The Park, which is a collaboration between Salford Community Leisure, Salford City Council, Sport England, and Briish Waterski and Wakeboard Association, offers wakeboarders a 195metre “ride” on a cable running between four challenging obstacles at speeds of up to 22mph.
The up and coming sport, tipped for inclusion into the 2020 Olympic Games, is a mixture of snowboarding, waterskiing, surfing and skateboarding. Around 5 million people world-wide are involved in the sport - making it one of the fastest growing water sport activities. Among its attractions is the cost – most water-borne activities require access to a boat but wakeboarding just needs the cable charge making it one of the more affordable sports available.
Early riders and members of the Great British Squad have given the Park their endorsement as has the head of development for the British Waterski & Wakeboard Association who described the new facility as “offering a fantastic location which will really showcase the sport of cable wakeboarding.”
Councillor Ann-Marie Humphreys, Assistant Mayor for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Salford City Council said: “The opening of the Wake Park will further boost tourism in the Quays. It looks like a challenging and exhilarating sport which will encourage both local people and visitors alike to have fun on our waterfront. This is an excellent example of how working collaboratively and creatively can bring new investment and opportunities to Salford.”
Andy Fethers, board member at Salford Community Leisure, was keen to give it a go. He said: “I actually managed to stand up. Next time I want to see if I can be riding those kickers.”
This project was made possible thanks to £30k of investment from Sport England to British Waterski and Wakeboard. Patrick Brosnan from Sport England: “We are delighted that work at the Wake Park is complete and ready to be enjoyed by the people of Salford. This investment takes wakeboarding to a unique urban setting and ensures local people have a great place to get involved in water sports for decades to come. I would encourage everybody to get down to Wake Park on Sunday and see what this fantastic facility has to offer.”
Salford Wake Park is part of the Salford Watersports Centre, which offers courses from beginners to advanced level in sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, power-boating, raft building and open water swimming. This year alone it has welcomed 41,000 visitors.