Water skiing and other high speed water sports used to be available only to those lucky people with access to (and money for) a boat and a large body of water. Recognizing the limitations of such requirements, one dedicated fan of water skiing, Bruno Rixen of Munich, began working on the concept of water ski cableways as early as the late 1950s. The first prototypes of cable ski parks were built in Hamburg, Germany, and on the Baltic Sea. The first commercial Rixen water-ski cableway in Benidom, Spain, opened in 1966 and is still in operation.
Since the 1990s, an incredible shift has taken place in the cable ski park world. Formerly known just for water skiing, kneeboarding and occasionally barefooting, the sport of wakeboarding has virtually taken over. In fact, in 2004, the World Cable Wakeboard Commission published a survey of nearly all cableways around the world and found that nearly 95% of all patrons at cable parks worldwide are wakeboarders.
Wakeboarding itself has roots in the extreme sports of snowboarding and skateboarding. Originally, wakeboarding was performed, as its name suggests, in the wake of a power boat. However, cable parks have proven to be a superior venue for the sport. Cable is drastically less expensive and more convenient than traditional boat wakeboarding and it is environmentally friendly, efficient and quiet. Participants enjoy a much higher “uptime” than when riding behind a boat, and most significantly, every trick that can be performed behind a boat can be performed on a cable, and more!
Cable wake parks are spreading across the United States and across the world at incredible speed. Not limited to natural bodies of water, cable wake parks can be constructed around man-made lakes in virtually any location. BTL has had the privilege of fabricating and installing liners for several leading wake board parks across the country, including one recently in Woodland, California, encompassing over 500,000 square feet (BTL-40)!
No matter your next project, whether it’s a cable water park or a golf course pond, contact BTL Liners at 1-800-280-0712 for guaranteed containment!