Posts Tagged ‘World Barefoot Center’

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.

Johnathan Martines: Getting Out of the Comfort Zone

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Many people, especially those who are involved in sports, love staying in their comfort zone and not experimenting with new ideas and techniques. This past summer, one of these people was me. Every day, I would go out and work on multiple turns with the master coach himself, Swampy Bouchard.

“Bend your knees! Turn slowly! Stay on your foot!” were phrases I heard so often from the mouth of Swampy that I’m pretty sure I even began hearing them in my
sleep. No matter how many times I was told to do these seemingly simple tasks, I would still
stick to my old bad habits.

One morning before many of the ski school students came, Swampy took Ben, Ash, and
me out for a tricks set. After being told to bend my knees for the thousandth time and still not
executing, I jumped in the boat. Swampy simply said, “We will have a date at lunchtime.” I
knew this couldn’t be good.
Around lunchtime, Swampy took me out all by myself. For what seemed like forever, I
did turn after turn after turn in the summer heat. After about an hour on the water, breakthroughs
started being made. All of a sudden, I was nailing multiple sequences and trick runs I was never
able to previously do.
For the rest of that summer, I tried to make the changes needed for me to improve and
my skiing started improving rapidly. This simple event showed me how important it is to make
changes in order to improve. I realized that changing, without fearing the consequences, was the
key to improving in the sport, and if I stayed in my comfort zone, I would be a 4000-5000 point
tricker for the rest of my life.

Many people, especially those who are involved in sports, love staying in their comfort
zone and not experimenting with new ideas and techniques. This past summer, one of these
people was me. Every day, I would go out and work on multiple turns with the master coach
himself, Swampy Bouchard. “Bend your knees! Turn slowly! Stay on your foot!” were phrases I
heard so often from the mouth of Swampy that I’m pretty sure I even began hearing them in my
sleep. No matter how many times I was told to do these seemingly simple tasks, I would still
stick to my old bad habits.
One morning before many of the ski school students came, Swampy took Ben, Ash, and
me out for a tricks set. After being told to bend my knees for the thousandth time and still not
executing, I jumped in the boat. Swampy simply said, “We will have a date at lunchtime.” I
knew this couldn’t be good.


Around lunchtime, Swampy took me out all by myself. For what seemed like forever, I
did turn after turn after turn in the summer heat. After about an hour on the water, breakthroughs
started being made. All of a sudden, I was nailing multiple sequences and trick runs I was never
able to previously do.
For the rest of that summer, I tried to make the changes needed for me to improve and
my skiing started improving rapidly. This simple event showed me how important it is to make
changes in order to improve. I realized that changing, without fearing the consequences, was the
key to improving in the sport, and if I stayed in my comfort zone, I would be a 4000-5000 point
tricker for the rest of my life.

By: Johnathan Martines

Lizzie Rhea: Thanksgiving, Barefooting, Toe-holds, and Earrings

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

This Thanksgiving, I made a list of 105 things that I am thankful for in my life. God’s love for me, Jesus, family, friends, barefooting, and finally getting my ears pierced were all at the top of my list.

Let me tell you how barefooting helped me get my ears pierced! I had been begging my parents to let me pierce my ears for years, but they said I had to wait until I was 12. This past summer, however, my Daddy decided to use it as motivation to learn back toe-holds.

I had never tried back toe-holds and did not even want to try them. One day, my Daddy said, “If you get both back toe-holds on the boom, you can get your ears pierced.” He thought it would take me a long time, so he wasn’t worried about promising me something so big. Anyway, I jumped at the chance!

I was very determined that I was going to do it that same day and I did! I focused very hard and I believed I could do it. That helped me a lot. I fell so many times and it really hurt, but I finally got it on my good foot. My bad foot took much longer because it felt so different and it was harder to balance. I just kept thinking about those earrings though, and I worked even harder to get it.

I wanted those earrings so much that I learned both back toe-holds the same day my Daddy made the deal with me. He really did not want me to get my ears pierced so soon (at 10 years old), but he was so happy, excited, and proud of me that he didn’t care! I was very happy too!

I am thankful for my wonderful Daddy, barefooting, and my ears being pierced now! I even have some little silver footprint earrings! It was a fun experience, and a good lesson that you have to work hard for something you want.

By: Lizzie Rhea

Holiday Gifts for Barefoot Water Skiers

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Check out our Holiday Gifts for Barefoot Water Skiers
in the World Barefoot Center Pro Shop!

Click here:

Holiday Gift Bundles

Collin Barber: Christmas Break at the World Barefoot Center

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

The first time I went down to  the World Barefoot Center was over the Christmas Holiday Break in 2011. Every year my family and I would go to Florida for our Christmas Break and usually on one day of the trip, my dad, my little brother, and I would go to a ski school to barefoot. Well during this trip, we were getting ready to plan our annual trip when the ski school told us they would be closed on the only day we could go. My brother and I were relieved because let’s be honest… Vacation time was to relax and have fun. And barefooting was work. I liked barefooting at the time, but not enough to do it on vacation every year!

Of course, my dad called around and eventually got on the phone with the WBC. When my dad asked if they would be open, it was Swampy I’m sure who answered, “Yes sir, we’re open 365 days a year”. And despite the groans from me and my little brother, we were off to the World Barefoot Center.

That day was absolutely FREEZING for Florida. I remember I couldn’t believe how cold the water was. Despite the cold, we skied throughout the day. My goal was to work on getting up backwards. My dad wanted to clean up his front position. And my little brother’s goal was to get up backwards too. My dad ended up skiing only in the morning. My little brother ended up skiing one set because it was so cold. I ended up skiing the whole day though and I managed to accomplish much more than backwards. I learned how to do front toe-holds too. I didn’t even know what that was until that day. And I couldn’t believe I learned how to do it!
Even though I was dreading going to a ski school over Christmas Break, I learned a lot in that one day and started a passion that will continue. If it wasn’t for that one day, I would’ve never gone back multiple weeks to ski, improve, and become a sponsored skier. That one day showed me a whole new world of waterskiing and shaped my life so much in the long run. I definitely wouldn’t change any of it.

Collin Barber

Will Rhea: My First Barefoot Tournament

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

My Dad taught me to barefoot water ski when I was 7 years old.  I loved to play around on the boom and try new things.  Wakeboarding was my favorite though, until I discovered the cool barefooting videos on YouTube.  By the time I was 10,  I was watching barefooting videos all of the time, and wanted to try everything I saw in those videos.

My sister and I became interested in learning 3 event last summer, while watching the WBC livestream of Nationals and Worlds in Texas.  We decided to go to the WBC to learn how to do it.  We spent 10 days there this summer.  The WBC instructors taught us so much, my sister and I decided to try our first tournament at the end of July.
The tournament was the Southern Regionals, and it was held at Lake David, in Groveland, Florida.  At first I was a little nervous, but it got better after I watched a few competitors skiing.  It also helped that my sister, Lizzie, went before me.
I did the slalom event first.  I scored a 7 doing front one foot slalom.  I had not learned to go on one foot backwards yet, so I did the back slalom on two feet.  My total score was an 8.5.

The next event was tricks.  I fell getting up, but was very lucky that the judges gave me a re-ride.  I did a forward and a backwards run, doing all of the tricks I had learned, in time.  My score in tricks was a 1500.  After tricks, we took a break and ate pizza.

Next, it was time for jumping.  I had just learned to jump the day before the tournament, so I was a little nervous.  I missed the first jump, but landed the second.  I tried to go big on the third one, but missed again.  I ended up with a 7.9 in jump, but everyone congratulated me.

After the tournament, Mr. Mike Holtz treated everyone to dinner at a Mexican restaurant down the street.  It was awesome, and everyone was so nice.  I enjoyed the Southern Regionals very much, and plan to go back.  My first tournament was a great experience, and I look forward to many more.

Jackson Gerard: Rising Early to Barefoot Water Ski

Monday, November 11th, 2013

It’s a quiet, foggy morning in the heart of central Florida. The sun won’t be peaking its radiance above the treetops for another half hour, but the dog and my ten-year-old son, Jackson, are already awake and sneaking out of the house. Why would a mother allow her child to beat her out of the bed and leave the house before she has even opened one eye?

“Mmmm.”  I smell coffee so I open an eye and find a fresh pot waiting for me. Mornings like these are my favorite. I make a cup and head to the porch to sip and catch a glimpse of my baby practice his newest barefoot trick. Even though I cant see him yet, I can hear the boat and can tell if he is making progress. I listen to my husband offering pointers and patiently turning our boat around to try again.

Jackson learned how to barefoot this past summer by straddling a kneeboard behind our boat. Not the easiest trick, but that is how his dad learned and we don’t have a ski boat with a boom.  It took him about a dozen tries over the course of two days, but he did it. Then he did it again and again and again. Before we knew it, he was barefooting 1000 feet.

After posting a video of his new skill on Facebook, a friend contacted me to tell  me that the best barefoot school in the world is located in Winter Haven, just a 30-minute drive away. I met with Swampy and signed Jackson up for a half day lesson. Of course, after donning a protective barefoot suit,  footing behind a shining ski boat, and trying some tricks on a boom, he was hooked!

He now trains with an amazing staff of professionals. The experience of meeting such talented and wonderful people from all over the world is an opportunity of a lifetime.  On days he does not train at World Barefoot Center, his muffled yelps and whoops can be heard  in the distance among the soft chirps and croaks of the other early risers.

By: Joni Jackson

Jackson enjoys a toe hold during his 4th WBC lesson

Instant Scoring at Lake David Barefoot Tournament

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Lake David

Today, we will be having a local qualifying tournament at Lake David, in Groveland, FL. We will trialing a new scoring update system, and be posting skiers directly after their run at this link:

http://web.groenz.co.nz/barefoot/combined.php

Check it out to see everyone does today!

What to Expect When Visiting the World Barefoot Center

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

What can you expect when visiting the World Barefoot Center Ski School?

There is a good chance you will be greeted by smiling faces and a few licks from our furry, friendly dogs of course.  Boats, trailers, and cars will fill the driveway, no worries go ahead and park in the grass, everybody is doing it.

Wetsuits, padded shorts, heater shirts, and swimsuits will lined up hanging on the side of the carport.  Under the dripping we ski equipment are gas cans, lots of them.  Take a sharp right and you will see our Bunk house/laundry room.  Some students stay for a few nights and other months/years.  Continuing on into the screened in porch through the sliding glass door you have now arrived into the ski school house!

Go ahead and add your flip-flops to the massive pile.  If a boat crew isn’t out on the water, there is a good chance a group is in the living room watching video from that morning/evening/ day before critiquing the technique and talking about ways to perfect it.

If Swampy is around he will not be afraid to chime in and give his two cents.  Haha.  Swampy has been around this sport a long time; advice from him is nothing you want to ignore.

Moving along you can admire the humongous WBC logo that is painted on the wall.  A painting of Keith St. Onge and David Small barefooting fill up the rest of the wall.  Lining the ceiling is a band of flags from all over the world.  Skiers like to see their home county flag hanging at the ski school.  The best part of the house in my personal opinion is the signature wall.  Wowie it is getting full!  Over the last 3 years we have had every skier at WBC sign the wall.  We have young, old, first timers, professionals, and everything in-between.

Magazine covers, medals, photos and other memorabilia are spread out throughout the house, giving it a true ski school vibe. It is quite a sight to see.

Heading outside once again just a short walk across the lawn you will find the Pro Shop.  More medals and trophies glisten in the room.  The aroma of neoprene fills the air.  Circle racks filled with brand new barefoot suits, a variety of colors, styles, sizes.  T-shirts flourish in the display cubes, stickers, books, jewelry, ropes handles hats and anything else a barefooter wants is in the Pro Shop.

Step out into the sunlight and take a walk down the dock to see the beautiful Lake Conine.  The boat will be at the dock waiting to be used or buzzing down the shoreline with skiers learning new things.

Come and see for yourself! Take a ski or just visit us and say hello all are welcome at the World Barefoot Center.

Lauren St. Onge

Ted Baber: British Nationals

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The final British Nationals for 2013 was held at The Three Sisters Club in Wigan on a cold, cloudy September 7th. Never the less it didn’t put off the skiers to take to the water and show off what they have learnt throughout the season.

The first discipline was slalom, where the juniors showed great progression, demonstrating both back as well as front slalom. Charlie Long took out first place in the Junior Division. The Open class followed with myself and the other competitors skiing at our best. Only two competitors competed in the senior’s category, where Chris Coombs and Paul Turner took to the water. With Paul taking first place closely followed by Chris. Unfortunately afterwards the weather took a bad toll delaying the tricks event.

When the weather past over, all skiers showed great solid skiing. With the likes of Brad Beattie, Tom Heaps and Bibby Curtis demonstrating toe-holds and back one foots, but despite their efforts Charlie Long took first place in the juniors trick event as well. In the open class they showed similar solid displays, everybody skied well considering the conditions. Paul Turner secured first place in the seniors as well as second in the open class in the trick event.

Chris Coombs

In the jump event everyone took part from boom to long line, Charlie Long showing good inverts on the boom, again, gaining first place in the juniors. Paul and I were the only competitors jumping long line.


Overall Charlie Long took first place in the juniors, I took first place in the open class and Paul Turner took first in the seniors.

By: Ted Baber