Rexburg has became home to the first snowboard cable park in the United States as of Jan. 12.
With 481 operating ski areas in the U.S. and 18 in Idaho, according to the National Ski Areas Association, the Cable Factory is unique in its facilities.
With only a handful of these parks in Europe the only other snow park of its kind in North America is found in Winnipeg, Canada.
The park is not like other ski parks where snowboarders and skiers use gravity to ride down mountains. In these types of parks, participants rely on the mechanical power of a 500-foot-long, straight-line cable system.
Participants get pulled by holding onto a handle attached to a rope that is connected to the cable system, similar to what boats tow wakeboarders on.
The cable pulls snowboarders and skiers through a 450-foot-long course occied by kicks, boxes and rails at speeds that can reach 30 mph, though most prefer speeds closer to 15 mph.
Although some people may categorize it as more of an extreme sport, Matt Van Steenkiste, one of the designers and builders of the course, said, “It will cater to all skill levels.”
The course can be used by any ability level because the participants can maneuver through whichever obstacles they choose.
The cables are also controlled manually so participants can go as fast as they want with no worries of being left behind if they let go of the handle.
Brett Kesler, owner of the Cable Factory, said that students at BYU-Idaho would particularly benefit from the cable park because of its accessibility.
“Students can come in between classes or right after and have some fun for an hour,” Kesler said.
Kesler said he decided that he wanted to build a wakeboarding park in Eastern Idaho that college students could use.
During the beginning stages of creating the park, Kesler’s initial plan had been to build a park that would solely be used for cable wakeboarding in Eastern Idaho.
“The winters here are long so I got to thinking how could we do this for the winter,” Kesler said.
Kesler said that he figured out what to do when he found YouTube videos of places in Europe that used the wakeboarding cables over the snow-covered ground.
Kesler and his team have since put together a park that will be open to wakeboarding in warmer months and snowboarding in the colder months.
The Cable Factory is located at Rainbow Lake, approximately four miles southeast of the university campus.
For more information, students can visit www.rexburgcablefactory.com.