[Note that as of July 24, 2018, Whiplash Cable Wake Park is closed for the 2018 season. It may reopen in 2019.]
Have you ever thought about trying a watersport but been wary of the cost or difficulty? Many people are, but it may be easier and cheaper than you think.
Conrad Wiker’s mission since 2012 has been to dispel doubts to get people on the water, and he has turned it into a unique business on Okanagan Lake. Whiplash Cable Wake Park uses variable speed overhead cables instead of boats to pull wakeboarders through the water. It is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and allows for a more controlled environment to teach wakeboarding. A first-time rider can have lessons, equipment rentals, and 20 minutes of cable time for only $37.99 (plus tax). It is easy too. Riders range in age from three to 78, and Conrad guarantees success. More experienced riders can try out the various jumps and rails that are installed on the water.
Whiplash is about more than wakeboarding, however. The cables can be used with wakeskates, waterskis, and even surfboards. Canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, jet-skis, and powerboats can be rented from the facility. They have proved so popular that all the powerboats were rented when we arrived to take photos! The location also includes a few camping spots, a nice lounge area over the water, and bleachers to watch the watersports. It is centrally located, across the lake from downtown Kelowna and with a great view of the bridge. The atmosphere is relaxed, yet well maintained and professional. Conrad uses his space to host day camps for kids as well as private functions like corporate getaways and family gatherings.
I have never been wakeboarding, but I know next time I visit it will not be to take pictures. I will be riding!
Text and photos by Chris Munger