Friday, March 8, 2013
Learn to wakeboard without a boat at Hydrous Wake Park in Allen
The park is suitable for all skill levels.
ALLEN Hydrous Wake Park in Allen has the means of hooking up visitors with an easy introduction to wakeboarding -- no boat required.
The park uses an overhead cable system to pull as many as six riders at a constant speed around a circular course that features rails and ramps they can use to perform tricks. The ideal speed of the cable is 19 mph, but it can be adjusted for different skill levels.
Hydrous is in Allen Station Park -- which includes a skate park, BMX track, and two in-line hockey rinks -- on land leased from the city. The setup is a natural fit for parks that share much of the same clientele.
"The key to these parks is they bring affordability and convenience," said Victor Toledo, who owns the park with Chad Lacerte. "You come out by yourself and ride for $20."
The park also features a beginner's course that only travels laterally and is used by one rider at a time, as well as a pro-shop and restaurant.
"It takes about three or four times just to figure out where you're supposed to be positioning and sitting," Lacerte said, "and once you figure it out you're pretty much good to go every time."
The park's educational efforts extend to McKinney ISD students who use it for off-campus PE. Students are required to work on certain skills to get credit for their riding, and Lacerte said being able to ride often helps them improve.
"They're riding an extra 10 hours per week all year long, compared to kids that come out 10 times in the whole summer," he said. "Out here, I can go one day and get as much riding as some kids that only goes behind his boat once or twice a year."
Because of frigid temperatures, experienced riders -- who don't spend as much time in the water as those new to the sport -- make up most of the park's riders in the winter. During this time of year, the park operates under a modified schedule that depends in part on the weather and temperature. When the water temperature dips below 50 degrees, it's too cold to ride.
But once the summer hits, Hydrous will see steady traffic. The park does its best business in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when it averages between 250 and 300 riders per day. The majority of those who come to the park during that time are newcomers.
A new location in Little Elm is under construction, and Toledo and Lacerte hope to have it operational by June to fully take advantage of the summer months. It will be at 280 East Eldorado Pkwy. in the middle of a city park.
For more information on Hydrous, visit http://hydrouswakeparks.info/.
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