When it comes to the water, there are plenty of different watersports out there, from surfing to boating and everything in between. These activities can be an excellent way to beat the heat and have some fun, but some of them can require high levels of athleticism and balance to pull off, which can make them difficult for beginners to try and enjoy.
Kneeboarding allows newcomers to get a grip on the sport, even when they have minimal experience and potentially aren’t very good at keeping their balance. A kneeboard lets you sit on the board, safely strapped in, and you can start to get a handle on doing tricks with less hassle than some other sports, which makes it appealing to many people.
If you plan to get into kneeboarding or you already are, you need a high-quality board to be on your side along the way. That’s why we’ve built our guide to the best kneeboard options available so that you can find one that fits your needs—newcomer or advanced boarder alike.
Best Kneeboard: Comparison Table
|Product||Hydroslide Magna Kneeboard||ZUP All-in-One Wakeboard, Kneeboard, and Wakesurf Board||O’Brien Ion Kneeboard||Driftsun Kneeboard||Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard||O’Brien Rush 5150 Kneeboard||Body Glove Kneeboard||Leader Accessories Kneeboard||SerineLife Water Sport Kneeboard||O’Brien SoZo Kneeboard|
|Best For||Beginner to Intermediate||Beginner to Intermediate||Beginner to Intermediate||Beginner to Experienced||Intermediate||Experienced||Beginner||Beginner||Advanced||Advanced|
|Weight||11 lbs||14 lbs||14.4 lbs||14.6 lbs||15 lbs||15.6 lbs||11.6 lbs||13 lbs||8.7 lbs||16.4 lbs|
|Best Feature||Can handle tricks||Multi-sport capable||Recreational use||Suitable for all types of boarding||Stable in even rough waters||Professional grade||Can handle basic and slightly advanced tricks||Good pick for children||Multi-sport capable||Competitive grade|
How We Reviewed
When selecting our candidates for the best kneeboard around, we took our time to review various products from different brands, as well as those meant for different skill levels. We compared materials, durability, comfort, prices, and customer feedback to ensure that the only options you’ll see in our kneeboard buyer’s guide are the best of the best.
Overall Price Range of Kneeboards
The cost of a kneeboard will depend on the brand, build, intended audience, and other features, but you can expect to see boards on the lower end of the spectrum for around eighty dollars, while some pricier models can cost several hundreds of dollars. As such, it’s best to plan a budget before you start to shop, so you know how much you’re willing to spend.
Top Picks for the Best Kneeboards
Starting off our kneeboard list is the Hydroslide Magna Kneeboard. This option makes for a strong pick for beginners and intermediate users, meaning that it’s an excellent investment when you already know you plan to continue the sport past a few tries.
The design is excellent for learning jumps and tricks, and it overall makes kneeboarding an easy process as you learn the ropes. There’s also a noteworthy warranty, which shows that the company believes in the durability of its product. At eleven pounds, this design is lightweight and easy to carry.
The downside to that is that it can only support so much weight on the water, with a maximum threshold of under one-hundred-and-twenty pounds. While that limits many riders, it is suitable for a children’s board.
If you’re not only looking for a kneeboard but a piece of equipment that can handle various watersports, then this is the board you want. Despite being able to tackle these multiple sports, this product is still simple to use and makes for an excellent choice for beginners and intermediate users.
At fourteen pounds, this kneeboard is a bit heavier than the Hydroslide Magna, but not by much. The straps have adjustable padding, so you can board in comfort for as long as you like. The way this board sits in the water provides stability necessary for people still getting a handle on the sport.
While still affordable for all its features, this board is on the higher end of the price range.
Overall, the O’Brien Ion Kneeboard has a lot going for it: the knee padding adds to comfort, the strap is long enough to accommodate many different riders, and it only comes in one size that fits all, taking away the stress of knowing if the product will be big enough—an excellent boon for online shoppers.
When it comes to handling in the water, it’s just as versatile in that category as it is in fitting different riders. This kneeboard is easy to maneuver, and it takes turns well. The design also allows for smooth stops so that you don’t get jolted around on the board, which can be uncomfortable and unsafe.
Take note that this board doesn’t allow you to adjust the strap fully, and there also aren’t any side handles; these are unfortunate setbacks for a costly board.
If the Hydroslide Magna kneeboard is a worthwhile investment for beginners who plan to enjoy the sport for a long time, this board from Driftsun goes even further since it can please newcomers and experienced boarders alike. One feature that helps beginners is the hook at the front, which is removable later down the end.
This board also sits lower in the water thanks to its Bevel edge, so you have extra stability; the three-inch padded strap also helps with this. With these design features involved, this board is an excellent choice for kneeboarding in choppier, rougher waters.
The Havoc Kneeboard gains Hydroslide another spot on our list. Unlike some of the other choices we’ve covered so far in this guide, this board is much more suitable for intermediate riders than beginners, primarily due to the lack of fins.
If you want to learn kneeboard tricks, the contour along the edges is perfect for maneuverability. The padded strap is also excellent at absorbing shocks, so you won’t experience any issues when it comes to jumping and landing. When it comes to towing, Hydroslide’s hydro-hook technology ensures that you have a smooth ride that also happens to be stylish and brightly colored.
Speaking of brands making a return appearance on our best kneeboards guide, O’Brien shows up again with the Rush 5150 boards. This kneeboard is the product of O’Brien’s merger with Ted Bevelaqua, and it shows in the quality of the design that’s excellent for any rider of any size.
While it’s suitable for beginners to use, expert boarders will get the best ride out of this product as its design allows for riding both forwards and backward, and the stiff design ensures its durability and shock absorption capabilities. Anyone who wants to engage in extreme tricks will find themselves delighted with this product.
As you may expect with such an excellent piece of equipment, this kneeboard falls into the pricier category—but it’s certainly worth every penny spent.
If you’re in the market for a kneeboard meant for beginners instead, this offering from Body Glove is one of your many choices that receives our recommendation. Between comfortable knee support, EVA pad, and a padded strap, there’s plenty to keep you boarding as you get a handle on the basics up to learning more advanced boarding techniques.
Aside from the comfort aspects, the design is appealing, too, with vibrant covers along the front end that are sure to make you feel excited about getting into the water. The tow point is easy to attach to your hook, but it’s also secure, and the overall build glides smoothly when in motion.
Since this is a beginner’s board, it won’t be as effective for advanced kneeboarders, but it does make an excellent starting point for those new to the sport.
Another quality beginners board comes from Leader Accessories, which works in both terms of style and ease of use. It can very smoothly move through water, making it easy to keep one’s balance while on the water. The lighter weight of this board makes it a top choice for children riders since they can carry it on their own and quickly move it if they happen to capsize.
Another feature that is helpful for beginners is that there’s a hook the rider can hold onto, making it easier to take off and put on. You can also adjust the padded straps to fit the rider best, though they aren’t as long as some other available products out there. Since this is a beginner’s board, it would also be nice to see side handles.
Unlike other boards on our list, which prioritize a smooth stop, this board can be jerky as it comes to a halt.
Kneeboarding may have the potential to be an extreme sport, which may make the SereneLife brand name seem almost like a contradiction. However, this is a piece of watersport equipment that can handle not only kneeboarding but also other activities, like boogie boarding and boating, depending on how you use it.
Of course, if you only want to use it as a kneeboard, that’s perfectly fine, too, and this product will help you stay stable no matter how you choose to ride it. The sizing also fits boarders of all ages and sizes, as does it’s lighter weight. We also like the inclusion of marine-grade, corrosion-proof materials, which will ensure this board will last for quite a while.
The safety straps are also high-quality, ensuring that you and your board will stay together no matter what the water throws at you.
Alright, we have to hand it to O’Brien: they know how to make a kneeboard that stands out in terms of both performance and style. The neon green colors on this board make it attractive, and the core of wood stringers and foam make it stand out amongst other offerings on the market.
The pad is more than just stylish, as you have the opportunity to customize the placement to maximize your comfort. Additionally, this board will serve you well if you want to perform complicated tricks, and it even has a following among competitive boarders. For anyone that wants to emphasize the extreme aspect of this watersport, then the SoZo Kneeboard will ride the waves with you.
1. What materials do kneeboards use?
A kneeboard can have different materials depending on its intended use. Commonly, boards meant for beginners use durable plastics that can stand up to the learning boarder, while ones made with fiberglass are better for advanced riders that perform tricks.
2. What are the most important things I should look for in a kneeboard?
Aside from choosing a board that’s best for your level of skill, you should focus on comfort. Priorities include selecting a board that’s comfortable and makes you feel secure when you strap yourself in place.
3. Should I pay close attention to the straps when picking out a kneeboard?
Depending on the board you look at, the straps can vary in length and whether they have padding or not. Aside from confirming that the straps are secure, pads tend to be a matter of preference. If you’re unsure what length of straps you’ll need, it’s better to get ones that are too long rather than too short.
4. Should I look for a child-sized kneeboard?
Many other water sports tend to have different equipment for children since they’re much smaller. That trend is much less common in kneeboards, and you’ll likely have a challenge finding one made just for kids. However, most kneeboards on the smaller side will work just as well for children without any hassle.
The best kneeboard for you will depend on your skill level and what you plan to do. For the crème of the crop, we recommend the O’Brien SoZo, due to its unique build and competitive grade handling. The Driftsun Kneeboard on our list is best for beginners, as it will let you adjust the board as your skills grow.
Even so, if one of these other kneeboards catches your eye, don’t hesitate; so long as you consider what you need from the product, it will serve you well.