Cable Wakeboarding in Pattaya, Thailand
I’ve wakeboarded behind a boat before, but I had never heard of a cable ski system until today. My only preparation for trying this was a few YouTube videos and some stretching. Arriving at the man-made lake was a little intimating Young Russian guys were jumping into the cable system with ease, one after the other, with no trouble at all. The rental wakeboard I was given has seen better days and there is no one but my Russian friend Andrei to help instruct me on how to properly cable board.
I’m finally ready to give it a go, and I am naive enough to think I will do this on my first try. Yeah right, maybe 10 years ago I could. After ten failed attempts, I’m really starting to get frustrated. The instructions I am getting from the Russians are not helping since they can’t speak English. The sign-language instructions make it more confusing. I finally am able to learn from my own mistakes, and on attempt number 12, I’m up!
My success is short lived. The turn is much more difficult than I expect, and the rope slacks and then rips me off the board. I am lucky to have not dislocated both of my shoulders, and I need about a minute in the water to mentally recover from the forceful fall. Now I have to walk about 100 meters back to the starting zone. Walk of shame at its best.
I take a few more hints from the Russians, this time about how to make the turn. I get back up after a few more failed tries and I give the turn a few more tries. I finally make it around turn number one, but the force of the turn causes me to be moving about twice as fast on the turns compared to the straight-aways. So after finally making it around turn number one, I am going too fast to be able to get in position for turn number two, and my biggest fall of the day is also my last. I am glad I didn’t get this last fall on video. I sprained my left shoulder and received a minor concussion from the wipe-out, and also gained a new respect for cable boarders. I am not defeated though, as I know with a few more hours of trying, that I will be able to make a complete lap. I look forward to finding another cable ski lake further into our travels and giving it another go.