Posts Tagged ‘pro shop’

What to Expect When Visiting the World Barefoot Center

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

What can you expect when visiting the World Barefoot Center Ski School?

There is a good chance you will be greeted by smiling faces and a few licks from our furry, friendly dogs of course.  Boats, trailers, and cars will fill the driveway, no worries go ahead and park in the grass, everybody is doing it.

Wetsuits, padded shorts, heater shirts, and swimsuits will lined up hanging on the side of the carport.  Under the dripping we ski equipment are gas cans, lots of them.  Take a sharp right and you will see our Bunk house/laundry room.  Some students stay for a few nights and other months/years.  Continuing on into the screened in porch through the sliding glass door you have now arrived into the ski school house!

Go ahead and add your flip-flops to the massive pile.  If a boat crew isn’t out on the water, there is a good chance a group is in the living room watching video from that morning/evening/ day before critiquing the technique and talking about ways to perfect it.

If Swampy is around he will not be afraid to chime in and give his two cents.  Haha.  Swampy has been around this sport a long time; advice from him is nothing you want to ignore.

Moving along you can admire the humongous WBC logo that is painted on the wall.  A painting of Keith St. Onge and David Small barefooting fill up the rest of the wall.  Lining the ceiling is a band of flags from all over the world.  Skiers like to see their home county flag hanging at the ski school.  The best part of the house in my personal opinion is the signature wall.  Wowie it is getting full!  Over the last 3 years we have had every skier at WBC sign the wall.  We have young, old, first timers, professionals, and everything in-between.

Magazine covers, medals, photos and other memorabilia are spread out throughout the house, giving it a true ski school vibe. It is quite a sight to see.

Heading outside once again just a short walk across the lawn you will find the Pro Shop.  More medals and trophies glisten in the room.  The aroma of neoprene fills the air.  Circle racks filled with brand new barefoot suits, a variety of colors, styles, sizes.  T-shirts flourish in the display cubes, stickers, books, jewelry, ropes handles hats and anything else a barefooter wants is in the Pro Shop.

Step out into the sunlight and take a walk down the dock to see the beautiful Lake Conine.  The boat will be at the dock waiting to be used or buzzing down the shoreline with skiers learning new things.

Come and see for yourself! Take a ski or just visit us and say hello all are welcome at the World Barefoot Center.

Lauren St. Onge

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!

How can I learn to Barefoot Water Ski?

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Do you want to be the best barefooter on your lake? Come to Winter Haven, Florida, to learn the exciting sport of barefoot water skiing at the World Barefoot Center–safely and effectively. We have the best water skiers (multiple World Champions) and instructors at the school and we take great pride in making our learning environment the best out there.

We will be posting instructional articles and videos throughout the off season that will give you a step-by-step approach to walking on water.  These will be posted to our World Barefoot Center website, Blog and Facebook page.

What a lot of barefooters out there do is try the brutal trial-and-error method…. This can be a painful and totally unnecessary way to learn– and we would highly recommend not doing this unless you like a good fall. ☺

A big question we hear is… ‘Is it possible to learn to barefoot water ski if I am an average person who doesn’t exercise and not very athletic?”

YES, anyone can barefoot water ski!!! At the World Barefoot Center, we use all the latest equipment that will give you the best opportunity to barefoot. We use Barefoot International Booms, swings, Headzone helmets (we can communicate directly with the skier on the water), shoe skis and much more. We have taught people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities– and we take pride in getting everyone to succeed, plus we love a challenge!!! Feel free to contact any of our past customers (best way is on our Facebook page) and see if they would recommend coming to the ski school.

Who are the instructors at the World Barefoot Center and are they qualified?

We have the best instructors and skiers at the World Barefoot Center. The main instructors at the ski school are David Small (3-time World Champion) and Keith St Onge (2-time World Champion) and between the two of them, they hold all of the World Barefoot records. Gary ‘Swampy’ Bouchard is also an instructor at the school and he coaches both David and Keith.  Swampy trained and coached Keith since he was nine.   He also is the US Junior team coach and a top bloke! We also have A.J. Porreca (ranked 3rd in the World) and Ben Groen (5th in the World) working at the school who will offer you great advise off the water and on if requested. Most of the barefoot teams from around the world are now coming to the World Barefoot Center to progress in the sport.  We take huge pride in also teaching complete beginners and intermediate skiers–they’re the grass roots of the sport and they’re the ones who will grow the sport!

Where can I stay when I come to the World Barefoot Center?

The World Barefoot Center offers discounted rates at the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Days Inn and we also provide accommodation at the ski school if needed. When you book your reservation at the hotels, be sure to ask for your discount through the World Barefoot Center.

By David Small. AKA, Small’z