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67King

Ballast, wedge, speed settings for teaching kids surfing?

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67King

22 VLX. Just got the boat broken in enough to load up. Tried to get the girls (10) up surfing yesterday. I got a decent wave for adults at 11.2, full ballast + 550 in each rear, 2 clicks down. Slowed down a little for the kids, and the wave washed out. So I tried 10, only factory ballast, and 3 clicks down. Seemed to work for a second, but we had to head in for the evening. Going to try again this afternoon.

So anyone here who has taught kids how to surf have any input on setting up the boat for beginners? They are on a P5 Scamp.

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sidekicknicholas

We take our little cousins every now and then (9 and 10) and usually use the same setup we do for the grown-ups.

~1000# in the rear hatch, factory mid and front full, people all on the port side, and wedge all the way down (we don't have a choice on this though).

Only picture I have from last week with the kids, which isn't very good

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Tigdog

Same setup as the adults sometimes I might slow down about 0.5 mph

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kayakwv

You can get your 1st timers and kids surfing every time if you change up your routine just a little. In my opinion, the hardest part of wakesurfing is: (1) getting up, (2) staying up while surfing, (3) getting over anxiety of being so close to the boat and prop, and (4) going ropeless.

Here is what I do, and it seems to really help everyone learn quickly. I'm sure others can chime in with more helpful tips, but this system does work for us, and has worked 100% on getting people surfing so far.

THE BOAT: NO BALLAST yet. And NO WEDGE. Getting up and learning how to stand on a board is hard enough without a 3ft wall of water to cross. So we start the day with the 1st timers getting to go first. The benefits are you that burn less gas, and the 1st timers are stoked on learning how to do it, and can try the bigger wave later on in the day, after some experience.

THE BOARD: I bring a 7ft funshape ocean board, with a thruster fin set up, specifically for teaching people. The floatation can make the starts a little harder, but it is way more stable once they get up. It handle choppy water great, and also makes going ropeless a cinch, once they get to that point. If I have smaller kids or lighter adults, I also have a 6ft and 5ft board with less floatation to make the starts easier.

THE ROPE: I add a 6ft section to my Ronix surf rope for teaching. This way they can be further behind the boat, and not worry about hitting the swim deck, or fearing the prop. The extra length also helps avoid any unwanted surfboard hits to the transom. Once they get the hang of it, I remove that section, so they can be closer to the wave pocket.

THE DEMO: First thing, I get in the water and demonstrate what to do, so everyone can visualize what they need to do. I put the board perpendicular to the boat, with front foot in the center of the board, and back foot near the rear, with about 60% of their weight on the back foot. After getting pulled up, I demonstrate how to steer the board; how to throw the rope to the opposite wake, and how to hold the board up in the air so other boats can see them. We also talk about never ever coiling the rope, and the dangers of the handle. We will do this a couple times so everyone can see it.

THE START: Before the rope is hooked to the tower, I will put the 1st timer in the water with the board, and I will stand on the sundeck and hold the end of the rope. Once they are position, I will pull hard to let them feel the power, and adjust their feet. From this position, I can quickly see if they are correctly positioning the board, and will be able to get up. I tell them to visualize they are laying on their back on the floor, and imagine someone is giving them a hand up. They must keep their feet steady and then extend their legs to stand on the board.

THE SPEED: This is not so important when they are riding with a rope, but I usually play with it from about 9mph up to around 11mph depending on how small the kid is, or how they are doing. Ultimately, I want them to get used to 10.3mph, because that is what my best ballast setup is, for the best wave.

ROPELESS: Once they've gotten up a few times, and seem to have control of the board, I have them throw the rope, to get used to it. I will have them throw the rope to the opposite side they are surfing on, and have the other passengers quickly pull it in. Even though they quickly lose the wave, since there is no ballast, it's helpful for them to know how to do it. I usually use a rope with a handle, but have one without a handle that can be used for little kids, or if I'm concerned it will be a danger to them.

I really like teaching with no Ballast, I feel I wastes less time and fuel, and gets people surfing much faster. Then we can fill all the ballast, and the 1st timers already have control on getting up and surfing, and can focus on the bigger wave, staying in the pocket, and riding wireless.

Hope this helps!

kayakwv

Edited by kayakwv

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67King

Thanks for the pointers. FWIW, it was easy to get them up, they've been skiing for a few years, and occasionally wakeboard. But one of them had trouble getting over the wave, but then when she did, got pushed way too far from the boat. They both had trouble getting back towards the wave.....I'm thinking the size of it was largely intimidating. Will try with no ballast today.

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kayakwv

If they have no trouble getting up and staying up, but some trouble steering and turning back to the wave, I'd remove the twin side fins, if any, and go with a single rear fin. Much more loose and easy to turn with a single fin configuration, and actually a lot safer, as it is not uncommon to get cut by side fins when falling. Also just having them stand further back on the board will ease the steering for lighter riders. If they are getting pushed too far away and out from the wave, you can slow the boat a bit, to help them get the board back pointed at the transom.

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Anderson24

No ballast, no wedge, 10mph

Plenty of push for my daughter (9), and son (7).

They are on a scamp too. They have to hit the brakes often because there is plenty of push for them.

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