Wakeboarding season begins at Terminus
by Cheree Dye
May 04, 2014 | 2911 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Nabell takes on an obstacle in the challenging Terminus Wake Park in Emerson Saturday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Chris Nabell takes on an obstacle in the challenging Terminus Wake Park in Emerson Saturday afternoon. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Wakeboarders of varying ages and skill levels lined up Saturday to experience the first full-size cable wake park in Georgia. Located in Emerson, Terminus Wake Park held its grand opening under a cloudless, blue sky.

The 23-acre park, which officials estimate cost between $4 and $5 million to build, is unique because of its aesthetics and the use of hydro turf. The features, which will change every year, are also a distinguishing characteristic. The term feature is used to describe the ramps or rails that riders navigate while completing the course.

“We are very excited to pioneer wakeboarding in Georgia. Cable wakeboarding opens up the accessibility for more people to come enjoy the sport,” Adam Silcio, a representative of Terminus, said. “Traditionally, people ride behind a boat, but not everyone can afford a $50,000 boat. This gives everyone the opportunity to ride. We have everything here a rider needs. All they need to bring is their swimsuit.”

Passes to wakeboard can be purchased for two hours, four hours, all day, a week, a month or annually and range from $35 to $1,100. The board, helmet and vest can also be rented for prices based on a period of two hours, four hours, or all day.

The park offers two full-size lakes, one for intermediate skill level boarders and another for the more advanced riders. The System 2.0 lake gives beginners the opportunity to learn to wakeboard before moving on to the features.

Kaitlyn Adams, 7, came with her father from Springfield, Ohio, to the grand opening. Adams began wakeboarding in June and just recently placed second in the national wakeboarding championships and fourth in the world championships in the 9-and-under class.

“I saw wakeboarding and it looked fun, so I tried it,” Adams said.

She also is a competing snowboarder and began wakeboarding to maintain conditioning through the summer months. Last year, Adams also placed second in the national snowboarding championship for her age group.

The park, which will employ between 15-20 people, expects 200-300 visitors per day during the peak months, and possibly more on the weekends. Summer camps are being planned and more information will be available on Terminus’ website next week. The park also partnered with Kennesaw State University to create a wakeboarding class for college credit during the upcoming fall semester of 2014.

Chris Nabell, of Trion, travels to cable wake parks all over the U.S.

“I used to work at a park in Orlando and now I visit them all the time. Cable parks are excellent because they are opening wakeboarding to the masses. It used to be a rich kid’s sport because they were the only ones who could afford the ridiculously expensive boats,” Nabell said. “Now you can get an annual pass and ride everyday they are open. You can’t get that much ride time any other way. The next thing that makes parks better is the nice, consistent run every time. On a boat the wake changes shape easily, but not out here. You can learn tricks much faster this way.”

Cable wake parks became popular in Germany after the country’s clean air act made it illegal to run motorized boats on their lakes. They invented the cable system that is used at Terminus. The concept spread to the U.S. and, currently, there are approximately 24 cable parks in operation here. It first started in Florida, then Texas and now they are expanding throughout the nation, Silcio said.