Posts Tagged ‘Toe holds’

James Callahan: My WBC Experience

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Hello my name is James. I am 11 years old, and I live in Minneapolis, MN. I am writing this blog to tell you about my WBC (World Barefoot Center) experience. I have been down to the WBC twice now. The first time I went down was in June 2014 with my Grandma. When I went down to the ski school the first time, I had only just learnt how to short rope on the boom. After being at WBC for two days, I progressed to doing a long line deep water start.

I recently went down to the WBC for my second time in October 2014. I had the greatest time of my life. It was the first time that I flew by myself on an airplane to anywhere. At first I was a little scared but after the flight attendants helped me and gave me cookies, it was all good. When I got down to the Tampa Bay, FL airport my Grandpa was picking me up and I could tell he was nervous. He didn’t want to lose me or do something wrong. Then when I got to his place everything was ok. My Grandpa lives down in St. Petersburg, FL so it was very convenient that he lives really close to the WBC ski school.

The next morning we woke up at 6.00am to drive to Winter Haven. When we arrived at the ski school, I met the WBC crew. It was so much fun and everyone was funny and kind. I got to meet David Small, Ben Groen and Keith St. Onge! They are very nice and great teachers.

The second time I was down there for the week I learnt so much like tumble turns, toe holds and back deep starts. I look forward to practicing at home and down in Florida. I am hoping to keep progressing in the sport. Even though I love barefooting, I will also enjoy playing hockey this winter. I can’t wait to get back to WBC and hang out with the gang.

– James Callahan

Sam Meredith: Summer at the World Barefoot Center

Monday, July 21st, 2014

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This was my 2nd trip to the World Barefoot Center and certainly the warmest ski conditions I’ve experienced where there is no temperature difference between being in or out of the water. I had little ski time over the last year due to bad weather and logistics, but managed to keep up a daily workout in the gym for strength endurance and fitness. Christmas 2012 at the World Barefoot Center got me from just about standing on the water to consistent front toe holds, tumbles and stand up to one foots and getting up backwards behind the boat. I was a little nervous it would take me a while to get back to where I was after a year with a small amount of ski practice.

The first few days worked on my front toe holds, slalom and backwards getting more and more confident. After the 5 days training, I worked on backwards one foots on the 10 foot line working up to a toe hold which I managed to nail once after some work, although my one foot position needed much work for consistency.

During the second week of my visit I worked on consistency doing back deeps which took some time to get the hang of again. Ashleigh helped me become more consistent with this by gliding for long passes then eventually getting up backwards and then back down to the glide at the end of the pass. From getting the hang of that, I moved it to behind the boat and rarely missed a start and practised getting out of the wake then managing a wake crossing. I also worked on my front trick pass consisting of toe holds and tumbles to one foots. As I became stronger in my toe hold position I started to learn the toe up starting from a negative which after at least 30 attempts managed to complete on the 10 foot.

Also a big part of my stay included fitness training for the team Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. The training was mainly body weight circuits but involved sprints, swimming and some weighted exercises every workout involved almost every muscle group and lasted approx. 90 minutes. The fitness training was orientated around skiing and interval style sprints or swims this is similar to the way a ski set is achieved by doing a series of intense passes.

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Jackson Gerard: My Favorite Thing About Barefooting

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

My favorite thing about barefooting is that I am always learning something new at World Barefoot Center. My goal this year is to start learning turns on shoe skis. I have watched David Small do turns at 45 mph and watching him makes my mind think that I want to become a world champion like him.

The funnest things I have learned to do are back toe holds, backwards start and backwards slalom. My favorite trick is backward toe holds. I am still working hard almost everyday on line step position and tumble turns.

I can’t wait to learn how to slalom like my coach Keith St Onge. He is the best in the world. He makes it look so easy but really it is hard. But the best thing about Keith is that he is easy to talk to and he is a great coach.

I have a lot of goals this year and I know I can reach them because I have the greatest coaches in the world.

By Jackson Gerard, 11
Lake Wales, FL

Jackson Gerard: Rising Early to Barefoot Water Ski

Monday, November 11th, 2013

It’s a quiet, foggy morning in the heart of central Florida. The sun won’t be peaking its radiance above the treetops for another half hour, but the dog and my ten-year-old son, Jackson, are already awake and sneaking out of the house. Why would a mother allow her child to beat her out of the bed and leave the house before she has even opened one eye?

“Mmmm.”  I smell coffee so I open an eye and find a fresh pot waiting for me. Mornings like these are my favorite. I make a cup and head to the porch to sip and catch a glimpse of my baby practice his newest barefoot trick. Even though I cant see him yet, I can hear the boat and can tell if he is making progress. I listen to my husband offering pointers and patiently turning our boat around to try again.

Jackson learned how to barefoot this past summer by straddling a kneeboard behind our boat. Not the easiest trick, but that is how his dad learned and we don’t have a ski boat with a boom.  It took him about a dozen tries over the course of two days, but he did it. Then he did it again and again and again. Before we knew it, he was barefooting 1000 feet.

After posting a video of his new skill on Facebook, a friend contacted me to tell  me that the best barefoot school in the world is located in Winter Haven, just a 30-minute drive away. I met with Swampy and signed Jackson up for a half day lesson. Of course, after donning a protective barefoot suit,  footing behind a shining ski boat, and trying some tricks on a boom, he was hooked!

He now trains with an amazing staff of professionals. The experience of meeting such talented and wonderful people from all over the world is an opportunity of a lifetime.  On days he does not train at World Barefoot Center, his muffled yelps and whoops can be heard  in the distance among the soft chirps and croaks of the other early risers.

By: Joni Jackson

Jackson enjoys a toe hold during his 4th WBC lesson

Alex Youngblood: My Coaches

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

 

A lot of different coaches have taught me a lot of different stuff. Let’s start with Keith St. Onge, Ben Groen, and David Small. Keith, Ben, and David are my main coaches. They taught me my front toeholds and my back deep long line. They worked me really hard and it all paid off. I usually go to their ski school every spring now for about 2 weeks.

Another one of my coaches was Lane Bowers. He taught me my first back deep on the boom. One thing he told me to do, which I still do it to this day is to growl when you are in the motion of getting up. That helped me a lot. So, that back deep had a huge impact on my skiing.

Last but not least, Kenny Kaestner. He was the one who taught me my first front deep. We made a special deal. If I got the front deep with his help by October 1st, he said he would give me, my very own junior handle for free. I told him, it was a deal! After that I practiced and practiced and practiced. Finally the day came to do it. I tried and tried and tried, I wasn’t going to give up. I tried it one last time and on that that attempt, I did all the mechanics right…AND I GOT IT!!! I was extremely happy and flabbergasted! And I thank him for that.

So those are all my coaches who have gotten me to this point. They rock!

– Alex Youngblood

Catfish Bay Water Ski Show Team

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

“Greatest show on H20” is what their sign reads!  Yes, if you’re driving down I-90 West bound towards Sioux Falls, South Dakota you’ll see their lake with bleachers on the North side.

Team Practice w/ HillBilly Bay as their Theme

This was my third trip back to Catfish Bay and I can say I always love going back.  The skiers are so excited about water skiing.  Due to so few lakes in the area this private site is the perfect place to learn how to water ski or participate on the show ski team.  They have one to two shows per week depending on the holiday and time of year.  Catfish Bay Website

Can't practice Toe Holds enough!

Wrong, Ankle is too far in front of the knee = Hard crashes

Perfect Toe Hold, Ankle is Directly under the knee!

Jason Wallen / Clinic Organizer...Thank you for all your support!

Little Wallen in the Swing

Jim “Jimbo” Bruns started Catfish Bay many years ago and Jason Wallen is who sets up the Barefoot Water Ski Clinic with me.  I appreciate all the support from the club.

Jim Bruns founder of CatFish Bay

Picture perfect deep water start.  I like to make sure all my students fully understand the technique before trying it on the water.  Chris did exactly that and was successful on his first attempt on barefoot water skiing on the boom.

Chris, preparing for his 1st attempt on his Feet.

1st time Chris Barefoot Water Skis!

Learning Butt Control. I tell all my students to have full control on their butt before placing their feet into the water

Super clean front toe hold for just learning it!

Jason Wallen performing a sweet Back to Front. As you can see he is loaded on his pivot foot. When we lets go of the handle his left foot taps the water causing a small divot in the water which then catches his right foot/pivot foot. He got lucky though. Work on staying on the pivot foot to compete the turn smoothly.

I ask Adam if he would show me a flip off the shore line kicker and he did just that!

Thank you Catfish Bay for all your support!  It’s great coming back year after year and seeing everyone continually improving!

Keith St.Onge

Surface Turns on my Bare Feet!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Turns are a BIG part of barefoot water skiing. Before you can even begin to learn turns, you must learn all of the basics. I had to have all of my one foots and toe holds down. Swampy told me I had to be able to trick over 2000 points without doing turns. My trick run would be toe up, toe hold, toe hold, 360 tumble to 1, 360 tumble to 1, one foot, one foot, hop, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 2, then I would do a back deep, get into line step position and do one foot, one foot, hop, (get out of line step) back toe hold, back toe hold. All of the basics really help with turns, especially the front and back toe holds. Once you have mastered the basics and are solid with it all, you are ready for turns. The reason you must learn the basics first is so that you do not pick up any bad habits, because bad habits are very hard to break. It’ll be easier if you just learn the right way.

My first front-to-back came as a real shock. About four days before I did it, I had worked nothing but back toe-holds and line step position. I was already solid on my front one foots and toe holds. After finally getting my line step, one, one, hop, back toe, back toe, I was able to start learning turns. I had done turns on the WBC shoe skis before, but it was a long time ago, and they weren’t consistent. One morning, A.J. and Ben took me out for a set of turns on the WBC shoe skis, and it went very well. My basic front to back was my best turn out of all four of them. For the rest of that day I had just kept working turns on the shoe skies.

The next day, Swampy and A.J. took me out to try a couple turns on my feet; just to get the feel of them. As I jumped in the water, A.J. told me that turning on your feet and turning on the shoe skis are not much different. He also told me not to over think it, because once you start to think about it, you’re not going to make it. So I got up and just pictured myself on the shoe skis. I turned with my pivot foot and made my first front to back. I had made it on my first attempt. I was so shocked and didn’t know what to think, say or do, so I just floated in the water laughing. I was SPEECHLESS and EXCITED!! As soon as I made that turn, I was so surprised that I looked at the camera, as I was skiing backwards, and said something I probably shouldn’t have. Once I had made the first one, I tried a few more, but failed the rest. Two days later, I went out with Ben and Brody Meskers and made two more front to backs and my first back to front. One of the main things that help THE MOST is to just not think about it; just do it. I want to thank Swampy, A.J., Ben, Keith and Dave for a fun week and teaching me all that they did!

By: Chandler Cargile Chandler Cargile makes Front to Back!