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 Brands

As with everything else, kneeboarding also has its own market. Since it appeared and started acquiring vast popularity, various brands arose. Everyone wants a piece of the pie, but which pie tastes the best is what we’ll try to discover in this article.

Firstly, some people tend to buy certain brands because of its popularity, which doesn’t necessarily means that the brand in question is the best - it’s just the most popular one. Like cars that run on gas, they aren’t the best cars, but they are the most popular cars, for now. So, before coming to a conclusion about a brand, you have to look at its quality. This is sometimes hard to do with certain products, especially if you are just another buyer, but with some kneeboards, it’s much easier to assess quality, but it does however require you to have a lot of experience in kneeboarding.

Today most of kneeboards are manufactured by the same manufacturers that make water skis. One of the very important aspects in comparing an ordinary kneeboard compared to a good one is its weight. The basic idea behind having a great and fun kneeboarding experience is to have very light kneeboard, but obviously not too light. You have to know exactly how much you weigh and how much your kneeboard should weigh compared to your weight. One of the best manufacturers of kneeboards has to be O’Brien.

O’Brien has been in the business of water sports and manufacturing for various water sports forever. O’Brien is a true legend in the field of water sports. Today it is still a strong brand and it is manufacturing surf boards, water skis and various other water sport equipment, including kneeboards. They are constantly trying to improve themselves and their products and - most importantly - is that they are succeeding.

If someone is new to kneeboarding - or has years or even decades of experience - O’Brien’s kneeboards will suit them perfectly. Top notch quality, help, support and long history to support its quality, all say that choosing an O’Brien’s product will guarantee quality and a fun time doing whatever water sport you are interested in.

One of the best guarantees when choosing a good brand regarding any product is the brand’s history. The longer the history, the better guarantee of its quality, but obviously only if it has improved over time. In the end, regardless of what the masses say regarding the best brand of any product, it is the individual’s feeling and understanding of a specific product made by specific brand that matters the most. Some may have luck in getting the best product from a brand associated with lesser quality products. On the other hand, some just don’t care what the brand of their product is, as long as it works well and didn’t cost much, or especially if it was free.

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.