How to Teach a Kid to Water Ski

In this article, Travis Moye shares tips and techniques for helping a child get up on waterskis for the first time.

How to Teach a Kid to Water Ski

With a little help, you can have your kids skiing in no time. (Bill Doster/)

A few years ago, we asked the legendary Travis Moye to share, in his own words, how to teach kids to water-ski. A former national champion water-skier, Moye now owns and operates the Boarding School (theboardingschool.com) in Orlando, Florida, where he coaches kids and adults in skiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing. He also happens to be a world-class boat driver who mans the helm during many professional watersports events. In his time on the water, Moye has taught the sport at all levels. Here’s the expert advice he had to share, done with the help of his daughter Lennon.

First-Timers

One of the biggest obstacles in teaching little kids to ski is getting them comfortable with the idea of being behind the boat, away from their parents. I can remember floating in the middle of a big lake as a child, wondering what could be lurking under me as the boat drove away in a large circle to come back. Depending on the age and willingness of your child, you can take a few steps to raise their comfort level before putting them on a pair of skis. I believe any time behind the boat (even on a tube) helps. But I prefer to do something in which they hold on to a handle so they can feel that sensation.

Being able to stand and hold the handle is a great way to get kids comfortable.
Being able to stand and hold the handle is a great way to get kids comfortable. (Bill Doster/)

How Tubing Can Help Skiing

As you can see, I am on an inflatable disc with Lennon so she can stand and hold the handle. The beauty of this is you can go incredibly slow (we are in idle). If you don’t have something like this, you can use a kneeboard, wakesurfer or sled. I always start with the rope short so you can maintain eye contact with the child and talk to them from the back of the boat. As they get more comfortable, start letting the rope out so they are farther and farther away from you. Just make a game of it, and before you know it, they will be all the way out on the rope, cruising around with a big smile.

It is best to get your child familiar with the skis on land.
It is best to get your child familiar with the skis on land. (Bill Doster/)

Stand Tall

When your child is ready to move from tubes to skis, it is best to get them familiar with the skis on land. Have them try on the skis and make sure the bindings are snug but comfortable, and show them how to hold the rope. You can even pull them by hand in the grass to have them get the feel of what it’s like standing on skis. Radar makes a pair called the Firebolt Combo that kids can color to help them  enjoy the learning-to-ski process ($149.99, radarskis.com).

Moving Onto Skis

Once they are comfortable being pulled by the boat, or of an age when you don’t think you need to worry about it, it’s time to strap them in some skis. I always start on dry land so they can experience some of the feelings before hopping in the water. Depending on the size of the child, you can pull them around in the grass if you like, but at a minimum, have them put on the skis and sit down on them, then give them a handle. The two most important things are to keep your arms completely straight and knees completely bent. You can pull them up while standing on shore and show them what happens if they pull with their arms or if they push with their legs. Both will result in either sliding under the handle and falling back or toppling over the front. When done properly, it will take little effort by the person holding the handle and by the skier.

Learning control in the water helps new skiers understand body position.
Learning control in the water helps new skiers understand body position. (Bill Doster/)

Learning Control

I go over the same drill with them in the water, with the tip of the skis touching the platform. That way, you can stand on the platform and pull the handle, and they will simply rock up out of the water. With my older daughter, Ella, I’m using a rope with a handle on each end. The great thing about this is you maintain more control over them, and they can see and talk to you. If they fall, you can let go of your handle instead of dragging them through the water. As you can see, she always keeps her arms straight and knees slightly bent. Once they have gotten up and cruised around successfully several times, you can go ahead and put the rope on the pylon. One crucial thing when teaching anyone is to keep the speed slow. Ella weighs around 50 pounds, and we are going 10 mph. You may have to go a little slower or faster depending on the size of your child and when the wake forms on your boat. But slower is always better to start.

Once you are up, you can slowly navigate from side to side. You don’t want to start doing fast wake crossings or big turns at first, but rather pull out on the side of the boat.
Once you are up, you can slowly navigate from side to side. You don’t want to start doing fast wake crossings or big turns at first, but rather pull out on the side of the boat. (Bill Doster/)

Starting to Slalom-Ski

Now that you can navigate two skis, it’s time to slalom. You can learn to drop a ski but, ultimately, we want to do a deepwater start. The start isn’t that different than getting up on a pair of skis, there is just more balance involved. So, just like with two skis, we are going to keep our knees completely bent and arms completely straight. The balance really comes from engaging your core, which will help keep you in a ball and allow you to rock up on the water; otherwise, your upper and lower body become independent of each other, making it easier to get pulled out. You also want to keep your ski pointed to the side. If you are right-foot forward, point it to the right, and vice versa. When the boat starts to pull you, it will always pull the ski in toward the rope, so the more you angle the ski will help. I generally like to teach people with the back foot in the binding, but if you need to, you can drag your back foot behind you to start. Don’t be in a rush to jam it in the binding once you’re up. Take time to get balanced out and place it on the back of the ski. Now you just keep your knees slightly bent and arms straight.

Read Next: Waterskis for Kids

Once you are up, you can slowly navigate from side to side. You don’t want to start doing fast wake crossings or big turns at first, but rather pull out on the side of the boat and maintain a lean, focusing on the same body position you have while standing behind the boat. You should learn to do this on both sides of the boat before working on crossing the wakes.

How to Get Up On Two Skis

Here are five specific tips for getting up on two skis for the first time.

Use a ski rope, which has a bit more stretch, of 75 feet in length.
Use a ski rope, which has a bit more stretch, of 75 feet in length. (Bill Doster/)

1. Use a ski rope, which has a bit more stretch, of 75 feet in length to keep the skier in cleaner water behind the boat. The skier should sit in a cannonball position, with their knees squeezed together close to their chest and their arms straight. The rope should sit between the skis, with the ski tips pointing up and out of the water.

The boat’s driver should idle forward until the towrope is taut.
The boat’s driver should idle forward until the towrope is taut. (Bill Doster/)

2. The boat’s driver should idle forward until the towrope is taut behind the boat, then accelerate at a slow and steady pace to pull the young skier out of the water without jerking them forward. With young skiers on two skis, the driver should keep the boat at low-planing speeds and not accelerate beyond 25 mph.

The skier should let the boat pull them out of the water.
The skier should let the boat pull them out of the water. (Bill Doster/)

3. The skier should let the boat pull them out of the water, remaining in the crouched position until the skis are planing in the water underneath them. Then they should slowly straighten their legs while keeping their arms straight in front of them.

Once the skier is comfortable, they should align their hips under their shoulders.
Once the skier is comfortable, they should align their hips under their shoulders. (Bill Doster/)

4. Once the skier is comfortable, they should align their hips under their shoulders and concentrate on aiming the skis to crisscross inside the wake. Once comfortable with changing direction, it’s time to head outside the wake.

If the skier falls, remember to let go of the handle.
If the skier falls, remember to let go of the handle. (Bill Doster/)

5. If the skier falls, remember to let go of the handle. The spotter should immediately alert the boat driver to circle back to help the skier restart or climb back inside the boat.

Source : Boating Magazine More   

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4 of the best boats under £100,000: Secondhand buyer’s guide

Our resident used boat expert Nick Burnham picks out four of the best boats under £100,000 on the secondhand market.It’s boat price challenge time again, and this month we’re weighing anchor with a nice round £100,000.  It’s a figure that opens up a variety of choices and I’ve spread the build years over a quarter of a decade to show just how far pushing out the age stretches the size. Which is why we’re […] This article 4 of the best boats under £100,000: Secondhand buyer’s guide appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

4 of the best boats under £100,000: Secondhand buyer’s guide

Our resident used boat expert Nick Burnham picks out four of the best boats under £100,000 on the secondhand market.

It’s boat price challenge time again, and this month we’re weighing anchor with a nice round £100,000.  It’s a figure that opens up a variety of choices and I’ve spread the build years over a quarter of a decade to show just how far pushing out the age stretches the size.

Which is why we’re able to purchase a beautiful, high quality Fairline by delving back to the 1990s. Dropping forward a few years into the 21st century brings a Sealine S38 into focus. Or moving into the teenies nets a very smart river and coastal cruiser, the Intercruiser 28 Cabrio.

Finally, by limiting ourselves to 8m and outboard power, we’re able to blow our £100K on an almost brand new and actually very desirable and surprisingly practical sportsboat, the Finnmaster T8.

best-100000-boats-fairline-targa-37-exterior

Fairline Targa 37

Built: 1997
Price: £94,950

Introduced as the Targa 36 in 1994, an extended bathing platform saw it quickly morph into the Targa 37, a successful addition to the Fairline range that ran until 2000, by which time almost 200 had been built.

Interior

The layout is entirely typical. A cabin each end of the accommodation, the forward one with a central double berth and the mid-cabin aft burrowing beneath the forward section of the cockpit and featuring a pair of single berths that convert to a double plus a tiny settee, dressing table and hanging locker.

Between them, a dinette (converting to take the sleeping to six) sits opposite the galley. But what sets this boat apart is the build quality — the fit out mirrors the more expensive Fairline Squadron boats of this period with beautifully formed cherry or maple woodwork.

best-100000-boats-fairline-targa-37-interior

High-quality finish of the woodwork in the lower saloon is a ture Fairline hallmark

Interior

The two arching GRP spars framing the side windows of the windscreen define Fairline Targas of this era. Hull topsides were available in white, teal or blue, the former the most practical (it hides marks and won’t fade), the teal the least popular and the dark blue the smartest and most sought after.

The cockpit layout works well, a lower entertaining area aft and then a raised section further forward that affords the helm a better view as well as adding a vital few inches of headroom to the mid-cabin below.

Performance

Twin V8 petrol engines were on the options list, which would give smooth lively performance at the expense (literally) of increased fuel consumption.

Which is why the majority of Targa 37s went out with a pair of Volvo Penta diesel engines, either the KAD 42 at 230hp aside for low to mid 30 knots performance or the slightly more powerful KAD 44 motors that pushed out 260hp and gave a couple more knots.

best-100000-boats-fairline-targa-37-interior-vip-cabin

The forward owners’ cabin is supplemented by a twin guest cabin and convertible dinette

Seakeeping

Fairline opted for a medium to deep-vee hull form and a wide beam to prioritise internal accommodation. But this is still a willing and able driver’s machine that handles well.

Specification

LOA: 36ft 6in (11.1m)
Beam: 11ft 8in (3.5m)
Draught: 3ft 2in (1.0m)
Displacement: 6.5 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 640 litres
Engines: Twin 230hp Volvo Penta KAD 42 diesels
Contact: TBS Boats

Article continues below…



best-100000-boats-finnmaster-t8-exterior

Finnmaster T8

Built: 2017
Price: £95,000

There are two distinct lines in the Finnish boat builder’s Finn-Marin stable. Finnmaster is its sensible range of smaller sportier craft whilst Grandezza is the flagship brand of larger and more glamorous sportscruisers.

Launched in 2014, the T8 was the first of a new ‘T-Series’ of Finnmaster sportsboats designed to fuse the practical of the former with the glamour of the latter.

Interior

Ostensibly a sportsboat rather than a cruiser, there is in fact more going on below decks than you might expect. Instead of the usual horseshoe dinette, there’s a proper fixed double bed forward, and a small settee opposite a usefully generous heads.

The surprise, however, is when you look aft as Finnmaster has squeezed a further double berth lengthways back under the cockpit. Normally you’d need a full on sportscruiser to get a mid-berth at this size point.

best-100000-boats-finnmaster-t8-cockpit

Seating for eight around the large folding table with easy to access storage lockers

Exterior

There is no space sapping sunpad at the stern, the cockpit dinette extends right to the transom. In conjunction with a small seat to starboard and two swivelling helm seats, this allows eight people to sit around the large folding table, which also converts to a sunpad with the help of a cushion.

There are plenty of storage lockers under the seats, accessed by hinging the bases forward rather than having to remove them, and there’s a small galley to starboard, complete with a diesel hob, sink and fridge.

Performance

You’d expect 300hp to provide ample urge and it does. We tested this model with an equally potent 300hp Suzuki, which punted the T8 quickly onto the plane and wound out past 40 knots. Cruising at 30 knots was effortless at 4,700rpm — over 1,000rpm down on maximum.

best-100000-boats-finnmaster-t8-interior-cabin

Fixed double bed forward is complemented by another double under the cockpit

Seakeeping

The T8 feels 100% sportsboat. Despite the slightly raised forward cockpit you still sit low and well protected by the high wraparound screen, giving you the confidence to exploit the performance of the 21-degree deadrise hull.

Specification

LOA: 26ft 7in (8.1m)
Beam: 8ft 11in (2.7m)
Draught: 2ft 0in (0.6m)
Displacement: 2.2 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 261 litres
Engine: Yamaha F300 BETX 300hp outboard
Contact: Approved Boats

Article continues below…


Secondhand boat buyers guide: Best boats under £150,000

Secondhand boat buyers’ guide: 4 of the best boats for sale for under £80,000


best-100000-boats-intercruiser-28-cabrio-exterior

Intercruiser Cabrio 28

Built: 2013
Price: £95,000

There seems to be a real desire amongst the Dutch (surely the most relaxed and laid back people in the world) to be outside in the fresh air, and it is reflected in their boats. Rather than the buttoned down closed-up go faster craft of the UK, where even sportscruisers are sporting lids these days, the typical Dutch boat is a small, low, and rather elegant displacement craft with the helm right aft like a yacht and a single diesel engine. They call them sloops and Holland’s massive waterway system is full of them.

Interior

The cabin top is low profile so as not to spoil the purity of the lines or the view from the cockpit. It keeps the air draft low for river cruising too. Inside, headroom is compromised as a result, but the deck hatch opening runs well forward so you can stand at the galley.

Opposite this is a simple heads compartment and at the front is a large dinette, the table dropping to create a double berth. It’s all very straightforward and sensible but the quality of finish and construction is superb, with solid feeling cabinetry and high grade upholstery.

best-100000-boats-intercruiser-28-cabrio-cuddy

The forward dinette next to the galley converts to a double berth for overnighting duties

Exterior

With an elegantly rounded stern and a large bathing platform, the cockpit features a large comfy settee that loops around an aft-mounted centre console with a big vertical wooden wheel, instrumentation and engine controls.

It puts the helmsman right at the back of the boat, making for particularly social cruising. Side decks are wide and easily accessed, and there’s a full length canopy to protect the cockpit that can also be used as a spray hood.

Performance

The Vetus 52hp diesel engine gives a very river friendly 5-knot cruising speed with a top end a knot or two more. In fact Intercruiser fits a range of engines up to 170hp for offshore performance if you need it.

best-100000-boats-intercruiser-28-cabrio-helm

Sociable cockpit has the helm centre stage with a long settee looping all the way round it

Seakeeping

A long keel aids directional stability and protects the propeller, which is particularly useful in the type of shallow inland areas this boat is likely to find itself.

Specification

LOA: 27ft 9in (8.5m)
Beam: 9ft 10in (3.0m)
Draught: 2ft 8in (0.8m)
Displacement: 4.5 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 100 litres
Engine: Vetus 52hp diesel engine
Contact: Val Wyatt Marine

best-100000-boats-sealine-s38-exterior

Sealine S38

Built: 2003
Price: £97,500

Launched at the Earl’s Court Boat Show (remember that?) in 2003, the Sealine S38 replaced the long running S37 (itself previously the 360 Ambassador) in Sealine’s range. It sounds very similar but was actually a roomier and far more advanced boat — the traditional wiring loom replaced by multiplex technology, for example.

Interior

The layout is the typical owner’s cabin forward and mid-cabin aft, separated by the galley and dinette, but there are a couple of standout features rare in sub 40-foot boats.

The most obvious is in the mid-cabin, where the usual twin singles running athwartships are present and correct, but you’ll also discover a third berth tucked away in here, brilliant for anyone with more than two kids (or for children’s friends to be able to come along). Further forward, the heads is split between a separate shower cubicle on one side and a toilet on the other.

best-100000-boats-sealine-s38-interior

The lower saloon is big and bright enough for day time use but still cosy at night

Exterior

There is seating for four at the helm, two on a double bench facing it, and two more adjacent on a port side settee, and back aft on the single level cockpit you’ll find a dinette that can convert to a sunpad. The oversized radar arch offers a little shade as well as canopy storage. Up at the bow, anchor storage built into the stem rather than hanging over the foredeck is a neat solution.

Performance

Engine choices were all based around Volvo Penta’s KAD 40 series sterndrive units. All twin installations, you could choose from 43 (230hp), 44 (260hp) or 300 (285hp). The largest option achieved 35 knots, the smaller 44 motors fitted to this boat should be within a few knots of this.

best-100000-boats-sealine-s38-interior-cabin

Forward owner’s cabin is generous in size with good storage and quality finishing

Seakeeping

For our test we improvised by using the wash of a 42ft photo boat. Our helmsman said: “Whatever we threw at it, the boat remained controllable, responding to wheel inputs even through the wash.

“There was the odd muted complaint through the hull as we levelled it into a steep one, but by and large it gave an impressive performance”.

Specification

LOA: 37ft 1in (11.3m)
Beam: 12ft 3in (3.7m)
Draught: 3ft 1in (0.9m)
Displacement: 6.3 tonnes
Fuel capacity: 678 litres
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta KAD 44 260hp diesels
Contact: Hutchins Marine

First published in the June 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.


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This article 4 of the best boats under £100,000: Secondhand buyer’s guide appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

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