South Australia, A home for Wakeboarders
South Australia (see Google Maps) was a state that ten years ago had the biggest and most solid wakeboard associations in Australia.
The riders were well known, respected and leading the way for all the rest to follow, though recently, they have been extremely quiet and no one has heard a squeak from the city of churches and its surrounding towns, it seems they just kinda dropped off the face of the earth in the last few years.
Maybe it’s because they have one of the biggest River in Australia running through the guts of their state, that they don’t really need to care about the rest of us in the drought stricken country.
Having curves of the Murray River and invitation from South Aussie pro ripper Tom Hines, to come and hang out and ride at his park to follow on a sunny summers day is too tempting to pass up and when we got the invite ‘White Sands’ just 5 kms up from Murray Bridge, we couldn’t refuse.
Cranked up speakers and loaded van
We loaded up the van, cranked up the clarion speakers and loaded the stubbies to prepare for our journey.
Leaving Melbourne we made our way out onto the aptly named Western Highway that ducks, dodges then entwines its way along the train lines, through some historic towns like Horsham (birthplace of Mick Doohan) and Boarder town (home town of ex PM Bob Hawke).
On the eight-hour drive to Adelaide, it was quite apparent that a drought was in full swing and the many river beds and lakes that used to hold a wake and water-ski life, are now completely bone dry and barren.
This trend continued all the way to Murray Bridge where the Mighty Murray makes a small and brief cameo appearance at Tailum Bend. Not 10 minutes after that, the Western Highway crosses paths with the massive body of water and the scenery surrounding instantly becomes green with life
Mighty Murray River
Making a left over the bridge we followed the curves of this Australian icon for ten minutes until we came to the front gates of White Sands Riverside Resort AKA Tom Hines humble abode.
Wakeboarding on the Murray River is a wake boarder’s paradise, whether experiencing the river from the banks of a ‘shack’, wakeboarding from your house boat at Mannum or or many private and public boat ramps along the river.
Riding with a group of locals at White Sands cheering each rider on, it felt like it was the excitement of your first ride, every ride, every time, all day.
South Australia’s Wakeboarding Community is alive and well!
As is any trip away it was hard to say goodbye and leaving the Murray River on a glorious warm day with flat water almost brought a tear to our eyes but we had to prepare for the 7 hour trek back to the drought stricken land of Victoria.
The short but sweet time we had in South Australia had woken us up a little more to a wakeboard community that was still thriving and quiet possibly about to make some noise in the near future.
If anyone is about to journey to over the state line into their territory I highly recommend looking up Tom and his crew in South Australia to show you the ropes on the Murray, never a dull moment and always a Coopers to refresh.
More places to Ride on the Murray River and in South Australia