Typical Frequently Asked Questions... and answers.
We hope to answer some of your questions here and throughout the web site. But, please don't hesitate to contact us, as we will be happy to answer those unanswered questions.
What is a typical water ski vacation like at Ski Paradise?
If you’re thinking of making a reservation, you probably want to know what to expect. For skiers, whether novice or experienced, our ski-oriented vacation is a dream come true. Most likely you’re arriving on a Saturday. We’ll pick you up from the airport and bring you to Villa Aquina, it’s about a 25 minute drive. We can stop at the market on the way in if you want to pick up some wine or tequila, and our staff will label and store your bottles at our rooftop bar.
Saturday is a free day. You can settle into your room and unpack, but you’ll likely spend little time in your room as the rooftop deck is the favorite spot for socializing and relaxing. An infinity pool, hot tub, pool bar, deck bar and outdoor living room all provide incredible views of the ocean.
Sunday is the first ski day. You can choose whether you leave for the lake with the early crew at 7:15 a.m. or ride with the late crew at 8:15 a.m. The early crew is offered a quick and easy bite to eat at the villa, with a more substantial breakfast to follow at the lake. The late crew enjoys a full breakfast in the dining room.
The ride to the lake, Coconut Lagoon, is about 25 minutes. Our drivers escort you in Suburbans, and there’s a cargo case on top of each vehicle for all your ski equipment. At the lake, there’s a large palapa outfitted with mosquito screens and deep sofa seating. We keep extra equipment in the palapa in case you want to try a different ski or adjust your fin. If you don’t have expertise in fin adjustments, our coaches are happy to help make sure your ski is set up optimally for your best performance.
Our coaches are friendly, knowledgeable and hands-on. The brackish lake is surrounded by trees to diffuse the ocean breezes, ensuring glassy water every morning. Many of our guests count their sets on Coconut Lagoon among the best of their life.
Lunch is served under the palapa, and guests continue to ski until about 2 p.m. The Suburbans bring guests back to Villa Aquina for an afternoon of swimming, relaxing or napping. There is plenty of seating around the pool, a game room with a pool table and foosball, and a shaded outdoor fitness area.
An extraordinary dinner is served around 7 p.m. Our kitchen staff prepares all meals with fresh, healthy ingredients, and mealtime always exceeds expectations! The intimate gathering of guests around the dinner table fosters great conversations and new friendships.
We follow a similar schedule from Sunday through Friday.
Want more details about your Water ski Vacation in Paradise? Visit the Water Ski Vacation Blog which covers more particulars and explores options for our guests who don’t ski.
What makes Gordon Rathbun uniquely qualified as your host and coach for a week?
There are just two things: His great Caesar salads and magical coaching abilities. Actually this comes as no surprise to those who know Gordon because they've seen his talents in action. But do you know where they come from?
Originally from Seattle, Gordon graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. He worked in the hotel and restaurant industry for 18 years and, at Ski Paradise, it shows.
But the work was really feeding his passion for skiing. Gordon didn't actually become addicted to skiing until he was about 25 years old. At that time he was living in Lake Tahoe where the water and air temperatures were a little warmer than Seattle, perhaps, but still a bit cold for year-round practice.
In search of warmer water, Gordon moved to Florida and dedicated himself to water skiing for the next seven years. It paid off. In 1983 he won his first National title in the Men's 2 Division. That year he was ranked 10th in the world and joined the Pro Tour. Subsequently Gordon won the National Title five more times.
In 1988, Gordon discovered Acapulco and the following year started Ski Paradise - now in its 30th season.
Am I good enough?
Most guests, 60-70% in fact, are recreational skiers who want to improve their technique and perhaps try the slalom course. So don't think you're not good enough to attend. Every year we create more slalom addicts and we are proud of it! We get just as much of a thrill teaching someone to deep water start as we do getting them through the slalom course for the first time.
What is the water ski instruction like?
You won't find better instruction anywhere. Gordon will be in the boat 5 days per week, and his guest instructors are all uniquely qualified. Gordon's guest coaches include: Kris and Jen LaPoint, Will and Elaine Bush, Seth Stisher, Chris Parrish, Thomas Degasperi, Mike Suyderhoud, Todd Ristorcelli, Freddie Winter, Greg Badal, Bob Hardeman, Jim Hammer, Bob Edie, Doug and Kristin Meeker, Paul Chapin, Greg Tate, Jeff and Denise Goldman, Frederic Halt and many more enthusiastic skier/coaches.
What kind of equipment is used?
We have 3 Ski Nautique tournament boats and one Mastercraft 2014 ProStar. All have Zero Off Speed Control. We have some extra skis and bindings available to try and we have a few extra vests, but it's always a good idea to bring your own vests, gloves, skis and bindings.
How do I make reservations?
Contact Gloria Griffin at: