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.