What is Cable Wakeboarding? What is a Cable Park?

If you already know what cable wakeboarding and cable parks are, keep on scrollin’. If you don’t know, click the drop-downs below and we’ll get you up to speed.

What is Cable Wakeboarding

Cable wakeboarding is a form of towed water-skiing that uses an overhead pulley system to pull participants around a lake, instead of a boat. The rope and handle are attached to the overhead line, aka cable, instead of the back of a boat. This “cable” pulls the rider and allows them to zip across the lake, shredding along the way. A cable park (or a wakeboard park) is an industry term for any location that has 1 or more cable systems. There are 2 types of cable systems, two-tower cable systems (great for learning and practicing) and full-size cable systems (great for intermediate riders and above). Wake Nation has both!

Two-Tower Cable Systems

Two-tower cable systems typically pull one participant at a time, and are excellent for learning, teaching, and practicing skills. With 2 towers, one on each side of a lake, the cable system spans and travels back and forth across the open body of water. The cable and/or rider will either stop at each side, or once their skills improve, turn and switch directions without stopping. On this type of cable system, the operator/instructor has the ultimate control, and can make very fine adjustments to help the rider progress quickly. Because of this control, the operator can coach easily, pick up a fallen rider quickly, and allow them multiple attempts at a particular skill within a short amount of time. Nearly all of our wakeboard lessons are on the two-tower cable system, and those skills translate quickly to the boat or a full-size cable system. There is no better, safer, easier, or faster way to learn than a two-tower cable system.

Full-Size Cable Systems

At Wake Nation, we call our full-size cable system our “main cable”. A full-size cable system has 4 to 6 towers throughout the cable path and typically travel in a large circular pattern around a lake. At each tower, the cable path changes direction and allows the rider to turn. The more towers (6 is currently the most), the softer and easier the turns are for riders. (Wake Nation boasts 6 towers, creating a predictable, perfectly-smooth ride.) Full-size systems run continuously, with multiple riders at a time, each separated by a few hundred feet. When a participant falls, they swim to the side and walk back to the start dock to begin again. A cable operator manages safety, ropes, handles, and carriers (gizmos that catch and pull the rope and handle, pulling riders off the start dock, and allowing them to ride around the lake). A full-size cable system is ideal for the intermediate level rider and above. Most of the sliders and kickers (called wakeboard features) at a typical cable park are combined with the full-size cable system. Imagine a floating skatepark – with much softer falls. Features are exciting and thrilling for the rider as well as spectators.

Important Information for All Participants

All cable participants must attend a brief safety meeting prior to riding our main cable.

Practice Sessions/Slow Ride

Practice sessions (slower speeds) on our main cable are offered daily, the first two (2) hours of operations. This is the best time to ride for beginners, or those that need to brush up on their skills, or those working on new or advanced skills. During this time, we operate the main cable a little slower, substantially reducing any fear or inhibitions a rider may have. Slower speeds also make starting and turning a breeze for those first few ride sessions.

Experienced Cable Wakeboarders

If you have successfully ridden a full-size cable system before (meaning you can make the start and the turns, and can control your wakeboard well enough to steer and avoid items such as wakeboard features, other fallen riders, and objects in the water) you can simply show up, shred, and enjoy. Have fun, be safe, and always ride within your abilities!

Never-Ever/First-Time Wakeboarders

Regardless of your skill level or experience, our goal is to help you understand what to expect at Wake Nation, and get you shredding in a safe and controlled manner. In order to provide you with an exceptional first-time experience, we never allow first-time/never ever wakeboarders on the full-size cable system. First-time kneeboarding however, is allowed, and is a fun, safe and entertaining place to start your cable riding experience. This policy is primarily for your own safety, as well as the enjoyment of all participants. If you have never wakeboarded before, ensure your first experience is amazing. Check out our wakeboard lessons or plan on participating in another activity when you visit us.

You Know How To Wakeboard But Have Never Ridden a Full-Size Cable System

The speed of the cable and your ability to control your wakeboard is important. This is a gray area so please read carefully.

We certainly don’t want you to be a liability to yourself or others around you, but if you ride behind the boat often, and/or can control your wakeboard well enough to make the starts and turns, and can also avoid items such as wakeboard features, other fallen riders, floating buoys, water barriers, and other objects in the water, you will likely be just fine riding the main cable when it is moving at a slow speed. We would recommend showing up early in the day, during one of our practice sessions, ask for some free tips and tricks, and learn the starts and turns of the main cable at the much slower speed. We always recommend a Main Cable 101 lesson if you wish to ride the main cable, but if the speed is slow, and you can already shred on a wakeboard, we’ll let you go for it without a lesson when the cable speed is slow. If you are unsure, check out the Main Cable 101 lesson. At 3 total hours in length, it’s plenty for your first time on a full-size cable system, and you’ll have a much better, and most often, absolutely perfect experience.

All of the above applies only when the main cable is moving at slow speeds. The first-time main cable experience is entirely different at full speed/normal speed. No matter how good you are on the boat, the falls you will surely have at normal, main cable speeds your first time out, are not soft, and are completely unnecessary. If you are persistent or insistent on trying….yes, you know who you are, we’ll let you try it, but pay close attention to our “3 try, 3 fall, no refund” rule. No matter how much you insist, we will always encourage you to avoid this type of experience altogether. It’s not fun and it’s never a good idea. If you arrive late in the day, on any given day when the cable is moving at normal/faster speeds, we will always encourage you to return the next day and try for the first time when it’s slow. This is always a much safer, and much more fun experience! We have a 100% success rate with our lessons so it’s always worth looking into.

Last: Below is an excerpt from our waiver listing cable safety rule #1. In addition to the actual wavier that every participant must read and sign (or parents on their behalf) this rule is posted clearly at our waiver stands, at checkout, on signage in the proshop, and at the start dock. It is also covered at least twice in our verbal safety checks and verbal orientation.

Cable Safety Rule #1

CABLE WAKEBOARDING IS AN INHERENTLY DANGEROUS ACTIVITY. SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH CAN OCCUR. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, NO FIRST-TIME OR NEVER-EVER WAKEBOARDERS ARE EVER ALLOWED ON THE MAIN CABLE SYSTEM. Experienced wakeboarders must possess enough skill to safely control and steer their wakeboard through starts and turns and avoid items such as wakeboard features, other fallen riders, floating buoys, water barriers, and other objects in the water before attempting to ride the main cable. Regardless of your actual or claimed wakeboarding experience, we never allow anyone to try the main cable for their first time at normal/faster cable speeds. Based on your experience and skill level, exceptions are permitted (with or without a lesson) at slower cable speeds only. This and all rules are for your own personal safety. If you insist on trying, or try to “wing it”, or slip past our staff, safety checks, orientations, rules, and signage, by claiming you’ve done it before, or are more experienced than you are, or if for any reason we feel you are a liability to yourself or others, we have a standing “3 try, 3 fall, no refund” rule that can be enforced at any time. Be smart. Be safe. Keep it fun.

Tickets and Pricing

Pricing Note: These prices reflect our every day retail prices. To get the ultimate insider discounts, follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter (links at the bottom of any page on this website). Be ready to act fast! Specials, deals, and fun contests and games come and go in a flash, and that’s the only place you’ll ever see them! Don’t be surprised if your next visit or activity is substantially discounted, or even free! No kidding.

Tickets

2 Hour Cable Ticket – $32.00

4 Hour Cable Ticket – $37.00

All Day Cable Ticket – $42.00

Youth 2 Hour Cable Ticket – $20
(Ages 15 and Under)

1 Hour Kneeboarding – $15.00
(Includes Kneeboard, Helmet, Vest)

2 Hour Kneeboarding – $20.00
(Includes Kneeboard, Helmet, Vest)

Equipment Rentals

Equipment Package – $20.00, $25.00, $30.00
(Board, Helmet, Vest – 2 Hour, 4 Hour or All Day Rental)

Youth Equipment Package 2 Hour – $10.00
(Board, Helmet, Vest, Ages 15 and Under)

Wakeboard Only – $20.00

Wakeskate Only – $10.00

Kneeboard – $10.00
(Kneeboard Rental Is Included With The Purchase Of a Kneeboard Ticket.)

Helmet – $5.00

Vest/Life Jacket – $5.00

Long Sleeve Wetsuit Top – $10.00

Passes

Week Pass - $99.00

Unlimited cable riding, during normal operating hours, for up to seven (7) consecutive “riding” days. The week pass also allows access to exclusive, season pass holder sessions. See calendar for dates and hours of operation. To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

Month Pass - $199.00

Unlimited cable riding, during normal operating hours, for thirty (30) calendar days. The month pass also allows access to exclusive, season pass holder sessions. See calendar for dates and hours of operation. To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

Value Pass - $199.00 - On Sale for $149!

The Value Pass will earn you a substantial discount on each visit throughout the year. There are no restrictions or limitations on when you visit, the number of visits, or how long you ride on each visit. Simply pay the initiation fee, and then pay $19 per visit (the first visit is included). This pass also allows you access to exclusive season pass holder-only ride sessions. See calendar for dates and hours of operation. To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

  • Exclusive season pass holder-only sessions. See calendar for dates and hours of operation.
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Be the first to learn about the latest park info – before the general public.
Season Pass - $799.00 - On Sale for $649!

In addition to unlimited cable riding during normal business hours, throughout the entire season, season pass holders receive significant benefits each year. Pay close attention to the pro shop and camp discounts. You could pay for most or all of your pass with your discount from other purchases. To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

  • Maximum pro shop discount on any retail, pro shop item, or special order. (As good as it gets.)
  • Access to exclusive season pass holder-only sessions. See calendar for dates and hours of operation.
  • 25% discount off all cable lessons and camps.
  • 25% discount off all other ticketed activities (superslide, aqua park, etc.)
  • 25% discount off all boat activities.
  • 25% off “Buddy” discount. Bring up to 2 guests per visit. Valid for all cable lessons and ticketed cable activities. Hook your family and friends up!
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Be the first to learn about the latest park info – before the general public.
  • Discounted access to 4+ other Midwest cable parks for $30/day. (Action, KC Watersports, The Quarry, and WestRock.) Additional partner parks coming soon.
  • Passholder discounts are not to be combined with any other promotion, sale, or discount.
  • Passholder discounts are not valid for food or beverage purchases, equipment rentals, or other season pass purchases, such as those for the aqua park or superslide. 
Youth Season Pass - $599.00 - On Sale for $449!

All the benefits and discounts of the Season Pass, but for shredders under the age of 15. At a substantial discount to the season pass, this is an amazing deal! To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

VIP Season Pass - $1599.00

In addition to all of the benefits included in the Season Pass, VIP pass holders receive the following. To purchase this pass online, visit our shop page.

  • Ability to access the VIP/fast line at main start dock, that alternates with the normal line. (Think Disney Fast Pass for wakeboarding).
  • Golf cart pickups when available, and a fresh bottled water for the ride back.
  • Exclusive access to other park activities.