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Old    Raymond Foster (burban89)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-15-2014, 9:03 AM Reply   
Hey all I know there are 100s of how tos on teaching people to wakeboard and i am curious to what works for people here. Looks like I will be showing 4-5 people how to wakeboard soon and would like some more pointers.

I normally put them in the water and have myself or a buddy sit with them and teach them the correct form while showing them the options for their arms in or around the knees. Then we watch them while we are in the water a few times and try to see what they may be doing wrong.

Most of the time it is the guys that are harder to teach as they want to use brute strength to try and get up. Most women pop right up and then it is just teaching about heels and toes, keeping the handle in, etc.

I have one guy (280lbs or so) that I have tried and tried to teach to get up but it has not happened no matter what we do. We have not tried a dock or boat start as most of the time we do not have access to one. He even broke a rope last year ( rope may have been 2 years old).

Last edited by burban89; 05-15-2014 at 9:04 AM. Reason: spelling
Old     (tarheelskier)      Join Date: Mar 2013       05-15-2014, 9:10 AM Reply   
Best advice I give newbies is to slide their butt to the board when getting up. Seems to work every time.
Old    Bryce Stevens (SS_Hooke102)      Join Date: Sep 2011       05-15-2014, 9:35 AM Reply   
Get on vimeo and type in Shaun Murray in the search section. Look for his detention video. I make people I'm teaching watch it because he explains it 500 times better than I can. Then when they struggle on certain things I will make an effort to point them out once they have tried to get up. Happy shredding!
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-15-2014, 9:37 AM Reply   
The big guy is likely not getting up because his board is perpendicular to the water surface and thus "plowing" like a bulldozer. That's why the ropes are breaking. I've never failed to get anyone up behind the boat using two easy concepts:
- Stay positioned in a "ball" with arms around knees and straight. (Slide butt to board above is same/similar.) Once the boat begins pulling, most newbies will extend their legs immediately in attempt to "stand up", thereby increasing the fulcrum and pressure of getting up vertical on top of the water. To practice the position, I have the rider get into position at the immediate back of the boat with the bottom of the board against the back edge of the swim step while holding the handle. I stand on the sun deck and pull the rope to simulate the boat pull. Almost every time, newbies will immediately straighten their legs. I correct them with "stay in a ball". When they do this, I can easily pull them up on top of the swim step. With their legs straight, this is impossible. This practice gives them the feel of in the "ball".
- While in the "ball", they need to point their toes so that the board is closer to 45 degrees rather than 90 from the water surface. This helps the board pop on to the surface of the water rather than bulldozer while perpendicular.

If they are having trouble, I bring them back to the swim step to practice with me pulling them up again. 1-2 times doing this and they're up.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by ottog1979; 05-15-2014 at 9:39 AM.
Old    Tim (dukeno1)      Join Date: May 2006       05-15-2014, 9:52 AM Reply   
I start them out in the yard with a board strapped on , sitting on their rear. I have them get into the ball position talked about earlier. I then hand them the handle and tell them not to change their position, stay in a ball. I pull on the rope and it gives them the same feeling they will get on the water. I do it again when they are in the water, and tell them that if they just stay in that same position and let the boat do the work, they will get up. This has worked for me very well with all of the girls/women I have shown. Most guys for some reason will still try to win a tug of war with the boat the first few tries. Hasn't happened yet, lol. Eventually they get it though.
Old    Ben R (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-15-2014, 9:53 AM Reply   
I have people get in the water with their board on and get rigt behind the swim platform. I then sit on the platform and give them the rope.

Have them hold the rope with their elbows outside their knees and have the board float perpendicular on the water. I will then hold onto the rope (they have the handle) and put my toes on their board and pull on the rope at the same time. This will teach them to balance properly and put the board under their butt when the boat starts to pull.
Old    Miguel (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-15-2014, 10:53 AM Reply   
Girls get up 1st time every time.
Guys never do - cause guys don't listen.
Old    L W (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       05-15-2014, 10:57 AM Reply   
3 simple rules to follow. They essentially work for all water sports.

1) knees bent
2) arms straight
3) head up

When people have trouble getting up it is always one of these three things theyvare not doing.

Start by practicing on dry land before hitting the water.

We taught close to 100 people to ride last year with a 100% success rate using these simple tips.
Old    David (99Bison)      Join Date: Sep 2012       05-15-2014, 10:59 AM Reply   
Show them this video from the book, specifically the animated side view at 2:04:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9qWJu0Vrpw
Old    Matthew Melvin (melvinator)      Join Date: Apr 2001       05-15-2014, 11:44 AM Reply   
Andy is right on the money. I ran water sports at kids summer camps for 2 summers and all I taught my guys to tell them:
1. arms straight
2. knees bent
3. knuckles on the board
let the boat do all the work
0% didn't get up
never had them put arms outside of legs, will give that a try.
Don't confuse them with handle position once up or what foot forward, it is just too much all at once.

Step 2 once they can get up:
handle to lead hip or let go with back hand if comfortable, if they don't skateboard or snowboard and don't know if they are goofy or regular as them what foot they would put forward if they were going to slide on a wood floor with socks on

step 3:
Now that they are hooked tell them that the first time is free and now they have to bring gas/money next time!
Old    Brian Wynn (quik876)      Join Date: Mar 2010       05-15-2014, 11:53 AM Reply   
I just tell them to let their butt basically touch their heels (but DON'T push your legs out, which is especially true for the guys who do that to fight their way up.) and basically stay in the "catcher's position" until they can ease up (while leaning back slightly on the rope) into the standing position to straighten the board (or forward).
Old    Eric (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       05-15-2014, 1:30 PM Reply   
I stress the bent knees thing more than anything else. Over and over again. Especially when you're teaching kids, you have to tell them this about a thousand times.

With big guys you have to stress the angle of the board once the boat starts pulling like Andy said. I've taught a couple of 200 lb plus guys and they'll rip your rope off the tower if you don't make sure they have the board angled to bring it to the surface. With the kids, it's the knees, and with the big guys it's the board angle.

With women it seems like you need to put more emphasis on what to once they are up. They tend not to have enough weight on the back of the board which causes them to slide sideways until they run over the wake and fall. They don't get the back fin deep enough to do its job and straighten them out.
Old    Mike (zimme)      Join Date: Feb 2013       05-15-2014, 2:18 PM Reply   
If you tell the big guys to stay squatted like they're taking a crap in the woods until the board is on top of the water, they'll be fine. As a bigger guy who rides a 139cm board... I'm 230lbs and pretty much as soon as the boat starts going I'm on top of the water. The secret is taking a **** in the woods!
Old    Chris Ranner (chrislandy)      Join Date: Mar 2014       05-16-2014, 3:29 AM Reply   
on top of all the advice above, when I've had people not listen or not get the board angle thing I get in the water with them close to shore, float behind them and get them in the right position holding their hips and drag with them for a second or so keeping them in the right position. It's worked every time for me. Once they've got up once or twice like this it's twigged and they've got up every time after on their own.

(on the downside you do get a face full of water!)
Old    David Mayo (fusion134)      Join Date: Jan 2014       05-17-2014, 8:55 PM Reply   
To find which foot should be forward I have them face to back of the boat and I push them forward. Whichever foot moves forward first is the back foot..
Old    Chase Tillett (tn_rider)      Join Date: Dec 2009       05-18-2014, 5:28 AM Reply   
I get them in the water, board against the swim platform, give them the handle and pull the rope to give them the feeling of being pulled with force against the board. I've seen more people come up first try than anyx
Old    Ben R (brichter14)      Join Date: Jul 2010       05-18-2014, 7:59 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion134 View Post
To find which foot should be forward I have them face to back of the boat and I push them forward. Whichever foot moves forward first is the back foot..
Or ask them which foot would be forward if they were trying to slide on a hardwood floor
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       05-19-2014, 5:23 AM Reply   
You can ask to step up on the engine cover or walkway if you have one. They will naturally lead with their lead foot. Just like going up steps.
Old    Mike North Carolina (MIKEnNC)      Join Date: Nov 2012       05-19-2014, 6:50 AM Reply   
this video I am about to post never fails me. everyone I have ever had watch it has gotten up easily. I usually suggest they watch it a few times but it always gets the job done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hW1GhUpIcc0
Old    Paul Chaput (rugbyballa3)      Join Date: Feb 2013       05-19-2014, 10:24 AM Reply   
the best advice when they almost have it is " do that again just better!"
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-21-2014, 1:09 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ottog1979 View Post
The big guy is likely not getting up because his board is perpendicular to the water surface and thus "plowing" like a bulldozer. That's why the ropes are breaking. I've never failed to get anyone up behind the boat using two easy concepts:
- Stay positioned in a "ball" with arms around knees and straight. (Slide butt to board above is same/similar.) Once the boat begins pulling, most newbies will extend their legs immediately in attempt to "stand up", thereby increasing the fulcrum and pressure of getting up vertical on top of the water. To practice the position, I have the rider get into position at the immediate back of the boat with the bottom of the board against the back edge of the swim step while holding the handle. I stand on the sun deck and pull the rope to simulate the boat pull. Almost every time, newbies will immediately straighten their legs. I correct them with "stay in a ball". When they do this, I can easily pull them up on top of the swim step. With their legs straight, this is impossible. This practice gives them the feel of in the "ball".
- While in the "ball", they need to point their toes so that the board is closer to 45 degrees rather than 90 from the water surface. This helps the board pop on to the surface of the water rather than bulldozer while perpendicular.

If they are having trouble, I bring them back to the swim step to practice with me pulling them up again. 1-2 times doing this and they're up.
Basically this. I use the bulldozer comment too.

Then I tell them, "forget all that, just hold onto the string and follow me "
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-21-2014, 1:12 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by melvinator View Post
Andy is right on the money. I ran water sports at kids summer camps for 2 summers and all I taught my guys to tell them:
1. arms straight
2. knees bent
3. knuckles on the board
let the boat do all the work
0% didn't get up
never had them put arms outside of legs, will give that a try.
Don't confuse them with handle position once up or what foot forward, it is just too much all at once.

Step 2 once they can get up:
handle to lead hip or let go with back hand if comfortable, if they don't skateboard or snowboard and don't know if they are goofy or regular as them what foot they would put forward if they were going to slide on a wood floor with socks on

step 3:
Now that they are hooked tell them that the first time is free and now they have to bring gas/money next time!
I am 100% regular and have been snowboarding and wakeboarding for probably 20 years each. And I just visualized sliding with socks on and I pictured myself goofy.
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       05-21-2014, 1:13 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugbyballa3 View Post
the best advice when they almost have it is " do that again just better!"
We tell them rule # 1 is "don't suck"
Old     (Orange)      Join Date: Jun 2012       05-24-2014, 3:06 PM Reply   
Plenty of advice above about getting up... Time to think about the next steps.

First error I see many teachers making is pulling your newbies way too fast. Nothing will teach them (especially kids) to hate the sport more than a 20mph face plant. Speed should vary with rider weight... I start 6-8 year olds just learning at maybe 10mph and start 200lb adult males all the way down at maybe 14-15. Only after to they prove to me they have some small amount of control and balance and can track straight behind the boat (instead of side slipping a little) will I start increasing their speed. I don't think I've ever taken anyone over 19-20mph until they were confidently going for 2 wake jumps.

The other mistake I see is too short a rope. If you have a newbie, they aren't wake jumping... They shouldn't even be crossing the wakes yet until they can control the board. Instead of a short rope, put them on a 75-85ft rope. That widens the wake and lets them do big S turns both directions without having to deal with the wake. Also - dump your ballast. Newbies don't need a wake, and in fact they will learn more slowly.

After they can easily get up, do S turns between the wake, track straight, etc you first increase the speed a touch and let them get used to that since the board responds much more quickly. You still should be going notably slower than with a rider trying two wake jumps - let's say maybe 18mph for an adult, slower for kids. Once they can handle the speed, drop the speed back down a little again (not all the way to where they started) but shorten the rope WAY short - like 60 ft or less. With as small a wake as possible, get them to cross both directions. As they start getting control, you can start getting them up to normal beginner speeds.

This sounds like a lot of steps or like you're babying them, but it works really well at teaching them without exposing them to injuries or scary crashes - especially if they are younger. I have had to "re-teach" a number of people who didn't think they liked or they even feared wakeboarding because their first experience was with somebody who tried pulling them like they were already a beginner versus an utter novice.
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-25-2014, 12:33 AM Reply   
Pretty much all good advice here. After thinking I'm such a great teacher, I've really picked up some good tips that I never thought of before. Great thread.
Old    James Tiblier (jtiblier123)      Join Date: Jan 2011       05-29-2014, 7:07 AM Reply   
This website has been generating awesome instructional articles, including my favorite on teaching people how to do a deep water start. Tons of free instructional information from wakeboarding legend Darin Shapiro. I personally value free advice from a 40 year old guy who has managed to stay in the top 10 on the PWT so far this year.

www.ridethespot.com

Check it out!
Old    Andrew (ajf4242)      Join Date: Aug 2008       05-29-2014, 8:58 AM Reply   
I tell them to stay in the "ball" and if they try that and can't get up after a few tries I throw them the surfboard since it's more buoyant. Every time I have done this people get it the first time on the surfboard. . . but I keep them on a longer line. I think for now on I will just teach people on the surfboard rather than a wakeboard because it seems easier for 90% of the people I have taught. Once they get up on that board they can go to the wakeboard and they understand the technique better.
Old    Greg Hodgin (eccpaint)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-01-2014, 12:23 AM Reply   
This method has worked pretty well for our Wake the World events. We can usually get someone up on the first pull. https://vimeo.com/85584163
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       06-06-2014, 7:39 AM Reply   
I use the ball for form. then describe the pull should feel like someone helping them stand up from seated on their butt. Worked again last weekend.
Old    Zane Schwenk (zaneschwenk)      Join Date: Apr 2004       06-10-2014, 6:21 PM Reply   
Burban89 maybe this will help ya...best practice I know is some pre on water dock work.

https://vimeo.com/53224349

All the best

Zane
Old    Garon Davis (gpd005)      Join Date: May 2013       06-11-2014, 6:15 AM Reply   
we have a barefoot boom that we throw on and it makes it a lot easier to "coach" them because they are right next to the boat.
Old    Trey Perry (Treyman42)      Join Date: Jun 2014       06-11-2014, 12:16 PM Reply   
Best advice I've ever heard was I was teaching my friend, when another guy from in the boat says, "when you feel like you can stand up, stand up." The guy got up next try.
Old    Clubjoe (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       06-12-2014, 10:47 AM Reply   
Ok, first let me say that I'm hardly a resource on anything but crashing, but..........

There seems to be a LOT of emphasis on rider do's and don'ts, but only one post about driver responsibility... Maybe it goes without saying, but I see a lot of drivers that treat everyone the same.

I've found that paying close attention to the riders weaknesses can sometimes be countered by adjusting for them at the wheel. I've also found that starting the rider off to the side a little instead of directly behind the boat makes the transition to standing/riding easier... Once they "get it" it didn't seem to matter where they start...

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