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Old    BB (hockey9)      Join Date: Mar 2009       03-28-2009, 7:46 PM Reply   
So I was wondering what the smallest board out there is that I could purchase. I have a 5 your old daughter that wants to do it with us. She rips it up on her snowboard and can go done the hill all by herself, she's been on that board since 3yrs old. Now I wanna see if she'll be able to Wakeboard. My biggest fear is having her be able to get going and when she falls she can't flip around onto her back and starts to panic and inhales a ton of water!
Also I have a couple of questions:
-Board size? (of course)
-Bindings? (for easy slip off)
-How did I get her up?
-What speed?
-Do I have her ride on my board with me to tell her what to do first? (not the safest)
-Do I have her learn how to water ski first?


Any info would help thanks guys!
Old    Chris Halfmoon (moon)      Join Date: Oct 2008       03-29-2009, 12:27 AM Reply   
I'm not sure I can help but I just bought my 4 year daughter a LF Star 124 with Prima (kid) boots. It's to cold to practice on water, but she straps in several times a week, just to get used to it.
#1. I think you want the board to be over sized for stability as well as she'll be able to grow into it.
#2. LF and Hyperlite make kid bindings.
#3. pull your daughter around on the shore at first. Also, find a pool or something where she can just float around with the board strapped to her feet, and have her practice flipping the board over.
#4. I was also told that somewhere in between 5 and 10 mph should be able to get them up out of the water.
#5. You can have them ride with you on your board without them being strapped in (which I plan on doing with my two year old this year as well).
Also, When my daughter does get enough courage to be pulled, we'll use a jet ski at first (not much of a wake) and continue to move on up to our boat.
#6. I doubt they need to be able to ski before learning to wakeboard (but I could be wrong). Are they really going to be able to tell the difference if they have never tried?
Hope this helps and I guess the most important thing for us is that we'll need to be patient.

Moon
Old    Dan DuLong (wakeitnofakeit)      Join Date: Jan 2009       03-29-2009, 1:23 AM Reply   
My son is three and a half. Until he can swim on his own there is no chance of letting him get tied to a board. I may let him get up with me this summer. If he does he will have every floatation device known to man attached to him. I just think that the odds of him becoming the next Parks because he started at age three as opposed to him being the next tragic accident is to much for me to risk it. My son will wakeboard when he wants to and i feel that he is competent. That is true for baseball, football, ect.. Let kids be kids, they will find their own path and we should be there to support them, no matter what it is. FYI, this is coming from a sports junky.
Old    Taylor M (lftaylor)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-29-2009, 1:32 AM Reply   
Again this thread comes up every month or so. I would highly suggest training skis first. With our experience the little kids feel more comfortable in skis and there is way less chance of catching a front edge WHICH THEY WILL and face planting. Taylor started on trainers at 3 1/2 years old. then the next year moved to a wakeboard. If they take one hard fall they will be done for a long time.
Old    Loren (helix_rider)      Join Date: Mar 2003       03-29-2009, 7:34 AM Reply   
I bought a LF Nemesis 111. There are boards out there that are 109 (perhaps CWB Charger?) The newer bindings are pretty easy to get into, so I wouldn't stress too much about that...just don't get the 'old' style that required lube...no fun for kids. I have seen a 3 year old girl ride (surface 360s, ride switch, touch the water, carve across the wakes). It can be done at very slow speeds, as they need almost no force to keep them afloat. As mentioned above though, unless your kid is immune to fear, one hard fall could shut them down to the idea of boarding for a long time, so take it easy.
Old    Earth&OceanBoardshop (swellbow)      Join Date: Feb 2004       03-29-2009, 8:28 AM Reply   
My 5 yr old got up last summer when he was 4. an dhe owns a LF 118 and now they go down to the 111. I say buy the smallest board you can and get them ripping they are ready to board.
Old    Jim T (wkbrd)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-29-2009, 9:10 AM Reply   
I would suggest a little bigger board to begin with. Lets face it kids are not going to be able to flip the board over no matter what size. I truely cant imagine one kid being able to turn over in a 111 and not a 118. It seems most kids can NOT turn their board over in the begining anyway. I would think about buying a 118 because they will be more boyant in the 118 and they have room to grow in it. That doesnt mean go and buy a 140 but I dont think there would be much of a reason to buy the 111 for someone that has never rode before. Plus I think you would have a little easier time selling the 118 incase the child doesnt like it. Just my .02
Old    BB (hockey9)      Join Date: Mar 2009       03-29-2009, 3:36 PM Reply   
Thanks for the input guys! I think I'm going to put her on my board with me first and see how she reacts. She's a tough cookie so I think it'll motivate her and make her want to try it all on her own. I'll probably start shopping around for a board her soon and get it a bit bigger that way she has room to grow.

Jim- Totally agree with you on kids not being able to flip the board over thats whats on my mind if she's out there all alone

Question that wasn't really answered yet is how do you start them? Deep water or closer to shore with a helper?
Old    Jim T (wkbrd)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-29-2009, 3:43 PM Reply   
I highly recomend training skis if a kid can stand up they can ski with trainers. If they can not get up it deflates their ego right away. Trainers they will get up first time. Again as Taylor said if they fall hard they are done. The falls on trainers are way less violent than on a board. I know everyone wants their kid to be the next Parks or Dallas but they both ski in the begining. If you make it more enjoyable they will want to do it.
Old    Jim T (wkbrd)      Join Date: Mar 2006       03-29-2009, 3:47 PM Reply   
Sorry start them out about 20 feet out and pull them to shore by hand. Then when they are ready find something small like a jet ski. Not the boat. Remember to a kid the noise is very loud the wake even at 5 mph is huge and the wake boat is enormous. You have to think like a 5 year old
Old    Richard (nauty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       03-29-2009, 5:19 PM Reply   
I started my son when he was around 6 years old (he's 12 now), however, he's small for his age, so at 6 he was around the size of a 4-5 year old. I started him on a Hydroslide 126. After many trys I discovered the key to getting him up was timing....

Once the line got tight I would start him off around around 5 mph. As soon as I saw that the front edge of his board was rising above the water I would gradually speed him up to about 15-16. That was the key.... watching for his edge to rise above the water (wash) and and then add steady, increasing speed.

As an experienced rider you and I know when to apply pressure to the board in relation to the speed we are being pulled up by. Kids and/or beginners do not know. They typically try and stand up right off the bat. Applying throttle at the right time by watching where their board is makes getting them up a snap.

Once I had him getting up he would always eat it when rollers came by or when crossing back over the wake during a turn around. I swithced him to a HL Motive 132. The bigger board made all the difference in the world in terms of better stability once up and riding.
Old    Ted F (sclick55)      Join Date: Mar 2009       03-29-2009, 5:24 PM Reply   
My son started when he was six, a little older, but he can't snowboard, so maybe your daughter is a bit ahead of the game. We started him with a Obrien system 119 and had him practice in the grass first. We put him on an old skateboard deck with some boots on it, put him up on top of a slight hill and hold the rope. Then I would grab the rope and pull him up and down the hill. We did this until he got the hang of waiting for me to pull him up before standing and the sensation of being pulled while standing. The next morning we hit the water and he popped up and started riding on the first try. The speed was super slow, just enough for the board to plane, the boat was nowhere close to planing out. After the first few pulls he was just like any other rider, he determines what speed he wants, he'll decide if he wants the ballast full, and much to my surprise, he does listen to me, at least to some things I have said after a bad landing cause he definately repeated them :-) I try to never push him into trying something new and make sure that he's having fun, when it's not fun anymore, he'll stay in the boat and watch, or breakout the kneeboard and just cruise around doing spins until he's having fun again. Good luck and I hope you and your daughter have a great time!

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