Note of Thanks from Pat and Derek Koch

To the MN Barefoot Club (MBC) and the American Barefoot Club (ABC), Doug’s sudden and untimely death has, of course, been devastating to us; however equally shocking to us is your overwhelming support and dedication to his memory. Doug no longer has the ability to speak verbally; however, if he could he would probably tell you the following joke:

“Did I tell you about the guy who looked for a pair of barefoot water skis? Well, of course, the guy searched and searched for a pair of barefoot water skis but could not find them because the sport of barefooting does not use physical skis, but instead the guy found everlasting barefoot love… a priceless gift.”

Then after Doug dies and goes to heaven he was able to actually find real barefoot skis and responds, “So THIS is what heaven calls barefoot water skis?” Doug’s response was, “On earth we do not call them barefoot skis. We call them wings.”

Our last report indicates that Doug has initiated a new initiative in heaven called, “Wings for new Barefoot Skiers.” It is our hope that his initiative from heaven is as successful as it was on earth.

Love and grateful thanks to all of you!

Pat and Derek Koch

Austin Barefoot Club – Dam to Dam Race



Book your tickets, mark your calendar, sign up for vacation. Bring a boat, bring a team, bring yourself, bring a buddy (and we’ll get you on a team)! Dam 2 Dam is just around the corner. NOVEMBER 8TH THIS YEAR…for the first time in forever it is the SECOND Saturday in November, so we can avoid conflicts with Halloween. NO PRO DIVISION THIS YEAR!!! NO SKI PROS in the open division (you can bring a ski pro if you are not racing for the title).

Dam2Dam Race Austin, TX
Date Nov 8th
Attn: Brent Keadle
cell: 512-695-2452


Ski With the Legends 2014!



Ski With the Legends 2014

The USA Water Ski Foundation’s annual fundraiser “Ski with the Legends” is being expanded in 2014
to include barefooters! On October 25, 2014 Water Ski Hall of Famers Mike Seipel and Ron Scarpa will be coaching students in Winter Haven, Florida at the World Barefoot Center.

For $299 you can take part in all of the festivities on and off the water! But even if you don’t ski with Mike & Ron, there will be a Barefoot Legends Barbeque at the WBC and legends such as Don Mixon Jr, John Gillette and Mike Botti will be gathering to talk about old times and new.

Thanks to the generous support of the World Barefoot Center and other sponsors… all proceeds from the event will go to support the Water Ski Hall of Fame and USA Waterski Foundation’s scholarships!  For more info and to sign up click on the link below.!skiwithlegends/c14ys

2014 Barefoot Waterskiing Championships a Success!!

The nation’s top barefoot water ski athletes competed Tuesday through Saturday in the 37th annual Barefoot Water Ski National Championships at the Blue Moo in Alma Center, Wis. More than 100 athletes competed in the five-day tournament. Results are available by clicking here.  Video Feed of the event can be found by clicking here.
Jim Boyette, the world’s oldest barefoot competitor, almost didn’t make it to Nationals this year. He took a fall a week before while training and burst his eardrum. His doctor cleared him to fly just days before– and with a little ear putty, Jim put a score on the board for tricks. Jim and Joe Knapp are the only two skiers who have attended every Nationals since the first one held in 1978 in Waco, Texas.
Keith St. Onge took gold in Slalom, Tricks, and Jump, bringing home his 15th National Overall title. During the awards ceremony, Keith honored his grandfather, who passed away the final morning of the tournament.
 The Age Division Finals were a new addition this year. The top skier scores from each age division (Non-Open skiers) competed in Slalom, Tricks, and Jump, regardless of age. “It was so fun that Age Division Finals were added to the tournament this year,” Betsy Gilman said. “My competition in slalom and tricks were all less than half my age! It pushed me to represent for all of the women over 40 still out there barefooting.”
It was the first Nationals for Mark Van Osdel and Kamaryn Ehlers. Kamaryn took gold in all three events and Overall. She set three pending World Records in jump with 9.2, 8.8, and 9.5. Quite the accomplishment as Kamaryn had only four jumps under her belt before arriving at the Blue Moo. “I had never been to Nationals before so I didn’t know what to expect,” Kamaryn said.  “Everyone was super nice and supportive.  evry time i got on the water people were screaming my name i got to know people from a ll over the us  it was a great environment and I loved being there. The highlight was competing with my brother (Landen) and my dad (Blake) there. It’s a family legacy. Now all three of us are National champions.”
Tournament Results, Overall:  Girls 2: Alexis McCauley , Girls 3: Jennifer Blake, Mens 1: Collin Barber, Mens 2: David Wheeler, Mens 3: Joe Lovato, Mens 4: Rick Stentson, Mens 5: Thomas Gabey , Mens 6: Paul Oman, Mens 7: Brad Barick, Mens 8: Leonard Tremblay, Mens 9: Russell Boerner, Mens 10: Jim Boyette, Open Mens: Cody Ebbert, Open Pro Mens: Keith St. Onge, Open Womens: Ariana Koehler, Womens 1: Kamaryn Ehlers, Womens 3: Betsy Gilman, Womens 4: Carla Gerstein, Womens 5: Carol Jackson, Womens 7: Sharon Carlson, Womens 8: Judy Myers
Age Division Finals: Women: Betsy Gilman, Men: Collin Barber
 Other Awards:  George Blair Barefooter of the Year, (not awarded this year), Stew McDonald Lifetime Service Award, (Paul Adams), Jennifer Renee Odom Spirit Award, (Brody Meskers), Award of Distinction (Lee Stone), Barefooter Community Champion Award. (Not awarded this year)

Doug Koch Memorial

It was with great sadness that we heard about the passing of Doug Koch, a great ambassador for barefoot waterskiing and an all-around great guy. Check out the memorial in his honor from Saturday at the Barefoot Nationals and the dedication of the viewing platform in his honor.

2014 and 2015 National Championships and 2016 World Championship at the “Blue Moo”


2014 and 2015 National Championships and 2016 World Championship at the “Blue Moo”


Sports enthusiasts in Western Wisconsin are in for a treat the next three summers. The “Blue Moo” in Alma Center, WI will be hosting the next three major Barefoot Water Skiing Championships in the United States. The Minnesota Barefooters Association and the Heller Family from Alma Center, Wisconsin will be organizing the event with the support of the American Barefoot Club. The events will feature the top skiers in the country and the world. Spectators will see twists, turns and jumps of astounding length as the best “walk on water.”

The 2014 Barefoot Waterskiing National Championship will be held August 12-16. The 2015 Barefoot Waterskiing National Championship will be held August 11-15. Three years of barefooting excellence will culminate in 2016 as the best barefoot water skiers in the world will descend on Western Wisconsin for the 2016 Barefoot Waters Ski World Championships from August 15-20. This event will include the top 50 Junior skiers (ages 8-17) and the top 100 Elite skiers vying for the title of World Champion. Preliminary competition will take place on Tuesday through Friday with the finals for each event being held on Saturday.

2014 Patrick Wehner Sportsmanship Award

The World Barefoot Center is now calling for Nominations to be put forward for the 2014 Patrick Wehner  Sportsmanship Award. This year we are looking to get nominations sent in from each Region and or Country with nominees that they think are deserving of this award.

We ask that each Region takes a few moments to compose a worthy nomination for any Junior Skiers that they believe is deserving of receiving the Patrick Wehner Sportsmanship Award. You must submit a document which includes the nominees name and a short paragraph expressing why you think this athlete is deserving of this award.

  •  The criteria of the award is as follows:
  • Must be a Junior Skier (Under 17)
  • Must show true sportsmanship both on and off the water
  • The person must be attending the 2014 World Championships
  • Must be a respectful young athlete to both fellow competitors and officials

The Nomination deadline is February 3rd, 2014. Please send all nominations back to

The worthy recipient will be announced in March at the 2014 World Championships in Australia. The selected junior will also receive one FREE week of barefoot lessons at the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL.

We look forward to receiving and reviewing all the nominees. Please forward this email to any contacts in your Region that we have missed.


Keith, David, Swampy, Ben & Ashleigh

Team WBC

ABC names Lauren St. Onge and Keith St. Onge Female and Male Athletes of the Year


2016 World Barefoot Championships

As the 2014 World Championships  are finishing up the planning has begun for the 2016 Barefoot World Championships. The Heller Family and the Minnesota Barefooters Association  will be hosting the 2016 World Championships at the Blue Moo in Alma Center Wisconsin.

Important Officials Update

This is for all current and aspiring Judges, Scorers, Homologators and Drivers. The message below comes from the World Barefoot Council and American Barefoot Club WBC Officials Certification Program

In May of 2013 the ABC (USA) and the ABC (AUS) agreed to fully adopt the WBC Officials Program. This has been the goal of the council for many years and has been unanimously agreed to at past meetings. We are very pleased that with the two largest federations moving forward on this that the program will now take shape and the World Wide standards will be achieved.  As of May 31, 2013 WBC Officials Certification will be the only recognized certification for officials taking part in Rankings List (RL) and Record Capability (RC) tournaments worldwide thereafter.

To manage the transition to the new terminology and program, all current federation or confederation certified officials will be “grandfathered” into the WBC Program at the equivalent level that they currently hold. No further requirements will need to be met for the immediate future.

New officials entering the system, and officials upgrading to a higher level will follow the WBC certification requirements as outlined in the WBC PPG. The PPG can be found at

Grandfathered officials will need only to meet the WBC Quiz Criteria for their respective level prior to January 1, 2015 in order to maintain their certification.

After January 1, 2015 all officials will need to meet the maintenance requirements for their respective levels through continuing education and tournament duties in order to retain their certification.  These requirements have yet to be determined, and will be documented in the PPG, and communicated to all registered officials when they are developed.

The first step for all Federations is to ensure that all of their officials register at:


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