Kneeboarding is an intense water sport that is similar to waterskiing in that a rider is towed behind a boat at high speeds while balancing on a board. As the name implies, kneeboarders ride on their knees as they fly through the water behind a boat.
- 8 Best Kneeboards 2017
Types of Kneeboards
- Beginner Kneeboards – Boards for beginners have wide, soft edges that allow new kneeboarders to maintain control while they are in the water. Because of the thickness of a kneeboard, it is highly buoyant, meaning that it floats well. If you take a spill in the water, you’ll be able to rely on your kneeboard to help you float while the boat comes back for you. Beginner kneeboards are rotomolded. Meaning, they are made with a hollow center from a strong plastic. This manufacturing process is less expensive, which means customers pay less when they buy their own kneeboards. Your kneeboard has been designed to help you make smooth turns in the water, so you can control it and keep from falling over in the water. Your kneeboard may have been made with fins, which help you to turn more easily while you’re skiing in the water.
- Competitive Kneeboards -Rather than being rotomolded, these kneeboards are compression molded. What this means for you is that you’re going to be able to pull more performance out of your board as you race and compete. A compression molded kneeboard is also more durable. You’ll notice that a competitive kneeboard has sharper edges, allowing you to turn more quickly during competition. These sharp edges also make performing competitive tricks easier. These kneeboards may also be lighter and thinner. Because your kneeboard doesn’t have a hollow core, it won’t be quite as buoyant, but as a competitive kneeboarder, this shouldn’t matter as much for you; you’ll be able to make deep-water starts.
You’ll find two styles of kneeboards as you’re shopping for your own board.
- A slalom board is used just for slalom-skiing. Look for sharper edges on this board. These sharp edges enable you to turn more easily. As you move through your turn, you’ll also be able to hold your edge better.
- Trick boards have two features different from slalom boards. First, the edges are rounded. Second, the bottom of a trick board is rounded. Both of these features make performing stunts in the water easier.
- Board Size and Shape – as a beginner, try and look for a roto-molded kneeboard board that fits your budget as these are the easiest to learn on and are more forgiving. Also try and look out for one with and Aquatic Hook/Hydro Hook (see below).
- Aquatic Hook/Hydro Hook -the Hydro Hook (or Aquatic Hook as it is sometimes called) is a simple plastic hook (or block) attached to the nose of a kneeboard to enable the handle to take the load during deep water starts. The handle is simply placed behind the hook, which takes all of the load off the rider when the tow vehicle powers up. Once up to speed and composed, the rider can then pull the handle toward them, which detatches it and gives them full control.
- Rocker -rocker is the measure of how much a Kneeboard curves from nose to tail (kneeboards are somewhat banana shaped when viewed side-on). The higher the number (e.g. 5cms) the greater the curvature. As a beginner it is best to choose a board with quite a lot of rocker as this makes the board slower in the water, more forgiving, and easier to turn. A lower rocker makes the board faster in the water, which is not necessarily a good trait in the early stages.
- Edges – kneeboards have soft rounded edges or quite sharp ones. As a beginner you should be looking for a board with softer more rounded edges as this makes it less likely that you will catch and edge and take a tumble. It will also make turning slower and more predictable. Most roto molded kneeboards have soft rounded edges.
- Fins -fins provide straight line stability and can also assist with turning while you are learning. When you progress to the point where you are doing tricks then fins are often no longer needed. Channels in the base of a kneeboard also provide straight line tracking without compromising the loose feel needed for tricks.
What is the best Kneeboard on the market? There are tons of Kneeboards out there, we did a lot of research on Kneeboards to save your precious time. Here is our best Kneeboards list of 2017:
1. O’Brien Radica Kneeboard with Hook
Taking cues from their already industry-leading kneeboard designs, they’ve blended wakeboard and water-ski design elements into the Radica to bring levels of performance previously unheard of at this price. Wakeboard-styled quad, cupped molded fins make edging and carving a breeze, while allowing release for spin-type tricks. The water-ski influenced edge bevel helps the bard sit low in the water for stability and allows quick edge to edge transitions when carving. From the built-in hook that makes getting up easy, to the super-stable ride that beginner and intermediate riders will love.
2. O’Brien Black Magic Kneeboard with Hook
While some may call the capabilities of the Black Magic supernatural, they know that when technology meets water, great things happen. With a shape inspired by the Low-rider and their patented rib design for strength and durability, the Black Magic is ready to perform. A comfortable and stable ride allows you to take your knee boarding to awesome new heights. Hone your skills, and prepare to amaze.
3. HO Sports Joker Kneeboard – Orange/Multi – NEW
HO’s legendary kneeboard reputation continues with the Joker. Symmetric square tip and tail shape give you maximum pop off the wakes. Two-stage rocker design maximizes pop off the wake. Locking edge channels keep you locked in a rail. Dual density kneepad offers greater impact protection and soft, cushy landings. Single locking strap keeps you comfortable and in place during your ride.
4. Nash 2158 Pro XLT Marine Kneeboard
Rotational molded foam filled kneeboard. Formed perforated eva foam pad with deep knee wells. Patented HydroHook tow feature and thin profile. 3″ padded Shock Strap, parabolic shape. Performance level – intermediate/advanced.
5. O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook
One ride and the Voodoo will have you under its spell. With performance edges and a low-profile cross section, the Voodoo combines hard-charging edging and a forgiving ride. Quad molded fins at each corner of the hull provide extra tracking control and the curved underside makes edge transitions quick and smooth. The 3/4″ thick pad provides plush comfort for your knees and the padded strap locks you in for maximum control.
6. Kwik Tek AHKB-3 Wake Shaker Kneeboard
Wake Shaker’s newly designed channeled bottom makes kneeboarding easier and more fun to ride! You’ll love the easy rail to rail transitions, consistent arc though turns and effortless spins! Wake Shaker is great for all riding levels and has massive rocker and beveled edges for sharp turns without getting hung up during surface tricks. The deep knee wells provide ultimate comfort and control. The unique bottom features reduce water tension for a light, responsive feel. AIRHEAD’s integrated EZ UP hook provides effortless starts every time and easy access to the rope handle.
7. Driftsun Kneeboard
The Driftsun Kneeboard is a terrific addition to summer fun. The DriftSun kneeboard is the perfect boating item for beginners and advanced riders alike. Whether you are just beginning or out on the water performing tricks and spins this board is perfect for you. A pull hook that is integrated at the front of the kneeboard allows for easy takeoffs, especially for beginners. 3/4″ EVA foam padding that is extremely durable. The padding is in a contoured shape that is comfortable for long rides. The kneeboard has a beveled edge useful for making fast cuts and riding low in the water for more balance. A strong padded strap holds the board in place providing stability and comfort. Beginners find this kneeboard easy to learn how to ride. Advanced riders use this kneeboard to do many tricks, like spins, jumps, and flips.
8. Hydroslide Magna Kneeboard
Patented thin profile design with deep knee wells. Patented hydro hook, allows rider to get up the first time, every time, and give experts a whole new way to enjoy the rider. Designed for riders up to 120lbs. Made in USA