Dave they may just need a bit of use mate. I find after the first 10 to 20 runs doing some jumps and bumps the forks start to feel super smooth. You could try some of that green slime that Alan used as this will help keep the seals lubricated.
I took a mate out to a dirt patch to have a go of one of my bikes. We had a bit of fun lol. It was his first turn with a bike and he did well. I did give him my Tenshock motored bike but turned the throttle down to half. It still goes pretty good mind you and he was very impressed and is thinking about buying one for himself and one for his daughter.