Meet Ski Paradise Guest Coach Kris LaPoint
Kris LaPoint knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to slalom skiing. Setting his first world slalom record at the ripe age of 13, he swerved on to become one of sport’s most iconic figures in a pro career that spanned over 40 years. Aside from his many Masters titles and world records, LaPoint was known for his extensive R&D on skis and boats, and his ability to maximize his equipment. In fact, you’ll still find him today tinkering and testing Mapple Skis at his private lake (LaPoint Ski Park) in Orlando, Florida. As a longtime guest coach at Ski Paradise, Kris enjoys working with skiers at all abilities and takes pride in advancing the sport forward with time and energy.
When did you first fall in love with skiing?
I skied for the first time at the age of four. First tournament at 10; I won and liked it. I was participating in school sports as well, but I liked skiing over team sports as it was on me, for better or worse.
What did it mean to you to be inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame?
It’s nice to be recognized by the sport you love.
What's been your most memorable tournament experience to date?
I tend to remember my first and most recent. I won my first nationals that I entered in 1965 when I was 12. Most recent... winning the senior worlds in Spain last fall.
Tell us about some of the exotic places you've traveled as a ski instructor?
Tahiti, Hawaii, Italy and Acapulco.
What do you love the most about coaching?
The challenge of communicating an idea to a skier and seeing them do it on the water.
As an athlete that's returned to an elite level after a water-ski injury, what advice do you have for skiers who are going through the same thing?
Keep plugging away. You will enjoy the sport that much more when you get back to it. One of the best parts of our sport is that you can participate your whole life.
How long have you been guest coaching at Ski Paradise and what do you love about the setup in Acapulco?
My first visit was in 1993. It has evolved with lots of nice amenities that skiers and non-skiers will truly appreciate.
Care to share any memorable stories from trips to Ski Paradise?
Not specific stories, but I have made a lot of great friends over the years. When you spend a week with someone relaxing and enjoying the sport, you really get to know folks.
What do you want your students to know about your coaching philosophy?
I try to keep it simple and fun. You can say too much as a coach and it can become overwhelming. I try to focus on the key areas a skier can improve on.
~ Kris LaPoint