May 11th, 2011 by Tim Woodhead

Blackpool Wake Park is entering its second year of business, and to celebrate they had an opening party last week. They did a deal to ride all day which included unlimited use of the winch park and System 2.0 and Alliance went down to see what was going on. The weather was banging and by Sunday afternoon most people looked like beetroots!

I must admit a few years ago I was a complete winch addict, everywhere I travelled my trusty Northern Wench came with me and we hit many insane spots. What I did not expect was that you could forget how to winch. I have not been towed for a couple of years by a winch and for some bizarre reason I could not start! Maybe it is all the extra pounds I have put on over winter or maybe I was just having a ‘blonde’ moment. So after an embarrassing couple of starts I let Marcus Jackson take over and show me how to winch, which he promptly did with ease! I found a few good things to blame it on like not enough line length and so on before sorting myself out and having a good blast wakeskating on the manual pad. It was good to see both wakeboarders and skaters using the winch park and all standards were hitting it up. It is a great addition to Blackpool Wake Park because it helps to keep people entertained when it gets busy, if the queue gets big on the System you can go and play on the winch park.

Scott Taylor from Hyperlite was down with a fleet of demo boards and the all new System bindings which were awesome to try. That binding is another revolutionary concept that has the potential to really take off, love it or hate it I think they are here to stay.

There was a great atmosphere all day with people learning new stuff, hitting the rails for the first time and everyone generally loving this blast of hot weather we are having. There were even some people riding in just shorts; now come on that’s just madness!

Over winter Blackpool have added SUP boarding (stand up paddle boarding) to the list of activities and I can assure you I am hooked. Again it is another fun thing you can do at the wake park but it is seriously competitive! Blackpool started a board with top times on it, a bit like the Top Gear times they keep for the Stigs fastest lap but this is a race around the island. When you put in a good time and take the top spot it feels damn fine. Then when you’re beaten, you just have to go again. As we write this I am currently top of the leader board with 1 min 52 seconds (and with a head wind to contend with!)

People have been riding loads at Blackpool since early March but this really confirmed the start of the new season; red hot, sunny and loads of like minded people all ripping around on wakeboards and skates! Bring on the summer.

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