Posts Tagged ‘KSO Wetsuits’

2012 US Nationals from Mike Holts, “Holtzy”, eyes.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday Evening August 5th, 2012

I arrived in Waco, Texas today about 12 noon. I want to get familiar with the time zone, the site, boat, equipment, and the water so that I’m most prepared to ski the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

I stopped at the site today; the entry gate to the facility was locked. Did that stop me? I DON’T THINK SO. So I quickly developed Plan B to figured a way in; I parked the car, squeezed past the gate and walked about ½ mile and found ‘life,’ Heath Cooper my buddy who installed the 409 PCM motor in my boat two years ago, I love this guy.

Mike Holt from tumble up flyer

Heath gave me a tour of the facility, there is a water-ski cable par, multiple water ski lakes, and some special breed animals; it’s an amazing venue –  HYPERLINK “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” \o “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” http://www.barefootskiranch.com/.

The facility has two ski lakes; Lake 1 is long and wide; the good part is that the length gives the skier lots of set up time, but bad part is that when the wind pick up, the lake can get choppy. Lake 2 is shorter and narrow; the bad news is that the short length requires a quick ‘set up’ which places pressure on the skiers to rush. Short set up can cause a skier to loose concentration, often without positive results. The good news is that the water should be less choppy in Lake 2.

After the tour, I see my former ski partner David Small, the current three-time World Champion. We hang out for an hour or so; it was very enjoyable and we plan to ski in the morning. This is why I arrived early; find someone to give me some pulls behind the boat on the water I’ll be competing, but to have the current World Champion be my driver/coach was beyond what I was praying for. David and I planned on dinner later tonight and maybe some ‘night barefooting.’

David Small jumping

I get to my room, the air is cool, and I’m excited to just chill out for the evening. THEN I realize that I’m to meet David for dinner at 8 pm and ‘night barefooting.’ I’m thinking … I don’t think those are good ideas now that I’m in my room.

Problem solved, I text David and blow him off; I’m at peace with my decision because I want to be ready for some serious practice in the morning. A few hours later I get a call from another ski buddy and he wants me to go to the site to do some skiing, but again I’m comfortable just relaxing tonight, so I blow him off.

Monday August 6th, 2012

I stopped by the site today to ski with David Small, I have a knot in my stomach and I’m stressed out; my big concerns in skiing at a different venue behind a different boat include:

How is the ‘table’ behind the boat?

What is the top speed can I expect?

How fast does the boat get me ‘out of the hole’?

Overall how do I feel?

What does the water feel like?

The answers were all very positive.

The wake is ‘no worries’.

I need 46.5 mph in slalom and the boat is fine.

The pull out of the ‘hole’ was soft and I need to adjust my call.

The water is interesting, the temperature is hotter and the water feels ‘soft.’ Not sure what to do, maybe I should ‘up’ my speed.

It was just David and I and felt like old times, I feel better now after practice, handle at the end of all runs.

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

Stopped by the site today and skied with Keith St Onge (KSO) who is a two-time World Champion and No. 1 rated skier in the world with his wife Lauren St Onge (she’s so sweet). I’m not relaxed because it’s hard to ski with a World Champion and be relaxed, but I do feel better knowing the venue, what to expect from the boat, and the water.

WHAT do you mean we are not skiing today behind the boat I skied behind yesterday! Great, skiing with KSO and now I have to start all over again ‘testing.’ KSO skies amazing (I feel so small). I’m very pleased with this boat, except the boat doesn’t get 46.5 mph; it’s a max of 45… not good. The water feels soft and I’m confused, do I call for more speed than normal, or stick with my standard call… big question.

I’m judging for the first time at these Nationals, so I spend 4 hours reviewing videos of skiers so that I can be prepared for the next day assignments.

Wednesday July 8th 2012

I wake up early to do more video review, have a great breakfast and go to the site to ‘hang’ with my barefooting ‘tribe members; We ‘get it,’ we understand the years of commitment to excellence, the sacrifices required, overcoming injuries, pain, disappointments along the way, we all want to do out best, but sometimes we show our worst. Competitive barefooting can be a terrible ‘head game….’

A few hours pass and I’m in boat to judge; I’m satisfied with my performance, I’m prepared. After an hour break I go into the next ‘boat crew’ to judge Open Pro Men in Tricks. My first day at Nationals I’m judging the best skiers in the planet that do so many complicated tricks in such a short time? I visit with an official and explain that this is my first time judging at National; did they ‘really’ want me in the boat? They said you’ll be okay “Holtzy”, we have video backup if needed.

I’m in the boat, skiers ski in a ‘seeded’ order where the lowest ranked skier is first and the top rank skier (KSO) is last; this allows me to warm up my skills. All of my preparation in video judging the past two years and judging elite skiers in our Southern Regional tournaments prepared me well. I did a good job in the boat and out of 32 pulls we (not just me) had to do ‘video review’ of 5 runs.

What I learned in judging the best in the world is that out of the 16 skiers there was only a handful that didn’t fall. These skiers are doing the most difficult tricks in the world and one slight mistake is disaster.

This knowledge gives me confidence that if I fall during any of my runs, its okay, it’s just that it wasn’t my day. Failure on any given day or moment doesn’t define who I am. I’m proud of my dedication, focus, commitment to excellent, and to do the best I can.

Thursday Morning, August 10, 2012

This afternoon I ski in Open Pro Men Slalom; I ski with all of the ‘top dogs’. I think my head is screw on straight, we’ll see in a few hours…

Oh yea, the boat to be used for Open Pro Men Slalom IS NOT one of the two boats I ‘tested’ Monday or Tuesday… great, another thing for the head to screw with. What speed do I call? Can I make my back-deep-to-one start on the first pass?

Thursday Afternoon, August 10, 2012

I skied today for the first time in Open Pro Men Slalom and it occurs at the 2012 National Championships. Just a little history, there are three ‘classes’ of competitors, age group, Open, and Open Pro. All skiers automatically qualify to ski in their age group against their peers. The goal of all advance barefooters to one day ski ‘Open.’ When I was younger, 30 years ago, I dreamed of one day skiing Open, but as life took its actions on my life (family/kids) I gave up that dream over 20 years ago.

However, I continued to ski with the best skiers in the world like David Small, Mike Salber, KSO, Rich Powel, Lane Bowers, Mike Seipel, Steve Merritt, Zenon Bilas, and others. After 24 years of skiing, I went Open in 2008; the cool part was that I did it at the National Championships before all the top skiers in the USA; and I won my 5th National Championship in the Men 5 division, and won the Male Barefoot Athlete of the Year.

Last year I ‘toyed’ with the idea that if I trained hard and smart enough, maybe I could qualify to ski in the “elite” division at the 2012 World Championships. To ski “elite” I had to get a qualifying score that matched the top 20th place skier in the WORLD. That score was 15.6. Up to this point, my best slalom run was 15.2 scored at the 2011 Southern Regional Championships at the age of 56 years young! For me to qualify to ski ‘elite slalom’ at the worlds with a score of 15.6 is almost impossible, but set this as my goal last year.

In July 2012, a month ago, I skied 15.8 in slalom as judged by Richard Gray the Chairman of the World Barefoot Council. With this score I not only ski in the ‘Seniors’ division at the 2012 World Championships, I’ll be skiing with David Small, Keith St Onge, Peter Fleck and other elite skiers at the age of 61!

I’m stunned that I slalom 15.8, but the biggest shocker comes the next day; I skied a 16.2 which qualified m3 to ski Open Pro at the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

So now at the age of 61, I’m at the starting dock… I’ve eaten properly, gotten rest, drank liquids, trained as hard as I could with the best in the world, worked out to get a strong core, had massage therapy and visited chiropractor when needed, keep my focus, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can think of to be totally prepared for this instant.

I’m in the water, my heart is racing, I clean my hands  with soap so that I can grip the handle; especially since I do a ‘back-deep-to one’ for the start. With this start everything has to be perfect, rarely have I ever missed this start in a tournament, but I have missed it before, the last time was at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, let’s not review that story. Why do such a difficult start when it’s not required in Slalom? It’s a long story and one day I’ll explain…

Okay I’m in the water, a boat judge hands me the ‘tournament handle’ and I’m shocked… the handle is like a slick broom stick and I can’t get grip. I try to rub the handle to get some grip, but it’s time to GO.

I give instructions; ‘gear’, then yell ‘okay,’ the boat lunges harder that I expected, the handle slips from my palms to my finger tips… I’m struggling to not ‘loose the handle.’ I plant my ‘one’ foot in the water, wait for speed, with five officials in the boat, I really don’t have the speed I’m accustomed to. I stay as calm, I make the start, I’m on my feet; I’ve passed the first test, I’m up and ready for slalom.

I attempt to regrip the handle from my finger tips to my palms; it’s not working, this handle is crap, I need to get going, with finger tips. I complete the first crossing one foot, then the second crossing, then after the 3rd crossing and I get pull up and take a hard fall (good thing I have a neck brace). I’m bummed out, I only got 3 points on the first pass (I should have gotten 8)…

The pickup boat gets me and takes me to the end of the course to start the second pass. I give my instructions to the boat judges; I’m just skiing forward, so no drama here (unless I fall). I call 46.5 mph (I should have called 47.5, because of soft water is soft), I complete the pass and score 7.8 points (I typically score 8.2).  My score is 10.8 point… I wanted at least 15.0, would be happy with 15.6 and ecstatic with 16.2, but its official 10.8.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, I’m numb. What did I do wrong? In reflecting back, it

was my fault; in practice a few days ago they didn’t have the tournament handles so I used ‘my’ handle. I should have force the driver to use the ‘tournament supplied handle’ so that I would know what to expect. If I had done that I would have know about this problem and I could have come up with a solution.

Mike Front Toe

A few skiers told me they had problems with the handle Paul Stokes (Open Pro) told me “Holtzy that’s why I were gloves, you never know the condition of the tournament supplied handle.”

I plan on getting ski gloves for the Worlds, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

Friday August 11, 2012

This morning I’m sick from yesterday’s failure Open Pro Slalom; I don’t want to be here anymore, I hate barefoot tournaments, I want to go home, I want to be in the arms of my wife so that she can ‘baby me.’ The reality is that I have to ski tricks in my age division, Men’s 6 (60-64 years). There are 16 skiers in the event; the lowest seed is 250 points, 2nd seed is 1500 points, and I’m top seed at 2740 points.

After an hour and half of waiting, it’s my turn to perform; I know my wife is on the computer waiting to watch me ski. I’m suited up, I wash my hands with my soap three times, and I rub my hands on the handle to make sure I have ‘the grip.’ I’m pacing back and forth like a race horse waiting to get out of the pen on the dock.

It’s not time; I take the handle, wrap it around my back, and get ready to do a flyer off the dock. I get ready to yell ‘okay’ but the rope gets hanged up in a cleat on the dock and all systems must stop.

The rope gets reset, I wrap the rope around my back, I yell, ‘in gear,’ the boat begins to move forward in idle, the rope tightens up, I yell “okay” and the boat takes off. I take seven steps, launch myself off the dock in superman and pray I make my flying-back-tumble-deep-to-one start. This start is worth 800 points, the highest scoring start. I don’t know when the last time anybody other than myself has done this start at a National Championship.

I land on the water on my chest, ride on the stomach at 2300 rpm, then turn to the backward position, plant one foot in the water, wait for boat speed, the driver David Miller nails the throttle, I still wait for ‘speed’ and then I press the foot in the water and attempt to stand up on one foot.

I make it, the driver pulled me perfectly and I did what I needed to do; I’m stoked. I regrip the handle; pull it in and down to my butt and start the trick run – one foot, one foot reverse, surface hop – wait I don’t think the hop was high enough for credit, so I do the surface hop again, then a turn from backward to forward, then tumble-360-to-one, reverse tumble-360-to-one, tumble-180-to-one, then reverse 180-tumble-to-one. I have an almost the perfect pass, except the double surface hop. You can see the video at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg

I’m happy with the first pass but I’m still stressed; on the second pass I do a back-deep-to-one start, this is the second most difficult start in barefooting and it’s worth 500 points. I give the boat officials my instructions, the boat tightens the rope, I give the signals ‘in gear’, then ‘okay’ and I roll over on to my stomach. The boat takes off, I wait for speed, plant one foot, press the foot into the water, and when I feel I have sufficient speed I attempt to stand up – and I make it!

Now I do a ‘positional back-to-front turn’ to set up for the first trick; I’ve missed the back-to-front turn before at a National Championship and also once at the 2012 World Championships in Germany. I’m up backward, I get into position for the turn, and attempt the back-to-front turn; I nail it, clean feet-to-feet. I place the handle over my head and do – neck-2-foot, neck-1-foot, neck-1-foot reverse, then a one-foot, one-foot reverse, teeth-2-foot, teeth-1-foot, teeth-1-foot reverse, rope-on-foot, rope-on-foot reverse, tumble-2-foot, and reverse tumbel-2-foot. I did everything and it was flawless.

I know my wife loves the ‘butt slide’ so I do a nice butt slide, look at camera, and give her a signal via the internet that ‘these two passes were for you baby.’

You can see the second video run at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA

Immediately after the trick event I call my wife and tell her ‘I love barefoot waterskiing, I love barefoot tournaments, and I’m so glad I’m here!’

The emotions in competitive barefoot skiing at a National Championships can be overwhelming. This week I had some success and some failures, and lessons learned. I didn’t achieve my goal of skiing at least 15.0 in Open Pro so that I could ski in the Open Pro finals, but I know I did the best I could.

National Record – Later I find out my score was 2700 points, the current record for Men 6 is 1310 points. After record review the runs are reduced to 2650 points; I have the current record in Men 5 and now I have the Men 6 trick record. It might be a long time before anybody breaks the Mens 6 trick record.

National Champion – My terrible slalom pass of 10.8 exceeds the 7.28 of the highest Men 6 skier, so I get 1000 points in the Slalom event for overall; my 2700 points in tricks gives me 1000 points in the tricks event. This results in an over all score of 2000 out of 2000 points; I win the 2012 Overall National Men 6 Champion and I think this is my eighth Overall National Championship win.

My season is not done, I have the World Barefoot Championships in two weeks to complete my season; I have my goals set, we’ll review them in a few weeks.

Holtzy

P.S. Joe Malenfant, the President of the American Barefoot Club (ABC) that the record set today was not accurate and that the actual record was base don my performance at the 2012 Regionals tricks event of 2740 points, which was downgraded to 2720 points!

By : Mike Holt

Clinic across the pond in my old stomping grounds…… Great Britain!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

You will have to excuse the lack of pictures of skiing etc. in this one as my phone had been dropped in the river before this clinic so I was phone less.

I arrived back in the UK in to Stansted airport….. if anyone has the choice not to fly in to this place then take it even if it costs more as it is the worst airport in the World!!! What should have taken us an hour and a half drive to get home took 4!!!!! Not cool. Anyway, we needed up going straight to the curry house where the long, stop start journey was forgotten and replaced by a beer and a spicy Indian dish :)  The next morning I drove down to the Cotswolds, picked up the boat, dragged Ted Baber out of bed and headed to the lake.  Id forgotten how beautiful the English countryside is, I had also forgotten how this gets overpowered a lot of the time by the terrible weather that we have over there.  We put the boat in on Kuka, which is a tiny little lake and very well protected from the wind.

Back home for a curry with everyone.... O, how I miss curries

It was great to see that the 7 days filled up and there was new blood getting in to the sport with a couple of guys heading all the way down from Manchester for a days skiing. We needed up with around 15 different skiers throughout the week ranging from 10 years old to upper 50s.  Even though we had rain, wind, boats brewing down left, right and center the week was a huge success and a huge shout out goes to everyone that skied in the clinic and the guys that helped out with boats and accommodations…. Paul Turner, Dave & Lisa Baber, Whitehouse clan and the great Mechanic down the road that got the Malibu running again.

Ted, Charlotte and Katie and myself enjoying the UK sunshine ;)

Carl showing off his skills

Ted Baber skied the whole time i was there and Carl Barnett skied for a full 5 days……. impressive stuff as it was cold on some mornings…. brrrr.  Ted had just come back from staying in Florida for 3 months at the World Barefoot Center where he was getting ready for the World Championships. Coming back and skiing on cold, backwashy water where the lake isn’t long enough to do a tournament pass took the poor little bugger a bit of getting used to but he worked it out and got back in to his multiple turns on his feet behind the boat with consistency….. Remember Tedward……. it is all character building matey 😉

Lunch at a country pub to break up the day

Loaded up in the Malibu with BI boom, flyhigh and tower and ready to go!!!

We had Carls better half get up on the bar which was great to see as well as young Harrisons dad and sister giving it a go for the first time and Bibby Curtis came over on a couple of afternoons after she got done with her GCSE exams.  Great work on getting new blood in to the sport!

John Whitehouse getting up for the first time :))

Harrison skied well with accomplishing his back deeps with consistency.  If any of you want to hear a funny story then ask Harrison about borrowing my suit last year and learning to barefoot. lol.

Harrison getting up backwards for the first time using the WBC shoe skis and Headzone helmet

Paul Turner, the UK team manager came on up for 2 days with another new barefooted from his neck of the woods as well as Clive Wilsdons daughters are getting in the sport now and both of them managed to stand up backwards and were working on their forward sit down stand ups as well as tumble turns and one foots.  You keep it up girls and show your old man how it is done.

Bibby Curtis

Written by ; David Small AKA Small’z

David Smalls second trip to Austria

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Austria … the second visit.  It had been 2 weeks since I was last in Austria and I was happy to find that the weather had warmed up a little bit as well as the forecast showing that we weren’t going to get rained on all week :) Andreas Rektenvelt picked me up at the airport along with his daughter and her friend.  I had a very interesting trip over as I had got lumbered with taking a super fly high over as well as some barefoot suits and shoe skis.  This involved me trying to lug around a 6 foot long very heavy box around Orlando, Manchester and Viennas airports….. I got my daily exercise that is for sure.  I walked out side Viennas airport to see Andreas getting a parking ticket as he was trying to get as close to the doors as he could….. thanks Andreas :)

Karting the fly high through the airport

This week clinic was held in Walsee at the Wimmers ski site where the 2002 World Championships were held and as this was where I won my first World Overall Title it held good memories for me to be back.

All week we had Andreas skiing along with Stefan Wimmer and his elder brother, George, that is getting back in the sport after a short break.

The boys

As the Stefan and Andreas are attending the World Championships this Summer in Waco, Texas their training for the week started with a lot of getting their base tricks down so that they were confident with their base trick runs and making their jumping along with their front and back one foot wake crossings clean and consistent.  Once this was achieved we moved the training on to developing new skills in order to increase their scores in each discipline.

Stefan showing his mad skills

As George had taken a lot of time off from competitive skiing we spent a lot of time going back over his basic tricks. When I say basic, we worked the kinks out on his front and back one foots and toe holds and then got right on to his surface turns which came back to him very quick ……. on one afternoon the wind blew straight down the pipe which made it almost impossible to ski so George got the pleasure of going on a 100 foot line on shoe skis directly behind the boat and got to practice his backward one foots and toe holds…… Needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular person that afternoon. lol.

George Junior

If any of you that are reading this have hung out with me for any period of time you wil know that I use my phone a lot to take pictures and then upload them to the Tinternet, for your enjoyment, on the World Barefoot Centers Facebook or my own personal page.  Well, while we were out having some great ski time the Austrian weather decided to surprise us with a nice hail storm. As the people in the boat were dry and warm at that point we rushed back to the dock and got out of the boat as fast as humanly possible to avoid, not only getting wet but also getting beat on by hail stones, and as I jumped out of the boat I heard a …. splash.  Thinking nothing of this we all ran up to the club house where we made coffee and i got my phone out to use the Wifi to upload some of the pictures of the day on to my computer……….. phone wasn’t to be seen :(  As the river was 4 and a half meters deep, cold and murky, efforts to retrieve the phone by swimming down failed miserably.  As far as we were all concerned it was bye-bye iPhone. The next day Andreas turned up with the full scuba gear so i geared up, swam down and after a short while after over 15 hours of the poor phone been submerged in water and sitting in the mud it was retrieved…… happy days :0  For the next 6 days the phone sat in a bag of rice trying to dry off and when i fired it back up while plugged in to the computer……… IT WORKED!! I could retrieve all my info, pics and anything else on the phone and it actually worked while plugged in to a power supply but the battery was dead.   Don’t worry, i have a new one so the pics will keep coming 😉

Finding the phone

I had another great week out there with the Austrian Team, they skied amazing and made me feel very at home.  I will be looking forward to seeing you all in Texas this Summer where you can all show off your mad skills.

Was a little bit chilly

O, Andreas and I also managed to get a skydive in over there on the final day while we were on the way to the airport. We rocked up expecting at least a building……. what we got was a white van pull up 45 mins late, a guy hobble out with a broken leg and then the rigs all piled up in a jungle of stuff in the back.  Interesting would be a good way to describe it but the jumps went well and we are still here. Good times :)

Austrian skydiving..... lol

Written by David Small

WBC Head to Head Tournament!!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

There will be a LIVE VIDEO FEED on WORLDBAREFOOTCENTER.COM of the WBC Head-to-Head tournament being held at Lake David, Groveland, Florida on October 7th & 8th. The tournament starts at 7am eastern time on the 7th so make sure you jump on our website and check it out.

KSO Wetsuits, Fun on the Water Slideshow

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A collection of KSO Wetsuit customers having fun on the water, including Glen Plake,  Paul Stokes, Judy Myers, Claudia Landon, and more!

KSO Wetsuits Fun on the Water 2011

Summer Barefoot Instruction Day 5

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

WaterHawks Day 5

The 5th and final clinic day at the Waterhawks ski site.  Today we had 10 barefooters!  Five in the morning session and a completely different crew of five in the afternoon.  It was sweet! Checkout our morning footers!

Morning Barefoot Clinic Crew

Coy Roussell started us off for the day! First set Coy learned a front toe hold on the WBC shoe skis and by next set it was very close to getting it on his barefeet!  We started the process of going backwards and doing the back deep water start.  As many of you know there are TONS of steps to learning the back deep and in one set Coy was starting to come up! Awesome dude!

Ready for a front deepy?

Working the Front Toe Hold!

Coming Up on the Backdeep

Want to meet a fast learner! Mitch Tauke learned to barefoot incrediable fast!  In just 2 sets he learned his front deepwater on the boom, then shortline and then on to the 10ft extention.  Keep it up Mitch and before you know it long line will be a breeze!

Controlled!Three Point Stance-MitchAnd he's even giving us a thumbs up!

Ryan Ruhns already knew how to barefoot, but wasn’t getting up consistently.  Today we worked on a smooth transition from the deepwater to three point and then to standing up!  Ryan also learned to do a front one foot on the shoe skis.

After a nice smooth stand up!- RyanStrongman Front Toehold!

Jackson Twait hit the water for the very first time today!  Jackson learned a deepwater start on the boom.  Oh but thats is not all is also to let his feet glide across the water and did both front one foots! It’s rare but it happens and Jackson is better footing on just one foot than two! Great job!

Jackson on his barefeet!Working barefoot Form- JacksonOh yeah! One Foot!

David Lammers had attempted barefooting a few times in the past, today with a little bit of instruction he got is feet gliding!  From the barefoot swing to the deepwater start.  Checkout his great three point! Looking forward to seeing some video!

Nice Deepwater Start!-David

Nice Three Point!- David

Thank you all for coming out and spending the morning with us, we hope to ski with you all again soon!  Remember if you are in Florida give us a call and come ski with us.  If you’re looking for a new barefoot suit, checkout KSO Wetsuits.  Designed and worn by Barefoot World Champions Keith St. Onge and David Small.  Ski ya next time!

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Show Us Your KSO Wetsuit!

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

It’s mid-summer and we want to know, are you having fun yet?  We’re putting together a slideshow of skiers having fun in their KSO Wetsuits.  Show us some pictures!  Footin, skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding or mowing your lawn– we want to see those KSO wetsuits in action!

Send your photos to:

Karen Putz at: wskier22@aol.com

Put “KSO Wetsuits” in the subject line.  Include your full name, address and a few details about your fun on the water.

Deadline:  August 6, 2011

Don’t have a KSO Wetsuit yet?  You can order one here:  KSO Wetsuits or call the World Barefoot Center at: (863) 877-0039.

Why is the World Barefoot Center the Best Ski School in the World?

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Every ski school claims that theirs is better then the next one, so why is the World Barefoot Center the best ski school in the world? What really sets this ski school above the rest, is the combination of the top two men in the world for barefoot waterskiing, David Small and Keith St Onge– and their own personal coach, Swampy Bouchard. These three experienced coaches have new training techniques, and have taught hundreds of people to ski from beginners up to the top class skiers in the sport. Every day, they help people to develop their skills further in the sport of barefoot waterskiing.

The proof is in the footin’.   Take a look at the skiers that WBC has produced– to me, the quality of skiing says it all. It’s not just about going out and coaching; they really put their own heart and soul into this sport to make sure that they are getting the best out of each and every skier that comes through the school. It’s a simple concept: the better you are at something, the more fun it is.

Aside from the combination of these great instructors, the World Barefoot Center is in a great location on Lake Rochelle and Lake Conine in Winter Haven, Florida, with access to four lakes when needed. There are three Sanger outboards with 225 Evinrudes on them. These boats stay in both of the lakes, which makes it very convenient to be able to use to them all day, everyday. They are each individually equipped with towers, booms and super fly highs. as well as the best equipment available– which includes US gear handles, KSO shoe skis and  Headzone helmets. This equipment is also available to purchase in the pro shop, which is located onsite and it also has a huge variety of the 2010 and 2011 KSO wetsuit gear as well as WBC and KSO merchandise. The ski school is located between Orlando and Tampa airports, which makes it easy to travel to.

The type of training that you do will depend on the level of the skier. Beginners tend to do shorter sets more frequently so that they can focus on improving their  overall skills.   Advanced skiers do a combination of short, frequent sets and a long set where they get pushed to their limit.

If you would like any more information about the World Barefoot Center, then just visit the website http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/ or call 863-877-0039.

By Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia

KSO Wetsuits, Stocked and Ready at the World Barefoot Center

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Another load of KSO wetsuits has arrived at the World Barefoot Center, including the David Small Signature wetsuit!   You can order your KSO Wetsuit online or by calling the World Barefoot Center at 863-877-0039.

“We hear it’s been a cold spring for our Northern footin’ friends,” said Keith St. Onge.  “We’re shipping out lots of heater shirts with the wetsuits!”

For those of us up north, we’re still waiting for the water to warm up– but some of us are out there braving 45 degree air temps and putting the feet on almost-frozen water.  A dry suit is a definite plus– and you can add one to your wetsuit order at the World Barefoot Center Pro Shop.

If you’re aiming to add new tricks to your footin’ skills this summer, try out a pair of WBC Shoe Skis and build up your skills confidently on the water.

If you’ve got a KSO Wetsuit, send us some pictures of you having fun on the water and we’ll post them on the blog and Facebook.  Tell us your footin’ story with the picture!  Send your picture and story to Karen Putz at wskier22 (at) aol (dot) com.

Happy footin’!

How to Become the Best Barefooter on Your Lake

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

First, you need to get kitted out in all the right gear– a wetsuit and padded shorts are a good place to start. KSO wetsuits and shorts are as good as they get.  As an added bonus, they have built in tumble turns!

Next are your handles and lines. US Gear handles are great with a soft grip and rounded corners for extra
comfort and they also look real cool as well. A KSO pro fusion line is the next step for absolute no line-stretch skiing. Lastlydon’t forget a pair of KSO shoe skis-the most comfortable and durable on the market. But most important of all
is to start with the correct help and training. Before you take to the water, call the World Barefoot Center and get some advice and book some training from the World Champions, Keith St. Onge and David Small.

Then comes the easy bit:  train for about ten hours a week on the water and go to the gym every other day for the next three years, and you will be the best barefooter on your lake.

Unless of course your lake happens to be Lake Conine.

Written by Adam Chalk