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.

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 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.

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.