We love waterskiing and we want our kids to love it too.
Unfortunately the introduction to our sport is not easy and can be very intimidating.
Here are some tips based on my experience teaching 100+ kids for the first time, including my two kids:
Wait until the water is very warm.
Make sure they are very comfortable riding in the boat and watching other skiers (always ride in the boat with a life jacket).
Every time you or someone else finish skiing, with the boat turned off, encourage them to jump in the water and swim with you.
Make sure they are comfortable swimming around the boat and dipping their heads in the water.
DO NOT start them on two skis, It's very difficult to control them in the water, and our goal is that they will succeed and have a great experience.
Get the rope at 22" off (16mts). Adjust the length of the handle rope as short as possible.
Throw the horseshoe far from the boat, jump in the water and encourage your toddler to join you (please both should be wearing an approved life vest).
Have an experienced boat driver tighten the rope.
Let your toddler grab the handle and get his or her feet in the boots.
Make them clear that you are in the water to help them, and that you will be a couple of feet away.
Let them know that if they fall THEY NEED TO LET GO! I have seen kids afraid of swimming in a lake who don't let go off the rope and who end up drinking a lot of lake water. If this happens please get the boat to neutral as soon as possible.
Hold the horseshoe from behind and help them sink it a little bit.
Let him/her yell "hit it!" and stand up.
The driver should just idle the boat.
Gradually push the rear of the horseshoe down so they will have an easier start.
The boat driver should make a small circle (200ft approx) so the skier will finish close to where they started and close to you.
Stop the boat and let the kid swim to you and away from the horseshoe.
Let them start on their own.
Encourage them to wave at you in the boat.
This will teach them how to be better balanced and to struggle less against the rope and handle.
Tell them to switch hands and wave with the other hand.
Small S turns between the wakes
Speed up to 12 mph approx.
Cross the wakes 4 times.
Make sure you are at 22off.
They will fall and they should let go.
It's important that they fall and realize that they are ok.
It's one of the few things they can Njoy at that speed without getting hurt.
Neither a skateboard, a bicycle, roller blades, or another sport will give them the sense of speed and knowing that they will be ok if they fall.