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How old did your kids start watersports?


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Hi - I'm new to the site. What a great forum with enthusiastic folks!

I'm in the 'convert the spouse' phase. I get to ski 1-2 times a summer at relative's 3+ hours away, and I'm ready to get our own boat so we can go whenever we want to. Looking at new and used Malibus, which, even before finding this site, were floating (so to speak) to the top of my list.

My wife's top concern right now is that next summer our will-be-3 and 1/2 years old daughter won't be old enough / comfortable enough in the water to tube, and she'll have to watch her big sister all summer without being able to go herself.

So........... when did everyone's kids start with the various watersports? My opinion (biased towards any opinion that will help my case) is that she'll be fine in a tube with an adult or older cousin in the tube with her next summer.

Thanks!

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My oldest son started on a ski skimmer at 2 1/2 yrs old and is now on combo skis with the bar. Our youngest 1.5yrs tubed with his brother who is now 4 this summer Clap.gif

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Mine were younger than that when we pulled them around at slow speeds with someone else in the tube with them. That's all they would ride for a few years until the oldest discovered the kneeboard, then the wakeboard, then surfing, then the slalom ski....you see how that works. :)

Honestly though, it's not as much about that for us as it is about family time. This is a time when they can't distract themselves with tv, computers, Playstation or anything else. They have to talk with Mom & Dad, & you know, they usually have such a good time by just being out on the water that they forget about that part. I've also seen some kids (my youngest was this way for a long time) that like to be out on the boat, love to swim, love to watch, love to go FAST, but aren't as interested in being behind the boat. If you look at it that way, it's one of the best family investments that you can make IMO. The stuff behind the boat comes of its own accord, so I don't think that you need to worry as much about that. JM2C

Raising your kids on the water IMO is one of the best things that you can do for them.

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My daughter was in the boat at 3 months, on a knee board (with dad holding the rope) :) at 18 months and then by herself on a knee board at 24 months. From there is was double skis at 5, slalom ski at 6, and barefoot (boom) at 8. Great family time.

But now at 16 years old, I can't barely get her in the boat with mom & dad, let alone on skis :unsure:

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My son was in the boat at 1yr, tubing at 2 yrs, kneeboarding 3-5, Wakeboarding started at 5. He is 9 now and pretty much wakeboards all the time except for the tubing every now and then.

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My oldest daughter was in the boat before she was a month old and rode on a platter (disk) with daddy before she was one. My second daughter was in the boat at 6 months and did the platter with daddy at 18 months. They were perhaps 6 years old before they skied though. We did not push them and waited till they were ready. That's them in my avitar about 5 years ago. Third generation pyramid builders. They are both in college now and still love to ski.

Edited by electricjohn
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Yougest was 3 and the oldest was 4 when they firs waterskiied. They had both been in the tube for quite a while before that. Now they are 10 and 7 and won't even touch waterskis.........apparently wakeboarding is the cool thing to do now!!!

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My youngest was 5 when we purchased our first boat. My oldest was 8 at the time. They were both riding

the tube that first summer, but we also spent a lot of time anchored in quiet coves, where they would

climb in and out of the boat incessantly, using it as a jumping/diving platform. Great times. Great memories.

My daughter, the oldest, first learned to ski the next summer, when she was 9. My boy started skiing

when he was 7. But, they both still loved tubing for the next 4-5 years.

Now, at ages 16 and 13, they want to slalom ski, wakeboard, or wakesurf. I haven't pulled a tube for

two summers now. And, my daughter has replaced my wife as my early morning driver (provided,

of course, that she gets to ski first).

If you want to spend quality time with your kids, you either have to learn to enjoy doing the things that

they want to do or (and you may have to get a little lucky here) teach them to enjoy doing the things that

you want to do.

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Mine were younger than that when we pulled them around at slow speeds with someone else in the tube with them. That's all they would ride for a few years until the oldest discovered the kneeboard, then the wakeboard, then surfing, then the slalom ski....you see how that works. :)

Honestly though, it's not as much about that for us as it is about family time. This is a time when they can't distract themselves with tv, computers, Playstation or anything else. They have to talk with Mom & Dad, & you know, they usually have such a good time by just being out on the water that they forget about that part. I've also seen some kids (my youngest was this way for a long time) that like to be out on the boat, love to swim, love to watch, love to go FAST, but aren't as interested in being behind the boat. If you look at it that way, it's one of the best family investments that you can make IMO. The stuff behind the boat comes of its own accord, so I don't think that you need to worry as much about that. JM2C

Raising your kids on the water IMO is one of the best things that you can do for them.

Your best bet is to sell it to your wife as Family time. That is what helped me although my wife really enjoyed being outside anyway.

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Yougest was 3 and the oldest was 4 when they firs waterskiied. They had both been in the tube for quite a while before that. Now they are 10 and 7 and won't even touch waterskis.........apparently wakeboarding is the cool thing to do now!!!

Our 4 have been in the boat since they were born. First daughter started tubing with someone at 4, son after her at 3 and then the last 2 also went at 3. After that everything evened out. We have something called a zip sled that has been in the family for 20 years, it is a big plastic sled that you lay on. We tied a ski handle to it so you can stand up also. My daughter tried it at 5, my son went after her at 4 my other daughter did it after him and she was 3. Now my oldest is 11 and they all ski, wakeboard and kneeboard. It is so much of a blast that this year we bought our Malibu, previous to that we were off my Dad's deck boat.

Literally we head out on the lake at 11am and don't come in until 7pm.

Good luck.

Keep in mind that there is a learning curve to being in the water without someone there, and being behind a boat, so be patient and have fun.

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Youngest foil rider was 2 yrs 8 months old. World records being rare & a little nutty though, most kids get up between the ages of about 5 & 10 yrs old.

Most of my friends who have young kids have them out on the boat soon after their born. Get yourself a good bimini, and a cradle for the kid..... the lull of the engine will put them right to sleep everytime. Hang out with them sitting on the engine cover, then sitting on the swimstep kicking the water, then try swimming a little, before you know it they will be sitting on the tube as relaxed as can be. It happens pretty quick for some kids.

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Yougest was 3 and the oldest was 4 when they firs waterskiied. They had both been in the tube for quite a while before that. Now they are 10 and 7 and won't even touch waterskis.........apparently wakeboarding is the cool thing to do now!!!

Our 4 have been in the boat since they were born. First daughter started tubing with someone at 4, son after her at 3 and then the last 2 also went at 3. After that everything evened out. We have something called a zip sled that has been in the family for 20 years, it is a big plastic sled that you lay on. We tied a ski handle to it so you can stand up also. My daughter tried it at 5, my son went after her at 4 my other daughter did it after him and she was 3. Now my oldest is 11 and they all ski, wakeboard and kneeboard. It is so much of a blast that this year we bought our Malibu, previous to that we were off my Dad's deck boat.

Literally we head out on the lake at 11am and don't come in until 7pm.

Good luck.

Keep in mind that there is a learning curve to being in the water without someone there, and being behind a boat, so be patient and have fun.

Pretty much like us. If we don't spend every weekend camping we try and spend the warm summer nights at the lake. My kids favorite thing when they were really small (3 and 4) they used to love having a beach bbq and then cruising around in the tube until dark. This is our first Malibu and I was the guy who always said "I will never spend $50,000 on a boat!!!!" We had the old I/O for 5 or 6 years before we bought this one.

As many people have said already....We spend more time as a family in the boat than we ever have aywhere else. And lots of time we may just go for a nice cruise and stop in the middle and swim around for an hour. Would I spend $50k on a boat again......Absolutley!!!!! Now we are all enjoying the surfing and want a bigger one! Check out this pic of our friends 3 year old boy surfing with me. His mom doesn't like the water but she likes to hang out in the boat all day just to give the kids the chance to enjoy it.

post-5478-1226358186_thumb.jpg

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My oldest daughter was in the boat before she was a month old and rode on a platter (disk) with daddy before she was one. My second daughter was in the boat at 6 months and did the platter with daddy at 18 months. They were perhaps 6 years old before they skied though. We did not push them and waited till they were ready. That's them in my avitar about 5 years ago. Third generation pyramid builders. They are both in college now and still love to ski.

How did that work (ski disk WITH Dad)?....were your kids competent swimmers first, or did you just rely on flotation?

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Howdy and welcome aboard,

Both of our girls were in the boat as babies.

With an adult, some calm tubing in a secure life jacket they can’t slip out of is fun at 3 years old.

Our youngest was riding a kneeboard by the age of four and combo waterskiing at five then wakeboarding at six, at eight years old she is now slalom skiing.

Getting them started early is great for their development later.

Watching an older sibling will usually get a younger one motivated to attempt and advance in water sports rapidly.

Good luck with your wife about the boat, big fun is right around the corner!

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Our girls were three and four this summer. This was the first year that they tubed by themselves. We also bought an O'Brien platform ski that they both used. If I were a betting man, I would say that she would do fine on the water at that age.

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Thanks for the ammo, uh, I mean, great information. Somehow I missed that poll to which Malibudude posted the link when I was searching before.

I went to the Malibu dealer nearby back in July, and I've been hemming and hawing since then. I can't think of hardly anything else. One can only stare at pictures of boat listings on websites and flipping through the '08 brochure for so long before doing something about it.

But I blew it for 2008! Now I need to finish my final arguments for the judge/jury and make sure we're ready to go as soon as we get nice weather next year.

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My daughter was in the boat at 3 months, on a knee board (with dad holding the rope) :) at 18 months and then by herself on a knee board at 24 months. From there is was double skis at 5, slalom ski at 6, and barefoot (boom) at 8. Great family time.

But now at 16 years old, I can't barely get her in the boat with mom & dad, let alone on skis :unsure:

Your situation sounds like mine. Mine daughter started in the boat in a pumpkin seat, sking at age 5, barefooting at age 6, and at 15 she hated going to the lake. But now she's married and gone she and her husband have their own boat and go pretty regular. So they come back around.

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Started my daughter in the tube with me at 2 and on the wakesurf board at around 3. She loves it. She's now on the skimmer by herself and is getting a wakeboard for christmas.

Let your wife know that once the youngest is hooked, it becomes the reason they go to bed early on Friday (so they can get on the water early on Saturday).

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