History

What is Cable-ski?

Cable-ski is simply water-skiing where the skier is not pulled by a boat but by an overhead cable which is suspended 8-12 meters above water surface by specifically designed pylons. One can enjoy the thrills of Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Kneeboarding, Double-Skis, Slaloms and even Barefoot Skiing. Basically you can do anything that glides on water on the cable system.

Most cable-ski parks around the world run counter clockwise around an enclosed lake. It is powered by a variable speed electric motor which can maintain speed of between 20 – 65 km/h. The cable circuit varies between 400 – 800 meters and can circulate 4 – 12 riders at one time depending on the size and the number of carriers on the particular the cable system.

For a 800 meters circuit like BCP (Batam Cable-Ski Park), with 8 carriers 100 meters apart, it can take up to 8 skiers at one time. All skiers have to begin from the starting dock, taking turns to ski off an astroturf or from a takeoff bench onto the lake, making transition onto the water easy. It’ll take each skier around 2 minutes to complete one round with the cables running at the usual speed of 28 km/h. There is no limitations as to how many rounds a skier can go.

If you fall, just simply swim to the shore and head back to the starting dock. And in BCP only, we provide Ojek pick up service. (Motor Pick Up)

Cable skiing is safe, clean, quiet, and environmentally friendly. There is no risk of oil or fuel contamination. The major advantage is that there is no expensive motorboat needed, this makes it very affordable for the individual skier. Today, wakeboarding dominates the cable scene and nowhere is it more accessible than doing it on the cable.

With more than 140 cable parks around the world, its clear why wakeboarding is one of the world’s fastest growing extreme sports. Its not just a sport, its becoming a lifestyle. And for riders of all ages and skill levels , the cable always has something to offer…

The History

1960-1964 | THE PROTOTYPE

Cable Skiing can trace its roots back to Germany in the 1950s, when during a holiday in Holland, Mr. Bruno Rixen, an engineer from Munich, Germany, experienced water skiing for the first time. Mr. Rixen, quickly became addicted to waterskiing and asked himself why this magnificent sport wahistoryimage1s not more popular. A market research showed that waterskiing had two big disadvantages: too expensive and not very efficient. Mr. Rixen quickly saw the need for a system that would put large numbers of people through areas where there wasn’t room for many boats. Being an inventor by nature and profession, he then set out to invent the ideal skiing machine, one that would adapt the snow skiing tow principle for use on water. The idea was to develop a system similar to that of a ski lift, where skiers were pulled over the water by means of an overhead cable and pulley system, eliminating the need for a boat. After spending a lot of time and money on prototypes during two summers, there was no turning back. In the year 1961 Mr. Bruno Rixen founded his company RIXEN SEILBAHNEN. Additional to the technical challenges, there were early financial difficulties to cope with. But, Mr. Rixen kept on inventing and developing as he took his power from the feeling of success and his pleasure in waterskiing

37 Inventions had been patented since the inception of the cable system. The profitability of a cableway was only given when several skiers could drive continuously at the same time. Therefore, the problem of the start was the biggest problem to solve, as it is not possible to stop the cableway each time to engage a skier. Bruno Rixen positioned the skier not under the cable, but to the side, a full line length frohistoryimage2m the cable. The skier accelerates continuously until he is below the running cable. The tow line is attached promptly but the skier is accelerated slowly up tothe running cable speed. This solution which seems so simple was the
groundbreaking innovation which built the basis for each water ski cableway today. Despite all these important innovations and years of experiments with cable guide, cable twist and derailing, Mr. Rixen was still in the early stages of waterskiing with a water ski cableway.

 

1965-1969 | PROTOTYPE TO PRODUCTIONhistoryimage3

The running cable had to be improved so that it had a durability of at least 1000 hours for 100 summer days. Today the durability of the running cables with 11,000 hours is equivalent to 8 years of use. After two years of attempts with a prototype in Hamburg and another two years with a larger prototype on the Baltic Sea, the first commercial Rixen water-ski cableway was built in Benidorm, Spain in 1966. 40 years later with over 50,000 operating hours, the water-ski cableway in Benidorm is still successfully working despite the hard conditions (saltwater, off shore, long season).

 

1970-1990 | IMPROVING & EXPANDING THE SPORT

Bruno Rixen felt competitions would be a large portion of the sport, and for the first time in 1970 organized waterski competitions were held on the cable system in Germany. The first German Cable Nationals were held in 1972.  In 1978 an unofficial European Championship was organized in Spain.  Finally in 1985, the first official European cable-ski championship were organized in Germany, and the fourth discipline in waterskiing was born and officially recognized.

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The final step was to get cable-ski recognized worldwide by the International Water Ski Federation (IWSF). By this time, cable-ski courses were in full operation on almost every continent, but because some countries did not have separate organizations for cableski, it took some time before they were founded. Finally, in 1994 the World Cable-ski Council was created and started its work.

In the meantime, as the advantages and efficiencies of cableways became more obvious, other cable manufacturers such as Sesitec and Alta came onto the scene, and more and more cableways began to behistoryimage5 constructed all over the world. Though the majority are in Europe, others began to show up in Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America.

Since 1976 Rixen water-ski cableways have been built with a 10mm running cable. Enormous operating experience has been made during this time. The technical demands of the water-skiers, wakeboarders and the cableway owners has increased continuously and has been kept up by constantly improving the system. The systems have also been utilized by snowskiers and snowboarders throughout the years.

 

1990-TODAY | IMPROVEMENTS & RELEASE OF THE 2-TOWER SYSTEMS

The technical development has changed the drive concept from the old belt drive to the state of art frequency regulated, computer steering drive with newest touch screen displays. This steering type eases the work of the operator, takes over a lot of working steps and offers the operator much more time to take care of his riders. Additionally, the safety measures have also been raised. Due to over 40 years of experience and close cooperation with the numerous water-ski cableway clients, the Rixen water-ski cableways are known as the safest and most reliable on the market. Today there are over 150 Rixen cables in 33 countries and on all continents at which about 390,000,000 kilometres have been skied on Rixen Cables. With all Manufacturers there are over 165 cables worldwide and growing rapidly. The U.S. has seen a rapid growth in new parks since Cable Wake Parks, the exclusive U.S. distributor or Rixen cables, was created in 2007. Rixen has manufactured all of the 10 systems in the Unhistoryimage7ited States and Cable Wake Parks has helped install and maintain the five newest systems.

In the 90’s, Rixen began to develop the idea of a two-tower system, originally called the “Easy Start.” This system was initially designed to help beginners, but quickly became a favorite training device for professional wakeboarders and wakeskaters. This system has been through numerous designs ensuring that it is truly the safest system possible before bringing it to the market. After Rixen installed at least ten Easy Start systems in Europe, McCormick’s (Tampa, FL) installed the U.S.’s first commercial two tower system in June of 2008. In fall of 2008 Sesitec also came to market with a completely different two tower system that is portable and utilized in events like the Red Bull Wake Lab. The 2.0 system has helped bring the latest version of cable wakeboarding to the masses rather than making them travel to a cable wake park.historyimage6

In April of 2009 Texas Ski Ranch installed the newest version of the easy start, the Rixen Little BRO. The Little BRO name fit perfect because the Rixen system is a ideal compliment to a full size system or may work as a stand alone product. The acronym BRO stands for Bruno Rixen Original and applies to the Rixen two tower system.

Though cableski facilities have now been around for over 45 years, an interesting shift in the cable world seems to have taken place over the last 10 years. Cableways were built primarily during the heyday of waterskiing, and have for the most part been primarily composed of three-event skiing, kneeboarding, and occasionally barefooting. In 2004, the Cable Wakeboard Commission completed a survey of most all the cableways around the world to determine the average percentage of skiers versus wakeboarders observed at each facility. Incredibly, virtually 95% of all patrons at cable parks around the world were wakeboarders!

Another emerging trend that has been seen in the cable world is the growth of wakeskating. At some cable parks, wakeskaters comprise close to 25-30% of all riders. In addition, the emergence of sliders, kickers, and other obstacles have only fueled the fire for the growth of the sport.

By all accounts, most industry experts agree that the potential for a dramatic rise in construction of even more cable parks around the world over the next decade is excellent. Indeed, if history is any indication, cable wakeboarding has an awesome future!