Posts Tagged ‘small’z’

David Small – The Jump King

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

David “Small’Z” Small has been around for quite some time.  Now that he’s lived in the United States for over five years, his name continues to grow!  He dominates the Jump event and flies further, smoother and more graceful than anyone in the world. Let’s not forget about his butter landings either.  He literally lands like a cat.

Here’s his latest shot in Waterski magazine.

World Jump Record Holder David Small Barefoot Water Ski Jumping

The World’s Greatest Barefooter: David Small


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Clinic in California at Diablo Shores with David Small…

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I left the cold weather behind when I left the Twin Cities and landed in to sunny San Francisco where Dave Naddy picked me up.  Jerry Kanawyer sorted the clinic out but as it was his 50th birthday a few days before my arrival he was throwing a party at his house and had to stay behind and organize the band, tents and the other logistical nightmares that go with hosting a party 😉 After leaving the low cloud of the city and driving through the hills we got to Diablo Shores and was greeted with glass clam blue water and not a cloud to be seen…….. perfection!!!!

jerrys bday hat

Shot of the lake on my arrival :)

Jerry and Adin Danneker were skiing all week and are both training for the up coming World Championships in Waco Texas this Summer so it was a pleasure to work with them and get them more competition ready.  Both Jerrys and Adins slalom came on leaps and bounds as well as Adins turns getting a lot better and Jerry figuring out his line step position as well as dabbling with his surface turns.

Jerry and Adin suiting up

Adin showing his jumping skills

Mark Hobson was down most of the week with his 13 year old niece, Mackenzie, who only started bare footing on my last visit last Summer.  She is now getting up long line on her feet, doing sit down and stand ups, starting in to tumble turns, working on her ones foots and starting in to backwards!!! Very proud of you Mac!! Last year Mark couldn’t get up longline backwards or do one foots forwards.  He is now rocking long line back wakes out, back one foots behind the boat, can hall ass on front wakes and can ride toe holds.  If anyone wants to see a guy enthusiastic about bare footing then this is your man…. pleasure to be around and to ski with and I’m looking forward to coming back after Nationals and skiing with him again and possibly seeing his new baby girl if she has arrived by the start of Aug 😉

Mark Hobson showing us how to wake slalom

13 year old Mac ..... its the only pic i had Mac, sorry.... She was getting up long line on her feet but i didn't get a shot

Andy Conway, who is gentile giant was looking good on his backward one foot wake crossings as well as getting a lot more consistent with his front slalom.

At the start dock at the Diablo Shores open tournament

Jenna Gernstein who is 15 years old and trying to qualify to ski in the Junior World Championships also came for a few days.  She lives in San Diago and skies with Art. She has been skiing since she was 3 years old and is very stable out on the water…. and if she practiced her reverses more than once a year would be a very well rounded skier 😉 lol.

Jenna showing off for the camera

After the week clinic Jerry had a tournament at his lake where he had a good turn out as well as putting on a driver and safety clinic after the skiing was done.  There were some good scores posted.  It wasn’t a RC tournament but I skied 13250 in tricks and 19.2 in slalom which I was happy with.

As much as i tried to skydiving while i was there we were starting early in the morning and then by the time we were done the winds always picked up (water was still glass) and the place thats close to Jerrys is notorious for accidents…… I have Swampy in my head telling me he will kill me if i injure myself jumping out of a perfectly good plane so i decided to wait until i return in a month or so :0

charlie not giving up his stick

Written by : David Small

AKA  Small’z

David Small barefoot clinic in Connecticut with the Piskuras

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I got a  lift halfway from Boston to Connecticut where Charlie and I hung out at a Starbucks, people watching and attracting women (having a toy poodle has its perks ya know :) ), while we waited for Lorraine to get there and pick me up.  We went straight to the Piskuras house where Charlie had the pleasant welcome from their German Shepard as its tried to eat him…. luckily she has a muzzle on or Charlie would be no more….. They were friends at the end of the week….. kind of 😉

People watching at Starbucks

Charlie and the Shepherd trying to bond on a walk....

Johnathon Marines, who had been skiing down at the World Barefoot Center for the previous 5 weeks, was already there and waiting as he was skiing for 4 days. We had a little bit of time to kill so we loaded up the car with the 4 of us and two dogs and headed to the hills for a short hike.  It is beautiful there and was great way to loosen up after a long drive.

The Nuffie trying to figure out what its supposed to do with Charlie

Lorraine (Senior World Ladies Champion) skied all week long and is training for this up coming Worlds in Texas.  We worked hard on her front and backwards wake crossings and by the end of the week was doing both her basic and reverse back one foot wakes which is a huge achievement!!! Congrats!  We also changed her jumping technique so that she can stay more on her feet up the ramp as well as cleaning up her back to front, back toes, step position, and tumbles to one foot.  Its always a pleasure to see Lorraine ski!

lorraine showing off her back toe hold skills

Jimmy P managed to fit in a fair few sets this year and unlike last year when he hits tree managed to ski till the end of the week uninjured.  His back one foots long line got a lot better as did his front one foot wakes and impressed everyone in the boat with his long line back tumble ups!!!

Jimmy P looking nervous as last year this was the same time of day and place on the river when he had a disagreement with a tree while footing.... the tree won last time ;)

Johnathon skied up a storm in the 4 days!!  His wakes came on leaps and bounds, turns got cleaner and he is getting along very nicely with his invert jumping!!  This kid last year was tricking 1300, didn’t jump and could hardly do front one foot wakes……. after training hard this winter with his dad and down at the WBC he is now doing multiple turns, front and back one foot wakes and invert jumping long line!!!!!! Unreal skiing and its great to see the progression in such a short amount of time!

Johnathon sleeping

Johnathon had a fight with a stick..... Johnathon won

More sleeping

More sleeping

Father and son taking a nap

Big John Martines did a lot of sleeping in the boat considering he was chafing Johnathon for his boat sleeping antics :)  He also skied well with doing his toe up long line, figuring out how to step over on his turns and generally cleaning up his skiing style.

Big John got a little tired

Pete, Emma and Jen Sylvester came out and skied.  Jen only came for the Friday but did great with getting up long line on her feet as well as getting up backwards!!  Pete had a full week skiing and learned that it doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to beat yourself up when learning new stuff.  He skied great with no hard falls and learned toe ups, how to slalom correctly with little effort and a lot more consistency, better back one foot and how to ski smart.  Emma did amazing.  She learned her reverse back toe hold, step position, was getting up backwards longline no probs, long line one foots on feet, and had some great tumble turns!!

Emma keeping an eye out for debris

Jenn perfecting her butt ride with the help of the head zone helmet

Chris, Pete, the Martines and Lorraine huddled at the back corner to stop the spray for 10 foot boom jumping

Pete brought his two nephews out for a couple days skiing.  They both did great with Lucas learning his but ride, one foots on his feet as well as coming along well with his backwards.  Im looking forward to seeing his progression and skiing with him this winter down at the ski school!! Jordan got up long line, worked backwards, and did some good one foots on the shoe skis.

Lucas and Johnathon enjoying a run in after a full day

Jordan getting ready

Chris came down to do some jumping and we were trying to get his landings more consistent.  We only managed a couple of jump sets due to wind and him having to leave early for work but he did also do great in correcting his turns!!

Chris sorting his back one foots

Andy came with the hope of getting a front to back on his feet by the end of his day on the water but we figured out that he was trying to do his reverse turn.  We cleaned all 4 turns up on the WBC shoe skis and then went to his feet.  His back to fronts were great and he got very close on both his basic and reverse FB.  Keep working on it buddy and you will have those in no time.

Don Stoppe flew his own plane to the clinic for a couple of days where we worked his jumping as well as cleaning up his turns, and basic positioning on his skiing.  Don always brings a high level of excitement in to the boat and its great to see someone so enthusiastic about the sport!!  Thanks for making the trip out Don and ill see you in a couple of weeks!

Don got hungry and fancied some sushi mid way through his set

We had some funny weather come in but mostly had some amazing ski conditions out there which made for an amazing week of skiing!!  On the friday we ended a little early and managed to get to ‘The Ranch Skydive Center” in NY where I did a sit fly skydive and Emma, Pete and Jen did there first tandem jumps…. was great to see them go up and they were all so pumped up on landing!!!  Good times!!!

Pete getting suited up for this first skydive

Emma, Jen and myself suited up for some fun in the skies :)))

Alex Straus also came on out and skied up a storm.  He hadn’t really had a lot of water time before but got very comfortable backwards as well as long line forwards!!  Great to see!

Alex Straus Sorting his back barefoot position out

Massive thanks to the Lorraine and Jimmy for organizing this week and being so hospitable!!

Written by David Small…. AKA 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

Featured Footer: Chris McWatters

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

When Chris McWatters is not at his job as a nurse in a local Florida hospital, you can find him on the water over at the World Barefoot Center, learning something new.  And when the day is done, he heads back home, to the home of a legend.   The McWatters are staying at Banana George’s house, renting it for a few months.  Chris is the quintessential snowbird– the other half of the year he works as a nurse in a hospital near Detroit, Michigan.

Chris’ first dip into the life of water sports began with a slalom ski and a slalom course.  Then he was introduced to barefooting from a friend of a friend.  “I got up on my first try, off the boom,” said Chris. “It was like a poison in my body, I was hooked!”  Chris spent the summer learning to barefoot off a kneeboard and at the end of the season, he completed a deep water start.

In the summer of 2004, a bad fall left him with a twisted ankle, but he continued to learn new tricks on his own, especially tumble turns. “I watched videos of Keith St. Onge and Mike Seipel barefooting and taught myself from the videos,” said Chris.  “I wanted to barefoot like Keith!”  A friend introduced him to backward barefooting and Chris beat himself up on the water trying the start over and over.  He studied continued to study Keith’s videos and tried to put that into practice on the water.    “I never had shoes– thought it was for sissies,” Chris laughed.  “I kept trying.  I could do  a backward start on the boom in 2005 or 2006 can’t remember. But backward long line, I couldn’t do it.”  Chris got in touch with Seipel, who advised him to get a tower and shoes, but Chris stubbornly wanted to learn the start on his feet.  So he grabbed a driver one day and for two and half hours, he worked on it until he finally stood up backwards behind the boat.  He ended up bruised, but triumphant at his accomplishment.

The front and back flyers were also on Chris’ “self-taught” list.  He ended up taking a trip to the hospital after doing a front flyer from a houseboat.  His left ankle tangled in a loop on the landing and the next day, he could barely walk.  Fortunately, there was only some muscle damage and it healed.  To this day, Chris still has the rope indention around his ankle as a reminder of that trick.  But that didn’t deter Chris from continuing to teach himself on his own.  After watching Keith spin around on the water, Chris hurled himself around as well.  “Front to back, back to front– I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread,” said Chris. “I taught myself on my feet, 42 mph, and I would fall and fall.”

Chris’ introduction to barefoot competition came from a chance encounter on the water.  He was out with some friends on a boat rigged with a boom on each side of the boat and five of them footin away.  During a pause, another boat drove by and guy joined them.  They continued to barefoot together, enjoying the day.  “Why don’t you compete,” the guy asked Chris.  “I’m just a backyard barefooter,” he said.

The “guy” turned out to be Marc Donahue, legendary for Figure 8 tournaments.  Chris agreed to give competition a try so he headed up to Wisconsin for the 2009 Frostbite Figure 8.  It was 35 degrees out, the water was 41 degrees and there was a 25 mph wind kicking up. To top it off, Chris had never stepped off a ski before.  He put his foot on the water twice, faceplanted twice, and just like that, his first tournament was over.

But did he give up? Nope.

At the Mad City tournament, Chris ended up with the same result: double faceplants and out.  But he walked away with St. Onge’s blue hat as a raffle prize.  At the St. Louis tournament, Chris advanced a round only because the other guy fell faster than him at the step off.  “I spent so much money going to tournaments only to faceplant and double out each time,” Chris laughed.

But he still didn’t give up.

Chris went up to Crandon, Wisconsin, home of the famed Footstock tournament.  While waiting in line to get a drink at Duck’s bar, his idol turned around to greet him. “Hi, I’m Keith St. Onge.”

Chris couldn’t hear him in the din and despite the countless KSO videos he had reviewed, he didn’t recognize the guy.  “I’m Keith St. Onge,” he said again. He pointed to Chris’ head.”And you’re wearing my hat!”   Chris was thunderstruck, but he soon discovered that the two-time champ was laid back and down to earth.  “He’s just one of us,” said Chris.

Dave Mueller, the Footstock announcer, quickly made mincemeat out of Chris the moment he doubled-out of the tournament.  Chris soon earned a nickname: “Two Step.”  “They made fun of me, ‘two steps’ and I’m out of the tournament–  but one guy from St. Louis gave me some encouragement afterwards and introduced me to barefoot races,” said Chris.

Chris continued to teach himself tricks on the water but still hadn’t had a formal barefoot lesson at that point.  He persisted with Figure 8 tournaments and ended up contributing his time to organizing tournaments. “I set up rules to involve more people,” said Chris.  The idea was a “no barefooter on the beach” motto.   If you can’t step off, you can deep start.  If you need a wheelchair, we’ll start with that.

“You can ski against KSO and Smallz in these tournaments–  that’s the coolest thing,” he continued.  “You can duct tape your feet.  We are friendly, and we include the backyard barefooter.”

Things began to turn for Chris.  He actually learned how to become a Figure 8 barefooter and stay up on the water.  At the WBC Figure 8 final, Chris was helping to wrap things up when Keith asked him if he was interested in learning more and becoming a sponsored skier.  Chris jumped at the chance to ski and learn from his idol. “What I liked about Chris was not just his passion for barefoot waterskiing which is obvious, but I liked his enthusiasm to help build the sport and put tournaments together,” said Keith. “He put in a lot of time that not many people see. I commend him for all the work he has put into the sport and respect him for that.”

In November, 2011, Chris received his first formal lesson on the water with A.J. Porreca and Ben Groen. “Honestly, I was nervous and scared,” said Chris. “I’m a shag barefooter– everything I had learned was from watching videos.” The WBC staff ended up getting a little surprise:  toe holds, tumbles, tumble to ones, backward one foots– the bumbling Figure 8 guy actually had some good skills on the water despite never having a lesson.

He had some jump experience before arriving at the WBC, but only off the boom.  Before long, Small’z had him jumping inverted.

Despite his lack of three-event tournament experience, Chris’ goals are big and bold: to qualify for the Nationals and the Worlds.     “I need to score 2,400 points, but I tricked only 400 or 700 when they timed me.  I did bad and I looked awful,” said Chris.  He was really discouraged when he climbed in the boat.  Ben shared a story about his own early experience at the Worlds; he scored just 200 points and came in dead last out of 38 skiers.  Encouraged, Chris continued to hammer away at the tricks.

“My proudest moment on the water was when I got my first back one foot toe hold in front of David and Swampy,”  said Chris.  “And by the way, I love Swampy to death– he’s like a grandfather. I  make sure Swampy is happy!”  To build up consistency, Smallz ran him up and down the lake, to the tune of 31 back toe holds.

Even with both feet raw and bruised after the tough runs, Chris loves every minute of it. “What I like most about barefooting is that you feel free–there’s nothing on your feet,” said Chris.  “It’s awesome to stand on your feet at 40+ mph–  it’s a moment that is pure as you can get–  standing there, looking around thinking,  ‘Wow, you’re standing on water on two feet!!!'”

Written by: Karen Putz

Barefoot Water Skiing in the sunny climates of the UK

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Ive come back to the sunny climates of the UK for a couple of weeks coaching and a week or so to see my family and friends. During my teaching we got some great new barefooters involved, with Bibbi Curtis learning how to foot and almost get up backwards, Josh Brown learning how to get up longline, do one foots and get up backwards, Dom learned how to stand up longline and do some one foots back there as well as getting up backwards and Harrison who also learned how to get up long line, do one foot and tumble turns! All new skiers and they all did a great job out on the water and im looking forward to seeing them all out at the World Barefoot Center this Winter!

The girls huddling to stay warm in-between sets

Ben Harris stretching out


Ted Baber and his Dad organized me coming over to the Cotswolds and we were using his boat most of the time. Ted has only been skiing for a couple of years and he is coming on leaps and bounds. In just this week he learned a toe up on the long line, greatly improved his slalom and managed to do all 4 of his surface turns on his feet!! Amazing job Ted and looking forward to getting you out stateside for the run up to Worlds next Summer!!

Ted putting a safe jump down on the long line

Ted Baber getting ready for a toe up


At the end of my time at the Cotswolds I had some old school UK team members come on down for a day of skiing. We had Ben and Matt Harris as well as Emily Goldie showing us how things are done out in the cold water and it was great to see them all back out there and having fun.

Adam Chaulk flying high

Matt Harris showing his son how to do it


Natasha giving it a go for her first time

Written by David Small

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

South Carolina Barefoot Clinic with David Small

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I had a few days come open in my Summer schedule so I got in touch with Ron Meekes to see if he would want me to come back down to his place for a couple of days.  He asked around and filled the spots within the day so we booked the flight and headed on down.

A few of the crew plus a random guy from the bank that we picked up.... we made his year :)

Ron had the Southern regional championships down on Lake David in Groveland, FL the following weekend so we worked a lot on his trick runs.  His back toe holds on the long line got more efficient as well as figuring out how to make a flying back deep water start not any more complicated than a regular back deep.  He had been struggling with his backward wake crossings so we started out correcting his position on some cut out and then brought these techniques to the wake crossings.  After the second day he was keeping both feet up consistently the whole way down the passes!!!  On one morning we headed out and took ron over the ramp a few times to get him ready for the comp.  He figured out that he did not need to come in to the jump defensive and kick it as hard as possible but to stay on top of his feet (while in a safe position) and simply ride as much of the ramp as possible!

Ron Meekes, the clinic organizer, doing some back toe hold drills

Rons partner in crime, Becki Welsh skied up a storm.  She is an extremely clean skier so I was constantly trying to get her to ski a little bit ‘dirtier’ so that she did not take any unnecessary falls.  Becki managed to get both of her one foot stand ups on her feet as well as getting up backwards consistently!!  Way to go Beck!!

Becki Welsh and Jim Miller watching the other skiers and waiting for their set to come back around

Pat Vella is new to footing but got up on the 5 foot rope on his feet and managed to get his backwards plant on the WBC shoe skis, all in a day!!

Tom Gabey who used to be big in to barefooting until about 10 years ago came out of the woodwork and hit the water after a long stint of not skiing!  He could still go out there and rock out a lot of the tricks he was doing while he was skiing in Nationals etc etc.  He learned all of his stuff back in the day so his style was very ‘old school’.  He wanted to work on his turns and see if we could get them consistent.  He stepped through the spray on most of his turns as well as leading with his head and shoulders so we got him on one shoe ski so that he had no option but to be on the ‘correct’ pivot foot and in just doing this he cleaned up his turns and got him motivated to start skiing again.  Its amazing what happens when new teaching techniques are introduced making barefooting easier which, in turn makes the skier want to ski more 😉  Love it!  Good to see you back on the water Tom!

Chris Fousd also wanted to work on his turns and we also managed to get him to step over on his turns and keep his shoulders level.  I have never seen a guy love doing a backwards toe up as much as Chris does!!  His own little bit of freestyle J At every opportunity he flips over and stands up in his backwards toe hold!!  Very impressive!

Shauwn Sheely skied both days I was there and just wanted to work on his surface turns.  Lat time I was there I made him do 31 turns on his feet.  When I told him what he had to do he wasn’t overly enthusiastic but once he completed the turns he was ecstatic.  Anyway, Shauwn was getting his 4 turns behind the boat on his feet consistently after the couple of days and can now look forward to the joys of learning some multiple turns and expanding his trick run!!

Jim Miller up backwards

Jim also showing us what no man should do...... pee in his suit

Jim Millers ‘thing’ for a while has been getting up backwards.  He had a bit of a confidence issue to start with but after a few talks and progression on the backwards I saw a complete turn around in his attitude towards not only skiing but in himself as a person! He was going out there and believeing that he could get up and loan and behold he managed to get up on his feet backward on the 5 foot and backwards on the WBC shoe skis on the long line!!  Keep that attitude up Jim and stop peeing in your suit ;))

Last but not least we had a special visit from Don Simon.  Don is in his late 60s and still hitting the water hard.  It was a great privilege to see Don ski and do his front one foots, tumble turns and backwards with ease!!!  He is a great ambassador for the sport and is continuing to build the sport as best he can which is great to see!  Thank you Don!

Don Simon getting ready to ski

I had a great few days down there and had the best food!!  Ron and Becki are excellent hosts and its always a pleasure to head down there and see them!

This random guy watched us for a couple of hours on the bank so we picked him up so he could have an up close and personal look at footing.... he LOVED it!!

Written by David Small

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.

HOW TO BEGIN BAREFOOT WATER SKIING

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

So you are at your lake or river and you see these water-skiers zipping by– but they have no skis  – they are skiing on their bare feet.  Now that has your interest as something you just have to try, but how do you get started, what does it involve, just where are you ever going to get this information?

If you are like many of us, you hook up with these skiers and they say they will teach you how to barefoot ski.  Sounds good and easy, but this is the wrong way to get started. Do your homework and start checking the Internet for information about barefoot water skiing.  Websites such as Barefoot.Org or Worldbarefootcenter.com contain a wealth of information regarding this sport.

 The first thing you should do is make reservations and go to a ski school that specializes in teaching barefoot water skiing such as the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL.  If you are going to learn this new sport you should learn it properly and safely.  By doing this you will save yourself from the brutal falls that one can take when they do not learn by using the proper methods and equipment. 

The WBC owned and operated by the current World Champions Keith St. Onge and David Small, uses the newest methods and equipment, such as shoe skis, KSO Wetsuits and Barefoot International booms and Towers, to get you started and take you to the next level.  You will learn the proper techniques in a proper progression and eliminate the painful falls that usually occur when “friends” teach you.

You will also need to purchase specialized equipment such as a padded bare foot suit, padded shorts and perhaps a neopream heater shirt to be worn under your barefoot suit in cooler weather.  Again, do your research to find the best and latest equipment.  It is imperative that your barefoot suit fit well, have adequate padding and is constructed well.  All suits are not created equal, so again, have a professional help you with this purchase to make sure you are getting the best suit available. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help.  The World Barefoot Center has a complete Pro shop on site as well as on line and can help you with this purchase. 

Don’t be afraid to seek out help and answers to your questions and concerns.  The World Barefoot Center is here to answers any questions you may have at (863) 877-0039.  The bare footing community loves to help others in the sport no matter what level your skiing is at so feel free to give other footers a call!!

By: Judy Myers