MARYANNE FIRTH/Tribune Staff
Wainfleeter to share her passion on water with others
It used to take a board, a line and a boat to ride the waterways in Niagara.
But thanks to Amanda Newhouse and her colleagues at BoarderPass Niagara, that’s about to change.
The company will soon introduce an innovative cable wakeboarding system at Sugarloaf Harbour Marina in Port Colborne — the only one of its kind in the region.
“It was always my dream to start a cable park in Niagara,” said Newhouse, a Wainfleet resident who grew up wakeboarding on the canal and other local waterways.
During her time at Niagara College, where she excelled in the tourism management and business development program, Newhouse worked toward creating a business plan to introduce the cable system to her hometown — but the technology available at the time and its high cost proved challenging to overcome.
Despite the barriers, the now 23-year-old never lost sight of her goal to make her favourite sport accessible to all Niagarans.
Newhouse spent the past two summers coaching wakeboarding in the Muskoka area — where it seems the stars aligned.
It was through her coaching job that she met business partners Chris Smith and Tim Nixon — owners of BoarderPass Sarnia, the only cable wakeboarding facility in southern Ontario.
Not one to pass up an opportunity, Newhouse immediately approached the pair about bringing their innovative system to Niagara.
“They’re pioneers of the sport,” she said of her BoarderPass colleagues, expressing her excitement over the partnership.
Though the idea was originally proposed for Welland, BoarderPass is thrilled to be setting up shop in Port Colborne.
The lakeside city, she said, has been “super progressive and supportive” since jumping on board in November.
On Monday night, Port Colborne city council directed staff to draw up a formal contract solidifying the deal with BoarderPass. If all goes as planned, the system should be up and running by the Victoria Day long weekend May 19 to 21.
In the meantime, the company is working on putting together its marketing strategy with hopes of encouraging people of all ages to get out on the water and give it a try.
“There’s not much of a wakeboard scene in Niagara,” Newhouse said.
“But we’re going to create one.”