New business in Houghton offers wakeboarding lessons, jet ski rentals

Shred Portage Lake with Portage Wake.
TV6's Tia Trudgeon wakeboards for the first time with Portage Wake, a new business in Houghton.
TV6's Tia Trudgeon wakeboards for the first time with Portage Wake, a new business in Houghton.(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 11:54 AM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Upper Peninsula is a recreational paradise, but there’s a large barrier to entry when it comes to many sports.

Water sports specifically are difficult to get into if you don’t own a boat or gear. That’s where a new wakeboarding business in Houghton comes into the picture.

With Portage Wake, you can test out the waters and take wake lessons from a coach.

“We decided that we wanted to offer it to people like us- that didn’t have an opportunity to try it,” says Portage Wake founder, Brendan Jacques. “So we ended up launching Portage Wake this year.”

Portage Wake is made up of a small group of friends that simply like to have fun on the water and wanted to share that with other people.

Portage Wake offers wake surfing lessons, jet ski rentals and an overall good time on a boat. It’s up to you to decide how long you want to spend on the lake.

Sessions/lessons are offered to everyone: young and old people, experienced or novice. If you can stand, you can surf.

“My 65-year-old grandma did it once, so it’s for everybody,” assures coach Kaaren Liston.

Although you’ll experience your share of falls, wakeboarding is a totally safe sport.

“Your top speed is 12 miles an hour and all you’re gonna feel is just like if you’re jumping in the water, you’re not going fast and it’s easy on the legs,” says Liston.

Up to 10 people can fit on the boat so even if you’re not shredding the wake, you can simply relax and watch your friends go. In fact, the more friends you invite, the less money you’ll pay since Portage Wake charges per hour, not per person.

“The summers are awesome, and being on the water is never a bad day,” captain Tanner Rowe chimes in.

Who can disagree with that?

To book your session, visit

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