Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

Lauren St. Onge: 2014 Barefoot Worlds Wrap Up

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

That’s a wrap. The Barefoot World Championships of 2014 Mulwala Australia is over. The success of the World Barefoot Center skiers is phenomenal, we are proud of each and every one of the team skiers. Your hard work, dedication and athleticism shined. The WBC has brought home a lot of hardware and smiling faces.

David Small: Open Gold Tricks & Gold Overall.
Keith St. Onge: Open Gold Slalom, Gold Jump & set a world record for Senior Jump.
Ben Groen: Open Bronze Jump and Silver Overall.
Ash-Kate Stebbings: Open Gold Slalom, Gold Jump, Gold Overall & set world records in Slalom and Jump!
Kenny Eissler: Junior Gold Jump
Will Rhea: Junior Bronze Jump
Kailey Koehler: Open Bronze Overall
Teri Jones: Senior Silver Tricks, Jump, and Bronze Slalom. Tricked a PERSONAL BEST! Yay!

Thank you to the LOC, officials from around the world and the Mulwala Ski Club for hosting, its many months, weeks, days and hours of preparation and we are appreciative.

The next Worlds location has been confirmed and it will take place in Alma Center, Wisconsin, USA.

The Heller family has a private lake and great property to host we are looking forward to another wonderful tournament.

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

Brody Meskers: My Footstock Experience

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The 2013 Footstock was unlike any other barefoot tournament I have been too.  No fly highs, No Barefoot Sangers, No waiting for good water.

This tournament is skier against skier, friend against friend.   Two  handles, two  ropes,  and one boat.  The objective of the tournament was to see who could hold on the longest being pulled in a Figure 8.  Even though it was a competitive tournament, it was fun to see all the different people  from so many different places.  This is a tournament that you really need to be in shape for.  By the end of the day Sunday, I was having to ski round after round from Open to Juniors. Each run was getting longer and longer in very rough water.  As the tournament neared the last few rounds I was exhausted and had to ski in the junior finals. Even though I came up one run short, I really felt a relieved– and was happy I skied the tournament. It was great to see so many people who shared the love of the sport of barefooting. And I even got to meet people I may be skiing with in the near future at WBC.  

See you soon, Max!

By: Brody Meskers

2013 Midwest Barefoot Regionals

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Just a little chilly...

It was a cold, rough, windy Midwest Barefoot Regional tournament on July 26 and 27 at the Blue Moo in Alma Center, Wisconsin.  Judging from the smiles on everyone’s faces, it was perfectly warm.


A calm moment at the Blue Moo

Joe Knapp's 36th year on the water

Tom Tocco and Alex Youngblood


Cody Heller at the Midwest Regionals

Amber Rangel's First Regional Jumping

Photo: Congrats dad on placing 3rd in slalom!

Patrick Blake

Photo: It was a bit cold at day 2 of the Midwest Barefoot Regionals...

Hey, it's July!

Photo: Definitely NOT the Southern Regionals. Only in the Midwest!

"Definitely not the Southern Regionals," says Scott Jones

Kailey and Ariana Koehler, "It's not cold!"

By: Karen Putz

Ten Back Barefooting in Madison

Monday, June 24th, 2013

On Father’s Day, June 16, twelve guys slipped into the water to get ready to barefoot backwards. The plan was for eleven of them to flip around on a ski and step off. Paul Stokes planned to step off and do a front-to-back. It took four attempts, one dislocated shoulder (Bob Mahnke left in an ambulance) and one fall, but ten guys barefooted backwards for what may be a World Record.

The stunt was the brainchild of Jeff Jacobson. “The purpose of this was for a Mad-City Team record,” said Jeff. “Everyone involved is either on the team, an alumni or from Madison. The average age of the guys was 43, ranging from the youngest at 32 to the oldest at 55.”

The boat crew contributed to the successful run with Don Heilman at the wheel, Dan Jaworski handling all the ropes and Sue Heilman capturing the photos.

The back barefoot team: Jeff Tash, Jim Larson, Paul Stokes, Eric Schulz, Kirk Schulz, Dan Wang, Scott Hamele, Beau Urban, Bob Mahnke, Michael Nowicki, and Scott Solberg.

Whether the ten-man line counts as a World Record or not is up for debate and subject to the Water Ski Federation approval. Thirty years ago at Sea World in Texas, a ten-man back barefoot line was recorded in this photograph:

Written by: Karen Putz

Chick Fest: The Barefoot Tournament for Girls and Women

Monday, May 20th, 2013


All over the world you will find a number of different barefoot tournaments, but there is one specifically that I find different from all the rest. The tournament I am referring to is called Chick Fest and it is for GIRLS ONLY! Chick Fest is hosted in Alma Center, Wisconsin at the Blue Moo. I have been going to this tournament since the first one in June of 2007. It is an awesome tournament that I hope we can keep going in the years to come.

Chick Fest is a great tournament for girls of all ages and skill levels to come to and have a good time. It is not a competitive tournament at all and very laid back. I like to think of it just as a fun picnic for girls to meet other female footers and get some water time. There is even a boom division for footers who are just starting out. Most recently, David Small has come to this tournament to drive and and teach some clinics. This gives all of the girls some professional instruction to improve any areas she may need help in.

At Chick Fest, any pressure from a typical tournament is taken away and you are surrounded by a great set of people. The atmosphere is great for all girls to be a part of and see what this sport is really about. I definitely encourage every Chick footer out there to attend this tournament!

~Ariana Koehler


Duct Tape Now Allowed at Footstock

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Footstock, the grandaddy of all Figure 8 tournaments, is now allowing the use of duct tape again– legally.   According to a recent article on the Waterski website:

One of the most controversial rule changes to this year’s event will be allowing skiers to use duct tape to protect the bottom of their feet. The rule change, which has been happening at smaller endurance tournaments, is in response to the growing number of competitors suffering severe burning of their feet due to the increasingly long runs. Last year’s runner-up Pete Fleck actually burned holes in his feet as a result of barefooting over 30 figure eights over the two day competition.

Gary and Dave Mueller posted a humorous debate about the use of duct tape in Footstock:  To Duct Tape or Not to Duct Tape?

Last year’s Footstock summary: Endurance Records Fall at Footstock

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman are heading up to Footstock.  Will they don the small piece of duct tape allowed?

Written by: Karen Putz

Our Second Home- Chetek Wisconsin

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Chetek, Wisconsin with the Chetek Hydroflites Water Ski Show Team

Barefooting Boys of Chetek. Let's take this same picture in five years time. That would be funny!

The Chetek Hydroflites take the cake when it comes to consistently booking in a clinic with me for the past 7 years in a row.  Working with the Hydroflites skiers and the clinic organizer Ryan Hayes has been easy which makes my life on the road smooth.  This week we had three days and the boats were full!  The interesting thing is that 95% of the skiers were under 12 years old.

Over the past few years the Hydroflite ski show has altered it’s ski show acts more towards barefoot tricks.  Oh and we aren’t talking about the old men, but young kids with talent and drive!  Barefooting is the Hydroflites strength and they use it well for tournaments.

We have some exciting news!  At the Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament 2011 three young boys scored the highest points compared to any other act in the Chetek Hydroflite show!  Congratulations to Brody Meskers with the back toe hold, back to front, Derek Buchman and Brandon Books for double front toe holds!  Boys, you have worked for it and done well!  It has been a pleasure training all of you!

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman