Trey Edwards just wanted to land a jump. Noah Kinnaman wanted to win a haircut bet with Trey, and Faith Dix and Jaden Zylstra were just fired up to barefoot in their first tournament.
All of these “barefooters with goals” came together Saturday at the Third Annual Mike Salber Memorial Barefoot Tournament at Lake Grew in Polk City, Florida. And the calm, world record-breaking water of Lake Grew did not disappoint.
For complete results go HERE.
The day started with the National Anthem and a moment to remember Mike Salber as the Barefoot Sanger flew the firefighter’s flag, everyone competing received a coffee mug for Mike… and then we were off.
Polk County Local Ash Stebbeings set a pending world record three times in slalom with her highest score being 18.4 and boosted a 19.9 meter jump.
Ben Groen was consistently awesome scoring 11,200 points in tricks, 18.8 in slalom, and a 24.1 meter jump!
Jim Forster laid down a 14.8 in Open Men’s slalom…. Could he be headed back to another open men’s national championship?
In the Master Divisions, Carol Jackson scored 1130 in tricks and 4.6 in slalom. And Jess Caserta scored 7.4 in the master men’s slalom.
Southern Regional Director and Women’s B Competitor Deanna Dean scored a 2.6 in slalom and a 480 in tricks.
Barefoot Tourney Rookies
Jaden Zylstra, one of the barefoot stars of Minnesota’s Little Crow Ski Team who recently finished second in the 2021 USA Water Ski Video Contest came out to try a three-event barefoot tournament for the first time.
His first pass started quietly: deep up to two for 50 points, front toe hold for 100, he failed to score second front toe… and then… two perfect front-to-front 360 surface turns for 500 each. The judges just about fell out of the boat! And… wow… it got awesome from there!
Jaden scored a total of 2150 in tricks to move immediately from Men’s C to Men’s A in his first tourney.
Faith Dix is a swivel skier and renowned WBC photographer who only learned to barefoot a couple of months ago. She killed tore up the Women’s B division with a 900 in tricks and a 9.0 in wake slalom. First Tourney jitters? Nah. She even scored some super clean back one-foot wake crosses! This young woman is on fire!
Hair-raising Battle on the Water
One of the closest watched battles of the day centered around the jump event and a haircut bet between World Barefoot Center Buddies Trey “Minshew” Edwards and Noah Kinnaman.
The bet was whoever jumped the furthest would get to cut the other guy’s hair. Yes, the Blond Adonis from Texas was putting his golden locks on the line. And nearly all of the 14-year-old girls in Missouri were holding their collective breath as Noah’s cute curls were threatened by scissors.
Tension was high as Noah went first, launching an 11.9 meter jump, and Trey ended up being close behind with a 10.7 meter jump.
And now, Trey looks less Minshew and a little more uptight, but tidy! That was Trey’s first jump landed in competition and didn’t care about the haircut in the end anyway!
In other news, Noah scored just 70 points away from Men’s Open with a 2930 and an 8.7 in slalom. Trey scored 2050 in tricks and a 7.3 in slalom.
Yes, Faith beat both of them in Slalom… so there’s that.
Jacky Kirsch of Team Germany made an appearance at the Tournament participating in all three events. Jacky scored 4.9 in slalom, 1870 in tricks, 6.6 meters in the jump event. Danke, Jacky, for paying Central Florida a visit!
Thanks all around!
Massive thanks go out to Tim Collette and Scotty Patton for driving the tourney and bringing their sweet Inboard Sanger! Jim Forster for being the chief driver and working with Tim and Scotty on the tournament lake that is a little tricky to drive.
So much appreciation goes out to Ben & Ash Stebbeings for being the greatest supporters of Southern Region tournaments: organizing, officiating, setting up the jump and even storing the Southern Region equipment trailer!
Special thanks to Judges Teri Jones and Deanna Dean, Video operators Faith Dix and Trey Edwards, Jess Caserta for hauling things around and cleaning up, and to Bruce Walter for delivering the ramp home!
And finally, huge thanks to Austin Dam-2-Dam Race Legend Brent Keadle for coming out to support us and donating $50 to the Southern Region in memory of Mike Salber.
Happy holidays from all of us in the Southern Region and our next tournament will be the PGA Season Opener in beautiful West Palm Beach Gardens in April! Jim Forster will be hosting this tournament for the first time in two years! It should be epic!
Remember to be like Mike Salber and live life at full throttle!