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Old     (kenteck)      Join Date: Jan 2005       08-04-2006, 9:17 AM Reply   
Got any good advice to get her started, she wants to, talks about it all the time, pulled her into shore manually with a rope, she can get up and ride it in, but out a way from shore, she gets chicken to sit in the water by her self, tried mom & her at the same time so mom can give some help, but they both came together when I tried to pull them up at the same time, thinking about having the tube on a 40í rope and her on the 65í rope then mom can coach her, but donít know how that will work, any ideas would be great.

Old     (boarder33)      Join Date: Jan 2006       08-04-2006, 10:20 AM Reply   
Ken, I just taught my 5 and 8 year old nieces how to ride. First we tried the tube, but that only goes so far. The real trick is this... Take your tow rope and put the handle on the opposite side. Then, put a second handle on the last of the 5' sections. This way, there is a handle, ~15' of rope, another handle, and then another ~50' of rope.
Now, set the cruise to 7MPH. Sit on the back of the boat with the 50' of rope in the boat, the handle in your hand and the handle at the end or the rope in her hand. You'll be able to hold on with no issue. She'll get right up. If she falls, let go of your handle. The 50` of rope sitting in the boat will start to go out. Grab onto the rope slowly as the boat slows. Then, pull her back in. The biggest issue here is that they are not comfortable out there alone. So being close to the boat for instruction and safety is key. Also, not having to wait for you to circle back around is also key. I'll post a video tomorrow. Works like a charm. The 5 year old actually took her trailing hand off and skimmed the water like her uncle. Sweet times!
Old     (ss1234)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-04-2006, 10:35 AM Reply   
I've posted this before...but it still works. It's just a different approach to solve the issue of the kids being chicken in the water by themselves. We used this on our kids and numerous other friends and family ranging from 4 to 11.

We use two ropes, one about 2 feet longer than the other. I belly ride a knee board with an aqua hook. I hook the longer rope to the knee board hook and hold onto the knee the board with one hand. With the other hand I hold the back of the wakeboard. As the boat starts to pull I steady the board as it comes out of the water. It's like holding on to the back of a seat when teaching kids to ride a 2-wheeler bike. When they start to go I just lean out and give them some space. We have had better luck teaching kids to come out of the water with the nose first as opposed to sliding out sideways then turning.

With the rope on the hook, I can ride along side and give direction. When they crash, I release the handle and I'm right there with them in the water.

People find different ways that work, and I'm sure they're all good. This just works for us.
Old     (lftaylor)      Join Date: Mar 2006       08-04-2006, 11:03 AM Reply   
Ken- I know it is an expense but get a pair of training skis first. This will get them up very easy and do the exact same thing as Bert mentioned. DO NOT TIE the trainer skis to the boat Trainer skis are tied front & back and the rope is attached to the skis so all they have to do is stand up. I would go back to pulling along the beach. Then try to move to a jet ski or pontoon. The boat is bigger and louder and to a kid this is scary. Make it as easy as possible for them. My daughter started out this way at 3 1/2 years old. Then we went to a wakeboard at 5 and she has never and wont ski again. Ive tried to get her just for fun and she wants to quit rather than ski. The skis will be better for someone who is affraid because the face plants will be less and not as violent. If you want to talk in more depth PM me. Taylor just turned 8 and is going w2w with everything 180s switch and has even started TS front rolls and this is how we got her started going. Hope this helps. I even have some video of her riding that I could send you to get her encouraged. Good luck
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-04-2006, 11:06 AM Reply   
A couple things we did:

Started the boys at 4 & 7 in a tube for a few weekends. This got them used to being behind the boat out in the water.

On the same weekends, we tried spotter starts. Basically find a nice sheltered area where other boats won't come down on you and you can have someone in the water with them. The spotter wore two vests, one upside down like a diaper to give maximum float. Spotter helped to calm the kids down, coach them, and help lift them and point them for the start. Also helped with the rope.

This let them focus on being relaxed instead of all the details of keeping the board correct and getting the rope in the right spot etc. After a few weekends they were getting up without any physical help, but with the spotter there to coach.

We then moved to self starts and handing them the rope so again, they had less to focus on, just keeping the board right and staying relaxed and not fighting the board and rollers etc. We always cricled slow and kept coaching so they learned their lessons and it soon became automatic.

We then moved to them handling the rope. Again still circling very carefully so as not to rip it away from them or burn their hands. I usually tried to slow up so they had to real in the last 5 ft manually and give a bit of slack. Also make sure they are the ones giving the slack it up and hit it commands.

I know what you mean about the fear aspect. I think it's a bit scarey for them to be out there by themselves. Add that suddenly they are cruising along on their own after a start and you will definately see them letting go alot. Once they got their starts down we constantly reminded them to not let go.

After a few let-go's the older one rode a couple hundred yards, then the little one rode 50 yrds, then the older one went a 1/4 mile, then the little one went a few hundred yards, then the older one went a mile, then.....All of this happened in the course of 2 days. They went from being scared kids to complete rock stars. I think on Sunday they missed a combined 3 starts, mostly due to rollers or just being tired.

Biggest thing is patience. you will feel like you are getting no place and then all of a sudden they do it and never regress. I had to circle back dozens and dozens of times. I had to pull them both out crying and calm them down, but they always wanted to go again. Never stop encouraging or coaching them, they will get it for sure, it just takes time.

A few tech things that worked for us. Their hole shot is way different than adult's. They can get up easier so ease into the hole shot. Once you see the board coming up out of the water, then accelerate. Too slow and they will lose plain, too fast and they go right over the front. I also found that 16-18 mph seemed good. Watch the rope, if it slacks too much or they are really wobbly give them more speed so the board tracks better for them.

Best of luck and keep at it. Remember to keep it fun, but challenging. Soon they will be draining your gas tank and will ride until their backs are sore and they can barely hang on.
Old     (kenteck)      Join Date: Jan 2005       08-04-2006, 11:20 AM Reply   
Yeah i got teenagers that can ride for an hour at a time it seems like, and my 8 year old has been tubing for some time now and she fell off finally, she freaked out but was ok after that, got some good suggestions here and I will try them this weekend.


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