Nestled just past Tailum Bend over the Murray Bridge lies a wakeboarder’s paradise – White Sands Riverside Resort. This Australian gem, also known as Tom Hines’ humble abode, is a haven for both novice and pro wakeboarders. The green grassy banks stretch all the way to the water’s sandy edge, creating an idyllic setting for this thrilling watersport.
Arriving at White Sands
As we made a left turn and followed the curves of the iconic Murray River, we were greeted by a sign at the resort’s gate that read “No jet skis, wave runners or seadoos.” We knew we were in the right place. Upon arrival at Jason’s ‘shack’, we were welcomed with South Australia’s strongest tourist attraction – the Coopers Pale Ale. It was good to be home.
The Wakeboarding Scene at White Sands
Wakeboarding has been the main priority at White Sands for years. With an average depth of 60ft in the middle of the river and a corner or willow to hide from the wind at any angle, it’s easy to see why these kids don’t want to leave their perfect playground for any other water catchment areas.
The South Australian Wakeboarding Association has always boasted a high level of riding. However, there was a small lull in action in the past few years until now. Recently, Tom Hines and Nat Barber have been attacking the competition scene on both sides of the border, S.A and Victorian, not to mention the pro tour.
After a couple of solid years maturing and honing their skills on the board, the S.A way is shining through strong. Nat and Tom aren’t the only riders who are taking hold of the Murray. Other riders like Rhett Payne, TJ (Lachlan Burgess), Mick Davies, Wade Ingerson and Grom Riley Phitzner are all hot on the heels of their peers and predecessors like Greg Falzon, Anthony Asplin, Luke Matson, Adam Bruce, Dan Smit and Richard Boyce.
As the years have moved forward, so too have the above mentioned into other fields of expertise. One such person who has always held a passion and position amongst the wakeboard family now makes sure the lads have a boat to ride behind. Neil Boyd from Matrix Marine has been supplying the S.A comps with boats to ride behind for years and offered us the use of his brand spanking ‘Eclipse’ to test out.
A Weekend on the Murray
Leaving White Sands and armed with a spanking new Matrix Eclipse and two of the most perfect days you could ask for on the Murray, we took off up river to capture the flavour of the S.A way these days. The new school riders on the Murray had all been geared up for the weekend as the local comp was held the previous weekend at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, so all were on point with their riding skills.
So where have they been hiding the talent? Obviously on the shores of White Sands, Murray Bridge, South Australia. This hidden paradise is a testament to the thriving wakeboarding scene in South Australia, a place where both novice and pro riders can enjoy the thrill of the sport amidst stunning natural beauty.