‘Snowboarding on water’ activity park eyes Lothian site

A cable system similar to a ski lift is used to drag riders over the water
A cable system similar to a ski lift is used to drag riders over the water
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BILLED as snowboarding meets water-skiing, there’s no doubt it’s a high-octane sport – and it uses a cable tow.

Wakeboarding traditionally sees a rider strapped on to a strip of fibreglass and dragged behind a speedboat on lochs or the open ocean.

But aficionados need no longer use an expensive vessel to propel themselves – an innovative pulley system, akin to a ski lift, means any dedicated stretch of water can now be converted into a wakeboarding zone without the need of a boat.

An artificial lake at Hedderwick, near Dunbar, could be the first site in Scotland to launch the pioneering technology under plans for an ambitious £1.5 million adventure activity park.

James Balfour, one of the founders of FoxLake Adventures – the firm behind the proposal – said the cable-ride wakeboarding site would be something “totally unique for Scotland” and a “new way of doing a sport”.

“A lot of people ask ‘what’s wakeboarding?’ but it’s just snowboarding on water,” he said. “We are opening wakeboarding to everyone – anyone from five to 60-year-olds can do it.”

Blueprints have been lodged to create a watersports site at Fox Lake that would see a gantry, fed through with cables, mounted in the water and powered by an electric motor.

The wakeboarder clings to a water-ski handle attached to the cables and glides across the surface of the lake, which will be peppered with obstacles, ramps and rails for riders to make use of.

Further plans have been unveiled to create camping space, a high rope course, mountain bike trails and, eventually, a second V-shaped artificial lake for wakeboarding within the 100 acres of farmland close to the old A1.

Mr Balfour said: “A few years ago we were wandering around farm land that belongs to a friend, having a look at the lake which he decided to build, and we talked about creating a high rope course in woodland there.

“Through investigation and research we came up with the idea of a multi-adventure sports activity area which we think will draw people into Dunbar and East Lothian as a whole.”

Cable-tow wakeboarding has grown in popularity since it emerged about a decade ago, with about a dozen sites created across England. The sport has even been shortlisted for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.