Posts Tagged ‘water skiing’

Kailey Koehler: Freeze 4 Life

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Most people who live in the Midwest go into hibernation in the winter months and dream about the warm summer months and skiing out on the lake all day. Up until about 6 years ago I followed this trend and just wished that I could be out on the lake in the winter. Fortunately I have been given the opportunity to do what most people think is absolutely insane. I have participated in a charity event called Freeze4Life since it started. It is an event that is held at the marina where I work called Gage Marine. A group of us determined and anxious water skiers all gather together on the first week of December to ski in the brisk cold Lake Geneva.

This year was the coldest it has ever been, but luckily it wasn’t snowing. The temperature of the air was around 9 degrees. Usually I like to barefoot at this event, but this year it was way to cold. I worked up the courage to go swivel skiing with a goal to not get my hair wet. As soon as I was done skiing I jumped right into the hot tub that was out on the pier. I then warmed up by the fire then hopped right back I the boat to spot while everyone else went skiing. When I pulled the rope in it was completely frozen and stiff while the boat had icicles hanging from the rub rail. Some people say that I am crazy, but I had a great time for a great cause. At the end of the day it’s all about gathering together as a waterski/barefoot community and freezin for a reason.

By: Kailey Koehler

World Barefoot Center on Life Recharged

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Check out the World Barefoot Center on Life Recharged:

Female show with Karen Putz:

Male show with Keith St. Onge:

The Tommie Copper TV segment can also be found on cable. Check your cable station for local dates and times.

Joey Tombers: Show Skiing and Barefooting

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

When I first started show skiing it was looked at as an opportunity to ski more and learn about the sport of waterskiing. That is about when I heard about barefooting and three event tournaments. These really got me motivated to advance in the sport and make it a passion.

I ski with the Twin Cities River Rats in Minnesota and the support from the team in my barefooting adventure is unreal. I am always getting congratulated and they are always helping me get better at what I do even if it is as simple as boat time. Show skiing is also a time to show off, as the name implies, the skills that my team and I have put together for an audience. I think that is the big difference between barefooting and show skiing. I barefoot for myself and rely on only me for everything I do in order to beat myself in my goals and overcome obstacles. I show ski for the crowd and entertainment of others while also relying on my team to put on a good show.

What is not different about either sport is the passion that the skiers have for what they do. All I can say is that in every other sport I have played the mission is to tear each other down and beat the other person but in any form of waterskiing I have competed in, it is the exact opposite; the mission is to help each other reach to their full potential.

By: Joey Tombers

Fundraiser for USA Water Ski

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

USA Water Ski

Want a new D3 Quest Ski? How about a half-day training session with world barefoot champion Keith St. Onge or U.S. water ski athlete Scot Ellis?

USA Water Ski is holding an online auction to benefit the organization’s growth initiatives. Visit www.32auctions.com/usawaterski to register and participate. The auction ends at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, Aug. 17.

Other items you can bid on include: 7-day stay in a SunSplash Vacation Home with pool In Central Florida, Cobra Xtreme HD video cameras, Connelly Skis Softy Stand Up Paddleboard, EZ Ski Trainer, HO Couture Freeride with Double Basis, Hobie Polarized Sunglasses, Honu Sandals, PTM Edge PCC-140 Combo Pack with 140-degree mirror, and WOW World of Water Sports XO Xtreme Towable.

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

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

Winter Haven lock opens which gives the WBC 24 lakes to choose from…

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The World Barefoot Center runs the biggest and best Barefoot Waterski school in the water ski capital of the world…… Winter Haven, Florida. The ski school primarily runs on Lake Conine, Rochelle, Smart and Haines but with Lane Bowers staying on the south lakes of Winter Haven and Paul MacDonald of Ron Scarpa Watersports going out of business this has opened up more lakes for us to use. The city of Winter Haven has 45 fresh water lakes with 24 of them connected together by canals for very easy access between the chain of lakes. As the WBC is located on the chain of lakes there is no trailer needed and we now have access to the full 24 lakes with the help of the new lock system that has been built.

Rocking up to the lock

Driving in to the lock

The lock filling up

Leaving the lock

This lock system has being in the plans for a while but now that it is completed we can simply drive the boats up to it, press a button and drive in, press another and one side closes, the lock fills up and we are through to the main chain. If the mood takes us we can even take a little trip through the lakes down to Lego Land and watch their ski show from the tire wall out on lake Eloise. Having all of these lakes at our disposal, together with the top 4 ranked skiers in the World working at the school, the best Barefoot boats, BI towers, fly highs and booms and a boat full of shoe skis and US gear handles and lines we are a force to be reckoned with.

Going through to some new lakes

Written by David Small

Small’z

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

1st Barefoot Clinic Stop in South Carolina

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

The trip started of with an interesting leg as Charlie (my toy poodle) came with me and it was his first flight.  Fortunately he is a great traveler and did not make a peep the whole way so we were clear sailing.

Ron Meeks, the clinic organizer, met me at the airport and took me to his place on the lake.  This is probably the most organized clinic I have ever been to as when I arrived Ron had a spread sheet there with the whole week planned out with who is coming, what we are having for lunch and dinner for the week and anything else you could imagine.

The first day started off with this water and pretty much continued throughout the week! …

There were a few days where we had some chilly weather which made it a little more difficult to get motivated to get in the water and learn something new.

Then there were also days where a lot of sun cream was needed 😉

One of the skiers, Shawn, has a plane not to far away so on one of the evenings we took a little trip to see the local area and to get an arial view of the set up we were using…  Cheers Shawn!!

I had a great week there and all the skiers learned so much including Ron Meeks doing some surface turns on his feet for the first time and sorting his back wakes, Becky learning her toe holds and getting better at backwards, Jim Miller learning backwards long line, Mark rocking turns out as well as some great slalom and much much more but it would take too long for me to mention.

Everyone skied a lot and resorted to taking small naps in-between sets :)

O, there were also these bugs that only came out ever 13 years, mated and then died within a couple of weeks (kinda cool) and we also came across a snake trying to eat birds under a bridge….