Gary Thompson

President, Owner

Gary Thompson has been a key figure in the show ski world for more than five decades as a performer, boat driver, show director, promoter and manager for water ski shows, jet-ski shows, and live action stunt shows around the world. Thompson’s water ski career, which began in the 1960’s, included three-event, barefoot and show skiing on the national and world levels. His water ski talents landed him appearances on the highly popular TV programs the “Mike Douglas Show” and “Hollywood Squares” in the 1970’s– as well as commercials with First Bank and Coca-Cola of Japan.

Thompson has developed talent for many esteemed water sports venues, including Cypress Gardens, Oahu Water Ski Club, Sea World, and the Liz Allen Water Ski Center in the Netherlands. He has successfully directed and installed water ski and BMX shows throughout the United States and worldwide in Mexico, Germany, Japan, Italy, United Arab Emirates, and Korea. In 1997 Thompson purchased Water Ski Shows Inc. and turned it into the world’s largest producer of water ski shows, stunt shows, children’s shows and street entertainment. Over the past 19 years, Thompson has been actively involved with the management, direction, and production of many of the most notable live water ski and stunt shows in the world including Universal Studios, Six Flags, Magic Mountain, Marine World, Hopi Hari, and LEGOLAND.


Three Event competition water skier

  • Competed at National level


Show skier – Cypress Gardens, Cypress Gardens, FL

Show skier – “McCulloch Show of Champions”


Show skier – Oahu Water Ski Club, Honolulu, HI

  • Performed ski shows for special events
  • Appeared in two commercials while flying a water ski kite. (One for First Bank and one for Coca-Cola of Japan.)
  • Competed in open ocean boat racing and ski racing


Marine World Africa USA, Redwood City, CA

  • Professional water skier, boat driver, and kite flyer


Sea World, San Diego, CA; Aurora, OH; and Orlando, FL

  • Flew hang gliders as the finale act for the Shamu Show, Sea World California
  • Show Director responsible for all aspects of managing and operating ski shows for Sea World Ohio and Sea World Florida
  • Participated in the design of the Atlantic Theater, set, stage, and dock areas.  Install and directed three themed ski shows for Sea World Ohio and Sea World Florida.  The themed shows were “Roaring Twenties,” “Super Heros,” and “Almost Anything Goes”


Liz Allan Water Ski Center, St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles

  • Managed water skiing and parasailing operation at the Great Bay Beach Hotel


Premier Water Ski Show, Myrtle Beach, SC

  • Directed and managed the ski show
  • Performed as a water skier, driver, and hang glider pilot


Show Director – Water Ski Shows, Inc. – Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany

  • Installed, managed, and operated the ski show
  • Managed and operated “The Academy for Professional Show Skiers” (Ski school)
  • Performed as a water skier, boat driver, and hang glider pilot


Vice President / Entertainment

  • Produced, directed and operated the water ski show at WORLD EXPO ’88 – Brisbane, Australia, staffed, and managed the Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction, installed numerous water ski and BMX shows worldwide.
    • Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey
    • Caneva Sport, Italy
    • Holiday Park, Germany
    • Adventure World, Japan
    • Indiana Beach, Indiana
    • Darien Lake, New York
    • Bob-Lo Island, New York
    • Sea World, California
    • Sea World, Texas


Vice President / Operations

  • Directed, staffed, managed and operated ski shows, BMX shows, jet ski shows, and extreme sports shows.
  • Six Flags Great Adventure, New Jersey
  • Caneva Sport Uno, Italy
  • Holiday Park, Germany
  • Caneva Sport Due, Italy
  • Indiana Beach, Indiana
  • Adventure World, Japan
  • Bob-Lo Island, New York
  • Lake Onondaga, New York
  • Pacific National Expo, Canada
  • Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Darien Lake, New York
  • Michigan’s Adventure, Michigan
  • Sport Live Stars, Germany
  • Miami Seaquarium, Miami
  • Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota
  • New Mexico State, New Mexico
  • Beijing Amusement Park, China
  • Wet ‘N Wild, Arlington, Texas
  • Wet ‘N Wild, Garland, Texas
  • Raging Waters, California
  • Expo ’93, Korea
  • Miyazu City, Japan
  • Sea World, Texas
  • Sea World, California


Vice President / General Manager

  • Directed, staffed, managed and operated water ski shows, jet ski shows, and live action stunt shows.
  • Six Flags Great Adventure,
    New Jersey
  • Universal Studios, California
  • Holiday Park, Germany
  • Lake Compounce, Connecticut
  • Indiana Beach, Indiana
  • New Elitch Gardens, Colorado
  • Beijing Amusement Park, China
  • Emerald Point, North Carolina
  • Walibi Flevo, Ski Show, Netherlands
  • Arrowhead Pond/Jet Jam, California

-Awarded consulting contract with Universal Studios Hollywood to assist in the design and production of the largest live action water stunt show in the world.  Later that year, Universal Studios Hollywood awarded WSSI a contract to provide and manage the talent for the show.  The show opened in October, 1995.

-Awarded a three-year contract with Six Flags Great Adventure to install, manage, and operate a new live action water stunt show, Lethal Weapon.

-Performed exhibition skiing and freestyle jet skiing for Jet Jam, a special event presented at Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA

-Water World won the Themed Entertainment Association award for “Most Outstanding Achievement.”



  • Purchased Water Ski Show, Inc.
  • Responsible for marketing, sales, promotions, manage and operate water ski shows, jet ski shows, and live action stunt shows.
  • Holiday Park – continues to be our longest running park association, now entering our 29th year of shows in Germany
  • Universal Studios Hollywood – including (Waterworld) and (T2:3D) continue to be the top rated shows in the park.  (15 years with USH)
  • Nashville Shores –( 2002 / 2003) presented a water ski show
  • Tomb Raider – (2003) stunt show, produced and operated a traveling stunt show for Paramount Parks.  (appeared in 5 parks)
  • Cypress Gardens – (2004 / 2005) – produced, installed, and operated all new water ski show
  • Fear Factor Live – (2005 to 2008) – USH, live show based on the popular TV series
  • Zorro – (2005 to 2011) – Street show, featuring sword fighting
  • Guyana, South America – (2006)- presented a water ski show, in a very special place
  • Universal Studios Orlando – (2007) – presented a water ski and jet ski exhibition in the lagoon
  • Hopi Hari, Brazil – (2008) – presented a water ski / jet ski show
  • Halloween events, Fright Fest, Slaughter World, Bill and Ted’s, Sliders, shows for USH and Magic Mountain
  •  LEGOLAND Florida – The Battle of Brickbeard’s Bounty – Water ski show – Provide and manage the talent
  • Holiday Park – celebrating our 30th anniversary show season
                                                       At present – In the water ski show business for 47 years – (1965-2012)
  • Six Flags Great Adventure,
    New Jersey
  • Universal Studios, California
  • Holiday Park, Germany
  • Mulwala, Australia
  • Indiana Beach, Indiana
  • The New Marine World, California
  • Arrowhead Pond/Jet Jam, California
  • Hopi Hari, Brazil
  • Walibi Flevo, Ski Show, Netherlands
  • Slaughter World, Universal Studios
  • BTT50’s Ski Show
  • King Solomon’s Mines Stunt Show
  • Magic Circus Show
  • Street Entertainment Show
  • Six Flags New England
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • Jungle Theatre,
    Six Flags Marine World
  • T2:3D, Universal Studios Hollywood
  • Captain Cannonball,
    Six Flags Marine World



  • 2nd Place, Boys Jumping National Water Ski Championships


  • 3rd Place, World Kite Championships, Cypress Gardens, FL
  • Broke world multiple barefoot water skiing record, Aurora, Ohio


  • Appeared on “Mike Douglas Show” (hang gliding segment), filmed in San Diego, CA


  • Coordinated water skiing elephant segment for Walt Disney’s film “Freaky Friday.”


  • Broke world multiple water ski record, Orlando, FL


  • Judged Regional and National Amateur Water Ski Show Championships


  • Broke world multiple backward barefoot record, Orlando, FL


  • Appeared on “Mike Douglas Show” hang gliding from the “Navy Pier,” filmed in Chicago, IL.


  • Appeared on front cover and featured in Superstar segment of March, 1981 edition of “Spray” magazine
  • Appeared on “Hollywood Squares” with John Davidson, performed hang gliding flight over the beach and hotel in Fort Lauderdale, FL


  • 10th Place in the East Coast Hang Gliding Championships
  • 10th Place in International Competition – Valle De Bravo, Mexico


  • 2nd Place in the Eastern US Team Competition