– Kids do so well at cable wakeboarding because they harbour no anxieties about looking stupid or hurting themselves, Callum Mark tells us. Mark is Activities Manager at Foxlake Adventures – a cable wakeboard park outside Edinburgh.
As sports go this is “extremely progressive” – novices learn the ropes in no time.
– Quite a few people have tried traditional waterskiing or wakeboarding off the back of a boat – the rope will sit max 2 metres above the water, Mark explains. – This might not create the happiest holiday memory for everybody – you’re literally being pulled through the water and at sea there are swells. With a cable you’re hoisted upwards and forwards – it makes an enormous difference to how quickly you progress.
Three kids in Team Magnus aged from 6 to 15 definitely spent a brilliantly wet and exhilarating hour wakeboarding last month, and we can see the links to surfing and snowboarding.
– It’s about edge control, balance and core strength, Mark says. – It’s not meant as “a fun day out” – with our 1 on 1 tuition you’re acquiring real skills quickly. Technically it’s easier than other water-sports though – it’s really not a challenge to take this up as an adult.
The basic skill required to get started is like sitting on a picnic rug when a friend pulls you up to a standing position, Mark tells us with a straight face. This wouldn’t sell it to every competitive teenager, but with the obstacles in the water park it gets harder as you progress, and you’re definitely having a blast while you’re at it.
To me cable wakeboarding seems a bit on the fiddly side – battling to get into the full-length wetsuit, adjusting the helmet, strapping on the bindings – and oh, the cable and the operator. You’re easily paying more than £15 for an individual session. But what an ideal intro to water-sports for kids:
– We have no pushy parents in this sport, Mark claims. – Partly we tap into that friendly surfing, snowboarding culture. And partly there are no second generation wakeboarders. The parents know to keep schtumm when the kids are flying past them!
You can learn more on
www.bwsw.org.uk – British Waterski and Wakeboard