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9 Best Wakeboard Parks in the US

If you’ve been to the lake on a summer vacation or holiday weekend, you’ve likely seen jet skiers, water skiers, boaters, anglers, and swimmers. But what about wakeboarders? This water sport is like a combination of skateboarding, kitesurfing, surfboarding, and water skiing. While you need a boat to enjoy wakeboarding in open water, there are wakeboard cable parks across the U.S.

In these parks, adventurers can enjoy their hobby without needing a boat. Today, we’re diving into the world of wakeboarding and where the best wakeboard cable parks are in the country. Let’s go!

What Is Cable Wakeboarding or a Wake Park?

What Is Wakeboarding?

When wakeboarding, a rider stands on a board with foot bindings and holds onto a cable or rope they attach to a boat. The wakeboard is like a snowboard, and the riding style is similar to snowboarding, except it’s on the water instead of the snow. As the boat speeds up, the rider maneuvers over the wake, usually attempting various tricks.

Wakeboarding doesn’t require much equipment. The rider always wears a life jacket and frequently wears a water-resistant helmet. But other than the wakeboard and rope, you won’t need much else for this sport.

What Types of Tricks Can Wakeboarders Do?

Have you ever watched the X Games? This event features extreme sports like skateboarding, motocross, snowboarding, BMX freestyle riding, and other action sports. Wakeboarding belongs in this category. Riders attempt tricks as they cross over the boat’s wake. They change their posture and weight distribution to spin, flip, jump, and twist in the air.

Common wakeboarding tricks include an ollie, a grab, and a corked spin. However, riders invent dozens of tricks all the time. The ollie is an introductory-level maneuver that leads to more complicated tricks. You shift your weight onto your rear foot and quickly lift your front foot. Then you bring your rear foot up to your front foot to level the wakeboard.

A grab is another introductory-level trick that leads to more complex stunts and combinations. The rider grabs the wakeboard with their hand when they jump into the air. Finally, a rider can spin when they rotate their body toward the boat. An off-axis spin, or a corked spin, is when the wakeboard rises above the rider’s shoulder during the spin.

Wakeboarding
No matter the watersport we love it! While slaloming is not done on the cable its one of my favorite ways to ride!

How Is Wakeboarding Different From Kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing and wakeboarding look very similar. Both riders use a board in the open water. However, kitesurfing uses wind power with a large kite that pulls the rider. Because wakeboarders use boats to tow them at high speeds, their boards have a different shape. A wakeboard will have 1-2 inches more of a rocker to prevent wipeouts. Kiteboards will be lighter and flatter.

According to Statista, over two million Americans participate in wakeboarding. This is a slight decline from the early 2000s when over three million people enjoyed the sport. Across the world, it’s the fastest-growing water sport, with over four million people participating, according to USA Water Ski and Wake Sports.

Pro Tip: If you love water sports, you’ll enjoy these 10 Best Whitewater Rafting Trips in the US for Beginners.

What Is a Wakeboard Park?

A wakeboard park, or a cable park, uses a system of cables on tracks to pull athletes. Not all wakeboarders have access to a boat. Even the ones with access need a driver. Sometimes it’s easier to head to a wakeboard cable park to practice. Water sports like wakeboarding and waterskiing are no longer for people with access to a boat.

These wakeboard parks also have controlled environments. So it’s easier to work on a new trick. Different parks have various features like a skateboard park with rails, frames, and wedges on which athletes can attempt tricks.

Tom from Mortons on the Move wakeboarding
For those without access to a boat, a wakeboard park helps you hit the water and practice your skills.

9 Best Wakeboard Parks in the US

Let’s look at nine of our favorite wakeboard cable parks in the U.S. From the East Coast to the West Coast; some fantastic complexes provide the space and equipment for wakeboarders to perfect their craft.

1. Orlando Watersports Complex

One of the largest wakeboard parks in the country is the Orlando Watersports Complex in Florida. It features two full-sized cable systems, a 2.0 system, UNIT XL kickers, a pool gap, transfer rails, and beginner kickers and rails. This design accommodates beginners and advanced riders. Pricing ranges from around $45-99. Children aged 10 and under are encouraged to take the child safety lesson first with coaching on the standard cable.

However, the Orlando Watersports Complex isn’t just for wakeboarders. There’s also a boating lake, a dockside grill, a beach area, and an aqua park. Children must be at least six years old to play in the aqua park. This complex is the only one on our list that’s open year-round.

orlando wakepark

2. Waco Surf Cable Park

During the summer, the Waco Surf Cable Park in Waco, Texas is open daily. In April, September, and October, the wakeboard park is open on the weekends only. A 2-hour pass is roughly $39 and an all-day pass is around $59. This park makes our list of best wakeboard cable parks in the U.S. because it features a 6-tower clockwise system with a Kawasaki rail, a rooftop, two wave kickers, an A-frame, a C-rail, a kink rail, an 8-inch round flat bar, and a funbox that are always changing. The 2-acre lake isn’t the largest on our list, but it still offers wakeboarders room to soar, flip, and twist. And the course is different every time!

Waco Surf also offers the Wake Academy to help teach beginning wakeboarders. While riders must be over 6 years old to use the cable park, guests of all ages can enjoy the water park at Waco Surf. There are wedge slides, a lazy river, and a beach area. There are also hotel rooms, cabins, RV sites, houses for rent on the property, and numerous food options. You could spend several days enjoying the Texas sunshine and never leave Waco Surf!

Waco Surf Park
You can also surf a man-made wave at the waco park!

3. Elevated Wake Park

Like some other wakeboard cable parks on this list, Elevated Wake Park has a 2.0 system cable setup for beginners and a Seismic full-size cable system for more experienced riders. This park in Lexington, North Carolina, is for any wakeboarder. There are 2-hour, 4-hour, and all-day passes available from around $38-55.

The full-sized cable system includes Unit Park Tech features and features with unique designs. But Elevated Wake Park isn’t only for wakeboarders. Guests can also enjoy the aqua park with a floating playground and obstacle course. There’s also a summer camp for kids who want to learn more about wakeboarding and have fun playing in the water.

elevated wake park
There are epic wakeboarding parks all across the US.

4. Terminus Wake Park

Sitting in Cartersville, Georgia, the Terminus Wake Park is for all ages and skill levels. It’s open from April to September and features a 6-tower clockwise Sesitec system, a Sesitec 2.0 system, a unit XL kicker, a Raph Derome Unit signature rail, and a Pool Gap Unit Parktech signature rail. There’s also an inflatable water playground for the non-wakeboarders with slides, trampolines, swings, and balance beams.

Participants must be at least five years old, and they offer private lessons for beginner wakeboarders. The beginner lake operates at 16 MPH, while the advanced lake operates at 20 MPH. The cost is around $42-50 for a 2-hour pass or around $60-90 for an all-day pass.

Tirminus wake park

5. Wake Island Waterpark

Open from April to October, the 60-acre Wake Island Waterpark in Pleasant Grove, California, features a 5-tower counterclockwise Sesitec system, one two-tower system, four kickers, a wedge, a dragon rail, a flat box, a transfer box, a pipe, and an A-frame. In addition to the wakeboard park, Wake Island Waterpark has an aqua park, a zip line, a 16-acre boat lake, and an 8-acre paddle boarding lagoon.

Participants must be at least ten years old, and all riders under 48 inches must have an adult present. The pricing varies but ranges from $29-69. They also provide lessons for beginner wakeboarders.

Wake Island California

6. The Quarry Cable Park

Part of the Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake, Illinois, the Quarry Cable Park is 32 acres of wakeboarding fun. This wakeboard cable park features a UNIT Parktech Double Elbow Rail, a Grom Rainbow, two Kicker Medium, a Kicker Large, a Kicker XL, an Up Box, a Transition Curb, a Double Transition Rail, a 3-Stair Pool, a Down Rail Long, and a Flat Down Ledge for plenty of tricks.

A 2-hour pass is around $50, and an all-day pass is approximately $70. The Quarry also offers beginner lessons, intermediate lessons, and summer camps. But visitors don’t only come for wakeboarding. The Quarry also has a lakefront tap and grille, a fire pit, live music, sand volleyball, and baggo. The Quarry stays open as long as it can until winter weather rolls in.

Wakeboarding jump
Practice new tricks and skills at a wakeboard park.

7. West Rock Wake Park

Another Illinois wakeboard cable park is West Rock Wake Park in Rockford. It’s for beginners, advanced, and pro riders. They encourage first-time riders to take the “Never-Ever” class to help prepare for the wakeboarding experience. West Rock Wake Park has a 2.0 system for beginners and 22 UNIT Park tech features for more advanced riders. This park is one of the best places for new wakeboarders on our list.

Riders must be at least 7 years old to sign up for the “Never-Ever” class and to ride the full cable, a child under 10 must take a lesson on the system 2.0 first. West Rock Wake Park operates from May to October. The “Never-Ever” class is around $30, a 2-hour pass is about $30, and an all-day pass is about $50.

west rock wakepark

8. Raven’s Cove

Formerly McCormick’s Cable Park, Raven’s Cove is at McCormick Lakes in Seffner, Florida. You can even stay overnight in one of the campsites and enjoy an entire weekend of wakeboarding. This park features a 5-tower Rixen clockwise system, a LittleBro 2-tower system, a fun box, a black ollie box, a rainbow rail, two transitional kickers, a regular kicker, a transfer/kink rail, a rooftop, and an incline pipe. A 2-hour pass costs around $30, and a full-day pass costs approximately $46.

Raven’s Cove also offers a beginner cable lesson, which is a 30-minute one-on-one instruction and includes a free hour of riding on the main cable when ready. They also offer other private lessons.

9. Quest ATX

Quest ATX is in Austin, Texas, and is typically open from April through September. The 130-acre facility features a 6-tower Sesitec system, a 2.0 2-tower system, and custom UNIT Parktec rails. The 2.0 system is ideal for beginners. In addition, Quest ATX also slows down the cable speeds during certain hours on specific days to provide for slower rides. Quest ATX also offers a summer water sports camp for children ages 7-15. 

A Park Pass, which includes the wakeboarding park and water park, is good for the whole day and costs around $59. A 2-hour pass for the wakeboard cable park is about $25. For non-wakeboarders, there’s also a water park with an obstacle course, slide, rope swing, and paddleboards.

Mortons on the Move wakeboarding
Many parks also offer wake surfing, but this requires a boat or wave generator machine.

Is Wakeboarding Dangerous?

Like any extreme sport, there are risks to wakeboarding. You can injure yourself by falling off the board or hitting a feature incorrectly. Since you’re in the water, there’s also a risk of drowning. Because a wakeboard cable park is more controlled, there’s less risk of hitting a submerged tree branch, but this is another danger when wakeboarding in open water.

Since there are dangers, there are age restrictions, mandatory safety classes, and lessons at so many wakeboard cable parks. This is also why there are two cable systems to provide a safer environment for new riders.

To stay safe, wakeboarders should always wear a life vest. Experts also encourage them to wear a helmet. Some parks will require this. It’s also a good idea to stretch before hitting the water. The most typical injuries are muscle strains.

Pro Tip: Hit the water in one of these 7 Best Inflatable Boats for Easy Storage and Transport.

How to Wakeboard - Beginner Wakeboarding Tips

Feeling Adventurous? Check Out a Wakeboard Park Near You!

No matter where you live in the U.S., there’s a fantastic wakeboard cable park near you. Whether you want to learn or are looking for a challenge, these parks offer safe, controlled environments to suit your needs.

You can book a private lesson or start with the 2.0 system as a beginner. Don’t attempt to hit the full-sized system too early. Take your time and learn the skill and craft of wakeboarding. It’s an adventure! Go enjoy the ride!

Which wakeboard cable park would you like to visit most? Tell us in the comments!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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