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Teaching Kids to Ski Using a Boom and otherwise

I have 3 kids aged 6 (twins) and almost 4. I had great success last summer teaching the 6 year olds to ski on the boom. I found that removing the bar (connecting their kids skis) helped them balance themselves better. So I have 2 questions.
1. What is the best way to now have them advance to skiing from the rope behind the boat? I have heard about using a short handle extension extending from the boom as a first step but I had difficulty with this (when I tried with an older kid) last summer. One problem was the handle spinning in the water in their hands and another was starting as it was creating much more drag. So is this a good method and how to properly do it? (what handle rope length, should it be at end of the boom or closer to boat, etc.) If there is any video of this it would be great to help me teach, and also to show the kids.
2. For my younger one (turning 4 in June), who I want to teach on the boom, what do you suggest? (she is younger than my twins were when they learned) Should I try with the kids skis tied together again with the bar?

All tips and guidance is appreciated. I want to make this the most enjoyable and positive experience for them,



  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 684 Crazy Baller
    I had success using the handle on the boom with the handle wrapped all the way to the triangle. I would often be in the water with them the first few times. I skipped the five foot handle on the boom and went straight to behind the boat at 32 off and slow speeds.
  • TNh2oskierTNh2oskier Posts: 101 Baller
    If you have a tower use the tow point on it, and we generally went 28 or 32 off. The tower tow point works well to help lift them out of the water. We always have a few key things for them to remember-: Look up, get up, look down fall down, and the other is say your fav food three times before you start to stand up..... Pizza...Pizza... Pizza then stand up.
    public lake skier and long time slalom addict.
  • TustinTomTustinTom Posts: 101 Baller

    My "success" involves human ballast, Bar Only or Bar w/Handle, on a lake where I can start in any direction.

    Get the boom to the skier. Move one or two observers on skiers side. The boom or boom/5' handle will drop and easily grabbed. After skier has boom, move observers to middle and or opposite side of boat. This will "LIFT" the boom and skier (if boom only) almost out of the water creating very little drag. Small kids may not be able to grab the boom, wrap handle per @BlueSki

    Using the same approach with the 5' Handle creates an upward/lifting takeoff as the boom is now above the skier (3-4 ft above head), the skier is almost directly under the boom, handle is barely touching the water, yet the skier is balancing self in water/free from tug of boat with enough play to simulate long line. (this is where being in lake helps as you can take off any direction).

    Move to a Tower per @TNh2oskier

    4 is young. If they like the boom, I'd let them stay there. First timers over 10, I only make them get up and "LET GO" making sure their arms go straight out, balance (and fall) a few times, do the same with the Handle, and then Tower. First time 10 over can easily go to 180 turns on Wakeboard within day 1 behind the boat, or slalom. The boom is a great training aid. Sounds like you have 90% of it wired.

    Biggest thing!!! Take pics! 5' Bridle/Handle and the boom is out of the pic and NO ONE knows and the pics are great from that distance.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    funny -when i first glanced as the thread title i thought it said ' teaching kids to use a *broom*. . . ' and i thought yeah wouldn't *that* be great!
  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 754 Crazy Baller
    *Broom* To much Harry Potter?
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,822 Mega Baller
    Add to all the good stuff above: I have had success with the handle wrapped to the point of even half the triangle. The skier first gets up on the boom, then once up transfers to the handle. Once they can do this and get comfortable on the handle, then try the start on the handle alone.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • torontoboatertorontoboater Posts: 34 Baller
    Thanks for all the helpful comments. Will try it out this summer with the kids. They can't wait to ski.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,962 Mega Baller
    edited May 2016
    Depending on the kids there is no reason you can't start the 6 year olds directly behind the boat. We taught my kids when they were 5 and 6 behind the boat. Put a swimmer in the water with them to keep them steady and a pair of skis with a bar. Generally they get up by the 3rd or 4th try. We shortened the rope to 28 off so they weren't that far from the boat at slow speeds.

    The 4 year old might be a little young to be behind the boat but if they are strong and coordinated they can ski behind the boat. I would definitely start the 4 year old on the boom though.

    I didn't have a boom and I don't barefoot so I had to teach them old school.
    Mark Shaffer
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 460 Baller
    Buy or rig up weights for the back of the skis. Midwest Mastercraft sells them online. You can't believe how much this helps them. When they are new and little controlling the skis before they get going is frustrating and can be scary for them when they feel out of control. Wish I figured this out earlier. 6 year old for sure can go behind the boat but ease into it. 4 year old for sure could too as long as it is the kids that want it. The boom gives them instant success and I try to continue that success so it stays fun for them. Very short handle on the book gives them the feel for the rope. A little peer pressure from a kid who knows how to ski can help too. Don't force them. If they want to be done even if they didn't ski long let them stop. I can't count the number of times I've put the book on and carried the gear all down for 2 minute ski but they kids come back the next time.
  • WBLskierWBLskier Posts: 460 Baller
    Oh and buy a pair of skis like the junior amigos or something similar (double concave bottom). The little kids can basically ski at idle with them because they are so wide but they at not super long or heavy and they can be easily controlled.
  • FatrollFatroll Posts: 233 Solid Baller
    You are getting great advice from everyone and sometimes it takes a little trial and error. I
    We use the boom first. If the kids are really young we just drag them without trying to ski. They will often drag with one of my little kids. This gets them used to being out in the lake, the noise of the engine, water in their face, etc.
    Once comfortable, then we use the skis on the boom. They have the trainer bar attached in most situations. Sometimes with a swimming dragging adult depending on the kid.
    Once up, I will vary speed to get them used to the instability of the slow speeds they will experience coming out of the water behind the boat. A couple runs to gain confidence and we put them behind the boat. Like @TNh2oskier skier suggested a high tow point such as a tower or fly high can help. I also use a Boys1/Girls1 rope at 28 or 32 off. This provides less sag in the rope for these little kids. As they gain confidence we move them back and take the bar away. We will also go back to the boom when we first pull the bar for confidence.
    We also recommend keeping parents/siblings out of the boat. If they must be there, put them were the kid can't see them and the parents/siblings are not to speak.

    We also use the moving human ballast technique, especially when teaching little barefooters.

    For a 4 year old, the ski skimmer is a great confidence builder.
    There are lots of approaches but above all else keep it fun!!!!
    2016 Ski Nautique 200 OB 2016 Radar Vapor 69.5"
    Wish they had a bonus buoy count for increased body fat index
  • harddockharddock Posts: 168 Baller
    My boom is only used to teach kids. I took an old small diameter handle and zip tied it to the boom close enough that there is not much movement. The smaller dimeter is easier to hold for little hands. Once they are comfortable keeping skis together or positing a wakeboard and getting up we move to long line behind the boat. The longer the better so they stay in the wakes better.
  • torontoboatertorontoboater Posts: 34 Baller
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Transitioned my twins from the boom to a handle tied to the boom this weekend. A big success. I will lengthen the rope a bit at a time and then transition them to behind the boat. here is a pic of one of my twins.
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