David Howze showing off his skills

Devils cove for memorial day

For memorial day we took a day off and headed in to Devils cove over in Austin. We took Royals Sanger over and hung out with 1000s more people that were there to relax and have a good time. Charlie, my 6 pound toy poodle came with me on this trip as well and loved having 350 Acers of tall grass to play around in and side walks to go running down and paying fetch in so thanks to Stuart for allowing me to bring the little guy!

Charlie after a long game of fetch

I had a blast, got some great ski time there and I am looking forward to going back again before Nationals!