If you are passionate about wakeboarding and ready to improve your riding skills, investing in a wakeboard school, camp or clinic will be worth your while.
Choosing the right place is key. While there are many great schools, a highly acclaimed one is Freedom Wake Park, located in the heart of Orlando, the Mecca of wakeboarding. The school offers personalized instruction by elite pro riders Tarah Mik and her husband, Wakeboarding Hall of Famer, Cobe Mikacich, whose riding and coaching skills warranties an experience that will impact you for a lifetime. We caught up with Tarah and Cobe to get the scoop.
“It’s a very unique experience! You stay alongside professional riders who’ve accomplished what most only dream of. Whether we’re shooting videos, telling stories, going to special events, or sharing unique information about the water-sports industry…you’re involved!” says Tarah, who trains with regular pros that ride at the school. like Japan’s Mizuki Takahashi and Tyler Worrall. You’re also likely to see other pros stop by, like Max Van Helvoort, Jake Hill, Bec Gange, Massi Piffaretti, Cory Teunissen, Carolina Goldenberg and more. That Mecca thing.
Freedom Wake Park includes airport pick up and drop off and their accommodations are bunk style with full and twin beds where rooms are split between parties or between genders.
The day begins with an 8:30 AM wakeup, followed by a simple breakfast with a variety of healthy options for the riders to choose from. Then, it’s on to the warm glassy waters of the private lake.
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Most riders choose to take 2-3 sets each day. Each lesson lasts about 30 minutes. So depending on how many riders are in the rotation there’s time for 1-2 sets in the morning and the same in the afternoon.
“We love using video review! While the students are riding we film them on our iPhones. We do this so we have instant-replay videos and can break down what they are doing right/wrong then show the students the videos so they can visualize what they need to change as our coaches explain it to them” comments Tarah. Students often practice dry-land drills on the dock in between sets, “This helps them perfect their form, nail their handle passes and become more comfortable with concepts they’ll take back to the water.”
They ride behind a Malibu 25 LSV and an Axis A22 that have beautiful massive wakes that transition smoothly from Wakeboarding into Wakesurfing mode by clicking a couple buttons.
Lunch and Snacks are brought for the riders at the lake. They eat throughout the day and in between sets to stay fueled and on top of their game.
“We want you to get the most out of your time on the water. If you are close to landing a trick, let’s keep going. If you’re getting worn out, let’s stop, so you can ride the next day.” Mikacich’s expert opinion helps improve riding skills by avoiding burn-out.
It is recommended to bring your own gear. However, you can try an assortment of top of the line O’Brien Wakeboards, Wakesurf boards, life jackets and wetsuits.
“In the evening, we end the day back at the house where we cook dinner and eat family style. Sometimes we go for ice cream, stand up paddle board, jump in the hot tub, watch movies or play games, depending on how much energy everyone has left.”
One of the best things about Freedom Wake Park is their location, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are many restaurants, theme parks, hot spots, and unique activities you can explore.
“Our market is worldwide. It is easily accessible for anyone all over that world!” They keep a map marking all the countries where students have come from.
The going rates are $1,200 for the 3 day camp and $2,000 for the 5 day camp. Ask about custom packages and drop-in rates as well as discounts depending on time stayed at the camp and if you bring a friend.
“No matter what level you’re starting at, we have an option for you. Our expertise is in water sports and we want to share that knowledge with you in this great learning environment! Whether it’s just you, or you bring your whole crew, this will be your best experience on the water!”
For reservations go to www.freedomwakepark.com.