View Full Version : Start kids on surf or wake board?

12-24-2015, 09:32 AM
I am thinking about getting a board for my son over the winter and I am trying to decide if it would be easier for him to get up on a surf board or wakeboard. In some ways I think the wakeboard would be easier since his feet would be strapped in but I have also seen some videos of little kids laying on the surf board to get going and working their way up to their feet. Any thoughts/experiences?

For reference he is 4 1/2 years old and loves the water. He has been doing the inflatable ski trainer thing for the last two years and he surfed with me pretty often last summer so he is pretty comfortable behind the boat.

12-24-2015, 01:18 PM
I have always found it depends on the person.

I have seen people <myself included> who couldn't get the concept of deep water wake board starts. Then I tried surfing and got right up, then went back to wake boarding and got right up.

Wake boarding starts are easier because your strapped in but, with the board attached you can get pulled side ways pretty easy.

On the other hand I have taught plenty of people to surf and it takes them a while to get settled on the board LOL.

For your situation since hes used to a ski trainer, I think wake boarding would be easier, he will learn how to balance the board learn correct leg and squating position, then wake surfing starts should be auto matic.

Just my thinking though lol.

12-24-2015, 01:21 PM
My daughter started on a wakeboard at 4. She picked it up very quickly. I have taught several kids, I generally stay in the water with them for the start and give the tail of the board a little extra push down and they pop right up. Just last summer she decided to try surfing, at 8. She only attempted about 4 times and never popped up on her own, but when I stayed in the water and stabilized the board she came up and rode halfway across the lake.

12-24-2015, 06:46 PM
I have had great success with the wake board ( liquid force). I use a ultra short rope and an adult in the water with them. I tell them to "stay in a tight, tight ball" and don't stand up until I say so! All three of my mine have been able to get up that way. Also I barely get out of idle, maybe 7 mph tops.

Good luck with whichever route you go. You will be making memories they'll cherish the rest of their lives!

Merry Christmas!

12-24-2015, 09:55 PM
I taught my daughter to wakeboard this summer she was five. Awesome proud dad moment when she got up.

As said above I think Wakeboarding is easier as one less thing to worry about with their feet strapped in. Also keep the rope short and attached to the tower and that helps pull them out of the water. Also very little throttle is required. The main thing is to make sure they are never intimidated as then it won't be enjoyable.

I had tried with my daughter before but she just wasn't ready and it was pointless. Then one day the conditions were ideal and she turned around and said she really wanted to give it a go again and that was it. The difference was she had a smile on her face throughout the whole process even when she fell off she thought it was hilarious.

Good luck

Crane man
12-25-2015, 12:49 PM
I started my girl wakeboarding whe she was 4. First time I was in the water, it helped with the fear of being pulled. I have gotten many kids up "deep water" . The biggest thing I have found is to put them in the water: heels to butt, arms straight, toes up. Then pull them by hand a few times. They wont be afraid of you pulling on the rope and it is just enough force to feel the board come up.

12-25-2015, 01:26 PM
It's started on the wakeboard and old knee board (is no handle hook and older than them). They are using everything now on a regular basic but the wake skate, not the easiest to ride. For wake the world we have been using a ZUP board. Some boat dealers are stating to offer with new boats as its a board everyone can ride. Check it out ZUP.com we have ridden both models and only issue is storage of the ordinal one, it's tight to get in the racks, the new version no problem in systems tracks.

12-26-2015, 12:20 PM
Wakeboard first then it an easy transition to a surf board. My son started wakeboarding at 4 and was surfing wireless at 5.

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12-28-2015, 11:35 AM
Awesome. Thanks for the replies. It sounds like wakeboarding is the best place to start and I like the idea of pulling them by hand a few times before going with the boat just to give them the feel. I cant wait to give it shot with him! :)

12-28-2015, 12:38 PM
My son had no interest in watersports for the first 2 years we had a boat, despite the fact that he can tear up any terrain on the mountain on snowskis. Then last year, he said he was willing to try surfing. He tried quite a bit on my wife's board (4'8 Ronix Caption) and it was just too big for him to muscle around. Because he was trying so hard and had such an amazing attitude, I got him a Phase 5 Scamp and he could easily flip that board and could get to the point where he was out of the water, but still not able to get that line ride happening. I had also bought him a kids wakeboard and we convinced him to try that... He'd been very gun shy about the speed associated with a wakeboard, but we assured him we'd go slow. We'd played with the wakeboard in the swimming pool but until that day, he'd never been willing to try it in the open water. he popped up on the first try and was so ecstatic it was a huge moment for us. My wife had happy tears! So he could wakeboard now. After a bit he went back to trying the surfboard, and with the skills he learned on the wakeboard, he was able to transfer that to the surfboard and popped up and got in a real lineride on the Scamp. Again another victory moment. So at least for him, the wakeboard was a bit easier and leveraged when he went back to the surf board.

The Zup board is certainly easy. It's basically a kneeboard with handles. You can likewise ride it sideways like a surfboard, but because it has no fins, it's squirrely as hell and pretty challenging. I can surf pretty much anything--I've even freerode my son's 3'9" scamp! And it was tough for me to surf the Zup. It also has footholds where you can in theory ride it going forwards like you had a pair of skis on. Yeah right. I am fairly solid at wakeboarding, surfing, kneeboarding, and slalom skiing--I couldn't ride the Zup in the "ski" mode. It doesn't have a rear fin. Makes it almost impossible to try to "ski" it. I passed on that feedback to the reps that let us use them--hopefully they listen.

12-28-2015, 02:19 PM
Awesome. Thanks for the replies. It sounds like wakeboarding is the best place to start and I like the idea of pulling them by hand a few times before going with the boat just to give them the feel. I cant wait to give it shot with him! :)

you can do the same with a surfboard as well as get in the water with him and help hold the board in the correct position. My son was surfing without the rope around 4 yrs old. He liked to surf a bigger board for stability and after he demanded that we stop helping him, would start out like he was on a kneeboard. After about 1/2 season of that, he moved on to a P5 Scamp that he could flip on his own.

12-31-2015, 04:06 AM
Wakeboard first then it an easy transition to a surf board. My son started wakeboarding at 4 and was surfing wireless at 5.

Second this. Once they are wakeboarding, surfing is easy peezy. In the water with them to start, as Dusty mentioned, is the key to keep them comfortable. But that means you may be treading water for quite a while once they master it.... "Don't forget to swing back by and pickup dad"