Pradera Wake Park is the newest destination for the extreme sport enthusiasts
Written by Trina Epilepsia
Photos courtesy of Pradera Wake Park
On a Sunday morning, the two-hour drive from Manila to Lubao, Pampanga is as scenic as you can hope for. Once you exit the exhaust of EDSA, you are greeted by acres of verdant rice fields on either side of the North Luzon Express Way (NLEX) dotted by tiny nipa huts and water buffalos sitting contentedly amidst the paddies.
The five-lane highway gives way to the dusty, rustic quaintness of Pampanga’s provincial life.
Yes, there is a large SM mall, the requisite Jollibee and McDonald’s, and the roads are rigid with tricycles, but it’s still far from the chokehold of Metro Manila. Another 30 minute drive and you’ll find yourself in Pradera Wake Park, the charming newcomer to the popular wakeboard scene in the Philippines.
WALK THE LINE
CamSur is still Shangri-La for local wakeboarders with its numerous lakes chock-full of ramps and sliders, but weekend warriors can get their adrenaline fix with nearby parks such as Pradera. On a weekend, cable parks are often filled with newbies and pros alike, which means you can wait for as long as half an hour for your turn to ride.
At Pradera, there are two launch areas, so the lines move fast and people are able to get their fill of rides. And while there are regulars and many professionals in line, the wakepark’s chill, family-friendly vibe makes it easy for newbies and hobbyists to thoroughly enjoy their time in the water.
Pradera, with its manicured lawns, golf carts and pristine cottages, offers a distinctly relaxed vibe compared to its boisterous, party-hearty counterparts in Nuvali and Clark. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes Pradera so languid.
Perhaps it’s the wide open space, bracing fresh air, beautiful view of the nearby mountain ranges or all of the above that let people play and relax under the sun. On weekends, it’s not unusual to see people sunbathing and picnicking on the lawns, and kids playing badminton or running around the water sprinklers.
Yes, there is a lot of intense wakeboarding happening on the lake—it is after all, still an extreme sports park—but there is a lot of relaxing and hanging out happening away from it.
THE CABLE GUYS
The star of the wake park is of course, the main lake, which features, apart from the two launch areas, all the necessary obstacles—kickers, tabletop, etc.—perfect for more seasoned riders to practice their tricks and show off their stunts.
The lake water is naturally filtered, so yes, you can actually take a dip during the lunchtime break. There are also two beginner lakes, which are devoid of obstacles and feature cables that pull at a much slower speed. If you’ve never gone wakeboarding or are learning a new trick, this is the place to go to.
Cable operators also act as coaches and can teach you the proper stance and grip. Listen to them, rather than your own panicked brain and you’ll be cruising on your very own wakeboard in no time.
Pradera features several air-conditioned cottages with a television, refrigerator, private balcony and shower. The park also has its own restaurant that serves a variety of pasta, pizzas, rice bowls and drinks at reasonable prices, so there is no need to pack your own.
Because wakeboarding’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down, and more riders are finding their way to Pampanga, Pradera’s laidback atmosphere may go the faster than your dignity on the obstacles. There are talks of another lake, additions of a skate park and the more obstacles, which will be great for the sport and the riders. But in the meantime, perhaps it’s time to make the drive to Lubao and catch a ride.
Pradera Wake Park is located in Lubao, Pampanga. For more information, visit <facebook.com/praderawakepark> or call (917) 447 1214.