The first wake park "Bali Wake Park" has appeared in Bali!
Winch system Sesitec. The wake park is located near Serangan.
Bali Wake Park is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. Within the complex, in addition to the large water area for wakeboarding, there is a restaurant, a sunbathing and relaxation area with loungers, a pool, an inflatable park, and an equipment store.
BALI WAKE PARK: is it worth visiting for “advanced” surfers?
We know Bali as the perfect place for surfing. Everything is honed and set up for the sun-kissed adventurous guys who fly on the Balinese waves daily. How about adding some variety to life and trying similar but new sensations? Skateboarding? Motocross? Rafting? Quads? Bali has something else in store that few of us know about.
For about three years now, Bali Wake Park, a cable wake park, has been operating in Bali. The owners rejected the idea of driving a boat across the water area because it would damage the lake's bottom.
Bali Wake Park is open every day and features an equipment store and a restaurant. They've even created a colorful park with inflatable slides where employees from reputable corporations come in groups for team-building, to sway, jump around, and experience a sea of joy.
We got interested in wakeboarding, and we asked our friend Misha to try it for the first time to share his fresh impressions right away.
Misha, who is 8 years old, has been snowboarding for years, riding in a snow park with rails, various shapes, and kickers. He surfs in the mornings at Bukit five times a week, practices boxing, and skateboards. For us, Misha is a superhero.
Of course, we thought that Misha would showcase his skills right from the start and amaze everyone with fantastic tricks. However, it turned out that wakeboarding, like any other sport, has its nuances that need to be learned through practice. Misha fell and got back up, fell again, and resurfaced. With each fall, he gained more confidence.
Within an hour, he was already joyfully performing basic tricks and jumping off the ramp. It took him about an hour to reclaim his status among the superheroes.
It was very difficult for us to pull Misha out of this element, which became his new love, but he eventually descended from the clouds to tell us about the sensations wakeboarding provides and what newcomers should keep in mind during their first ride.
Did you enjoy it for the first time, even considering the initial challenges?
I really enjoyed it! Riding the board was relatively understandable for me because I have experience with snowboarding, surfing, and skateboarding.
However, the start was a bit unusual because the cable pulls. If you don't adjust to it properly, it jerks strongly and unexpectedly. During the start, you need to pay attention to the handle's position and lean forward at the right moment to ensure a smooth start. It took me a couple of attempts to grasp this technique.
If you just stand and wait for it to jerk, the start won't be very smooth. That's exactly what happened to me the first time, and I fell.
The second time, it became clear that you just need to lean forward. In the end, it turned out to be simple and easy.
When you try new tricks, jump, you forget about the cable, forget altogether that it exists because you are so focused. If you don't pay attention to the tension of the cable, it will jerk, shift your center of gravity - forward or sideways - and you'll fall. So, it's important always to be aware of the cable's presence.
And why do riders often fall on turns?
There's a rotating element at the corners, and the cable transitions from one segment to another. During these moments, it first slows down and then accelerates again. If you enter these sections at the wrong angle, it might jerk. The sharper the angle, the stronger the pull.
To navigate a turn, you need to move as far as possible to the outer circle to maximize the radius. This way, you gain speed, and the cable stays taut. You won't feel a jerk, and you can smoothly go through it all.
Why did you switch boards on your first ride?
Initially, I rode a board with small fins. On training boards with bindings that you slip your foot into, like sandals, there are small fins. They give the board more maneuverability.
But if something protrudes from the board's surface, you can't ride on obstacles. Because if you hit an obstacle with the fin, you can fall and damage the equipment.
However, I really liked this training board because you can learn to do various tricks - jump 180 and 360, jump "ollie" like on a skateboard, do slides and reverts. You can lean on the inner or outer edge like on a snowboard, shift the board rail to rail.
But jumping on the training board is uncomfortable because the feet simply slip into the bindings, there are no laces or velcro. They are more flexible, and you cannot control the board well enough. If you ride on obstacles with such a board, you can lose control at the most inconvenient moment and fall.
I also made a little mistake in choosing a board for freestyle. Initially, they gave me a board of the wrong size, too small. Probably for someone who is about 10 centimeters shorter than me, and it had laces, which slowed down the process of putting on and taking off.
On the next run, I took a larger board (142) and with velcro. This turned out to be an excellent choice.
I think if I had taken it right away, progress would have been a bit faster, and I would have had time to try doing grabs or rotations on the kicker (ramp).
Which extreme sport would you compare it to? Surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding?
It's more like snowboarding than surfing. Surfing is different because there are large fins and a completely different force providing acceleration. Here, it feels like you're riding on snow. So, if a snowboarder gets on a wakeboard, they'll quickly grasp what's what compared to a surfer.
Are there any differences in riding technique compared to snowboarding?
It turns out that less force is needed to change your position on the water. After all, it's water. And the board is shorter than a snowboard. When I felt all of this, it became much easier for me.
After the kicker, when I landed, I had a bit of a "wobble" because I wasn't used to it yet. But at some point, I understood how much I could lean to the side and use the cable to avoid falling.
If you've been snowboarding, everything will become clear after about 30 minutes, and there will be a strong desire to learn something new, to progress.
Despite the fact that everything is very similar to snowboarding, you need to keep an eye on the cable to ensure it's always taut.
I sometimes got carried away. For example, I was doing an "ollie 180" but did it at the wrong moment—just before the cable changed its trajectory, and, of course, I fell.
Basic tricks, like the "180", are easy to do on the wake. And on the training board, you can quickly learn all these nuances and start enjoying it right away.
Are you tired of wakeboarding?
Unfortunately, my hands get tired from the unusual activity. I lead an active lifestyle, surf a lot, almost every day, and practice boxing. But here, the cable jerks you, and some new muscles are engaged that I haven't actively used before.
The hands got tired the most in the beginning because I was a bit clumsy. If I had understood how to navigate the turns right away, it would have been much easier for me from the start.
And your legs don't get tired?
Almost no fatigue in the legs. Similar to surfing or snowboarding, the legs follow the same compression/decompression pattern. But in my opinion, the leg work here is less than when you pump or shift the board "rail to rail" in surfing.
How do you like this wake park complex with its infrastructure?
It's really cool to come here, grab some drinks, and chill on a sunbed. After relaxing, I'll eat something at the restaurant, watch a video to get inspired about trying something new on the wakeboard. But I already watched videos of basic tricks yesterday evening, so I came here already knowing what I'll be doing.
What advice would you give to a beginner based on your experience with your first ride?
It would be great if someone like me told me from the beginning how to navigate the corners of the park with the largest radius, what to remember about the winch, and the tension of the rope. These are the basics a beginner needs to know. And probably, go for a slightly longer board.
It's crucial not to rush, approach it methodically. Analyze the winch's "behavior."
Do you think wakeboarding is potentially less injury-prone than surfing?
I think it's less injury-prone.
But, of course, until you start doing some complex tricks. There's this obstacle here - the kicker (ramp), and you can jump from it onto the rails. So, if you reach that level, both wakeboarding and snowboarding can have potentially injurious situations - you can hit the obstacle.
But if you don't jump onto the rails right away, it's safe for beginners.
The park has kids' days on Sundays when they slow down the winch, and children ride here. Does the reduced speed make it feel easier to you?
It would be ideal for beginners. The slower it goes, the quicker you'll learn to do flat tricks (on the water surface, without the kicker). If it moves slowly, you'll have less jerking. You'll quickly learn to jump 180, 360 degrees, in other words, do some flat tricks. But to learn to make cool carving turns, you need speed.
Are there enough obstacles here to make riding interesting for you?
Actually, in the very beginning, you don't need any obstacles to have fun. You jump up, do spins, move the winch from one hand to another, spin around, learn to navigate corners so you don't get jerked around.
To continue further, now that I've mastered the technique, would be super. I would come here once every two weeks for an hour or two.
I have a strong desire to ride again. Even if my arms fall off, I'll ride for three hours, five hours, even if I'm already dragging behind the winch in the water. I don't care!
Interviewer: Valeriya Mulina