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Addictedto6

Teaching Kids to Barefoot

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Addictedto6

My daughter tells me she's ready to try to barefoot - she's actually been pestering me for a couple of months now. I've taught several adults to foot tumbling up using the boom and then graduating to short line. I've also taught plenty of kids on skis, but this will be a first for both of us.

So, I need HELP Help.gif from the bu footin experts out there.

I have a barefoot suit for her, the boom, and a collection of handles.

She's feather-light (around 55 pounds) so we won't need much speed. Is the easy-footer/handle swing approach a good one (just looking at the pics of that approach makes me nervous)! What's the best way to get started?

thanks!

Edited by Addictedto6

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mlange

My step son learned in the swing on the boom when he was around 8.

I just wrapped my wakes handle around the boom and he sat it in - worked great. I use this same method when teaching 3-4 year olds to ski. I did, however, have him wear a hockey helmet with a cage just in case his head popped forward and hit the boom.

Mike

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BillFooter

It's been a few years since we worked with one that young. Sitting in a handle like a swing on the boom is probably the best way to teach a young one. This pic is Susnet Bob's daughter when she was 8. He will probably chime in with some suggestions.

post-89-1155172218_thumb.jpg

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Sunset_Bob
It's been a few years since we worked with one that young. Sitting in a handle like a swing on the boom is probably the best way to teach a young one. This pic is Susnet Bob's daughter when she was 8. He will probably chime in with some suggestions.

I started my daughter directly on the boom. She would hang her feet on the cables on the start or either just swing around like a tumble start. I pulled her about 30-32 mph on the boom. Once she had this down we went to the short line using a knee board.

She actually picked up on the kneeboard quick. It was only a matter time my daughter and I went longline behind the boat by both using kneeboards. That was one of the proudest days I have.

Let me give you some advice though, make it fun for them and don't push too hard.

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Addictedto6

It's been a few years since we worked with one that young. Sitting in a handle like a swing on the boom is probably the best way to teach a young one. This pic is Susnet Bob's daughter when she was 8. He will probably chime in with some suggestions.

I started my daughter directly on the boom. She would hang her feet on the cables on the start or either just swing around like a tumble start. I pulled her about 30-32 mph on the boom. Once she had this down we went to the short line using a knee board.

She actually picked up on the kneeboard quick. It was only a matter time my daughter and I went longline behind the boat by both using kneeboards. That was one of the proudest days I have.

Let me give you some advice though, make it fun for them and don't push too hard.

Very cool Bob!

Definitely won't push them hard. She's pretty good on two, but rarely goes and I'm past the McFlurry bribe stage :). Up to her. I'm actually surprised she wants to try it - she's usually on the more conservative side when it comes to new things.

30-32 seems faster than I thought for a tumble up on a boom. Does the old 22 + 1mph per 10 lbs still apply? that would put my daughter in the 27-28 mph range.

thx!

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Sunset_Bob

It's been a few years since we worked with one that young. Sitting in a handle like a swing on the boom is probably the best way to teach a young one. This pic is Susnet Bob's daughter when she was 8. He will probably chime in with some suggestions.

I started my daughter directly on the boom. She would hang her feet on the cables on the start or either just swing around like a tumble start. I pulled her about 30-32 mph on the boom. Once she had this down we went to the short line using a knee board.

She actually picked up on the kneeboard quick. It was only a matter time my daughter and I went longline behind the boat by both using kneeboards. That was one of the proudest days I have.

Let me give you some advice though, make it fun for them and don't push too hard.

Very cool Bob!

Definitely won't push them hard. She's pretty good on two, but rarely goes and I'm past the McFlurry bribe stage :). Up to her. I'm actually surprised she wants to try it - she's usually on the more conservative side when it comes to new things.

30-32 seems faster than I thought for a tumble up on a boom. Does the old 22 + 1mph per 10 lbs still apply? that would put my daughter in the 27-28 mph range.

thx!

Yeah I probably pulled her faster than she needed but with the extra speed she said it felt more comfortable and had much better glide going on. Be sure to post some pictures...

Edited by Sunset_Bob

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Slalom Frog

My daughter learned to barefoot around 5 1/2. She went right off the boom and tumbled up. Normally we would pull her right around 20 mph +/-. She weighed no more than 35 pounds at the time. I also made her a pair of barefoot shoes to help her learn and go when the water was not glass smooth.

Good luck!

Edited by Slalom Frog

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Addictedto6

Bump.gif only cuz i don't want the fricken 911 thread on top....

thanks guys for the advice...we're going to give it a go on friday with the tumble up first. i'll let everyone knows how it goes.

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Killer

put her in the swing! she'll enjoy it more and want to continue footing. tumbles can be a @!#ch especially for kids. They're so light you barely have to touch the throttle. You should only have to barely get the boat up on plane to get her up. A good tech is to get a bunch of people in the boat on the opposite side of the boom and turn while she is in the swing. this way it gives her a good feel for her feet on the water and she actually gets to "swing". I've used it before with 5 or 6 year olds and they really enjoy it. Its more than a game than learning to foot. No need scarring them for life with a ton of spray in their little face and constant bouncing on the water.

Use one of your wide handles preferablly a back toe - and get her to sit in it on land teaching her proper position. this way she will learn the proper body position without having to get up. getting up is harder for most people than acutally riding on their feet.

I'm sure she'll make you proud!!!!

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gonorth

If you put her in the swing handle you only need 20mph, maybe less at that weight. The handle should be like 1" above the water when at speed. Nice thing with the handle is you don't need perfectly calm water. If you cross a little wake she just lifts her feet up, sits down and rides thru it. Be careful crossing bigger wakes tho, only trouble we had once was the wake hit the handle and pushed it from my daughters butt to the lower part of her back. Not a big deal as long as she hung on to the boom and I stoped quickly.

Seipel says put the swing at the inner cable, but at 55#, you can probably put her farther out. They love it when you do a hard turn and it lifts them up into 'airplane' position. Puting her further out would lift her even more, and spray you less, but might cause too much fluctuation in height during a normal run too. So if she is up and down too much to learn her form move her to the inner cable.

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ibelieve

I agree with Sunset_Bob ... feet over the cables and spend lots of time riding on her butt before she puts her feet on the water. Actually, I would have her just go out an ride on her butt a time or 2 so that she does not get in the mode of dropping her feet off the cables and right into the water.

My son was footin at 6 or 7 .... ran him about 29 mph ... he was maybe 70 lbs. A little faster than needed but it helps to keep the feet on top of the water.

Also, tell her " no matter what, don't let go of the boom!! " That way, she can always tumble back around and try again without taking a face plant. Having the boom a little high will help also. I am not a fan of sitting in a handle.

One other trick is to put her on the boom with a slalom ski and have her put one foot in the water and start pushing on it till the ski starts to come off the water. This will give her a good feel for the amount of pressure that will be on her feet when she does it for real. A lot of people aren't prepared for the amount of push it takes to keep your feet and hips forward.

/Steve

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Tom Sawyer

Good info guys.

Nothing I enjoy more than the look on somebody's face when they're on their feet for the 1st time.

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Sunset_Bob

Yeah, I don't like that sitting in the handle idea much either. Just looks too dangerous to me if they fall and let go of the boom.

I tried to get my daughter to foot last sunday. Wish me luck, I'm going to try again this weekend. If you look at the picture Billfooter posted, She was 9 year old then, She's 20 now. I'd like to have a then and now picture.

Edited by Sunset_Bob

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Murf

Our daughters both barefoot. One started at the age of 8 and the other at 12. Both started on the boom by sliding out on the boom and bending over the boom at approximately the belly...I get them up to about 25 and they roll back and place their feet into the water. Works great and they like being a monkey. They have had friends at the lake and we have used the same method, some don't even know how to water ski. The 8 year old made her first long line (100') run last weekend and went a 1/2 mile her first trip. Couldn't of been more proud! Yahoo.gif

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Addictedto6

thanks everyone for the advice - great tips. we're going to give it a shot tomorrow at the pond.

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gonorth

Now that's a cool picture. It looks like the daughters line is off to the side, is it tied to the boom to help her stay over in calmer water?

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VinRLX

Who can give me a detailed description and/or video clip of the easy footer? I'd like to be ready when my son (4) is. Biggrin.gif

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bareftskier

I did the handle swing technique with my kids this past Sunday. My son (4 yo, 50#) did real well. He was able to actually ride on his feet with slack in the "swing" at 21 mph. My daughter (8 yo, 80 #) didn't get it as well. But, the important thing is they both laughed the entire time.

BTW, with an RLXi, you will want the swing pretty far out on the boom to get away from the spray of the boat.

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BillFooter
Now that's a cool picture. It looks like the daughters line is off to the side, is it tied to the boom to help her stay over in calmer water?

Yes her rope was attached to the end of the boom because it would keep her out of the wake and in the curl. I think they both started on kneeboards. This was about 11 or 12 years ago.

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gonorth
Who can give me a detailed description and/or video clip of the easy footer? I'd like to be ready when my son (4) is. Biggrin.gif

It is just a ski handle with a loop right at where the two ends of the V come together, so you attach the loop to the boom mid point and sit on the handle like a swing. You just need a wide handle and a short V too. Or go spend $60 on the BI version that comes with a video. Just, don't go over 20-ish with a kid, and don't go over 25-ish with an adult. The BI EZ-Footer is exactly the same handle as their 5' handle extension but has foam padding on the two sides of the V and no extra line on the front of the V. It would easily be used as a spare handle in a pinch. We also used it as a short handle teaching a newbie wakeboarder on the boom, we figured the extremely short line would help stabalize her and help keep her from running into the side of the boat.

Adjust the boom so while the boat planes (CORRECTION: while the boat is siting still in the water) the rider is siting about 1-2" above the water.

Fine tune with where people in the boat are positoined.

Tell the rider to NEVER let go of the boom. (safety issue)

They just sit there till you reach speed, they will drag some water and get a face full, warn them.

Also warn people in the boat to not move and change the lean of the boat, even if they get soaked.

The rider just drops their heels in and they are footin, that simple.

You cannot fall.

If you come to some rough water, they just lift their feet and ride over.

This is where you have to be careful, because if you have any speed the wakes you cross can push the handle back and it will go up their back, ther feet will go back in the water, and it will not be a pretty situation. It has happened to us twice now. So, don't be afraid to SLOW DOWN when crossing wakes.

At the end of a run you can make a sharp turn, lift the rider in the air, cross your wake (carefully) and right back on your prior path. They love the 'airplane' turns.

No strength required. It could be done all day long. But don't foreget to encourage attention to form, knees bent, arms straight, toes up. You can't do perfect form because the handle kind of limits you but you can come close.

I have noticed on newbies that they tend to spin when droping their feet in but they catch on real fast.

I encourage some sort of padding on your butt, like barefooting shorts, or a full suit, or at least a wetsuit or wetsuit shorts. A wetsuit would be nice in case the handle ends up sliding up your back.

Edited by GONORTH

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VinRLX

Who can give me a detailed description and/or video clip of the easy footer? I'd like to be ready when my son (4) is. Biggrin.gif

Tell the rider to NEVER let go of the boom. (safety issue)

You cannot fall.

This is where you have to be careful, . . . can push the handle back and it will go up their back, ther feet will go back in the water, and it will not be a pretty situation. It has happened to us twice now.

Thank you for the detailed description. I guess never having seen it done, i'm a bit leary. Maybe I'll try it myself to see how it works.

Is the person's butt in the water prior to planing? I thought I had read previously that the swing should be a coupld inches off the water prior to planing, which puts the swing at the proper height once up to speed. Dontknow.gif

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Addictedto6

Who can give me a detailed description and/or video clip of the easy footer? I'd like to be ready when my son (4) is. Biggrin.gif

Tell the rider to NEVER let go of the boom. (safety issue)

You cannot fall.

This is where you have to be careful, . . . can push the handle back and it will go up their back, ther feet will go back in the water, and it will not be a pretty situation. It has happened to us twice now.

Thank you for the detailed description. I guess never having seen it done, i'm a bit leary. Maybe I'll try it myself to see how it works.

Is the person's butt in the water prior to planing? I thought I had read previously that the swing should be a coupld inches off the water prior to planing, which puts the swing at the proper height once up to speed. Dontknow.gif

I have the same concern & question re: the handle position relative to the water prior to planing. No way I can let my 8 yr old drag in the water while in the handle while we take off. So I ended up going with the feet on the cables followed some "superman" practice off the boom. She spent most of her time laying out having fun sliding on the water in the barefoot suit.

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gonorth

Maybe it is 1" out prior to planeing, I'll watch the video again tonight if I have time and see. To tell you the truth, after a few tries I just know where to set the boom (1/2 inch from the floor) and go. My kids butts do slide in the water some but they get thru it pretty dang fast. But then again, maybe that's why the handle has been slaped back behind their butts twice crossing wakes while their feet were up.

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gonorth

VinRlx is right, the paper that came with the cd says 1-2 inches above water before starting. In the video the first girls butt is just barely touching with the boat still but she is pretty small. The second older girls butt is well into the water, like 2" or more. Mike starts out and she has a hard time starting and spins around. He stops the boat and says he has to raise the boom for her. After adjustment she is just touching the water. I'd say on the first few runs at least you probably do want to be higher but I doubt you can squat low enough to have proper form with the handle that high. Also the paper insert says max 20mph no matter what size person is on the handle. But, in the video he says up to 25 for adults.

The DVD is 1.5 gig so it would be pretty hard to email it to anyone otherwise I would offer that option.

Edited by GONORTH

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Addictedto6
VinRlx is right, the paper that came with the cd says 1-2 inches above water before starting. In the video the first girls butt is just barely touching with the boat still but she is pretty small. The second older girls butt is well into the water, like 2" or more. Mike starts out and she has a hard time starting and spins around. He stops the boat and says he has to raise the boom for her. After adjustment she is just touching the water. I'd say on the first few runs at least you probably do want to be higher but I doubt you can squat low enough to have proper form with the handle that high. Also the paper insert says max 20mph no matter what size person is on the handle. But, in the video he says up to 25 for adults.

The DVD is 1.5 gig so it would be pretty hard to email it to anyone otherwise I would offer that option.

that sounds a lot better - thanks!

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