07 Jul Road to Ropes 2015 Van Tour DownUnder
Recap # 9
DownUnder, The Netherlands
4 of July and almost 40°C. While America is going crazy with their stars and stripes, Utrecht in the Netherlands is having probably one of the hottest days in its history while also hosting the first leg of the Tour de France bike race. The city is packed with people, but the smart ones know how to escape the heat: they come to DownUnder Cable Park.
On such a hot summer day, this is truly the place to be for anyone trying to escape the heat of the city. A short train ride from Amsterdam, Down Under Cable park is a VERY popular spot, for wakeboarders and non-wakeboarders alike. With its good size lake and a ton of activity, one can easily spend a full weekend around here and never be bored.
Please follow me for a little tour of the premises!
As you arrive, you will have the choice to go up or down – up if you are hungry, down if you want to move.
Upstairs of the main building is a very nice restaurant, with high quality food. Forget about the snack bar with a limited choice of burgers and chips: this is a full on, classy restaurant with a diverse menu. A lot of people actually come here just for the restaurant, enjoying the view of people riding on the water.
Prefer moving? No problem, you have the choice of the activity! To your right, facing the water when at the restaurant, is an indoor Flow Rider static wave: a fun ride for all ages! On the right side of the lake, there is a 2.0 system (no features in that part) where you can learn the basics of wakeboarding or just take your kids for HOURS and HOURS of fun getting pulled around on an inflatable toy. Yep, they attach the rope to a round inflatable “party island”, the kids hold on and there they go, back and forth… It may seem like not much, but ask any of them if it was fun and you shall see.
Then the main attraction, as far as I am concerned: the big cable. A full size cable park with quite a few kickers (the Dutch sure love the air tricks!) , an a-frame , a roof top, a hand rail, wedge and a flat bar amongst others. On the water, you will see a lot of different people coming from all sorts of backgrounds – skiers, kiters, boat riders kids, and of course, the pure cable riders and local pros. Everyone seems to get along just fine, and the vibe is always really a good one on the dock.
But our tour isn’t over here: no! There is more!
As you turn your head slowly towards the left, you will see a big wide beach with lifeguards, for the whole family to enjoy. ON top of that, you can enjoy some more regular beach activities- beach volley, floating inflatable structures, and swimming areas, and some not so regular beach activities, like a zip line and the jet ski hover board. One thing you have to be ready for is to have some fun!
As for my experience here, I have to say that my first impression is that people in the Netherlands are very welcoming. Everything was done so I enjoyed my stay as much as possible, and everyone was very helpful, especially when it came to go take some pictures!
The local crew seems like a very motivated one: pros and local shredders as well as weekend warriors and beginners – everyone just seem to enjoy their time on the water no matter what they are trying. The local level is also pretty high – do you know many parks where local, non-sponsored riders stomp 900s off the kicker??
When in Rome…
To wrap things up nicely and to motivate everyone to go push themselves on the water, we had decided to organize a friendly competition. What a fun time! About 25 riders competed in 3 different category – men, women and groms, giving everyone a nice show! The vibe was just so much fun: everyone was cheering for everyone, smiles all around, and a nice fire with marshmallows with a massive bowl of punch (that did have a lot of punch) to wrap up the night… Great success overall!
We would like to send special thank you to the judges, Joey Scholman, Yasemin Tanriverdi and Niels Willemars for doing your job with a lot of motivation and seriousness, as well as organizing this contest. You guys rock!!
Congratulations to the winners of our little contest:
1. Michael Nieuwerf
2. Rodi Kosterman
3. Mo Freddy Liems
1. Wassim El Hodayebi
2. Tom Franke
3. Lodewijk Waterhout
1. Melissa Peperkamp
2. Sammy Jo Wolbersen
3. Amèl Tanis
A Massive THANK YOU to ION for providing some awesome prizes
for our competitors!!