Inside America's New State-of-the-Art Wakeboarding Paradise

The only thing it doesn't have? Boats.

By Alex Lauer

Inside America's New State-of-the-Art Wakeboarding Paradise
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09 June 2017

Wakeboarding: the best thing to happen to summer since canned beer. 

Also a thing that requires some hefty prerequisites: a board and a boat, for starters, which means most Chicagoans are SOL.

That is, until Quarry Cable Park arrived.

The 32-acre compound — an hour’s drive from the city, in Crystal Lake — is outfitted with a boatless, state-of-the-art cable system and all the grub, sand and live music you’ll need for a dreamy day on the water. 

Below, all the reasons you should plan your trip to Quarry as soon as humanly possible — as well as a way to test it all out for free.

Quarry Cable Park (7 images)

Come as you are: no experience or gear needed
Professional rider Timmy Burnier and team are on-hand to get you started. For gear, they’ve got everything from lifejackets to boards (even if you have your own, best to rent their equipment so you don’t scratch up yours).

They added a farm-to-table restaurant
After their inaugural season in 2016, the Quarry reached out to Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen to bring in their farm-to-table menu. Enter: Duke’s On The Water, a counter-service restaurant serving up locally sourced burgers, sandwiches and beach snacks every day.

Yes, you can drink. No, you can’t drink and ride.
Duke’s serves up the libations you’ll need after a day on the cables (jalapeño margaritas, anyone?), but once you order, you’re done riding. Good to know your post-boarding bar is only steps away, even better knowing you won’t be on the water with anyone who’s had a few. 

Stay for the beach volleyball, live music, yoga and beer
Since you’re making the drive, what else is there to do? At the Quarry, there’s beach volleyball, live music every Friday, sunset yoga every Monday and other events like local brewery nights. In the rest of the Three Oaks Recreation Area, you can swim, hike or rent non-motorized boats.

On June 22nd, you can test out the park for free
Liquid Force is once again embarking on their cross-country Free For All tour. On Thursday, June 22nd, their team will post up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering free runs, new boards to test and instruction from seasoned vets. Best take the day off.

Images by Ryan Castre Photography

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