Hey, guess what!? We have a new toy in town! And I had a little test drive with it last week! Let’s have a look how my very first ride in the brand new Poroholma Wakepark went!
Please note that all the wakeboarding photos are taken for an article in the local newspaper Länsi-Suomi, and they’re all taken by professional photographer Esa Urhonen. Please do not copy or use these photos without permission.
Since I heard that a cable ski and wakeboarding will be opened in Otanlahti beach in Rauma this summer, I’ve been seriously counting with my fingers and toes when I could try it out. I can’t describe how much I’ve been waiting for an activity like this to arrive to my home town.
I had my very first taste of wakeboarding when I was living in Spain a few years back. I even bought a secondhand board that I transported to Finland when I moved back home. Last summer I was doing wakeboarding in Germany. And now we have a wakepark in my home town! How cool is that?
Last weekend Poroholma Wakepark had its’ grand opening, and I finally got a chance to have a little test drive. The weather wasn’t perfect, but the opening offer allured a few dozen people to go for a ride despite the rain and wind.
The cable track is leading from the sand beach to the waterfront of Poroholma Camping. The track goes back and forth, and even if it wasn’t my first time on board, I was a bit nervous of the full 360 degree turning. And it had been a year since my last wakeboarding experience after all.
At the time of my test drive, the take off deck was still missing, so I had to start directly from the sandy beach. For beginners the easiest way is to do like in the picture above: sit down in the shallow water and just wait until the cable pulls you up. In case you are pro, you can stand on the board on the sand and jump with the pull.
10 minutes of wakeboarding normally costs 15 euros, and all the equipment is included: wakeboard, wet suit, vest and helmet. The vest and helmet are obligatory for all wakeboarders, wet suit is optional. As mentioned earlier, the water in Otanlahti beach is very shallow so the water gets warm early.
It already was very warm at the start of June, so I could have probably managed without wet suit. But you know, it’s such a fancy outfit that I really wanted to wear one (or perhaps the reason was that the photos were taken for a newspaper article, and it wouldn’t be very good reputationwise to publish photos of me wearing bikinis—trust me!).
You can buy the tickets from the Beach house that you can see in the picture below. There you can find also showers and locker rooms. The equipment is available on the spot where you take off. At the moment there are only boards available, but skis will arrive later this summer.
This far I had only been doing wakeboarding on a track that goes around a lake, so this was the very first time with the challenging full turning at each end. The trick is to keep the cable as tight as possible also in the turn that you won’t slow down too much and start sinking into the water.
In case you start sinking under the water, there’s no reason to panic as the cable will pull you back up, but the resistance of the water will make sure you don’t need to use your arms for a few days. I was surprised how much rougher this track was compared to the round tracks.
My poor arms were so sore for days that it took nearly a week until I was able to function normally.
One trick to keep the cable tight at the turns is to tip your board on the back side as much as possible. To be honest, I managed the turning without slowing down too much only a few times. I definitely need more practice.
But who cares, playing in water is always fun, even if you didn’t succeed perfectly each time. In the straight line the wakeboarder’s pace will speed up to 40 kilometers per hour.
10 minutes of wakeboarding might seem like a short period, but I can guarantee that as long as you’re not a pro on the turns and you need to keep pulling yourself back to the surface, ten minutes is definitely enough.
The downside of the straight track like this is that it allows only one wakeboarder at a time. In case there are three boarders ahead of you, it already means half and hour of waiting. Luckily there are lots of activities in Poroholma Camping for killing some time. Or you can just sit on the beach watching and learning from the dos and don’ts of the fellow wakeboarders.
The cable park will stay in Otanlahti beach around the year. This means that in winter time you can use the cable with snowboard, skis or even a sledge, as long as the sea gets frozen.
That was so much fun! I can’t wait for the next round. This is something definitely worth testing during your next visit in Rauma!
You can find Poroholma Wakepark online here: poroholma.fi/wakepark
Have you already tried this exhausting but extremely fun and addictive water sports?
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