Ski Paradise guest coach Seth Stisher leads by example

For many newbie water skiers, the boat’s wake represents a monster hurdle. The fear of reckless speed, going out the front, and the resulting yard sale, are always in the back of their mind.

So if you’re feeling a little unsettled and need some encouragement, Seth Stisher is here of you! If you’re unfamiliar with Mr. Stisher, he’s a world-class slalom coach who’s also one of the most graceful skiers on the water today. He’s not bad looking either, which is why we assume our female clientele at Ski Paradise are always smiling as Seth leads them to the boat for their sets on Coconut Lagoon.

In addition to coaching at his private site (OZ) in Charleston, South Carolina, he’s been a long-time guest coach at Gordon Rathbun’s Ski Paradise. Not only is Seth a pleasure to work with as your slalom skills progress, he’s also one of the most entertaining people to be around as you enjoy your epic week in Acapulco. On a personal note, you might have witnessed Seth hosting the Waterfront House Hunting show this past summer on the FYI Network.   

Here are Seth’s best slalom tips for confidently powering through the wakes and linking smooth,carving turns.

  • BEGIN WITH A PROGRESSIVE TURN: If you let your ski fluidly carve through the turn as opposed to forcing it, you will arrive at the first wake with more control. Remember, don’t rush the process and push with your back foot to finish the turn. Try your best to progressively edge through the turn with equal weight distribution on your slalom ski, therefore keeping the tip down.  

  • STAY PROACTIVE:  If you wait until you reach the wakes to assume your “power position”, it’s too late. The boat will already have won the battle. Be prepared both mentally and  physically to win the tug-o-war. Stand proud and tall in an athletic, balanced position on the ski with your arms extended and your hips up to the handle. 

  • MAINTAIN A POWERFUL EDGE: The fear of a yard sale (wipeout) after the wakes can often cause you to lighten up and pull-out of your cross-course direction. Don’t submit! Try your damnedest to stay strong and have faith in your ability.


    As the tip of the ski crosses the first wake, stay strong with your core and drive the hips slightly ahead. This will help the ski edge through the wakes more efficiently and begin the edge-change process without compromising your stance on the ski as you slice through the wakes.