UNION HALL, Va. (WDBJ7) In our latest Hometown Adventure, Caitlin Francis gives us a look at a fairly new business at Smith Mountain Lake, Black Water Junction Wake Park.
At the beginning of these Hometown Adventures, Caitlin learned how to wake board traditionally. This wake park is very different.
Black Water Junction in right off the lake in Union Hall, and it’s a place where both newbies and pro’s alike can go for a fun summer experience without even getting on a boat.
“What we have here at the wake park is a beginner run that’s really great for giving lessons and stuff like that. It has no obstacles, it’s just a down and back, the pull’s a lot easier than any boat you’ve ever ridden behind,” said Trey Seneff, owner of the wake park. “Then we have an advance run, which is the same, it’s a little bit longer though, and it’s three different pond levels. It has all kinds of rails and jumps, so when you’re ready to try to hit some obstacles.”
So, what’s the difference between what they’re doing at Black Water Junction, and traditional wake boarding?
“It’s all cable driven, so these cables, the system is called a 2.0 it’s like the wake board cable is the brand. And they’re really affordable, if you have some land, it’s almost cheaper than having a boat. You can have one of these,” he said. “It’s a motor driven thing that runs the cable back and forth with a pulley, and then you ride from that pulley system that’s going back and forth.”
And he says if you’ve never even been on a wake board before, this is the easiest way to learn.
“Our beginner run, it’s actually pulling you straight up in the air at a high enough angle where you’re not pulling against your own weight, it’s just pulling you right out and then it’s a lot better experience because there’s no wakes in front of you. It’s just you and flat water, and an easy pull.”
But for people who are old hats, they’re able to move up and really amp up their tricks, similar to skate boarding and snowboarding. Seneff says traditional wake boarding behind a boat is getting outdated.
His reasoning? He says you can go down a hill or mountain, but eventually boarders want to try and hit a rail or pull a stunt. He says people who are really into the sport also enjoy doing it with other boarders, like skateboarders who go to a skate park with friends.
“The possibilities are unlimited, it’s all about how much practice you do and stuff, but I have opportunities here to do anything. I’ve had a buddy land a double flip, like two flips going off one of these ramps and land,” Seneff said.
But he says this is the only place you can do it. It’s the only wake park of its kind here in Virginia. And it’s a pretty new business. It just opened last April. They get a lot of business from North Carolina, where there are other similar parks. There are other parks more farther north, but they’re more sporadic.
Now Seneff is just hoping to spread the word: they’re at the lake, and ready to teach you how to board!
“I just really want all the families to know that it’s just a really good opportunity if you don’t know somebody with a boat or if your children feel stressed out about getting up behind a boat, this is a really relaxed environment, and a good place to come to learn how to wakeboard and stuff.”
He says all you need is a helmet and life jacket, all of the equipment is available on site to rent for the day. It is assuming the risk, but they’ll make sure you’re ready and prepared before you try anything too crazy.
If you’re interested in learning more about Black Water Junction, or visiting the wake park, visit their website at: http://blackwaterjunctionwakepark.com/ .