Posts Tagged ‘kailey koehler’

Kailey Koehler: My First World Championship

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

One of my most memorable trips, and by far the most beautiful place in the world is New Zealand. I went to my first world competition in 2009 as an independent skier. I did not qualify to ski in the jump event, but I did ski in both the slalom and the trick event. My first worlds was a success. My goal was to beat myself, and that is exactly what I did. I got a PB in both events and I couldn’t have been any happier.

While practicing for the competition, Team USA got the honor of skiing on Lake Keelings. Although the name doesn’t sound familiar, almost everyone has seen this lake because it is where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Unfortunately, this lake had many good memories along with a few bad ones. One in particular was when I bit all the way through my bottom lip while doing a tumble turn to a one foot stand up. Although it didn’t hurt too bad, it looked really bad and it was embarrassing to meet people from all over the world at the opening ceremonies with a fat lip. The 2009 championship was an amazing first world competition and I cherish the good and bad memories forever.


Kailey Koehler: Love at First Ski

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014


Often people have asked me what it was like to waterski for the very first time in my life, and to be honest I don’t remember it too well. I was 2 years old and all I wanted to do was to be like my mom and dad. Ever since my sister and I were born they would take us in our car seats and stick us in the boat when they skied. Most of the time I would fall asleep to the sound of the engine, but once I was old enough I realized that I wanted to get out on the water. After a few times of practice in the pool with my dad pulling the rope, I was ready for the lake and the boat.

My mom drove the boat while my dad walked along side of us in the water. The ultimate excitement of skiing was contagious and before we you know it everyone was smiling and I didn’t want to stop. For me, skiing was love at first sight and I have loved it ever since since then. Never did I ever imagine that being pulled across a pool on two waterskis would lead me to learning how to barefoot waterski, join a waterski team, and travel around the world.

Kailey Koehler

Kailey Koehler: How I Stay In Ski Shape

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Most people ask me how I stay in shape for skiing in the winter months. As I have written in earlier blogs I do a lot of dry land practice to keep my muscles in skiing shape. Although nothing can truly prepare you for the soreness of the first ski, I try my best to be ready for it. Along with doing dryland every night, I am in a weight lifting class for athletes. I love training with my friends and other athletes who have the same goal as me, which is to get better and stronger.

I also am on the Wauconda High School track and field team. I do a lot of running and weight training to prepare myself for meets and it also makes me a better skier. In track I run the 400 and the 800 plus the relays. Those races help my legs get stronger for surface turns on the water. I also pole vault which helps strengthen my core and my upper body. I love my track team because they are very encouraging and it is a great, fun way to stay in shape for barefooting and skiing!

Kailey Koehler: Not So White of a Christmas

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Although sitting in the car for 18 hours isn’t on top of my “top list of things to do”, skiing in florida over my winter break is. I like spending time with my family, but 18 hours in the car isn’t as fun as it sounds. We try to keep ourselves busy by watching movies, waving to all the cars we pass by, and counting how many Cracker Barrel breakfast places we pass (one year we counted 114, but we did lose count a few times). Luckily, I am able to sleep most of the way while my dad drives. I have plenty of time to dream about sitting in the warm weather and skiing with all my friends.

For those 18 hours of driving I look forward to skiing down at WBC and spending Christmas in the warm Florida sun! This year I am training for the 2014 worlds in Australia! I look forward to skiing a lot and preparing myself to ski at worlds. I am also looking forward to going to the beach and spending time with the Ebbert Family. We have rented a house with them for the last 7 years over our winter break. We love playing games like ping pong, football, frisbee, and board games. Over christmas break we have so much fun with our barefoot family and I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way.

Kailey Koehler: Freeze 4 Life

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Most people who live in the Midwest go into hibernation in the winter months and dream about the warm summer months and skiing out on the lake all day. Up until about 6 years ago I followed this trend and just wished that I could be out on the lake in the winter. Fortunately I have been given the opportunity to do what most people think is absolutely insane. I have participated in a charity event called Freeze4Life since it started. It is an event that is held at the marina where I work called Gage Marine. A group of us determined and anxious water skiers all gather together on the first week of December to ski in the brisk cold Lake Geneva.

This year was the coldest it has ever been, but luckily it wasn’t snowing. The temperature of the air was around 9 degrees. Usually I like to barefoot at this event, but this year it was way to cold. I worked up the courage to go swivel skiing with a goal to not get my hair wet. As soon as I was done skiing I jumped right into the hot tub that was out on the pier. I then warmed up by the fire then hopped right back I the boat to spot while everyone else went skiing. When I pulled the rope in it was completely frozen and stiff while the boat had icicles hanging from the rub rail. Some people say that I am crazy, but I had a great time for a great cause. At the end of the day it’s all about gathering together as a waterski/barefoot community and freezin for a reason.

By: Kailey Koehler

Kailey Koehler: Show Skiing

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Competitive barefooting is a very important part of my life and it has been for the past six years.  I truly enjoy traveling all around the world and competing against my friends from all over the world.  Barefooting is a very competitive sport and it consumes most of my summer, however, I am also involved with a show ski team called the Aquanut Water Shows which is out of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.  Most people choose one sport of the other, however, I have chosen to do both show skiing and barefooting.  Doing both sports can be seen as a balancing act that comes with a lot of decisions, but  I enjoy both of them and there is no way I could choose one over the other.  

I have been on the Aquanuts since I was 6 years old.  They have become a second family to me.  I have worked very hard to become a versatile member of our team and I try to do a little bit of everything including the following: ballet line, swivel, pre-fabricated pyramids, doubles, swivel, barefooting, and final pyramid.  Every act is different which is why I love running from act to act.  It can be very tiring, but in the end the thrill of performing for friends and family is irresistible.  Although I absolutely hate the makeup that comes along with show skiing, it is worth it in the end and it usually comes off when I barefoot. 
Both barefooting and show skiing are very important to me and I plan on continuing to compete in both sports.  They are both very different types of skiing but they are equally fun and entertaining.  I have had the honor of competing on team USA for barefooting, and for the first time I will be competing on the team USA show ski team  next September in Janesville, Wisconsin.  I am privileged to be on both of these teams and I can not wait to see where the future of these sports bring me. 
By: Kailey Koehler

Kailey Koehler: My World Championships Experience

Friday, October 4th, 2013

I have had the privilege to attend three world championships.  The first worlds that I went to was held in Otaki, New Zealand.  I was 13 years old and let me tell you, I was a little bundle of nerves.  It was my first big tournament and I had no clue what I was doing.  I went to New Zealand not knowing what to expect, but I had the time of my life.  I was able to meet people from all over the world, and I was able to ski with professional athletes who I idolized.  I qualified as an independent skier in tricks and slalom.  I skied quite well considering the level I was at with my skiing and all the pressure I was under.  After I skied, I was able to tour the beautiful country and explore the different cultures.  I went bungee jumping, saw sheep roaming the streets, and skied on the lake that “Lord of the Rings” was filmed on.

My first worlds was an experience that I will never forget and it was a stepping stone to the level of skiing that I am currently at.  My first worlds was when I realized that I was serious about this sport and I got the drive to become a better skier.  Ever since then, I began to train at the World Barefoot Center, where world champions are made.  My coaches taught me new tricks and they encouraged me to push past my limits.  As I continued to grow as a skier, I was able to go to a second world championships in Brandenburg, Germany.  I was on the US Junior team and we received the overall team gold medal.  Germany was a great experience that created many lasting memories.

The last world championships that I attended was held in Waco, Texas.  I skied in the junior division for the last time and I also competed as an elite skier.  I had so much fun and was able to take home a few medals in the process.  I am so lucky to have had the privilege to go to the world championships and I hope to go to the next one in Australia.  I look forward to meeting new people and catching up with my friends from all over the world.

by Kailey Koehler

Kailey Koehler: Can You Handle It?

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Check out the handle on the dock...

“Can you handle it?”

This is a question that I often get asked by my friends before I compete in a barefoot tournament. It may seem like an easy conversation starter to ask anyone to calm the nerves before he or she competes, but to me, it is a joke and a reminder of my experience at the 2012 World Championships.

During the worlds in Texas, I began to prepare myself for the first round of the Open Trick event. I put my suit on, stretched out, grabbed extra hair ties for my wrist, and of course grabbed my back and front toe-hold handles. When the dock starter told me I was next on the water, I took a deep breath, handed him my handles, and got ready to ski. The boat pulled up to the dock and everyone cleared the surrounding area so that I could prepare to do a back flyer. I told my judges the pull I wished for and I skied to the other end of the lake. As far as I was concerned I had a great pass and I was ready to ski forwards.

The boat circled around me and asked where I had put my front toe handle. I confidently responded by saying “I gave it to the dock starter as I was getting ready to ski.” Everyone in the boat, including myself, was very puzzled. After realizing that my handle never made it into the boat, the boat crew quickly drove back to the dock, grabbed my handle, and flipped through the rule book as I sat on the jet ski more nervous than I had ever been before.

After a few minutes they came to the conclusion that I could not use my front toe-hold handle. They offered me a slalom handle (which was better than nothing) so I scrambled to think of a trick run. Unfortunately, I was unable to do quite a few of my tricks. Lucky for me though, I scored enough points to just barely squeeze into the next round. Everyone on the dock was happy for me and they were very comforting to me in that situation.

Every tournament is a learning experience and I definitely learned my lesson the hard way. Ever since the 2012 Worlds, I am sure to personally deliver both of my handles to the judge in the boat.

Kailey Koehler

2013 Midwest Barefoot Regionals

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Just a little chilly...

It was a cold, rough, windy Midwest Barefoot Regional tournament on July 26 and 27 at the Blue Moo in Alma Center, Wisconsin.  Judging from the smiles on everyone’s faces, it was perfectly warm.


A calm moment at the Blue Moo

Joe Knapp's 36th year on the water

Tom Tocco and Alex Youngblood


Cody Heller at the Midwest Regionals

Amber Rangel's First Regional Jumping

Photo: Congrats dad on placing 3rd in slalom!

Patrick Blake

Photo: It was a bit cold at day 2 of the Midwest Barefoot Regionals...

Hey, it's July!

Photo: Definitely NOT the Southern Regionals. Only in the Midwest!

"Definitely not the Southern Regionals," says Scott Jones

Kailey and Ariana Koehler, "It's not cold!"

By: Karen Putz

Success in Barefoot Water Skiing

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Success may be a small word, but to me, it has a very important meaning. Success is a goal that I strive for. I do my best to achieve my life goals. I started barefooting when I was five years old and I have loved it ever since. This sport is my passion and I will do whatever it takes to succeed.

I began to compete at age ten and that is when I began to set goals for myself. As I learned new tricks I told my dad that all I wanted to do was win one gold medal. For me this was a difficult, but as I advanced, I received many gold medals. As soon as I reached this goal I decided to raise my standards.

My new goal was to attend a world championship. I traveled to New Zealand as an independent skier which inspired me to be on the USA Team. I then began to train at the World Barefoot Center. My coaches pushed me to exceed past my potential and go beyond my wildest dreams. In 2010 I was a part of the junior team and we took home the overall team gold medal. Two years later, I was honored to be selected as a member of the junior team for the second time.

I spent my entire summer training for the worlds that were held in Waco, Texas. I was determined to represent my country and to do my best. My hard work paid off. I finished second individually and our team finished second as well. I was honored to receive several individual event medals and one in the elite devision.

Every goal that I have achieved had motivated me to go on to bigger and better things. Currently, I am working towards a new goal which is to be a member of the 2014 elite team. I am willing to do whatever it takes because I know the feeling of accomplishment and the joy that it brings.

Some words of wisdom that have truly inspire me come from Eric Thomas. He said, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful!”

Kailey Koehler