Wear a vest for the water. That's my advice when you decide to take a visit to one of Phuket's most interesting attractions. The Cable Ski is a unique aquatic sporting venue in Asia and it caters for just about everyone. It consists of an oval shaped man-made lake with a cable suspended over the top, a dock fully stocked with all the wakeboarding equipment you need, a restaurant with patio seating, a running track and even an adjacent Thai massage. All of this is conveniently located just over the hill from Patong, next to Kathu Waterfall.
The Cable Ski lake itself is 410 metres long, 110 metres wide and two metres deep. It was designed specifically for the sports of wakeboarding and water skiing. As such, a concrete walkway surrounds the lake at water level. This prevents the water from becoming too choppy. A cable runs suspended over the lake and is connected to machinery at four corners. At the dock, the riders will don their wake-boards and gear, then line up to ride one-by-one the attendee will hand them a rope that's connected to the cable above. Once an open hook arrives at the dock, the rider will be pulled away. The set speed for open riding on the lake is 28 km/hr. This is set for optimal safety and is a very enjoyable cruising speed.
The venue provides all the equipment you'll need for rental. This includes wakeboards, water skis, gloves and vests. There are a variety of ways a beginner can start out and Cable Ski accommodates that. For their first time, most people ride on the kneeboards. These allow the rider to get a feel for being on the water, being pulled and navigating the turns. Once this is achieved, then you can try to stand.
Besides being beginner-friendly, the Phuket Cable Ski also caters for advanced riders - and occasionally a professional wakeboarder will pop in and show off his skills. The lake boasts a number of ramps for jumping and some rails to do grinds and you'll often see the more serious riders doing back-flips and flying through the air to a cheering crowd.
If you're the kind of person that worries about calorie content, then the cable ski is the place to eat. Riding the lake is a great way to burn fat, build those stabilizing muscles that we so rarely use and to train your balance. Having a good physique is helpful if you hope to become an advanced rider, but the sport itself is a great way to increase your fitness level - and it's more fun that hitting the gym repeatedly.
'Be prepared to fall' is the best advice for novices. Acquiring skill at the sport requires determination as well as confidence. You can't be afraid of falling into the water and you also have to be prepared to swim back to the sidewalk. However, you needn't worry about having to carry your board all the way back to the dock as the staff will kindly drive out on a motorbike and return you to the starting position.
Adjacent to the lake are other attractions as well. The Kathu Shooting Range is available for those interested as well as a BB-Gun field for those fun combat simulations.
What surprised me the most about Phuket Cable Ski was the view from the lake's surface. It is located in a basin underneath the jungle hills that surround Kathu and when you're riding on the other side of the lake you are treated to an amazing backdrop of forest. Be ready and don't marvel too long, however, as that next turn is coming up fast.
30 Minutes: 500 baht
1 Hour: 750 baht
2 Hours: 1,000 baht
4 Hours: 1,250
Full Day: 1,500 baht
Hour extension +500 baht
Full Day Member Tickets:
5 Days: 6,500 baht
10 Days: 10,000 baht
1 Month: 27,000 baht