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

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.

Homebrew Kegs

O’Brien 2010 Radica Kneeboard

Taking cues from O'Brien's leading wakeboard and water ski designs, the 2010 Radica kneeboard delivers a super-stable ride for an affordable price.

The Radica is equipped with wakeboard-style, molded quad fins that make edging and carving a breeze, while also allowing your legs to release for spin-type tricks. The water-ski-influenced bevel, meanwhile, helps the board sit low in the water, adding stability and supporting quick edge-to-edge transitions when carving. And riders will love the built-in hook and 3-inch padded strap, which make it easy to get in position. Made of entry-level plastic, the Radica is designed for beginning- and intermediate-level kneeboarders.

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