Posts Tagged ‘World Barefoot Center’

Johnathan Martines: Learning to Instruct

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

For the past 3 years, I have been spending my summers and the majority of my school breaks training at the WBC. Each time I went down, it was basically the same routine. I would usually ski all day and help out around the ski school with whatever needed to be done. My duties would include simple chores around the house like taking out the trash, vacuuming, and packaging orders.

This year, however, a new part of my journey in barefooting began. I began learning to instruct other skiers. I started out by watching Ben and Ash instruct a number of different students. I paid attention to the way they interacted with the person in the water and how they adjusted their instructing style when the skier was not responding.

Eventually, I began to instruct a select few students with either Ash or Ben in the boat.

For me, this wasn’t very difficult. If I had a question about anything or was unsure of myself, I could ask Ash or Ben and get the answer immediately. I usually instructed skiers who were working on intermediate tricks like back toes, line one foots, and slalom.

After instructing with a more experienced instructor in the boat, the moment of truth came, it was my turn to take out some skiers on my own. For me, this was extremely intimidating. Being that I’m still a teenager, many of the people that I was instructing were older than me. I felt intimidated and unsure of myself. Eventually Swampy sat down and had a talk with me. He had heard from a skier that I seemed unsure of myself. Swampy told me to believe in myself and to be confident and vocal while instructing.

I took this advice and acted on it. I started being more confident in my instructing and acting like a leader while in the boat. I started noticing that the skiers responded much better to the instruction when I was confident in what I was telling them.

Beginning the journey of learning to instruct this summer was awesome. It gave me more self-confidence and forced me to be more responsible. I was no longer responsible for only my own skiing, but I was also responsible for how the skier I was instructing was skiing. Without the help of everyone at the WBC, I would never have had the opportunity to learn to instruct. I am still a beginner when it comes to instructing, and I look forward to becoming a much better instructor over the upcoming years.

Johnathan Martines

Barefooting with the Legends

Monday, August 25th, 2014

On October 25th, an amazing event called “Legends.” This unique USA Waterski Foundation fundraiser allows the everyday skier to rub shoulders with the greatest water skiers of all time – the skiers who have shaped the sport into what it is today.

“Legends” is in its fourth year, but due to its incredible success with raising money for the USA Waterski Foundation, it has expanded this year to include barefooting and LD jumping for the first time.

The barefoot legends who are attending the event so far are Ron Scarpa, Mike Seipel, Peter Fleck, and John Gillette (who literally wrote the book on barefooting!). I have invited several other legends as well, so I will update you with the legend attendees as the event draws closer.

Here is how the barefoot event will run: On Saturday, October 25th barefooters who purchase a skier package will meet at WBC at 7:00am for registration, and will be on the water at 8:00am. Ron Scarpa and Mike Seipel are the instructors for the day, and each skier will spend half the day with both of them. In other words, if you ski with Mike in the morning, you will ski with Ron in the afternoon, and vice versa. Your morning and afternoon sets will be broken up with a lunch that will be provided at the WBC. The lunch kicks off what we are calling the “WBC Beach Party” because it is here that the other legends and people who purchase a non-skier package will congregate for the afternoon. The lunch/beach party will be a fun reunion for the legends and a great opportunity for skiers to meet and hang out with some legendary barefooters! At the end of the day, the barefooters will come together with the slalom skiers and LD jumpers for an awards banquet and dinner at the Fantasy of Flight.

For the record, “Legends” is an entire weekend filled with fun activities you can attend. On Friday night and Sunday afternoon there are activities taking place at the USA Waterski Headquarters….but for simplicity I will not explain them here.

Contact Teri Larson at the World Barefoot Center at (863) 877-0039 or check out the USA Waterski Foundation website to register or for more details.

Anyone who is participating in the “Legends” event has a few options to choose from. You can choose a skier package, non-skier package, Saturday banquet only, or you can donate auction items. The skier package includes access to allwater and land events being held from October 24th to 26th, a goodie bag, a tour of the Hall of Fame, and of course…a day of skiing with Mike and Ron.

WE HAVE 10 SPOTS FOR SKIERS…so get on it quickly if you want to ski! A non-skier package can be just as much fun as the skier package. Non-skier packages include a tour of the Hall of Fame, entry into the WBC beach party on Saturday, and admission to the Saturday night banquet. Tickets for the Saturday night banquet are also available. The USA Waterski foundation is also looking for silent auction items that people can bid on at the Saturday night banquet.

The USA Waterski foundation a subsidiary of USA Waterski that is responsible for funding the Waterski Hall of Fame and all of the waterski scholarships that are awarded to athletes every year. All proceeds for this event are
donated to the USA Waterski foundation. Therefore, “Legends” is a great event for a great cause. You won’t want to miss it! Register online ASAP to secure your spot!

Click here to register your spot in the boat!

Teri Larson

Barefoot Water Skiing DevinSuperTramp Video Goes Viral

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

A few months ago the WBC was contacted by Vooray and Devin SuperTramp.  This was and is a big deal.  If you aren’t aware Vooray is an extremely trendy clothing and accessory company their moto is Live Ride Play if that give you a better idea of how awesome the products they have to offer are! Drum roll please………. Now for Devin Graham AKA SuperTramp he is a YouTube video genius.  Devin has an eye for capturing exactly what he desires to shoot and the talent of using an array of major camera equipment. Now do you see why we were so excited to be in contact with these two phenomenal companies?  After some coordination everything was scheduled and the plans for a video were in the making.

Multiple boats, jetskis, drivers, skiers, plane and a pilot came together to create what is right now at this very moment the most viewed video on YouTube. “Barefoot Skiing Behind a Plane 4K Insane” is at the top of the Trending charts! The attention of Red Bull was grasped they commented on the video “These guys must have wings.”

Fox news called the ski school and interviewed Ben Groen then on the evening news showed some clips of the video.  They were amazed that something so unique existed. (trendy site) shared the link to the video and commented “WHOA” simply knowing that Mashable was impressed makes us happy!

Facebook Pages were especially impressed with the pushups on the water, and so are all their followers.  The comments are accumulating rapidly!

Geekologie is loving those push ups on water too!

A screen grab was posted to the CHIVE!!!  Yes, #10 on the list,  & again the next day #28 CHIVE ON!

Grind TV spreads the word of an interview with Ben Groen.

Articles and screen shots have been seen all posted worldwide! Thus far we have learned of these in the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Australia.

Here is what Daily Mail had to say, click for article HERE.

Sunny 100 Radio station gives the WBC barefooters props for coolness!

Facebook comments and shares are spreading like a wild fire; we can’t keep track of it any more.  We love that!

KSL news radio is giving a shout out to Devin, well deserved for his drive and talent.

Waterski Magazine gives Keith St. Onge a shout out, sharing the video to thousands.

You know those tiny waterproof cameras?!?! Yeah we are talking about GoPro, they have contacted us and they would like us to make an ALL GoPro video for them.  Okay twist our arm, count us in! Woo Hoooo!

With all this said we are extremely thankful for our strong community here at the WBC the years of working out, training, eating right and collaborating together with Vooray, Devin SuperTramp and all of the ski family, friends and fans.  We mean it from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU! None of this would be possible without all of you.

We all share a love for the sport of water skiing and because of each and everyone of you it has now been introduced to more people in the world than we can ever imagine.  Currently on YouTube over 1 MILLION views, talk about making an impact!

Keep on sharing this with others and we will keep you up to date on anything else exciting that occurs! Follow us on Facebook for the most up to date info. Cheers to over a MILLION!

Ski Ya Later!

Lauren St. Onge

Sam Meredith: Summer at the World Barefoot Center

Monday, July 21st, 2014


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.


Will Rhea: Learning Barefoot Turns

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The first time I went to the World Barefoot Center I was very anxious to learn turns. Swampy quickly put me in my place and told me that there was a strict progression to turns. I had to learn all four toeholds behind the boat, as well as the line step position. By the end of last summer, I was ready to learn, but it was October, so I did not have much time. My goal for this summer is to learn turns.

The first turn I tried back in October was with David Small, and he wanted me to try it on my feet. I fell on my first back to front, but landed my second one. He told me to try a front to back next, and I landed my first one. I did not realize at the time that it would not be as easy as it seemed on those first few turns!

The more I tried, the more I fell. After you take some falls, it starts to get in your head, and it causes you to be more defensive – which means more falls! Before turns, most things in barefooting came easy to me. I have come to the point now, however, that if I want to learn something new, I am going to have to take a lot of hard falls.

I also have to work a lot harder to keep a positive attitude. I have realized that without a positive attitude and mental toughness, you cannot succeed in barefooting. I know that I will have to stay confident and positive and be willing to learn from my mistakes and keep trying. Barefooting is not easy!

Will Rhea

Life at the World Barefoot Center

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Whether you’re brand new to barefoot water skiing or you’re an expert, we have a spot for you on the boat at the World Barefoot Center!

Here’s a peek inside a typical day at the WBC:

Workouts are optional.

Keith St. Onge in the Aberdeen, SD News

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I was lucky enough to have the Aberdeen News come out and take a few pictures of myself and my students while out barefoot water skiing at Mina Lake, SD.  I was doing a barefoot water ski clinic for the Aqua Addicts Show Ski Team this past week and it was a huge success!

To see the article and video click here

To see the pictures and students in the clinic click here:  Scott Schauer has been coming down to the World Barefoot Center Ski School for the past three years and it’s a pleasure to work with him on his own turf this time around.

Keith St. Onge on Mina Lake near Aberdeen, SD

Women’s Barefoot Week 2014

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Women’s Barefoot Week 2014

October 11 to 18, 2014

World Barefoot Center

Winter Haven, Florida

Grab your spot–this event happens just once a year at the World Barefoot Center–a week exclusively for the gals!

All skier levels are welcome, from beginner to expert. Ski half days or full days. Book one day or two, or all seven days.  Lunch is included.  It’s a week of fun, laughter, and barefooting!

Even the World Barefoot Center guys join in on the fun–you never know what they’ll turn up in!


Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn

(ask for the WBC discount)


15% off the WBC rate and all Pro Shop purchases

Lunch included!

Book your spot in the boat today!

Call: 863-877-0039

DevinSuperTramp, Vooray, and Barefooting

Friday, May 9th, 2014

It has been extremely exciting here at the World Barefoot Center. We have had the pleasure of working with Devin Graham AKA Devin Super Tramp for the Vooray apparel shoot. Wear your lifestyle and Live.Ride.Play is the Vooray motto and Devin has an amazing talent for filming that type of videos. As a young kid he would take his parents’ cameras and use them until they were destroyed. Over the years he has taken his filming to a new level and is the most popular guy on It is quite possible you have seen one of his videos and not realized it. We highly recommend checking out some of his work here: DevinSuperTramp on YouTube.

The past 3 days, the WBC crew has been ready and working before sunrise. We skied two locations, used 3 boats, a jet ski, and a plane. Yes, I said a PLANE!

We had the pleasure of teaching Devin and Todd the CEO of Vooray how to barefoot waterski and with limited time, these guys truly amazed us with their natural ability and determination to accomplish the task of barefoot waterskiing.

Devin barefooting

Todd barefooting

Devin stayed an extra day in order to shoot the plane scene. It is unbelievable footage! We are beyond excited to see what Devin creates. The video is due to come out in June. Keep an eye out for it!

Lauren St. Onge

World Barefoot Center with DevinSuperTramp and Vooray

Monday, April 28th, 2014

YouTube star, Devin Graham, AKA Devin Super Tramp and his crew are at the World Barefoot Center capturing crazy footage of our extreme sport for their next project with Vooray apparel with Todd Nyman.  New to Devin and Vooray? Check this out:

Human Slingshot

Follow Devin at:

DevinSuperTramp Website

DevinSuperTramp on Facebook

DevinSuperTramp on Twitter

DevinSuperTramp on Instagram

Vooray on Twitter

Vooray on Facebook

Vooray on Instagram

For an inside look at Devin and his passion for film: