Travel & Outdoors
It’s all happening!
Things are getting exciting on the North Coast. Especially for water skiing and wakeboarding enthusiasts . . . and anyone else, really, who enjoys spending time outdoors in a beautiful, safe environment.
Ballito Cable Ski Park, the brainchild of three Ballito friends, Carl Franz, Rowan Sharples and Mike Ferreira, opens its doors this month, offering another exciting, fun space for kids and adults to spend time outdoors.
Both long-time competitive jet ski and wakeboarding enthusiasts, Carl and Rowan came up with the concept while practicing on the dam, which is situated on a local farmer’s property, just 3km from Ballito.
“We were talking about the costs involved with the sport, especially because boats are incredibly expensive, and we just thought, ‘let’s build a cable ski park!’” says Carl, who has been wakeboarding and skiing competitively for more than 23 years.
Both he and Rowan, who is the South African Jet ski and boating association development manager, are passionate about growing the sport amongst the youth. “All three of us have small children and we wanted to create a space where parents could come and relax with their kids of all ages,” says Rowan.
Ballito Cable Ski Park offers two cables, which operate on a pulley system: one of 140m for kids and beginners and another 175m cable, which has strategically placed slides, kicks and ramps for more advanced riders.
Also, once fully operational, Ballito Cable Ski Park will have a rustic-vibe restaurant, serving pizzas, toasties, burgers, chips and ice creams as well as a bar area, ticket office and shop.
“This is the perfect place to hang out with your kids, especially when it’s really windy on the beach. The whole place is completely kid-friendly and safety is paramount,” says Carl. The park will have gated water access with a dedicated ‘beach’ area, super tube for the kids and lifeguards on duty at all times. “Lifejackets and helmets will be mandatory, and the area is also ‘disabled friendly’, with ramps and no steps. We are even looking at the possibility of having a craft available to take wheelchair-bound individuals out onto the cables, via the floating docks.”
There are loads of other things on the cards for Ballito Cable Ski Park, including skiing lessons, bonfire-nights and night skiing. – flood lights.
“Jet ski racing is also poorly supported amongst the youth, so we are hoping to grow that side eventually as well,” says Rowan.
Get in touch:
Ballito Cable Ski Park, just off the Esenembi Road (3km from Ballito) / 082 431 8336
Text: Leah Shone