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

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 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.