Cable wakepark hits Okanagan Lake
Jun 22, 2012 / 3:51 pm
You may never have heard of it but cable wakeboarding promises to sweep the Okanagan.
That's the hope of Conrad Wiker who's cable wakepark is set to open to the general public next week.
The facility has taken shape over the past few months on the westside of the WR Bennett Bridge near the old ferry wharf.
Wiker describes cable wakeboarding as something similar to using a T-bar on a ski hill.
"Instead of sitting on your butt it sits in your hands, instead of going up I make you go across, instead of going over snow you go over water and instead of going slow I make you go real fast," says Wiker
"Basically it's just like wakeboarding or water skiing."
Wiker says cable wakeboarding began more than 50 years ago.
"There's 215 cable facilities around the world in 43 countries. We are actually one of eight sports shortlisted for the 2020 Olympics."
Construction on the cable park began in May after about three years of discussions with Westbank First Nation.
Final testing is underway right now with the park slated to open Saturday, June 30.
Wiker says there are two different cable systems, a beginner and an advanced cable.
The beginner cable rents for $75 for a half hour and $135 for a full hour.
"What I tell people is, it's like getting a golf tee time, don't come by yourself because nobody can really wakeboard or cable board for 30 minutes or an hour," says Wiker.
"Most people go three to five minutes on what we call a pull series which is about five to six laps. You take a break and go again."
Wiker says the plan is to operate this first park this year and possibly expand to other locations on the lake in the coming years.
"This is only phase one of two phases here in the Okanagan. Next year, we have plans for a six tower, 10 rider system in which 10 riders will be going at the same time."
That larger system would go where the current cable system is located. The current system, says Wiker, would be moved on the other side of the dock to be used as a training facility.
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