If it weren’t for cable parks, I wouldn’t be half the rider I am today. Long before I hoisted three Wakestock rail titles and this magazine named me a Rail Master at the Wake Awards, I spent countless hours doing laps at the Orlando Watersports Complex. In fact, more than half the tricks I do today behind the boat I learned on the cable first. The reason is simple: At a cable park, your time on the water is unmatched. The ability to spend hours actually riding instead of waiting your turn will improve your board control light-years faster. This will make you a better rider, not just on the cable, but behind the boat and on rails too. With four new parks opening in the United States in less than a year and a half, your access to cable — and the water time that comes with it — is better than ever. Here are a few tips to follow when you find yourself on the start dock. — Keith Lidberg
Ask around My best advice is to learn to walk before you run. Don’t be afraid to ask one of the local shredders for tips. Most of your local pros have spent endless hours and laps smashing themselves and more than likely are nice enough to help you avoid making simple mistakes.
Make the most of obstacles I learned most of the spins and mobes I do on the boat off kickers and ramps at the cable park. Heelside 7s, off-axis spins, whirlybirds and crow mobes — all were made easier by the consistency of the kicker.
Air it out The upward pull of the cable makes tricks easier and landings a little softer, so parks are the perfect place to try new moves. Roll to reverts and raleys are good starters. They’ll help quite a bit with your board control and can help you graduate to tricks like S-bends, front flips and heel mobes. In fact, I could do all of these and more before I rode behind the boat.
Ride everything One of the great things about riding a cable park is that if you get stuck on a trick like a roll to revert or Vulcan, you can blow off steam on something else. Go smash some booters off the kicker or, if you’re not feeling that, you can step up your game on the rails.
Step up your style Cable has long been put off as a bit kooky, yet it has produced some of the most technical and stylish riders in the world. So once you’re dialed in on your tricks, make sure to experiment with different grabs and presses.
Go boating In order to truly be an all-around rider, you have to ride everything. So after you’ve mastered some tricks on the cable, try to take them to the boat. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll pick them up.
Photos: Joey Meddock