I know there has been a few of these threads lately. This summer i have been working at Powell, teaching people to ski and board. I just wanted to say that i have tried some of the ideas that were posted in the past that i had not heard of before (ex. pulling someone up against/onto the swim platform to simulate the feelings... only works if you got a platform though). some of the methods worked really well and have given me additional ideas that have helped sharpen my teaching skills even more.
A lot of foreigners come to Powell (especially this year due to the value of the dollar dropin'). Several occasions i have had to teach people where a significant language barrier existed. I finally decided that i would jump in the water with my own board and with a second line (same length). this way i was able to use the best communication that transcends all languages, EXAMPLE.
I think teaching by EXAMPLE (riding with the learner) is the best way out there, this is why:
1. It helps teach by EXAMPLE (the best language there is to man kind)
2. It gives confidence to the rider (especially children)
3. It allows you to stay with the rider vs. the "just being in the water with them method" and you don't have to swim to them if they fall
4. You can manually help the rider get the board under him/her better (if they are turned or flipped over) and help get the rope for them.
5. It allows you to continually teach them from a communicable distance (if there is no language barrier) and continue to SHOW them by EXAMPLE how to cut and such
6. It is "funner!!!"
* ONLY to be used by teachers who are confident of their edging abilities to steer away from learners that potentially get out of control.
if this method was mentioned before, then i am sorry i missed it, however i am not sorry that i am potentially re-stating it, because i really do think this is the BEST teaching method. Does it always need to be used every time? No. but it has not failed me yet to get someone up in about 3 tries.... but then, i have only used it for about 6 beginners or so (and a few additional people who already knew how to get up, but wanted me there with them to see how to edge)
I used this method for about 4 hours straight teaching a large family. ever been wakeboarding for 4 hours straight, not taking off a board? sure there was no wake to wake jumps going on and it was just edging and surfing, but 4 hours non stop (no food, no drink, no re-application of sunscreen) except for rider changes is KILLER!!! but id do it all again in a heart beat.
It is great to point to a french kid after showing him a wake jump with a grab, and then watching him attempt the same (landed it, but very sketchy). that would have never happened if i was in the boat!
even did a back roll to the side of a intermediate rider once, while he was cutting out, he and his family thought it was the greatest thing. really pumped me up.
anyway, sorry for the long, detailed, stoked post.