Posts Tagged ‘sanger’

Georgia Groen: Barefooting with Sanger Boats

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

I first skied behind a Sanger DXII in 2008, since then I have never looked back. It is a boat that is specially made for barefoot waterskiing and just stunning to ski behind. Sangers are best known for the perfect wake that it makes for the slalom event. The best thing that I like about the Sanger wake is that when you cross it, it doesn’t feel like you are actually crossing a wake at all! It is so smooth that I can just glide across it not having to worry about bumps that could put you off balance or make you fall. This type of wake increases the confidence of the skiers because it means that there are less things to go wrong, thus the performance of skiers increases as well.

 Sanger Boats have been the official tournament boat of the past 3 World Championships. It is a boat that is all about performance for the skier and driver. Not only does it have a fantastic wake, it is also very nice to drive. My favorite thing about the Sanger I have apart form the wake, is the perfect pass system. This was awesome for when I was learning to drive the boat, all I had to do was enter the speed and then I could just focus on steering, it also came very use full when I am coaching people because it means I don’t have to worry about going the right speed and I can spend more time coaching the skier.

 Another thing that is good about the Sanger DXII is that it can equip anything a barefooter needs. For example they are very easy to put a boom onto and also the pylon makes a Super High Fly easy to attach and use. There are so many different attachments you can get with these Sangers to suit different peoples wants and needs, whether it be a stereo, depth finder, Perfect pass, clock etc.

Overall, I believe that the Sanger DXII is the best barefoot boat there is. It’s a boat that is enjoyable to ski behind and drive, perfect for any skier.

By:  Georgia Groen

Pre World Championship clinic in California with David Small

Monday, September 10th, 2012

After the US National Barefoot Waterski Championships there were 2 weeks leading up to the World Championships. I had booked a clinic in Sacramento with Mark Hobson the first week and then I was going to go down and train with Jerry Kanawyer at his place in Brentwood, which is where the 2013 US Barefoot National Championships are going to be held.
Marks lake is great to ski as its 3000 feet long with hardly any backwash and its a private lake. We had Joe Jacinto and his Wife Di come and do some skiing with us as well as Andy McCarville and Roy Cotterill. On the thursday we went down to Jerrys for a day so that myself and Mark could use Jerrys jump…. Mark went over it for the first time on his feet and I think its safe to say that he LOVED it and is hooked. Good man :)

3000 feet of glass in Sacramento, CA


Danielle showing us how its done at Diablo Shores in Brentwood, CA

Joe worked a lot on improving his backward one foots behind the boat as well as his toe hold and surface turns……. Check out his suit – I want one like this!!!!

Joes old retro suit


Di out on her feet :)

Di went out there on her feet and stood up easily on the boom with a good position even after getting a little put off by a hard fall a few weeks before…… Its easy when you open your eyes and breath every now and then ;)) Well done!!!!

Marks skiing had come on leaps and bounds since I saw him a few weeks previous to my arrival. He had been hitting the water hard and working on his fundaments so when I got there we pushed on with his backward slalom, nearly getting one foot wake. His from wakes rocked it out and his turns are looking really good. Keep up the good work Mark!! Marks wife only had a couple of weeks left till she was due to give birth to their second kid so thanks to Leigh for putting up with us footers :))

Goooooo Mark


Andy cracks me up! He wears goggles and a nose clip which in theory and in practice work wonders but they still look funny. He skied great with his slalom coming on a lot and generally cleaning up his skiing. I also managed to convince him to join me on a skydive at Lodi Skydive Center which was 10 mins down the road. He did his first tandem skydive and loved every minute of it.

Andy and myself kitted up for skydiving at Lodi

Roy cam over and also skied like a champ!! He is a guru with his video camera and always gets great footage of everyone skiing. He had improved his backward a lot since I last saw him.

Roy stretching out

At the weekend I ended up going in to San Fran with Jerry, his now fiancé (congrats big guy!!!!) and a lot of the Australian Barefoot Waterski team. We took a boat ride under the golden gate bridge and around Alcatraz which was pretty cool to see.

Boat ride around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate

That week Jerry and I skied a lot and we just tried to hone in our trick runs, clean up slalom and jump as big as possible before heading off to the World Championships that weekend.

Hahahaha. Jerry K, you crack me up!!

Always a good time over there in Cali!!! Thanks for having me!!

Written by David Small

AKA Small’z

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

First WBC barefoot water ski clinic of 2012 with David Small …… Austria

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The first WBC clinic of the year was in Austria and hosted by Andreas Rektenwald.  I flew from 92 degrees in FL to the UK where I was met by lots of rain and a high of around 50…… this is why I do not live there any more :) From the UK I went to Vienna where Christian Antos met me and we drove straight to the river where we started skiing that evening.

my view on arrival in the UK

The next day turned out to be very cold and raining.  Antos ended up tweaking his knee on his second pass of the day, on a backward one foot of all things, which coupled with the 400 foot ships sharing the river with us made us decide to travel to Walsee, where the 2002 World Championships were held.

The river on one of the beautiful yet cold evenings

In Walsee we were met by Stefan Wimmer who had been training at the WBC for a few weeks this Spring as well as his brother and father, George and George Senior. Although it was still very cold and raining we had good water for the next two days there and the Austrian team skied up a storm with Stefan working on his multiple turns, cleaning up his slalom and smoothing his jumping out.  Andreas has a goal this Summer of consistently tricking around 2000 points as well as getting consistent back one foot slalom and seeing how far he can get with his invert jumping so we worked hard on his toe ups and reducing the transition time between tricks.  George Wimmer jn had not skied much in the last few years or this Spring but even with the lack of water time he could still go out there and look stable on his basics and could still do his 3 turns which was great to see and hopefully we will see George skiing well at this World Championships in Texas this Summer.

The site of the 2002 World Championships in Walsee, Austria

Andreas had a cold morning set in Walsee....... brrrrrrrrr

The 1200 bhp barefoot machine!!!!!!

The final couple of days brought us back to Andreas ski site. We got blown out for some of the time so we went on a bike ride up one of the local hills and what a view it was from up there and left early on one day where we all went in to Vienna to check out the city life and tourist stuff..

Afternoon crew

Inside of Viennas cathedral

Desert before dinner in Vienna

After a good ride up the local mini mountain this is the view we got for some dry land training ;)

I had a great time over there and I am looking forward to going back in a few weeks to see how they have all gotten on with the skiing homework I have given to the guys.

Thanks again lads!!

Written by David Small

aka

Small’z

The World Barefoot Center Goes Wild With New Colors

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Things at the World Barefoot Center have gotten a little more colorful.  One of the Sangers received a brand new wrap. Over in the pro shop, we’ve got t-shirts to match.  Come on down and get a little wild with us on the water.

New and innovating teaching techniques used by the WBC…. HeadZone Helmets!!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Teaching how to stand on feet using the HeadZone Helmet and the swing

We all know that Barefoot Waterskiing is one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled sports out there but this also has its difficulties when learning.  When we get a lot of beginners skiing at the World Barefoot Center and a lot of the time they find it difficult to concentrate on what they have to do out on the water as they are so excited to stand up or have a sensory overload with being pulled across the surface of the water at speed :)

HeadZone Helmet allowing the student to relax in the butt ride position

What we used to have to do was to pick our battles and only give students one or two things to think about when they are out there…. this leaves a lot gaps which takes a lot of time to fill.  This problem was then solved when we started using HeadZone helmets. These are comfortable helmets with speakers in so that we, as instructors, can talk the skiers through every step when they come to it.

69 year old Judy Myers being taught how to get in to the backwards step position using the head zone helmet and WBC shoe skis

We can now talk to the student in the water before their next ski pass about what they are doing wrong and how they need to correct it in detail and then walk them through each step with the use of the HeadZone helmet.  This new and innovating teaching technique is allowing our students to relax on the water due to not having to worry about remembering what the instructor was talking about and learn at an accelerated rate with reduced falls.

We have been getting amazing results in the past couple of years from using these helmets and if you haven’t tried one yet then come on down to the school and see how fast you can progress with the help of the WBC and HeadZones.

Written by

David Small

Small’z

Off season, off the water training… Get in better ski shape!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

If you are serious about barefoot water skiing or any other sport that is relatively seasonal then you will need to think about what you are going to be doing in the ‘off season’. Unless you live in Florida or some tropical climate then it will be hard to train on the water when the lakes are frozen or it is bitterly cold and raining all the time……… I.E. England 😉
You don’t need to be a member of a gym and have to drive miles to get some basic work out in. Barefoot water skiing is a lot of core work and balance so working this out will make a big difference when you come to start skiing again.
Some basic things you can buy for your home are a chin up bar, swiss ball (big blow up ball), bosu ball circular top with half a blow up ball underneath and some basic weights. Using these simple things you can get a decent work out at home and can stow all of this stuff in a corner somewhere out of the way so that the wife doesn’t moan at you.
Here are a few simple exercises that you can try at home…

Stand upright on the Bosu ball holding some weights by your side. Try to keep your feet as flat as possible and your back as straight as you can and slowly squat down.

Position at the top of a squat

Bottom of the squat

Drop the weights and stand on one leg, lift the leg in the air in front of you (like a toe hold) and then keeping your core tight and foot flat slowly move in to a back toe hold position. Keep doing this until your standing leg is fatigued (you will start shaking).

One leg balance

Continuing the one leg balance exercise


Another balance exercise is to, again standing on one leg, reach your leg in the air off to the side and arms up in the air. Once stable, reach the leg across and behind your body and brings your arms in the opposite direction. It is important to keep your stomach muscles tight and engaged to get the full benefits from this exercise.

Balance

Balance

The last couple of exercises on the bosu ball are using some dum bells. Engage your core, have a slight bend in your knees and complete slow bicep curls, shoulder press’s, side and front arm lifts to work your shoulders.

Biceps on the bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Setting up for front arm lifts

Front arm lift

Setting up for side lifts on bosu ball

Side arm lifts on Bosu

Setting up a chin up bar in your house is easy and is a good way of working your shoulders, biceps, and back….. all good for footing. You can do chip ups with your palms facing back, forward, arms narrow and arms wide. This will work slight different muscle groups and then you can lift your legs up in front of your hips for an abb workout at the same time.

Setting up for a chin up

Top of chin up

For abdominal exercises you can sit on the swiss ball with your legs together and do some front and side crunches. This will work your middle and upper abs. To work your lower abs you can lay in your push up position with your feet on the ball and roll your legs to your chest and butt up in the air. You can also sit on an upturned boss ball, sit slightly back with your legs outstretched and then bring your legs in to your chest.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Set up for lower abbs

lower abbs

Lower abbs on Bosu

Lower abbs on Bosu

Side to side abbs on Bosu

All of these exercises will give you a little head start in to the on season but you need to be engaging your core muscles and concentrating on good technique.

Enjoy!!

Written by David Small

Small’z

David Small Barefoot Clinic in Washington State with Big A and his goats :)

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Adin Danneker put this clinic on on his private lake in Olympia, Washington.

Adins perfect water ski lake


On Adins lake there are two decent sized turn islands which were getting a little over grown so on one of the days where it was a little windy we took some time out, took an hour drive and bought a couple of goats. The kids at the lake named them Jerry and Dude.

The transportation of the goats to the turn island on the lake


Once back to the house we transported them across to the islands where they proceeded to eat non-stop and get visits everyday from the kids that live on the lake.
Adin built his house and has an amazing set up with his boat slip leading straight from his garage to the lake and the boats already set up and hooked up to his tractor in the garage so its as easy as opening a door and backing it in!! Also in the garage is a big flat screen and a Audi R8 to take out on the few days a year there its not raining in Washington 😉

Adins toy for when its dry out :)

We had a tournament the weekend after the clinic so Adin and I were working on trick runs and trying to clean up slalom so as not to get cut. Adins multiple turns at the end of the week were great and he skied up a storm in the comp with a high 5000 point trick run, nearly equaling his PB in slalom and landing most of his inverted jumps!!
Jerry Kanawyer came to the clinic and we continued on from what we were working on while I was at Jerries place. He got better and better at his surface turns as well as figuring out some new slalom techniques. We jumped a bit while at Adins and Jerry is getting a good inversion on a 10 foot line which is very similar to a long line jump.

Jerry Kanawyer getting ready for battle ;)


The best way to learn the inverted style is directly on a Barefoot International boom (lifted very high) until the technique is perfected and there is no fear in the skier coming in to the ramp. If it doesn’t go as planned go to the WBC shoe skis and start on these. Then a it is best to have a slow progression from the boom by going on just the V of the handle. After this you just inch the line out until on a 10 or 15 foot line off the boom.
Jerry also skied great at the tournament in all 3 events, and did great which was nice to see.
Doug Jorden also came over and did a lot of Barefoot jumping as he is also learning the new inverted jump technique. Doug jumps a good distance on the long line but in a traditional style and when trying to invert long line he has a small mental block and pushes the handle down. What was done to try to overcome this was to keep him on the boom but extend the line further and further out until he was jumping on a 45 foot line! Impressive!

Doug on a 45 foot line on the WBC shoe skis invert jumping.... nearly on the long line!!!


I was there for 4th of July where we went to Lake Silverado in Adna for some skiing and fireworks which was better than anything public we could have traveled to!!!

Had to get a patio heater going as the sun set on Lake Silverado while we waited for the fireworks for the 4th of July celebrations.


Val Shinn came and had a day in sunny Washington where she worked her backwards position as well as sorting out her slalom. Judy Myers who is 68 came and skied with us for a few days. Even after a recent injury and a couple of months out came back and was working on her front one foots and her backwards position as well get getting her edging out of the wake sorted on the long line.

John Macdonald, Judy Myers, Claudia and Dave Landon and myself (David Small)


Claudia and Dave Landon came with 82 year old John Macdonald for a day. Claudia worked on her front one foot and toe hold position as well as getting her first backwards one foot on her feet (which Dave was jealous of). Dave was also working on his front position as well as his backwards one foots which looked good on the WBC shoe skies but he was a little slower than Claudia on transferring it to his feet.

Dave Landon sporting the head zone helmet


Im sure Claudia did he one foot at the end of the day so that Dave didn’t have a chance to get back out there to try to equal her… great marriage rivalry. John Macdonald is going strong and at 82 years young is an amazing skier!! He skies no problem skiing on the boom or long line and was working on butt riding out of the wake so he could stand in calmer water.

82 year old John Macdonald doing his flyer at Lake Silverados competition


With the help of the head zone (turned all the way up..lol) he figured out how to get out of the wake and nearly did a full wake crossing which would give him a US record for his age division!! GOOOOO JOHN!!

82 year old John, myself (David Small) and 68 year old Judy Myers on the start dock

Jay Leuek had a day skiing with us where he learned his back toe holds and step position as well as sorting out his front position… he found that byb not plowing it made his life a lot easier to progress.

Jerry Kannesky doing some dry land practice


Jerry Kannesky came over for a day and a half and its great to have him around. He is extremely passionate about barefooting and brings a lot of energy to the boat! In just a day Jerry got his back to fronts feet to feet on the long line, all 4 turns on the boom on his feet in one pass and the step ones and hop on the boom!! He hadn’t jumped much before and got out there on the boom and in a couple of jumps was doing some great inverted jumps and landing pretty much feet to feet. Amazing!

Jay showing us great form on a back toe hold on the WBC shoe skis


Cheers Adin for having me back out to your pad dude!! I always have a great time over there and Ill be looking forward to seeing you over at Nationals!!

Adins dog, Maggie is finding it hard to see so she borrows Adins glasses from time to time.

David Small California Barefoot Water- ski clinic

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I arrived in to San Fransico on the Saturday where Mr Jerry Kanawyer himself picked me up .  What I had forgotten was that it was his birthday so he didn’t get a happy bday straight away from me so I apologize for that Jerry.  Jerry has been on the US barefoot Water ski team for years and has always been a great US team player!!  His nickname is Flipper which for those of you that don’t know where it came from….  He is one of only a few people in the World that do all 3 flips in their trick runs….. the wake to wake, wake, and regular flip!!  Rather him than me.

Jerry Kanawyer flipping

Jerry lives in Brentwood on one of the best ski lakes I have been to (it could be a couple hundred feet longer if you wanted to be REALLY picky).  It is died blue to stop the weeds growing in there which also makes the lake look like a swimming pool and with it been located in California it’s as warm as a bloody swimming pool as well…… perfect!!

Diablo Shores

Jerry got in to a car crash a few years ago and if he take a good hit he gets a head ache so he was skiing with a helmet on but when looking on the net we found something better…….. HAHAHAHA! You crack me up Jerry bird!!!

Jerry sporting his head gear

While I was there Jerry made great headway on his front and backwards one foot slalom as well as figuring out the line step position one foots and hops as well as working on breaking his old school bad habit of stepping through on his surface turns. Jerry is also in the process of learning invert jumping which he is doing great on and is always good fun to teach.

Jerry bringing the landing gear down after an inverted jump

Andy Conway was there for 4 days and work a lot of slalom and line step position one foots as well as trying to sort out his surface turns.

7 year old Jackson showing us all how its done

Early in the week we had a 7 year old boy called Jackson that had beaten leukemia and was out there barefooting on the short handle off the boom!! Talk about inspiring, this kid was amazing!!!

On the Wednesday we took a trip out to the Delta where we were met by Willy Farrel (aka, ‘One way Willy’) and his crew of Roy, Pepper Benz and his son…..   , Mark Hobsen, and Dave Naddy.

The Sacramento crew

We took Willys Malibu Response LX out on the 1000 miles of glass calm water (Delta) and hit it hard.  It was in the upper 90s that day and we stayed out on the glass from 830 in the morning until 7 at night without a brake as it was so good out there.  Roy, Mark and Dave worked on similar things with correcting their backwards barefooting position, back one foots and toe holds as well as getting in and out of the step position (the head zone helmets are a life saver when I comes to all of these things and makes it 100% easier for both the skier and instructor!).  Pepper worked on cleaning up his back to front and had never made a front to back so we concentrated on that and by the end of the day he was making a great front to back on the WBC shoe skis.

Dave Naddy showing us a great back toe hold

Loving the zinc action :)

Peppers son, Brady, who had never barefooted before or shown much interest, rocked it out and got out there on the handle and was showing the guys how easy it was to do some one foots.  He also got the award for the most improved skier of the way and went away with a new best hobby….. Way to go dude!!

Brady setting the bar for his elder brother

Adin Danneker, a WBC team member, rolled on up on the Thursday (he can travel around a lot as he only works a couple days a month and then sleeps a lot ….. hes a fire fighter).

It was all too much for Adin

Adin has been competing at a high level for a number of years and won medals at the last World Barefoot Championships as well as other top International events in the past.  It was a pleasure having him there with us for a few days and see his multiple turns get progressively better as well as making some huge progress in his slalom!

Roy Cotterill in a back one foot stance on the WBC shoes skis

Gregg Myer came and took a quick rip after a 6 year break from skiing and still went and did some back slalom.  He was up there on a magazine shoot for his one of a kind million dollar race car that was going up for auction the following month.

Meal time after a long day on the Delta

I took a few days and headed up to Sacramento to ski on another private lake (Twin Cities) and I got to see some more impressive skiing up there.  Mark Hodsen organized these few days and put on a great show.

Mark Hobsen looks just like Pitbull ;)

If it was a little chippy on the lake we headed to the infamous ‘lost slew’ on the Delta which was just behind the lake. Here we were greeted with a few straight glass stretches of around 3 miles a pop!!!! Mark made great progress with his backwards position as well as back one foots and figures out one foot slalom on his feet.  His wife also gave it a go and was a natural and got up first time on the boom and loved it!!  Mark also had his 11 year old niece, Mackenzie, give it a go and she got up on the 5 foot and was showing us some one foots.

11 year old Mackenzie after her ski

She went away loving barefooting and since getting the barefoot bug has been pestering Mark to get her back out on the water!! Great to see young kids, especially girls getting in to the sport! Joe Jacinto showed his face for a couple of days and learned some new slalom techniques as well as finding out that you don’t have to throw yourself in to a turn to make it around 😉 His wife, Dine, also gave barefooting a go and managed to get up on the handle on the shoe skis for the first time.

Pepper came back while I was up there with his older son, carter, as he had heard that his younger brother, who didn’t like barefooting before, was now footing and loving it.  He came to step up his game… nothing like sibling rivalry aye.  He had a great forwards position on his feet, great one foots and even started to try backwards.

Carter and I taking a ski on the Delta after a very productive day

I went and skied with the kids for a little rip at the end of the days they were there and it brought back great memories from when I was a kid learning to barefoot!  Any kid that tries this sport correctly with the right instruction and equipment and doesn’t love it must have something wired incorrectly 😉

Andy had to wear goggles due to his allergies which made it amusing to watch him ski and it was great to watch an ‘old school’ footer go out there and have fun doing some freestyle!!  We worked on some turns and slalom and then some side slides and general goofing around stuff… good fun.

Andy and his goggles ;)

I had a great couple of weeks in Cali and I am looking forward to going back out there later on this Summer!!

Huge thanks for everyone that skied and to Jerry Kanawyer who brought me out there and put me up as well as Willy for the day skiing and Mark for bringing me up to Sac for those fun few days!!!

By David Small AKA Small’z. lol

New York trip and Barefoot clinic with the Piskuras

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Arrived in to White Planes, Connecticut and the Piskuras picked both my girlfriend and myself up from the airport and took us to their house 45 mins away.  They have a great set up there with their self designed house (with Jimmies man room which is something to be seen J ), Lorraines dental practice and Jimmys Motel that he is renovating all on the same property!  Talk about not having to go very far to work.  Lorraine was away on a sleep apnea conference until the Sunday so we arrived in on the Thursday night so that we could have a few days in NYC to see the sights before hitting the water.

I had never been in to New York before so it was the usual tourist stuff that had to be done.  We started off by taking the train in and arriving in to Grand Central Station, which is a site in itself.

Grand Central Station

From there we ventured to the Rockefeller building where we were going to go up and see the city from a birds eye view however the lady at the desk said that it was far better to see at night so we postponed it until a later date ( that later date never came around as we ended up been too busy to make it in the day and the clouds came in and low in the next couple of days so the night viewing was out as well. Lol. Next time).

Times Square

Times Square was next which is a bizarre thing seeing the hustle and bustle of a big city and then to see a green park with people sunbathing and playing baseball etc in! We walked around the park and ate lunch there and then ventured back in to the city.  We checked out the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA), which turned out to be free entry for 3 hours which was a result, which is a very cool building and has a lot of ‘interesting; pieces in.  The next day John Swanky, who has been barefooting for decades and seems to know everyone that has ever accomplished something in the sport of barefooting, had us around for a great steak meal at his lakeside house and then took us in the city the next day to have a backstage tour of the Broadway play ‘Spiderman’.  It was a once in a lifetime experience and I never knew how much went on behind the scenes of a play.  Shana and I then checked out the Empire State building and took the tube to see the Statue of Liberty as well as walking around ground zero.  We figured that Manhattan Island isn’t that big so we walked up to see Brooklyn Bridge and then through China town, little Italy and any other miniature cultural blocks until we ended up back in times square where our hotel was… it was a longer walk than I had anticipated and ended up taking us around 2 and a half hours with a couple of bar stops J Our evening was a meal at a nice restaurant followed by checking out 2nd street and a lot of Irish bars with a lot of interesting characters in them 😉

Backstage at Spiderman

The skiing started off on Monday and continued all week with Lorraine (1999 Senior Womens World Champion!!), Jimmy, Emma and Pete Sylvester everyday with others coming for a ski here and there.

Lorraine and Jimmy P

I had been warned about debris in the river that we were skiing on so Lorraine ended up driving for Jimmys first set so that I could concentrate on his skiing and not dodging trees.  This was a good theory until we drove over a submerged log without hitting it and it surfaced right in front of Jimmy doing front wakes at 45 mph.  He had been making some great headway as well in just a few passes! Needless to say it didn’t end well with us having to take him to the hospital (at the end of the day as he refused to go earlier so as to not mess with our skiing…. Tougher than me!!).  They X-rayed his foot and said that he had broken his heel and to stay off it for about 6 weeks.  Since then he has found out that it was not broken and his recovery time had reduced which is always nice to hear!

Jimmys foot

Lorraine had not had a lot of water time prior to me getting there as they had had some terrible weather all Spring which made skiing difficult but she got right out there and work out a lot of kinks in her front and back wakes as well as doing a lot of back to fronts and front to backs on the shoe skis.  Towards the end of the week she was making a few feet to feet back to fronts on her feet and did one that was so slow and clean that I could not believe what I was seeing…. Congrats on that!  She was also attempting front to backs on her feet at the end of the week, making the turn to the back and then just not having the confidence to grab the handle and ski it out but it is the first time she had the confidence to try them on her feet which was HUGE!!  Im looking forward to seeing what she can do when she is ski fit and had water time….. VERY talented! Pete has been footing for a long time as well but had been a little bit of a boom and shoe ski baby for the past few years so we threw him behind the boat a lot on his feet to clean up his slalom.  He is a very good listener and even with his old school style of slalom and straight legs (thought he was dragging his butt on the water when he was almost locked out straight 😉 )  he managed to pick up some new techniques which made him not only faster and cleaner but a lot more consistent.  Lots of back toes and getting into the step position helped him no end with stiff legs and his turns were looking a lot better. Good job Pete!! Petes youngest daughter, Emma, was a star.

Emma perfecting her toe holds using the headzone

Going 'old school' while the Sanger was in for a new impeller

Her attitude was great even when we were out and it was cold and occasionally raining.  She came on leaps and bounds, just a few things she accomplished was her front toeholds, backwards toes and backwards behind the boat!! Emma, I hope you stick with it and I will be looking forward to seeing her and Pete down in FL this winter at the ski school for some fun in the sun.  Mid week Eric Gorman came out and skied a day with us where we just cleaned up a lot of his skiing and we had a great time with him!!

Throughout the week we did get rained out one day and then the impellor broke on the boat so that was out of action for a day so we ended up going ‘old school’ and using Petes Barefoot Nautique which was great fun!!

At the end of the week Lorraine had a long time friend and skier (Sheri Rogers) come on out and even though we got a little rained out in the morning and resorted to going to a nice restaurant in town (life’s hard) we had great water conditions in the evening and finished the week off with some great skiing from the two girls!!

Local winery

Rhubarb wine after 2 days fermenting

We then went and checked out Erics local winery (White Silo Farm & Winery) where he had some wine tasting going on.  I have never had rhubarb wine before but it is amazing, if you are of age and you haven’t tried it then go to his website (www.whitesilowinery.com) and order some!!! He also gave us the tour of the place and showed us the process of making the wine which was great to see!! Thanks Eric!

The boys

The crew

MASSIVE shout out and thanks to both Lorraine and Jimmy for having myself and Shana up there and your hospitality!! You guys are great and it is always a pleasure to be around you both….. even if I needed to go cold turkey from the caffeine once I left (it was great while I was drinking it though).