How wakeboarding started on Hove Lagoon
If you regularly partake in activities on the lagoon or have just driven past, there is one feature that is impossible to ignore. This is the System 2.0 Wakeboard set up on the lagoon. With 3 separate cable tows and numerous sliders for the avid wakeboarders to ride it is the biggest System 2.0 Wake Park in England. But how did it all start?
The wake park that is now present on the lagoon has come from very humble beginings. It all started with a handful of the staff and regular customers experimenting with a grinch winch back in 2010. Even though the rides were short, the walking was lots and the technical issues were endless, but the seed had been planted. This inspired the then Centre Manager to look into options to get a wakeboard set up installed at the lagoon.
It was about this time that System 2.0 and Industry Wake Parks (the UK company that installs and maintains the parks) were really starting to take off in the UK. The System 2.0 (supplied by Sesitec) was already proving its popularity in Europe. Especially in Germany where the company, Sesitec, is based. So after a few phone calls to the guys at Sesitec and Industry Wake a meeting was set up at the lagoon to see how viable it would be. It was a great success, the guys from Industry loved the site and could see the potential and, with help from the BWSW (British Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation) the first cable tow was installed at the start of 2011.
The first tow was installed with one slider for customers to ride, needless to say it was a great success. It was something very new that a lot of people had not seen before and it really helped to make the sport of wakeboarding accessible to the masses. With the wakeboarding system being used for school groups, kids parties, hen groups, stag groups as well as pay and play and membership options for the regular riders it was clear by the end of year one that the demand was huge and the capacity for this single tow had been reached. There was only really one option.
How the wake park grew
The second system 2.0 wakeboard tow was installed at the start of 2012. Along with this there was also the addition of two more sliders. So alongside the flat box there was an A-Frame and a Wedge. As with year one the cable was still hugely popular with loads of people from the local community coming down and trying out the cable park. With the addition of the second cable it allowed the membership base to flourish. The extra variety with the additional sliders and double the ride time for members meant that there was a really great group of regular riders starting to hide their skills at the park.
So, year three of the wake park, and you guessed it, cable three is installed and another slider is purchased. The step up rail is the only one in the country and brings in wakeboarders from all over the UK. Cable three is going to be the last tow that is installed. Not due to lack of demand but simply because the useable space has all been used. Cable three is a great addition to the set up. It is shorter than the other two and has the express purpose of being used a a training cable. It fulfils its job perfectly. At the start of 2014 there was a mini slider purchased to go on cable three to provide an easy route onto rails for all riders and it fulfils this job brilliantly.
So, where next. The park is at capacity in terms of system 2.0s being able to be installed so how can it develop further. Working closely with Industry Wake Parks Lagoon Watersports keeps adding value to the park by changing the sliders. For the start of the 2016 season there will be a new slider arriving, the transfer box, really modern design and the latest toy to come out of the Industry Skunkworks. Keep an eye out for future additions and make sure you get down and have a go at Hove Lagoon Wakepark.
See you on the water