Last February four friends, Brent, Eric, Scott and Marc, went on trip to Orlando where they skied 9 lakes in 5 days.
This was the plan:
The four friends wanted to ski 10 different lakes, but due to the weather they were only able to ski 9 lakes, which is also very impressive. This way they were able to try and compare lakes and coaches. Sometimes the experience was good, sometimes not so good. This is their review, written by Brent and Eric.
1st stop was Ski Fluid. We called a few days ahead of time & skied around 10 am. Kyle Eade is the main man at this site which is on Lake Grew that was purpose built as a ski lake by the Waterski Hall of Fame. Action Watersports now resides in the old Hall of Fame.
Kyle is an easy going direct coach, who will give you good insight on how to improve your skiing. Current model year Mastercraft ProStar is what you will have the pleasure of skiing behind. I think it was $ 60 a set.
The school was very busy with Japanese Students.
Lucky Lowe was the 2nd stop. I have been skiing with Lucky for years & know him reasonably well, enjoying his coaching to great effect.
Lucky has a bunk house with 6 beds & a few other rooms around his property that you can stay in at no extra cost if you are skiing with him. It is $ 60 a set to ski behind the current years Malibu & have access to 3 course on his lake,one of which is a 12 buoy course, that will change your perspective on course skiing & is fun to ski.
No one wants to help you improve your skiing more than Lucky & he has been known to get a little upset when he feels you are not being helped (don't take it personally) .It is worth skiing with Lucky just for the stories you will tell afterward. I highly recommend skiing with him.
Swiss Waterski Resort
I have been to Swiss Waterski Resort 3 times & had a great experience every time. Swiss has 2 lakes with either a Nautique 200 or the latest Nautique 19. Coaches are Clint, Patrice, Benny & Vincent, all very knowledgeable with great coaching abilities. Swiss is the best site I know in Orlando for protection from the wind, it is pretty much always glass. The site has a covered deck on both lakes with tables & seating with a great view of the lake to watch whoever is on the water. This one of the more international sites, where you will find people from all over the World coming to ski. It’s $ 50 a set, you make a reservation for morning or afternoon & you write you name on a board at the starting dock as you arrive 1st come 1st serve. Swiss has wonderful homes for rent as well as some rooms but I was not a fan of the rooms (I am not Kid anymore). I want to ski there more.
I did a set at Rini’s in June to try out the new Nautique but did not ski with Matt but I enjoyed the coaching I got, not sure who it was.
Matt was there this time & was very entertained by our lake slut mission, boat is really nice, 8 ball course again because of short setup. Matt noticed my back knee was bowing out (trying to compensate for boot too far forward’s) & I tried to correct it without realizing it was poor ski setup. We only did 1 set with each coach, so very hard for them to know what is going on, I can only throw myself under the boat on that :)
LaPoint Ski Park
I have been skiing at LaPoints for a few years, my Friend John Wilkins is a fixture there & you also have Kris & Jennifer (Leachman) LaPoint, Chris Parrish & Wade Cox are often around if you would like some coaching. Very relaxed atmosphere with lots of banter on shore. 8 Ball course with a dog leg at the far end to drop & start in. $ 40 a set.
Drew Ross Academy
Drew skis on Lake Hancock which is renowned for World records being set there. We were initially supposed to ski at Drew Ross's on Saturday afternoon but it was too windy so we took a rain check for the next morning & went to LaPoints instead. Drew's on Sunday morning had perfect conditions, Drew has a driver & he watches you ski from the drivers seat, great site. I can't say much about the coaching as my ski setup made me pretty unteachable. Cool site & we got to meet the Fin Whisperer & check out how he sets up skis with his new fin. Drew is $ 75 a set.
Boris Laval’s (Monte Carlo Ski Training Centre), I 1st skied with Boris in June & very much enjoy his style of coaching which is very focused on being balanced on the ski without it getting ahead or behind you, Scott enjoyed his coaching as well. Eric & Marc thought he should have had a driver & just coached. $50 a set :)
The Boarding School (Freddie Winter)
The Boarding School with Freddie Winter, great looking site but pretty windy when we were there Monday Morning. The lake is very close to the dock, so 2 of us went out at a time, Marc had his best set of the trip in big wind there. Freddie coaching & Manon Costard driving, my skiing sucked, only ran 2 28offs out of 6 passes, pretty much par for the 1st 4 days but had a blast. We met a few skiers from Pennsylvania who had just arrived, we had a blast shootin the S with them. Freddie is $ 75 a set.
Thomas Degasperi charges $70 a set & shares a lake with Jason Seels Who split hours on the lake between them. Jason gets early Morning & early afternoon & Thomas gets mid morning & mid afternoon to dark. Lake has 2 jumps & a 8 ball course to create a better setup from each end. I was convinced to try Scotts ski as I have been skiing very poorly & did even worse on his ski :(
I like Thomas’s coaching but could not take advantage of it :(
I would recommend all the coaches & sites but each has it's pro's & cons, 1st world problems in reality, no bad choices in the bunch.
Thanks to the hard work and planning from my terrific friend Brent, I experienced a once in a lifetime smorgasbord of waterski instruction during my 3-day, 6 ski school whirlwind tour of Waterski-Orlando.
PLEASE NOTE, MY IMPRESSIONS ARE COLORED BY MY COMPLETE RUSTINESS ON DAY ONE, FEELING IN THE GROOVE ON DAY 2, AND COMPLETE LACK OF ENERGY ON DAY 3. IN ADDITION, THERE WAS A STEADY BREEZE ABOUT 12-15 MPH DURING MOST SKIING.
I will rate each place based on: 5-star rating, site conditions, instructions/instructor
Matt Rini Location was relatively well protected from wind. Site located directly off busy freeway. Boat was 2019. Course conditions were smooth despite the breeze. Rini was a great guy. Easy to talk to and very interested in coaching. He however had to drive and coach at the same time (not sure if that is his usual mode) which, having tried to do both myself is difficult to do. I would go back but it may not be my first choice. Price $ 70 per set 3 1/2 stars.
LaPoint Ski Park
Due to the wind, we had to find a site that was not blown out. We skied as guests of John Wilkins at the private ski club on Kris Lapoint’s lake. It was terrific. Flat warm water, quiet setting and price was right! $ 40 per set. Boat was a 2017 Mastercraft – all good. Laid back atmosphere of friends coaching each other and did 2 sets – I would go back! 5 stars
Location and water were super smooth despite a stiff breeze – water has a silty quality which allows the ski to grab and hold a turn. Skied best here. Drew was laid back – did not give too much instruction. He had a dedicated driver. Spoke in terms I could understand and made me feel at ease. He genuinely seemed more interested in me and watching me ski then he did in hearing himself talk (unlike so many instructors do)! Best instructor by far. Price $ 70/set, I want to go back. 4 1/2 stars
Quiet comfortable setting. Clean and easy to get to. Boris had to coach and drive at same time, so he could not fully engage. He gave similar instruction to everyone. Steady head breeze up and down the lake. Very nice guy. Easy to get along with but I left there feeling a bit flat. I don’t think I would go back if I had other options. 3 stars
Had a designated driver which is a plus. Windy day and lake not well protected. White caps. Clean house. Located at the old Goode training center. Water was warm, and ski held well. Freddy was fun to talk to and again seemed to do a good job analyzing the skiing and giving good insight. Lake access was not directly off the dock so two skiers had to go at a time and bring their gear on the boat. Price was $ 65. I might go back but no strong draw. 4 stars.
Last set of the trip. My arms were shot. Malibu boat and course were not well protected. He did not have a designated driver, so he drove and coached. Felt rushed and instruction was not what I expected. He said I skied like 1985 and I dismissed his instructions as nothing more than wanting me to ski like Dancing with the Stars – until of course I watched him beat Nate Smith in a run-off at Moomba Masters one week later! So, I guess the joke is on me! Nice guy but I did not get the warm and fuzzy. $ 70 Won’t go back. 3 stars
Please remember – My experiences are MY experiences. I am not a YELP kind of person and I do not do on-line reviews because I think they can be unfair. I am 53 years old and have been skiing for a very long time and have heard all the instructions before at one time or another. The wind and my physical state of rustiness or exhaustion have a heck of a lot to do with this grading system.