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Chef23

Teaching kids to wakeboard

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Chef23

My kids want to learn to wakeboard. They can already get up on two waterskis but not one. Any tips on how to get them up on a wakeboard. I can wakeboard but don't really know where to start to tell them on the wakeboard front.

Thanks for your help.

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Muffintop

I've got a 6, 8, and 9 yr old all doing it now. Get a kids board with comfy bindings ( 124cm or so), and go slow. You barely need to get much past idle to get them up, and then keep speed around 10-12 until they learn to not hunch over and stand up. They'll get it soon enough. After 5 or 6 tries, take a break or they'll get frustrated, but the older ones got up first try, and then it was getting used to edging a little. Good luck.

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uk_exile

thanks for the very slow hint. my son got straight up on board when 8 (now 12) but 8yr daugther tried a few times last summer but always let go before getting up. She skis well but found board pull much harder. We'll try the real slow start once spring arrives

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Chef23
I've got a 6, 8, and 9 yr old all doing it now. Get a kids board with comfy bindings ( 124cm or so), and go slow. You barely need to get much past idle to get them up, and then keep speed around 10-12 until they learn to not hunch over and stand up. They'll get it soon enough. After 5 or 6 tries, take a break or they'll get frustrated, but the older ones got up first try, and then it was getting used to edging a little. Good luck.

Did you give any advice about what to do with the board?

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smeagol
thanks for the very slow hint. my son got straight up on board when 8 (now 12) but 8yr daugther tried a few times last summer but always let go before getting up. She skis well but found board pull much harder. We'll try the real slow start once spring arrives

If she's feeling board pull, she's not letting it ride up under her bum. My mantra when teaching newbies is keep your bum on the board.

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vette-ski

I've got some follow-up questions. Did you do deepwater starts? I've tried a few things with no luck. Like sitting butt on ground on a sandy beach. With the trainer skis they can stand in ankle deep water and they will pop right up when I go. I tried this with the board and the surface area seemed to want to make it suck to the sand. The board would stay down and not pop up. The board I have for them might be too big though too.

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smeagol

That question probably wasn't for me, but I'll answer it... I've taught probably 10 kids in the past year ranging in age from 6 to 12. All have been deep water starts and as best I can recall, all but 2 got up by their third try. The other two took a little longer.

I do have a 119 for youngsters and a 134 for the older kids.

I've found that its the adults that I have a harder time teaching. They can't get the ski concept out of their heads.

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srud

I recommend that you stay with the deep water starts. As for the pull being greater with the board vs. skis, smeagol hit the nail right on the head. The board needs to drop slightly below the surface of the water once the pull starts. This changes the angle of the board in relation to the flow of water and allows it to flow under the board and to provide lift. There are a hundred ways to describe it and the trick is to find one that makes sense to the student.

I tell new boarders to let the board push your knees right up to their chest. Keep arms more or less straight and around the outside of the knees. Let the board dip under the surface of the water once the pull starts and don't stand up until you are on top of the water. Keep handle on lead hip. Basically, I try to keep it simple and adjust what I tell them if they are not getting it.

Good luck!

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Muffintop

I agree- deep water start is a must. Also, knees bent, arms straight, and always tell them to look at the spotter when getting up. Looking down at the board or their feet always sinks them. Once they get up, turn the board and point it at the back of the boat. For the older kids, having them let go w/back hand helps the board get aligned correctly as well.

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jshap

This is a very timely thread. My 8 year old has finally agreed to wakeboard this weekend. She got a nice LF 118 for Christmas, and now she is finally going to try it! We'll see how it goes.

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Woot13

I tell all my new boarders to keep there elbows on there knees until they come out of the water. I also pull them by hand one or two times, just so they can get the feel of the board and the rope.

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jshap
I tell all my new boarders to keep there elbows on there knees until they come out of the water. I also pull them by hand one or two times, just so they can get the feel of the board and the rope.

I did that with my 5yr old and the Ski Sled...unfortunately, I missed the rope a couple of times and he fell forward. That didn't do much to help my case that it's fun to do watersports... :(

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Muffintop

slow speeds equal slow crashes. Also tell them to let go of the rope asap when going down.

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Chef23

This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

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srud
This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Yahoo.gif That is great to hear! Plus1.gif to the dark side!

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Chef23

This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Yahoo.gif That is great to hear! Plus1.gif to the dark side!

I still won't let him get gloves until he learns to slalom Biggrin.gif But yesterday he was easily crossing the wakes on the board.

Edited by Chef23

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jshap
This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Same here Chef. It took my 8yr old daughter about 3 tries before she popped up. She didn't take to being up quite as easily as yours, but now she's hooked. All weekend we kept hearing the same thing, "can we go wakeboarding, can we go wakeboarding." It was music to my ears.

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Chef23

This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Same here Chef. It took my 8yr old daughter about 3 tries before she popped up. She didn't take to being up quite as easily as yours, but now she's hooked. All weekend we kept hearing the same thing, "can we go wakeboarding, can we go wakeboarding." It was music to my ears.

After two more rides yesterday my little guy is crossing the wakes both heel and toe side on the board. It is only a matter of time before he starts getting air.

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jshap

This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Same here Chef. It took my 8yr old daughter about 3 tries before she popped up. She didn't take to being up quite as easily as yours, but now she's hooked. All weekend we kept hearing the same thing, "can we go wakeboarding, can we go wakeboarding." It was music to my ears.

After two more rides yesterday my little guy is crossing the wakes both heel and toe side on the board. It is only a matter of time before he starts getting air.

:blush: Haha...he's not far behind me.

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Chef23

This was all great advice. My 7 year old popped right up first try. Once you put a little pull on the rope it pulled the board right down and as long as he tried to pull his heels to his butt he got right up and boarded around the lake.

He did take one good digger when he was trying to cross the wake and face planted pretty hard but he got back up and went again.

This morning after I got off the water (my time in the slalom course) the first word out of my son's mouth was can I wakeboard today.

Same here Chef. It took my 8yr old daughter about 3 tries before she popped up. She didn't take to being up quite as easily as yours, but now she's hooked. All weekend we kept hearing the same thing, "can we go wakeboarding, can we go wakeboarding." It was music to my ears.

After two more rides yesterday my little guy is crossing the wakes both heel and toe side on the board. It is only a matter of time before he starts getting air.

:blush: Haha...he's not far behind me.

Me too. I can clear the wakes but that is about it.

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Hack

Quick funny story to add to this. My 4 year old son, who just learned to WB this summer, did an air railey this weekend. He was experimenting with carving in the flats and really yanked back and then suddenly released. He went about three feet up and then crashed still in superman position. I was REALLY worried because it was definitely the hardest fall he's taken. However, when we got back there he was laughing and saying "did you see that? was that really cool? am I doing awesome?". It was VERY cute. Anyway, this is a great thread and seems to be recurring. Teaching the four year old took a little longer than it sounds like it did for the 6 and 7 year olds. He was the one that kept pushing it though so that made it easy.

Also a strange thing happened in the boat. I found myself having as much if not more fun watching him ride than I have when I ride myself. I expected to enjoy watching him having fun but I didn't expect that.

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