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The new Shark Wake Park combines the techniques of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing in a controlled, freshwater environment.
Exhilarating and refreshing, the new Shark Wake Park at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex combines the techniques of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing in a controlled, freshwater environment. The course is designed to be equally fun for a beginner or experienced professional.
The name Greg Norman and Great White Shark Enterprises have a history on the Grand Strand of top-quality businesses ranging from restaurants to golf courses. So it is no surprise that the Shark Wake Park is another first-class operation. It is also no surprise that Greg Norman Jr. has inherited the entrepreneurial spirit of his dad with pursuing this venture.
Norman Jr. has been wakeboarding for fun since he was 10 years old and competitively for about 15 years. In 2002, he became friends with fellow competitor Jeff Trudeau and a dream began to take shape. Together, they have teamed to create a cable wake park with top-of-the-line equipment and professionally trained staff. Trudeau, the general manager, has previously been involved in five other parks around the world, including one in Germany.
The concept is simple enough: An elevated cable system pulls the rider in a circle around the 50-acre lake at a speed of about 18 mph. The cable runs continuously and up to seven riders can be wakeboarding at any given time.
The course is designed with a clear path in the middle and floating ramps positioned on either side along the route. This enables the rider to decide how conservative or daring they want to be, depending on their comfort or skill level.
While watching from the observation deck, it was apparent that both beginners and experts were riding on the same loop. As the beginners became more comfortable they began to challenge some of the smaller ramps while slowly working their way up to the larger ones.
“Everyone learns at their own speed,” says Trudeau when asked how long it takes for a beginner to become proficient. It takes about a minute and a half to complete one lap and if you fall anywhere along the run, you simply swim to the 1,100 feet of floating dock and walk back to the start dock.
Greg Perkins had driven up from Charleston with his two teenage children to try wakeboarding for the first time and his 14-year-old son Tyler summed it up best with “this is awesome!”
No experience or equipment is necessary and they have professional wake boarders on site to teach beginners of all ages in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. “This is fun for the entire family,” says Norman Jr.
Shark Wake Park
50 Citizens Circle,
Little River, SC 29566
Hours: Opens daily at 10 a.m.
Rates: $24 for two hours; $34 for four hours; $55 for all day. Additional charges for rental equipment.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY of SHARK WAKE PARK