View Full Version : Driver Training - Graceful Approach To Avoid Me Sleeping On The Couch?

08-06-2012, 12:20 PM
Sometimes perfect pass just isn't enough.

So a little rant and request for advice here. My girl normally does "ok" driving for me and is usually willing, but for some reason this weekend went really bad...

We had decent water, a few other boats and waverunners to contend with, and some extra family in the boat. Had a nice stretch of water along one shoreline that was pretty much only being used by us and a few others for boarding so we were staying in that area.

My turn in the water so I give her the low down on where to drive, PP is set, we're all good. She pulls me out just fine and heads for the nice stretch and I kid you not the woman starts doing figure 8's. I motion like an air traffic controller to head down the shoreline and go straight. Left, right, circle, and I'm fighting my own waves. I'm back there thinking she's on crack or trying to get away from a swarm of bees and getting frustrated...

After I wipe out hitting all my own rollers she swings around and tells me the depth gauge is not working - flashing instead of reading. I guess that explains the figure 8's ?? but we had been running that same stretch of water for a few hours already. Hmmmmm, ok well just stay out in the same areas we've been running all day here and you'll be fine.

Off we go again, headed to another little cove in search of fewer boats and better water. On the way there I'm messing around, do a board slide, planted my ass on the water but popped right back up and was all proud of myself. Nope, she cuts the throttle (after I'm already back up) and I end up doing another board slide, pulling the rope up over my head as high as I can to take up the slack but dumped it again as she then punches it and rips the handle out of my hands, tearing the padding half off it.

We finally get to this little cove and I remind her again to just stay where we've been running and she'll be fine with no depth gauge. Nope, she heads WAY in towards this sediment dam where I know it's maybe 6ft deep and there are big stumps. Once again I'm back there flailing like a chicken trying to fly and pointing for her to head out of here in that direction. Nope, she actually turns the opposite way and keeps heading in even further to the shallows at which point I threw the rope.

Floating there looking at the weeds right under me, I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to say to her so we can work on her driving and navigation skills without me unloading a wrath of "WTF was that?!" She swung around and I could tell she was flustered, so I held it in and told her she did good, gritting my teeth and muttering to myself.

So - what has been the best approach/tactic for coaching your woman on driving, but in a way that is not belittling or demeaning to her? Especially when you have a group with you! We talked about it a little afterwards but I think we've got some work to do. We don't get much one-on-one driving time as we almost always have a group. So I'm all ears...

(Sorry for the page long rant - had to get it out...)

08-06-2012, 12:26 PM
You need one on one date night on the water and show her every detail-- take some wine.

I skipped past the wife after I got frustrated and taught daughter #1 to drive starting when she was 12. She's 18 now and was just recruited by the FSU wakeboard club (they love having a girl along who can actually drive).

08-06-2012, 12:31 PM
I'm curious as to what kind of advice gets thrown on this one!
I let the gf drive yesterday as well and like you a few things went wrong, but I just bit my tongue, said she did good, thanked her for the pull, and blamed it on rough water and said we would try again a different day... (we had friends on the boat as well and I didn't want to make her feel any more uncomfortable as she was already biting her nails when I was getting back in the boat)

08-06-2012, 12:40 PM
Holy cow. Cracked up reading this. I feel your pain brother. I was reading this and my wife asked why I was laughing and I told her about the figure eights. Luckily she understood at why you can't do that. Truth be told Heather does drive me but gets too worked up doing it. I have been teaching Fiona who is 9 for a while now and if it wasn't for the age law she would be my driver. She listens to everything I tell her with open ears and doesn't get flustered. She is by and far a better driver than her mother.

Maybe have her practice when there is no pressure. (When nobody is being towed.)

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

08-06-2012, 12:50 PM
Oh, I feel your pain! I have spent 10 minutes soaking in the water waiting for a pull while the wife talks to the mother in law on the phone, fought turn on a dime surf waves, slow starts, fast starts, wondering it I will go under the boat on pickups, swerves while cutting back in to jump the wake.

I have given up now and just try to enjoy what I can. The wife thinks the problem is me. At least she will go out and pull me around (unless she sees this comment).

The flipside is that she is upset if my driving is not perfect and my starts are not arrow straight (usually if she is tired in the water).

08-06-2012, 12:51 PM
Yup, when my li'l one was about 13 she started driving the boat onto the trailer as my wife could never comprehend why just turning the wheel didn't turn the boat.

08-06-2012, 12:54 PM
Funny, Ash and I had a chat about some driving this weekend.

I think as a driver (especially the wife being the driver) any type of feedback from the rider is automatically taken as criticism. Ash and I have had several debates with me floating in the water about something that had just happened..even if I didn't intend to start said debate. She drives great and holds her own line very well, but occasionally something just feels off.

This weekend, while riding i felt like we were in a constant gradual curve, which happens to be how the shoreline is. It never felt right, always felt like i was mid turn and couldn't get a solid cut. I dropped the rope and when she came up I started with "I'm not questioning the driving, but I feel like we are in a curve all the way down. It could be 100% me but can you make sure that you pick a focal point and drive to it, then curve for the last part and drive straight to the other point" That seemed to do the trick without her driving off mad at me. I still don't know if we were curving or what, could have been the wind as it pick up just about every time it's my turn to ride this cove. All I know, I took the blame and got to keep riding with a smile!

08-06-2012, 01:08 PM
Oooo my favorite topic LOL. Don't, for the love of all that is holy, yell. You'll just make it worse. Congratulate her on the times she drives well, bite your tongue when she does not. Discuss in detail boat driving topics when not in the boat. Review boat driving topics while in the boat and let her practice when there are few to no other boats around, the wife and I ususally do this wicked early AM on the weekends, sometimes in the evenings depending on traffic. If she gets flustered with too much traffic call it quits, find a cove and swim, no use making things worse. Hand signals may be something you want to spend more time on. My wife has a hard time with them as well at times but my instructions to her are she needs to pay 90 percent of her attention to driving, 10 percent to me. I don't care if I fall and she is half way across the lake before she notices and comes back as I'd rather that than her running into something or something running into her and the boat. If there is something she is doing that needs immediate attention I'll wave frantically and then drop the line as well to try and get her attention, but she may not notice, it's a gamble... I had purchased some water proof walkie talkies to use thinking that may help rather than hand signals, but it didn't really work out. The less she has to tinker with or adjust the better it is she tells me, which is one reason I just upgraded to the Digital Pro so she doesn't have to do anything throttle wise but push it forward or pull it back. My wife points out that I have spent my life boating, she had not until she and I started boating, which is a good reminder to me when I expect her to do something and she doesn't.

Patience and Practice...

08-06-2012, 01:08 PM
Berg i feel ya man, Claudia took some time to get used to the throttle on pull ups, and to learn where to look when driving, then i stoped making her drive and let my buddies drive.

Now if she is my driver i only surf, she has forgotten most of what i taught her about throttle control, speed, going straight, when and how to turn LOL.

Best advise is to take her to the place you like to go, explain the dangers, have her drive while you sit by and coach.

08-06-2012, 01:18 PM
LOL! When my wife first started driving for me we had an 88 HP Evinrude and I only slalom skied. She'd give me about half power and start real slow and being very cautious. THen she'd speed up to almost 25 for a while. I didn't get any better at skiing but I sure got stronger.

08-06-2012, 01:34 PM
Good advice - well for the most part! I never yell, except maybe a time when screwing around almost resulted in a bad ending. I think Dusty makes a good point there about any "advice" from the water comes across like an attack on the driver.

Other than that I just don't get it. We've been doing this for 6+ years. I'm starting to wonder does she never watch what I'm doing or how I do it? Another example - when bringing the rider the rope I will watch for when the handle is almost to them, hit neutral or even reverse, so it is a nice gentle pickup and they can ready themselves. When I'm in the water - holy crap, you better be paying attention because that handle is going past at 10mph and if you can't handle rope burn, don't get it on the first grab and brace yourself for immediate launch you'll have to wait another 10 minutes while she makes a loop half mile around the lake to pick you up.

She will drive on to the trailer if the launch is not crowded and has no wind/current and does pretty well with that but that doesn't help with the rest of the day.

Tinkering around with stereo or anything is out of the question with her behind the wheel. The passengers had all been given assignments too on this particular instance so I don't think that was the problem.

The other issue I've been trying to work on is no power turns. She avoids this wakeboarding by doing the 1/2 mile loop to pick me up. Surfing on the other hand gets pretty scary. She doesn't slow down but rather cranks it around and keeps the speed up because she's afraid of taking water over the bow. I've demonstrated numerous times how to cut the throttle and crank the wheel, let the waves go past, then gently motor back. I have yet to see it happen though.

We have a new law in WA regarding needing a boater's license and minimum age requirements. Since the girls 11, 16, 19 are usually more interested in changing the song on the stereo every 30 seconds or fighting over tanning oil I think I'll focus on my 9yr old son as first mate and start training him. Then again he probably already knows most of it.

08-06-2012, 01:38 PM
Berg... gotta empty out that boat... and also I think being honest is the best policy. My wife and I have had more than a few "dicussions" about things like this. She will take direction WAY better with just the (2) of you if at all possible. Just pretend you are letting a (6) year old know there is no Santa... be gentle but honest :)

08-06-2012, 01:42 PM
You need one on one date night on the water and show her every detail-- take some wine.

this advice. it worked for the ex with the first boat and with the gf on boat number 2.
remember, teach, don't criticize when you go out :)

08-06-2012, 02:56 PM
Man after reading this I feel like I got SUPER lucky! Heidi started driving for me about midway through last summer and picked up on it pretty much right away. Due to the drought all the boat ramps that had courtesy docks where unusable. The only launch was the Public Ramp on Hwy 19 and we would go out frequently with just the two of us so she learned how to drive the boat on and off the trailer out of necessity. Now i think she is better at loading than me since she does it all the time and I never do it.

Now when it comes to thinks like operating moomba cruise, don't ask her to do that. I will have to set the speed, then leave the engine running while i strap the board on and jacket up for my set. This is why we are going to PP next summer. But other than that she is great, turns the stereo up for me and we never have issues doing "figure 8's", probably because 80% of our riding takes place on a river and you just have to follow the river.

08-06-2012, 03:42 PM
With my gf, I kneeled next to her while we pretended there was someone in the water and she was pulling them. Then we dropped a rope in the water and I had her pretend a bouy was the rider she was picking up. We did that once and she hasn't had to pull me since then, worked pretty good and I was there in case she had any questions.

08-06-2012, 03:44 PM
we never have issues doing "figure 8's", probably because 80% of our riding takes place on a river and you just have to follow the river.

AH HA!! Problem solved, find a straight river channel ;-)

As a side note, it also helps to work on hand signals with riders too. When I am driving I get a bit upset when my rider lays face down after a wipe out without any indication they are ok, we have had numerous talks about this with my stepson. He just doesn't get it, if you lay face down and won't give me an Ok signal I am going to assume you are injured and bust my arse getting back to you, if that means the dreaded power turn so be it, but when I pull up next to you to haul your carcass out of the water and get ready to administer first aid or cpr and you roll over shooting water like moby dick I may just leave you there... to me that is crying wolf, one day I'll just putter back cause I think he's being an arse and he really will be hurt...

Um, yeah, well, enough about that ;-)

08-06-2012, 04:50 PM
All the above is NONSENSE! Friggin' man up, Berg. It ain't a tricycle she's driving and there are serious consequences that can result to you, the kids, others and an expensive toy if not operated properly.

Use the DEVO and/or Indiana Jones method:


you better have made it thru to the 3:00 min mark!

08-06-2012, 05:19 PM
Yea... uhhh... I'm gonna say that prolly won't work UNLESS.. he is itching to be single again???

08-06-2012, 05:32 PM
LOL - I'll follow your lead on that one Drew! Although it is a nice cushy couch.

Like I said amigo - a little rant there leading in to some "woman friendly" talk on more (or perhaps better) driving lessons! If I ever saw her getting too far gone I'd be throwing the rope and done immediately.

I've always liked the setup more where we do a 'kids runs' for few hours. Then drop them on the beach and do the 'old fat guys' run for a while but you have to have enough people along for that. One of my old buddies hasn't owned a boat for nearly 20 years, only goes out once or twice a year, but knows exactly what to do when driving. Never a question.

Always interesting how guys just "get it" while the women folk need a bit more guidance and practice.

08-06-2012, 05:43 PM
HA! Chawk, I know your secret! Your current "situation" may have easily been avoided had you "cracked that whip!"

Berg, you going to wear kid's gloves when teach your teeny-bopper stepdadughter to drive the car or are you going to lay down the law with an iron fist? It's no time to be soft and all PC. This is serious business.

08-06-2012, 06:20 PM
We are headed out again tonight so I will let you know how it goes.

For now the teeny bopper is banned from driving anything for another year so no worries - I have no problem putting the smack down on them and probably enjoy it a little more than I should. It's the one I lay next to at night that could kill me in my sleep I have to be a little more careful with.

08-06-2012, 06:26 PM
It normally comes down to money and/or the nooky. :)

I'm just in a surly mood today, so take all my advice and FORGET it! The kids started school today and it put me in a bad mood. Really, it's quite a depression. Not just because summer is over, but becasue I start counting down the few remaingin ones I have with them. While my oldest is still "just" in middle school, the reality is that she is mine for only 5 more summers, at best. Those thoghts make me feel old. And grouchy. :mad:

08-06-2012, 06:26 PM
Somebody already took my answer, have kids and teach them. My son has been my preferred driver since he was 13. My daughter who is 13 now is an excellent driver. They both have obviously paid attention while I was driving, they point out when others on the lake are doing something stupid.

But they HATE when my wife/their mother is in the boat with them. They will do the exact correct thing, just as I taught them, and when they circle back around to pick me up they are getting an earful from her on what they are doing wrong (which is wrong by the way).

I have yet to figure out how to instruct my wife on how do change anything she does with the boat. She basically lets me do all the driving, but never holds back telling me when I am doing something that she considers to be wrong.

Have you ever seen a guy and two kids roll their eyes at the same time?


08-06-2012, 06:29 PM
Have you ever seen a guy and two kids roll their eyes at the same time?

Yes, about 14 times this past weekend. It doesn't help when the 4 yr old little bro' catches us all and busts out laughing, thereby cluing Momma in to what just happened.

08-06-2012, 06:39 PM
It normally comes down to money and/or the nooky.
Isn't that always the motivation? ;)

The kids started school today and it put me in a bad mood. Really, it's quite a depression.

Seriously? Wow - now that's early. We don't start until after Labor day and by then I'm sorta looking forward to it. But then everything kicks in again - soccer, dance, piano, cub scouts, homework, blah blah blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :|

I know what you mean about counting the days. Out here we get 2-3 months of summer weather for boating at best. I'm going on 39 this year so if I figure I can do this another 20 years, in reality that is only around 3-5 years of actual water time. Depressing to say the least.

08-06-2012, 07:05 PM
We start in 2 weeks. I like it better when they are in school-- most of the time.

08-06-2012, 07:23 PM
Have faith Drew - the 19yr old which used to drive me nuts a few years ago and I couldn't wait to ship her off is actually pretty fun to hang around again. And rather than being too busy for us, she now is asking what we're doing or have going on because she WANTS to be involved. Whether it's hanging out on the patio by the tiki torches, in the garage tinkering around with boat stuff, going camping, you name it. She doesn't want to miss out. Funny how that changes.

08-06-2012, 07:43 PM
I'm taking a guess and saying that the significant others that are bad drivers don't wakeboard themselves? I think that makes a world of difference. Once someone has experienced a crappy pull from a bad driver, they learn to appreciate good driving, and become aware that there is good and bad driving. My wife, who slaloms, wakeboards, and wakesurfs; is getting pretty good, but she is still nervous driving, mostly about shallow water and driving around other boats.

Honestly, it really surprises me that so many people have trouble driving a boat. To me, it is much easier than driving a car. Hell, there are bascially no speed limits and no lanes to stay in. I know a few guys that own wakeboats (nicer than mine) that are not great drivers. I know one guy that is so bad, I won't ride behind his boat any more.

So familiarity with the sport makes a driver be better about speed consistency, driving in straight lines, and not power turning. I have never met a rider that LIKES inconsistent speed, riding in curves, and riding in rough water over rollers (except d-ups). I think for the shallow water, that is a tough one. I have tried to explain to my wife that unless the depth finder reads less that 2 feet, then we are okay, and not to panic about it. And in most bodies of water, for that to be an issue, the boat would have to be so close to the shore that the rider can't cut out on that side.

As for the other boats, this is tricky. I have tried to explain to her that the best way to drive a boat, is know the rules and follow them confidently. Of course, knowing the rules can be tough. You might suggest that you both take a boater safety course TOGHETHER. There are to many people out that sort of know the rules, but don't stick to their guns about it. For example, staying to the right, easy rule, but if my wife is driving towards another boat (head on) and they don't acknowledge her going to the right a quarter mile out, she starts to panic and turn to pass them on the other side, then I get po'd and both drivers get confused. This is how boats collide and people get killed. So I try to tell my wife to forget what the other idots are doing and do what you know to be right. At least that way if there is a collision, then the other boat is a fault.

Sorry for the long response, but the short answer is, I don't really know, I haven't been terribly successful. Stay calm, have patience, and try to use lots of "I" statements. You know, "I prefer to get pulled in a straight a line as possible." Not, "Why can't YOU drive in a straight line!"

08-06-2012, 08:40 PM
. While my oldest is still "just" in middle school, the reality is that she is mine for only 5 more summers, at best. Those thoghts make me feel old. And grouchy. :mad:

I feel that pain too.

threadjack over

08-07-2012, 03:27 AM
Well she redeemed herself tonight with a long surf session. Just one kid in boat, her driving, and me attempting numerous 360's and dorking off. I'm thinking the lack of speed and fewer distractions on board made all the difference in the world. Didn't do the half mile loop to pick me up or any power turns either. Even dialed in the wave on the fly with PP as we were running upstream against the current and then down. Needless to say I was impressed.

Maybe one of these outings was just a fluke. Not sure which one though...

08-07-2012, 11:03 AM
One other thing to keep in mind is that women have different chemicals than we do in every day life and different responses to stress. Sometimes we can't even understand what is actually a perfectly natural response for them. It can be frustrating for us because we simply do not get that viewpoint.

08-07-2012, 11:19 AM

It's OK to admit that my methodology worked for you. :)

08-07-2012, 02:51 PM
I'm waiting to get a new sectional before I give that a go...

08-07-2012, 07:40 PM
Sounds like you forgot to comment on how nice her new shoes look or her new haircut is fabulous.

08-13-2012, 03:16 PM
Berg, I know the pain. It is hard to teach a woman to drive well anything. My sister makes me feel like a skier when she pulls me up and no matter what I say I am in the wrong. I have instructed several woman how to drive a boat and it has worked out. One thing I have learned is to have them pull up and drive for their friends. They will take more care in what they are doing. Also I have learned with relationships it is better that if your in a relationship with someone not to be the teacher but have someone else do it. It leads to less fights and less sleeping with the fear of if your going to die tonight.

08-13-2012, 06:09 PM
My driver didn't get out of bed in time to go with us (we left at around 1 pm) so my wife drove for me yesterday. Other than a little indecision on which way to go (up or down river) every time we started, she did pretty well. I hardly yelled at all.

08-13-2012, 06:35 PM
Brian has a good take on this too - those that aren't good drivers also are not boarders or surfers much if at all. At least in my experience. When I'm behind the wheel I am thinking of the kind of run I'd want if I were back there. When you've never been or are rarely back there you just can't relate. Like slow down, neutral or even reverse so they can grab the handle without losing a limb on pickups. Line up in the direction you will be going before you take off so or at least confirm with the rider what direction you're heading so we don't make 4 u-turns before we're up on a plane.

08-13-2012, 08:11 PM
well im thinking its time to start training my drivers back up (aka the 13 year old kido). Heck just today she reminded me she will have a permit in a little over a year.

been really impresed seeing Pats daughter take the boat and know what she is doing--its a cool thing to witness

any advise

08-14-2012, 11:29 AM
Start early and make it fun. Lots of encouragement and praise. Throw out scenarios or situations and ask what she would do.

08-14-2012, 01:03 PM
When the time comes I'm going to take the kiddos out one-on-one. Show them everything, then repeat after me. No phones, no stereos, no distractions. My son surprises me already by how much he knows but there's a lot to do with timing and spacial awareness that is huge. We have a week long trip coming up so maybe I'll carve out some "driving with dad" time.

Catch is law here states "Persons who do not have a boater education card and are 12 years of age or older may operate a vessel with more than 15 HP if accompanied by and under the direct supervision of a responsible person 16 years of age or older who has their boater education card" so they've got a few more years before they can be legit with me in the water.

I also promised I was going to teach them to drive my truck as soon as their feet could reach the pedals and guess what....

05-29-2013, 02:50 PM
i was reading through these archives. . . oh my gosh I about peed myself at work reading these items. Has anyone ever tried horse blinders for the driver? Would that work? LOL

05-29-2013, 03:24 PM
Too hard to pull figure 8's with the blinders on... ;)

05-29-2013, 03:45 PM
i was reading through these archives. . . oh my gosh I about peed myself at work reading these items. Has anyone ever tried horse blinders for the driver? Would that work? LOL

I've seen tube drivers with those on, I think. Or at least they drove like they couldn't see anyone on either side of them.

06-11-2013, 09:33 AM
It's been said but the alone time sessions are always the easiest to teach in without her feeling attacked. Ash is so worried about doing something dumb in front of other people that she seems to forget the easy things. Pretty much just trying too hard. With that said though, there are some things that are just hard to explain or get her comfortable with. She has yet to actually get me the handle on the passenger side of the boat when surfing (worried that she can't see me in the water) and still uncomfortable when other boats are within 50ft (last weekend surfing she made a very large loop nowhere near me because boats were coming towards me). Tried to explain I'd rather have our boat take a hit then me so please come back to me first, let them move. I'm just glad the XLV has such a high bow and freeboard because the second time she drove she nosed under and she about gave up here driving career right there cause it scared her. Then I did it and she felt a bit better. I may or may not have done it to make her feel better.

06-11-2013, 01:15 PM
Last night i got on Claudia a bit for her driving when i was Surfing. She used to drive all the time, but the last couple summers she never wants to drive, but when its me her and 1 other i trust her to drive more then the 1 other LOL.

I was surfing, and she comes to get me just fine but then when i get the rope she will do a circle around me to get to the direction she wants to go, and then the boat over corrects and shes facing to the left of where she wants to go, then i say go and she hit the throttle and immediately turns right forcing me to the goofy side and i have to fight all the wash, and pull myself to the regular side.

The other thing she does is when she pulls me up she goes half throttle so the boat only gets to like 7 or 8mph, then after what seems like 2 minutes she pushed the throttle down enough to reach the speed control limit of 11mph lol.

By the time she does this 3 or 4 times my arms are spent from holding on fighting all the wash.

06-24-2013, 07:49 PM
Mike, She is just trying to nicely tell you that you need to work on your upper body or she will leave you in the water. If she was mad at you she would just drop the hammer and get up to wakeboarding speeds before slowing down.

06-24-2013, 09:50 PM
Guess mine's mad at me then.

06-30-2013, 11:01 AM
Ahhh this post is such a gut buster! :) Like everyone lse on here I feel your pain and have expeirneced the melt odwns and frustrations of trying to teach my wife how to drive the boat, how to pull me, and how to pick me up.

Patience, patience, and yes even more patience!!!! It has paid off. My wife will pull me anywhere anytime. And that's about it. I wanted her to pull our daughter but funny thing is niether one of them wanted that! LOL

Agreed that it's tougher when your partner is not a skier or boarder, or anything other than your driver and sun tan trophy on your boat.

I am fortunate though that my wife is very good on the ramp! Something that very few other women are. I don't back the boat in or go get the truck at the end of teh day to load the boat and head for home - MY WIFE DOES!!! :) And she does this very well. We get compliments on her ramp abilities ALL THE TIME! This was accomplished easily with a couple pylons and evening sessions in mall parking lots where she had noone around and room to practice.

This summer my daughter (15) will get to learn how to drive our Nautique and eventually give dad a tug of two. My fear is the arguement that is going to blow up in the boat between her and her mom when I am waiting to be picked up in the water!!!!!! If it's anything like it is when they ar ein the car learning how to drive............dad is going to get cut up into fish bait!!!!! LOL

07-01-2013, 11:41 AM
That one's easy. Driver's in charge. If Mom can't handle it SHE can drive.

07-01-2013, 05:14 PM
That one's easy. Driver's in charge. If Mom can't handle it SHE can drive.

I had the issue of two people trying to be in charge as I was wakeboarding and I put a stop to that real quick. Driver is in charge but I am still in charge and will give you directions even from 70 feet back.

07-02-2013, 12:01 AM
Gotta stretch the cord for the mike about 70 feet so you can shout over the tower speakers.

02-21-2016, 10:33 AM
I have enjoyed reading this thread. Over the years I too have experienced what many here have. It can be frustrating. My solution with a new or inexperienced driver is this: Keep the boat straight and the speed steady. I tell them 3800 rpm, and look to a point on shore and now and then glance in the mirror to see if you have any snake trails in the water. - 99 Outback LS - Go straight down the lake, do a key hole turn and come right back up the path we just made. Look in the mirror and I will adjust you a little. 99% of drivers will go too far and need a little move to the left to find the groove. I have had drivers directly in the rolling wake we just made and continue in that path with me tugging the line and pointing left. ha I also tell them to look for where my spray has hit the water and go in the middle of those. I also have new drivers ride with an experienced one and pay attention to them and then give it a go. I'm a pretty happy skier over all.

02-23-2016, 12:19 PM
It's going to take some time to read this thread and interested. Having our MB for 4 seasons my wife has become awesome being my driver. I express to her anytime she don't feel good about anything just stop and turn around and we can discuss it. I don't do any double up's so I have got her to run the full line and just kill the throttle just like when I fall. Turn around nicely and back off in the same line we came from. I suggest to have the wife/partner drive while you're in the boat to give instant instruction and learn without the pain of riding. My poor boy got the brunt of the learning curve but I have my wife drive even when out with a group of friends that are seasoned drivers.

02-23-2016, 04:44 PM
It's going to take some time to read this thread and interested. Having our MB for 4 seasons my wife has become awesome being my driver. I express to her anytime she don't feel good about anything just stop and turn around and we can discuss it. I don't do any double up's so I have got her to run the full line and just kill the throttle just like when I fall. Turn around nicely and back off in the same line we came from. I suggest to have the wife/partner drive while you're in the boat to give instant instruction and learn without the pain of riding. My poor boy got the brunt of the learning curve but I have my wife drive even when out with a group of friends that are seasoned drivers.

I need to get my wife to get behind the wheel more with our new boat. She just didn't feel comfortable with our last boat. The old supra was so hard to plane out at 22 for boarding and the throttle was too touchy! She was so worried about submarining the bow. The steering was tough and crooked due to a sticky cable and very old rudder. The captains chair was designed for going 32mph and was too low to see over bow for her. Lastly, freaking trailer was so hard to get centered and didn't have guide posts. With GPS, new steering, better trailer system and better captains chair she should be more comfortable. Understatement! I can do a ton of the training methods with her now. I am gonna read this thread as well. Its gonna be so nice not being the only person that can drive the boat! I always felt like I couldn't let anyone drive cuz they would mess it up, like letting someone drive my hotrod, NO! Now it will be like someone driving my F250 its ok but watch until trust. I sound like a controlling a-hole but I'm not, I think... ;)

Like the photo! Your dog is so interested in what you are doing. lol

02-29-2016, 12:54 PM
My wife is an amazing driver so I am lucky there. She just recently told me she is tired of driving so much. I am hoping it was just because it was the end of the season and we spent some serious time on the water. At least she told me and I have been getting one of kids ready to take over and he is doing well.
I had another person totally "throw" the pull by doing only 300' diameter circles in a huge area even after very specific instructions. The best I could tell is that they didn't wan to drive and wanted to be in the water. Can't figure out any other explanation.
Sometimes people will do poorly to avoid doing what they don't wan to do. If that isn't the issue try patterns with just the two of you on a calm day without being pulled. That worked well with one of my boys.