Posts Tagged ‘world championships’

Jerry Kanawyer: Thank You, Swampy

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Displaying Jerry Kanawyer Aug 2010 (49 of 55).jpg

I will be traveling to Australia three weeks early, prior to the 2014 Barefoot Waterski World Championships. I will be training with Ken Derry,  hoping that some of his slalom skills will rub off on me lol. I met Ken back in 1990 when he trained behind my 1989 Barefoot Nautique, in preparation of the 1990 World championships.

I’m coming off my best year in slalom. I posted a personal best score of 16.6, which put me 2nd in the nation with only the legend Keith St.Onge having a better score. To my surprise the elite team needed a slalom score for the world championships. The event that rarely is ever needed.

As I reflect back two years ago, I remember Swampy telling me to concentrate more on slalom and less on jump.  Swampy, I took your comments to heart and it paid off. I’m going to say it… Yes, Swampy, you were right. Thank you for being a part of making a goal that I set out to achieve 25 years ago.

Jerry Kanawyer (Flipper)

2012 World Barefoot Water Ski Championships

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This years World Championships was held 2 weeks after the US Barefoot National championships at the same site provided by Stuart Parsons at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  A big thanks goes out to Stuart for putting both of these events on.  We all know that its a big job so we salute you :)

Areal view of BSR

If any of you reading this has ever been to BSR then you will know that it is probably one of the best water ski set ups in the World and it is very rare for the site to get blown out…. Throughout the week of Worlds we had the pleasure of a huge storm come around Florida and make its way towards Texas.  Fortunately it didn’t get quite over to us however it did bring wind to the site and there were a few occasions where both of the ski sites had white caps.  This made it interesting to say the least.

Opening ceremonies

The opening ceremonies were at BSRs new cable park and it was great to see so many different countries there especially Mexico and China which are new at the World Championships.  We were also shown a true texan show and got to see a shoot off……. interesting to say the least

2012 Medalists

Right after the opening ceremonies Worlds got under way. There were a lot of good skiing and having the live feed on the World Barefoot Centers website made it possible for fans, families and groupies (haha) to watch the skiing take place, real time.  All we need now is instant scoring ….. 😉

Team WBC

Here are the results for the Overall.

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Peter O’Neill

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgie Groen

Junior boys

1. Keenan Derry

2. Ben Franks

3. Ryan Jameson

Junior girls

1. Georgia Groen

2. Kailey Koehler

3. Courtney McDonald

Senior men

1. Kenny Derry

2. Dan Baumgartner

3. Peter Fleck

Senior women

1. Gizella Halasz

2. Steffi Kirsch

3. Teri Jones

For more results go to www.barefoot.org

On the Friday night Stuart put on another night Jump Jam but this year there was no beat your PB event.  With it being held along side a Worlds event meant that we had all of the top jumpers from around the world which made for a very exciting event!!!  There were a lot of spectators there for this event which made it even more exciting for the skiers.  The results were…

Elimination round of jump jam

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Ben Groen

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgia Groen

The closing banquet and prize giving was great to see as a huge hall was packed full of all the World wide skiers and spectators that had flown in from around the World to compete and to support the World Championships.

closing ceremonies

Well done to all of the competitors and a big thank you to the sponsors of the Worlds…  World Barefoot Center, Parsons Roofing, Sanger Boats, US Gear, BSR, Lake Elmo Sports

Written by David Small aka Small’z

Pre World Championship clinic in California with David Small

Monday, September 10th, 2012

After the US National Barefoot Waterski Championships there were 2 weeks leading up to the World Championships. I had booked a clinic in Sacramento with Mark Hobson the first week and then I was going to go down and train with Jerry Kanawyer at his place in Brentwood, which is where the 2013 US Barefoot National Championships are going to be held.
Marks lake is great to ski as its 3000 feet long with hardly any backwash and its a private lake. We had Joe Jacinto and his Wife Di come and do some skiing with us as well as Andy McCarville and Roy Cotterill. On the thursday we went down to Jerrys for a day so that myself and Mark could use Jerrys jump…. Mark went over it for the first time on his feet and I think its safe to say that he LOVED it and is hooked. Good man :)

3000 feet of glass in Sacramento, CA


Danielle showing us how its done at Diablo Shores in Brentwood, CA

Joe worked a lot on improving his backward one foots behind the boat as well as his toe hold and surface turns……. Check out his suit – I want one like this!!!!

Joes old retro suit


Di out on her feet :)

Di went out there on her feet and stood up easily on the boom with a good position even after getting a little put off by a hard fall a few weeks before…… Its easy when you open your eyes and breath every now and then ;)) Well done!!!!

Marks skiing had come on leaps and bounds since I saw him a few weeks previous to my arrival. He had been hitting the water hard and working on his fundaments so when I got there we pushed on with his backward slalom, nearly getting one foot wake. His from wakes rocked it out and his turns are looking really good. Keep up the good work Mark!! Marks wife only had a couple of weeks left till she was due to give birth to their second kid so thanks to Leigh for putting up with us footers :))

Goooooo Mark


Andy cracks me up! He wears goggles and a nose clip which in theory and in practice work wonders but they still look funny. He skied great with his slalom coming on a lot and generally cleaning up his skiing. I also managed to convince him to join me on a skydive at Lodi Skydive Center which was 10 mins down the road. He did his first tandem skydive and loved every minute of it.

Andy and myself kitted up for skydiving at Lodi

Roy cam over and also skied like a champ!! He is a guru with his video camera and always gets great footage of everyone skiing. He had improved his backward a lot since I last saw him.

Roy stretching out

At the weekend I ended up going in to San Fran with Jerry, his now fiancé (congrats big guy!!!!) and a lot of the Australian Barefoot Waterski team. We took a boat ride under the golden gate bridge and around Alcatraz which was pretty cool to see.

Boat ride around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate

That week Jerry and I skied a lot and we just tried to hone in our trick runs, clean up slalom and jump as big as possible before heading off to the World Championships that weekend.

Hahahaha. Jerry K, you crack me up!!

Always a good time over there in Cali!!! Thanks for having me!!

Written by David Small

AKA Small’z

The 2012 Barefoot Worlds in Waco, Texas

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The 2012 Barefoot Worlds will take place at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas from August 26 to September 2.  The tournament can be viewed live at the World Barefoot Center website.

The skier running order, videos, and results can be found at: Barefoot Worlds.

The schedule of events can be found at the Barefoot Ski Ranch:  2012 Worlds Schedule of Events

The hashtag to follow updates on Twitter:  #2012Worlds.  Use this hashtag if you tweet updates on Twitter.   World Barefoot Center on Twitter: @WorldBarefootCN

Other skiers on Twitter:

@keithstonge

@laurenlstonge

@barefootsmallz

@barefootbeng

@ashk8stebbeings

@paulwstokes

@tedbaber

@chandlercargile

The World Barefoot Center on Facebook: WBC Facebook Page

Who’s on the teams:  Elite, Junior, Senior and Coaches

The World Barefoot Center wishes everyone a great tournament!

2012 US Nationals from Mike Holts, “Holtzy”, eyes.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday Evening August 5th, 2012

I arrived in Waco, Texas today about 12 noon. I want to get familiar with the time zone, the site, boat, equipment, and the water so that I’m most prepared to ski the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

I stopped at the site today; the entry gate to the facility was locked. Did that stop me? I DON’T THINK SO. So I quickly developed Plan B to figured a way in; I parked the car, squeezed past the gate and walked about ½ mile and found ‘life,’ Heath Cooper my buddy who installed the 409 PCM motor in my boat two years ago, I love this guy.

Mike Holt from tumble up flyer

Heath gave me a tour of the facility, there is a water-ski cable par, multiple water ski lakes, and some special breed animals; it’s an amazing venue –  HYPERLINK “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” \o “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” http://www.barefootskiranch.com/.

The facility has two ski lakes; Lake 1 is long and wide; the good part is that the length gives the skier lots of set up time, but bad part is that when the wind pick up, the lake can get choppy. Lake 2 is shorter and narrow; the bad news is that the short length requires a quick ‘set up’ which places pressure on the skiers to rush. Short set up can cause a skier to loose concentration, often without positive results. The good news is that the water should be less choppy in Lake 2.

After the tour, I see my former ski partner David Small, the current three-time World Champion. We hang out for an hour or so; it was very enjoyable and we plan to ski in the morning. This is why I arrived early; find someone to give me some pulls behind the boat on the water I’ll be competing, but to have the current World Champion be my driver/coach was beyond what I was praying for. David and I planned on dinner later tonight and maybe some ‘night barefooting.’

David Small jumping

I get to my room, the air is cool, and I’m excited to just chill out for the evening. THEN I realize that I’m to meet David for dinner at 8 pm and ‘night barefooting.’ I’m thinking … I don’t think those are good ideas now that I’m in my room.

Problem solved, I text David and blow him off; I’m at peace with my decision because I want to be ready for some serious practice in the morning. A few hours later I get a call from another ski buddy and he wants me to go to the site to do some skiing, but again I’m comfortable just relaxing tonight, so I blow him off.

Monday August 6th, 2012

I stopped by the site today to ski with David Small, I have a knot in my stomach and I’m stressed out; my big concerns in skiing at a different venue behind a different boat include:

How is the ‘table’ behind the boat?

What is the top speed can I expect?

How fast does the boat get me ‘out of the hole’?

Overall how do I feel?

What does the water feel like?

The answers were all very positive.

The wake is ‘no worries’.

I need 46.5 mph in slalom and the boat is fine.

The pull out of the ‘hole’ was soft and I need to adjust my call.

The water is interesting, the temperature is hotter and the water feels ‘soft.’ Not sure what to do, maybe I should ‘up’ my speed.

It was just David and I and felt like old times, I feel better now after practice, handle at the end of all runs.

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

Stopped by the site today and skied with Keith St Onge (KSO) who is a two-time World Champion and No. 1 rated skier in the world with his wife Lauren St Onge (she’s so sweet). I’m not relaxed because it’s hard to ski with a World Champion and be relaxed, but I do feel better knowing the venue, what to expect from the boat, and the water.

WHAT do you mean we are not skiing today behind the boat I skied behind yesterday! Great, skiing with KSO and now I have to start all over again ‘testing.’ KSO skies amazing (I feel so small). I’m very pleased with this boat, except the boat doesn’t get 46.5 mph; it’s a max of 45… not good. The water feels soft and I’m confused, do I call for more speed than normal, or stick with my standard call… big question.

I’m judging for the first time at these Nationals, so I spend 4 hours reviewing videos of skiers so that I can be prepared for the next day assignments.

Wednesday July 8th 2012

I wake up early to do more video review, have a great breakfast and go to the site to ‘hang’ with my barefooting ‘tribe members; We ‘get it,’ we understand the years of commitment to excellence, the sacrifices required, overcoming injuries, pain, disappointments along the way, we all want to do out best, but sometimes we show our worst. Competitive barefooting can be a terrible ‘head game….’

A few hours pass and I’m in boat to judge; I’m satisfied with my performance, I’m prepared. After an hour break I go into the next ‘boat crew’ to judge Open Pro Men in Tricks. My first day at Nationals I’m judging the best skiers in the planet that do so many complicated tricks in such a short time? I visit with an official and explain that this is my first time judging at National; did they ‘really’ want me in the boat? They said you’ll be okay “Holtzy”, we have video backup if needed.

I’m in the boat, skiers ski in a ‘seeded’ order where the lowest ranked skier is first and the top rank skier (KSO) is last; this allows me to warm up my skills. All of my preparation in video judging the past two years and judging elite skiers in our Southern Regional tournaments prepared me well. I did a good job in the boat and out of 32 pulls we (not just me) had to do ‘video review’ of 5 runs.

What I learned in judging the best in the world is that out of the 16 skiers there was only a handful that didn’t fall. These skiers are doing the most difficult tricks in the world and one slight mistake is disaster.

This knowledge gives me confidence that if I fall during any of my runs, its okay, it’s just that it wasn’t my day. Failure on any given day or moment doesn’t define who I am. I’m proud of my dedication, focus, commitment to excellent, and to do the best I can.

Thursday Morning, August 10, 2012

This afternoon I ski in Open Pro Men Slalom; I ski with all of the ‘top dogs’. I think my head is screw on straight, we’ll see in a few hours…

Oh yea, the boat to be used for Open Pro Men Slalom IS NOT one of the two boats I ‘tested’ Monday or Tuesday… great, another thing for the head to screw with. What speed do I call? Can I make my back-deep-to-one start on the first pass?

Thursday Afternoon, August 10, 2012

I skied today for the first time in Open Pro Men Slalom and it occurs at the 2012 National Championships. Just a little history, there are three ‘classes’ of competitors, age group, Open, and Open Pro. All skiers automatically qualify to ski in their age group against their peers. The goal of all advance barefooters to one day ski ‘Open.’ When I was younger, 30 years ago, I dreamed of one day skiing Open, but as life took its actions on my life (family/kids) I gave up that dream over 20 years ago.

However, I continued to ski with the best skiers in the world like David Small, Mike Salber, KSO, Rich Powel, Lane Bowers, Mike Seipel, Steve Merritt, Zenon Bilas, and others. After 24 years of skiing, I went Open in 2008; the cool part was that I did it at the National Championships before all the top skiers in the USA; and I won my 5th National Championship in the Men 5 division, and won the Male Barefoot Athlete of the Year.

Last year I ‘toyed’ with the idea that if I trained hard and smart enough, maybe I could qualify to ski in the “elite” division at the 2012 World Championships. To ski “elite” I had to get a qualifying score that matched the top 20th place skier in the WORLD. That score was 15.6. Up to this point, my best slalom run was 15.2 scored at the 2011 Southern Regional Championships at the age of 56 years young! For me to qualify to ski ‘elite slalom’ at the worlds with a score of 15.6 is almost impossible, but set this as my goal last year.

In July 2012, a month ago, I skied 15.8 in slalom as judged by Richard Gray the Chairman of the World Barefoot Council. With this score I not only ski in the ‘Seniors’ division at the 2012 World Championships, I’ll be skiing with David Small, Keith St Onge, Peter Fleck and other elite skiers at the age of 61!

I’m stunned that I slalom 15.8, but the biggest shocker comes the next day; I skied a 16.2 which qualified m3 to ski Open Pro at the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

So now at the age of 61, I’m at the starting dock… I’ve eaten properly, gotten rest, drank liquids, trained as hard as I could with the best in the world, worked out to get a strong core, had massage therapy and visited chiropractor when needed, keep my focus, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can think of to be totally prepared for this instant.

I’m in the water, my heart is racing, I clean my hands  with soap so that I can grip the handle; especially since I do a ‘back-deep-to one’ for the start. With this start everything has to be perfect, rarely have I ever missed this start in a tournament, but I have missed it before, the last time was at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, let’s not review that story. Why do such a difficult start when it’s not required in Slalom? It’s a long story and one day I’ll explain…

Okay I’m in the water, a boat judge hands me the ‘tournament handle’ and I’m shocked… the handle is like a slick broom stick and I can’t get grip. I try to rub the handle to get some grip, but it’s time to GO.

I give instructions; ‘gear’, then yell ‘okay,’ the boat lunges harder that I expected, the handle slips from my palms to my finger tips… I’m struggling to not ‘loose the handle.’ I plant my ‘one’ foot in the water, wait for speed, with five officials in the boat, I really don’t have the speed I’m accustomed to. I stay as calm, I make the start, I’m on my feet; I’ve passed the first test, I’m up and ready for slalom.

I attempt to regrip the handle from my finger tips to my palms; it’s not working, this handle is crap, I need to get going, with finger tips. I complete the first crossing one foot, then the second crossing, then after the 3rd crossing and I get pull up and take a hard fall (good thing I have a neck brace). I’m bummed out, I only got 3 points on the first pass (I should have gotten 8)…

The pickup boat gets me and takes me to the end of the course to start the second pass. I give my instructions to the boat judges; I’m just skiing forward, so no drama here (unless I fall). I call 46.5 mph (I should have called 47.5, because of soft water is soft), I complete the pass and score 7.8 points (I typically score 8.2).  My score is 10.8 point… I wanted at least 15.0, would be happy with 15.6 and ecstatic with 16.2, but its official 10.8.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, I’m numb. What did I do wrong? In reflecting back, it

was my fault; in practice a few days ago they didn’t have the tournament handles so I used ‘my’ handle. I should have force the driver to use the ‘tournament supplied handle’ so that I would know what to expect. If I had done that I would have know about this problem and I could have come up with a solution.

Mike Front Toe

A few skiers told me they had problems with the handle Paul Stokes (Open Pro) told me “Holtzy that’s why I were gloves, you never know the condition of the tournament supplied handle.”

I plan on getting ski gloves for the Worlds, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

Friday August 11, 2012

This morning I’m sick from yesterday’s failure Open Pro Slalom; I don’t want to be here anymore, I hate barefoot tournaments, I want to go home, I want to be in the arms of my wife so that she can ‘baby me.’ The reality is that I have to ski tricks in my age division, Men’s 6 (60-64 years). There are 16 skiers in the event; the lowest seed is 250 points, 2nd seed is 1500 points, and I’m top seed at 2740 points.

After an hour and half of waiting, it’s my turn to perform; I know my wife is on the computer waiting to watch me ski. I’m suited up, I wash my hands with my soap three times, and I rub my hands on the handle to make sure I have ‘the grip.’ I’m pacing back and forth like a race horse waiting to get out of the pen on the dock.

It’s not time; I take the handle, wrap it around my back, and get ready to do a flyer off the dock. I get ready to yell ‘okay’ but the rope gets hanged up in a cleat on the dock and all systems must stop.

The rope gets reset, I wrap the rope around my back, I yell, ‘in gear,’ the boat begins to move forward in idle, the rope tightens up, I yell “okay” and the boat takes off. I take seven steps, launch myself off the dock in superman and pray I make my flying-back-tumble-deep-to-one start. This start is worth 800 points, the highest scoring start. I don’t know when the last time anybody other than myself has done this start at a National Championship.

I land on the water on my chest, ride on the stomach at 2300 rpm, then turn to the backward position, plant one foot in the water, wait for boat speed, the driver David Miller nails the throttle, I still wait for ‘speed’ and then I press the foot in the water and attempt to stand up on one foot.

I make it, the driver pulled me perfectly and I did what I needed to do; I’m stoked. I regrip the handle; pull it in and down to my butt and start the trick run – one foot, one foot reverse, surface hop – wait I don’t think the hop was high enough for credit, so I do the surface hop again, then a turn from backward to forward, then tumble-360-to-one, reverse tumble-360-to-one, tumble-180-to-one, then reverse 180-tumble-to-one. I have an almost the perfect pass, except the double surface hop. You can see the video at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg

I’m happy with the first pass but I’m still stressed; on the second pass I do a back-deep-to-one start, this is the second most difficult start in barefooting and it’s worth 500 points. I give the boat officials my instructions, the boat tightens the rope, I give the signals ‘in gear’, then ‘okay’ and I roll over on to my stomach. The boat takes off, I wait for speed, plant one foot, press the foot into the water, and when I feel I have sufficient speed I attempt to stand up – and I make it!

Now I do a ‘positional back-to-front turn’ to set up for the first trick; I’ve missed the back-to-front turn before at a National Championship and also once at the 2012 World Championships in Germany. I’m up backward, I get into position for the turn, and attempt the back-to-front turn; I nail it, clean feet-to-feet. I place the handle over my head and do – neck-2-foot, neck-1-foot, neck-1-foot reverse, then a one-foot, one-foot reverse, teeth-2-foot, teeth-1-foot, teeth-1-foot reverse, rope-on-foot, rope-on-foot reverse, tumble-2-foot, and reverse tumbel-2-foot. I did everything and it was flawless.

I know my wife loves the ‘butt slide’ so I do a nice butt slide, look at camera, and give her a signal via the internet that ‘these two passes were for you baby.’

You can see the second video run at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA

Immediately after the trick event I call my wife and tell her ‘I love barefoot waterskiing, I love barefoot tournaments, and I’m so glad I’m here!’

The emotions in competitive barefoot skiing at a National Championships can be overwhelming. This week I had some success and some failures, and lessons learned. I didn’t achieve my goal of skiing at least 15.0 in Open Pro so that I could ski in the Open Pro finals, but I know I did the best I could.

National Record – Later I find out my score was 2700 points, the current record for Men 6 is 1310 points. After record review the runs are reduced to 2650 points; I have the current record in Men 5 and now I have the Men 6 trick record. It might be a long time before anybody breaks the Mens 6 trick record.

National Champion – My terrible slalom pass of 10.8 exceeds the 7.28 of the highest Men 6 skier, so I get 1000 points in the Slalom event for overall; my 2700 points in tricks gives me 1000 points in the tricks event. This results in an over all score of 2000 out of 2000 points; I win the 2012 Overall National Men 6 Champion and I think this is my eighth Overall National Championship win.

My season is not done, I have the World Barefoot Championships in two weeks to complete my season; I have my goals set, we’ll review them in a few weeks.

Holtzy

P.S. Joe Malenfant, the President of the American Barefoot Club (ABC) that the record set today was not accurate and that the actual record was base don my performance at the 2012 Regionals tricks event of 2740 points, which was downgraded to 2720 points!

By : Mike Holt

South Carolina Clinic with David Small

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

I have been going to Mr Meekes place for the last few years and this year was certainly no disappointment. We had glorious weather and glass water for the full 5 days and a lot of amazing skiing came from it. Ron is still working out in the gym like a mad man and is now competing in Iron Man competitions so he is in the best shape of his life which made him skiing 5 days straight a breeze. His slalom came on a lot, especially backwards as did his front and back toe holds along with a nice toe up and perfecting his turns. He had a little stretch in his hammy mid way through the week which slowed him down a little bit but he battled on and pushed through it so way to go with that Ron!!

Boat crew one day

Saun Sheeley is also a trooper. He ended up cutting his foot open so the decision was made to make a redneck solution for the problem….. lol. Shaun did great with everything backwards once he figured out how to ski with his knees bent and together….. we could drive a truck between his legs sometimes even when his feet were together 😉 His turns were looking very stable as well by the end of the week.

Shawn Sheely with his foot protector in place

As always we ate like kings with everyone getting treated to Rons cooking skills for lunch however this year we didn’t get to sample Rons Famous Cheesecake…. Fingers crossed next year we can see one again.

Wade Masters sporting a new hair doo

Wade Masters payed us a visit and skied up a storm for the day he was there where we worked a lot on his surface turns.
We had a new chick come to the clinic (Ashley) which was nice to see and although she was only there briefly she listened very well, learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Hopefully Ashley will come back next year and have a couple of days booked so we can really push on with her skiing.

Jim Miller peeing in his suit again ;)


Jim Miller also had some ski time with us and is progressing well. Great to see you Jim!

On the way back to the lake after getting picked up we drove past a Drop Zone so Ron was kind enough to stop and I managed to get a jump in :)

SC skydive. Kitted up and ready to go

About a week after I left Rons place I received an email from Ron saying that he liked Charlie so much he had gone out and bought himself a little black toy poodle…… I cannot wait to see the little guy!!

Rons new little toy poodle

I had a great week there again and I will look forward to seeing everyone again next year!!!

Written by ; David Small …. AKA Small’z

David Smalls second trip to Austria

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Austria … the second visit.  It had been 2 weeks since I was last in Austria and I was happy to find that the weather had warmed up a little bit as well as the forecast showing that we weren’t going to get rained on all week :) Andreas Rektenvelt picked me up at the airport along with his daughter and her friend.  I had a very interesting trip over as I had got lumbered with taking a super fly high over as well as some barefoot suits and shoe skis.  This involved me trying to lug around a 6 foot long very heavy box around Orlando, Manchester and Viennas airports….. I got my daily exercise that is for sure.  I walked out side Viennas airport to see Andreas getting a parking ticket as he was trying to get as close to the doors as he could….. thanks Andreas :)

Karting the fly high through the airport

This week clinic was held in Walsee at the Wimmers ski site where the 2002 World Championships were held and as this was where I won my first World Overall Title it held good memories for me to be back.

All week we had Andreas skiing along with Stefan Wimmer and his elder brother, George, that is getting back in the sport after a short break.

The boys

As the Stefan and Andreas are attending the World Championships this Summer in Waco, Texas their training for the week started with a lot of getting their base tricks down so that they were confident with their base trick runs and making their jumping along with their front and back one foot wake crossings clean and consistent.  Once this was achieved we moved the training on to developing new skills in order to increase their scores in each discipline.

Stefan showing his mad skills

As George had taken a lot of time off from competitive skiing we spent a lot of time going back over his basic tricks. When I say basic, we worked the kinks out on his front and back one foots and toe holds and then got right on to his surface turns which came back to him very quick ……. on one afternoon the wind blew straight down the pipe which made it almost impossible to ski so George got the pleasure of going on a 100 foot line on shoe skis directly behind the boat and got to practice his backward one foots and toe holds…… Needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular person that afternoon. lol.

George Junior

If any of you that are reading this have hung out with me for any period of time you wil know that I use my phone a lot to take pictures and then upload them to the Tinternet, for your enjoyment, on the World Barefoot Centers Facebook or my own personal page.  Well, while we were out having some great ski time the Austrian weather decided to surprise us with a nice hail storm. As the people in the boat were dry and warm at that point we rushed back to the dock and got out of the boat as fast as humanly possible to avoid, not only getting wet but also getting beat on by hail stones, and as I jumped out of the boat I heard a …. splash.  Thinking nothing of this we all ran up to the club house where we made coffee and i got my phone out to use the Wifi to upload some of the pictures of the day on to my computer……….. phone wasn’t to be seen :(  As the river was 4 and a half meters deep, cold and murky, efforts to retrieve the phone by swimming down failed miserably.  As far as we were all concerned it was bye-bye iPhone. The next day Andreas turned up with the full scuba gear so i geared up, swam down and after a short while after over 15 hours of the poor phone been submerged in water and sitting in the mud it was retrieved…… happy days :0  For the next 6 days the phone sat in a bag of rice trying to dry off and when i fired it back up while plugged in to the computer……… IT WORKED!! I could retrieve all my info, pics and anything else on the phone and it actually worked while plugged in to a power supply but the battery was dead.   Don’t worry, i have a new one so the pics will keep coming 😉

Finding the phone

I had another great week out there with the Austrian Team, they skied amazing and made me feel very at home.  I will be looking forward to seeing you all in Texas this Summer where you can all show off your mad skills.

Was a little bit chilly

O, Andreas and I also managed to get a skydive in over there on the final day while we were on the way to the airport. We rocked up expecting at least a building……. what we got was a white van pull up 45 mins late, a guy hobble out with a broken leg and then the rigs all piled up in a jungle of stuff in the back.  Interesting would be a good way to describe it but the jumps went well and we are still here. Good times :)

Austrian skydiving..... lol

Written by David Small

First WBC barefoot water ski clinic of 2012 with David Small …… Austria

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The first WBC clinic of the year was in Austria and hosted by Andreas Rektenwald.  I flew from 92 degrees in FL to the UK where I was met by lots of rain and a high of around 50…… this is why I do not live there any more :) From the UK I went to Vienna where Christian Antos met me and we drove straight to the river where we started skiing that evening.

my view on arrival in the UK

The next day turned out to be very cold and raining.  Antos ended up tweaking his knee on his second pass of the day, on a backward one foot of all things, which coupled with the 400 foot ships sharing the river with us made us decide to travel to Walsee, where the 2002 World Championships were held.

The river on one of the beautiful yet cold evenings

In Walsee we were met by Stefan Wimmer who had been training at the WBC for a few weeks this Spring as well as his brother and father, George and George Senior. Although it was still very cold and raining we had good water for the next two days there and the Austrian team skied up a storm with Stefan working on his multiple turns, cleaning up his slalom and smoothing his jumping out.  Andreas has a goal this Summer of consistently tricking around 2000 points as well as getting consistent back one foot slalom and seeing how far he can get with his invert jumping so we worked hard on his toe ups and reducing the transition time between tricks.  George Wimmer jn had not skied much in the last few years or this Spring but even with the lack of water time he could still go out there and look stable on his basics and could still do his 3 turns which was great to see and hopefully we will see George skiing well at this World Championships in Texas this Summer.

The site of the 2002 World Championships in Walsee, Austria

Andreas had a cold morning set in Walsee....... brrrrrrrrr

The 1200 bhp barefoot machine!!!!!!

The final couple of days brought us back to Andreas ski site. We got blown out for some of the time so we went on a bike ride up one of the local hills and what a view it was from up there and left early on one day where we all went in to Vienna to check out the city life and tourist stuff..

Afternoon crew

Inside of Viennas cathedral

Desert before dinner in Vienna

After a good ride up the local mini mountain this is the view we got for some dry land training ;)

I had a great time over there and I am looking forward to going back in a few weeks to see how they have all gotten on with the skiing homework I have given to the guys.

Thanks again lads!!

Written by David Small

aka

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

David Small clinic at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

My second stop on my Summer clinics was at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  Stuart Parsons had arranged for me to come up to his site for a week however the place is such a great ski site and the guys were learning a lot so I stayed an extra week. For those of you who are not up to date with the 3 event Barefoot calender this is the site that the next 2 Nationals are going to be held and where the 2012 world championships are going to be hosted.  It is probably one of the best ski sites I have ever been to… and I have been to a lot of sites all around the world!! There are 2 main ski lakes with one at 3700 feet long and the second is 2600 ( and waiting for some rain to come and fill it up).

Royal Tee, Haden and David Small after a great day on the water

3700 feet of glass!!

3700 feet of glass!!!

2nd lake waiting for some rain

Stuart has also dug out a straight line cable lake which comes off the main lake and there was talk of him putting some kickers in there as well as a barefoot ramp at the end where you can jump and land in to a foam pit….. very cool.  On top of all this there is a 4th lake back in the woods which may be turned in to a cable park by the time Worlds comes around!  The main lake has a dye in it which makes it look like a swimming pool and deer come down to the waters edge to cool off orr take a drink while you are sitting in the water waiting for the boat to return…… Did I mention that this place is amazing?! Lol.

Deer drinking from the lake and checking out the footing

The clinic was a great success were we had complete beginners like 7 year old Haden Parsons doing one foots in the swing all the way to Royal Tee Wiseman completing 100 turns in a set with only 3 falls as well as amazing me with his jumping!

Haden doing his one foots

Royal Tee half way through his 100 turn challenge :)

Royal Tee after completing his 100 turn challenge! woopwoop

Stuart Parsons along with Lee Stone, Blake and Landen Ehler were all working on their jumping techniques and progressing comfortably in to the inverted jumping technique.  Its great to see more and more people pushing themselves to try this exciting and crowed pleasing jumping technique!  If you have the right instruction from the very start so that no bad habits creep in it can be as straightforward as learning the ‘traditional’ style.

Stuart Parsons invert jumping

We had a couple of girls out there barefooting with us as well.  Landen brought his girlfriend, Elizabth, to try skiing and she was a great listener!!  She managed to get out there on her bare feet and ski down the lake in just a couple of short passes with the aid of the headzone headsets that I was using.

Kim Taylor showing us lads how its done

Landen showing us his sliding skills

Kim Taylor also came and tore it up and learned how to get up backwards and ski in a perfect backwards position! Aaron York, part owner of the BSR, came and did a fair bit of skiing as well which was good to see him back on the water and he figured out a lot with his turns and his slalom as well as dabbling with a little jumping.  A nice surprise was getting to ski with David Howze who is down working for Stuart in his Summer break from ATM (lol).  This kid (21) had only skied a few times before the 2 week clinic and he came away with doing front one foot wakes on his feet, toe holds long line, backwards long line, back toe holds on shoes and much more so congrats to David for skiing up a storm!

David Howze showing off his skills

Devils cove for memorial day

For memorial day we took a day off and headed in to Devils cove over in Austin. We took Royals Sanger over and hung out with 1000s more people that were there to relax and have a good time. Charlie, my 6 pound toy poodle came with me on this trip as well and loved having 350 Acers of tall grass to play around in and side walks to go running down and paying fetch in so thanks to Stuart for allowing me to bring the little guy!

Charlie after a long game of fetch

I had a blast, got some great ski time there and I am looking forward to going back again before Nationals!