Do you want to wakeboard? Great, hook the fifty thousand dollar boat to the F-350, fill up the gas tanks, dump it in the lake and go carve it. There’s nothing like the feeling of laying the edge of the board and spraying the lake. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to a good boat, or the time to deal with everything else involved in creating a great wakeboarding session. Fortunately, a revolution is taking place that makes wakeboarding accessible to everyone. Now there are three new ways to travel without the use of a boat. Cable parks, winches, and kites have not only made wakeboarding cheaper, but they have also opened up all kinds of new water terrain for people to ride.
Cable parks came first. Using technology borrowed from ski resort chairlifts, cable parks use a rope trailer that runs in a large circle around man-made lakes. For fifty dollars or more, wakeboarders can purchase a pass, grab the rope as it comes, and be towed around the lake. Cable parks are opening across the country, many with multiple lakes for riders of varying skill or style levels. Artificial lakes are designed to maintain the perfect depth and are great for setting up obstacles like sliders and kickers for riders to challenge their skills. Cable parks are also a great place to host wakeboarding contests, and many professional riders spend most of their time honing their cable-riding skills.
Winches are another great solution for getting out on the water and riding. About the size of a suitcase, and available for much less than the cost of a boat, around $ 1500, a winch can be installed in all kinds of locations, from small ponds, between piers, along canals and even streams. , rivers and on the ocean beach! Winches provide riders with a straight-line run of about five to six hundred feet, and sometimes more. Many wakeboarders use winches to pull them through rail parks or through a unique water feature, as they are limited to running one race at a time and in a more or less straight line. Winches simply require one friend to operate them while the other rides, a few gallons of gasoline for an entire day, and can be easily transported from place to place.
Kites are possibly the coolest and most amazing new source of attraction for wakeboarders. Kiteboarding has recently become a giant water sport in its own right in recent years, and for many wakeboarders who are pulled by the kite it offers the utmost freedom to navigate completely on their own, in any direction they please. to go. and through all kinds of water, from choppy lakes to butter-smooth glass, ocean waves to water a few inches deep that they would never be able to access when dragged by a boat. The best part for many riders is that there are no turns when you’re riding behind a kite, and you can stay outside and ride as long as you want, at least until the wind dies. Kiteboarding kites pack to the size of a back when not in use, weigh only a few pounds total, can be set up, launched and landed without assistance, and once in the air they are capable of dragging riders in almost any direction, even up. High-performance kites pull as hard as a wakeboard boat, they are steered by the rider to pull left or right, or upward, allowing wakeboarders to soar 40 feet into the air or more. The rider can also control the amount of wind the kite catches, to create more or less pull on the kite while riding. If the kite crashes into the water it is not a big deal, they are designed to relaunch, and many of them do it very easily. Although slightly more complicated than other types of wakeboarding where riders simply hold on and ride, kiteboarders have to ride and ride at the same time, the freedom and rewards of wakeboarding behind the kite are unmatched in the sport. Although setting up a kite with everything you need generally costs around $ 3000, once you have the equipment, there are no other expenses, no gasoline, no maintenance or service, and no one else is required to drive or operate the equipment. .
Anyway, wakeboarding is a lot of fun and in a different way now available to the public and not just kids whose parents own the lake house and boat that costs as much as a college education.