Posts Tagged ‘towers’

Clinic With Dave Packard in Massachusetts with David Small

Monday, September 10th, 2012

After the World Barefoot Championships in Waco, TX I had a 2 day clinic with Dave Packard in Massachusetts. We stayed at Daves place is Mass but drove to a lake just in side the Connecticut boarder to ski due to Daves lake that he lives on having a restriction where you cannot head out before 10am…. Very civilized if you dont want to ski 😉 It was a beautiful lake and even though we had strong winds the water conditions were great. I didn’t get any pictures of skiers as it was raining the whole time and I had coat upon coat on trying to stay warm and as dry as i could be. Dave had everything ready to go…. BI Boom, Tower, WBC shoe skis, everyone had good wetsuits, handles and ropes and he even had his own Head Zone Helmets which is great to see them being used outside of the ski school!!

First morning before the rain started ;)

We used Daves Master Craft for most of the first day and when we were out of gas in that we used an older Ski Centurian which brought back great memories. When I first started getting coaching back in the UK I skied at Bomere which is in Shrewsbury with Tim Hodgkins behind his Centurian. Really good to be in one again.

Some of the crew out for sushi

Even with the rain the guys made the clinic great fun and i don’t think we stopped laughing for the whole 2 days I was there.
Hope to see you all again soon.

David
AKA Small’z

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

South Carolina Clinic with David Small

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

I have been going to Mr Meekes place for the last few years and this year was certainly no disappointment. We had glorious weather and glass water for the full 5 days and a lot of amazing skiing came from it. Ron is still working out in the gym like a mad man and is now competing in Iron Man competitions so he is in the best shape of his life which made him skiing 5 days straight a breeze. His slalom came on a lot, especially backwards as did his front and back toe holds along with a nice toe up and perfecting his turns. He had a little stretch in his hammy mid way through the week which slowed him down a little bit but he battled on and pushed through it so way to go with that Ron!!

Boat crew one day

Saun Sheeley is also a trooper. He ended up cutting his foot open so the decision was made to make a redneck solution for the problem….. lol. Shaun did great with everything backwards once he figured out how to ski with his knees bent and together….. we could drive a truck between his legs sometimes even when his feet were together 😉 His turns were looking very stable as well by the end of the week.

Shawn Sheely with his foot protector in place

As always we ate like kings with everyone getting treated to Rons cooking skills for lunch however this year we didn’t get to sample Rons Famous Cheesecake…. Fingers crossed next year we can see one again.

Wade Masters sporting a new hair doo

Wade Masters payed us a visit and skied up a storm for the day he was there where we worked a lot on his surface turns.
We had a new chick come to the clinic (Ashley) which was nice to see and although she was only there briefly she listened very well, learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Hopefully Ashley will come back next year and have a couple of days booked so we can really push on with her skiing.

Jim Miller peeing in his suit again ;)


Jim Miller also had some ski time with us and is progressing well. Great to see you Jim!

On the way back to the lake after getting picked up we drove past a Drop Zone so Ron was kind enough to stop and I managed to get a jump in :)

SC skydive. Kitted up and ready to go

About a week after I left Rons place I received an email from Ron saying that he liked Charlie so much he had gone out and bought himself a little black toy poodle…… I cannot wait to see the little guy!!

Rons new little toy poodle

I had a great week there again and I will look forward to seeing everyone again next year!!!

Written by ; David Small …. AKA Small’z

David Smalls second trip to Austria

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Austria … the second visit.  It had been 2 weeks since I was last in Austria and I was happy to find that the weather had warmed up a little bit as well as the forecast showing that we weren’t going to get rained on all week :) Andreas Rektenvelt picked me up at the airport along with his daughter and her friend.  I had a very interesting trip over as I had got lumbered with taking a super fly high over as well as some barefoot suits and shoe skis.  This involved me trying to lug around a 6 foot long very heavy box around Orlando, Manchester and Viennas airports….. I got my daily exercise that is for sure.  I walked out side Viennas airport to see Andreas getting a parking ticket as he was trying to get as close to the doors as he could….. thanks Andreas :)

Karting the fly high through the airport

This week clinic was held in Walsee at the Wimmers ski site where the 2002 World Championships were held and as this was where I won my first World Overall Title it held good memories for me to be back.

All week we had Andreas skiing along with Stefan Wimmer and his elder brother, George, that is getting back in the sport after a short break.

The boys

As the Stefan and Andreas are attending the World Championships this Summer in Waco, Texas their training for the week started with a lot of getting their base tricks down so that they were confident with their base trick runs and making their jumping along with their front and back one foot wake crossings clean and consistent.  Once this was achieved we moved the training on to developing new skills in order to increase their scores in each discipline.

Stefan showing his mad skills

As George had taken a lot of time off from competitive skiing we spent a lot of time going back over his basic tricks. When I say basic, we worked the kinks out on his front and back one foots and toe holds and then got right on to his surface turns which came back to him very quick ……. on one afternoon the wind blew straight down the pipe which made it almost impossible to ski so George got the pleasure of going on a 100 foot line on shoe skis directly behind the boat and got to practice his backward one foots and toe holds…… Needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular person that afternoon. lol.

George Junior

If any of you that are reading this have hung out with me for any period of time you wil know that I use my phone a lot to take pictures and then upload them to the Tinternet, for your enjoyment, on the World Barefoot Centers Facebook or my own personal page.  Well, while we were out having some great ski time the Austrian weather decided to surprise us with a nice hail storm. As the people in the boat were dry and warm at that point we rushed back to the dock and got out of the boat as fast as humanly possible to avoid, not only getting wet but also getting beat on by hail stones, and as I jumped out of the boat I heard a …. splash.  Thinking nothing of this we all ran up to the club house where we made coffee and i got my phone out to use the Wifi to upload some of the pictures of the day on to my computer……….. phone wasn’t to be seen :(  As the river was 4 and a half meters deep, cold and murky, efforts to retrieve the phone by swimming down failed miserably.  As far as we were all concerned it was bye-bye iPhone. The next day Andreas turned up with the full scuba gear so i geared up, swam down and after a short while after over 15 hours of the poor phone been submerged in water and sitting in the mud it was retrieved…… happy days :0  For the next 6 days the phone sat in a bag of rice trying to dry off and when i fired it back up while plugged in to the computer……… IT WORKED!! I could retrieve all my info, pics and anything else on the phone and it actually worked while plugged in to a power supply but the battery was dead.   Don’t worry, i have a new one so the pics will keep coming 😉

Finding the phone

I had another great week out there with the Austrian Team, they skied amazing and made me feel very at home.  I will be looking forward to seeing you all in Texas this Summer where you can all show off your mad skills.

Was a little bit chilly

O, Andreas and I also managed to get a skydive in over there on the final day while we were on the way to the airport. We rocked up expecting at least a building……. what we got was a white van pull up 45 mins late, a guy hobble out with a broken leg and then the rigs all piled up in a jungle of stuff in the back.  Interesting would be a good way to describe it but the jumps went well and we are still here. Good times :)

Austrian skydiving..... lol

Written by David Small

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

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