Posts Tagged ‘lizzie rhea’

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

Lizzie Rhea: the End of Barefooting Season

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


This is the time of year that I trade in barefoot waterskiing for horseback riding and basketball. I love both of those things, but I am going to miss barefooting season more than ever this year. I am always sad to end the ski season when October rolls around. We closed down our house at the lake yesterday, and I have been down in the dumps thinking about it.

I think I will miss it more this year, because I am right in the middle of working harder to learn new things. It is sad to think that I have to postpone my goals for several months. I would love to keep pushing forward and be able to practice all year.

The only good thing about my sport being seasonal, is that I won’t get burned out. I guess it is a good thing that I love it, and don’t want to take such a long break! I have one more long weekend to look forward to at the WBC, and then I have to wait until next April to barefoot again! It is like thinking about Christmas in the summertime!

Lizzie Rhea






Lizzie Rhea: The 2014 Jim Boyette Southern Regional Tournament

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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I had so much fun competing in the Jim Boyette Southern Regional Barefoot Tournament this year. It was on July 26th, at Lake David, in Groveland, Florida.

I was very nervous when we got to the tournament that morning. We got there so early that it was awkward just sitting around and waiting. My brother, Will, had injured his ribs and could not compete, and I did not like the thought of competing without him. Also, none of my instructors from the WBC were there. This was my first time to compete without them. I had so many butterflies in my stomach that I could not even eat!

Once the tournament got started, and I saw a few people that I knew, I felt better. It was fun to visit with everyone at the starting dock. Will, Ryan, Landen, and Mike sat with me and helped a lot. It started to get fun when I saw Teri, Lauren, Betsy and Carol – four ladies that are always so nice to me and really encouraging.

Before I knew it, it was my turn, and the rest of the day flew by me! I got an 8.0 in slalom, an 1800 in tricks (getting my first toe up in a tournament), and landed a 7.1 meter jump. At the end of the day, Betsy told me that I had set two pending national records for Girls 2 in tricks and jump! I could not believe it!

After the tournament, we played in the park until time for the banquet. It was really fun hanging out with Mike’s girlfriend, Aysha. I also enjoyed getting a picture with Mr. Jim Boyette, the oldest man to compete in a barefoot tournament. The banquet was at a Mexican restaurant in town, and it was awesome after not being able to eat all day because of the butterflies in my stomach!

Mr. Mike Holt organizes a great tournament, and I would like to encourage everyone to come participate in the Jim Boyette Southern Regionals next year!

Lizzie Rhea: My Trip to Australia

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

I mentioned going to the 2014 Barefoot Worlds in my last blog about girls jumping. My experience in Australia was very fun. It was the best trip I have ever taken. Australia is an awesome country, and I can’t wait to go back again. The people, the food, the weather, and the skiing were all great.

I met people from all over the world during my trip to Australia, and I loved them all. We had different languages, accents, cultures, and traditions. It was very interesting to learn about what it is like in other countries. All of the Australians were so nice and friendly and welcoming.

I loved meeting the locals when we went to restaurants. Australian food was delicious and cool. I loved drinking the lemony Solos and snacking on Savoy crackers – they were my favorite. I also loved the meat pies and the prawns. I regret that I never tried the vegemite on my toast though! I will next time!

The weather in Australia was perfect while we were there. It was sunny and warm for most of the trip. It was so nice to escape from America’s cold winter, and go to Australia’s warm summer.

The water and the skiing were great too! I loved the Custom Ski Boats, which were used in the tournament. The water was very smooth each morning and afternoon. The Max Kirwan Ski park was a perfect spot in the middle of a beautiful countryside. We even saw wild kangaroos on the ride to the lakes. The Mulwala Ski Club was a really fun place to hang out, and Lake Mulwala was very beautiful.

The only part of the trip I did not like was the flight. When we arrived in Melbourne, I asked my Mom if we could just live there, because I did not want to have fly back! After such a great trip, I think the miserable flight is worth it to go to such a great place! I am looking forward to my next trip to Australia!

Lizzie Rhea

Lizzie Rhea: Barefooting Needs More Girls

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014


I would like to encourage all girls who like water sports to try barefooting. Barefooting is an extreme sport that is sort of rare and not many girls do it. A few reasons for the lack of girls in the sport might be because the boat goes very fast, it requires a lot of upper body and core strength, and it can really sting when you fall.

I learned to barefoot on the boom when I was 5 ½ years old. The only reason I did it was because my brother, who was 7, was learning at the time. I have always pushed myself to do whatever my brother does, except for football! I guess having a big brother has made me tough, but I think that any girl who likes water sports can learn to barefoot for fun.


I love it when Coach / Mr. Swampy puts me in an all-girl boat at the World Barefoot Center. It is so much fun to be around other girls who love the sport. I have really enjoyed meeting and skiing with Ariana and Kailey Koehler, and also my hero in the sport, Ashleigh Stebbeings . She is my favorite instructor ever!


At our home lake, I have always loved to barefoot with my friend Haley. Haley made a video of us barefooting when we were little (8 years old), and sent it to a website. I have only one other friend, Emmie, who likes to barefoot. I am desperately trying to get my cousin Caroline to learn. I want her to learn so much that I bought her that barefoot suit in the picture! I think the speed and the hard falls have discouraged her, but I told her about the new Seahorse invention. I really think that she will be able to do it this summer because she can already wakeboard and slalom. I can’t wait to barefoot with her!

My advice for all girls, especially Caroline, is to try barefooting. You will probably end up loving it! Also, don’t worry about the speed. The speed is actually fun, especially when you feel the water gliding beneath your feet! One last thing, if you fall, get up and try it again! Be strong, you can do it! Girls can do anything that boys can do, especially barefooting!

Lizzie Rhea


Lizzie Rhea: Thanksgiving, Barefooting, Toe-holds, and Earrings

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

This Thanksgiving, I made a list of 105 things that I am thankful for in my life. God’s love for me, Jesus, family, friends, barefooting, and finally getting my ears pierced were all at the top of my list.

Let me tell you how barefooting helped me get my ears pierced! I had been begging my parents to let me pierce my ears for years, but they said I had to wait until I was 12. This past summer, however, my Daddy decided to use it as motivation to learn back toe-holds.

I had never tried back toe-holds and did not even want to try them. One day, my Daddy said, “If you get both back toe-holds on the boom, you can get your ears pierced.” He thought it would take me a long time, so he wasn’t worried about promising me something so big. Anyway, I jumped at the chance!

I was very determined that I was going to do it that same day and I did! I focused very hard and I believed I could do it. That helped me a lot. I fell so many times and it really hurt, but I finally got it on my good foot. My bad foot took much longer because it felt so different and it was harder to balance. I just kept thinking about those earrings though, and I worked even harder to get it.

I wanted those earrings so much that I learned both back toe-holds the same day my Daddy made the deal with me. He really did not want me to get my ears pierced so soon (at 10 years old), but he was so happy, excited, and proud of me that he didn’t care! I was very happy too!

I am thankful for my wonderful Daddy, barefooting, and my ears being pierced now! I even have some little silver footprint earrings! It was a fun experience, and a good lesson that you have to work hard for something you want.

By: Lizzie Rhea

Lizzie Rhea: Why I Love the World Barefoot Center and Three-Event Skiing

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013


I am 10 years old, and I learned to barefoot five years ago at age 5. Until going to the World Barefoot Center this past summer, I had always just done freestyle barefooting. I loved to play around on the boom and try new things with my brother. I learned to longline when I was eight, but I did not do it very often. It was fun, and I was even lucky enough to get to ski with Andre de Villiers and Brendan Paige.

    My brother and I decided to try to learn 3 event after watching Nationals and Worlds online last summer. We booked a week at the WBC in May, and loved it so much that we went back for another week in July. We skied in our first tournament. We met people from all over the world, and had a fun time.

    The World Barefoot Center has great teachers and they were all  super nice to me. I fell a lot trying to learn new tricks, but every time I fell they said, “ It’s okay, you can do it. Go try again.” They really want you to do your best and have a good attitude while doing it. They encourage you to work very hard, and go for your goals. They make you believe in yourself.

    The WBC instructors taught me how to get up backwards, do toeholds, slalom on one foot going forward, and cross the wake going backwards (still on 2 feet though). I learned that you have to work very hard to be able to succeed in 3 event barefooting. It is hard, and it hurts when I fall, but it is the greatest feeling when you push through and learn a new trick. It is so much harder than freestyle because the goal for everything is to do it behind the boat.

    I pretty much love everything about the WBC, including the pro shop. They have awesome barefoot suits, t-shirts, hats, heater shirts, jewelry, stickers, ropes, bags, and clothes. I wish I could buy everything in there, but my parents won’t let me.

    If you are looking to try something very fun and challenging, go to the WBC and learn 3 event barefoot waterskiing!