Kneeboarding is one of the easiest towable watersports but to learn or improve your skills, the first step is to get the right board for the sport. Even though there are quite a number of kneeboard brands, knowing the type, style and size of board suitable for your level, is of paramount importance.
The best kneeboards for beginners are fairly thick for increased buoyancy, have hooks and fins for easy control and starts. For advanced riders, thin-profiled boards made of fiberglass are the ideal choice for performance. There are also versatile boards that pack many great features for both beginners and advanced users.
From SereneLife, Hydroslide, voodoo to Xspec, the following is a review of our top picks with an ultimate buying guide
|SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard||Intergrated Hook: Yes
Skill Level: Beginner,Kids Intermediate & Pros
|BEGINNER TOP PICK||O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard||Intergrated Hook: Yes
Skill Level: Beginner & Intermediate
|Hydroslide Revolution Kneeboard|| Intergrated Hook: Yes
Skill Level: Beginner & Advanced
|OUR BUDGET PICK||Xspec Kneeboard||Intergrated Hook: Yes
Skill Level: Beginner & Advanced
|MOST VERSATILE PICK||Hydroslide Razorback Kneeboard||Intergrated Hook: Yes
Skill Level: Beginner & Advanced
|OUR PERFORMANCE PICK||HO Joker Kneeboard||Intergrated Hook: No
Skill Level: Intermediate & Pros
SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard with Hook for Kids & Adults
This kneeboard has been crafted with beginners in mind as it offers the best features for starters to enjoy their time on the water. Intermediate and pro kneeboarders can still use this board.
SereneLife kneeboard is constructed from water & corrosion-proof marine-grade materials(polyurethane) that are tough and can last for generations.
It one of the lightest boards weighing not more than 9 pounds and measuring 50 inches long and 20 inches wide…fairly easy to carry around for anyone. It’s small enough to fit in the cab of your vehicle or in a boat box
These dimensions make it easy for both beginners and experts have an easy time on the water. Its size is universal hence can accommodate riders of all sizes.
SereneLife board, like most kneeboards, comes with a velcro strap to secure your knees into the pad, making it one of the safest and perfect board for boat activities, lake surfing or river cruising.The knee strap is adjustable to accommodate riders of all sizes.
The rounded square nose tip design is not only great for kneeboarding tricks but also bodyboarding and other water activities that involve.
The kneepads have the high-quality EVA padding for comfort.
It comes with a built-in hook to hold the tow rope handle which facilitates easier starts for beginners.
Comes in awesome colors- black/blue, black/green, and black/red schemes
- Affordable for its great features.
- High quality material for longevity.
- Comfortable -The knee pads and adjustable strap.
- Light weight and travel-friendly
- The square-tip shape provides more surface area hence more stability especially when performing back tricks
- Versatile-different users and activities
- More grip and soft landings due to channels on the under side
- Lacks Fins
- The construction material isn’t as good as fibre glass
- The square-tip shape makes it less effective for cutting into wakes
- It is not the best option for pro kneeboarders
- Its shape makes quite bouncy
Hydroslide Revolution Kneeboard
The Hydroslide Revolution Kneeboard is a fairly-priced, features a classic spoon shape that gives it a smooth, easy ride with quick edge-to-edge transitions. It is designed for both beginner and advanced riders.
Its thin-profile design not only looks great but it also delivers the performance found with more expensive boards. The board rides well on the water, transitioning easily across the wake and cutting in well for sharp turns.
It comes with a proprietary spring-loaded retractable hydro hook. What most riders love about it, is the idea that you can simply pop up the Hydro hook up and insert the handle for easy starts or to relax your hands while riding. As soon as you remove the handle from the Hydro hook, it automatically retracts to avoid cuts and bruises
Even though it comes with no fins, it does have grooves. A combination of the grooves/channels and the thin design makes tracking and turning of this board fairly good.
Other features and specifications include
- Made of strong plastic that is highly durable.
- This easy-to-use, comfortable, padded strap helps secure the board to yourself so you can easily maintain control on the water.
- Ergonomic EVA knee pad that that supports your knees and shins really well and makes you feel comfortable on the board
- Spoon shape with small channels for smooth cruising, effortless surface spins and a smooth pop off the wake.
- 3-inch padded belt
- Comes in white,red or black themes
- Dimensions: 52.25 x 20.5 x 1 inches
- Weight: 14.85 pounds
- 52.5 x 20.5 x 1 inches; 14.85 Pounds
- Delivers performance at a lower price
- The pointy design offers a controlled ride with smooth turns
- Great look; slick design and awesome graphics
- Can be used by both beginners and experienced riders
- Retractable handle holder is better than the other inbuilt hooks
- Versatile-good for all ages and levels of experience
- No Fins
- Poor quality strap that falls apart easily
- Knee padding feels very stiff for some users…can be quite uncomfortable/abrasive
- The knee pad is jammed against the strap guide making it difficult for some riders, especially kids, to pull the strap tight.
- Slightly heavy compared to other boards
Leader Accessories Kneeboard
As the name points out designed with great-looking graffiti to add style to your rides be it you are a beginner or an expert kneeboarder. However, looks aren’t the only thing you get with this board as it is reasonably priced and comes with great features that earn it a spot on our list.
It has highly durable, corrosion-proof and marine-grade materials that complement its awesome look..
The EVA padding with deep knee wells that makes the rider feel as comfortable as expected while bouncing around on his knees. 3 inch padded adjustable strap provides comfort and stability
Beveled edge makes fast cuts and sit low in the water for stability. Works well for any skill level. Integrated hook is great for beginners take off easier. More features and specifications include;
- Polyurethane core
- ¾-inch EVA pad
- Dimensions: 50 x 20 inches
- Weight: 13 pounds
- Great look-Graffiti design comes in blue, golden, green, red, and yellow
- The inbuilt hook makes doing the strap with two hands much easier for novices.
- The board is comfortable. The padding is soft and comfy.
- Strong and durable construction
- Best for kids and mid-sized riders
- Ideal for deep water starts
- Beveled edges making it easy to move around fast
- Quite bulky(13lb) compared to other boards
- No Fins and the contour at the bottom almost insignificant
- Strap quite wide for some users.
- Not ideal for big riders.
O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook
The O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard is the top choice for beginners and riders learning harder tricks and jumps. In it is a performance board that comes at a great price and awesome looks.
Though it is not the type of board experienced riders will admire, it is flexible enough to accommodate kneeboarders of almost all skill levels, age and weight.
For improved performance, it features quad molded fins on both sides that offer extra tracking control and the curved underside makes edge transitions not only fast and but also super smooth.
Measuring 51.25 x 22 inches, it’s big enough even for larger adults to enjoy. The board comes with a lower profile for charging, as well as molded-in fins to improve tracking and stability.
The 3/4″ thick pad provides plush comfort for your knees and shins and the 3-inch padded adjustable strap locks you in for maximum control and safety.
Furthermore, there is also an integrated hook for a convenient hand-free start.
- Great for beginners looking for an easy ride and tons of control.
- Large enough to accommodate extra big riders
- Comfort and performance for starters
- Fairly Priced
- Stylish-looking neon green and black design
- The molded fins are not as good as the retractable fins on some boards
- The channeling and molded fins makes some tricks such as 180s and 360s pretty difficult as the board wants to track in the flow of the water movement.
- The design is not fast, sleek and light enough for experienced riders
- Slightly pricey compared to other kneeboards in this list
The Xspec Kneeboard is a versatile board that can be used by both kids and adults. Be it you’re an experienced rider going high speeds and performing high-level tricks or just a mere rookie cruising in the water, this board comes with enough features to give you the satisfaction you need.
Xspecfeatures blended water ski and wake board design elements for extraordinary levels of performance; whether you’re surfing in the ocean, lake or river.
Marine-grade water-resistant and corrosion-resistant construction, rotomolded shell with EPS core with high-impact plastic housing for durability and enhanced performance
The extremely durable EVA foam pad with deep knee wells and a 3″ padded adjustable belt, secures you in place, provides comfort for softer landings and also gives you maximum control while maneuvering and doing tricks.
Cupped molded fins to provide a smooth, easy ride, yet still allowing for spin-type tricks.
Integrated hook holds the tow rope handle during starts so hands are free to get your knees in position and secure.
Designed with reinforced knee strap brackets, constructed with high-density polyurethane exterior and foam-filled interior that adds strength, comfort and durability.
Weighs below 11 pounds with a length of 50 inches, width of 20 inches and about 4.5 inches of thickness. The weight and dimensions make this board small and light enough to carry from one place to another
It can accommodate riders up to a weight limit of 250 lbs
- Very versatile
- A good choice for beginner-and intermediate riders
- Light weight and travel-friendly
- Sturdy and durable
- Perfect size for kids and mid-sized adults
- Hook for easy starts
- Stylish black and aqua colors with a retro art style
- Cannot accommodate extra big riders of more than 250 lbs
- Not the best for highly experienced riders-
- The construction and design not as light and sleek as that of fibre glass kneeboards
- Non-retractable fins can create more drag when in high speeds
ZUP You Got This 2.0 All In One Kneeboard
This Kneeboard by ZUP isn’t named the All-In-One for no reason. It packs all the features you’ll need in a kneeboard at a fraction of the price you’ll pay for premium brands. Better yet, it comes with its own uniquely-styled tow handle. All you’ll need is a towboat and you’re good to go.
If kneeboarding isn’t your primary objective You Got This 2.0 can still acts as a wakeboard, wakesurf board, kneeboard, boogie board, water skis, and tube to provide fun for everyone on the water
This level of versatility is rivaled by very few other boards at the moment. Its color scheme is also one you’ll like when you hit the waters.
It’s made with comfort in mind with the EVA kneepads complementing the padded knee strap. There’s a hook to keep the starts easy especially for beginners.
Integrated side handles are covered with a soft rubber that provides excellent grip that allows riders to take control of the direction the board moves in
All riders, regardless of skill level or age, will be able to choose an activity and have a blast on the water! Riders with greater abilities will be able to carve, spin, surf and perform tricks while less ambitious riders can calmly cruise along
Built-in handle hook allows riders to start, move to a kneeling position or move to a standing position without worrying about holding onto the handle
It has built-in fins for carving so that it is a fairly high-performance kneeboard that at the same time offers the range of other styles that make it unique.
- Colors: Blue or lime and other colors
- Dimensions: 51.25 x 22 inches
- Weight: 14 pounds
- Highly versatile-can be used by different users for other boat water sports or activities
- The handles make it easy to use.
- Padded kneepads and strap for comfort.
- Contoured edges to give you better control of the board.
- High quality materials; ABS roto-molded construction for durability.
- Easy starts especially for beginners
- Can accommodate individuals with plenty of weight
- Pricey when compared to other kneeboards
- Might not be a good choice for pro riders and learners who are solely interested in kneeboarding
- The Slip-in foot straps are not as comfortable & secure as the knee straps in other kneeboards.
- The lack of deep knee wells reduces comfort hence control on water
Hydroslide Razorback Kneeboard with Retractable Fins
Yet another pick from the brand hydroslide is the razorback. It has a thin profile design with retractable dual fins for performance and improved control on the water.
Whether you have the fins down for slalom-like control or up for surface 360s, this kneeboard provides an exciting ride.
Parabolic twin-tip shape delivers better edge control, more pop off the wake and smoother transitions on landing.
In addition to the great looks, it comes with deep padded knee wells for comfort and safety.
Like the hydroslide revolution kneeboard, it features the proprietary Hydro hook that automatically retracts when not in use
This kneeboard weighs 16.1 pounds and measures 52.25 x 21 x 1 inches
- Retractable fins makes it good for both learners and experienced riders
- Square nose-tip design makes it ideal for pop offs
- Very comfortable knee padding.
- Invaluable retractable hydro hook for easy starts especially for beginners
- Quite huge and heavier than other kneeboards
- Like the hydroslide revolution, there are a number of users who have that the straps on the Razorback do last long as well.
The retractable parts made of low-quality plastic that can break easily…and might cause injuries.
Driftsun Crush Kneeboard
If there’s a kneeboard created to accommodate riders at all levels in kneeboarding, the Driftsun takes that crown resoundingly. Not to be confused with the Driftsun 2018 Kneeboard, this board comes with a tow hook for beginners to start off well and is highly buoyant making it easy to balance.
Even with these features, it’s very easy to perform tricks given its sturdy construction. It has a streamlined profile which makes it easy to gain speed and perform spins, jumps and other tricks on the water.
The kneepads are also very comfortable and easy to adjust to provide the rider with the best possible position for hours of fun. The durability of the board also makes it one of the best no matter the strength of the waves you’re to ride on.
It weighs only 12 lbs and measures 22 inches of wide 52 inches long
- Study construction based on a rotomolded shell and an EPS core. The continuous rocker makes it easy to perform some tricks safely.
- Dual twin-tip design for durability and speed while offering stability in performing tricks.
- Comfortable kneepads made from flexible molded EVA material to cushion your landings and do away with fatigue.
- Durable construction with a reinforced knee strap brackets and a tough outer shell.
- A tow hook to enable an easy start.
- A rounded square nose to allows for easy pop off the wake and control on the water.
- Continuous rocker profile for easier maneuverability.
- The molded fins create more drag especially for pro riders.
- The construction and design is don’t meets needs of experienced riders
- Compared to other kneeboards it is slightly heavier and big
HO Joker Kneeboard
This kneeboard by HO is a little different from the rest in this list. Its fame emanates from its proven high-performance shape and symmetrical profile.
If, for whatever reasons, you hate the tow handle hook and fins, this is the perfect kneedboard for you. It lacks some of the common features that any beginner would want.
The square tip and tail shape and 2-stage rocker design maximizes pop off of all wake sizes forward and backward. Its Locking Edge Channels allow you to lock in for fakie take offs and landings.
In addition, the dual density kneepad allows for comfortable cushy landings. The single locking knee strap provides maximum comfort and ease of use.
The graphics from DC Comics artist, gives the Joker board that distinct fun yet mischievous look.
- High Performance
- Maximum Pops
- Unique, yet awesome graphics
- Best for intermediate and advanced riders
- soft cushy landings
- Lack a hook for easy starts
- Non-friendly to beginners
- The square-tip quite ineffective when cutting into wakes
Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard
Another great kneeboard for everyone is the Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard. While it was originally created for those with intermediate kneeboarding skills, it boasts of great features that kneeboarders all across the expertise spectrum will love.
It’s a thin and lightweight kneeboard that will aid you to navigate the water like a pro. It doesn’t have any fins on it and thus requires some level of steadiness on your end. You get the same great kneepads that are cushioned to ensure you’re always comfortable and have proper control of the board.
It also comes with a hook at the front that allows you start off while focused on the motion of the tow boat alone. This is great especially in turbulent waters or for learners who haven’t mastered the basics yet.
The countered edges of this board make it one of the best for learning the difficult tricks. Given its thin profile, you get better stability and control in tight motions. For most learners, the problem is balance and maneuvering the sharp and quick motions. These features make this a favorite for the new tricks.
- Thin profile allowing for sharper movements.
- A hydro hook tow point for easy starts.
- Deep knee wells with EVA padding for comfort.
- Contoured edges to enable quick tricks.
- 3-inch padded strap.
- Pricey compared to other kneeboards
Cannot extra big rider above 250 lbs
- Poorly constructed straps
- Lacks fins
Hydroslide PRO-XLT Kneeboard
For pro kneeboarders who need the best board for their intricate tricks, few can beat the Hydroslide PRO-XLT. It comes packed with the features that will see you wow crowds and win accolades.
The board is very responsive to the movements of the rider thus making it easy to pull off tricks with it. You get other great features such as the cushioned EVA kneepads, a comfortable strap for the knees, and retractable fins for stability. Even better, it’s among the cheapest boards for its great features.
- Ideal for riders of all skill levels
- Failrly priced.
- The adjustable strap makes it easy to change the rider without compromising the quality of the ride.
- Comfortable kneepads.
- Retractable fins make it easy to control the board.
- The retractable fins of low-quality plastic and the screws that hold the loosen fall off easily
- Like the other hydroslide models, some users have complained of the knee strap that does not seem to last long
Ultimate Kneeboard Buying Guide
Having a list of the best kneeboards isn’t yet enough. Following is a guide with tips and ideas on what you should look for when buying a new kneeboard.
Kneeboard Type and Style
Depending on your skill level and what you intend to do as kneeboarder, you can choose a specific type or style.
Kneeboards come in two types; recreational and competition kneeboards.
These are fairly-priced, simple and fun-to-ride kneeboards intended for starters and young children building their skills. Features include;
- Made out of roto-molded board
- Designed to act as flotation buoys for riders who are not advanced swimmers
- Some recreational boards offer fins to help make turning easier
- Soft and wide edges offer enough space to turn and perform amateur stunts
These are quality and expensive boards intended for advanced kneeboarders
- Compression-molded with quality materials such as fiberglass to make them more responsive during competitions
- They are designed for performance.
- Highly sturdy and durable.
- They’re usually lightweight, thin, and curvy, making it easier for expert athletes to perform sharp turns and quality stunts or tricks without limitations.
- Less buoyant.
When looking for a good competition kneeboard, consider one that is dynamic; one that you can use for a lot of the tricks available in this sport.
A lot of these tricks require riding either sideways or backwards hence the need to find a board that flows with your movements.
The Board Style
In addition to the type, you should look for the perfect style. The available styles include
They have sharper edges and flat bottoms to provide better turning, smooth riding, as well as high level tricks. They are the most common.
They have rounded bottom and sharp edges. As their name goes, they are used for performing tricks and daredevil stunts.
Kneeboards can be constructed from plastic, fiberglass or timber. Plastic is so far the most common material for most low-end recreational kneeboards. It, durable and can withstand the wear and tear at the beach especially from starters.
Foam filled roto-molded polyethylene, a form of plastic, makes a buoyant kneeboard that is flexible most ideal for shallow water starts. It is cheap and the best for beginners and intermediate riders.
Competition and high-end kneeboards are constructed form compression molded fibreglass. Fibreglass makes a more rigid, slim board with better performance than a plastic kneeboard.
A stiffer board gives you greater edge control, more speed and delivers more pop off the wake. Fibreglass kneeboards are less buoyant therefore making deep water starts a little easier especially for experienced riders.
Timber construction is quite a recent innovation in the kneeboard industry. Kneeboards made out of timber offer similar thin profile designs as fibreglass boards but are easier on the knees with softer landings and springy take-offs.
Timber is the most ideal construction for cable park kneeboarding, as the reinforced edges will withstand the wear and tear from obstacles better than fibreglass.
A good example of a wood kneeboard is O’brien’s Enforcer kneeboard which features Paulownia wood stringers paired with feather foam core for improved durability and a snappy, flexy, fun feel on the water
Once you’ve determined your type, style, you should look for the following additional features can also help you select a quality kneeboard
Straps serve the purpose of securing your stance on the board and have to be comfortable, yet secure.
The knee straps come in two styles; single or double locking. A double locking knee strap folds over itself and Velcros in place twice whereas a single locking knee strap does just once.
The double locking straps are extra secure for more intense tricks. However, for safety reasons, you will hardly find them on roto-molded boards. The single-locking are the easiest to use especially for beginners but they’re not as secure and adjustable as the double-locking types.
Good straps should be well built and sufficiently padded for conveniency. They should not be too thick.
This constitutes the section of the kneeboard on which your knees and shin rest while sliding on the water. Kneepads are usually made from EVA foam, which is light for added buoyancy, durable and comfortable
How soft or deep the pads are will depend on the brand and the user they’re intended for. On recreational and beginner kneeboards, the Knee Pad is usually mad out of soft, single density foam for maximum comfort.
On the other hand, high-end and trick kneeboards come with a dual density foam. Double density foams have a soft, plush layer against your skin with a firm, supportive layer underneath.
Some brands also design knee pads with ergonomic contours for extra shin, knee, ankles and feet support and protection
Most boards come with a hydro hook which allows you to hook the handle to the front of the board, so you don’t have to hold the handle. This means that the kneeboarder can be pulled without having to place your hands on the rope handle.
This is a good feature especially for beginners who have a hard time controlling the board at deep water starts.
Some hooks are molded onto the board while other are retractable. The retractable types are a better choice not only aesthetically but also in terms of safety
The how the base of a kneeboard has been design affects how the board feels on the water.
Channeling, contours or cutouts in the base create traction and bite on the water allowing your board to generate better angle into the wake. The deeper the channels sit in the water, the more traction the board has.
A smooth clean base with no or shallower channels creates a looser feel on the water allowing the board to release its edges easily. This makes your surface spins and takeoffs more predictable.
As a general rule, kneeboards are intended to be ridden with as little bite on the water as possible.
Fins-Retractible vs Molded vs Removable
Fins are usually located at the bottom of the board. Like bottom contours/channels they’re created to improve traction while making steering easier.
Hard plastic is the most common material from which the fins are made. Most high-end kneeboards have fins made from fiberglass composite.
Fins are a great feature if you’re a beginner or you just want more grip from the board. Some riders also find fins helpful in some maneuvers, such as slalom turns and wake jumping.
Some kneeboards have removable fins while others have their fins molded into the base of the board that cannot be removed. More recent boards have retractable fins.
Molded fins, like the bottom channels, help direct water more quickly and efficiently through the bottom of the board, creating speed, flow, and a subtle amount of grip.
They cannot be removed hence riders who do not need them will have to find another board.
Kneeboards with removable fins are better and flexible than molded but, mounting or removing the fins requires you to stop, put the board in the boat, and use a screwdriver or other tool to mount or remove the fins.
The retractable fins are designed in a way that they can be raised or lowered while the user remains on the board. The shift-on-the-fly retractable fins give all riders the best of both worlds
It is also important to note that a good number of kneeboards in the market, mostly the advanced level boards, lack fins and contours on the bottom mainly to reduce drag while increasing the ability to perform surface spins and tricks
Shape-Pointed /Nose vs Square Tip Kneeboards
The tips of most kneeboards come either in pointy nose or square design or shape
The pointy nose design was the first ever kneeboard shape invented by Hydroslide. This kneeboard shape gives you a predictable ride with smooth turns and forgiving edges. The pointed tips are better for your forward jump but have less pop
A square tip, sometimes marketed as dual or twin tip design offers a greater surface area which in turn delivers better pop off the wake and releases easier for surface tricks.
Square tips can be ridden in both directions without switching feet. Tricks like a wake back to front, wake back to back 360, wake back to front 540 tend work well on square tips. However, they tend produce a lot of spray
Rocker is the measurement of the curve on the bottom of the kneeboard. The size and shape of the rocker determines how fast and swift your board will ski
A bigger rocker is slightly slower and more stable while a flatter rocker has less drag and moves more rapidly through the water. And, the shape of the rocker gives the kneeboard its personality. The varieties of rockers include
This has one unbroken angle that runs from tip to tail for a user-friendly cut through the water plus an easy release off the wake. Kneeboards with a continuous rocker land softer and have a more even trajectory in the air.
This design has a flatter, faster rocker through the center of the board and a flipped up nose and tail.
The section where the flat, center rocker and the flipped-up nose/tail rocker come together has a slight kink in it.
This kink causes the board to be forced out of the water when it hits the wake. The result is a faster, intermediate to advanced style board that has a more explosive pop.
This is similar to a 3-Stage rocker. Just like the 3-stage, it is fast and has a powerful pop off the wake. The main difference is that a 2-Stage rocker is designed to maximize pop off the wake backward and forwards.
A straight outline board tends to have only a small difference of width between the center and the tip. A straight edge gives more resistance to the water surface for better upwind performance and a better pop off the water.
A curved outline board has a larger difference of width between the center and the tip. A rounder outline allows for better carving abilities, easier high wind control and a more responsive board.
A kneeboard seat is one of the accessories you include in your shopping. Some of these seats come with a shock system that relieves pressure off ankles, knee’s and lower back for effortless riding
Kneeboard Care and Maintenance
Just like any other equipment, you need to clean, dry and store your kneeboard properly. Following are some maintenance ideas
- After every use, clean and rinse with clean water to remove any sand, dirt or salt water
- Do not clean the board with abrasive materials. Use only a soft cotton cloth.
- Air-dry it in a shed.
- Do not leave your kneeboard exposed to sun or bad weather for long periods of time. The pad is glued to the top of the board so it’s important to keep it out of the sun when it’s not in use.
- Store in a cool and dry place.
- Always store your board in a bag when not in use.