Wake Nation

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Ever wanted to wakeboard but didn't want to buy a boat, rely on the support of four inexperienced friends or locate a proper lake? Wake Nation has you covered. It's Ohio's only cable wakeboarding park -- and has brought the rather esoteric sport to the boat-less Buckeye masses.

Wake Nation 201 Joe Nuxhall Way Fairfield, OH 45014 513-887-WAKE Homepage

If you're not familiar with the trend of cable wakeboarding that's sweeping the globe, it's pretty simple. Instead of a boat, riders are pulled through the water by a system of cables and ropes situated about 25 feet overhead.

You start from a dock, wait for your rope to catch a pulley and launch into the water, hopefully not face first. Those with any board-sport experience should be able to pick up the pastime with little trouble. After the initial jolt, you'll be fine.

The company this year added a small practice pond, so you can get the hang of things on a slower, shorter course.

I'd never wakeboarded before, but after my first fall, I was looping the small circular pond until my hands got tired. It's a blast and fairly affordable: $30 for a four-hour ride pass and $21 for equipment rental.

Wake Nation's big pond offers wide open water dotted with rails, kickers and pyramids -- you can sail smoothly or pursue some damn big air. Some dudes are pulling back flips, but the attentive staff gives beginners lots of helpful tips.

If you're looking for a fun summer trip -- that something you've never done -- this is it.