Before wakeboarding, the only way for waterborne thrill seekers to achieve an adrenaline fix was to ding dong ditch a killer whale. Increase levels of epinephrine with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get four hours of wakeboarding with board, life-vest, and helmet rentals at Placid Wake Park in Allendale (up to a $55 value).
With two bodies of water and a heart-pumping hodgepodge of aquatic obstacles, Placid Wake Park one-ups Mother Nature as a proving ground for future wakeboarding legends. A Sesitec System 2.0 cable stretches over the 700-foot manmade cable lake, where dangling handles beckon riders to grab on and begin their board-strapped journeys around the park’s collection of ramps and rails. The cable lake’s obstacles range from beginner to advanced, and riders can choose to just ride continuously on the cable, so first-timers can develop their sea legs in calmer waters. Advanced riders can catch air on the double-sided Liquid Force Kicker, grind on the Flat Bar and hydraulic rail, or arm wrestle a manatee.
A relaxing beach atmosphere awaits weary wave shredders looking for a sandy diversion, and an on-site Action Water Sports pro shop keeps riders afloat with high-quality equipment. Placid Wake Park operates in all types of weather except for lightning, when the lakes are reserved for recharging eels.
Placid Wake Park
According to an interview with mLive, Placid Wake Park's owner Scott Ferwerda can easily pinpoint the crown jewel of his wakeboarding park: a Sesitec System 2.0 cable that spans a 700-foot manmade lake.
"When you hit a rail and fall," Scott explains, the boat "has to come back and get you." Not so with cables. "With this, the operator sees you fall, stops the cable immediately, you swim 5 feet over to get a rope, and 10 seconds later, you are back up hitting the same things you just tried."
Riddled with optional obstacles, such as a pyramid playfully named the Ninja Turtle and a hydraulic rail on which to hide from creepy dragonflies, the cable lake is only one of Placid's two aquatic bodies. The boating lake branches out into three prongs, where wakeboarders, surfers, and waterskiers have the option to conquer currents the old-fashioned way—pulled by a boat and whistling the song from Steamboat Willie.
The park welcomes athletes of all ages and abilities, offering rental equipment and lessons with pro wakeboarders to individuals as well as families. On the shore, spectators can lounge on at picnic tables shaded by umbrellas or snag a front seat to the action atop an observation deck, and landlubbers can stay active by digging for seashells at the sand volleyball court.
8180 Placid Waters Dr.
Allendale, Michigan 49401Get Directions