DiscoverBoatingDiscoverBoatingDiscoverBoating

Boating Lifestyle

There is so much to love, and learn, about boating. That’s why we created this library of articles, videos and blog posts to help you throughout your adventures.

Top 10 U.S. Water-Ski Schools

What’s the single best reason to book a trip to one of the water-ski schools on this list? No great skier has ever developed without the help of a coach. If you’ve never experienced the next-level response your skiing can achieve through a veteran instructor, you owe it to yourself to visit one of the schools — listed in alphabetical order — on our rundown of the top 10 ski schools in the country.

Bennett’s Waterski and Wakeboard School

More than three decades of one-on-one instruction on man-made water-ski lakes make Bennett’s a staple in the water-sports training industry. The cherry on top: Every coach is a nationally or world-renowned skier.

Location: Zachary, Louisiana
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick, jump
Top instructors: Danyelle Bennett-Critchley, Steven Critchley, Jay Bennett
Accommodations: 24-26 students on site in dormitory or cottage-style housing; off-site hotels
Website: skibennetts.com

The Boarding School

Known as one of the world’s best wakeboarding camps, The Boarding School offers a different vibe than your average water-ski school. The Orlando school’s brand-new 2014 MasterCraft Prostar is equipped with tower speakers, if that tells you anything. Regardless of your water-sports discipline of choice, at The Boarding School, fun and progression go hand in hand.

Location: Orlando, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick
Top instructors: Brooks Wilson, Travis Moye
Accommodations: 3-bedroom, 2-bath house and private apartment accommodate up to 8 people
Website: theboardingschool.com

Coble Waterski and Wakeboard Camp

Billed as the world’s largest camp, Coble Waterski and Wakeboard Camp boasts 10 private lakes and has been in business for more than 20 years. The accomplished Coble-Eller family along with 40-plus instructors teach at this massive facility. Repeat customers are a testament to the camp’s outstanding operation.

Location: Lillington, North Carolina
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick, jump
Top instructors: April Coble Eller, Chris Eller
Accommodations: On-site, dormitory-style
Website: cobleskischool.com

Cory Pickos Waterski and Wakeboard School

The purpose-built, privately owned ski lakes at this school located on Florida’s Panhandle boast white-sand bottoms and multiple world records. Experience the school and Cory’s legendary coaching in intervals as short as a day or as long as a summer.

Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Trick, slalom, jump
Top instructors: Cory Pickos
Accommodations: On-site, dormitory-style
Website: skicory.com

Drew Ross Ski Academy

Located just west of Orlando, the Drew Ross Ski Academy is operated on a man-made private ski lake that hosted Chris Parrish’s 2005 world-record slalom run. Those optimal conditions combined with Ross’ personal coaching style propel students to their full potential.

Location: Winter Garden, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick, jump
Top instructors: Drew Ross
Accommodations: Disney-area hotels and local rental homes
Website: drewrossskiacademy.com

Jack Travers Ski School

Located on a massive piece of property in Central Florida; students are coached in a one-on-one environment on three man-made lakes.

Location: Groveland, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick, jump
Top instructors: Jack Travers, Chris Travers
Accommodations: On-site cabins, villas
Website: jacktravers.com

Matt Rini Ski School

Learn slalom, trick and jump in a relaxed, fun environment with Matt Rini, a longtime professional coach and three-event innovator, and Whitney McClintock, a current three-event pro.

Location: Orlando, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom, trick, jump
Top instructors: Matt Rini, Whitney McClintock
Accommodations: Off-site
Website: mattrini.com

Orlando Watersports Complex

With a brand-new Ski Nautique 200 and a submersible course, Orlando Watersports Complex is much more than a cable park and wakeboard camp.

Location: Orlando, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate
Events taught: Slalom
Top instructors: Derek Leblanc, Nick Feinsod
Accommodations: Off-site
Website: orlandowatersports.com

Palm Beach Training Center

Operating out of the South County Regional Park, legendary skier and instructor Chet Raley teaches beginner to advanced slalom.

Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom
Top instructors: Chet Raley
Accommodations: Off-site
Website: pbtcenter.com

Sunset Ranch

Known for its impeccable site and world-class instruction, Sunset Ranch is built in the middle of a private vineyard. Located just outside of Sacramento, Sunset is close to major California attractions and has a customer-driven pace with one of the most beautiful sites on the planet.

Location: Galt, California
Level of instruction: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Events taught: Slalom
Top instructors: Doug Trimble
Accommodations: On-site cottage, cabin and loft
Website: skisunsetranch.com