Imagine being able to finish work early on a hot summer's afternoon, and instead of going to the gym for a workout, meeting up with your crew at the local cable park to shred together 'til dark. The ability to ride with a gang of mates while being inspired by others is the key to this sport’s growth and survival.
Wakeboarding emerged in the world’s action sports scene in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, over the years the sport has become restricted to a more elitist sport, close to that of polo or off-shore power boat racing.
National and international competitions are now run with such expensive and exceptional boats (NZD$200,000) most riders are unable to properly train due to their inaccessibility. This combined with the forever-increasing price of petrol, you are left with a sport in its top-end that can only be reached by those with over-flowing wallets (by the way we are talking about the height of competition, wake-to-wake double flips and Backside 1080’s, not hacking around Greenhithe in your Bayliner smashing out back rolls - because that shit is ace!)
With wakeboarding there is an alternative side of the coin that most of you have heard about, but possibly never experienced….. cable parks!
I’m not referring to your two-tower system, which in their own right are amazing and provide a whole different kettle of fish, I’m referring to a full five-six tower system. These systems are well proven around the world in exciting cities like Sydney, London, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, LA, Las Vegas and San Francisco and are great facilities for getting a large amount of people who would otherwise never have access to wakeboarding.
They create a great community of riders; allowing interaction between professionals and learners in the same space. Unlike boat riding where you may not see anyone else out on the water in a session, the cable community revolves around hanging out at the park watching other riders while getting inspired.
The major benefit about cable riding is equipment and a season/day pass ticket this is the only outlay you will need to spend. You can virtually ride for as long as your arms will allow you to hold on for.
This means that wakeboarding is no longer in only the elitist domain and brings it back to everyone. Anyone, no matter how much money you have, can compete and ride on the same platform at the same speed using the same features without having to take out a small mortgage to pay for an official boat and run up massive bills on your petrol fuel card.
We say bring on a cable park for Auckland - a city of water sport lovers - and let’s get behind anyone willing to try and build one.
So who's with us?