The Best Kneeboard for Beginners – Comparisons & Reviews

If you’ve ever wanted to surf or water ski but are unsure if you’d be able to, kneeboarding may be for you. And when you decide to give it a go, you’ll want to find the best kneeboard for beginners that you can find.

Whether you’ve heard of a kneeboard or not, there are options out there to get you started when you want to try out this easy-to-learn sport. Keep reading for information on what the sport entails and the best options out there for you.

Quick Look: Our Top Picks

What is kneeboarding?

In essence, kneeboarding is a bit of a cross between surfing and waterskiing and can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels. It involves sitting on a board and fastening your knees in so you are secure. There is also a rope or tow line that allows you to hold onto the boat so you don’t get stranded in the middle of the water. Depending on the model and shape of the board, you can also do tricks and ride small waves.

Things to Know

There are some things to look out for when you’re considering all the different items out there to buy. Here’s a look at the basics.

Board Types

There are two types of boards, slalom and trick boards. Slalom boards are the ones that beginners are more likely to be able to use, since they are designed more or less to just go through the water without you falling off or becoming injured. Trick boards are for more advanced riders, so they are able to do special tricks.

Board Materials

There are also different materials that boards can be made of. Some types are made of plastic, which makes them durable and able to take some roughhousing without messing them up. Others are made of different types of foam or fiberglass. These are more lightweight, but may be easier to dent or damage. Most products have EVA foam on top of the board, however, no matter what the rest of the board is comprised of.

Body Types

There are a couple of different body types for boards too. There are items that are flatter on the bottom, which help you sit flat in the water for less turbulence. Other items have beveled sides, which allow you to think about doing tricks and hitting waves without spilling.

Best Kneeboard for Beginners

Board Features

To keep you safe and make sure that kids and adults can ride them, most boards have a handful of safety features. Here’s a look at the most common ones.

  • Special knee pads: Since the whole idea is to sit on a board, it wouldn’t make sense if the knee portion was uncomfortable. There are molded legs parts on the top of the board, which allows both the knees and the rest of the leg to lie comfortably without causing pain or bruising to the rider. As a bonus, this foam is quite vivid in color, so you can often find items that stand out and will fit your tastes too.
  • Front hooks: Most of the best models have front hooks to keep you secure while you’re getting up on the board and getting up to speed in the water. The hook holds a rope in place and keeps you secured to the boat. You can then pick up the rope handle whenever you need to so you can start doing tricks or whatever else you want to do.
  • Fins: Fins help you slice through the water without much resistance. This keeps the ride from being too choppy and throwing you off continuously. It isn’t the best feature for tricks, however, but you can still do small tricks, even if there are fins. Furthermore, some models have fins that can be removed or retracted, so you don’t always have to use them.
  • Knee strap: There is a strap that holds your knees in place. It is adjustable and often fastened with Velcro, so it gets a great fit for different shapes and sizes. It’s usually padded as well so it won’t dig into your skin.

What else do I need?

Since this is an activity made to be used in conjunction with a boat, you will need to have a boat as well. The boat has to be big enough to have a wake and must be able to go fast enough for you to board behind it in a safe manner. The speed it must go is different, depending on the weight of the person using the board, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be able to travel at great speeds.

You will also need a rope. The rope has to be connected to the boat and long enough for you to hold it. Many board makers also make ropes for you to use. This may be a good buy after you’ve chosen a specific product since you know that the rope will be suited to your board and will be an adequate length and quality.

As a general rule, you need a rope that is braided so it can be as strong as possible. You’ll also need it to be at least 50 feet in length so you don’t have to travel too close to the boat. There needs to be a bit of distance between you in order to get the desired effect and to use the board as it should be.

Top 5 Best Kneeboards for Beginners

1. O’Brien Radica Kneeboard with Hook

O'Brien Radica Kneeboard with Hook - Best Kneeboard for Beginners

This bright blue and black board is good for beginners and for people that are experienced at kneeboarding. It has a few memorable features and extra padding, so it won’t hurt you when you’re using it.

Things We Like

  • Adjustable strap: The strap can be changed to fit anyone from kids to adults, which means there is a bit of safety since you’ll be fastened onto the board properly.
  • Large hook: The large hook on the front allows for the rope to be secured at all times. This means the line can never fall out of your hands and separate you from the boat.
  • Comfortable knee padding: There is special EVA padding in the knee portion of the board which allows you to get comfortable when you’re riding it.
  • Molded fins: There are fins on this one, so you can do tricks with it. The fins help provide a better ride as well.

Things We Don’t Like

  • Better for children than adults: While this one has a lot of protection and padding, it might be better-suited for children to use, as some adults may not be as comfortable when they ride it.



2. Driftsun Kneeboard 2017

 Driftsun Kneeboard 2017 (50"L 20"W) Best Kneeboard for Beginners

This board is white, black, and blue. Besides just looking good, it also offers support and safety features that will ensure that you’re getting a good ride when you’re kneeboarding. It can sit flat on the water, so you won’t tip over or make you lose your balance easily.

Things We Like

  • Beveled edge: The beveled edge lets it sit on the water properly so you won’t feel like you are about to tip over.
  • Great for different sizes of people: This board is suited to children and adults weighing up to 250 pounds. The entire family should be able to utilize this one.
  • Knee rests are large: The knee portion of this product is large enough for even tall people to use and cozy enough to support those with knee problems as well.

Things We Don’t Like

  • You have to take care of it: If this board isn’t stored properly, it can break down or become unfastened. It’s important that you keep it stored in a cool area that won’t cause it to become damaged.
  • May hurt shins: Some people may experience some pain when they ride this one for a long period of time. It should be enjoyed in short spurts, so you don’t damage your legs or knees.



3. Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard

 Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard, Green, 52-InchBest Kneeboard for Beginners

This board is mainly for adult use and has extra support in the middle to hold up to larger bodies. The striking green and yellow design makes it quite vivid and could help you not lose track of it, in or out of the water.

Things We Like

  • Full padding in middle: The padding on the top of the board extends to most of the board, so it should be comfortable at all times. This also means that it shouldn’t hurt your knees or legs at all.
  • Thin board: The board itself isn’t that thick. You should be able to sit flat on the water in this one, making it very appropriate for those trying to attempt this sport for the first time.
  • Holds up well: Even when you use this one for weeks on end, it will still maintain its integrity and safety. There shouldn’t be any problems with it wearing out unless it is handled improperly.

Things We Don’t Like

  • Front hook may be hard to use: The hook in the front of the board is designed to put the rope handle into, in case your arms get tired. For this model, you need two hands to place the handle into it, which makes it more arduous to use.



4. Connelly Skis Scarab Kneeboard

 Connelly Skis Scarab Kneeboard - Best Kneeboard for Beginners

This board is made of EPS foam, in case you’re looking for an item that isn’t produced mainly of plastic. It is a black board, decorated with blue and yellow decals, and is a bit longer than some other products at 53 inches in length.

Things We Like

  • Lightweight: Since this one is made from different types of foams, it weighs less than other items out there. It won’t weigh you down when you need to carry it or transport it.
  • Heavy-duty design: The bottom portion is made to be rigid, while the top is softer, so the rider can have an enjoyable experience.
  • Lots of grooves: The knee portion has many grooves and lines to ensure that your legs have the best fit possible. There isn’t hard foam that digs into your skin and causes discomfort.
  • Secure front hook: The front hook on this one is different than other models in shape. You can trust that it will keep your rope in place when you need to use it.

Things We Don’t Like

  • Strap may have problems: The strap, which holds your knees in place, has Velcro to keep it snug on a rider’s legs. You may not be able to use the Velcro in the water well, so you might want to secure it before you leave shore.



5. O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard

O'Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook - Best Kneeboard for Beginners

This item is a lot like some others in its class, except it looks a little more flashy because the top of it features lime green foam. It also has all the safety features you need, as well as molded fins, so you will be able to have a smoother ride, even in choppy waters.

Things We Like

  • Hard to mess up: This item is made to be sturdy enough for many people to use, no matter your shape and size. It’s unlikely to break while you’re using it, even over the course of weeks and months at a time.
  • Molded fins: The fins on this one allow you to be able to ride the small waves you encounter without the board throwing you off. They are not retractable, however, so you need to be sure you know where they are located.
  • Great for teaching kids: While kids and adults can use this, it is a great one for teaching kids with. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s an easy shape for them to pull themselves up on and is molded so that the board doesn’t bounce around easily.

Things We Don’t Like

  • Fins not for everyone: If you don’t want a board with fins, it’s a good idea not to purchase this one. They are not removable, so you’ll have to use them at all times.




If you’re a beginner when it comes to kneeboarding, but you want to get started using a board that you can count on, the best one is the O’Brien Radica Kneeboard with Hook.

It comes with all the safety features you need and is perfect for people of all sizes and shapes. It even has an attractive design. The features that are most impressive are the beveled edge, fins, strap, and hook, all of which are designed to make sure that you are always safe in the water and having the time of your life.

With this one, you can not only teach someone this sport, you can also learn on it, even if you have never done anything like kneeboarding before. It’s also likely to be able to be used for a long time without fail when you take care of it.

All in all, it’s a well-made product and something that can keep you coming back into the water time after time. Additionally, it can be shared with all the members of your family, even those that may think they are too old to use it. Buy yours today to start having fun. It really is the best kneeboard for beginners that you can find.

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