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ccowell
07-02-2010, 11:20 AM
My Neice is about the right age to start getting towed behind a boat. She is 6 and isn't afraid to go fast or crash. What should I start her out on. Wakeboard or ski's. She loves to downhill ski so should I stick with that or get her into wakeboarding? Also any tips or tricks on how to get her to be successful.


On a side note I just ordered a Ronix mana with kai bindings. Anyone ride this board and have any thoughts about it?

dummy
07-02-2010, 11:34 AM
We put 'em out on a tube with a parent as early as 2- or 3-years old if they want to. Poke along slow just so they can get a feel for being back behind the boat on a rope. By 4 or 5 they're comfortable being back on the tube (not whipping or hucking 'em, just rolling along at a safe clip) or laying on a boogie board or knee board by themselves. Knee board is cool 'cause it teaches them balance and weight transfer/turning.

We also start 'em on a ski-skimmer between 3-4 years. It's cool because the ski-skimmer pulls from the board and not their arms. Lets them learn balance, turning, going outside the wake, etc on a relatively-stable platform. One parent sits on the swim deck and holds the rope. Drop the rope as soon as they go down. Same for the boogie or knee board 'cause some kids tend to hang onto the rope even if they're dragged under.

My buddy's 6-year old daughter (turned 6 in May) is already up on a wakeboard and my 6-year old son (turned 6 two weeks ago) is almost able to get up on the wakeboard. She has a lot of time on the ski-skimmer and it only took her a couple tries to get up on the board. My son has significantly less time on the skimmer, but he's taking to the wakeboard pretty well. Just gotta get him to keep his knees bent and not stand up too soon. If you can start them from a beach it's good. Three adults: one driving; one observing; one in the water holding 'em and coaching as the driver hits it. Helps keep them in line with the pull and in the right stance.

Personally, I kinda feel like wakeboard is easier for 'em 'cause they don't have to worry about keeping their feet together like skis, etc. That said, nobody in my crowd skis much, so I'm not really qualified to say about skiing.

JLeuck64
07-02-2010, 11:37 AM
My kids luv the water and even at that age were a little nervous once they got out in the lake by them selves away from the boat. They did much better near the shore with me towing them up and down the shoreline. I would run and pull the rope... they would ride on the kneeboard.

Once they got to big for that I just put them in the water with skis and helped them to figure out how to put their feet in the bindings, float with the skis in the right position etc. It takes kids a while to figure out how to use the right muscles to get the skis to do what they want.

How long these sessions will last depends on their interest/comfort level, so set your expectations low and move on to something else as soon as they want to. Seems like they always want to tube at that age so mix it up with tubing as a carrot on the stick!

Granite_33
07-02-2010, 12:03 PM
My Neice is about the right age to start getting towed behind a boat. She is 6 and isn't afraid to go fast or crash. What should I start her out on. Wakeboard or ski's. She loves to downhill ski so should I stick with that or get her into wakeboarding? Also any tips or tricks on how to get her to be successful.


On a side note I just ordered a Ronix mana with kai bindings. Anyone ride this board and have any thoughts about it?


Do Both. Hey when you're on a boat, gotta take advantage of it. I would say wakeboarding as the first shot. Its a bit slower, and any crashes shouldn't be too hard on her.

east tx skier
07-02-2010, 12:05 PM
I'll vote for skis. Just pull them fast enough so they don't sink. That was about 5--7 mph for my 4 year old.

flipper
07-02-2010, 12:49 PM
I say let them pick, or let them do it all. Kids know what they want

east tx skier
07-02-2010, 02:57 PM
I say let them pick, or let them do it all. Kids know what they want

True. They will ask.

NeilM
07-02-2010, 03:15 PM
I'd say both, too, especially since she's already into snow skis. Take it easy, loads of patience, and keep it fun. They'll love you for it forever.

bran7869
07-02-2010, 03:31 PM
I started my daughter at 5. We started in a swimming pool. I put her in my board and a life jacket on one end of the pool and gave her a handle. I took the other end of the rope and began running, she would pop up and ride to the other end of the pool. After that we got into a small pond and did the same thing. When she got consistent with that I put her behind the boat. I let the rope out to 100 feet, so she wouldn't have to deal with the washed out wake at slow speeds. If they have a problem getting up at that distance bring the rope into 25 feet (but only if you have an inboard boat) The tower at that distance has more upward pull and you can talk to them much easier. After they learn to get up then take it back out to 100 feet. I started her out at very slow speeds, 8-10 mph. I would make her ride one set right foot forward and the next set left foot forward. Now I can't get her off the board!

slickwater1
07-03-2010, 06:49 AM
my four yr old is wakeboarding on a daily basis with us. He started out with a rope and us pulling by hand, moved to a surf rope and learned how to let the boat pull him up. we would hold on to the rope until he ask to be put on the tower like dad. lol. He now rides at about 40 ft. off the tower and loves it, we let him decide the pace and how much he wants to ride. the biggest thing for him was reminding him to keep his knees bent. and we only go fast enough for him to stay on top of the water. prob 5-7 miles per hour. We actually started him out on my 142 cause it was effortless for him to pop up. he now rides a 119 and does remarkably well.

harddock
07-11-2010, 12:29 PM
I have taught dozens of little ones with the help of a boom. I tie wrapped a handle to the end because the boom was to fat for little hands. With skis we used the tied together ones and once we have got up a couple times we move to long line and then cut loose the skis.
Same with wakeboard, boom to long line, Slalom 1 ski starts, etc. Has worked evey time. They seem less intimidated with someone close by. Once they know what to expect from the ski or board the transition to the rope is simple.

coz
07-11-2010, 12:43 PM
I started my daughter at 5. We started in a swimming pool. I put her in my board and a life jacket on one end of the pool and gave her a handle. I took the other end of the rope and began running, she would pop up and ride to the other end of the pool. After that we got into a small pond and did the same thing. When she got consistent with that I put her behind the boat. I let the rope out to 100 feet, so she wouldn't have to deal with the washed out wake at slow speeds. If they have a problem getting up at that distance bring the rope into 25 feet (but only if you have an inboard boat) The tower at that distance has more upward pull and you can talk to them much easier. After they learn to get up then take it back out to 100 feet. I started her out at very slow speeds, 8-10 mph. I would make her ride one set right foot forward and the next set left foot forward. Now I can't get her off the board!

That's what I did with my kids and started my grandson when he was 3 and now he's 5 and ripping it up :D

http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm258/cozaz/wakeboarding006.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4525204353_79467d1608_o.jpg