You're four? It's about the right time to start riding a jetboard! ...
Since a few years we can see here and there Stand Up Paddle Surfing Tandems of mom or dad teaming up with their little one to enjoy the ride. When it comes to jetboards, it is a little bit more confidential however in August 2016 in Prague was organized the first demo race for kids during the MotoSurf WorldCup, and just like the grown-up riders, juniors combined fun and performance.
The power and speed generated by the propulsion systems may have given the impression of a sport too dangerous to be enjoyed by the youngests. Thanks to a strong experience in coaching kids Martina Lukscheider — rider in the MSWC since 2016 and currently placed 5th overall, also involved in the Czech Jetsurf Academy — will help us understand that the right approach, appropriate riding conditions and surrounding are the keys.
Perspective: Enjoyment is the key to success
"In the Jetsurf Academy kids are trained from the age of 7 and the most important fact for them is to take the training session not as a serious event, but as a real fun. Working with kids is one of the most important parts of the Jetsurf Academy as they embody the new generation of jetboarders. It is a real pleasure to see them riding so easily, laughing and building new friendships in our Club!". At the end of a lesson, kids are given a graduation certificate as well as goodies such as stickers, caps and bracelets. And of course, pictures and videos from their riding is a MUST.
Learning stages to tackle this sport
"At the beginning, new kids watch others riding around and laughing, then they are taken for a tandem ride with instructors where they try the various positions, hear the engine voice, taste the feeling on the board and... they are absolutely enthusiastic about this experience. After this first step, they ride alone on their knees and try to control the gas. This step of the learning process is crucial before they try to stand up on the board. Surprisingly, real stand-up ride is very easy for kids. Because of their low weight they are able to stand in straps directly from the beach and very often they ride immediately without falling down. But even if they do fall, it is not difficult for them to start the board again and continue surfing ... and THEY JUST LOVE IT!"
Choose the right place to learn and practice
An aquatic area where beginner & instructor can feel confident and relaxed
To learn how to ride a jetboard we would recommend to start on a closed or semi-closed area, like a small lake or a pond with flat water and little aquatic vegetation. As a novice the feeling of safety and confidence will leave more space to focus on the board, fun and the instructor's explanations. This type of water plan also offers a greater peace of mind to the coach as he can watch, follow and catch up easily with his or her rider, without worrying about an extended distance in case of technical issue, fall or temporary tiredness. Riding a jetboard is captivating and once you're on the board, no matter if you are lying, kneeling or standing, you will forget everything around ... your instructor and the distance to the shore included!
Last but not least, a small lake or pond will avoid fighting the waves you could have to put up with if you choose to ride on the sea or ocean.
That being said, once the rider is a bit more advanced, waves, vegetation and buoys will turn into fun extra toys.
Is it useful for my kid to take lessons to ride a jetboard?
With a jetsurf, I'd say "Definitely" for all the reasons mentioned above, including Safety, Pedagogy and Places. Academies (for sure) or freelance instructors (hopefully) will know where and when to take your kids for coaching and practice. Pedagogy is important to learn how to ride a Jetsurf because your little one will learn 2 to 10 times faster with simple advices you wouldn't think of. They will also learn in a better way, avoiding wrong positions and most likely injuries thanks to appropriate protection gears such as helmets or kneepads. And finally, I would say that a bad first experience is most likely the last experience in this kind of sports, as it may be with surfing, snowboarding, diving and so many other amazingly fun but demanding disciplines.
Whether your kids ride a powerful Jetsurf or an electric propelled water device such as the Lampuga air, the Onean Carver, the Jetson boards or the Wakejet Cruise from Radinn with an increased floatability, taking lessons should raise their attention on two fundamental contextual questions:
- Be aware of local regulations as petrol powered boards cannot be used everywhere, they may be forbidden on protected lakes and reservoirs or limited to restricted launching corridors when starting from the beach.
- Security for themselves and people around
What kind of jetboard for my kid?
No specific board was yet built or adapted in size and weight to match the kids' needs However we can say that:
Jetsurfs are fun, fast and powerful machines that can't be used too early, Martina talked about starting from 7 UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AN INSTRUCTOR. The Jetsurf Ultrasport without straps is recommended for a first ride on knees, first standing up and balance training. The GP 100 and race models, can be used once the junior riders become familiar with gas. The Race Titanium is the only board that would not be recommended for this type of use.
Regarding other various manufacturers, as mentioned above the Lampuga air, the Onean Carver or the Jetson boards are less powerful or easy to carve with but offer a greater floatability, a smaller control unit and are nearly silent which can be more reassuring for smaller kids and juniors who enjoy quieter activities.
Lately the Wakejet Cruise from Radinn was tested by motosurfnation.com members and it appeared as an excellent jetboard for juniors. Powerful yet silent and relatively stable on the water.
Upcoming related articles
- So easy and smooth your can even ride after having a baby!
- Martina Lukscheider exclusive interview and profile
- Most pictures about the Jetsurf Academy were shot by professional journalist and photographer Ladislav Hajek based in the Czech Republic.
- Some pictures about the Jetsurf Academy were shot by Petr Moskito
- Video featuring the Onean Carver was shot by our official contributor, Mike Zed with Jetsurfing Nation
- Video of a 9 year-old riding a Jetsurf shared by Victor Solano.
Thank you everyone for your contribution!