Meet Kimo Rusna, the founder of Bali Wake Park. The spot features state-of-the-art, full-size cable systems built around a five-hectare lake. It’s the first and only wakeboarding park of its kind in Bali.
Kimo, what motivated you to create Bali Wake Park and when was it completed?
It has always been my dream to create a wake park in Bali.
Growing up in Australia, I was introduced to the sport just as it was starting to take off, and I became hooked. I worked after school and during my holidays at Ski and Surf Cable Ski on the Sunshine Coast. Being part of the wakeboarding community was an integral part of my youth and I wanted to pass on this experience to the community in Bali. Bali Wake Park opened its doors to the public in 2015.
Is it environmentally sustainable?
All our cable ways operate on electric machinery, so there is no air or water pollution in our operation. The water quality is exceptional and crystal clear from the constant aeration of the skiers doing rounds in the lake. We have quite an array of different fish that call our lake home. The lake sustains our business so we are naturally very protective of our working environment and think of it as a precious part of our daily lives, one which we must in turn respect and protect.
How do you involve and empower the local community?
We are really excited to be able to introduce a new sport to Bali, and to be given the opportunity to share our passion for the sport. We have also been happy to see a great reaction from the local wake boarders. Each year, we host the Bali Wake Park Nationals competition with the intention of evaluating wakeboarding as a local sport.
Explain the difference between a full-size system and a two-tower system.
The main full-size cable has five towers strategically placed around a five-hectare lake with eight carriers on two cables connecting them all to the motor tower. Eight riders at a time are able to do continuous laps until they fall off or get tired and let go.
The two-tower system goes back and forth in one line. It was created for beginners to learn, as it’s a one-on-one experience with the instructor. It also controls the speed for a much easier learning experience. We have also combined it with another level where professionals can transfer from a raised pool with rails and obstacles down into the lower lake. This is a similar situation to when a skateboarder or snowboarder slides down a set of stairs using a handrail to reach the bottom.
What other services are offered at Bali Wake Park?
Currently, we have both our cable systems, a Rip Curl outlet combined with our pro shop, which offers a range of brand new wakeboards and wake skates, along with life jackets and helmets. We are also proud to have partnered with the famous Made’s Warung restaurant, which has a strong reputation for quality food in Bali since 1969.
Do you plan on holding competitions and events this year?
Yes we do two to three local and national competitions, and one international competition each year. Rip Curl really supports us to make it possible for the best riders in the world to come for our international competitions.
How do you think Bali may improve its infrastructure with the exponential growth of tourism currently taking place here?
This is a very tricky question, as it addresses the government and its politics. Of course we all have ideals and opinions on how we would like to see Bali progress, and we can only hope for the best in the future. There is a lot of change taking place at the grassroots community level. Schools are bringing in people to talk about the environment, and with education, communities are coming up with solutions.
Bali has many NGOs and small organizations involved in all aspects of sustaining the environment, as well as the cultural heritage of our magical little island. I see Bali as an example of the world at large. The rapid growth is inspiring people to create rapid change, many times back to a simpler and more self-sustaining lifestyle. We should all strive to make Bali a destination for eco and green tourism, along with maintaining its reputation as a great getaway for athletes and nature lovers.
What brought you here? What keeps you here?
Being Balinese is part of my heritage. Coming back to the island was inevitable. We have started our family and businesses here, and we now call Bali our permanent home. So far, Bali continues to be a place that allows us to pursue our passions in our work and our personal lives. My wife and I are both very involved with running our own startup businesses. Our lives are mostly a balance of work and family. We enjoy living as part of a close traditional community of family and friends, which has created a great balance so far.
We love living in Bali because there’s such an international community of people living and working here. It is wonderful to watch our daughter grow up with so many friends from around the world. This balance of east meets west brings a certain depth and texture to our lives, which could not be duplicated anywhere else in the world. Bali is our home and always will be.
What are your plans for the future?
We have plans to upgrade the wake park and facilities, but it’s still under wraps so we will just have to wait and take each day as it comes. Meanwhile, we are enjoying our lives here so much that our hope for the future is that each day be as blessed as today!