If you are a dedicated wakeboarder searching for a place to ride, then look no further than the new Velocity Island Park in Woodland. One of only a few cable wakeboard parks in California, it opened on July 17th at 755 N. East Street, where the old Dubach Park was just north of I-5.
The park features a full-size, five-tower cable park that pulls up to six riders clockwise around a nine-acre lake; it also has a smaller 3-acre lake that is designed for beginners.
Wakeboarding is a sport that traditionally involves a motorboat pulling a rider behind it, who uses the wake (or waves created by the boat) as a ramp to perform maneuvers.
Woodland’s new park, however, doesn’t use boats or even wakes. A state-of-the-art cable system pulls riders around the lake and allows them to use the park’s artificial features, like ramps and rails, to do tricks. It is essentially like a skate park on water. The cable system pulls riders at a speed of about 18 miles per hour; if you fall, you can easily swim back to shore for another round.
A big advantage of using a cable system is that wakeboarders who do not have access to a boat can still ride. It is much cheaper and more convenient, with the potential for a diverse array of obstacles to practice on. It is also far more eco-friendly to use a cable system than a high-emission motorboat.
Rentals of wakeboards, helmets and life vests are available, but those with their own equipment can bring wake skateboards, water skis, kneeboards and more.
The Velocity Island Park is primarily a cable wakeboard park, but there are other activities for those who are not serious water athletes. Cabanas are available for rental by the hour or day, a perfect location for viewing friends or family zip by on the cable course. There is a 400-foot-long sand beach on which visitors can relax and sunbathe, as well as a volleyball area, a bar, and a pro shop.
The park also features open hours for stand-up paddling (SUP) in the morning before the cable course opens; SUP hours are 8-10am, then full operations run 11am to sunset, daily, year-round weather permitting. Passes are for two hours ($34), four hours ($44), all day ($54) or all season (three options, limited). Lessons, summer camps and professional competitions will be part of the routine as well.
Velocity Island is located in close proximity to historical downtown Woodland, which makes it easy for visitors to explore the city after a long day of water and sun. The park will surely bring in more tourism, especially considering Woodland’s Mediterranean climate, proximity to Sacramento, and large outdoor water sports community.
Cable wakeboarding is an international sport, with about a dozen parks in the country and more than 200 abroad. Velocity Island owners are confident that the park will draw athletes from all over the country and abroad for top wakeboarding events. The park is already part of a national round of point-scoring competitions that allow athletes to qualify for a national championship this fall. It has also secured a sponsorship agreement with the CWB Board Co., a popular wakeboard manufacturing company in the hopes of promoting the sport in Northern California. If the early hype is any indication, then Velocity Island will doubtless become a regional wakeboarding hub in the near future.