A Chat with Thomas Degasperi

A Chat with Thomas Degasperi


After listening to this episode of The Ski with Wade Podcast you’ll know why the secret to greatness – on water skis or in any other facet of life – is simply this: Do the drills! Host Wade Cox is sharing the very specific routines and techniques he has developed to help water skiers of all ages improve their speeds, swing and fun on the water. He talks with a group of his up-and-coming students, who share the skills they’re working on and some of the overlap between what they’re learning on the lake and what they do in school and while competing in other sports. You’ll also hear lots of shout outs to all the people who have shaped Wade’s coaching philosophy as well as venues and support for his busy Ski With Wade Tour and clinics, happening all the time around the U.S. and beyond!

  • The show opens with a long list of Thomas’s head-spinning championship history as well as the “aha” moment when he understood that water skiing was going to be a career as well as a youthful passion.

  • A magical stroll down memory lane, circa the 2006 European Championship at which Thomas and Wade first met, competed, partied, visited Normandy’s D-Day beaches and built a bond.

  • Thomas’s first European record-breaking title as a teen-ager and progression through the collegiate level and beyond. These rivalries were epic!

  • About 2007: The only time TGas and Wade did a triple head-to-head, with Wade emerging victorious right before Thomas went on to win Worlds.

  • Becoming a two-time World Champion changed TGas’s life like nothing else.

  • About the friendship and rivalry between TGas and William Asher and what it felt like to represent Italy.

  • The outsized impact that the late Dave Goode had on Thomas’s career, based on their close relationship and shared experiences.

  • Between them Wade and Thomas have been down to Acapulco dozens of times – a destination they love because of the venue and great people with whom they’ve formed lifelong relationships over time.

  • Coach Chat: Wade and Thomas swap thoughts on guidance that resonates especially well with their student skiers.

  • Insider scoop on behind-the-scenes nightclub gloating, World Cup soccer, jockeying for status and other hijinks over two weeks of European events that Wade and Thomas remember fondly.

  • Pop Quiz – Find out which Italy-themed trivia questions Thomas missed!

    • Was the typewriter invented in Italy? (True!)

    • In which city was pizza created? (Naples!)

    • How many World Cup soccer titles has Italy won? (Four!)

    • How many active volcanoes are there in Italy? (Three!)

    • How many gallons of wine does the average Italian drink per year? (26!)

    • How many kilos of pasta does the average Italian eat annually. (25!)

  • Here’s hoping Wade and Thomas cross paths someday soon at Ski Paradise, one of their favorite water ski venues anywhere in the world!

Wow. It really took me back to sit down with my old friend Thomas Degasperi, a class act who started water skiing at five years old and has pretty much been setting the standard ever since!


Born in Trento, Italy, Thomas was raised by a supportive family and of course heavily influenced by his dad, a well-known coach and owner of a water ski school in northern Italy. Having parents like Thomas’s – who have supported his dreams from an early age – makes such a difference and in this case pretty much birthed a legend. At 15, Thomas won his first medal at the European Championships and after that there was no looking back.


Along with winning two World Championships, eight European Championships and multiple Moomba, Malibu Open and Masters titles, Thomas has made a phenomenal 60 appearances on the podium at events of all kinds. He also helped ignite epic rivalries on the collegiate scene, attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe as part of the waterski team and obtaining his bachelor’s degree in marketing. In my day, a lot of skiers who medaled nationally and internationally skipped college and went straight to the pros, but Thomas and his posse of young collegiate competitors changed the playing field in many ways.


It was so much fun to remember crossing paths back in Europe, competing and hanging out, watching World Cup soccer and even taking in historic D-Day beaches together. Back then Thomas was more or less starting out and saw me (just about ready to hang up my spurs at that point) as a “legend,” which is humbling It was good times! More recently we’ve both been avid fans of Ski Paradise, a fantastic venue based in Acapulco that we’ve frequented maybe 20 times each over the years, making new friends and cementing longtime relationships that make the sport of water skiing so special.


Thomas may be humble, but he can’t hide his good looks or charisma. In addition to running his own ski school in Orlando, Florida, he is also a well-known pop figure in his native Italy, where he has been a contestant on the popular reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. In the U.S. he has been on a national TV commercial to promote 5 Hour Energy. Just a great guy with a great attitude towards life! Want to keep up with Thomas? Follow him here: TGas@Instagram


I’ve got a bunch of new merch and lots going on as far as upcoming clinics and tour dates, so click here to get in the loop!


And click here to check out previous episodes of Ski With Wade.


The one-of-a-kind fixture out on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin: Gordy’s Marine.