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Kneeboard Buying Guide: Finding The Best Kneeboard For Beginners (2023)

If you have a passion for water sports, then you might consider starting knee-boarding as a hobby.

Besides being more fun than other water activities, this sport helps you achieve better control, balance, strength, and endurance.

However, you will be required to have the right kneeboard for this activity.

Kneeboards are quite a lot in today’s market.

Choosing one that is perfect for you can be overwhelming because manufacturers do all they can to attract you to their products.

That is why this buying guide will give you detailed information on how to choose the best kneeboard for yourself.

In a hurry? We recommend O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook at Amazon.

Factors to Consider when Buying a Kneeboard

Although you might be after the same products, your tastes, preferences, and even financial abilities are different from those of other shoppers.

That is why it is crucial to set your standards straight so that you take home a kneeboard that satisfies your needs.

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing a kneeboard…

The Price

Different kneeboards carry varying price tags because of the variances in brands, colors, sizes, and features.

Therefore, before you step into the market, you must know how much you would like to spend on such a product.

Consequently, it is advisable to thoroughly scrutinize different things to find one who offers a kneeboard within your set budget as a beginner kneeboarder.

Having a budget is the perfect way to avoid overspending on a single product.

Fortunately, you do not have to visit every shop in town physically – you can check out different kneeboard dealers and brands online, and most probably, they will have listed the prices for their products.

The Type

All kneeboards fall into either of the two categories, namely recreational and competitive.

Recreational kneeboards are the best choice for beginners because they are designed for casual users.

Such boards have wider edges to make it easy for you to take turns and thicker bases for added buoyancy.

In addition, the material used in recreational kneeboards is soft, making them the cheapest of the two categories.

Rotomolded boards are classified under recreational kneeboards, but they are mostly perfect for intermediate and advanced knee-boarders.

Besides their high buoyancy promoted by their slightly thicker base, Rotomolded kneeboards’ bodes perform and turn smoothly in the water.

Moreover, if a rider falls off their board, they can use a Rotomolded board as a floating device.   

On the flip side, competitive kneeboards are meant to be used by advanced riders at competitive levels.

As a result, they are much lighter than their recreational cousins, allowing the rider to reach higher speeds and do impressive tricks.

The Design

Besides the two types described above, you also need to break down your kneeboard needs into your desired design.

The design plays a pivotal role in the performance of the kneeboard:


Steering and turning are made more effortless for you as a beginner by a kneeboard that features some fins.

However, not all kneeboards have fins.

Recreational boards may have fins that enhance their performance when combined with rounded edges and a rounded bottom.

On recreation boards, the fins and the exterior are made of the same material.

Competitive kneeboards do not have fins, but they are highly curved for optimum performance and allow advanced riders to do incredible stunts.


The curvature of a kneeboard’s bottom is known as the rocker number.

It is the part that determines how fast the board can run and how easy it is for it to turn.

Boards with high rocker numbers turn easily, but those with lower numbers move faster.

Recreational boards for beginners have rocker numbers ranging between five and six.


As a beginner, the best choice would be a kneeboard made of traditional materials that are cheaper.

For advanced riders, kneeboards with lightweight but strong materials are the best choice.

The cores of both types are made of foam or polyurethane.

However, on competitive boards, the shell is made from a mixture of fiberglass and graphite, while the shell for recreational boards is made from fiberglass only.

guy on kneeboard

Consider the Brand

Today’s market is packed with different kneeboard manufacturers and brands.

Some are legit, but others have a terrible reputation.

However, knowing a particular brand’s reputation is not complex, thanks to the internet.

Most of these manufacturers and brands have their own websites displaying their products and interacting with their clients.

The best place to check how the company has been performing is by going through the customer reviews on the brand’s website.

This will help you avoid falling victim to fraud or counterfeit products.

Additionally, you can ask around for references from any of your friends, family, or neighbors who own a legit kneeboard.

The Style

Kneeboards can further be broken down into two different styles.

The style you choose will be determined by how you intend to use the equipment.

Trick Style 

As the name suggests, this style is designed for advanced riders skilled in doing stunts and tricks using their kneeboards.

Such boards have rounded edges, which enhances smooth turning and excellent performance.

Additionally, their highly curved bottom makes kneeboarding tricks, such as air flips and spins possible.

Slalom Style 

Slalom skiing is a perfect water sport, and that is what this board style is designed to do.

Such boards come with sharp edges and flattened undersides, which allows sharper and smoother turns.

Kneeboards with a slalom style are designed to adhere to the water, rather than allowing the rider airtime to pull out some stunts. 

Our Picks: Best Kneeboards for Beginners

Looking for some suggestions on which kneeboard to buy for your first board?

We’ve got a few recommendations below.

1. O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook

Great for beginners looking for an easy ride and tons of control

O'Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook
buy at Amazon

If you’re shopping for a quality brand offers you a great value for the money, then this O’Brien kneeboard is a great choice for you.

The O’Brien VooDoo pairs a forgiving ride with the ability to put the board on edge and charge the wake.

The molded fins at each corner provide extra tracking on the water, while the curved underside allows the board to roll from edge-to-edge for quick and smooth transitions.

The 3/4″ thick pad provides plush comfort for your knees and ankles, while the 3-inch padded strap helps secure you for added control.

The VooDoo also features O’Brien’s molded-in hook for easy, hands-free starts.

Buy it now at Amazon.

2. SereneLife ThunderWave Water Sport Kneeboard with Hook

Great for beginners looking for a budget-friendly ride

 SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard with Hook for Kids & Adults, Kneeboard with Strap for Boating, Waterboarding, Kneeling Boogie Boarding, Knee Surfing
buy at Amazon

If you’re on a budget and shopping for cheap kneeboards, then this model from SereneLife is one of the best options out there.

Hit the waves with a quality knee board to take your adventure to greater wake heights.

Thunder Wave knee boards are specially designed with a “hook” to hold the tow rope handle while you’re getting started.

Cruise through the basics and take your journey towards professional knee boarding with Serenelife.

Buy it now at Amazon.

3. Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard 2116 Green

Great for beginners looking for a higher quality board designed for tricks

 Hydroslide Havoc Kneeboard 2116 Green
buy at Amazon

If you want to invest in a kneeboard that you can grow with as your skills develop, then this model from Hydroslide is an awesome choice.

Technically, it’s not a beginner board, but more of an intermediate rider board – but you can still learn on it and ride as a beginner.

The Havoc 2116 features a patented ultra thin profile design and deep knee wells for ultimate control.

Patented hydrohook helps get every rider get up the first time, every time.

Progressive edge is round in the mid section and sharp at each end allowing the board to cut hard, but not get hung during surface tricks.

Water tension relief design on bottom gives the board a light, responsive feel. Includes shock strap. Made in the USA.

Buy it now at Amazon.

Final Word

Water sports, such as kneeboarding, have been there for a while.

If you are a beginner in this sport, you must be aware of how challenging it can be to get the right kneeboard.

The information discussed above is very detailed, and it can help you make an informed decision when getting your beginner kneeboard.

The first thing is to determine how much you are willing to spend, then check out different brands, and consider the style, type, and design of the board that you want.

Follow the steps keenly, and you will get it right the first time.