Types of Kneeboards

In the beginning, kneeboarding was just a fun water sport, but it soon also became a competitive water sport. When that happened, various additions had to be made to make kneeboards more for competition than their original design. That is why today there are two types of kneeboards. One type of kneeboards is like the original one, made for people to have fun kneeboarding without thinking about beating the other team or individuals, with no need for special tricks and stuff like that. The other type of kneeboard is made especially to be used in various competitions. These kneeboards are made for advanced kneeboarders to be able to do some awesome tricks and stunts with their kneeboards. Because of certain specific differences between these two types, as you will see, there is also another important difference, which is related to the cost of each type. As one would expect, beginner kneeboards are much cheaper than professional kneeboards, which have various additions to make them more professional in look and feel. I will go into further details about both of these types in the following paragraphs so that in the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the two types.

Regarding kneeboards for fun, they tend to be a rotomolded board, which is much cheaper than various other high tech models and it also has soft and wide edges that are great for beginners who aren’t planning on doing any advanced water tricks or stunts. Another good aspect is that this type of design offers easier turning. Basically, thanks to certain design characteristics, turning is possible to be performed by beginners in a much easier way than one would expect and it has great control, so beginners do not have any trouble in preventing loss of control. These boards are relatively thick and they float easily. There are also some additions offered as extra help for beginners with regard to turning of the kneeboard.

Regarding kneeboards for competition, they are molded by compression and offer much more for execution of various stunts and added durability. Unlike the kneeboards for fun, these are much thinner and lighter - plus they have sharper edges so that advanced kneeboarders are able to do quick turns and various other advanced water tricks and stunts. These kneeboards are also much more expensive than the beginner ones, because of all the high tech manufacturing the various additions. Another important thing with this type of kneeboards is that they aren’t as buoyant as the kneeboards for beginners, which mean they don’t float as easily and thus it allows advanced kneeboarders to use deepwater starts.

After you’ve read this it’s up to you to choose what type of kneeboarding are you interested in. Also, keep in mind that if you aren’t ready to dedicate extra time to kneeboarding then you shouldn’t even consider the competition type, because of it extra cost - and if you aren’t going to invest your time and to be serious about it, then it’s best to go with kneeboarding for fun.

Where to Kneeboard: Lake vs River vs Ocean

Kneeboarding originally started in the ocean, but since its beginnings it has moved to lakes and rivers across the globe. All three choices have their flaws and virtues. Some are more dangerous than others, and some are safer than others. There is also the factor of temperature and the fact that sea salt can be good or bad, depending on the person.

Let’s start with a lake. A lake is probably the safest of the three. It’s enclosed, so there are no currents to take you far from the shore should you end up in the water. Another positive is that in case of a storm, you won’t have to get out of the lake urgently, as because it is lake, no dangers like big waves can happen. There is also no salt in a lake and therefore no need to worry about drying yourself and having to immediately take a shower so you can wash off all the salt that remained on your skin and especially in your hair. Also, you can find quite acceptable temperatures near the lake, because unlike the ocean, lakes aren’t only found around extremely warm temperatures. There is possibility of finding an ocean with cold temperatures, but it’s very hard.  Depending on your location, especially if it’s somewhere far from the ocean, then a lake is the next best thing, unless if you want to travel many hours and maybe even many days to get to the shore of ocean.

The next option is a river. A river is somewhere in between, regarding dangers. It is more dangerous regarding currents compared to the ocean. The difference between the two is that if river has a strong current, just staying near the shore won’t help, or it will not help too much, meaning you won’t be able to do any kneeboarding because you will be too close, even in the very shallow part of the river. If you add to all that a nasty storm as well, then the current’s strength will increase drastically.

Finally we have the ocean. The ocean has warmth, and most of the time it has waves that can help if it’s not stormy weather. It’s the natural place to do kneeboarding if you have the luck to have been born near to the sea. Obviously, thanks to the fact that it is the ocean, there will be no worries about winter kneeboarding, and most of the time, depending on what shore you are at, you will have 350 out of 365 days a year to have great temperatures, great waves and great weather.

So, whichever one you choose, remember - they all have their issues. In all cases be very careful, especially when the weather looks stormy and waves look like they can cover the city. Make sure that you are using the proper equipment for the place and weather conditions - and you should be all set. All in all, everything is an adventure when it comes to kneeboarding.

Kneeboarding History

Kneeboard refers to a piece of board that is ridden by a person in a kneeling position. It is often used in ocean surfing or while being pulled behind a boat on a river or lake. Generally, riders of kneeboards wear wet suits or life jackets, as they catch the waves of water through dipping their hands, kicking, or paddling in the water. Some of the benefits of kneeboarding include taking off from a submerged part of the wave, the ability to ride further back and higher in the tubes, less wind resistance, and an extremely low center of gravity.

Kneeboard riders often compete in different expression sessions and trick events. One of the most popular derivatives of kneeboard is towed kneeboarding that of course uses towed kneeboards. This kind of kneeboard comes with a protected deck that is curved accordingly to the shape of the knees and shins. It also comes with a strap that firmly holds the rider on the board. However, the popularity of towed kneeboarding has declined with the arrival of modern water sports such as wakeboarding. Today, many water skiers still enjoy towed kneeboarding as a popular water sport, especially with the introduction of the newer kneeboard models and styles in the market.

Just like any piece of sport paraphernalia, kneeboard also has its own history. As most people know, kneeboarding is a famous alternative to three-event water sports that include bare footing, wakeboarding, and skiing. Athletes of kneeboarding usually compete in events of expression session, tricks, and slalom. The event of expression session is the same as wakeboarding in which every pass is subjectively scored for style points. The event of tricks are done in two 20-second passes, and granted with subjective and technical points. In the slalom event, the six markers are positioned similarly to the traditional course.

The origin of kneeboarding was traced from Southern California wherein enthusiasts of surfboard used their customized belly or knee boards to protect the back of their boats. This was about thirty five years ago. Since then, the attention was caught of surfers from nearby countries, thus they found a new concept of surf-skiing. In 1965, the Inland Wake Board Company was established in Downey, California and its kneeboard products were sold in the west, south, and east, in Abercrombie & Fitch stores.

Between the 1960s and 1970s, some California entrepreneurs developed a specifically designed kneeboard for towing from the rear of a boat. To produce fiberglass-wrapped Knee Ski, Mike Murphy worked hand in hand with Bud Holtz, while John Taylor created the Glide Slide, made of blow-molded plastic. Of these two products, Glide Slide was the most enjoyed, although its success in commercial business was short-lived.

Apparently, when Glide Slide went bankrupt, Danny Churchill, a skier who once worked for Taylor, secured financial support in order to form the Portugal Company, which in turn bought Glide Slide. The board was reshaped by Churchill, who switched it into rotational molding and is now popularly known as the Hydroslide. Since this product first hit the shelves, millions have been sold - while numerous manufacturers began generating kneeboards.

Kneeboard Brands

As with everything else, kneeboarding also has its own market. Since it appeared and started acquiring vast popularity, various brands arose. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, but which pie tastes the best is what we’ll try to discover in this article.

Firstly, some people tend to buy certain brands because of its popularity, which doesn’t necessarily means that the brand in question is the best - it’s just the most popular one. Like cars that run on gas, they aren’t the best cars, but they are the most popular cars, for now. So, before coming to a conclusion about a brand, you have to look at its quality. This is sometimes hard to do with certain products, especially if you are just another buyer, but with some kneeboards, it’s much easier to assess quality, but it does however require you to have a lot of experience in kneeboarding.

Today most of kneeboards are manufactured by the same manufacturers that make water skis. One of the very important aspects in comparing an ordinary kneeboard compared to a good one is its weight. The basic idea behind having a great and fun kneeboarding experience is to have very light kneeboard, but obviously not too light. You have to know exactly how much you weigh and how much your kneeboard should weigh compared to your weight. One of the best manufacturers of kneeboards has to be O’Brien.

O’Brien has been in the business of water sports and manufacturing for various water sports forever. O’Brien is a true legend in the field of water sports. Today it is still a strong brand and it is manufacturing surf boards, water skis and various other water sport equipment, including kneeboards. They are constantly trying to improve themselves and their products and - most importantly - is that they are succeeding.

If someone is new to kneeboarding - or has years or even decades of experience - O’Brien’s kneeboards will suit them perfectly. Top notch quality, help, support and long history to support its quality, all say that choosing an O’Brien’s product will guarantee quality and a fun time doing whatever water sport you are interested in.

One of the best guarantees when choosing a good brand regarding any product is the brand’s history. The longer the history, the better guarantee of its quality, but obviously only if it has improved over time. In the end, regardless of what the masses say regarding the best brand of any product, it is the individual’s feeling and understanding of a specific product made by specific brand that matters the most. Some may have luck in getting the best product from a brand associated with lesser quality products. On the other hand, some just don’t care what the brand of their product is, as long as it works well and didn’t cost much, or especially if it was free.

Kneeboard Surfing vs Kneeboard Towing

There are two ways that one can choose when it comes to kneeboarding water sport. There is kneeboard surfing and kneeboard towing. Each has its pros and cons. One is easier to do, the other costs a lot, but after reading this comparison, hopefully you’ll be able to decide the proper way for you to go kneeboarding.

The simplest, in that it requires the least amount of equipment and is cheapest, is kneeboard surfing. It’s cheap and fast to set it up to go kneeboard surfing. Surfing means that it requires help from Mother Nature regarding the waves. Aside from that, it requires skill to deal with the waves that nature throws at you. Regardless of the fact that you do not need too much equipment, you still have to make sure that the equipment that you do get is the proper equipment, great quality and suited for you and your skill level. Another cool feature with kneeboard surfing is that it’s a one man or woman job. There is no need for an extra hand to help you with getting everything set for kneeboard surfing. Although if you are beginner, you may consider having at least a spotter, but a qualified instructor is preferred.

When it comes to kneeboard towing, it costs more than kneeboard surfing and it requires an extra hand to do the towing. Aside from extra equipment and extra cost, you don’t have to worry about nature helping you out with proper wind and waves, because you will have artificial help from the motor boat or whatever is towing you. Another extra that you will need is skill for that type of kneeboarding. All the person that will be doing the towing has to be, unless if you are willing to risk your life by being driven by someone who has very little or no experience at kneeboard towing, is a expert. You may also want to consider getting a proper kneeboard that can handle being towed. I would have to be good quality and resistant to various external factors that can arise when it comes to kneeboard towing.

Basically, it’s up to you to make a decision based on your experience and level of skill. Also, you have to take into consideration the total cost of kneeboard surfing compared to total cost of kneeboard towing. There is also the issue with kneeboard towing that you have to consider the driver of the motor boat or whatever water vehicle that will do the towing.  This driver has to be someone who has enough experience in kneeboard surfing, does not drink while on duty and other small yet important factors need to be considered prior to getting yourself and your kneeboard towed. Regarding weather issues, you’ll be able to go kneeboard towing regardless of the weather up to a reasonable point.

Kneeboard Tricks

When it was first introduced, kneeboarding itself was some sort of trick until people started doing it more and more, and now they have come up with a huge amount of kneeboard tricks. Like with skateboarding and bicycling, the time for kneeboard tricks arrived and it still happening today.

There are kneeboard tricks from the easiest to the hardest. The tricks you can perform tell others if you are a beginner or a veteran kneeboarder. Before going further with explanations about these tricks, the first thing to remember is to keep your grip very, very tight - as tight as you can - while doing any tricks.

The most basic trick of them all, but still hard if you look at it, is called the belly start. As the name suggests, you start with your belly being laid flat on the kneeboard. Unfortunately that’s the only easy part of this basic trick, as after that it gets much more complicated. From lying flat on your stomach on your kneeboard, you have to change to a squatting position while still not losing your grip on your rope - and you have to do it at the time you start being pulled and the nose of your kneeboard has to be above water. You have to be fast at switching from lying on your stomach to squatting, and the squat has to be done so that you put your knees inside the knee pads of your kneeboard. Hang on - it’s almost over once you have managed to place knees inside the knee pads.  You also have to make sure that you are leaning backwards and that your weight is properly distributed.

As you can see the basic trick is really not so basic, but when you look at the advanced tricks, you’ll understand that this basic one is a piece of cake compared to the advanced ones. The advanced ones include spinning and doing all sorts of crazy stunts. Some will get you slightly beneath the water, while others will have you slightly above water, but always keep in mind not to delay your kneeboarding fun by falling in the water. Grab those ropes as tight as you can.

As with everything else in life, be it physical activity or mental activity, both things have something in common and that is to keep practicing. If you fall into the water, swim to the shore, take a deep breath and get back on your kneeboard with the more determination that you will accomplish the desired trick this time around, even if it is your hundredth time. Just keep trying, if you are truly interested in doing all sorts of crazy fun tricks with your kneeboard, you can’t give up, there’s no quitting. The only reason to give it all up, to quit and to go home is if you aren’t serious about it and if you aren’t really interested in kneeboarding. If you truly want to achieve something, no matter how impossible it may seem, as long as you really want it and as long as you give it everything you have, you will succeed.

Kneeboarding vs Waterskiing vs Surfing

Kneeboarding, the way it is known today, was invented in the seventies in southern California. It is a relatively young sport, compared to waterskiing and surfing. An interesting fun fact is that Californian surfers were the ones that got interested in kneeboarding in the first place.

Unlike waterskiing and surfing, kneeboarding removes tension from the entire body and concentrates it in a person’s knees, hence the name kneeboarding. Another thing about kneeboarding is that it’s easier to attain balance.  When it comes to waterskiing, and especially surfing, one has to really know how to balance his body in order not to fall into water. Issues with kneeboarding may be the fact that adding constant pressure to your knees during over time may develop certain problems. On other hand, adding certain exercises for your knees could save you from a lot of trouble in the future.

Regarding which of the three water sports is the easiest in which to immerse yourself, it would have to be kneeboarding, followed by waterskiing, with the hardest being surfing. Either way, whichever you choose, they all have their special difficulties.

The water sport that is most affordable out of the three mentioned would have to be surfing, followed by kneeboarding and waterskiing on a tie. The great thing about surfing is that you only need a surfboard, nothing more and nothing less, although it is highly advisable to get wetsuit before going surfing. The bad part is that the rest of what is necessary for surfing is given from Mother Nature - or Poseidon - depending on your beliefs. So, it’s an interesting choice that one is presented with regarding choosing one of these three sports. Choosing the cheaper one means depending on external factors that you can’t buy; on the other side there is choosing a more expensive choice that pretty much lets you enjoy your sport whenever you want to, unless if there is storm or if it’s dark.

In summary, you have to think really hard when the sports are in question, regardless what those sports are. Basically, all sports require you to be dedicated in performing them. Unfortunately, it’s not just dedication that these sports require. From time to time they may require additional investment, apart from the primary one. There are also all sorts of costs associated with any sport. Certain sports require less extra expenses, some have expenses every time that you do them, and some can cost you even when you aren’t doing them. So, in essence, it is very important to take care of what your choice and what you are able to afford. There is one scary possibility - that can happen to you or anyone - that at some point maybe you will not be able to afford any of the sports you were involved in.  Then you may ask yourself if it was worth it.

How to Kneeboard Instructional

When it comes to any sport, including kneeboarding, to start is the most difficult part. After you figure out all the basics, everything will be much easier. The advanced stuff will be more accessible for you to understand once you have understood the basic principles on which everything else, no matter how advanced, is based on. The following text will try to teach you to better understand the basics of kneeboarding.

There are two starting points for someone who is just starting kneeboarding. The popular ones are the deepwater start, the beach start and the dock start. The easiest is the deepwater start. It shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone to start kneeboarding by using the deepwater start. If you happen to have issues with any of the methods to start kneeboarding, then get a kneeboard that has a hydro hook on its nose, because it will definitely get you kneeboarding in no time. It doesn’t even require any prior experience.

To start the deepwater start, you first have to lie down flat on your kneeboard while having your legs straight at the back. Now hold the rope with both of your hands and while doing that pull yourself up on both of your elbows. From that position get yourself up nice and slowly by pulling yourself onto your knees. When you manage to achieve this position, you can put the strap around your thighs. Also make sure that that the boat is going quite slowly, around 15-20mph, while you’re getting into your position.

Now, if you have managed to do that, everything else will be much easier. Not right away, but eventually, like when you manage to do the deepwater start faster and easier, it will mean that you have finally passed the beginner level. It will be easier to understand what is needed to achieve and move to the advanced level. You will eventually need a better kneeboard for advanced tricks and stunts. The best thing to do after getting good at one start is to start figuring out the next type of start, and the next, and as you will see, every one of the starts has its own reputation as to why it’s hard. After you have managed to be very proficient in all the starts, and once that you managed to acquire confidence, you can start learning all the tricks that kneeboarding has to offer. Experiment with various tricks, but do practice safety while doing so, and especially if it your own trick that you are trying to learn to impress your friends.

The thing to take in consideration here is to remember that you are beginner.  You can read and watch many instruction videos for advanced kneeboarding and all that is great, but you probably won’t be able to understand all the points explained.  If you proceed with wrong or incomplete instructions, or misunderstood, then you could end up in a lot of trouble. So, just take baby steps, it will save you from a lot of trouble later.