Oak Mountain State Park has partnered with Flip Side Watersports to open a wakeboard cable system on Beaver Lake near the park’s campground. The wakeboard cable system is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oak Mountain State Park entrance fees apply.
In wakeboard cable skiing, the rider is pulled by a powered cable system designed to simulate being pulled behind a boat. The cable system pulls the rider between a series of towers, and the system can be set to match the rider’s skill level. The first cable skiing park opened in Germany in 1959, and the activity is gaining in popularity in the United States. The Oak Mountain wakeboard park is the only cable skiing system in operation in Alabama.
Riding is easy; just visit Oak Mountain’s Beaver Lake and sign up for a wakeboard pass. Flip Side Watersports offers wakeboard, life jacket and helmet rentals. No previous wakeboarding experience is required. For more experienced riders, obstacles including kickers are available. Ride times vary from two hours to a full-day pass and prices range from $25 to $45. The wakeboard park offers a full-service pro shop with rental gear and new equipment for sale. Debit, credit and cash are accepted.
“Our partnerships with Flip Side Watersports and the Adventure Center at Gulf State Park are perfect examples of how we can better utilize our parks and create exciting new experiences for our visitors,” said Greg Lein, State Parks Director. “Through our partners, we now offer wakeboarding, zip lines, paddle boards and kayaks at select parks. We would like to expand those opportunities to parks across the state.”
In addition to the thrilling ride, a cable skiing system offers a potentially cleaner watersports option.
In Europe, boat emissions for activities such as wakeboarding and other watersports are closely regulated. In the United States, boat emission standards are tightening as well. A wakeboard cable system running on an electric motor minimizes the environmental impact of conventional watersports including less shoreline erosion due to boat-associated wakes.
“During our 75th anniversary, we are hoping to provide more fun, quality outdoor experiences with minimal impact to the parks’ natural settings,” Lein said. “As we move into our next 75 years, wise land stewardship will remain a part of our mission.”
Visit the Oak Mountain State Park website for more information.
At nearly 10,000 acres, Oak Mountain is the largest state park in Alabama and the second most visited after Gulf State Park. Each year, approximately half a million people visit Oak Mountain to enjoy its natural scenic beauty; excellent hiking; world-class mountain biking; championship golf course; and to swim, canoe, paddleboard and fish in its lakes. Oak Mountain’s proximity to Birmingham provides an oasis from the metro area and offers out-of-town visitors access to a wide variety of cultural, dining and entertainment options in the city.
Tripadvisor.com ranks Oak Mountain State Park as the number one attraction in Pelham, Ala., and number four on its Best of the Birmingham Area list. The site also ranks Oak Mountain’s golf course, The Oaks, as the number one value for a public course in the metro area. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) has also added Oak Mountain’s trails to its Epic Ride Hall of Fame.
The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. To learn more about Alabama State Parks, visit www.alapark.com.