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RLXISD

Youngsters SkySkiing

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RLXISD

I was wondering how young of kids you have started on a Skyski? What tips or tricks did you use do make things easier or simpler to get them started? I have two nephews that I would like to get them up and going but I am not sure if they will fit with the seat belt or foot straps. Thanks.

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Bill_AirJunky

I've had them riding on my lap at 4 or 5 yrs old a number of times. Youngest I've taught to ride on their own is about 10.

Honkula's get the kid out their the first summer out of the womb. I think Emily wasn't even 3 yrs old yet, and telling Scott to "Go, Daddy, go" around her pacifier! Thumbup.gif

A number of folks I've known will get the kids riding the seat & board on the living room carpet. Then it's not so foreign later on the lake.

Edited by Bill_AirJunky

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airjunky

Getting the youngsters started early is really all about making sure the gear fits them first, and then like Bill said, familiarizing them with it by leaving the board & tower in the living room so they can sit on it, play with it in a safe environment. There are Junior towers that are about 2-3 inches shorter than regular rock towers, and you can cut the tails off of boards and re-drill/slot them to be shorter too. Ultimately what you want is for them to sit on the seat and put their feet in the bindings with something close to a 90 degree bend in the legs, this will give them the best control of the foil.

The other important factor is the driver. Keep in mind these kids come up super fast, they don't need much speed, and no "hit-it" at all. When little

got up at just over 2 years old it was more like putting the boat in gear.

And, like Bill said too....putting them on your lap (assuming your skilled & confident enough of a rider to do so) will also help them become familiar with the whole process.

And, don't ever put anyone in one of these foils without the belt & footstraps!!! If they don't fit, they don't ride till the proper equipment in available!

Edited by airjunky

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dalt1

If they can strap in, they can try. I think my son was 10 or 11 when he first started riding. That was on a full size Skyski.

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Pistol Pete

putting them on your lap (assuming your skilled & confident enough of a rider to do so) will also help them become familiar with the whole process.

And, don't ever put anyone in one of these foils without the belt & footstraps!!! If they don't fit, they don't ride till the proper equipment in available!

Fellow sky skier here, not looking to start a flame war...

If you say you it's ok to have a child in your lap but, not ok to let someone ride that isn't wearing the seat belt or have their feet in the footstays, isn't that contradicting yourself?

Granted, I've had children in my lap, in fact, they were the children of people on this board. Would I do it again? I dunno, what if I hit a submerged log and go down fast and hard face first? Doesn't sound too safe for the kid in my lap. In fact, for me, the hardest part of making a safe flight for a kid in my lap was making the softest, safest, re-entry back into the water after letting go of the handle.

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airjunky

No worries Pete, I must say it does sound contradictory. But the difference is the experience of the rider, and knowing how to keep it safe. I have ridden with many kids in my lap, from doing benefits for disabled children to riding with my friends kids on my lap. How I have made it safe: you go very slow, (15-18 mph) and you don't do anything besides just ride straight. The child can most often stand on the board between your legs. Whenever I ride with a child on my lap I hold onto the rope loosely with one hand, and very tightly to the child with the other. In the event that you do get out of control you let the rope go, and hold on tight to the child with a bear hug, making sure they don't go anywhere from your lap. Once you have stopped in the water you can then lift them out of the water, getting their head above the water's surface right away. (This will put you under water briefly, something ya gotta deal with for a second or three) This may be something that many are not comfortable doing, and if not shouldn't do.

A new rider can & will get out of control through the learning experience. It will sometimes happen fast, and wind up with a decent crash, thats why I say don't ever ride without the belts or bindings.

dalt1 - I think you said it best...with alot fewer words!

Edited by airjunky

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skyskier

Riding two up........I'm seeing a long banana style seat and an extra pair of bindings. Skysky built for two.

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skyskier

What about "training wheels" for the youngsters? I think it was Bill who posted a photo of a skyski rigged with a water ski on each side. Has anything like that ever been tried as a legit skyski accessory?

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airjunky

We've never marketed that idea, but I have sent plans & blem/bandsaw boards for making the rig up to a few interested parties.

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Bill_AirJunky

Yea, riding tandem has to be done pretty slow & in known good water. The fact that you have that 2nd person means you have to be twice as careful..... at least!

Heres a couple shots of our training wheels. A 150 lb guy pops up at like 3 or 4 mph. So they get to concentrate on riding the board on the water from the first pull. It works great & doesn't mark up the SS board at all. I'll bring them with me to Oroville.

trainingwheels.jpg

trainingwheels2.jpg

Too bad we don't have any pics of the "Air Couch" Jake & I & a few friends made on Sammamish years ago. 3 riders on a contraption made from 2 AirChairs & a wakeboard. It was a riot.

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Pistol Pete

I'll bring them with me to Oroville.

Great!

We'll need them.

For some reason I can't teach anybody how to get up on one.

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RLXISD

Thanks for all the replies. My nephews are ages 8 and 11 and are handling two skis pretty well and I think they might like the skyski challenge. Has anyone ever tied a short piece of rope to the foil so that it won't "lift" to help beginers?

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Bill_AirJunky

yea, that little bit of drag will keep the SS board down on the water. Great if your foil is a little hot & likes to lift. Just takes a small piece of string or a zip tie.

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