Posts Tagged ‘Winter Haven’

Keith St.Onge “TIES” Ron Scarpa’s National Overall Titles

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Read about Keith St.Onge in the local news.  Just click on The Ledger link below.

www.THELEDGER.com

Breaking Ron Scarpa’s record of National Overall titles has been a dream of mine since he retired in 2005.  I had beaten Ron Scarpa at six Nationals before his retirement and I never thought the record could be broken until I received my seventh National Overall Title.  I would have to win seven more titles and I had a few tough competitors like Lane Bowers and AJ Porreca.  Lane Bowers was showing sings of retiring and his strong event was jumping, which was my weakest event and that put me in a bad position for the Overall.  I was able to hold off Lane in the 2006 Nationals but it wasn’t an easy one…”he kept me honest!”  is the least I can say.

Keith St.Onge & Lane Bowers

L-R, Keith St.Onge & Lane "Dawg" Bowers competing against each other many years prior.

AJ Porreca was a young man climbing the ladder quickly in the sport with the help of my coach Swampy and I.  He was showing signs of being the next US super star!  He was skiing so good and I was being pressured not to make one little mistake!  Otherwise, he would slide in for the Overall Title.  Granted, he still had a lot to learn but again, I was being kept honest.

AJ Porreca the 2012 Open Pro Trick Champion, left - Keith St.Onge

2010 was a breakout year for AJ and he became the forth person in history to score over 11,000 points.  He stood up incredible trick runs at the 2010 Nationals again putting pressure on me.  He came runner up to me in the tricks event.

In 2011 he again put a great score on the board.  In 2012 he skied great in choppy water conditions.  He skied about 7,500 points from what we gathered before my run.  I knew what I needed to beat him and fell about 3/4 of the way through my first pass.  Coming back I was bouncing all over and thought how in the heck am I going to beat him?  I needed at least two back to back 360’s and two 720 back to backs.  I got through my 360’s miraculously and now it was time to pray for the next two tricks.  I started my first 720 and instantly caught sideways.  I knew AJ had beaten me in tricks for the first time in his career.  I was happy for him and taking second place to him was an honor.  When he received his first place medal he got a standing ovation!

All I could concentrate on was landing a jump to secure my 13th Overall Title, which would tie Ron Scarpa.  I was able to land my first jump to secure the title but winning these titles has not been an easy task.

As my body gets older and my mind becomes wise I can’t wait to surpass the legends record of 13 Overall National Titles.  Everyone keeps asking me how many more Nationals will I be skiing in the future but all I can think about is winning one at a time for now.  One more will break the record and that’s what I’ll focus on.

By: Keith St.Onge

Finding your Passion

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

This world and our lives are all about people!!  Helping others, serving others and always believing you can do it.  I look up to many top athletes and I know many people that look up to me.  Meeting people and seeing their achievements only help our own personal growth!

Back in 2009, Judy Myers had a segment on the Today Show and the husband of Karen Putz forwarded the segment to her.  She saw this 66-year-old woman barefoot water skiing.  Karen had not barefoot skied in two decades due to losing her hearing while taking a barefoot water skiing fall.  Her family had a rare gene; if they hit their head hard on something it would cause them to lose their hearing.  Her sister tripped on a throw rug, hit her head on the floor and lost her hearing just like that, and her brother also lost some hearing from barefooting.

Karen contacted Judy Myers, and in no time was down at the World Barefoot Center ski school in Winter Haven, Florida in the spring of 2010.

Judy Myers helped Karen Putz pursue her passion for Barefoot Water Skiing

I got Karen to barefoot water ski again for the first time in twenty years.  After her second visit just two weeks later, Karen asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  I told her I would like to be a keynote speaker.  She immediately asked me if I would ever be interested in writing a book.  “Funny you ask.” I said.  I began writing a book with my cousin Matt, but we had too many other things going on and the project never took off.  After Karen went home, we continued our discussion about writing a book. “I would be interested in writing your book.” Karen said without hesitation.  We discussed it some more and decided we could do it.

Two and a half years later, we have the book nearly complete.  Just imagine the communication barrier!  My hat is off to Karen on this one.  I had to speak to an interpreter over the phone.  The interpreter would then sign what I was saying to Karen and Karen would type out what I was saying.  Wow, made for some interesting conversations to say the least, haha!

The Book, "Gliding Soles" Lessons from a Life on Water

The book should be released in September on Amazon.com   Here is a great video below on Karen, with a small plug for the book called “Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water.”  Gliding Soles Barefoot Camp was the name of my first barefoot ski school.

Visit the link below to view the video on Karen Putz & Keith St.Onge:

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Axtell-Deaf-Barefoot-Skier-Overcomes-Adversity-165939516.html

By: Keith St.Onge

www.keithstonge.com

Michigan Clinic w/ the YoungBlood’s

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I’ve known Jim Youngblood from my younger years when I wasn’t so disciplined. He reminded me I once ordered a Mountain Dew with Vodka one night out to eat when I thought I was invincible. I have grown up quite a bit since then and I was so excited when Jim asked me to do a clinic, for several reasons. One, I knew he had a great site. Two, his daughter Alex visited the ski school this spring and at the ripe age of ten was passionate about the sport and learning extremely fast! Three, it would be great to reconnect with Jim after many years. I wanted to help them out as much as I possibly could. Working with young, motivated and talented kids gets my heart pumping for the sport! Not that I don’t like working with mature skiers but the young are the future of our sport ; ).

Alex Youngblood hammering away her Front Toe's

Jen and her father came over from the Chicago area and it was great to work with them as well. Jen is learning quickly and get this, she would rather go backwards than forwards. She’s a smart cookie because barefooting backwards is easier than barefoot skiing forwards. Mostly due to skiing on the larger part of your foot backwards and being able to use your toes with the ability to lean away slightly. Make sure to start learning the backwards start literally days after learning how to barefoot ski forward.

Jenny figuring out her front one foot!

I had to push Jen to work on front one foots but check out the sweet picture of her riding a super clean one footer!
70 years young making it look easy on the glass conditions we had for three days straight!

Ben came over from Illinois and for 70 Years young skied up a storm! Great time!

Nice sequence of Katie learning her front barefooting Start.

Katie in the Start position

Katie Learning the butt ride

Success!!

Katie was skiing for three days with us and her progression was perfect!  Katie is also ranked #2 in the Nation as a Jr. Female GS snow skier.

Katie & Alex staying warm in the early morning

Girls having fun in the perfect weather we had!

Katie’s dad, Mike, showing the girls he can learn new tricks too! Forth attempt looking clean!

Mike White doing a sweet toe hold on the WBC Shoe Ski. Forth try and he's rock'n it!

I’m taking a picture of Katie’s dad taking a picture of his daughter getting up on her feet for the first time ever behind the boat! Congrats on that one young lady!

Katie's first time up Long Line! Yahooooo!

I would like to thank Jim and his family for welcoming me into their house.  The clinic was a success and I hope I can see everyone reach their goals that participated in the clinic.  I put my heart and soul (Sole) into everyone I teach and it’s great to see people achieve things they thought they could not do or at least achieve things more easily with my help.

KSO, Alex & Jim YoungBlood

The World Barefoot Center takes pride in our instruction on the road doing clinics or at our facility in Winter Haven, FL, which is only fifteen minutes from LegoLand.

By: Keith St.Onge

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

Winter Wonderland in Florida

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Does your lake look like this:

If so, you might want to head down to the World Barefoot Center:

Yes, I know you’re not used to seeing that big ball of fire in the sky during the winter months.  If you do see it, it’s not quite close enough to keep the ice off the lakes or snow off the ground!  That’s why we stay so busy at the ski school during the winter months– Northerners are escaping their frozen tundra to enjoy a little warmth and flat water.  Visit the World Barefoot Center to break up your long winter.  Just a few days on the water in the middle of winter will help keep the balance of barefoot water skiing fresh, before spring rolls around.

Don’t forget to visit LegoLand located in Winter Haven, Florida, just minutes from the ski school.  Look forward to skiing with you!!

By: Keith St.Onge