Rope wake parks have made wakeboarding more accessible to ordinary Ukrainians. From an elite and expensive sport, they have turned Wake into a popular form of active recreation and entertainment, a source of progress for Ukrainian riders.
I, Kyrylo Lopatyn, leading interviewer, TOP manager of the web portal Mixsport (CU), on behalf of the entire CU editorial office raised the issue of distribution of X-traction rope wake parks in Ukraine. In this article, together with Vasyl Hryshko, co-owner of the X-traction business, we will consider the benefits of rope wake parks, talk about all the pitfalls of the production of rope roads for lashes and discuss competitors in this business.
Vasyl Hryshko: First of all, rope wakeboarding is much cheaper and more accessible for residents and young people. Boat wakeboarding is a classic. It is considered a fashionable and expensive sport and entertainment all over the world. The boat costs 120-250 thousand dollars, also separately considered service, parking, fuel, driver. The boat creates a wave, which is the springboard on which only one rider surfs, jumps, jumps and does tricks at a time.
On average, a minute of boating costs from 2 to 4 dollars. A half-hour workout will cost $ 60-120. Figuratively speaking, this is a wakeboarding RESTAURANT, and the rope version is a FAST FOOD wakeboarding, available to students and young people for $ 10 to $ 20 in half an hour.
And if you buy a season ticket, it is much cheaper. Rope version with electric traction, firstly, is more environmentally friendly due to the lack of oil, gasoline exhaust, with a very high capacity, where you can ride from 6 to 16 riders at a time. The rope version occupies about 3-4 hectares of water, in other words, a small pond. At the same time, a minimum of 10 hectares of river per athlete is required to ride a boat.
The ring rope costs from 150 to 250 thousand euros. Linear ropes (LKD) are very suitable for beginners, children and amateurs and cost from 15 to 30 thousand dollars, depending on the functionality and quality. In addition, you need to buy obstacles from 5 to 35 thousand dollars each. The ropes give more time to train and create a good physical base for the boat.
Rope wake parks have made wakeboarding more accessible to ordinary Ukrainians. Wake parks have allowed to create large children's and youth sports schools and summer camps on their basis.
Don't forget that weikriders knock down water and aerate the pond while skating. This is very beneficial for the ecosystem and fish of the water area. This attracts fishermen especially in winter. It is important to note that most of the installed cableways and wake parks in Ukraine are domestically produced. The Ukrainian Wakeboarding Federation (UVF) insists on the use of all Ukrainian-made equipment and gear in the wake parks of the federation members, unlike wake boats, which are not produced in Ukraine. The more Ukraine produces, the more jobs, the richer the population, and the faster the economy will develop. Therefore, on all sides, rope wakeboarding is becoming more promising and widespread. X-traction - a rope wake park with a mind.
In addition, cable cars, unlike boats, can be used for winter entertainment for snowcable park and tubing, as in the video:
And even over the fields for training with mountain board, longboard bugs, etc.
Vasyl Hryshko: When ordering a cable car, X-traction assists in the design and advises on the business logic of the wake park. To do this, we studied the experience and franchises of more than 200 wake parks from around the world and all manufacturers of cable cars and obstacles. We are constantly improving, taking the best, implementing and testing in our flagship Xpark wake park with the best Ukrainian riders. We analyze the findings and innovations of wake park infrastructure and make standard projects for replication throughout Ukraine.
In our opinion, in an ideal wake park there are 1-2 ring ropes (200 by 100 m) and 4-8 linear ropes (100-150 m). A set of 6 basic Wake Park obstacles is a must. Infrastructure should include locker rooms, showers, inventory, rental, coaching, office (coaching, federal), medical center, team shop and children's school. In our latitudes, it is important to place a sauna on the launch pad, it will continue skiing until winter while the water is liquid.
It is very important that the wake park becomes profitable and self-sufficient, so that it does not depend on government funding and sponsors. Wake Park's business project must include commercial areas - cafes and barbecue areas, which provide from 60 to 80% of profits, which will help overwinter and provide opportunities for development.
For example, we dug reservoirs 30 m by 100 m and installed ropes. This practically shows that the wake park can fit on any pond, maybe even dig in the garden. X-traction has a very close relationship with UFV, which influences public authorities, promotes the development of wake, provides advice and written support to all entrepreneurs interested in building wake parks.
Vasyl Hryshko: The X-traction road is designed and manufactured according to the terms of reference of the Ukrainian Wakeboarding Federation. UFV has set itself the ambitious task of deploying 200 wake parks across Ukraine by 2025. It is clear that such a number of foreign-made cable cars is the export of money from Ukraine to foreign manufacturers. And then spare parts, maintenance - complete dependence. With all this, our design office made more complex electronic systems.
Our engineers have developed, manufactured and tested their design and automation. In terms of reliability, quality and functionality, our ropes and obstacles can be compared with foreign counterparts, and in some cases - ours even surpassed foreign ones.
The shortcomings of existing roads, negative experience of SeSitec System-2.0 road operation, functional requirements for the training process and competitions, requirements for structural reliability were used to the maximum during the development.
Vasyl Hryshko: Wake parks can be divided into three types:
For the first requirements to the ropes and obstacles are minimal: their long-standing task - is to put us wik beginners and children on the water, to ensure activity on it. X-traction ropes are competitive ropes of international level.
The main requirement of UVV is always the most important to place a wake park in a reservoir with guaranteed clean water (this includes both chemical and biological analysis). Particular attention should be paid to chemical analysis: the presence of heavy metals, radiation and harmful emissions. As well as biological analysis, especially in late summer, when the concentration of Escherichia coli, leptospirosis and other pathogens multiplies and increases in water bodies.
For example, when choosing a place to place the first wake park in Ukraine in Xpark, customers used German consulting. Out of about 60 inspected reservoirs in Kyiv, German consultants identified the cleanest place in Kyiv - the Desenko River to the North Bridge along Muromets Park. And although there was no necessary urban infrastructure: no electricity, no sewage, no water supply, which dramatically increased the cost of construction, the consultants insisted on choosing this location. Because clean water is safe for visitors and children at any time of the year and allows to hold international championships of the highest level.
The clean bays and tributaries of the Desenka River have been preserved due to the low anthropogenic load upstream (no settlements), while the bays of spring origin and the first discharge from the sewage treatment plant are located below the bridge on Voskresenka. That is why St. George's Bay Desenka in 2005 was chosen as the site for the first ring wake park in Ukraine, which was opened in 2007. But the first advantages of clean water - gave the second - restrictions on the construction of capital structures.
The second echelon of requirements for wake parks is the depth of the reservoir. It should be at least 1.5 meters and the configuration of the shores should provide distances from the cable for safe rolling.
The third echelon of requirements for wake parks is certified cableways, in addition to electrical safety and strength requirements for cables, anchors and structures, the most important is to ensure a constant and uniform speed of the carriage during the trick, smooth start and ability to work with heavy riders up to 130 kg. This experience is the basis of the UV requirements for the certification of wake parks in Ukraine.
Vasyl Hryshko: The X-Traction Line Cable Car is designed for:
LCD has a simple and reliable design, does not require significant investment, is ideal for both the first steps and for learning various tricks, including Professional.
LKD X-Traction is a development of Ukrainian specialists based on the analysis of existing proposals on the market, own experience in the operation of cable cars in the wake-park X-park in Kiev. The system eliminates many shortcomings inherent in different versions of cable cars of this type, as well as added new, unique features. A well-known inventor from Dnipropetrovsk, Yuriy Artemovich Yershov, who created and built the first roads of this type in the USSR, took an active part in the development and testing of LKD.
The systems have been manufactured and successfully operated since 2010.
The design uses imported components (engine, automation), which are of high quality, accuracy and reliability. Metal structures are made of modern materials that guarantee long-term operation in water.
During the development, special attention was paid to the full automation of the cableway, which minimizes the "human factor" during operation. The operator now only selects a program that matches the rider's level and launches it. The automation does the rest itself. Now all driving modes are fully customizable. Road behavior is always predictable for the rider, who does not need to guess the thoughts and actions of the operator, but can focus on learning the tricks. For the operator, the task of road management is also as easy as possible. You no longer need super-abilities to provide the necessary mode of movement for the rider.
Installing the X-Traction LCD does not require major construction. The installation itself takes up to 4 days. Supports can be installed both on the shore and in the water, at a depth of 1.5 meters. The optimal distance between the supports is 100-150 meters. If necessary, dismantling or moving the road to another location will not take much time.
Vasyl Hryshko: The X-Traction Ring Cable Car (Efficiency) provides simultaneous riding for 6 to 16 people.
Depending on the design can be:
Water ski lift is designed to cultivate the main types of water sports:
And additional types:
It is also possible to have fun at low speeds on banana buns and more.
The ring cableway has 4 or 5 supports, it is closed on the perimeter. The required size of the water area is 110 by 360 meters, the rope forms from 1000-1500 meters, which can ride up to 18 people. Towing headlights are attached to a constantly moving rope. From the starting area, the skier starts at right angles to the rotating rope and gradually gains speed. Speed of movement from 5 to 60 km / h. The straight line must be 310 meters long to be able to install a slalom ski track and springboard.
Wakeboard cable cars are designed for riding mainly on wakeboards and wakekeets. Increased rope height, short distances between supports from 30 to 200 meters and open swivel angles make it possible to make high jumps on the wakeboard from the flat and at the corners. Modern cable cars for wakeboarding have 5 or 6 supports.
Combined with well-built wakeboard barriers, the wake park becomes very attractive and interesting for visitors. The first ring road made in Ukraine was inspected and tested in August 2014. It is currently available for skiing at X-park in Kyiv.
The design uses imported components (engine, automation, ropes, rigging), which are of high quality, accuracy and reliability. Metal structures are made of modern materials that guarantee long-term operation in water.
Vasyl Hryshko: Linear cableways (LCS) began to be widely used in the world only in the mid-2000s. Prior to that, only ring roads and primitive simulators were installed everywhere to master the start or training in the pools.
The first industrial road of the linear type can be considered a sample made by the inventor from Dnipropetrovsk YA Yershov. This road was established in 1979 and still works today. The principle of this road is used in all modern installations of this type. But the road was cumbersome, required special construction, material-intensive, with high energy consumption and outdated controls, but very reliable, judging by many years of operation.
In the 90's the inventor of the ring road Bruno Ricksen came to Ukraine, Yuri Ershov met with him and even handed over the drawings of his installation, but then no one paid attention. And Ricksen's modern road has little in common with Ershov's road. In fairness, Ershov is not the discoverer of the principle, such installations were patented in the United States in the 30s, but did not become widespread.
Today, Xpark has the longest operation in Ukraine since 2007 of ropes from various manufacturers. Development began in 2006 and a year later began production of LKD Xtraction Line Ropes, the first of which was installed at Xpark in 2010. In parallel, the ring rope was developed and produced. Under which the second lake was dug in Xpark and installed in 2014.
Vasyl Hryshko: Every manufacturer of rope wake parks has its advantages and disadvantages.
"EASY START", manufacturer Rixen (Germany) has 40 years of experience in building ring roads around the world. The linear road is built with the maximum use of details of the ring road. On the one hand, it overestimates the cost, on the other hand, makes the design quite reliable.
The road is designed to teach beginners to start and transition to skiing on the ring road. This is part of Ricksen's marketing program, roads are usually offered complete with a ring road. The horizontal arrangement of the rope carriage rests only on a single rope, which does not provide sufficient rigidity for various tricks. This includes primitive automation, no sports modes, no ability to adjust movement parameters. You need 2 anchors for each support (4 in total). Overcharge.
His merit was to draw attention to the linear roads. Successful marketing, attracting pro-riders to advertise and shoot spectacular videos, high-profile promotions, numerous publications in the relevant media - all this has caused a boom in such installations around the world. And this is an indisputable merit of the team.
The road itself is quite primitive. Trying to simplify the design as much as possible, significantly reduced the reliability and durability of the elements. For example, there is not even a counterweight for rope tension. The road involves a constantly sagging rope. Pro-riders in such conditions can show spectacular tricks, but learning tricks from the water on the rope is very difficult. Attempts to tighten the rope end in rapid bearing failure, catastrophic wear of the pulleys. Pulleys of small diameter, wear quickly and wear the rope, there is no possibility to adjust the alignment of the rope pulley, which causes rapid uneven wear of the pulley. Primitive and unreliable automation that uses built-in drive functions. In Kyiv, each new operator crashed into a long-distance carriage with the first movement, which is unacceptable in principle and can have serious consequences.
To make changes to the program, use the external connection of the laptop and adjust the parameters in a rather cumbersome drive control program. The functionality of the program is extremely limited - setting the boundaries of movement and turning points.
During the first 2 weeks of operation, the drive pulley was completely worn out (up to a side thickness of 0.5 mm). The bearings pounded like a jackhammer. Sent to replace the pulley lasted a little longer. Purchased in 2009, the System-2.0 road has been in storage for 4 years and is not used due to the appearance of the X-Traction road, which is significantly superior in all respects.
Vasyl Hryshko: The customer has made very serious demands on X-traction obstacles, in addition to the fact that the figures must be made according to the latest world trends. The quality of the surfaces must withstand summer and winter changes and not damage the boards, as well as a service life of 10 years with annual freezing in ice. We launched the main X-traction figures in the waters of the cable car in 2008 before the world series, and for 14 years now the figures have been working well at the trainings of thousands of athletes at dozens of Ukrainian championships. The quality of X-traction figures is time-tested.
Vasyl Hryshko: In addition to German manufacturers since 2010, a whole collection of CALs from different manufacturers has appeared in Ukraine:
The impetus for the production of ropes was picked up by engineers from all over Ukraine. Ropes are built on various designs of support pylons, height, number of cables, inclusion of engines (straight line, reducer, belt drive). In general, they are cheaper than X-traction ropes, but the quality and fault tolerance are correspondingly lower.
Vasyl Hryshko: The main advantage is reliability. Ropes must work reliably without downtime, be serviced in a timely manner and, if necessary, repaired quickly, because the season in our latitudes is short, and every day of downtime at breakdown causes great financial damage to owners. Our cable cars have been operating reliably for 12 years since 2010 and customers receive timely spare parts, service, advice and full product support.
For example, at the end of 2021, the functionality of self-training on the foil was added to the software of X-traction ropes.
Vasyl Hryshko: Currently, the largest project that has been using our products for 14 years is the system of cableways and obstacles in the Xpark wake park (Kyiv).
There are 8 linear cable cars (10 planned), 2 ring roads and 17 obstacles.
Vasyl Hryshko: Some ropes were made in small quantities and several manufacturers organized small-scale production.
Vasyl Hryshko: If you want to use the latest achievements of the wake industry and enjoy the availability of wakeboarding, our experts will analyze your location, develop a project and make a proposal to create a modern wake park that will be the highlight of your region and a good business project.