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The history


Gordon Rathbun

The man who started it all

34 years ago, a young Gordon Rathbun had a vision for something that would come to change the reality of the ultimate water ski experience for many skiers of every level, from all around the world. 

It all started with a simple question that lots of us ask ourselves at the end of summer. How can I keep skiing after the season in the U.S. is done? What Gordon didn’t know then is that finding the answer to that question would lead him to the next 33 years of his life (and still counting).


Gordon skiing

As the years passed Ski Paradise became really popular, and started to evolve into a more “high end” experience, with a great emphasis on giving guests a taste of the Mexican culture through a great dining experience, great accomodation and guest services, and a unique personalized experience thanks to the presence of Gordon and Gabriela, who became Gordon’s wife in 1996, and also became a key member of the Ski Paradise team who really helped take the experiece to the next level. All of this happened without loosing sight of their main objective; becoming the best place to waterski in the world during winter time.


Ski Paradise Acapulco was born in 1989 as a place where skiers of every level could enjoy perfect skiing conditions during their winters in the Northern Hemisphere by travelling to sunny and magical Acapulco, Mexico. 


 At the very start, Gordon used to take his guests to Coyuca Lagoon in the old area of the port, and coach everyone in the group all by himself (many times from sunrise until dusk). After that, the group would go back to a beautiful house in the famous Las Brisas residential. 

During these first years, Ski Paradise coexisted with the last years of the so called “Golden Age” of Acapulco, when the rich and famous spent long vacations there, specially many Hollywood stars, such as John Wayne and Johnny Weismuller who owned the iconic Hotel Flamingo’s close to the cliff known as La Quebrada where the famous Acapulco cliffdivers have been putting a great show for years.


Coconut Lagoon -


Guests at the Palapa

Around 1995, Ski Paradise moved to the newly developed Diamante area, a place that was growing really fast, with hotels and residential complexes being built past the bay towards the airport. All of this happened because one day Gordon discovered a beautiful lake surrounded by mangroves and palmtrees located just across the road from the open Pacific Ocean in that area of town. This lake had ideal skiing conditions and was later baptized as “Coconut Lagoon” to become the new home of Ski Paradise Acapulco, and the Palapa as so many know today. 


Gordon & Gabriella


Villa Aquina

Shortly after that, Gordon and Gabriela decided to build Villa Aquina, an amazing house that became the home of Ski Paradise for 14 years. A lot of memories were made inside the walls of that beautiful villa, and the creation of friendships and relationships became something common for the many groups of guests that came during those years.


Since then Ski Paradise became “The World’s Best Place to Ski from November to May” as referred to by the Waterski Magazine, and has kept to the standard by constantly improving the experience for guests, and making sure Gordon’s initial question remains answered.


The next chapter is still to come, hope that you can be a part of it…

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