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On the Lake: Adventures in Waves


Lakes don’t have waves, so Zack Pennell makes them.

The owner of Canyon Lake Adventures captains a large boat that creates waves for inland surfers.

“Surfing’s a sport that few realize even exists on Canyon Lake,” he says. “Yet it’s really low-impact, super-rewarding and fun for all ages.”

Jet Packs & Stand-Up Paddle Boards

Jet PackPennell says surfing’s just one of many fun activities visitors can try over Memorial Day Weekend. Although large pontoon boats and party barges are usually booked a month in advance, paddle boards, kayaks, and jet packs are still available for rent.

Jet packs, he says, are one of the most popular items on Canyon Lake right now. Stand-up paddle boards are a close second.

“If you’re coming out, try one of our large, Hawaiian-style surfboards. They’re like kayaks, only you can stand on them and paddle around the lake.”


There’s still time to sign up for guided wake-boarding and surfing adventures, he says.

Canyon Lake Adventures will deliver and pick up equipment from boat ramps, camp sites and lake houses (“yes, we do front yards.”)

Pennell grew up in San Antonio but jet-skied on Canyon Lake during his youth. Five years ago, he opened Canyon Lake Adventures, 161 Canyon Bend, behind the Dairy Queen in Canyon Lake.

Family Business

It’s a family business that includes his wife and four kids, who all work in the business by helping drive boats and teach jet-packing, wake-boarding and lake-surfing lessons.

Zoey, seven, surfs double and loves ifloating, which involves towing mats behind boats. Isabella, nine, enjoys fly-boarding and surfing. Cole, 18, teaches surfing. Missy the dog greets customers at the store.

20- to 40-Percent Discounts

Canyon Lake PaddlesLocals who visit receive 20- to 40-percent discounts on all services.

Pennell’s next adventure involves bringing paddle-boarding yoga to Canyon Lake. It’s already a big deal in Austin, where fitness paddling is popular as well.


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