Wednesday, September 19, 2012
By JERI MCMASTER
I am a small-business owner in Hood River. I’ve worked with several hundred athletes and up-and-coming athletes in Hood River. We now have a strong teen program at our gym and our reach has expanded to a large spread of income and fitness levels.
What I see in the cable park is a fantastic way for folks who are simply not extreme enough for windsurfing or kiteboarding to get out on the water and have fun.
I have a lot of folks who want to have a water sport but are positively spooked by kiting. I can see this being a primary sport for them, or a platform for gaining comfort in the water and moving on to other sports that are less controlled when their comfort levels are appropriate.
Being a coach and trainer who sees the value and necessity in progressive learning, I see the cable park as a great stepping stone for a lot of people and would certainly become a feeder program into wakeboarding and kiting.
I just started wakeboarding this summer and if I had a cable park in town, I would be there every day! It is so fun, and when driving a boat around, it is SO expensive, and honestly I feel guilty burning that much gas just for my own kicks on the river.
I was at the Whistler Downhill Bike Park this last weekend. This park opened my eyes up a lot to the idea of a manmade park as an amazing learning tool.
I spent time in their skills center and on their varying beginner and intermediate trails and the amount that I was able to learn in a short amount of time by having a controlled environment to learn in was like nothing we have in Hood River. Hood River in general is an “Advanced” area for just about everything.
Learning sports here can be a challenge and I think that this cable park would be a great addition and welcome a whole new crowd of folks that right now have nothing similar to do.
The points have been brought up about a lower cost of entry, and they are huge. As a business owner, this will give me a new place to send folks that are ready for a water board sport, and it will bring me a new category of customers to train.
As a business owner that hopes to soon relocate to the port, this would be a complimentary addition to my business, and will give folks more options for recreation, health, and fun at the Port.
We have a lot of folks that come to Hood River so their partner, parent, or child can kite or sail, and I think we owe those folks watching their family members play on the water some more options to have fun while they are here.
Jeri McMaster is o owner of CrossFit in Hood River.
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Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest 2016
Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge