Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Building a wakepark can be quite overwhelming and can be done in many different ways. We’ve put together 10 things you’ll need to consider before you start. Have a read and don’t hesitate to consult us.
1) Follow your dreams
Every business starts as a dream, an idea. As an entrepreneur, you have many. You’re looking for a way to express yourself. Follow these dreams, let them guide you into challenges, step by step.
We always say, if we would have known, how difficult it would be to create our dream, we would have never started. But in the end, we’re so happy we pushed through.
It’s always good to dream, to take it as it goes, cause in the end, you will figure it out.
Finding a location is the hardest part. You can look for existing bodies of water, which have the political challenges and environmental issues. If you’re lucky, you own a body of water. Or, you can look for property that has the opportunity to dig and shape a lake. Creating a lake has a lot of advantages, as you can decide the way of riding and you can go for a poolgap. A bi-level poolgap is a great addition to your basic set up. We were lucky t
o find a piece of property, with exactly the right dimensions for a two-tower park. The first time we stood on the property, we could easily visualize the main lake, with a sloping part towards the end for a bi-level area. Very little trees and agriculture were present. The dream was visualized.
Only ten minutes away from a small emerging town, which was hosting all touristic surfers in the country, called the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, it made sense to add wakeboarding to the menu.
We had a dry piece of property, so how to add the water, essential for wakeboarding. Look for professional advice on the components of your soil. Do a soil testing, if it’s available in your area. You’ll want to know, if your soil has ground water or not. We took it very basic, dug a hole, threw in some water, and checked if it stayed present. As it didn’t, we understood a plastic liner would be the way to go. These days lining a pond or lake is a very common installation and many companies can help you. The technology is maybe 30-40 years old. The lifespan of it, is still to be determined. Again, acquire professional help, as you might be told you can do the lining yourself. After witnessing the installation, it definitely is not for amateurs on this scale. Find someone who can design your lake and advice your how to handle the water. How to clean, drain and in our case, deal with the overflow.
We have an awesome rain season, which is perfect to collect the fresh water needed, but it can also damage your lining and surrounding structure. Make sure you have a well-designed plan to deal with this.
Look for a contractor that can do the groundworks, embankment, slopes, lining, and draining. Again, a proper soil testing is key, so both you and the contractor understand the challenges of the existing soil and understand if imported soil will be needed. Locate your electricity and water source. Figure out the expenses to build a well, collect rainfall water, construct a powerline or acquire a generator.
Create a business plan! If you’ve never done, look for professional advice, look online to see the chapters and find some templates, you’ll definitely need this for the next stage of your dream.
Check your bank account, ask your family, friends, plan meetings with banks, investors and other financial opportunities. You will need them all.
Present your business plan and take note of who wants to help you and believes in your dream as well. Always keep believing!
Every opportunity has its pro’s and con’s. Your first bet would be your friends and family, as they are more lenient if ever you need to adjust payment plans due to unfortunate circumstances (covid-19 for example). Banks and investors are also a good option, as they will be very strict on your numbers and keep you on your toes running the business. Just make sure your financial plan is solid and can cover the requested percentages and payment plans.
You’ve got the property, you’ve got the money, now make sure you are allowed to build and construct the dream. This is actually a good one to do already before you acquire the property, but the actual paperwork starts now. Every government will have its building code and environmental requirements. Take them seriously! In our area, a lot of construction was done without much paperwork. Well, we’re very happy we did ours accordingly, because eventually it will catch up with you, and you really don’t want to be forced to close after everything is ready…
Inform with your local municipal what is needed and keep updated, as things might change along the road.