A Guide To Kneeboards

A guide to kneeboards. Kneeboarding is considered the ideal towed watersport for beginners.  You are on your knees, so it is easier to balance. If you should fall, how close you are to the water along with the lower speed reduces the risk of injury.

That said, it is not a watersport for only beginners, it is a fun way to enjoy yourself out on the water, regardless of your previous watersport experience.

A beginner on a kneeboard should always look for a board that has an integrated hook on the front. This allows the rider to be pulled out of the water by the boat without having to hold onto the rope. Once the boat is up to speed, and they are strapped in, they can take the rope into their hands and begin to ride. The foam padded kneeling area is shaped, so absolute beginner to do have to be strapped in tight.

Beginner Intermediate Kneeboard

A beginner, or a recreational boarder, should use a rotary molded board. They have a softer board, with wider edges. This design lets even the less experienced knee boarders turn smoothly and control the board. This reduces the risk of falling, and if you do fall, reduces the chance of injury.  The material and thickness of the kneeboard will allow for user knocks (a little more robust) and can act as a flotation device after a fall.

Advanced Expert Kneeboard

However a competitive boarder should consider using compression molded boards. These are thinner, lighter boards, with sharper edges allowing the rider to generate more speed and offer quicker turns and tricks.

A trick kneeboard should have a lot of rocker, and the rails of the board should be thick. However a slalom board should have a flat bottom and sharp rails, this makes turning easier and allows a rider to hold the edge through a turn.

2016 HO Sports Kneeboard Collection © HO Sports

Some boards will come with built in fins, retractable fins, or no fins at all. Trick kneeboards have no fins, as they would catch in the water, making tricks harder. Slalom kneeboards will have fins as it makes them easier to steer and carve through the water. Beginners may also want fins to give them more control of the board.

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A Guide To Wakeskates

When buying a wake skate, there are three main types to consider; the wood-deck with foam pad, the wood-deck with a concave foam pad and the fibreglass with grip tape. A final variation to these wakeskates is the double deck.

The wood-deck with the foam pad is probably the most common board amongst beginners as it is the cheapest. The foam offers protection to the rider so if they fall it won’t hurt as much.

The wood-deck with the concave foam pad is the next step up. The pad will offer protection, but the concave design will offer a rider more stability, and is ideal for learning wake skating tricks.

The fibreglass with grip tape is a more durable wakeskates. The wooden deck of the other two Skates means damage is unavoidable over time, due to the effect water has on wood, where as the fibreglass should last longer.

Double Deck Wakeskate

The double deck wakeskate, is made up of two parts.  The bottom deck is the same construction of a regular wake skate. The difference comes from the top deck. It is curved in shape similar to a skateboard, and is only attached to the bottom deck at certain points. The attachment points are where the upward curves begin from the straighter middle part of the board.

This design leads to greater acceleration across the water and leading up to tricks. It also causes the board to stay closer to your feet, becoming more similar to a skateboard than a single decked wake skate.

The grip tape is designed to help a rider keep their balance on top of the board, but falling onto it can lead to grazed legs, which is why foam is more suitable for a beginner.

Wakeskate Size

Wakeskate size ranges from about 40 inches, to 45, with the most common boards being about 42/43 inches.

Like most watersports, a larger board is better for a beginner as it offers a larger surface area, to help them on the water.However a smaller board will be more manoeuvrable and is better for tricks, so suitable for intermediate and above.

Wakeskate Shoes

Wearing shoes whilst wake skating is not essential, but can be beneficial. Shoes offer an extra layer of protection as well as giving more grip. If you plan on riding on grip tape we’d recommend wearing some sort of footwear.

The shoes do not have to be sport-specific. They just have to have thin material, so as not to get heavy, and preferably dry quickly, to avoid smelling.

Wakeskate shoes are made from a hydrophobic material, so don’t absorb water, which means no weight is added to your feet, making tricks easier.

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