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Water sports are never difficult and shouldn’t be intimidating, they said. That is…if your board can cooperate.
Kneeboarding is one of the easiest and most laidback water-towing sports today and it’s not impossible to enjoy a smooth ride without worrying about anything if you’ve got a well-designed kneeboard that actually makes things easier for you.
Wonder how’s that possible?
We’ve bought and tried the best kneeboards on the market today with beginners especially in mind and came up with this compilation and a little guide for you.
In this best kneeboard review, we’ll be taking a look at:
We’re delighted to see how much diversity there is when it comes to kneeboard options. The choices are endless and there is one for everyone.
So without further ado…
…let’s glide right into it!
- Best Extreme Safe Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Budget Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Lightweight Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Spoon Design Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Durable Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Thrill Sport Kneeboard For Beginners
- Best Comfortable Kneeboard For Beginners
- Buyers Guide:
- How To Choose The Best Kneeboards for Beginners
- How to maintain your kneeboard?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- 1. Value for money
- 2. Stability
- 3. Design
- 4. Performance/Comfortability
- Our Final Verdict:Best Kneeboard For Beginners
- Conclusion:Kneeboard for Beginners
We’ve certainly come a long way from those first kneeboard models with slim bodies and no hooks.
Today, this water sport is considered as one of the easiest ones to learn, so much so that some people use it to introduce people and especially children to the world of water sports, much like a stepping stone.
And that’s why…
…starting them out with a nice and friendly keyboard is important. One look on the market and you’re faced with many great choices with great features to make kneeboarding easy and fun.
But still, nothing can beat a well-made board that’s specially made for the little ones and adult beginners!
There’s not much of them around there, so we took it upon ourselves to compile the creams of the crop that we’ve tried in this review.
Now, all you’ll have to worry about is your personal preference.
And don’t you worry because there’s something for every preference here.
Read on and see what calls you to play!
Best Extreme Safe Kneeboard For Beginners
#1 – SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard
Teaching the youngsters some boat towed water sports? Why not start with the easiest?
Yes, the easiest. All you need to do is to get a kneeboard that’s not intimidating to make their (or your) first kneeboarding experience effortless and satisfying.
SereneLife’s Thunder Wave kneeboard is packed with all the basics that are made even better to fit the needs of kneeboard beginners, making it this review’s Editor’s Choice as it can be enjoyed by both first-timers and veterans.
Its integrated hook by the nose (the top) takes all the anxiousness of a first kneeboarding experience by letting the rider focus on successfully getting up on the board and fastening the adjustable strap over the knees without having to worry about holding on to the tow rope handle while doing all that.
You can just hook the handle up there while you get yourself ready and then take the rope when you are!
And speaking of the strap…
…it’s adjustable and has a strong velcro fastener. And it’s actually able to secure anyone from an 8-year old child to a 6 feet and 3 inches man.
The board has ergonomically curved knee slots that go deeper on the knees as it flattens gradually to the rider’s seat so it’s quite comfortable to be in. It’s not entirely plastic hard and felt like a hard foam instead, which makes it pleasantly well-balanced.
This curved design also helped tremendously for our beginners as it grips the rider well and kept them from slipping out of the board especially in quick or deep turns.
One of our youngest boarders was even able to get up on the very first try! That’s how important ergonomics and design are when it comes to kneeboarding.
At 4.5 inches thick, it’s neither too thick nor too thin so it was actually easy to maneuver even for beginners. And because it’s not too thick, you can still make a quick turn with not much hassle and without sinking under.
One drawback, though…
…is the fact that it doesn’t have fins. Fins would have made kneeboarding much easier for the first-timers but then, the upside of the lack of them is the flexibility of the movements you can make with your board!
Without fins, you can actually perform more tricks and ride it in more ways other than the linear way.
It’s made of marine grade materials such as reinforced engineering Polyurethane and it’s crafted to be water-resistant, too. That, and the ridges on the seat will work to keep you from slipping from your board even if you’re all wet.
In addition to that…
…it’s also proven to be very lightweight at less than 9 pounds so it’s easier to bring to the beach, lake, or just any trip.
Moreover, the Serenelife Thunder wave kneeboard has a size that can fit older children to big guys and that is such a plus because it allowed us to bring two kneeboards instead of four because we can actually share this!
Best Budget Kneeboard For Beginners
#2 – Leader Accessories Kneeboard with Integrated Hook for Kids & Adults
A favorite among parents who decided to introduce their little ones to the world of waterboarding, this aesthetically attractive kneeboard by Leader accessories has comfort in its top priority as evident in its features…
…and there are plenty, by the way. That came as a surprise to us considering its price and that makes this wonderful board our Best Value product of the day!
Made from molded plastic, this Leader Accessories board is made to be enjoyed by beginners or people who just want to have a chill and uncomplicated kneeboarding session.
Not too thin and not super thick, it’s made for buoyancy more than flexibility in movement and cuts so it doesn’t cut super deep into the water as it glides more on the surface thanks to its weight.
…you can still do your favorite tricks or learn one as it’s still very easy to maneuver.
For one, it comes with a built-in hook where you can hang your rope handle in.
If you’re teaching a child how to ride a kneeboard, this is a must-have feature as beginners tend to find it difficult to hold the rope while holding on to the board at the same time.
…this also makes it perfect for a great relaxed weekend kneeboarding as you can let go of the rope once you feel your arms getting tired and just let the hook do its job while you rest.
And yes, you can indeed relax without holding on to the rope and without falling over.
That’s all thanks to the great stability this board by Leader Accessories lends to its rider.
The pad where the rider sits is almost perfectly curved that I was even able to enjoy gliding through the water at moderately thrilling speed even without my strap on!
Yep, you’ve read it right.
The curves and borders of the pad make it possible to sit steadily with a good grip and add to that its comfortable EVA foam padding and you’ve got yourself a throne on the waters!
It also has some ridges on the surface so you can rest assured knowing you won’t slip off even with a wet board.
As for the strap…
…it’s a velcro fastener and far from your typical kneeboard strap because this one is thick and padded! Thick alone would be sufficient in strapping me up comfortably but then, it’s also padded so just imagine the comfort! Even if I fastened it all too tight, the band is still soft and harmless against me.
…is that this kneeboard comes in two eye-catching varieties with bold and vivid colors!
Best Lightweight Kneeboard For Beginners
#3 – O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook
Looking to feel a bit like a pro kneeboarder?
Then let our Top Pick O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard help you with that.
Amazingly made to be enjoyed by both the young and the old, this hard plastic kneeboard comes in a weight that’s a bit heavier than the first two on this list and we soon found out how advantageous it is to us!
O’Brien’s thoughtful design is evident with the focus on comfort and control, making it the top-notcher when it comes to the design, performance, and comfortability metrics, hence the Top Pick award!
This bright yellowish lime board is made with a sharply beveled cut on its underside so these bevels cut ever so smoothly and seamlessly through water for a fussless turn or glide.
And finally, fins!
Yes, it may not look like it, but the O’Brien Voodoo does come with fins. They’re located on the underside of the hull and they’re quite small so they’re barely noticeable that some friends though there are no fins at all.
But its contribution can be felt once the board glides through the water.
As a result, the run is much faster and again, smoother, because the fins act as a guide to the board so you’re going with the water’s flow of movement.
Now, this could be a pro or a con…
…and it depends on what level the rider is in.
For the veterans, it’s usually a con because fins restrict the movements that you can do as you’re most likely confined to a linear movement only.
But then, these fins are so small it barely kept me from doing tricks!
On the other hand, this is a great help to those who are still learning kneeboarding and balancing and stabilizing it.
So yes, choose your fighter.
As for your seat…
…it’s also an EVA foam knee pad and they’re shaped quite deep and were actually soft enough to cushion my knees comfortably. I could go on for hours and my knees would feel as if I just woke up from a wonderful 8-hour sleep.
Its strap is also padded and perfectly adjustable but what I like most about it is it can actually accommodate a wide range of body sizes! So if you’re a big guy, you can stop worrying now because this could just be your best bet.
Just a warning:
Tight belts are great. But then, you should either remember not to fasten too tight or remember how to unfasten quickly because some people have trouble unfastening themselves when the board flips over with them!
Best Spoon Design Kneeboard For Beginners
#4 – Hydroslide Revolution Kneeboard
This is for the impatient who’s eager to do tricks early on in the training!
Well, instead of the usual flat base, this one is made with a simple spoon shape.
The convex shape of the top lets the rider be more comfortable with the board as you feel less like you’re going to fall off.
…the outward curve underneath lets the board sink a little more on the water so it would absorb shock upon impact, making it a less intimidating affair for children and beginners!
Moreover, there are also channels carved underneath to help with the board’s hydrodynamics. The result? Our littles ones were totally feeling it on their first or second tries!
That’s because these channels help the board glide all too smoothly through the water, however rough it may be. They act much like fins but are subtle. And because you have a clearer water track to flow with, you’ll have an easier time familiarizing yourself with your new board.
This comes in handy for beginners who are feeling a bit hesitant to dive in and take on the adventure!
But aside from the great construction for beginners…
…the curved underside also makes it easier to transition into doing tricks because the curve gives the rider more freedom to do turns and even a wicked flip if it comes to that!
That gives your beginners an opportunity to feel like a pro even while they’re still starting, thus building more confidence in them.
The spoon profile also keeps the water from reaching or flowing to the top of the kneeboard, lessening, if not eliminating any hassle when landing.
User-friendliness at its finest.
As for the rider…
…aside from the scooped top, the padding is also slightly textured so you have more security against slipping off.
But that’s not all, because the padding also has deep wells for the knees, and this helps the rider feel like they’re one with the board as opposed to just sitting on top of it.
Then there’s the velcro strap. It’s padded as well, so there’s no discomfort even if the driver happened to speed me away faster than I expected!
Just know, though, that some of my friends found the strap too close to the board. But I had no problem with it. I guess that depends on the body type of the rider.
And in case you’re wondering…
…yes, it also has a hydro hook tow point to make starting the kneeboard much easier even for someone with zero experience!
Best Durable Kneeboard For Beginners
#5 – Xspec Kneeboard with Hook Strap
Who says you can have a badass kneeboard without sacrificing comfort?
If you’re looking to feel like sitting on cloud nine while being towed, this gorgeous board from Xpec is your toy.
For one, it combines the construction of a wakeboard with a water ski that doesn’t only add to its attractive lines and aesthetics but also gives a smooth, seamless ride much like slalom boards but with more ease of use!
What does this mean?
Well, it means that you can have both speed and ease of use in one if you’re ever looking for a more thrilling ride for you or the young ones.
The slightly flat profile contributes to smooth and fast water gliding while you could use the slightly curved ends for easy turns and tricks.
As if that’s not enough…
…it also has cup-molded fins.
In case you’re wondering, the fins have lower profiles and are slightly curved, making them different from the usual ones.
This results in ease of turns and cuts because instead of keeping you from turning smoothly, the slight curves of the fins aid in sudden cuttings so you can look like an experienced boss while doing it!
And what’s cooler…
…its pad is also EVA foam but much softer.
We just can’t help but notice how the pad felt more welcoming than most that we’ve ever used, so needless to say, the children, and even I, later on, stayed on for hours and hours as our legs and knees didn’t tire one bit.
But then, some people find softer pads uncomfortable, so it still depends on your preference.
On the other hand…
…the downside to this great comfort is that the padding isn’t hard enough to withstand scratches if that’s a dealbreaker for you.
The knee strap is sturdy and strong and it’s also padded to boot!
Constructed with a high-density exterior, it’s not overly buoyant but still won’t fail you on the waters and I think that is a great balance.
Oh, and did I already say that the artsy prints over the mint backdrop are gorgeous?
Best Thrill Sport Kneeboard For Beginners
#6 – O’Brien Radica Kneeboard with Hook
There’s no reason why training can’t be as thrilling as competitive kneeboarding! You can definitely show off with recreational boards, too!
And what better board to use than one with a sleek profile, good dynamics, and comfy pads?
Yes, I’m talking about another O’Brien baby…
…and it’s the Radica this time.
We all know that the O’Brien kneeboard line is one of the best kneeboards for beginners in terms of material.
But this one proved another point with its wakeboard and water ski blended construction.
Let’s break it down.
The wakeboard style quad may not look like it but it also has low profile fins underneath which are cupped and a little curved as well. This makes carving the waves an effortless affair.
We even had a 12-year old ride the waves on his 2nd try using the O’Brien Radica!
These features help with easing the anxiety of first-timers and building their confidence so they’d be braver to take on more complex tricks later on!
But it doesn’t end there…
…because you still have the water ski construction that’s evident on the undersides of this board.
They’re beveled slightly so the rider is more rooted in the water instead of being on the surface only so you’re more stable and far from falling over.
Going further down, its rocker is a continuous rocker and just a tad bit curved. This feature lets you get the additional speed that you want while still protected by the stability brought about by the features and construction mentioned.
The ability to do some badass tricks while keeping your speed as well as the stability of the rider on the board!
Who can beat that?
Moreover, we’re all impressed by how much bigger the hydro hook seemed to be. I could just be us but there’s more than enough space even when the tow rope handle was already hooked on it.
And speaking of big things and handles, the padded strap isn’t only comfy and adjustable but it also has this big handle so you can unfasten it and strap it to yourself even with one hand.
Best Comfortable Kneeboard For Beginners
#7 – HO Electron Kneeboard
For beginners, especially those who aren’t very used to being in large bodies of water, the sudden bouncing and shifting when kneeboarding is one of the most daunting parts of the sport.
And we’ve found the best solution to that.
The H.O. Sports Electron kneeboard is so comfy we almost didn’t want to get out of its soft seat.
Made from high-end durable plastic, this recreational board in a nice shade of blue has a diamond tail and nose and if my memory serves me right, this is the first board I ever had that has this kind of tip.
This design was made to make every spin effortless on the side of the rider, along with a quick release.
In addition to that…
…it also has low-profile fins that you could barely see so you can have your bit of stability with your run while maintaining some freedom for performing tricks.
Just like the other kneeboards on this list, it also has a hook where you could hook the rope handle in while fixing your strap or whenever your arms need rest.
And this strap is padded so no pressure here!
But here’s the real deal.
The pad itself was a delight to be on, making this Electron board the best kneeboard on this list in terms of comfort.
Aside from the gently sloping knee pad, the knee wells themselves are quite deep so they hold you better and more secure, along with the rim that’s equally soft and high with the tiniest bit of firmness for the most ideal soft landings that’s perfect for beginners.
Even though I’ve been kneeboarding for decades now, I was still surprised at how well the knee pad was able to absorb the shock whenever I tried to do high and complex tricks which other intermediate riders in our group also noticed!
In case you’re wondering, yes you can do that on your first day, too. The strap is also so strong that even the strong pull from the rope wasn’t able to undo it.
But just so you know…
…you should also be ready to unfasten this strong lock especially if you’re a beginner, in case you fall and flip over. I’ve seen way too many newbies scramble in panic just because they can’t unfasten themselves from the board.
How To Choose The Best Kneeboards for Beginners
What should I look out for when buying a kneeboard?
A good run and cut lie in a well-made and well-shaped kneeboard. Its weight, curve, and build contribute to the way your board glides through the water. So here are some of the most important things you’d want to look out for when buying your own kneeboard.
There is more than one type of kneeboard so you should know what type suits you first before getting one.
Trick boards have rounded edges and bottom that make doing advanced tricks much easier as the edges of the board could glide smoothly through the water thanks to their rounded shape. But don’t let that intimidate you because their ease of use makes them very good for beginners, as well.
Competitive boards, on the other hand, are characterized by a slimmer body and sharper edges. That’s because most competitive kneeboarders don’t have to worry about the basics anymore and focus instead on doing tricks that are usually even water deep and quick.
And sharp edges help with those complex tricks. Most competition boards don’t have fins as the boarders need more freedom with their moves.
In contrast to this, recreational boards can be enjoyed by both newbies and veterans alike. These boards are much thicker because their focus is on buoyancy. Because of this, they also act as a flotation device that the user can hold on to in case of a spill.
Plastic is the most common build and construction for most of the kneeboards on the market today. Why not? It’s cheap and also has great buoyancy to boot. If you’re a beginner or teaching one, you might want to go with a plastic kneeboard as it’s less complicated to use and much safer, as well.
On the flip side…
…a compression molded fiberglass shell kneeboard is the favorite among the more advanced users. These are the sharp, thin, and seamless ones. They’re less buoyant, too, which is great for people who like to do deep water starts.
The pad is the area where the user sits while kneeboarding. So it’s important to choose a board with a comfortable pad. I can’t say what softness or hardness of the pad is perfect for you because it depends on your preference. But a good kneeboard pad has knee wells that can hold the rider well and make them stable even when they’re not strapped.
Some kneeboards come with an integrated tow hook and some don’t. A tow hook holds the rope’s handle while you’re getting ready and strapped. And when you’re done, just simply get the handle out of the hook and hold it yourself. If you’re a beginner, it’s better to get a board with an integrated tow hook and make sure it’s durable enough even under pressure.
Some kneeboards have fins and some don’t. Fins are important if you’re still learning this water tow sport as they will guide your board forward when you still lack complete control.
On the other hand…
…riders who like to do spins and tricks tend to use finless boards or ones that come with small molded fins. But then you can just get one with retractable fins and enjoy the best of both worlds.
How to maintain your kneeboard?
Because most kneeboards are made from plastic or fiberglass materials, and even with glue on the pads, it’s important to know how to take care of them and maintain their pristine condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q Can you start Kneeboarding on your knees?
A You have to start your kneeboarding lying stomach down on the board and then gradually get yourself up as the speed accelerates and when it does, lean back into riding position to shift the weight to the tail. Starting it on your knees could make your board flip as this position still lacks stability and balance, especially if the boat or ship isn’t running yet.
Q Is kneeboarding easy?
A Kneeboarding is considered a very easy water sport and is usually used as an introduction for other more difficult water sports such as water skiing and wakeboarding. But you must learn how to build your balance and stability first and everything will follow after that.
Q Can you stand up on a kneeboard?
A Yes you can but most riders find it hard to do so as the board will most probably wiggle as you stand up. Children can do it much easier than adults but almost always end up with a wipe-out.
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
1. Value for money
Though we like to save money most of the time, if you want to perform well on kneeboarding, you’d want to look more into the board’s quality and what it offers rather than how affordable it is.
Fortunately, we’ve found kneeboards that come at very agreeable prices and give more than what we expected of their price point. And that, you guys, is the definition of perfect value for money.
Value for Your Money Rating
Learning sports is almost always about good stability, especially with water towing sports! It all happens so fast there on the water so you won’t want to find yourself being eaten by the way or being dragged by your ship helplessly.
And that’s why it’s important to choose a board that’s designed to give you effortless stability even when you’re not strapped on or if you’re barely holding on to the handle.
Design goes much farther than the aesthetics of the board. It’s also about how every curve, every ridge, or just about every tiny part is made. We kept our eyes open for the design as these things also contribute to how your board will carry you as you glide onto the water.
What’s a sharp and handsome kneeboard if it hurts to sit on it? Your comfort comes hand in hand with your performance, and that is why we’ve also set these qualities as metrics to decide on because basically, you won’t be able to do anything if you can barely move without hurting a bone.
Our Final Verdict:
Best Kneeboard For Beginners
It’s a wild, wet ride…the testing we mean! And we’re now serving you the results. After observing them all based on the metrics we’ve set, the list was narrowed down to seven, and here are the final scores. Read on and take your pick!
Kneeboard for Beginners
Any waterboarding sport could look very intimidating and even daunting to a person who hasn’t tried them all their life.
On the other hand, children are just always eager to try, making it more important to choose the best gear that will take care of them while they’re busy enjoying the moment.
That’s why we’re all too glad to have discovered that most recreational boards that we’ve got here can be enjoyed by us seasoned boarders while sharing them with the newbies and children in the group!
Now if you’ll ask me…
…if you’re looking for the perfect board for a beginner, the SereneLife kneeboard is your best with its great hydrodynamics, riders superb control, and buoyant body that can take on even the roughest rides.