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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    4,134

    Default Driver Training - Graceful Approach To Avoid Me Sleeping On The Couch?

    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...)
    Old enough to know better, young enough to do it anyway.

    2001 MobiusV

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,305

    Default

    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).
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Lake Amistad, TX
    Posts
    563

    Default

    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)
    2004 Outback Blue on White *Sold
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    I'm no expert, I just read up on the Moomba Forum...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Grayson, Georgia
    Posts
    1,064

    Default

    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
    -Mark
    2005 LSV
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Murrieta, CA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default

    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).
    2010 Moomba XLV
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    11,305

    Default

    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.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    1,819

    Default

    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!
    06 Supra 24 Gravity Games

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Acworth, GA
    Posts
    1,221

    Default

    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...
    Kraig - 2010 Outback V

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Carlton Oregon
    Posts
    6,030

    Default

    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.
    Malo <--- Means--Evil or Mean One. This explains a lot.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    Default

    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.
    My Mom said I'm not allowed to get wet!
    2008 LSV
    2000 Outback LS (sold)
    Exile Tunes
    PWI
    LLTR!!!!!!!!



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