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rjgogo

Youth wakeboard

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rjgogo

My son really wants to learn to wakeboard this year so I am going to have to find a board for him but I know very little about it so I have no idea what to get with respect to the board and the bindings.

He is 9 but will be 10 in August, he is not a tall or heavy kid so he is on the lighter side for a 10 year old. He did snow board a little on vacation this spring but he is in every way a beginner.

So I would welcome any suggestion regarding what to get as well has how to teach him, I think I will have to get some type of video or something, as I would rather not repeat the experience of how I tried to learn how to barefoot with no instruction;-).

I do have a boom so we can start him off close.

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Soon2BV

my experience is that you wont need a boom for a 10 year old, maybe just someone to go with you who know how, or a good how-to video.

the key i learned was to start slow and go slow.

for size, check the websites - boards are sized by weight - not height. don't get a board too big or he wont be able to handle it.

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Michigan boarder

I taught my boys with my board and a 60' rope behind the Echelon. The youngest got up on the first try at age 7, the 8 year old took 3 tries. They struggled with some other kid's board the day before, but when I put them on my big ol' Hyperlite in my adult Spin bindings they got right up and rode well. So I'd say but him something he can grow into, the big board helps them get up easy and provides lots of stability. They are almost 10 and 11 and still use my board, so we never had to replace any equipment.

I've gotten a few kids up on the boom, it does work great. But, if they are riding goofy (right foot forward) and their back is to the boat, there is a good chance off the boom & short line that they could lean too far back and smack the side of the boat. Mine don't ride that way, but I could see it happening if they did.

Lastly, if he snowboarded, even for a little bit, he's got a good feeling for it. I'd try the longline, and I bet he gets up right away. Like Soon2BV said, go slow, I always tended to give too much throttle at first, it doesn't take much at all to get them up.

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wakeboy

I agree with the posts above, definetly get a board he can grow into. If he has a snowboarding background then the hardest part will be getting up and he will naturally ride like he is snowboarding. Slow is the way to go. He needs to know water is going to come over the board and that he needs to hang on and keep his feet in front of him. Then just keep the arms straight and stand up. Once he gets up once, he will not really need anymore coaching and you will be good to go.

In terms of what board to get, you do want something he can grow into. I wouldn't get too worried about stuff like what type of rocker it has. You might want to get something with a softer edge so it will be more forgiving and allow him to slide sideways a little without catching an edge and slamming into the water. I would also get a board that is twin tipped, meaning it is the same front and back, so if he has any friends that ride goofy, you aren't switching the bindings. I would also say get one with removable fins, it will make tracking on the board easier at first and then as he gets better he can remove the fins and ride it more like a snowboard.

At 10 years old, he will outgrow whatever board you get him, so don't worry too much about getting the perfect board. My points above are just suggestions. He will be able to adapt to anything.

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wakeboy

Sorry I forgot boots. I would not suggest closed toe boots even though they hold the foot in better, he is going to grow and again, if he has friends that want to ride and they have a bigger foot they won't fit in the same boots. I would get one with open toes and a hinged back that clamps the foot in tight. They offer good support and will allow him room to grow without having to buy him new boots. Also, if he outgrows the board you can still keep the same boots.

After two years of wakeboarding he will probably know exactly what he wants for his next board and everything and your work will only consist of maintaining the correct speed.

Oh and def start off on the longline behind the boat. If for some reason he just isn't getting it and it is getting frustrating, then I would consider using the boom to help build confidence. I just think for wakeboarding there is a balance aspect that the boom will act as a crutch for and not allow him to practice the correct form. Getting up is the hardest part of wakeboarding.

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Lieutenant Dan

Shoot, if you've got the boom, use it! They can first learn the feel of being up on the board and how to turn their hips sideways with just the boom. Move them quickly to just a handle w/5 ft section on the end of the boom to feel how to get up deepwater style. Then move them to long line. Zero frustration, I guarantee it.

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wakeboy

As someone that has had to teach many people how to wakeboard, I would say the boom is unnecessary and more of a pain. The boom is a crutch and wakeboarding isn't that hard. The hardest part of wakeboarding is getting up and the boom doesn't teach you how to do that, it just lets you skip the only part you really have to learn. (It can be a confidence builder but I would not start out on that as I rarely see people that need it and it just doesn't teach you how to let the boat pull you up)

My adivce would be to put them on the longline and go slow. All they need to know is to keep the board in front and stand up once you get going. Since you mentioned your son is a snowboarder, he will naturally turn his hips and ride just fine.

Edited by wakeboy

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Curtis Las Vegas

My son really wants to learn to wakeboard this year so I am going to have to find a board for him but I know very little about it so I have no idea what to get with respect to the board and the bindings.

He is 9 but will be 10 in August, he is not a tall or heavy kid so he is on the lighter side for a 10 year old. He did snow board a little on vacation this spring but he is in every way a beginner.

So I would welcome any suggestion regarding what to get as well has how to teach him, I think I will have to get some type of video or something, as I would rather not repeat the experience of how I tried to learn how to barefoot with no instruction;-).

I do have a boom so we can start him off close.

I am in the same boat (pardon the pun) with my kids....I just ordered a set of videos called "The Book" (try googling Wakeboard Instruction Videos and you will find it). Last summer I had a couple of instructors go out with us....they started the kids on a VERY short rope and at very low speed to keep from scaring them. It worked very well to get them up. I agree with the other posters too regarding board size- it is much easier to get them up and riding on a big board. Good luck! A bad day in the Bu beats the heck outa a good day at work! :thumbup:

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rjgogo

All, thanks for all the suggestions. I think I have a better idea of where to go with this. Thanks again.

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63Taylor

http://www.iboats.com/122cm-Chicks-Rule-Jr-Wakeboard-Hydroslide/dm/view_id.391252

Link above shows the junior wakeboard from Hydroslide I picked up for my daughters 2 years ago. They are 7 and 9 now and have been wakeboarding for 2 summers. They were full rope length behind the boat and they learned pretty quickly. The best way with a kid is to get an adult in the water, preferably in waist deep. Tighten up the line and as the driver drops the hammer lift the kid a bit and turn them sideways. A few times getting up like that and they will be getting up on their own in no-time. One thing to remember with a 50-60 lb kid you dont have to pull that hard so easy on the throttle, maybe just a little harder than a kneeboard start where you give them time to go from belly to knees adjust the strap.

With regard to buying the board, I bought mine at a boaters world clearance when they were going out of business. The only junior board I have seen in a brick and mortar store since (all our dealers are cutting back on pro shop inventory) was in Bass Pro shops last week. I saw two of the junior boards from Hydroslide. The hydroslide boards are good beginner boards and come with fins that can be added easily when wanted. I have taught my two kids and about 5 others on my kids board all between ages 5-12

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