Wakeboard park now open in Isanti

A new attraction in Isanti is making a splash.

Vision Wake Park is now up and running at Bluebird Park in Isanti. Owners Kris Jedda and Jake LaFerriere encourage people of all ages and experience levels to come out and give it a try.

“I was teaching wakeboarding behind boats, and it was always my goal to get to a cable park because they’re just so much more fun,” Jedda said. “If you’re out on a boat, you have to worry about other boats, you have to worry about the wind and big waves and you only get to ride behind the wake. Here, you have ramps, rails and you have ideal conditions no matter which way you look at it.”

The cable system makes it easier for beginners to learn the sport, too.

“A boat will drag you through the water, but this will pull you up and control everything with a remote control,” he said. “So you can go a lot slower and still wakeboard behind a cable system. That makes it easier and less intimidating to learn.”

Day camps will be offered to kids 6 and up during the summer when school is out from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The obstacles will be pulled off to the side, and Jedda said the cable system is great for beginners because it can be stopped at any time.

The camps will cover everything starting with the basics on dry land training to water training with the cable.

Jedda said he had been a competitive skateboarder and snowboarder years ago, and when wakeboarding came around  in the 1980s, he rented his first wakeboard.

“I’ve always loved water, and the two sports kind of joined together and it was a perfect match for me,” he said. He and LaFerriere have been friends since kindergarten, and the two started wakeboarding at the same time.

They picked Isanti in part because the city was open to the idea and because the spot in Bluebird Park is ideal next to the BMX track and skateboard park.

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said the wakeboard park is an interesting opportunity for Isanti as it adds a unique feature to the community.

“The benefits to a successful park are numerous to be sure,” he said. “The facility will draw users from our surrounding communities, Twin Cities area as well as the entire Midwest. An entirely new demographic will be made aware of our tremendous city.”

One of Wimmer’s concerns was to ensure that Isanti residents wouldn’t be asked to shoulder any of the cost. Vision Wake Parks built and will maintain the attraction at their own expense and Isanti receives 5 percent of all revenue generated from the facility. The city also has a $20,000 escrow account that was also funded by Vision Wake Parks in case the project doesn’t succeed.

And of course, Wimmer said he’ll try wakeboarding himself.

“I will be trying the park. I think perhaps doing an event during Rodeo/Jubilee days may be a good time,” he said. “Having watched it in operation several times, it looks like a great time that even a klutz like me would enjoy. The owners and instructors focus on safety as they foster a fun environment.”

LaFerriere said he and Jedda appreciate the city’s help in moving forward with the project and he looks forward to getting people on the water.

Eventually they’ll build a pro shop with lockers and changing facilities, and they’ll add more beach chairs for people to relax in the sand.

“Even if they’re not going to come out and ride, it’s awesome just to come out and sit by the water and watch,” Jedda said.

In the long-term, both Jedda and LaFerriere want to grow the sport and possibly expand the park.

“Our goal is just to get the place packed a get a lot of new people into the sport,” Jedda said. “Growing the sport is our ultimate goal and getting more people doing this and getting more of these built.”

“We’re excited about all the hard work we’ve put into this finally paying off,” LaFerriere said.

“… And by paying off, we mean us getting to ride and do what we love,” Jedda joked.

It’s not just for wakeboarding, either—people can rent skis or bring their own equipment for waterskiing, kneeboarding or even tubing.

The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. during summer months.

For more information, visit www.visionwakepark.com or call 763-202-2181 or 612-701-5055.

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