Cable snowboarding park proposed for Blackfalds

Cable snowboarding may be coming to Blackfalds.

Cable snowboarding may be coming to Blackfalds.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, it involves skiers or snowboarders being pulled by an overhead cable system along a terrain course featuring jumps and rails.

It is a relatively new concept and builds on the success of similar systems for summer wakeboarders.

Local resident Sam Kiat is behind the Blackfalds proposal, which he is calling Riders’ Rush Cable Park. Town council recently gave staff the green light to enter into an agreement with Kiat to set up a course in All Star Park.

Kiat said he’d seen a cable park for wakeboarding in the Philippines, where he is originally from. His teen son Joshua tried it out and gave it a good review.

“He was the one with the big smile on his face, ear to ear,” he said, with a chuckle.

Given our climate, Kiat saw other potential.

“I thought we could do it for the winter because the equipment is also being used in Europe for winter snowboarding.

“There are a lot of YouTube videos on it.”

A scan of YouTube turns up videos from as far as Russia and Switzerland. CBC’s Rick Mercer also gave the sport a try last year at a Winnipeg facility.

Kiat, who does laboratory work for the oilpatch in his day job, said he’s still lining up the equipment and hopes to have the course up and running — snow permitting — in November.

He’s planning a dual line park so two riders can go at the same time, although it is designed so they can’t cross each other’s paths. The speed of the cable can also be adjusted for different skill and confidence levels.

Rates will be advertised as the park gets closer to opening.

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