Wakeboarding is much like playing the Super Mario video game series: it's full of action and adventure and requires great feats of hand-eye coordination, and when you fall in the water, you have to start over. Get away from the console and out on the lake with today's Groupon: for $50, you get a one-day camp at KC Watersports in Paola (a $125 value). This Groupon expires on August 19.
KC Watersports schools student boarders with boat-free boarding technology on an expansive lake, where expert instructors dish on the tricks and techniques of riding wake. Overhead cables suspended by lakeside towers let wave riders mimic the experience of gliding behind a boat, but they require less time to reset between runs and fewer football coaches to yell at the engine to start. Campers begin the day at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast and stretching routines before saddling up on the provided wakeboard, wakeskate, or kneeboard of their choice. They'll then take to the lake to absorb in-depth instruction and refine their waterborne prowess. After lunch, the lake will open to the public, but esteemed campers—much like the best dodgeball players at a minimum-security prison—are allowed line-cutting privileges. Once camp finishes at 3 p.m., board-bound feet can practice newfound skills with free riding time until the park closes at 8 p.m. All equipment is provided.
As speeding wakeboarders bail from their runs, plunging into the water as the tow cables snap away from their grasp, no boats will ever circle back to pick them up. They're not stranded, however, because at KC Watersports, overhead cables pull riders along the water instead, ushering them toward the rails and ramps peppering the 7.5-acre lake. Families cheer on water-skiers from the beach, grab bites at the snack shack, or fasten water-skis on hot dogs and get them to race. Beginner sessions feature slower cable speeds to acclimate newcomers to the wakes, and the camp's sets of sliders and kickers challenge veterans to pull off new, more impressive stunts than merely back-flipping over a human pyramid. Back on shore, spectators can cheer on athletes from shaded beach or grab bites at the snack shack, and an onsite pro shop stocks rental or retail gear from brands such as Liquid Force, Body Glove, Go Pro, and Master Craft.