The latest craze in water board sports is cable parks, and with hundreds popping up all over the world, Noel Carter is going to be the first person to bring one to California.
The 1998 Nevada Union graduate has already broken ground and is planning an early April opening for Wake Island, a wake boarding cable park located in Pleasant Grove.
Cable parks take the boat element out of wake boarding and add a series of cables that pull a rider through a body of water littered with features, including ramps and rails.
“The experience that I think a lot of people have who don’t own a boat is, you get out on a boat, someone tosses you a rope and gives you two words of advice, ‘hold on tight and bend your knees,’ and then your off,” Carter said. “For some it ends up being a bad experience. And, if you don’t have a friend or a close relative with a boat, it’s tough to get time on the water, and the cable park changes that.”
Carter said what Wake Island will provide is a place to learn, practice or just ride a wake board without all the hassles that accompany boating.
“For the cost of my annual pass (Currently $1,299) you can ride every day, unlimited amount of time for eight months out of the year for the price of registration and insurance on a boat.” Carter said. “That doesn’t include the gas or the initial costs of a boat.”
Hourly and day passes will also be available for purchase, Carter said.
Another Nevada Union alumnus, Don Wallace, who is the senior vice president of sales and marketing with Liquid Force, has teamed up with Carter on Wake Island.
“Our company has been really involved with supporting cable parks,” Wallace said. “We look at it as the future of the sport. Not everybody can afford a boat, but most people can afford a day pass.”
Wallace, said he was surprised that it has taken this long for a cable park to break ground in California, but said that now one has, more will follow.
“It blows me away that there hasn’t been one California considering the popularity of the sport,” Wallace said. “Opening a park near the state capital will open the door for parks to open in San Diego, Los Angeles and so on. Once somebody’s done it and certain boundaries are broken then the rest will follow.”
The fact that Wake Island is the first of its kind in California made the permitting process a difficult one, Carter said.
“The biggest obstacle was simply educating people on what a cable park is,” he said.
But, now that all the permitting is complete, Carter said they are putting on the finishing touches and hopes to have a soft opening in early April.
The 80 acre facility, set on beautiful piece of land just outside of Sacramento, does offer more than just a wake boarders dream. It also has a lake for boats to pull slalom skiers, a lake for beginners to practice before heading out on the main body of water and a lake for paddle boarding if that’s more the patron’s speed.
Wake Island will also feature a pro shop, a beefed up snack shack that serves beer and wine, a patio area and a beach area with sand that Carter is having shipped in.
“This park will be like no other in the world,” Carter said. “Cable parks aren’t like racquet ball courts where they are all the same. Each one is unique and has different features and a different lay of the land. Each one is unique, like each ski resort is unique.”
One of the main objectives that Wallace and Carter both have for Wake Island is that it opens the door for more people to enjoy water board sports.
“It’s the future of our sport in that it opens the sport to a wider group of people.” Wallace said.
Wake Island’s slogan is ‘Water sports for everyone!’
While the cable park takes the boat out of wake boarding, Carter said it doesn’t clash with the boating business.
“It’s an experience that’s different from being behind a boat, but still complements it,” Carter said. “It doesn’t take from the boating business, it grows the pie and complements the two industries.”
With the soft opening set for April, Carter said the park will only grow from there with the possibility of competitions, events and demonstrations.
For more on Wake Island visit http://wakeislandwatersports.com or visit the Wake Island facebook page.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.