Posts Tagged ‘ron blouw’

World Barefoot Center Figure 8 Series

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The 2011 year for figure eight barefooting was more exciting than ever.  From Peter Flecks dominance of Footstock, to 4 different winners in the 4 individual events that make up the World Barefoot Center Figure Eight Series, which ultimately ended with a tie between Keith St Onge and Ron Blouw for the series championship.  What follows is a recap of the WBC figure eight series events from 2011.

The WBC figure eight series started in June at Footapalooza in Rolling Prairie Indiana.  26 footers participated and Marc Donahue started 2011 where he left off in 2010, by winning the event over Keith St Onge.  In the first run of the finals, Marc and Keith completed 3 and ½ 8’s, which ended up being the longest run of the day, when Keith beat Marc to give them each one loss.  Marc turned back around and beat Keith on the run off after 2 and ½ 8’s.  JJ Link took third with Ben Dieser a strong fourth, followed by Ron Blouw in fifth.  The event takes place on a private lake and the view is spectacular from the shore.  This is a great venue for a figure eight event.

JJ Link, Marc Donahue, Keith St.Onge

JJ Link , Marc D, Keith St Onge,

The next stop in the series was the Glen Meuller Figure Eight Challenge that takes place in St Louis, where 39 footers took to the water on a lake that only opens to ski boats on this one day for this tournament.  This event offered prizes for the “best fall”, the “first 8”, and the “longest 8”, as well as the standard  top finishers receiving awards.  This event was won by Ron Blouw who needed to beat the undefeated Tim Knoezer twice as he was coming from the loser’s bracket.  JJ Link again finished third, followed by Keith St Onge and Greg Fatla.  The event takes place at a private country club, and is run by Tim Knoezer and Anthony Gramalino.  If you get there early you can watch the ski show the night before.

Tim Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

Tom Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

The third event in the series is the Clean Lakes Festival Barefoot Challenge.  This is just one of the many events in the Clean Lakes Festival, located in Madison Wisconsin.  This event was won by Jon Debelak, who had to come from loser’s bracket to beat a previous Clean Lakes figure 8 champion Paul Stokes twice.  Ron Blouw finished third, just ahead of his cousin Eric DeVries who was a strong fourth and Aaron Schoezel was fifth.  One of the really cool things about this event is it’s proximity to downtown Madison.  As is expected for any event in the figure eight series, this event was well run by Bob Manke and Paul Stokes.

Paul Stokes against Mike Netzer in Madison, WI

The last event in the series takes place at the World Barefoot Center.  This event had 32 barefooters competing.  David Small held off his business partner Keith St Onge to win his second consecutive title in this event.  David and Keith did 8 after 8 in the two final runs, with Keith winning the first run to give David his first loss.  David was just two solid to beat twice in a row and David won the run off over Keith.  Ben Dieser  finished third ahead of Marc Donahue and Ron Blouw. Like last year, there was an awards presentation located at the WBC ski school with food and drinks.  The world Barefoot Center was a great host for the event.

Swampy, David_Small, Keith_St_Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw at the WBC Figure 8 Finals

Swampy, David Small, Keith St Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw

In the overall standings, Ron Blouw and Keith St Onge ended in a tie for the points lead, with Marc Donahue in third.  Just how close was it?  The two footers each finished with 125 points.  Neither footer finished lower than 5th in any event, Ron had a 1st, a 3rd and a 5th, while Keith had two 2nds, and a 5th.  Each footer had 2 wins in the finals, with Ron coming from the loser’s bracket to win twice in the final round in St Louis, and Keith came from the loser’s bracket in Indiana and in the WBC tournament to win on the first run each time, only to lose the next run in both instances.  Each footer finished in the top three 2 times.  They faced each other twice and each won once.  It was indeed too close to call.

The entire series was very competitive with multiple winners in the individual events.  Of the top three finishers in the individual events, there were 9 different footers to finish in the top 3, with Keith, Ron, and JJ the only three to place in the top three twice.  The event was very competitive.  The events attracted multiple footstock winners and other figure eight winners.

Keith St.Onge, Ron Blouw & Marc Donahue

Keith St Onge, Ron Blouw, Marc Donahue

This is a great series and the events went off very smoothly with great leadership.  The WBC figure eight series motto is “no one left on the beach” and the tournament allowed duct tape to prevent blisters and either deep water starts or starts from a step off ski.  It allowed for beginners as well as advanced footers to compete against each other.  All ages were included with men and women competing head to head, there were even two sets of husbands and wives competing in the Florida event.  This is a great way to get to know other barefooters who have a similar passion for the sport.  It is also a way to go head to head with some of the best barefooters in the world, and who knows….anything might happen.  If you have never tried a figure 8, join us at one of the events for next year, I bet you will get hooked.  The event was sponsored by Reef Safe Sun Care, US Gear, and the World Barefoot Center.

By: Ron Blouw & Keith St.Onge

St. Louis Figure Eight Champion Ron Blouw!

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Glen Meuller St. Louis Figure Eight hosted by the Barefoot Gang which includes Tim Konezter and Anthony Gramilino.

Setting up the tourney and getting ready for the skiers  hit the water.

Barefooters hit the water slapping fives and grrrring through the rollers!

Ron Blouw

Ready to compete

Footers!

Game On!

Figure Eights just wouldn’t be the same without men painting there toes.  They secretly like it:) Checkout these beauties!

Aren't those pretty?

Toes!

And the skiing and camaraderie goes on…..

Hot Feet!

Good Fun

Barefooters getting ready

Figure 8

Now for the awards!

Winners of the First Eight or Shortest 8?

Chris McWaters with the BEST FALL of the tourney!

KSO and Blouw hold the tourney Records 2 1/4 figure 8

Catlynn's First Figure Eight!

In 4th Place Keith St. Onge

4th Place! Keith St. Onge

In 3rd Place JJ Link

3rd Place! JJ Link

In 2nd Place Tim Hydro Konezter

Tim Konezter in 2nd Place! Also the annoucer:)

And for the  Glen Meuller St. Louis Figure Eight Champion Ron Blouw!

Ron Blouw

Rob Blouw takes 1st Place!

Barefooters get on the podium:

Tim, Ron, JJ

Congratulations to all the skiers we hope to see you at the next tourney!  Thank you to all the organizers and competitors we appreciate your hard works and support.

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

KSO Barefooting with Blouw & Friends

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Ron Blouw a Footstock Figure Eight Champion, hired Keith St. Onge to give  some barefoot lessons on Lake Payne in Michigan. Two wonderful days  full of skiing and tons of fun! Check out the video that Ron Blouw put together:

Ron and Cheryl were great hosts! Thank you for all of your support!

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

No Lake Payne, No Gain!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

We arrived at Ron Blouw’s cottage in Middleville, Michigan on Sun. June 19th.  Ron and his wife Cheryl and son’s Payton, Grant and Jordan welcomed us to there summer play ground.  The Blouw’s move forty minutes South during the summer months so they can enjoy the lake.  Lauren and I plugged in he Anytime Fitness Tour Bus across the street and prepared for the next morning of footers.

Monday morning consisted of Ron Blouw and his son Payton Blouw, Cory Holden and Kaitlyn DeVries.  Since most of the skiers on this lake step off skis to do endurance runs I thought it would be a great idea to learn deep water starts.  Good thing they were all interested in doing deep starts. because I don’t allow skis in the boat anyhow:)

After a half dozen tries Payton and Cory both completed several starts on their butts.  Padded shorts make the deep water start much easier and help prepare for tumble turns. It is important for the skier must learn butt control.  Cory worked on his front one foot and look at hiss success! Payton did toe holds on shoe skis as well as both tumble turns!

Front One Foot- Cory Holden

Payton's Front Toe Hold!

Kaitlyn DeVries has been a FootStock goer for a few years now and competeing a few times in the Women’s  Division.  Kaitlyn is proficient at barefooting behind the boat and doing step offs.  A few days prior the the clinic Kaitlyn attempted some front deepwater starts, sadly they were not complete.  With just a little bit of instruction Kaitlyn became a natural at the front deepwater start! As a bonus Kaitlyn also worked on one foots.  We hope to see you at Women’s Week Kaitlyn!

Front Deep Water Start- Kaitlyn DeVries

Kaityln DeVries

Ron worked his front toe holds on shoe skis and once proficient at those we moved onto his backwards position.  Ron’s goal was to do back ones on his feet and move onto back to fronts from there.  Instead of going straight to turns I explained to him we must get his basic one foot stronger since that will be the foot he turns on.  He did his back one foot on the rope and one hand with WBC shoe skis and when he looked solid with that we moved onto a back toe hold.  This was his first back toe-hold on shoe skis and he was pumped!  On his next set we started with more back toe holds in preparation for back to fronts.  Back to fronts followed directly after and he really got them dialed in.  All Ron needs to do now is take the same progression on his feet and he will be efficient with the turn.

Turning- Ron Blouw

Payton and Ron

Ron's Back One Foot One Hand!

In the afternoon I had Dave otherwise known as “Fig” and he was the pioneer on Payne Lake.  He has a passion for the sport like no other and you can truly see the respect from everyone when he get’s in the boat.  Most footers on the lake learned from Fig at one point or another.  Fig learned both one foots on his feet.

Look at Fig Go! Woo Hoo!

Doug Wieringa spent most of the day working on his frontwards one foot one hand, once he figured out what hand to let go with and what foot to pick up it was easy! Doug also got up backwards on his feet on only his twelfth attempt, that quick learning!

Doug's One Foot

Eric “Bear” De Vries skied with us and got up backwards on his feet for the first time! Congrats! Eric is also working in his front toe hold, your getting there!

So Close!

Jason “Smiley” Mulder was a novice footer and he learned the deep water start and tumble turns by accident.  Actually it worked out well because he learned his tumble up start with no trouble.  This guy had what I call a perma-smile!  He had a smile on his face 24/7 and I could tell being in the boat was all he wanted to do!  This crew of guys made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt by the end of the day.  That’s always a good time!

Oh Yeah Jason!

Perma-Smile!

The next morning our skiers were Ron and Cheryl Blouw and Kyle and Eric Voelker.

Morning Crew

Cheryl Blouw was intimidated by the idea of stepping off a ski years ago.  We were able to convinced her to learn a deep water start.  Even though you can get a lot of water in your face when learning a deep start it is worth it.  The deepwater start allow you to go much slower when planting two feet in the water and you learn good habits from the beginning.  Once proficient with the start the skier will not get any water in their face or nose.

Nice but Ride!

Three Point Stance

Barefoot Once Again!

We had twins join us that only tried barefoot skiing on their own off the boom, no instruction.  We went over the start on dry land first to help the muscle memory before attempting for the first time.  Both Kyle Voelker and Eric Voelker learned quickly and after several starts directly on the boom I gave them the five foot rope.  They were successful once again in their training wheel position, which are knees together with feet wider than the butt.

After realizing how quickly they had progressed I thought it would be great for them to get up behind the boat.  Since they were only skiing the morning session it was a little bit of a long shot but doable!  After a few tries a piece they both stood on their feet behind the boat.  It was amazing to see their facial expressions!  Their goal was to get up on the five foot for the morning but yeah, there’s nothing wrong with surpassing your goals!  Great job guys!

That afternoon I had Todd Blouw, Ross Hopkins, his wife Bethany Hopkins, David Rintsema and Grant Blouw.

Todd Blouw is also a great long line barefooter, stepping off for a start!  Todd Learn to do a front deepwater and some tumble turns!

Todd after a front deep!

Tumble Turn- Todd Blouw

Ross was quite a seasoned skier. He worked on back one foots on the WBC shoes.

Ross Hopkins

Bethany Hopkins worked on her front one foots on shoe skis.  Unfortnaley Bethany had horrible water to ski on, but she still did great!

David Rintsema was another first timer for the deepwater start and her learned his first trick, the tumble turn! Great job!

Barefooter-David Rintsema

Tumble Turn- David Rinsema

Grant Blouw is Ron’s son.  Grant is also a great footer behind the boat with a step off.  Well now skis are no longer need, Grant can do a deepwater start! Nice work!

Ready for the Deep Start

Grant After an Awesome Deep Up!

We wish you all the best this summer with the new techniques make sure to keep it up the rest of the summer! Thank you to all those that helped organize the clinic and participated, we enjoyed it! Remember only Jesus and barefooters walk on water:)

By: Keith St.Onge & Lauren Lindeman

WBC Footapalooza Figure 8 Series

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This event sponsored by the World Barefoot Center & KSO Wetsuits was a success and a must “DO” for next year.  The site is amazing and there are huge fields for camping on Fri. and Sat. night.  The size of the eight is perfect with a perfectly protected site along with lily pads lining the shoreline. Put it on your calendars for next year!

Go to this link to read about it:  Footapalooza Figure 8

The event was also covered in the Herald Argus newspaper:  Footers Make Front Page

Keith St.Onge