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 what a cable park is, click on the drop-down arrows and we’ll get you up to speed.

What is Cable Wakeboarding

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

Two-Tower Cable Systems

Two-tower cable systems typically pull one (1) participant at a time, and are excellent for learning, teaching, and practicing skills. With two 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 change 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 or body of water. At each tower, the cable path changes direction and allows the rider to continue on the course. The more towers a cable system has, six (6) is currently the most, the softer and easier the turns are for riders. Wake Nation boasts six (6) towers, creating a predictable, perfectly-smooth ride and mellow, 60 degree turns.

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 shore and walk back to the start dock to begin again. A cable operator manages ropes, handles, and carriers, the 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 (collectively called wakeboard features) at a typical cable park are at the full-size cable system. Wake Nation has over two dozen features – more than most cable parks. Imagine a floating skatepark with much softer falls. Features are exciting and thrilling for the rider as well as spectators.

Important, must know Information for All Main Cable Participants.

To avoid disappointment, all main cable participants must already know how to wakeboard and are required to attend a brief safety meeting prior to riding the main cable for the first time. Even if you know how to wakeboard behind a boat, you may only attempt to ride the main cable for the first time (without a lesson) during our slow cable times, and never at full / normal speed. There are zero exceptions to this rule. 

Experienced Cable Wakeboarders

If you have successfully ridden a full-size cable system before (meaning you can successfully navigate 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! Wake Nation has more features than most other cable parks, so get your shred on!

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 Cincinnati Wakeboard Lessons or plan on participating in another activity when you visit us.

Slow Rides & Slow Rides With Instruction

Once someone knows how to wakeboard, they can access any of our “Slow Ride” sessions. Slow ride sessions (slower riding speeds) on our main cable are offered daily. See our Calendar & Hours page for our exact calendar and hours for the entire year.

We operate the main cable at a reduced speed during slow ride sessions to help beginners start and turn easily and alleviate their fears. If you are a boat rider, this session is for you. These sessions are ideal for riders of all skill levels who want to improve their skills or learn new tricks in a safe and slow environment.

In addition to the daily slow ride session, during our summer hours, we are testing two new programs for 2024. 

1) On weekdays only, you can purchase a Slow Ride Ticket (see tickets) for as low as $24, including rentals, and ride between 12pm and 2pm. Purchase this ticket (or any other ticket) in advance, on the Shop page to get the best price. See tickets for coupon codes to use. This ticket is NOT available on weekends. 

2) On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 2pm, one hour before we open to the public, we offer a special, Slow Ride With Instruction Ticket (aka the Main Cable 201 Lesson) for $69. Enjoy a slow session with instruction until 11am, and then continue to ride until 2pm for a total of four (4) hours of learning and riding. This lesson and ride session also includes rental gear. 

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!

The short answer?
See the “Slow Rides & Slow Rides With Instruction” drop down arrow just above this section. Show up when the cable is slow, and you’ll likely be fine with some tips and tricks. Show up when it’s fast and it’s a hard, “no”. 

The longer answer? 
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 navigate the starts and turns on the main cable, 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 ok 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 slow ride 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 201 lesson if you wish to ride the main cable. Priced less than a day ticket + rental, it’s a no-brainer. However, if the cable speed is slow, and you can already shred on a wakeboard behind the boat, 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 201 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 and risk a bad fall, 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
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

All ticket and pass purchases are non-refundable.

Cable Tickets

All Day Ticket – $54
Purchase online and save $10. ($44)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

After 4:30PM Ticket – $44
Purchase online and save $10. ($34)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

Weekday Only Slow Ride
Weekdays Only 12pm to 2pm – $34

(Includes wakeboard, life jacket, & helmet)
Purchase online and save $10. ($24)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

Slow Ride With Instruction
Aka: Main Cable 201 Lesson
Sat & Sun Only 10am to 2pm – $69

(Includes instruction, wakeboard, life jacket, & helmet)
See Main Cable 201 Lesson for Details

Kneeboarding Ticket All Day – $29
(Includes kneeboard, life jacket, & helmet)
Purchase online and save $10. ($19)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout

Kid’s Club Ticket – $39
(Includes instruction, kneeboard or wakeboard, life jacket, & helmet)
Purchase online and save $10. ($29)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout

Wake Club Ticket – $39
(Includes instruction, wakeboard, life jacket, & helmet)
Purchase online and save $10. ($29)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout

Cable 5 Pack – $219
Five (5) Pack of Cable Tickets
Approximately $44/ticket
Valid For Any Public Ride Session

Cable 10 Pack – $399
Ten (10) Pack of Cable Tickets
Approximately $40/ticket
Valid For Any Public Ride Session

*All cable ticket packs must be used by the same person and expire at the end of the season.

Optional Add-On’s for Tickets, Packs, and Non Season Passes 
Aqua Park Ticket + $10
Launch Slide Ticket + $10
Aqua Park & Launch Slide Ticket + $15

Equipment Rentals

Equipment Package – $35
Wakeboard, Life Jacket, & Helmet
Purchase online and save $10. ($25)
Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

Equipment Package Season – $299
On Sale Now! $199
Wakeboard, Life Jacket, & Helmet for the Entire Season. Use code seasonrental100 at checkout to save $100.

Other Individual Items
Wakeboard Only – $25
Wakeskate – $10
Kneeboard – $10
Helmet – $7
Vest/Life Jacket – $7
Long Sleeve Wetsuit Top – $10
Full Length 3/2 Wetsuit – $20

cable Clubs & Passes

Kid's Club Description

Wake Nation Kid’s Club was created for ages 5 to 15.

If your child is already skilled in kneeboarding or wakeboarding on the main cable at slow speeds and would like to continue learning and riding in a positive and enjoyable environment with other young riders, then Kid’s Club is the perfect place for them. Your child can continue to progress with the best tools and teaching available. Kid’s Club is FREE for all booked, Summer Camp participants and all Youth season passholders.

  • All Youth passholders and all summer campers get FREE access to Kid’s Club – all summer long. Before, during, and after camp. 
  • Kid’s Club includes FREE equipment rentals and free tips and tricks during every ride session.
  • Kid’s Club ride sessions are every Wednesday during the summer season, from 4pm to 6pm. See our calendar page for exact dates. 
  • We keep track of new tricks and new skills learned. There will be a fun contest in August with cool prizes.

If your child is not a Youth passholder or summer camp participant, you can still purchase individual Kid’s Club tickets in person for $39, or purchase online and save $10. ($29) Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

Wake Club Description

Wake Nation’s Wake Club was created for ages 16+.

If you can already wakeboard on the main cable at slow speeds and would like to continue learning and riding in a fun, positive environment with other shredders, Wake Club is just for you! Progress with the best tools and teaching available. Wake Club is FREE to all Cable passholders (Season, Youth, Value, Month, Week).

  • All Cable passholders get FREE access to Wake Club.
  • Wake Club includes FREE equipment rentals and free tips and tricks during every ride session.
  • Wake Club ride sessions are every Wednesday during the summer season, from 6pm to 8pm. See our calendar page for exact dates. 

If you are not a passholder, you can still purchase individual Wake Club tickets in person for $39, or purchase online and save $10. ($29) Use coupon code: save10 at checkout.

Season Pass - $699 ON SALE NOW! $499

Use code save200pass at checkout to get the sale price of $499. All passes go to normal price on May 17. 

Season passholders receive unlimited and direct access to the Cable Park, Aqua Park, and Launch Slide throughout the entire season. Passholders also receive exclusive, bonus cable riding and other significant benefits each year. See below. Pay attention to the discounts, they’re as good as it gets. To purchase a pass online, visit our Shop page. All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • A one-time, FREE, 1-hour private wakeboard lesson for all first-time passholders. Learn to ride in the best way possible. PLUS a one-time, FREE, “Main Cable 201” wakeboard lesson for all first-time passholders. Learn to ride the main cable in the best way possible. See our wakeboard lessons page for a better description of these two lessons. 
  • Unlimited and direct access to the Cable Park, Aqua Park, and Launch Slide. No restrictions or blackouts of any kind. Check-in is not required.
  • Exclusive access to passholder-only ride sessions. See Calendar & Hours page for dates, hours of operation, and bonus times. No guests or non passholders are allowed.
  • FREE access to Wake Club or Kid’s Club.
  • 25% off all camps.
  • 25% discount off all lessons and private cable sessions.
  • 25% off all new gear – retail, pro shop, or special order item.
  • 25% off all food & beverages.
  • 25% off all private shade rentals, etc.
  • 25% cable (wake) equipment rentals.
  • 25% off all birthday party/group packages and additional persons.
  • 25% off “Buddy Discount”. Bring up to 2 guests per visit. Valid for all ticketed activities (cable tickets, aqua park tickets, and launch slide tickets). Be the hero and hook your family and friends up!
  • Free locker rental as needed.
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Passholder-only updates. Be the first to learn about the latest park info, before the general public.
  • Passholder discounts are not to be combined with any other promotion, sale, or discount.
Youth Pass - $499 ON SALE NOW! $299

Use code save200pass at checkout to get the sale price of $299. All passes go to normal price on May 17. 

The Youth Season Pass has all the same benefits and discounts of the Season Pass, but is for shredders under the age of 15.

To purchase this pass online, visit our Shop page. All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Value Pass - $229 ON SALE NOW $159

Sale price is automatic. No code required at checkout. All passes go to normal price on May 17. 

Value passholders receive exclusive, bonus cable riding and other benefits each year. See below. To purchase a pass online, visit our Shop page. All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • Unlimited $25 per visit/day access the cable park. No restrictions or blackouts of any kind. Check-in is required.
  • Access to passholder-only ride sessions. See Calendar & Hours page for dates, hours of operation, and bonus times. No guests or non passholders are allowed.
  • Access to Wake Club. ($25 per visit/day). Equipment included for Wake Club only.
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Passholder-only updates. Be the first to learn about the latest park info, before the general public.
Month Pass - $229 ON SALE NOW $179

Use code monthpass50 at checkout to get the sale price of $179. All passes go to normal price on May 17. 

Month passholders receive exclusive, bonus cable riding and other benefits for 30 calendar days after first use. See below. To purchase a pass online, visit our Shop page. All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • Unlimited access to the cable park for 30 days after first use. No restrictions or blackouts of any kind. Check-in is required.
  • Access to passholder-only ride sessions. See Calendar & Hours page for dates, hours of operation, and bonus times. No guests or non passholders are allowed.
  • Access to Wake Club. Equipment included for Wake Club only.
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Passholder-only updates. Be the first to learn about the latest park info, before the general public.
Week Pass - $109 ON SALE NOW $89

Use code weekpass20 at checkout to get the sale price of $89. All passes go to normal price on May 17. 

Week passholders receive exclusive, bonus cable riding and other significant benefits for 7 calendar days after first use. See below. To purchase a pass online, visit our Shop page. All passes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • Unlimited access to the cable park for 7 days after first use. No restrictions or blackouts of any kind. Check-in is required.
  • Access to passholder-only ride sessions. See Calendar & Hours page for dates, hours of operation, and bonus times. No guests or non passholders are allowed.
  • Access to Wake Club. Equipment included for Wake Club only.
  • Inside Scoop Newsletter: Passholder-only updates. Be the first to learn about the latest park info, before the general public.
Season Pass Insurance - $49

Life is full of the unpredictable, and no one wants to miss a good shred session. Plan your wakeboard season with peace of mind. If one of the listed life events (see below) prevents you from shredding during the season, you may be eligible to receive a pro-rated, Season Pass credit for the days you missed. Any loss of days is based on our summer season from approximately Memorial Day to October 1.

Covered Life Events – Other Events Subject to Insurance Approval

  • Job Loss or Transfer
  • Personal Injury
  • Personal or Immediate Family Illness (Spouse, Significant Other, Child)
  • Pregnancy
  • Jury Duty (More than 30 days)
  • Military Transfer