SouthTown Wake Park, a 25-acre cable wakeboarding facility, debuted a new floating obstacle course this season.
The adventure park opened last year in Rock Hill (about 30 miles south of Charlotte) and is home to two ponds outfitted with SESITEC overhead cable ski rigs and stunt features to create the ultimate boat-free extreme wakeboarding experience.
The Union Aqua Park, an inflatable course that floats atop the water and features climbing, bouncing and jumping challenges, is new for 2019.
SouthTown is open to all ages and experience levels and the new aqua park is particularly kid friendly. As a first timer with zero experience on a board and a general fear of water, I can tell you this — if I can do it, anybody can.
Here’s the deal…
The park is free to enter and $15 to $55 to participate, depending on activity plus any necessary gear rentals.
When you get in, you’ll sign an e-waiver on an iPad, select your pass and pick up your rental gear. If you’re just spectating, entry is free and you’ll find adirondack chairs, a covered patio, a fire pit and comfy lounge chairs along the banks.
Aqua Park Pricing
The aqua park is booked in 45-minute sessions and is open from noon to 6 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Each 45-minute session is $15/person weekdays and $20/person on the weekends.
Deal: Aqua park rates are currently half off. Advance online booking is recommended.
Wakeboarding passes are available for 2 hours ($35), 4 hours ($45) or full day ($55). There is no minimum age as long as kids are comfortable in the water with a life vest. Annual memberships are also available for $1,100.
The main cable is open daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the beginner cable is open daily noon to 6 p.m.
Advance online reservations are recommended.
Not sure cable wakeboarding is for you? Try a Starter Pass, which includes 20 minutes of one-on-one instruction on the beginner-friendly System 2.0 pond and all of your gear (helmet, life jacket and board) for $25.
This is what I did and was up and moving right away. It’s exactly the taste you need to see if you’re interested in progressing.
What to Bring or Rent
You could hypothetically show up empty handed, but a towel, sunblock, something to drink and a dry change of clothes aren’t a bad idea. They have restrooms for changing (but no full locker rooms).
Life jackets are required for the aqua park. Helmets and life vests are mandatory for wakeboarding and are available to rent for $6 and $8, respectively. Rental boards are available for $14 or you can bring your own. (Fins must be removed to participate on wakeboarding features.)
Regulars have gotten into the habit of having pizza delivered to the park, or you can bring your own food (but no glass or alcoholic beverages allowed).
AQUA PARK: The floating obstacle course, located in the beginner pond, is open to ages 7 and up and 48 inches or taller.
It’s available for free play, birthday parties, team building or other group events.
CABLE WAKEBOARDING: There are two cable-equipped ponds — one with a beginner-friendly down-and-back track and another with a full loop studded with optional stunt features.
In the beginner pond, you’ll start floating in the water. Two instructors — one on the controls and one sticking with you from the shore or a paddleboard — will coach you through the whole process, giving you tips after each run.
On the bigger, more advanced track, you’re on your own (with one person manning the controls) and can start from standing or sitting on the dock.
The larger pond is equipped with 8 obstacles called features, like ramps and rails, for tricks and stunts. There’s no hard and fast rule, but the generally accepted etiquette suggests that if you’ve gone around the loop 5 times, it’s time to start trying tricks to make yourself fall so someone else can have a turn on your line.
Five lines run concurrently on the big pond and there’s just one on the down-and-back beginner pond. They can reach speeds of up to 30mph but usually keep them around 18mph.
SouthTown Wake Park is currently open for summer hours 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to sunset on weekends.
Find it at 255 E. Rambo Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730.