We are getting into the middle of April and summer is right around the corner. I can even feel it getting warmer in Acapulco. Okay so that’s not a big deal but I hear it’s going to be over 90 degrees in Central Virginia tomorrow. That is great news for all of my friends back home!
With only 5 weeks left at Ski Paradise, I am looking forward to all the fun to come this summer in Bumpass. I will be flying back to the States the week of May 15th. I don’t plan on wasting any time before hitting the water and getting all of you eager skiers out there ASAP. I’ll need a couple of days to dial the course in and make sure the boat is running beautifully. Unless something changes, however, at this time I am going announce that May 21-22 is opening weekend. That means I will start taking reservations for that weekend and from there forward beginning IMMEDIATELY! Just email me to reserve your slice of the Peace, Love & Waterskiing.
For you east-coasters who have been off the water for a solid 6 months and just can’t wait for May to get started or to get your first early-season coaching, let me make a recommendation for you. Seth Stisher came to Ski Paradise three weeks ago for his week as a guest coach and did a killer job. I won’t go so far as to say that he is hands down the best coach that has visited, as we have had a number of top notch coaches (MB comes to mind and Andy Mapple, who was here last week) but I will say that you would have a hard time finding anybody better. Seth not only “gets skiing” and “gets people” but he also knows how to instruct and teach. He owns and operates the h2oz training center and h2o proshop in Charleston, SC. If you are looking for a great place to go to get in some quality early season water time, check out h2oztrainingcenter.com and consider a trip to Charleston. If you’ve never been to that city, I’d recommend checking it out. It has a great personality, killer seafood and restaurants, the beach and a lot of history.
As I mentioned, Andy Mapple just completed his second week as a guest coach at ski paradise and took off on Friday. It was truly a privilege to get to hang out and ski with “The Great One.” Having this opportunity is one of the things that makes water skiing so special. A group of ordinary skiers of various levels got to come here and spend the week with the all-time greatest skier and get lessons from him. Can you imagine what one on one time and lessons would cost with Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan. I also feel quite sure that their character couldn’t compare with Andy’s. He is as much a champion off the water as on. He will be traveling this summer putting on ski clinics across the country with his wife, Deena (including a few days in VA). You can find out more about Andy and these clinics at teammapple.com.
Last and also LEAST, Mike Friedman has made his return to Ski Paradise. He returned at the beginning of last week and since then, peace and quiet has been long gone. I must say that I was very excited to see my good friend return. I even almost enjoyed hearing a couple of his stories and jokes for the 5th or 6th time. Mike has been skiing great since his return, getting into 22 off with regularity. He is also by far the oldest Ski Paradise guest to bungee jump. Yes, 71.5 year old Michael Friedman hurled himself off of the 162 foot tower and lived to tell about it (despite the load in his pants). Jenny Kaldor also took the leap and can cross it off of her bucket list. Of course this was my poor influence. I, however, blame my recent enthusiasm for the bungee jumping on Sarah MacDonald. Sarah was a 17 year old guest who came for an “extended” spring break and showed no fear on the bungee tower, jumping forward, backward and being the first to do a handstand jump! Back to my old friend, he was also so extremely kind to secretly bring me down some Vibram 5 finger shoes, which he refuses to let me pay for (or talk about). OOOPS I guess I just let a lot of people know… $5 fine…
I can’t believe how close the end of this “off season” is now. Hopefully in the few days I have at home before “Opening Weekend” I will get to reflect over the great times I had here and the great people I met. Thanks to all of my new friends on this list, you all made this late fall/winter/spring everything it was for me.
Live, Love, Laugh, SKI!
P.S. Taylor and Maddie Miller are my favorite 2 people in the world (tied for first place). Sorry everybody else but it’s a totally biased competition