Ben Groen 
About this Skier
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  Name: Ben Groen Nickname: [NA]  
  Hails From: Winter Haven, FL USA    
  What got you into barefooting?
My family. My Grandfather (Maarten) was the first in our family to learn, followed closely by my Father and Uncle. Being from a family with 10+ barefooters doesn't leave you many options.
  How did you learn to barefoot?
Started when I was around 8 or 9, first in the swing. Growing up around my family, watching them ski and compete made me want to get involved as well. Being a Groen, I don't think I really had a choice :)
  Who was your first barefoot instructor?
My dad. Spent the majority of my early years in the sport skiing and training with him. First ski school I visited was Brett Sands Watersports in Australia, and spent several years after that travelling over and skiing with Sandsy for a week or two.
  Tell us about your first tournament
Don't remember how I skied, just riding on my butt in the wake, waiting for Lewis McNabb to whip me out so I could stand up and try something scary like a wave, or a sit down stand up.
  How did you feel the first time you barefooted?
Terrified. If I had it my way, I probably would have waited another year or so, but with my two eldest cousins constantly reminding they could do it and I couldn't, figured I had to get it over and done with.
  Why do you continue to barefoot?
Once I got the fear out of the way, I loved everything about it. Learning new tricks, travelling to tournaments, competing, following scores, watching the big dogs ski. These days it's all about the challenge. You can be on top of your game, and there's still things to work on and perfect - you're never satisfied.
  Who has inspired you in this sport?
My Dad (Rob Groen)
Pete O'Neill
Keith St. Onge
Dave Small
Patrick Wehner
Andre De Villiers
Bevan Kelly
  Have you held any World Records?
No, not yet ;)
  Have you won any medals at a world championship?
Yes, In 2009 was the Junior Boys jump Silver Medalist, and in 2014 was the Bronze medalist in Mens Jump, and Silver Medalist in Mens Overall
  What skiers have you enjoyed watching and why?
Judy Myers - 71 years old and still gets up backwards on her feet behind the boat...woman kicks ass!!

Enjoy watching anybody learn something for the first time.
  How often do you train ski?
Every day. Working at the WBC makes getting out on the water easy, usually will go out in the morning before ski school starts, and again in the evenings.
  Do you have a nickname and how did you get it?
  What other activities do you participate in?
There are other activities?
  What do you do for a living?
I work at the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL as an instructor.
  What is your motto?
Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard.

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing - moderation is for cowards.
  When did you first start barefooting? 1999
  What is your Personal Best Score in Wakes? 17.8
  and what year 2012
  What is your Personal Best Score in Tricks? 10550
  and what year 2013
  What is your Personal Best Score in Jumping? 25.7m
  and what year 2012 | Contact Us
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