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View Full Version : Barefoot age?


Gonzo
07-08-2009, 07:22 PM
I put the barefoot boom on to help my 7 yr old get her feet under her better on the wakeboard (boom and handle on the boom)... she is doing great now and will deepwater tomorrow behind the boat. She can deepwater on combos... well since the boom is on the boat she is begging me to teach her to barefoot. Most of me says why not, but a small part of me remembers how much it hurts to catch a toe...

let the debate begin...

duckguy
07-08-2009, 07:39 PM
The swing is a must here! Do that to get her comfortable with the feeling and gain confidence.

Jerseydave
07-08-2009, 07:39 PM
If she's ready to catch herself and hang on to the boom even after catching a toe, I say go for it! You could also get the small diameter boom attachment for little people, should help her to hold on better with small hands.

If you get her up on her feet, we need pics!

Gonzo
07-08-2009, 07:40 PM
The swing is a must here! Do that to get her comfortable with the feeling and gain confidence.

All I have is a boom and a kneeboard.

Gonzo
07-08-2009, 07:41 PM
another thought is that I learned with chuck taylors on... maybe her tennis shoes...

duckguy
07-08-2009, 07:48 PM
http://www.barefootcentral.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=90

Gonzo- the likely hood of catching a toe goes up dramatically with shoes on, please do not ever teach someone like this! The swing is the best and safest way your someone that young. Kneeboards/chucktaylors yikes! :eek:

Slinkyredfoot
07-08-2009, 07:49 PM
I think is she is wanting to learn why not. I do not believe kids can be forced to learn anything they do not want to do or are afraid of. If she is willing to give it a go, by all means encourage her and let her try.
Tennis shoes are a good idea, but it always felt to me I was barefooting with trick skis on when I wore tennis shoes.
Go for it dad and post some pics of this epic event, I can't wait to see em'

jbfootin
07-08-2009, 08:25 PM
I just taught a couple of 12 yr olds this weekend and they did great off the knee board. At that age i had them going around 30. At 7 you will probably be going around 25, 20 on a boom. I say go for it. Post pics and good luck!

RoverGuy04
07-08-2009, 09:36 PM
I learned how to 'foot when I was six and was doing swingouts by seven, so I would say go for it! You might consider a pair of Barefoot International foot skis if you are concerned with catching toes. They offer more surface area which will result in a slower learning speeds... Overton's sells these things. I've used 'em before for kicks and they worked really well. Helped me out a lot when learning long line deep water starts....

Rockman
07-08-2009, 09:48 PM
Gonzo,

7 is not too early. We had a niece of mine on the boom when she was 5. My 3 year old keeps telling me she wants to foot with daddy!:D

Definitely get the swinf from Barefoot International. That is the best one out there and we have used it on 5 year olds up to grown adults that were afraid to try footin.

Do not get the shoe skis, etc. More stuff for the kids to worry about. Get them on the feet asap. Slow boat speed, boom down low enough, driver watching their every move, SLOW speed. She can do it!

SKIBARESTAN
07-08-2009, 09:50 PM
I say go for it, but try the swing first. If she faceplants and gets hurt while not using the swing it may take a while for her to try it again or build that confindence back up.

ski_king
07-08-2009, 09:56 PM
Has she taken a hard fall on the combos or knee board yet?
Did she come up laughing or at least was ready to go right back at it?

I say go for it if...................... she can handle a hard fall... you know they will happen sooner or later.

Gonzo
07-08-2009, 10:02 PM
she has slapped it pretty hard catching an edge on her kneeboard and wakeboard. She didnt come up laughing, she came up fussing at me telling me I was driving wrong... she was 5... she is my daughter.

Jorski
07-08-2009, 10:13 PM
There are a bunch of videos on Youtube of 5, 6 and 7 year olds barefooting. I think if your child is interest and you keep the speed down (they don't need much) it would be fun!

woftam
07-08-2009, 10:50 PM
she has slapped it pretty hard catching an edge on her kneeboard and wakeboard. She didnt come up laughing, she came up fussing at me telling me I was driving wrong... she was 5... she is my daughter.

She's not too young if she has the desire, is determined, and is prepared to take a few falls that might be harder than she is used to. She should be comfortable riding on the water at/near the speed she will need to barefoot.

There are lots of training aids (shoe skis, swing, bf boom). They can be helpful if correctly set-up or correctly sized. During my teaching days I taught at least two hundred+ kids to barefoot. The youngest was 5. He was a good little slalom skier, trick skier, and wanted to learn to jump, but his parents and I were sane enough to make him wait on the jumping until he was a few years older. Long story short, he and most kids do well starting on the boom. Most usually have a good strength to weight ratio that makes it easy for them to start from the end of the boom, swivel around and place their feet on the water once up to speed. Most can also hold on if they trip and simply try again.

I'd set the boom end ever so slightly higher than normal for their height. This allows them to swivel easily and gives a bit of extra lift, making the speed necessary to plane on two feet just a bit slower. Once they have done that, adjust the boom end slightly down to the correct height and have them do it again. You might need to bump the speed up 1/2-2mph depending upon the kid/weight.

With your set up, a logical next step would be to place a 5' line/hanlde section on the end of the boom and have her get up bf by sitting on the kneeboard, riding it up to speed, and gradually plant her feet. Once she can do that, same thing, but behind the boat long line. (Practice riding the kneeboard while sitting on it is also a good idea)

This is just a general guide. YMMV.

Dry land practice is a good idea before starting and the smaller diameter boom end is more kid friendly. Might consider borrowing/purchasing one?

Finally, parents teaching their kids certain skills often results in interesting dynamics that don't always promote mastering the intended skill. That's where good ski schools and friends with good teaching skills sometimes come in handy.

FWIW.

chudson
07-09-2009, 11:05 AM
I saw this posted by a fellow TT'r and thought I wished I'd of thought of it along time ago for my kids. Looks like a great way to get'em started. Goodluck and keep us posted!!!
edit: And since she's wanting to learn that make it all that much better.
49116

flipper
07-09-2009, 11:46 AM
Let her have at it!!!! If she interested and wants to try, why not. I like the UMP option

peason
07-09-2009, 11:51 AM
I have had my 7 year old son, barefoot using a barefoot handle as a swing. He had no problems and went for quite awhile.
Good luck and take pictures!

mgurley
07-09-2009, 12:19 PM
I have had my 7 year old son, barefoot using a barefoot handle as a swing. He had no problems and went for quite awhile.
Good luck and take pictures!

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j53/gurley40/4988_1098635859891_1046482156_30220.jpg

That is what we did with my son...he is 5.

mpm32
07-09-2009, 01:07 PM
Where are you guys finding the small barefoot suits? My daughter 9 yo, wants to try, (my wife would probably kill me) but I'm having trouble finding small enough suits. She's 52" and around 52 lbs, a lb an inch. lol

gregte
07-09-2009, 01:31 PM
The swing looks like it could be dangerous. Plant a foot and hit their head on the boom?

woftam
07-09-2009, 01:35 PM
Where are you guys finding the small barefoot suits? My daughter 9 yo, wants to try, (my wife would probably kill me) but I'm having trouble finding small enough suits. She's 52" and around 52 lbs, a lb an inch. lol

Overtons has padded bf shorts and bf suits down to size xs, and appear to be in stock.
Barts has junior size wetsuits and bf suits. bf suits are drop shipped and may take a while.
That was just from a quick search. There should be other options available.