Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recreational Sports

McCormick Cable Park in Seffner replaces boats for waterskiing and wakeboarding


Mike McCormick is living his dad's dream.

Nothing wrong with that. His dad, Jim, had an idea for a cable park, a waterski park that uses a pulley system to let riders grab a line and ski around a long oval-shaped man-made lake. He came up with it in the '70s, and nearly 40 years later it finally came to fruition.

It's the McCormick Cable Park now, run by Jim's son, Mike.

"It's just so awesome for him to see this come to life," McCormick said. "He was a smile from ear to ear. He finally saw something he came up with come to pass and that's exciting to see."

Nearly hidden in Seffner, Mike McCormick has two man-made lakes, including the quarter-mile cable lake. On the grounds, riders can use the cable park, but also ski off a boat, take ski classes, or, if they want, just take in the sights.

"We have a real relaxed, laid back atmosphere here," said Kyle McCutheon, a 22-year-old instructor at McCormick. "Its really a cool place to hang out. I mean, I used to work over at Home Depot, and now this is my new job: sitting around, skiing and being by the water. There's nothing wrong with doing that."

The main pull is the cable park. It can run up to nine riders at a time, and most use it either to wakeboard or wake skate, an upcoming sport where riders use a skateboard without wheels, wears shoes and do tricks similar to skating. Though most riders are college-aged or older, there are some as young as eight and as old as 65, McCormick said. The riders wait their turns off a dock next to a device called an elevator that pulls the ski lines up to the moving cables. The rope pulls off the rider at about 18 mph. McCormick finds the park also very popular with kite surfers because of the similarities.

The park opened Sept. 8 after McCormick and his family put more than $1 million into building it. McCormick's is one of four cable parks in Florida and one of seven in the nation. They're sprouting up here and there, and McCormick points out a reason more riders are converting to cable parks is because it doesn't require owning a boat. Or equipment.

"All you need is a bathing suit," McCormick said referring to how the park rents everything from wakeboards to skis and life jackets. "You don't have to worry about the hassle of a boat. There's no gassing it up or who's going to drive or who can drive. Anyone can come out and just go ride. That's the whole point: getting quick, affordable rides without a boat."

There are regulars — riders there on a daily basis. Those are cable rats, but many bring the whole family, sitting around all day as if they were at a lake party.

And there are plans — such as a concession stand, a clubhouse for changing and eating, a log roll, a water trampoline, a blob and even plans to do night rides — but most like the way things are run at the park. Like a resort for waterskiing.

"When I found it online, I just came out since I just started wake skating," 20-year-old Danny King, a student at Hernando Community College, said. "The place is just sick because I don't have a boat or know anyone with one. It's just a really laid-back atmosphere, so I can ride as much as I want."

McCormick, who's been around skiing since he could walk, wants that. The park may vary a bit from what his father envisioned, but things change. The sport evolves, so do the riders.

The one thing that didn't change was Jim McCormick's dream. That's alive and well, thanks to the park.

"We have a very laid-back, kind of island feel out here," McCormick said. "We're very friendly and we enjoy getting first-timers out here; we encourage them to try everything they can. We're a park for the rider. We're not just out here to pull and be done with. We want people to get better at it."

Community Sports Editor Mike Camunas can be reached at or (352) 544-1771.

Fast facts

McCormick Cable Park

Where: Address: 2020 McCormick Lakes Way, Seffner

Owner: Mike McCormick

Hours: Wednesday through Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Cost: Rates vary, but to use the cable park all day costs $38, plus rentals of helmets, boards and life jackets. However, riders can bring their own gear.

For more info, call (813) 681-4441 or e-mail or visit

You've been warned

I've been skiing for about 18 years now, however, I never got the chance to take up wakeboarding. Always wanted to though. When I tried the cable park, I stayed up on my first attempt, though struggled to make it around the loop. The turns yank the cable a bit and inexperienced riders will need to get used to that. It takes practice, but once one gets the hang of it, sick moves will be aplenty. — Mike Camunas

McCormick Cable Park in Seffner replaces boats for waterskiing and wakeboarding 05/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 6:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome


    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.