By Claire Salinas
Wakeboarding is a sport that requires investing money in a boat, fuel, maintenance and courses on learning how to drive the boat. At Cajun x Cables, all you have to do is show up with your equipment or the money to rent some before treading the water. Located in Lafayette, Cajun x Cables is a cable park that pulls wake boarders and water skiers by the cables that are suspended atop its circular lake.
Courtney Angus is the Current Pro Women’s Wake Park World Champion who visited the Cajun x Cable Park to compete in the Monster Energy Wake Park Triple Crown this past weekend.
“My dad used to be in tournaments and I was at nationals when I was like seven,” Angus said of he introduction to the sport. “Wakeboarding is a very family sort of sport. When I was younger my dad taught me a lot. He used to take me out before and after school almost every day in summer. We would always be out on the boat together as a family.”
Angus began the sport behind a boat, but over the past few years began competing at cable parks.
“I’ve only been riding cables for the past three years, last year was my first year doing the pro circuit and I competed at Worlds. I grew up riding behind a boat. The main difference is when you’re a boat rider you have to fill it up with fuel. With cable it’s accessible to everyone. Every time a cable pops up you’re introducing at least 100 plus people to the sport.”
J.B. O’Neill is a rider from Austin, Tx. who is a bit newer to the cable park scene, but is already highly involved in the sport with sponsors to back him up.
“I’m definitely making a small living out of it,” said O’Neill. “Originally it was just a hobby but I was doing it all the time and it wound up being more than that. I just went through an orthoscopic knee surgery a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if I could ride or not but my doctor cleared me last week which is pretty early.”
O’Neill has taken advantage of the summer months on two continents this year and chosen to spend time in America and Australia during their summer months.
“[Australia’s] summer is actually during out winter. I actually go to do an endless summer and skip winter this time around.”
O’Neill is motivated to win competitions, but he also enjoys showing the world what he can do through the internet.
“I actually spend a lot of tine filming and editing videos. I’ve been pushing out videos on the web. I like to film and learn new tricks. “
It seems that O’Neill and Angus have the right idea since people around the world are turning to the web to learn new tricks in this emerging sport.
“It’s growing really, really fast.” Angus explained. “One day someone will win a competition with a trick and the next day like five kids will do the same trick.”
But even as the sport continues to creep into the mainstream, its popularity doesn’t matter that much to those that have known of this hidden gem for a while. At the end of it all, they just want to have with friends who share a common bond of wakeboarding.
“It’s just addicting, all my friends are always at the competitions,” added O’Neill. “If you go to the cable park, there will always be that same group of people there. It’s almost impossible not to have fun.”[/su_divider]
Those interested in wakeboarding at the park can get into Cajun x Cables in Lafayette for $40 per day and rent a board for $15. Visit their website at http://www.cajunxcables.com