Knee Boarding Tips For Beginners – Deep Water Starts

Nicola Kennedy asked:

Being new to the sport of kneeboarding it's really hard to start off especially if you are a beginner. As an introduction to 'boat-towed' sport, a kneeboard is a great piece of equipment to practice with. The low center of gravity often makes it easier to get up on than a water ski or wakeboard, which both require standing up.

Here are two ways to do a deepwater kneeboard start, the belly start and the low buoyancy start.

The Belly Start

o The most common kneeboard start is the belly start or abdomen start. In performing this, you should put down your belly on the board with the strap laying forward and pointing towards the nose of the board.

o The nose of the board should be sticking out of the water. Place your one hand on the side of the board and the other hand grasping the rope and on holding the other side of the board.

o As the boat starts moving pull your knees ahead into the padded knee wells on the board. And as you do this, try not to bend forward, and keep your weight back.

o When you feel balanced, let go of the rope with your one hand, and with the other hand pull the strap up over your knees and tighten the strap to where it feels secure. Keep your arms extended and slightly bent.

The Low Buoyancy Start

o A low buoyancy kneeboard is one that is very thin, and while you are waiting in the water it will sink slightly into the water when you put your body weight to it. This allows you to go ahead to fasten yourself into the board before the boat pulls you up.

o It is easier if you adjust the strap to your preferred fit before you get into the water. This can be done on the swim platform or on a flat spot in the boat. You just simply get on the board and adjust the length to where it slides comfortably over you knees.

o After the strap is adjusted, jump in the water with the board. Apply weight to the board by pressing down with your elbows, and with your hands on the board in the same position as described in the belly start, pull your knees up on the board and below the strap.

o This start requires less effort when the boat is pulling you out of the water and also it requires a lot of balance before the boat starts moving. You need to balance yourself to keep the board from flipping over while you are strapped in it as you wait to be pulled out of the water. Balancing in the knee board can be best achieved by moving your arms back and forth in the water as if you were treading water.

o You should remain in that position; keep your balance with the nose of the board pointing slightly out of the water. As the boat starts moving bend back and you should pop out of the water with ease. This is the time to tighten the strap if needed. Keep your arms extended and slightly bent.

Golf Mats

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.