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Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-19-2008, 7:04 AM Reply   
My 9, soon to be 10 year old boy is having a b-day party and he wants to have it on the water with 4 of his friends. None of them have ever wakeboarded but want to try. Any suggestions to help these young ones out in this attempt at boarding?
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       06-19-2008, 7:53 AM Reply   
Drive really slow (10-12). Very soft on the throttle when starting. Keep their bums at their heels and on the water until they're all the way up. Use a short rope and weight the front of the boat.
Old     (whitlecj)      Join Date: Apr 2004       06-19-2008, 8:10 AM Reply   
Good suggestions Art. I would add make sure they keep their arms straight.
Old     (ss1234)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-19-2008, 9:50 AM Reply   
Make sure your son goes first. I think kids learn a lot from watching somebody. There is also an underlying male competition thing that helps a bit too.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       06-19-2008, 10:05 AM Reply   
Knees inside the elbows and don't stand up too soon. Stay in a ball until the boat pulls onto the top of the water then stand up. Often it helps to get in the water with them the first couple times and then they are off! I also get them off the back of the swim step in the water and just give the handle a yank so they can get the feel of the rope pulling them. Keep it fun!

My buddy & I taught an entire family to ride last weekend, mom, daughter & son. You should have seen the 8 year old son, he started a butterslide and we told him to do a surface 180, nailed it first try!! Little kid was awesome!!

(Message edited by stephan on June 19, 2008)
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       06-19-2008, 11:41 AM Reply   
SO fun teaching a kid to get up. arms around your knees, like Big said. I make sure to ride about 100 yds with my board sideways, then stand up just so they get the point.

I'm also a fan of putting gettin strapped in the board on dry land. Then give them a handle and simulate the first pull. Emphasize the feel of balancing against the rope. Stop with the board at a 45* vertical and let them feel you pull them up and over (on top of) the board.

$10 bucks all four get up and ride!
Old    wakejjboard12            06-19-2008, 11:51 AM Reply   
ok so here is a pic of one of my friends learning at the maven sessions... kara was a great coach and broke it down in ways i never thought of. get them on the back of the boat and tell them to stay in their cannonball position...


then she got her board on and simulated pulling up on the platform. the biggest thing is to make sure they let the boat pull them (which is easy to understand from the platform exercise)

Old     (srh00z)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-19-2008, 12:12 PM Reply   
I think dock/dry land teaching is good. There is less pressure, less anxiety, less frustration and its cheaper. The kids will get the idea and learn the dynamics without you having to turn around a hundred times, trying to communicate from the boat, etc. I think that bobbing out in the water with a life jacket on, strapped in with the boat taking it's time to come back to you can add to the anxiety for some people too. A nice slow, even pull will help alot. In my experience, kids and females are easier to teach. They are limber, fold up into a nice ball, have them hug their legs by wrapping their arms on the outside and hold the handle. They also tend to let the boat do the work for them instead of trying to muscle their way up. We have tried to teach weight lifting, teenage football players how to get up and they fight and pull back against the boat and try to muscle their way up. That doesn't work as well. Good luck and I hope you have a great time.
Old     (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-19-2008, 12:28 PM Reply   
Starting people on the dock is the way to go. Using the handle and simulating pulling them up will help them once their in the water. Works every time!
Old     (tracktor)      Join Date: Sep 2005       06-19-2008, 2:20 PM Reply   
Make sure they know how to flip over from their stomach to their back with the board on. Nothing panics a kid like being stuck face down in the water...........
Old     (lil_braswell)      Join Date: Aug 2005       06-19-2008, 3:33 PM Reply   
Here is another trick that I use a lot. Once they are in the water put the bottom of their board against the swim deck. Get them to act like they are sitting in a chair with arms outside of their knees (the basic starting position) and pull on the rope. Make them hang on and you can actually pull the rope hard enough to lift them out of the water and on to the swim deck. It simulates the amount of pressure the boat applies on the board. It works the same if you don't want to, or can't pull them all the way up, but gets them used to the tug nonetheless. Best of luck! -Ryan
Old     (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-19-2008, 3:39 PM Reply   
you're gonna have a damn good time with that. nothing's better than spreadin the stoke.

take some pics too.

i would add something but its all been said before.
Old     (helix_rider)      Join Date: Mar 2003       06-19-2008, 6:58 PM Reply   
I was at the lake tonight and saw a girl struggling to get up, mainly because her dad was just killing the throttle and pulling her out the front. I idled over and asked if I could help out, explained the difference between skiing and wakeboarding in terms of getting up, and then pretty much told the girl, "Now, I want you to bring your heels to your butt." Tell them to say that to themselves over and over again as the boat starts to pull. They concentrate on that, and 'pop' they are up and riding. She popped up the first time, and rode for a solid 5 minutes before falling...then got right back up again...felt great :-)
Old     (zapisor)      Join Date: Mar 2008       06-19-2008, 8:07 PM Reply   
Short Short Short rope. 30' in length the steep angle will pull them up in a hurry
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-20-2008, 1:07 AM Reply   
LET GO OF THE ROPE WHEN YOU FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old     (beachbum22)      Join Date: Aug 2007       06-20-2008, 6:28 AM Reply   
Biggest thing that helped me was learning to point my toes when the boat starts to pull.

I used to push against the water, which made the pressure build up and then the rope would yank out of my hands. But pointing made the board plane easier.
Old     (jackeh)      Join Date: May 2008       06-20-2008, 6:54 AM Reply   
Get in the water with them!!!

this always helps new riders get up fast and easy.
Old     (solo)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-20-2008, 7:36 AM Reply   
I disagree with the short rope comment.
Old     (jim_b)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-20-2008, 7:37 AM Reply   
Like Jack said said for that age I would at least get their board on and float with them in the water for a little bit to calm their nerves. If you have an extra adult I would leave that person on a tube in the water for each kids first time until they can get up. Like a few others said before start first on land with just the handle and teach them that cannon ball positions then move to the water.
I hope they have fun.
Old     (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       06-20-2008, 7:41 AM Reply   
Deffinately the "cannon-ball possition" works. as has been mentioned almost every time. It is a great analogy too and is shorter than saying "ankles to your butt and hug your knees with your arms..." (i'm deffinately adding it to my teaching methods :-))

Connecting your arms to your knees (most wrap arms arround) is a really nice thing because it helps your arms to stabilize your knees and it in turn helps your legs to stabilize your arms. also it helps you from going into a plow position.

a wakeworlder made this and thought it was kool so i'll post it.

One thing i will ADD (that i don't think has been mentioned) is figure out what foot is going in front. if the kid has board background from other board sports than this will be easy as just asking them. if they have no boarding background than you can give them a little shove from behind and see what foot they use to catch themselves with, this will most likely be the front foot. most likely they will just naturally prefer one over the other when getting up anyway.


also when it comes to edging, i made this little illustration, but i look back on it and it has way too many words in it that can get confusing, but i think it has some good ideas in it anyway, and maybe someone else can bring something to the board that is easier and more visual like the "canon ball thing" that we can all benefit from as learners and teachers.
Now i like to tell people to play tug of war with the boat. no one has a hard time leaning on their heels and pulling away ( = HEEL SIDE EDGE) but lots have a hard time going toe side, or even straight for that matter. To go toe side, turn your chest away from the boat as if you are still playing tug of war with the boat, but instead of pulling backwards and digging with your heels, pull forwards as if trying to lean forward to walk/ pull it (the boat) in the other direction ( = TOE SIDE EDGE). --- It helps to show a visual with your own body while in the boat with a handle tied off short to something or someone--- This kind of explanation is usually only necessary for those with no boarding background. because telling people to "just lean on your toes to go in the direction of your toes and lean on your heals ...." just plain doesn't work
Old     (ss1234)      Join Date: Jul 2005       06-20-2008, 10:07 AM Reply   
All good stuff. Here's a comment about being in the water with them...

For younger kids (5-6) I would get in the water with them on a knee board with a hook, and two ropes off the boat. I would hook one handle to the knee board hook and hold the knee board with one hand. That allows me to make sure the rope is correct and they're ready. When they start I actually reach down and hold the tail of the board to help steady it as they come up. Being right next to them is great to help and instruct. If they fall, I unhook the handle from the knee board and I'm floating with them, which I found is a big deal for a young kid. When they get up I peel off to the side and ride along side them and cheer like a crazy man. Has worked great for many young kids. Depending on the kid (and size), 10 might be a bit old for this.
Old     (deltaratmike)      Join Date: Jun 2008       06-20-2008, 11:35 AM Reply   
this is the easiest way i have heard to do it over the years and when i bring friends out on the boat its how they get up close to first try.
2.its like getting up off the ground with someone elses help(only the other person is the rope)
Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-21-2008, 1:52 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the great tips. Everyone got up and went at least a little ways, a couple did exceptionally well for their first times!



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