Best Kneeboard Reviews: Our Top Picks For All Levels

    If you want to have a great time out on the water, then you’re going to need to select the best kneeboard to meet your needs. This is a very intense sport that is much like wakeboarding or water skiing, but instead of standing up on the board, you’re riding just above the water on your knees. If you’re thinking about taking up the sport or you’re looking to upgrade your skills, then this is the guide that you’re going to want to read today.

    Here Is the Best Chart for Kneeboards

    Kneeboards might all have some basic things that they can do, but each make and model has some unique features that make it stand out. Use the chart below to locate the one kneeboard that stands out the most to you.

    Salty Dog’s Favorite Kneeboards

    Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard

    The rotational molded foam is one of the nicest components of this handy little board that is designed with the intermediate rider in mind. It also has a patented hydro hook that creates a thinner profile and a great towing experience. There’s a 3 inch padded shock strap and deep knee wells to prevent unwanted fatigue. It’s responsive, light, and the water tension relief design that’s on the bottom of the board will help users stay in full control. The progressive edge will definitely help with trick development as well.

    • Adult performance
    • Patented hydrohook tow point
    • Thin profile
    • EVA padded deck
    • 3 inch padded strap

    O’Brien Black Magic Kneeboard

    If you’re looking for the best kneeboard that is fast and clean, then you’re going to love the effortless air that comes from this beautiful board. Your landings are going to be smooth like butter thanks to the fine-tuning pad placement and how fast and clean this board is able to take off. It’s on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the investment is definitely worth it. With wood stringers in the foam core giving tricks and extra snap, there is huge maneuverability and sharp stability that every user will be able to access with this board. You’ve literally got to see it to believe it.

    • Super low profile, twin-tip shape
    • Retractable fins for speed and performance
    • Power control kneepad
    • 3 inch padded strap
    • Aquatic hook for easy starts

    O’Brien Enforcer Kneeboard

    This kneeboard is has a durable plastic base that works pretty well for most user applications. It’s not going to survive massive and repetitive air, so it’s more for the recreational user who wants to slalom like a water skier. The padding is useful and suitable for young kids, while there is enough flexibility in the design that it can work for adults as well. It’s a wonderful product, has a great price, and could be the best kneeboard for you.

    • 3" Cinch strap
    • Impact Base- High density polyethylene base material designed to enhance durability on rails and kickers
    • Fusion Core- Paulownia wood stringers paired with our feather foam core for improved durability and a snappy, flexy, fun feel on the water
    • Durarail Sidewalls- Impact resistant urethane rail that runs around the entire edge of the board …

    How To Choose The Best Kneeboard? – Buying Guide

    When you try to kneeboard, the first thing to do is to get the right board for it. Kneeboards can be bought online or from physical stores, but knowing the style, size, and type suitable for your level is very important for this. This guide includes everything you must know about kneeboards before you go out to purchase one. We have mentioned the best materials, straps, and even additional features to help you out.

    Solid kneeboard reviews from users like you are the key to a successful purchasing experience. Knowing whether or not you want a competition or recreational board is also important. Competition boards tend to be a bit thinner, but have a harder outer shell to resist more water impacts from tricks. Recreational boards are thicker, but more forgiving on minor mistakes.

    You’ll then want to decide if you want a slalom board or a trick board. These board styles, combined with these features, will help you select the right board today.

    Here’s a Salty Dog pro tip: Beginner boards can perform tricks just as well as professional boards. It’s more important to get the feel of a trick and develop the skill of kneeboarding first before going to a thin graphite board, so almost all recreational users are going to prefer the beginner boards that are on the market today.

    Types of Kneeboards

    Depending on your level of skill and what you plan to do as a kneeboarder, you can opt for a specific style or type. There are two kinds of kneeboard; recreational and competition.

    Recreational Kneeboards

    These kneeboards are very affordable, fun to ride, and incredibly simple. They are designed especially for beginners and young kids that are trying to get a hold of this activity. Some of the most prominent features of recreational keyboards include:

    • They are made of a roto-molded board.
    • The design of these boards is such that they act as a flotation buoy and is ideal for riders who aren’t experts at swimming.
    • These boards also come with fins in order to make turns easier.
    • They have wide and soft edges that are enough to turn and make it easy to perform other amateur tricks.

    Competition Kneeboards

    Competition kneeboards are expensive and high-quality boards designed for advanced kneeboarders. They have features such as excellent performance and durability. Some other features include:

    • They are extremely lightweight, curvy, and thin, which allows experts to perform stunts and tricks with sharp turns without any limitations.
    • These boards are less buoyant since they are for professional use.
    • Kneeboards like these are made using compression-molding techniques and premium-quality material like fiberglass, making them extra responsive for competitions.

    When looking for a good competition kneeboard, you must choose a more dynamic board and one on which you can perform plenty of tricks. Opting for a board that can flow with your movements will be the best one for you.

    Material Quality

    Kneeboards need to be lightweight, yet still strong, no matter what your skill level happens to be.

    Kneeboards designed for professional and recreational usage are made using entirely different materials. Since new riders tend to be rough on their board, recreational boards are made from hard plastic, with a polyurethane core or a sturdy foam with a fiberglass shell to keep the prices down. This helps in increasing their durability and also maintains the weight by keeping them light.

    On the other hand, professionals usually know how to control and steer their boards and do not use them roughly. For this reason, their boards are made using fiberglass. It is easier and lightweight to maneuver through the water with these boards. Professional grade kneeboards usually have a graphite shell.

    Additional Kneeboard Features


    The addition of fins has the same use as the use of fins in other water sport boards; they tend to keep the board moving in a straight line and provide you with better control. Unfortunately, fins are not present on all boards, and you can find them on high-end models only.

    In addition to this, it is a good idea if the fins on your board are easily retractable. This way, you can use them if you need extra help and keep them closed if you don’t need them.

    Some kneeboards have fins, while others do not. A kneeboard with a rounded edge and bottom tends to do better for tricks. Adding fins to the board will help with its maneuverability, so steering becomes easier. They’re good to have when first starting out, but may not be wanted afterward.

    Leg Straps

    All kneeboards have leg straps that can easily be tightened on your thighs and allow you to secure the board to your legs. This is essential because kneeling on the board without these straps will cause you to slip off.

    Another important thing to look at when looking for leg straps is adjustability. Additionally, having padded straps so that they don’t cut your legs and make you uncomfortable during riding is a good idea, too.


    Most boards have a hydro hook, which allows you to hook the handle onto the front side of the board, so you won’t have to hold the handle on your own and tire out your arms. This means that you can pull the kneeboard without placing your hands on the rope handle. This is an excellent feature for beginners who cannot balance from the start.


    The rocker is essentially the curvature level that is at the bottom of the border. Lower rockers mean faster speeds, while higher rockers typically mean easier turns.


    What is a Kneeboard?

    A kneeboard is a board that is ridden by being in a kneeling stance. Kneeboards are usually ridden while surfing in the ocean, or they are towed behind a boat in a river or lake.

    What is the Best Kneeboard for Beginners?

    Beginner kneeboards are usually thick or wide in order to provide the rider extra stability. They have soft edges and provide users with a comfy ride. Similarly, beginner boards promise good control, so you don’t fall off easily.

    How Do I Take Care of a Kneeboard?

    Kneeboards need to be cleaned using fresh water and then put to dry under a shaded area. It is a good idea to keep the kneeboard covered in order to avoid any damage to its pads.

    Are Children’s Kneeboards Different?

    No, children’s kneeboards are not different, and they all have a universal fit. This being said, kneeboard models for kids are slightly smaller, and the adjustable straps make it easy for the kid to tighten the board without any problem.

    Are Non-padded Straps Worth The Purchase?

    Yes, non-padded straps do an excellent job at keeping you secured to the board in a relaxing position. These straps do not dig in your skin and are very comfortable as well.

    How Long Should The Strap Be?

    The straps have to be long enough to go over your legs properly and provide you with the safety you need. So, there isn’t any ideal strap length; it varies from one rider to another.

    What Kind Of Kneeboard Should A Beginner Have?

    A good beginner kneeboard will be thick and offer you more buoyancy than any other board. It will also be hollow, which will allow you to float in the water easily.

    How Can I Increase The Durability Of My Kneeboard?

    The best way to increase the durability of your kneeboard is to pay attention and provide it with the best maintenance. After using the kneeboard, you must make sure to rinse it off with fresh water and let it air dry. You must also let it stay in a dry and cool place away from direct sunlight because UV rays can be very harmful to the material of the board and also damage it.

    Kneeboarding History

    Kneeboarding is a water board sport that mixes water skiing, surfing, and wakeboarding together. According to history books, a kneeboard was invented by surfers in South California. Initially, surfers would attach rudimentary bellyboards to recreational boats when the ocean was flat, and there was ample water available in the area.

    The first kneeboard came into existence in the 1950s; however, the initial models were very advanced for that time, and not many people had access to motorboats and wakeboards. Kneeboarding really gained fame in 1972 with the board made by Knee Ski using molded fiberglass and ridden by skier Mike Murphy and surfer Bud Hulst. Only a year later, John Taylor, an ex-employer of Knee Ski, created a plastic shell board filled with foam, which became a hit all over the country.

    Kneeboard Care: Cleaning and Storage

    Just like every other piece of equipment, a kneeboard also requires maintenance to keep it durable and clean. Some important maintenance tips you must follow are:

    1. After you’re done using it, you must clean off any dirt and sand on it and then rinse your board using fresh, clean water.
    2. You must air-dry your board in the shed because leaving it in direct sunlight can be very damaging to the material.
    3. Always store the board in a dry and cool place.

    Rope Selection

    If you are a kneeboarder, then rope selection is a very important decision for you to make. There are three different kinds of ropes you can choose from, and each depends on the rider’s choice of comfort and riding ability. The available options include:

    No-Stretch Ropes

    These ropes are made from a material commonly known as Spectra. Such ropes are very durable and have no elasticity at all. This means that a no-stretch rope will do just what the name says – it won’t stretch, which makes it great for kneeboarding. Spectra ropes are great and have low moisture absorption as well, which makes them ideal for use in water.

    Low-Stretch Ropes

    These ropes are made of polyethylene or a polyethylene blend, and the construction provides it with better elasticity when compared to a no-stretch Spectra rope. This kind of construction is very beneficial to recreational riders.


    If you are a kneeboarder and want to perfect your skill when performing trips, then a no-stretch Spectra rope is ideal. For those who enjoy recreational kneeboarding and waterskiing, then low-stretch ropes are the best option; these ropes provide good elasticity and maintain stiffness at the same time.

    Board Styles

    Apart from the types of kneeboards, there are different kinds of board styles to choose from as well. These include:

    Slalom Boards

    These boards have flat bottoms and sharp edges to provide you with better turning and a smooth ride along with high-level tricks. Such boards are very common.

    Trick Boards

    Trick boards have a round button and sharp edges. As the name suggests, these boards are ideal for stunts and daredevil tricks.


    With the guide mentioned above, you can easily find the best kneeboards present on the market. You must make sure to do your own research as well and look for features that are ideal for your use while keeping in mind your skill level. Also, go through the FAQs to get a better grasp on these boards, and then go ahead and buy the one more suited to your kneeboarding purposes!

    The best kneeboards offer a comfortable riding experience, a strong shell, and good padding for those huge tricks you’re about to land one day. Get started today with this extreme sport, have an awesome afternoon, and you’ll be addicted just like everyone else who has tried kneeboarding at least once.

    Happy Shopping!

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