When they begin to show interest in doing it for real, don’t rush the process. Start with some land training on a grassy lawn. Tape a large piece of cardboard to the bottom of the wakeboard, have them get into the bindings, then use a towrope to drag them across the grass. The cardboard will protect the board and create a slick surface to skid on; the child will learn to resist the pull of the rope, maintain his or her stance and balance, and acclimate to wakeboarding’s sideways stance. If you have access to a lengthy shoreline with a gradual, sandy drop-off, you can even extend this practice to the water. Tie two wakeboard handles together and have the child sit in the water. Then you can literally tow them by hand, pulling them through a wake start as you run along the shoreline. If you’ve got the stamina and they’re quick learners, they can even take a brief ride by edging away from the shoreline.