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Old    John (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-27-2011, 4:49 PM Reply   
Let me start off by saying that I'm REALLY bored at work right now...

So this seems to be a common theme with most "couples" that I ride with and myself included, in that usually the guy can ride halfway decent and is perfectly capable of teaching others to ride. However, when it comes to teaching their significant other, usually ends up in some sort of domestic violence issue.

Anyways, my gf has been riding for some time now and can edge properly and gets frustrated that she can't jump the wake. She has a good progressive edge and stands tall at the wake, however I can't get her to edge hard enough. She'll drift, drift, edge a little, and have like a medium edge at best when she edges through. Tried slowing the boat way down and practicing one wake jumps, shortening the line, lengthening the line, mellowing the wake out to almost nothing, practice edging as hard as she can outside the wake, etc... all the little tricks that has normally taught any timid rider female or male to get good pop worthy of a w2w.

I'm guessing it has something to do with my ridiculous obssession with wakeboarding and that somehow gets in the way of her seeing me as a significant other more than an instructor. I guess that delecate balance is off..

Any suggestions? Thoughts? Related stories?
Old    Tom N (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       01-27-2011, 5:21 PM Reply   
Here's something I learned being the president of a large girls youth softball league:

Girls need to feel good to play good. Boys need to play good to feel good. As guys we don't get this. But, all you need to do is make a comment to your gf and it will shut her down - won't feel good.

You need to sandwich - "like the effort - what do you think happened? if she asks then nicely inform with a keep up the good work. Positive - negative - positive.

We did an informal survey of the 14 year olds in the league and asked them when their coach points out a mistake or what to do what do they think. The surprising answer - coach doesn't like me and you embarrassed me in front of my friends. Got responses from mom's that are athletes - same response.

My two cents
Old    John (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-28-2011, 8:41 AM Reply   
Wow, that was surprisinglly insightful Tom. Didn't think I'd get that type of answer on this forum. I appreciate it.
Old    Ben Wilcox (benjaminp)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-28-2011, 9:49 AM Reply   
Not that this will compete with the answer above, but maybe you shouldnt be the one to teach her. I find when teaching someone you dont know, they tend to respond differently than when teaching someone you know very well. A stranger will listen to what you have to say, and wont get frustrated as easily. Someone you know well will be quicker to get frustrated, because there's no "I just met you an hour ago and still want to be polite to make a good impression". Teaching my own family is tough, and I avoid it as much as I can. I try to defer them to instructional DVDs or my friends. My parents still love me and feed me, so it seems to be working alright, but I'm thinking it would work better with Tom's technique.
Old    sperbet            01-28-2011, 9:59 AM Reply   
My suggestion, have one of you friends instruct her instead.
Old    Chris (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       01-28-2011, 10:03 AM Reply   
Don't teach you significant other. It never works, they think you're criticising them more than helping them. Allow someone else to teach them, that way you avoid fights. I've been married for almost 8 years and my wife has yet to allow me to teach her anything when it comes snowboarding or wakeboarding.
Old    Dave (daveronix199)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-28-2011, 10:07 AM Reply   
Tom!

DUDE that was RAD!!! Best news every way to clear it up!
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-28-2011, 10:07 AM Reply   
TOM that was a great response man!!! As I was reading it was immediatly thought OMG that is me and my wife! Minus the large girl part!!!!!! Kidding I know what you meant!
Old    WakeboardSTL (jmuthafnp)      Join Date: Feb 2006       01-28-2011, 10:29 AM Reply   
Three words for her motivation... Toughen up princess!!
Old    B Poser (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-28-2011, 11:13 AM Reply   
HAHAHA!! Hey Gumby, reading that post really mad me laugh. I know exactly what you're talking about. Chuck and both have been in your situation a few times and pretty much just gave up on it because nothing different EVER happened. It is funny now, but at the time was pretty frustrating. She'll have to figure it out on her own. Meaning that she has to stop being timid and take a few falls, but will have to get a "feeling" for the cut and speed. All I can say is good luck.

Pretti- Love it!
Old    WakeboardSTL (jmuthafnp)      Join Date: Feb 2006       01-28-2011, 11:21 AM Reply   
or I just thought of this one too.... "Sit there and look good." More riding time for you then.
Old    M-Dizzle (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       01-28-2011, 11:25 AM Reply   
Dude...you can be the best wakeboarder in the world (arguably) AND run a very successful wakeboard school and still struggle with teaching your significant other! (Yes I have heard multiple stories of pro riders who make their living coaching being unable to teach their sig other). My suggestion is inline with Chris'...get someone else to do it and save yourself the frustration.
Old    B Poser (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-28-2011, 11:29 AM Reply   
BAHAHA Pretti! I like your style man.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       01-28-2011, 12:25 PM Reply   
When I read the initial post I took it a different way. My wife can just stand on the board and ride around the lake. But when it comes to teaching others she seems to think she's as qualified as I am to give advice.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       01-28-2011, 12:30 PM Reply   
Always have your friend teach them. My buddy and I have talked about this. If I try and tell my wife something she gets mad and says I'm being mean or condescending. If he tells her she shuts up and listens. Same thing with his wife. So funny but so true.
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       01-28-2011, 2:43 PM Reply   
I'm in the crowd that likes to have some 3rd party provide the instruction. Lots of reasons, but one of the major ones that I have learned over the 20+ years is that if I offer any advice, I'm one faceplant or crash away from things instantaneously becoming my fault. Anybody ever hear something along the lines, "I DID EXACTLY WHAT YOU TOLD ME TO DO"

Oh I teach lots of people, just not my wife.

Last edited by bmartin; 01-28-2011 at 2:48 PM.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       01-28-2011, 3:51 PM Reply   
Tom,

That's spot on man. Try to find something good to say about the effort, and then try to work in constructive observations and where improvement could be done.
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-28-2011, 4:09 PM Reply   
That was an outstanding & insightful response by Tom! I grew up a tomboy and very competitive, and didn't mind constructive criticism. But,managing women taught me a lot about teaching women (regardless of the sex of the person teaching)...little girls are brought up to share, play nice with others, be polite & everyone is equal (no ONE female is above the other in the chart of authority).

It took me a long time to learn that as a manager & Tom has clearly communicated the approach that has to be taken to be effective. I have seen first hand that women respond better to other "teachers" vs. their significant others, and it avoids unnecessary stress on the relationship!
Old    CASEY TUTTLE (BCMWAKE61209)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-28-2011, 4:40 PM Reply   
WOW........ The first thing that caught my eye in the posts above was " Don't teach you significant other. It never works".

Chris check out these links..... taught her everything (with some help from shaun and travis at the boarding school). We have been together for 11 years, married for 2.

http://vimeo.com/12796517
http://vimeo.com/14440817

With my wife its like this...... she is the ONLY girl in our crew. So she gets treated like a guy. She rides with all 4,000 pounds of ballast at 73 feet at 23.7 mph. We cut her no slack. She has her own style and I love watching her ride and teaching her new tricks. Honestly it has got to the point where she can help me if i'm having trouble with a trick. She will say stuff like "your not riding all the way up the wake" and "you need to spot your landing" or the ever popular "It does not look like you are even making an ATTEMPT to ride away from that". When its time to ride she is ALWAYS down..... cant tell you how many tricks i landed for the first time with just her in the boat.

She is my best friend and i'm very lucky to have her, my best advice is....... "tell her to put her big girl panties on and deal with it!"
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       01-28-2011, 6:18 PM Reply   
Awesome, Casey!!

Yeah, I was just thinking...feedback from a significant other is very personal = "criticism", while a total stranger could say the exact same thing and be conceived as "helpful feedback"!
Old    Jon Doe (Kane)      Join Date: Mar 2010       01-29-2011, 12:03 AM Reply   
I would agree with the don't even try post.

I've got a bigger problem, I can't seem to find a girlfriend who'll even try it. And girls who won't try it get bored quickly when it you and your mates talking wakeboarding (read: praising / constructive criticism on previous set). So when the me or wakeboarding stance is taken...... I've still go my wakeboard.
Old    John (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       01-31-2011, 11:00 AM Reply   
Thanks everyone for the input and discussion. We took a lot of it, processed it, and used what we felt was applicable.

So I had my gf read this thread before we went out to the lake this weekend. She came out of it saying that she didn't want to be the "typical significant other" who couldn't take advice from me. Anyways, we hit up Lake Perris Saturday with our buddy Rich. Long story short we tried something learned from Nick and Julz Heaney and pulled her in to ~45" and got some results. I would say it was a delicate balance between Tom's method and Rich providing some stoke along the way.

http://vimeo.com/19396685

Now to those of you whose first inclination is to say, "well it wasn't legit cause it was at 45 ft" or "She didn't stand all the way tall at the wake" or "she won't be able to ride like that and do it at 65 ft", etc. CHECK YOUR SELF! I think that’s exactly what’s wrong with guys teaching their sig. other. Honestly, that was my first thought. However in line with the Dr. Tom method, I thought of the things that went right. We got her to do something different & make a change that she was not comfortable doing; She has a whole new confidence moving forward to go do it again bigger; I haven't seen her smile like that since she learned how to get up for the first time, etc. "Girls need to feel good to play good" She tried a few more after her first and landed a couple in the trough & charged harder than she ever had in the past.

Given all that, here's the kicker. We were on our way to ride with my buddy the next day and it starts to POUR. It’s freezing (~50 degs), windy (white capped), and it’s supposed to rain at the lake soon. And guess what? She's the one trying to convince me to drive the rest of the 2 hr trip to get at least one short set in the rain Think about that...

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Last edited by stoked_32; 01-31-2011 at 11:10 AM.
Old    Dave (daveronix199)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-31-2011, 12:44 PM Reply   
Atta boy Johny!
Old    Richard Daniel (glassywater09)      Join Date: Apr 2009       01-31-2011, 7:02 PM Reply   
Like John says: just get the guys with their big ideas outta the way and the gals can do it! And what Johnny didn't see was the other big smile when Taylor got to drive with him on the handle... Empowered!
Old    Tom N (SangerTom)      Join Date: Aug 2010       01-31-2011, 9:36 PM Reply   
Hey just checked back in. My mom will be so proud of me - I'm a Doctor now! Now can someone tell me when it will be warm enough for my wussy a@# self to go out again?
Old    AtTheLake (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       02-01-2011, 5:34 PM Reply   
Glad it is working out. I think your gf deserves a Lot of credit for her can do attitude. Makes all the difference and looks like you are off to a great season.
Old    Lizrd (lizrd)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-03-2011, 7:58 PM Reply   
You GO, Mrs. John! That wake to wake video was sweet!

I agree with what is posted here. I have a terrible time taking pointers from my guy. I have analyzed it and thought it through and it isn't logical but it just is. I have to work really hard on taking what he says as not being personal. Now, I share his total stoke on riding and he definitely has learned that I coach differently than his buddies but it wasn't without a lot of miscommunication along the way. Wakeboarding is some of the best quality time that we spend together though so I think we have both learned how to work through it. Keep up your efforts and before you know it your wife will be shredding even harder than she is now. As long as she keeps smiling like she did in the vid life is good.
Old    John (stoked_32)      Join Date: Aug 2007       02-04-2011, 9:08 AM Reply   
Whoa whoa... That's Ms. "John." Were not "riding doubles" quite yet
Old    Lizrd (lizrd)      Join Date: Jul 2002       02-04-2011, 11:13 AM Reply   
Sorry about that, John. I re-read and its your girlfriend, not your wife. You might just consider getting hitched though because us wakeboarding girls are not the easiest thing to come by. And one who rides when it is cold enough to need a dry suit is hardcore enough for serious consideration in my book...
Old    Kat Laird (wakekat15)      Join Date: Jul 2005       02-04-2011, 2:20 PM Reply   
LOL, good point, Liz!!!
John - SUPER cool to see her enjoying the ride...thanks for sharing!!
Old    WakePowell Chris (epic1)      Join Date: Oct 2006       02-07-2011, 12:25 PM Reply   
I met my wife while living at Powell, I was a wakeboarder, she was not. She wanted to learn, so I had a buddy who is as good as me, if not better. He instructed her and I drove, it worked good. Now my wife is at the point where she is good enought to take instruction easily. ie.. bend you knees more baby, all that. We will see what happens when she is ready to learn some tricks.

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