Making waves

Making a pass

Chris Smith, of Niagara Boarder Pass, takes a board out for a spin during a practice session at the cable wakeboarding system set up in Sugarloaf Harbour Marina in Port Colborne.

Though it has yet to run a customer through its system, Niagara Boarder Pass is already making waves in Port Colborne.
Niagara Boarder Pass’ owner Chris Smith and general manager Amanda Newhouse were testing the system recently at its home inside Sugarloaf Harbour Marina, drawing crowds of onlookers from a nearby parking lot.
People were taking photos with cameras and cellphones and shooting videos as Smith tested a rail. Newhouse and Derek McCabe tested out the two ramps installed in the water at Gravelly Bay, with Newhouse, of Wainfleet, getting some pretty good air.

Amanda Newhouse, of Niagara Boarder Pass, gets some air off of one of the ramps at Sugarloaf Harbour Marina. The Wainfleet native is general manager of the facility

The cable wakeboard system, a Sesitc System 2.0, is in full view of anyone passing through H.H. Knoll Lakeview Park on the city’s waterfront.
When it does open, in the very near future, it’s sure to draw a lot of people down to watch and hopefully take a run down the course.
With the system set up inside the bay and close to shore, the water is not too deep. It’s between two and two-and-a-half metres deep.
People also don’t have to worry about waiting for a boat to come back and pick them up if they were to fall, like they would if they were wakeboarding behind a boat on a lake or river.
The system’s operators can bring the handle for the system right back to the person.

Derek McCabe tries one of the ramps.

Smith, who owns Boarder Pass Niagara and Boarder Pass Sarnia with Tim Nixon, said he, Nixon and Newhouse are all certified instructors. Smith and Nixon are Level 2 instructors, while Newhouse is a Level 1 instructor.
People can come down and get some instruction on how to wakeboard and rent equipment for $20, which gets them five passes down the system. For $30, a person will get the rental equipment and a 20 minute session.
$90 gets the rental equipment and a full hour of runs in the water. It also means you could bring a friend or two along to try it out, but that could mean less runs for each person in that hour.

More information Niagara Boarder Pass can be found here:
http://www.sarniaboarderpass.com/
http://www.sarniaboarderpass.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31:nbp&catid=2:news&Itemid=10

Information on the cable system can be found here:
http://www.sesitec.de/index.php?id=26&L=1

This map shows the location of Sugarloaf Harbour Marina and Niagara Boarder Pass’ two towers for the cable system.

Chris Smith points at the photographer as he makes a turn on the rail.