Deerfield Beach, Florida | 954-429-0215 | skirixenusa.com
For the past 17 years, the same lady has worked behind the front counter at Ski Rixen USA. Her name is Renee Packard, but everybody calls her Renee Rixen. She’s the mom in Ski Rixen’s cable family. At Rixen, you’re not simply handed a pass and pointed in the direction of the starting dock. From the minute you plunk down the $18 for your first one-hour pass, you’re welcomed into a community that has nurtured some of wakeboarding’s top pros, including Jimmy LaRiche, Rob Jacques and Brandon Thomas. “After going to Rixen three times, I felt like I belonged,” says LaRiche, who used Ski Rixen to become one of the sport’s best riders. Your initiation is a free 15-minute cable tutorial from one of Rixen’s professional coaches. But the learning doesn’t stop there. Rixen prides itself on teaching people to ride, so if you have a question about anything from making it around your first corner to landing that elusive S-bend, all you have to do is ask. Perhaps that’s why Rixen is the longest-standing cable park in the United States.
The year Ski Rixen opened for business, making it the country’s first cable park by more than a decade.
The height in feet Jimmy LaRiche has booted off Ski Rixen’s wave kicker, which is well-known for its cable-high boosts. The Wave is just one of seven obstacles at the park, including three other ramps, an A-frame, a 50-foot-long flat bar and a fun box.
The only thing not included with the price of a pass at Ski Rixen. Riders receive a life jacket, helmet, wakeskates and even some basic instruction free of charge.
One of the titles Rixen’s Rob Mapp has held over the years. Mapp anchors one of the deepest teams of instructors of any cable in the country. The Rixen also includes Jeff Trudeau, Mark Shuster, Diego Shaw, Campbell Smith, Joe Phillips and Christene Packard.
“Wakeboarding’s all about having fun, and that’s what Rixen promotes. You get an awesome vibe and you’re never pressured to do anything you don’t want to. If you want to learn and progress, there are people there to help you. Jeff Trudeau is the main cable operator, and he’s there every day, all week. He’s a die-hard wakeboarder who will teach anybody, anytime. That’s really what makes Rixen stand out: the people who work there.” — Jimmy LaRiche