Off the Loop



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group


Here's a way to cool down with a shot of adrenalin. Off the Loop is New Zealand's biggest cable wakeboard park. What's that? Well, it's a safe and controlled — but still exciting — way for enthusiasts to learn or improve on wakeboarding skills. Riders are pulled along on a wakeboard, which is like a single wide water-ski, holding onto a rope attached to an electric carrier that zips along a cable attached to two 9m-high towers. Outside of the waterpark, the same activity might be done behind a boat or kite. Glen Butcher, one of Off the Loop's three owners and the park's manager, is a long-time kite-surfer. Back in 2016, wanting to give people an easily accessible way to learn the sport he loves, Glen and his partners began work transforming a Foxton paddock into a wakeboard park. After massive amounts of excavation, landscaping and fabrication, Off the Loop opened in time for summer 2018. Handily, it includes two lanes — novices should elect the orange route, while those more experienced can opt for the black. Glen reckons that anyone can learn to wakeboard. “Within a few minutes of starting, 99 per cent of people are up and riding. Hardly any skills are needed.” The Aqua Park is a recent addition to bring in people who wouldn't normally wakeboard. Like a bouncy castle on steroids, it's an inflatable playground with heaps of obstacles, including a bridge, balance beam, climbing slides and even a trampoline, all over water. Bookings for wakeboarding and the Aqua Park are strongly advised. The wakeboarding costs $25 for 10 minutes, $35 for 15 minutes and $150 per hour to rent the lane for a group. The Aqua Park is suitable for ages 5 and up, with 50-minute sessions running on the half-hour, every hour. Off the Loop is closed during winter because, well, brrrr… 10 Stewart Street, Foxton. 027 909 7950,