Featured Team Evinrude Member – Barefoot Skiing Legend Keith St. Onge
Keith St. Onge is the current Barefoot Skiing World Champion and one of only two to hold all three barefoot records at one time. Keith runs the biggest barefoot skiing school in the world, where he trains the next generation of world class barefoot skiers. We asked Keith a few questions about his career and here’s what he had to say:
Why does your team exclusively use Evinrude?
Many reasons to be honest. We use to run inboard board at the ski school and I knew it would be beneficial to run outboards knowing how efficient the Evinrude would be. We saved over fifty percent equaling $15,000.00 in the first year! We now save over $25,000.00 in fuel per year.
What inspired you to start barefoot skiing?
I learned from the Current World Champion Mike Seipel many years ago. I wanted to be like him, win National and World titles, move to Florida and own a barefoot school. Accomplished!!
How long did it take you to learn barefoot skiing?
I learned how to barefoot water ski the same summer I learned how to water ski at age nine.
What is the best way to learn how to barefoot ski?
Learning from a ski school is the best and easiest way. Learning by self teaching can end in many hard and unnecessary falls, which could leave a bad taste in many people’s mouth. Also, learning on a bar (boom) this sticks out the side of the boat is a must. It provides stability and learning is much easier.
Is there a key to learning how to barefoot ski?
Having a barefoot suit is the 1st rule. To try and keep it simple the position is like sitting in a chair. Ninety degrees angle in your knees, ninety degrees in your waist and ninety degrees in your arm pits. Lastly, the water line
is below the balls of your feet so only 3/4 of the
foot is actually in the water.
What is the craziest trick you have ever pulled off?
I would say the one foot, 720 multiple turn would be the craziest mostly because the trick entails turning on one foot while rotating 720 degrees, which is four turns in a row.
What trick would you like to pull off before your career is over?
Wow, tough question. I thought I had done all the tricks I ever wanted to do but the younger guys keep coming up with new ones. I’d have to say I’d like to Jump over ninety feet before I end my career.
What was your worst wipe out?
My worst crash would have to be a fall I took when doing a one foot multiple turn. The boat was going nearly 46mph and I caught sideways. I hit the water so hard I saw more stars than I ever did in the past. It was like getting hit by a mack truck.
What is the biggest name that you have had come to your school?
I have been hired by Dave Ramsey to do a clinic at his lake house in Tennessee and Glen Plake (Extreme Snow Skier) has been to our ski school a few years back.
What is the highlight of your career?
I would say a few highlights would be winning the US Nationals thirteen times and winning the World Overall Championship 2 times.
Keith also wrote a book called Gliding Soles, which tells his story about becoming a barefoot water ski world champion. There are many life lessons in the book that everyone can relate to for added motivation in anything they dream of doing.
If you would like to learn more about barefoot skiing and Keith’s school, check out the info below.
World Barefoot Center
3915 Lake Conine Dr E
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: (863) 877-0039