South Australia, A heaven for the wakeboarders
The green grassy banks of White Sands go all the way to the water’s sandy edge and are perfect for any wakeboard novice or pro.
Just past Tailum Bend over the Murray Bridge, we made a left turn and 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.
Greeted at the gate with a sign that reads no jet skis, wave runners, or seadoos we knew we were in the right place, and pulling up to Jason’s ‘shack’ we barely made it out the door before South Australia’s strongest tourist attraction the coopers pale ale was in our hands and cooling the back of our travel-weary necks. It was good to be home.
For year’s wakeboarding has been the main priority here at White Sands and with a location like they have you couldn’t ask for anymore. The grass on the banks is green all the way to the sandy banks that hold the gentle giant as it ambles downstream about 100km to the river mouth.
With an average depth of 60ft in the middle of the river and a corner or willow to hide from the wind at any angle it isn’t hard to see why these kids don’t want to leave their perfect playground for any other water catchment areas.
The Level of riding in the SA Wakeboarding Association has always been high.
The level of riding throughout the South Australian Wakeboarding Association has always been high as we have seen in the past few years. However there was a small lull in action in the past few years until now.
Recently Tom Hines and Nat Barber have been attacking the competition scene on both sides of the boarder, S.A and Victorian not to mention the pro tour.
Now after a couple of solid years maturing and honing their skills on the board the S.A way is shinning through strong. Nat and Tom aren’t the only riders who are taking hold of the Murray and other riders like Rhett Payne, TJ (Lachlan Burgess), Mick Davies, Wade Ingerson and Grom Riley Phitzner are all hot on the heels of their peers and predecessors like Greg Falzon, Anthony Asplin, Luke Matson, Adam Bruce, Dan Smit and Richard Boyce.
As the years have moved forward so to have the above mentioned into other fields of expertise. One such person who has always held a passion and position amongst the wakeboard family now makes sure the lads have a boat to ride behind.
Neil Boyd from Matrix Marine has been supplying the S.A comps with boats to ride behind for years and offered us the use of his brand spanking ‘Eclipse’ to test out. Leaving White Sands and armed with a spanking new Matrix Eclipse and two of the most perfect days you could ask for on the Murray, we took off up river to capture the flavor of the S.A way these days. Rolling out to test the waters to see what the S.A kids had to offer and gosh weren’t we pleasantly surprised!
TJ (Lachlan) was busting out crow-mobes and 911’s way into the flats and Rhett Payne was banging up some seriously stinky-heelside-nuclears that floated effortlessly in the summer sun.
The new school riders on the Murray had all been geared up for the weekend as the local comp was held the weekend previous at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, so all were on point with their riding skills.
Where have they been hiding the talent? Obviously on the shores of White Sands, Murray Bridge, South Australia.