How to Kneeboard

Alicia Stott asked:

Summer time is one of the best times to play sports. Many people like to go to the lake or the beach and go out in the water to play around. One of the best things to do in the water is to kneeboard. For those of you who don't know kneeboarding is almost like wake boarding, but on your knees. You kneel on a board, across the water, while holding a rope that's connected to the boat. The object is to stay up and try and do any types of tricks you can. I have been doing knee boarding since I was probably 12 or 13 and I have become pretty good at it as well. On my dad's boat I'm known as the kneeboarding "teacher." Every time someone new comes on the boat they say, "We brought you a new student today." That's what I'm going to do today is give you some tips on how to kneeboard.

• The first thing you need to do is put on a life jacket. When it comes to going out in the water, safety always comes first. Make sure the life jacket fits you well and is tight enough that you can't slip out of it. Also, be aware of the signals. The signals are: a little faster, a little slower, it's wavy (meaning there are big waves coming, be prepared) and stop (cut it).

• Second, is to grab the rope you are using to pull you along and find somewhere on the boat to tie it to. Normally you will tie it to one of the hooks on the back of the boat or one in the middle if there is one. Stick the rope through the middle of the hook then latch it on so it goes over the top and bottom of the hook.

• Third, jump in the water and once you get in, dunk your board under water so it gets wet. You want your board to be wet from the water so it's easier to get up on. Once your board is wet you are going to lie on it. Don't put your whole body on the board; make it so that half your body is on the board and the have your legs dangling. Hold the rope so your elbows are on the board, like you're going to lift a weight and do a curl.

• Fourth, when the boat starts to move you're going to feel a big pull. When it starts to pull you, take the rope and pull it back towards you and use your elbows to slide your knees up into the knee pockets. Your elbows are what are going to get you up. Use your forearms and elbows and slide your knees in. If you are a little bit stronger you can hold the rope with one hand and use your other hand to hold the board.

• Fifth, once you're kneeling on the board the next thing to do is to strap yourself in. On the board there is a strap so your knees won't come out when you're up, but you slide out when you fall. Strap yourself in as tightly as you need to.

• Sixth, make sure you keep holding onto that rope. The rope at points will pull away from you and you will feel like it's going to fall. When that happens, take both hands and pull it back towards you. When you do this it will give you some slack.

• Seventh, remember at all times to lean back. You don't want to lean to far back because you will be off balance and fall. But you also don't want to lean to far forward or you will do a nose dive. You want to lean just a little back. When the waves come, make sure you really lean back.

Kneeboarding can be a lot of fun once you learn to get up. It sometimes takes a few tries, but you will get it. Never give up. I always say, once you get up for the first time, you will get up every time. Go out and have fun with it. Once you master getting up try doing spins or some tricks. It's a lot of fun when you have another person going with you because then you can try and push each other off, splash each other and just have laughs about it. Go out and try knee boarding!

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Kneeboard Buyer’s Guide – What Features Do You Need?

Ross Angel asked:

Kneeboarding is a great way to begin with tow sports - you only have the balance of half your body to be concerned with, and psychologically, the feeling of being closer to the water if you fall gives you much more confidence. However there are nearly as many wicked tricks that can be pulled off on a kneeboard as on skis or a wakeboard and just as much fun to be had. If you've never felt the need to get off your knees and want your own board to progress with, here's a guide to the features you should look for.

Sizing
This is less important when buying a kneeboard compared to buying waterskis or a wakeboard. The lower centre of gravity is one reason that weight is less of an issue; another reason is that kneeboarders generally move at much slower speeds than waterskiiers. That doesn't mean that kneeboarding isn't as hard - often the balance required to kneeboard surpasses what skiing requires. You won't usually find boards classified according to size when you're buying a kneeboard.

Nose shape
The standard or pointy-edged nose shape helps you cut in and out of the wake, and makes turning nice and smooth. Square nosed boards are great when you'll be doing tricks involving riding the board backwards, and other surface tricks become easier with a square nose shape and the extra width help to generate more pop or lift off the wake.

Edge shape
Flatter or sharper edges will give you better turning impetus, and more aggressive edge hold. Rounded edges are more forgiving, but make for slower turns when you are kneeboarding.

Straps & Pads
Kneeboard straps and pads come in many different shapes and quality. Fully contoured pads that use a good quality EVA rubber and generally more comfortable. Padded neoprene straps vary and width and normally come in single locking or double locking for the more advanced riders that need extra security.

Fins
Some models of kneeboard have fins that are retractable so you can ride with them down for better control and more aggressive slalom turns or fins up for surface turns and riding backwards.

Construction
The construction you choose will differ depending on what you want your board for. Advanced recreational users and those buying kneeboards for competitive use will want compression moulded boards. These are thinner and stiffer, and less buoyant but give optimum performance. Roto moulded or plastic boards are great for recreational boarders who aren't as confident in the water. They are more buoyant, and usually thicker and lighter and give a more stable controlled ride.

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