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Rope length for wakeboarding


Ohiobu

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My question is how long of a rope should my 9 yr old at 74lbs use to wakeboard? I have a 2000 Sportster with a monster tower. Early this year when he was learning I just changed the 75' rope from the center pole to the tower. the last three times I shortned the rope to 50' with the wedge down and 18-19 mph. He wants to clear the wake (don't we all) but he gets about 1/2 to 3/4 across. Any comments would be appreciated.

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I started this season off riding at about 65' or so and running about 21 mph. We'd run all the factory ballast and I started with no wedge. After getting comfortable with charging the wake and learning to pop and started to clear the wake, I both lengthened the rope and tried different ballast setups.

The last time I boarded I was running full length on the rope, which I think is 75' or 80' with the rope we have, all factory ballast filled, no wedge, but 500 to 600 lbs. extra ballast in each rear locker. I ran this setup at about 23 to 23.5 mph on the PerfectPass. This is the setup I'm most comfortable with and I can easily clear the wake while still getting a pretty decent pop. Every once in awhile I'll land way out in the sticks too.

To be honest, rather than worrying about clearing the wake immediately, he should get comfortable with charging the wake and learning how to pop off of it. 50' is a good starting point for rope length. If he's gotten the pop down, but can't clear the wake still, I'd say speed him up a little. I know a lot of people don't like to run faster when they're new, but honestly, the wake is bigger and a lot harder to clear if you're running below 20 mph in my opinion. You really have to cut in hard to get across it at a lower speed.

Try bumping him up to about 21 mph or so and periodically lengthen the rope once he starts clearing the wake. Keep in mind, the faster the boat is traveling, the faster the rider is traveling as well. Plus, on the cut in, he'll be going even faster once he hits the wake. He should have no problem clearing the wake if the boat speed is a little faster than 18 or 19 mph.

Still, though, the most important thing is learning how best to approach the wake and pop off of it while being comfortable doing so.

Edited by CharlieBitMe
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My son is also 9 and wants the same thing. We have a Vride and we typically have the center tank full and wedge and run 18.6 mph for him with 65' rope. He can get half way and thats about it. He has been working on his pop and last time out actually reached down and touched the board - not quite a grab but to to him it was gold. He has also been working on surface slides and ollies. I have been trying to encourage working on tricks rather than clearing the wake and it has been working. I know that if I speed the boat up that he will get better distance but I also know that it also hurts more when you face plant at faster speeds. Oh yeah - my wife gets nervous when he boards over 20 mph :)

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My son is also 9 and wants the same thing. We have a Vride and we typically have the center tank full and wedge and run 18.6 mph for him with 65' rope. He can get half way and thats about it. He has been working on his pop and last time out actually reached down and touched the board - not quite a grab but to to him it was gold. He has also been working on surface slides and ollies. I have been trying to encourage working on tricks rather than clearing the wake and it has been working. I know that if I speed the boat up that he will get better distance but I also know that it also hurts more when you face plant at faster speeds. Oh yeah - my wife gets nervous when he boards over 20 mph :)

Our Lake is only 200 acres so sacks are not allowed. Sometimes I just drag him around at about 12 mph at 75' with no wedge and he just works on frontsides and backsides and just trying to work on whatever he thinks of. This is his first year onthe water so I am proud of the progress. We always make him wear a helmet so the edge catchers are not so serious. I also encourage him to salom ski each time and he likes that a lot. I will need to get an skiing instructor my me if he gets much better.

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My question is how long of a rope should my 9 yr old at 74lbs use to wakeboard? I have a 2000 Sportster with a monster tower. Early this year when he was learning I just changed the 75' rope from the center pole to the tower. the last three times I shortned the rope to 50' with the wedge down and 18-19 mph. He wants to clear the wake (don't we all) but he gets about 1/2 to 3/4 across. Any comments would be appreciated.

That is how I started my nephews off. 55' plus 18-19mph, now there out to 60'-65' and clearing the wake on a 247 stock wake.. Have him work on his technique, especially progressive edging. Once the progressive edge is working and he is getting good pop (not letting his knees buckle at the wake like Malibudude) than it will come.

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My son is also 9 and wants the same thing. We have a Vride and we typically have the center tank full and wedge and run 18.6 mph for him with 65' rope. He can get half way and thats about it. He has been working on his pop and last time out actually reached down and touched the board - not quite a grab but to to him it was gold. He has also been working on surface slides and ollies. I have been trying to encourage working on tricks rather than clearing the wake and it has been working. I know that if I speed the boat up that he will get better distance but I also know that it also hurts more when you face plant at faster speeds. Oh yeah - my wife gets nervous when he boards over 20 mph :)

Our Lake is only 200 acres so sacks are not allowed. Sometimes I just drag him around at about 12 mph at 75' with no wedge and he just works on frontsides and backsides and just trying to work on whatever he thinks of. This is his first year onthe water so I am proud of the progress. We always make him wear a helmet so the edge catchers are not so serious. I also encourage him to salom ski each time and he likes that a lot. I will need to get an skiing instructor my me if he gets much better.

People have differing opinions about helmets effectiveness, but after a crew member took a hard spill this year he now wears a mouth piece, no helment, that really seems to to help to reduce the consussions.

Since you can’t add weight artificially get at least and adult up front assuming you have an open bow, otherwise lead weights can be used and they are relatively easy to hide.

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My son is also 9 and wants the same thing. We have a Vride and we typically have the center tank full and wedge and run 18.6 mph for him with 65' rope. He can get half way and thats about it. He has been working on his pop and last time out actually reached down and touched the board - not quite a grab but to to him it was gold. He has also been working on surface slides and ollies. I have been trying to encourage working on tricks rather than clearing the wake and it has been working. I know that if I speed the boat up that he will get better distance but I also know that it also hurts more when you face plant at faster speeds. Oh yeah - my wife gets nervous when he boards over 20 mph :)

Different strokes for different folks, but I would keep the rope at 65' at least, and definately keep the speed over 20. Keep the wake small....no weight, no ballast....The reason I would take this approach is to get him (or your wife:)) over the fear of going 'fast'. He is going to need to go fast eventually to clear the wake, there's just no way to clear without a bit of speed. And think about it....if he gets used to riding at 21-22 on the flats, you can always slow down to see if he can clear the wake by charging it at 18.(he will be going 22+ as he cuts at the wake). Also with a longer rope if he is charging around and bobbles or starts to fall, there is usually slack in the line for kids that small. It will give him time to let go or correct. With a shorter rope there is never slack and when they fall....THEY FALL. One more thing.....kids should ALWAYS learn on a tiny wake and progress with their ability...Too many kids AND adults have huge wakes, but never learned how to 'pop', they are just using speed and an enormous wake to get air. This usually results in a rider that falls alot, gets hurt alot, and has absolutely NO style to their riding because they are not in proper position when they hit the wake. Shoot, I hardly ever see riders that are riding properly/with style! You don't want your kid to grow up and ride like most of those average Joe's.....you know the guy..... the guy that cant do a big, FLAT air/grab to save his life, but can do a (tiny) tantrum from both sides, or a 'backroll' (which is usually a speedroll) and every jump he does his nose is in the air.... Anyway.....start small, drive fast, long rope.. that's my advice.. Hope it helps!

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My son is also 9 and wants the same thing. We have a Vride and we typically have the center tank full and wedge and run 18.6 mph for him with 65' rope. He can get half way and thats about it. He has been working on his pop and last time out actually reached down and touched the board - not quite a grab but to to him it was gold. He has also been working on surface slides and ollies. I have been trying to encourage working on tricks rather than clearing the wake and it has been working. I know that if I speed the boat up that he will get better distance but I also know that it also hurts more when you face plant at faster speeds. Oh yeah - my wife gets nervous when he boards over 20 mph :)

Different strokes for different folks, but I would keep the rope at 65' at least, and definately keep the speed over 20. Keep the wake small....no weight, no ballast....The reason I would take this approach is to get him (or your wife:)) over the fear of going 'fast'. He is going to need to go fast eventually to clear the wake, there's just no way to clear without a bit of speed. And think about it....if he gets used to riding at 21-22 on the flats, you can always slow down to see if he can clear the wake by charging it at 18.(he will be going 22+ as he cuts at the wake). Also with a longer rope if he is charging around and bobbles or starts to fall, there is usually slack in the line for kids that small. It will give him time to let go or correct. With a shorter rope there is never slack and when they fall....THEY FALL. One more thing.....kids should ALWAYS learn on a tiny wake and progress with their ability...Too many kids AND adults have huge wakes, but never learned how to 'pop', they are just using speed and an enormous wake to get air. This usually results in a rider that falls alot, gets hurt alot, and has absolutely NO style to their riding because they are not in proper position when they hit the wake. Shoot, I hardly ever see riders that are riding properly/with style! You don't want your kid to grow up and ride like most of those average Joe's.....you know the guy..... the guy that cant do a big, FLAT air/grab to save his life, but can do a (tiny) tantrum from both sides, or a 'backroll' (which is usually a speedroll) and every jump he does his nose is in the air.... Anyway.....start small, drive fast, long rope.. that's my advice.. Hope it helps!

I agree, you should not have any fat sacks filled or wedge down until you can clear the wake first. Its all about the pop! they need to learn form first, nice seated position cutting into the wake until you hit it and then POP...you need to teach them to cut harder and not to flatten out or absorb the ramp with there knees. Once you get them to clear the wake on a regular basis then you fill up the sacks and let them FLY!!

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I agree, you should not have any fat sacks filled or wedge down until you can clear the wake first. Its all about the pop! they need to learn form first, nice seated position cutting into the wake until you hit it and then POP...you need to teach them to cut harder and not to flatten out or absorb the ramp with there knees. Once you get them to clear the wake on a regular basis then you fill up the sacks and let them FLY!!

I totally agree, this is definitely the most important thing. That's what I began the season doing. I was carving way out, and I'd cut in hard but I'd flatten the board before hitting the wake, so basically I was just riding off the wake without popping. Although I was clearing the wake (due to going so freakin' fast when I'd ride off the wake), I wasn't going very high. I learned that it's not about how far you cut out, it's about how hard you cut in. Now, I don't even cut out that far, but I cut in super hard and keep on my edge THROUGH the wake, that way your back leg stays rigid and gives you the pop.

But yeah, your 9 year old should definitely learn the technique of popping off the wake before just "trying to clear it". Once he learns this, then you should start adding weight, lengthening the rope if he's landing way out in the sticks, and finding a comfortable speed that's should be over 20 or 21 mph.

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