For those skiers and wakeboarders who dream of perfectly calm water, a beautiful backdrop, and carving up some silver spray – scouring the Internet for such places but finding nothing; relax, we’ve found them for you.
For those who often look abroad, whether it be to Europe or the ever increasing group of skiers who migrate north during our winter to the headquarters of waterskiing, Florida, because they can’t find the quality skiing spots in South Africa without being disturbed by a barrage of other boats and anglers all fighting for their space on the lake; you’ve overlooked a few gems within our own borders…
We invite you to follow us on our journey showcasing four of the most idyllic waterski sites situated in the Western Cape, KZN, Gauteng and the Northern Cape, each with its own unique backdrop and character. The one thing these spots have in common is a desire of the owners and operators to provide perfect waterski conditions for the best tournament waterskiers to train and compete on, as well as ensure fun and enjoyment for the casual weekend skiers and first timers. In this issue we start off by visiting Lac du Soleil, then Bird Valley in KZN, followed by the well known SkiWorld in the heart of Benoni, Gauteng, and finally on to Lake Grappa situated in the Green Kalahari near Augrabies waterfalls.
First up and near our home base we visit Lac Du Soleil, which is situated 135 km north of Cape Town just off the N7 near Piketberg, a route familiar to those avid weekenders who undertake the weekly haul to Clanwilliam Dam and Buffelshoek Dam situated a further 100 km to the north on the other side of the Piekenierskloof pass. Also not far from there is the well known party lover’s favourite, Misverstand Dam. These are all great places to ski, but due to the sheer numbers of visitors they attract, you simply won’t get the idyllic, flat, calm water conditions that skiers dream of.
Luckily we don’t have to travel very far at all for this and one can feel the excitement build as you leave the Elandsbaai road to turn right at the unmistakable sign leading the way to Lac du Soleil with its entrance gates making a bold statement of what this place is all about. Waterskiing pure and simple!
Lac Du Soleil (simply translated as Lake of the Sun) is a private development which allows homeowners to live on a lake in the shadow of the Piketberg Mountain – indeed it was this picture on Facebook (top pg18) that drew the US WATERSKI magazine to visit South Africa and SABC TV to feature it on Pasella.
Not only is Lac du Soleil the only blue-coloured man-made lake in the southern hemisphere, it features a state of the art, tournament equipped slalom course, as well as a trick ski course, complete with all the modern electronic aids to host world record slalom competitions.
It is the home site for Protea skier, Gabi Viljoen, who used it as a base from which she went on to win the Australian Junior Moomba Masters, achieve second place in the US Junior Masters and resultantly get ranked third in the world as a Junior slalom skier, and most recently in 2013 place second at the USA Collegiate National Championships in Open Women Slalom – all testimony to the conditions that prevail at Lac du Soleil.
For more information regarding Lac du Soleil contact Anton@tau.co.za.