Meet Ski Paradise Guest Coach Greg Badal
Talk about rapid progression, Ski Paradise guest coach Greg Badal is a perfect example of what a skier can accomplish if they have the right mindset for developing their skills. In just a few years of skiing the course, Greg quickly became one of the top skiers in his age division. He has since gone on to win multiple national championship titles, Nautique Big Dawg titles, and set national slalom records. In addition to his many water-ski accolades, Greg is an excellent coach that has a good eye for picking apart slalom technique and honing in on the main fundamentals that help his students quickly progress. He’s also a big advocate for promoting the fun and excitement of tournament skiing, having hosted the California Pro Am since 2002. With nearly 20 years experience of skiing and coaching in Acapulco, Greg is ready to help you step up your slalom game!
When did you first fall in love with skiing?
I realize how much I enjoyed water skiing the first time I visited Ski Paradise in 1999. I had such a great time that three months later I brought eight friends with me to come back.
When did you make the most progress with your skiing?
My first year of skiing in the slalom course was the spring of 1999. I was helping out a local ski club rebuild their docks. They offered to let me ski with them while we were overseeing the project. I knew then what had been missing my whole life. I had so much fun that spring and early summer. One of the guys that I was skiing with encouraged me to do a tournament with him, and I told him that I didn’t think I was good enough, but what the heck let's go. The tournament was at Diablo Shores (Brentwood, California) where I now live, and I skied and got my first score for regionals qualification. I was amazed I could be that good that fast. The next weekend I went to another tournament and qualified for regionals. I was hooked! Soon after a friend asked me to go to Ski Paradise. I asked when he was leaving and he said five days. I told him I had to ask my wife. She said go for it because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think that sums up why the progress and Ski Paradise really affected my life.
What's been your most memorable tournament experience to date?
The most memorable tournament I went to was in 2000. I qualified for nationals the weekend before it started. I had been skiing for less than one year in tournaments. I ran two buoys at 38 off which, was my qualifier to get there. This was only the second time that I've ever done this and it was awesome. I was the second person off the dock at 7:30 am with 175 skiers in our group. I was in first place until one o'clock in the afternoon. I came in 32nd out of 175 skiers.
What do you love the most about coaching?
I love coaching beginning to intermediate skiers. With the right instruction, the progression they make is so grand. I also love all the new friends that I meet coaching. I have friends all over the world now.
How long have you been guest coaching at Ski Paradise and what do you love about the setup in Acapulco?
I have been a guest coach at Gordon's since 2002. I have watched Gordon's vacation paradise grow every year since. Gordon has really made it a true dream vacation. I have a lot of the same guests the weeks that I come down. They have all become very good friends and I really enjoy the time that we spend together at Ski Paradise. Thank you to Gordon and Gabriella for the awesome experience that I have been given to be a part of.
Care to share any memorable stories from trips to Ski Paradise?
Meeting people from all over the U.S., and then running into them at regionals and nationals and they tell you how thankful they are for the coaching that they received at Ski Paradise.
What do you want your students to know about your coaching philosophy?
I like to keep my coaching super simple. Example? I find one thing that will make the biggest difference. I ask the students to write down three tips throughout the session that they can reflect on the next time they go out.
~ Greg Badal