Whether you are just getting stated in the sport or you have been doing it for years, you will want to use the best kneeboard possible.
That way, you can always be sure that you are getting what you really need from your kneeboard.
But, it can be incredibly difficult to know what the right kneeboard is for you. There are several factors at play, including your experience level, what you like to do out on the water, and what you are hoping to learn as you progress in the sport.
You might even see that the various materials the boards are made out of might influence your decision.
There are so many different kneeboards out on the market that it is easy to become overwhelmed with the process. We have broken down the best boards on the market for you to help make the choice much easier for you.
10 Best Kneeboards (2021)
1. O'Brien Voo Doo
2. O'Brien Enforcer
3. Connelly Mirage
4. HO Joker Kneeboard
5. O'Brien Ricochet
6. HO Neutron Kneeboard
7. Connelly Theory
8. O'Brien Black Magic
9. Radar Hawk Kneeboard
10. O'Brien Sozo
1. O’Brien Voo Doo Kneeboard
Best Kneeboard (Editor's Choice)
Our choice for the best kneeboard is the O’Brien Voo Doo Kneeboard. This kneeboard is the best value that you will find on the market and comes with a lot of high-end features, but not the high-end pricing.
Starting with its design, the Voo Doo kneeboard was designed with a ¾ inch EVA pad, which will make it much easier to kneel on the board for long periods of time.
It also has quad molded fins at each corner that will provide you with excellent tracking as well as a curved understand, so you will be able to turn or spin easily.
It is a PE roto-molded board, so it will be able to hold up against whatever wear and tear that it might go through.
There are a lot of wonderful features with this board, including a padded adjustable strap. All kneeboards have straps, but not all kneeboards have padded straps that will not chafe your skin and are comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The board also has an integrated hook to help keep everything as together as you would want it to be. The hook will make it easier to get started in deep water, which is especially nice for beginning riders who really need that extra help to get them going.
2. O’Brien Enforcer Kneeboard
If you are more in the market for a high performance kneeboard, we suggest the O’Brien Enforcer Kneeboards.
Like all O’Brien boards, you will be able to expect a high quality design and excellent performance out on the water, but this board does have a few extra elements to make it really great out on the water.
The design of the Enforcer includes Durarail Sidewalls, which give the board a high performance shape. It also has a snappy fusion core, so it will be able to hold up to any amount of wear and tear that you throw at it.
It also was designed with a parallel edge profile and a squared off tip. The flexible deck that the board was designed with also will soften your landings and make it much easier to turn. You will there get the highest amount of pressure from the rails that is possible. It is very versatile though, so you will be able to ride it as you want.
When it comes to straps on your kneeboard, you will definitely want to be able to cinch it down.
The Enforcer comes with a cinch strap, so you will really be able to tighten the strap down as much as possible. It also comes with an adjustable EVA pad, which will help to keep you as comfortable as you will want to be, so you do not need to take any extra breaks.
3. Connelly Mirage Kneeboard
You still do not have to spend too much money in order to get a good quality kneeboard.
From our research, we have found that the perfect kneeboard on a budget is the Connelly Mirage kneeboard. Even though it is more affordable than other boards, it still performs well and is reliable.
The design of the Mirage is a twin tip design. This means that there is a long side-cut radius to make for a stable forgiving ride, making it a nice choice for beginning riders who need a little bit of help.
The handle hook has also been built-in, so you will have no trouble learning the sport quickly. The Mirage was also roto-molded, which means that it was compressed well and should be able to hold up against the kind of knocking that the board would experience on a regular day.
The best features that you will get with the Mirage is the plush kneeboard with an adjustable Velcro strap. The board can hold the handle for you while you are getting yourself together and then you only have to pick the handle back up and get back to riding.
The board also comes with a plush knee strap, eliminating the worry of having the strap causing any kind of chafing or injury. Any added comforts will make it easier to learn.
4. HO Joker Kneeboard
There are so many wonderful looking kneeboards out on the market that if you have not considered the design, you might want to.
We found that the best design choice for a kneeboard was the HO Joker kneeboard. This board not only has an amazing image and art on it, but it was also designed to give you a high level of performance.
Let’s look at the aesthetics that you would get with this board. The pictures should be striking, because they were actually painted by an artist from DC Comics, Tom Klarich.
The Joker has a joker figure with a trident on it, looking fierce, but also making the board look spectacular. The design also has a square tip tail shape which will help with speed an control out on the water.
The Jokers features include a dual-density knee pad, which was also designed by Tony Klarich, will give you the highest level of comfort for every landing, ensuring that your legs are not going to take a beating.
It also has a PowerLock single locking knee strap, which will also help give you comfort, but it will also keep everything as in place as you want it to. It also has two knee strap locations to work with, so you will get some choice in where they go.
5. O’Brien Ricochet Kneeboard
The O’Brien Ricochet Kneeboard is another great choice for a kneeboard. This is more of a board to use if you are stepping up from a plastic board, so it is for riders who have a little bit of experience and are trying to further progress their skills up to the next level of riding.
The design of this board includes a twin tip and V-dull design. This will help you have good movement on the water, but also will give you a high level of riding comfort. The construction is compression molded as well, combined with a molded flex pad as well as a 3-inch padded strap.
The strap will help deliver heightening responsiveness while still giving you a nice, secure fit. Overall, this is a comfortable design to ensure that you will not suffer from any bumps along the way.
The EVA pad is probably the best feature that you will get with this board, because that is where you will need the highest level of comfort.
It also has a molded0in hook, so it will be easy to train with. It is more of an entry board for riders who are trying to move beyond beginning riding into the next level of performance, but are not ready for anything extreme.
6. HO Neutron Kneeboard
The HO Neutron Kneeboard is a kneeboard that works well for all levels, making it great kneeboard for anyone looking at something that is more versatile.
The design of the HO Neutron includes a continuous rocker. This will allow you to get a high amount of big air, but will also make it easy to land back on the water without giving yourself a big jolt.
It also has molded-in fins that will give you an extra edge hold, keeping the board as stable as possible. The design is also interesting, because it has been snowboard inspired with its side cut, allowing you to really slice through the water as easily as you would want to.
There are a lot of great features that come with the Neutron board, including the large orthotic kneepad. This will make the ride more comfortable overall while it also helps soften your landing so you will not be heavily jolted every time that you go down.
The molded fins give you maximum control over your board as well, which is nice for both beginning boarders and more experienced recreational boarders who want to have a good handle over their board. The handle holder also makes it easier to get started in the deeper water without too much trouble.
7. Connelly Theory Kneeboard
The Connelly Theory Kneeboard is another board that you will want to take a look at if you are looking for a board for beginning to intermediate riders.
In general, this board is intended to be a lot of fun and is not the right choice if you are looking for something more competitive.
This brightly coloured kneeboard has been designed with a central channel that will allow the water to flow under the board without any trouble. The design also has edge rails that will help with tracking.
New riders will also be happy to see that there is a front handle hook to help you get started on deeper water starts. That way, your hands will be free while you are getting yourself set up. The twin tip design also will help you maintain your control over the board.
The plush kneepad is the best feature that you will get from this board. You will want to have that extra layer of comfort so you can focus on riding and not anything else.
There is also a padded Velcro strap that has been ergonomically shaped to give you the highest level of comfort. The fact that the board has been roto-molded is also a benefit, because there are no hidden air pockets within the board to interfere with your buoyancy.
8. O’Brien Black Magic Kneeboard
If you are looking for a versatile board that would be able to work with more than one member of your family or simply more than one member of your party, the O’Brien Black Magic Kneeboard is the solution for you. The size of the board is especially versatile, so it should fit just about anyone well.
The design of the Black Magic includes retractable fins, which means that you can have them up or down, depending on preference. That is also why this works so well for more than rider, because some might prefer fins while others do not.
There are two fins to work with. The design also includes a smooth bottom contouring that will help you catch some air, but will also ease you into the landing gently, so it should not jolt you terribly.
The Black Magic comes with a padded and adjustable strap so you will be pretty comfortable wearing the strap out on the water.
Since it is adjustable, it can be moved around to fit individuals better as well. The aquatic hook that is in place will help you hang onto the rope while you are getting started in the water, which is especially nice for beginners.
9. Radar Hawk Kneeboard
If you are looking more for a board to experiment tricks with and learn what you can really do on a kneeboard, you should give the Radar Hawk Kneeboard a try.
This brightly coloured board is fun to play with, giving you the ability to catch air and still manage to make sharp turns when you would like to.
Looking at the design of the Radar Hawk Kneeboard, it comes with a narrowed tip profile. This will make edging much easier, since there is less surface area on the tip of the board.
It also has a 3.2 inch swallowtail, which will also help with speedy turns and increase your overall holding power. The colours of the board are also very fun, adding to the overall playful feel that you will get from the board. It also has a carbon laminate coating for added durability.
One of the best features that you will get with the Hawk kneeboard is the retractable fins. This will give you the best grip possible on the water when they are extended, but they can also allow you to let go and loosen up on the board, making it really versatile.
Really, this board is good if you are looking to catching some air and master some tricks that are new to you. You should be able to do a lot with it.
10. O’Brien Sozo Kneeboard
The last board that we will look at is a board for professionals. Our choice for the best kneeboard for professionals is the O’Brien Sozo Kneeboard.
This is a slick board that really will give you an incredible level of performance.
The design of the board includes a sandwich construction that helps with the flex pattern of the board itself. This works to store energy and then allowing you to release it perfectly at the wake.
The shape of the board is clean and efficient as well, resembling a surf board. That way, it will edge without any issue and really allow you to have all of the speed that you want to get from your board.
Moving onto the features of the board, the board is mad with a Sozo pad that is high-quality and incredibly comfortable.
The pad is completely customizable as well, so it will really work with you like no other pad on the market, softening the landings so that you are not getting seriously jolted each time that you come down from a big jump. The board is made to store and release energy efficiently and effectively right at the wake.
Finally, the board is lightweight, so it will move with you, giving you a nice, reliable feel to your board. Really, you cannot do better than this board if you are looking for something that is competition level.
Factors To Consider When Looking For The Best Kneeboard
There are two primary types of kneeboards to look at, which are recreational and competition kneeboards. The type that you will want depends on your experience level and what you are planning on doing with the board.
- Recreational Kneeboards: Recreational kneeboards are intended for easy turning and are the common choice for both beginners and children. They are normally thick and buoyant with soft and wide edges. They are made with rotational molding, which is how the board winds up with the softer edges.
- Competition Kneeboards: The competitive boards have a higher level of durability, even though they are thinner than recreational boards are. They are made to be light and turn easily. Usually, only advanced and experienced riders should try to use a competition board, because they are not going to keep you upright alone. These are made with compression molding for more longevity.
The materials that are used to construct kneeboards are the same as what you will find with water skis. This means that they can either have a foam core that is wrapped in fiberglass or a graphite composite, or they can be made of polyurethane.
The fiberglass and graphite boards are typically the materials that are used in the higher end boards that are used by the more experienced riders that need the higher level of durability.
Meanwhile, the PU material is less durable, but it will instead help keep you afloat in the water, making it a better choice for beginners.
Fins & Rocker
When it comes to kneeboards, not all of them come with fins. They are not required on recreational boards, but when they are present, they are usually on the bottom to help you with steering.
They are normally made of a fiberglass composite, hard plastic, or compressed foam, depending on the kind of board that you have. Rockers are on all boards. The higher the number your rocker is, the easier it is to turn, but the slower the board will turn.
Beginners would want a bigger rocker for more control, while advanced riders would want a lower rocker to get more speed.
Every kneeboard has leg straps. They are there to help keep you attached to the board, since it is easy to lose a board underneath you.
The primary thing to look at with leg straps is to make sure that they are adjustable so they can fit your legs comfortably, but also snugly enough that you don’t lose your board.
What Rope Should I Use For Kneeboarding
Rope selection can be complicated since there are so many different types of ropes for kneeboarding. You can look for ropes that have no stretch, which is usually made out of Spectra.
Spectra is non-absorbent and is as strong as steel. Low stretch ropes will have more elastic. It is better to go with a multipurpose rope that can allow you to build on your skills, but still have enough stiffness for you to perform tricks when you are ready to. Low-stretch ropes are often less expensive since they contain polyester.
What Is An Ideal Boat Speed For Kneeboarding
The ideal boat speed for you will depend on your ability. When you are getting started, you will want a slower speed at maybe 5 to 10 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, more skilled and experienced riders might want to go up to 25 miles per hour. The faster speeds allow for bigger jumps, but also are harder.
Is Kneeboarding Easier Than Wakeboarding And Wakesurf Boarding?
Really it comes down to personal opinion. Both sports should be the same level of difficulty as long as you are using equipment suited to your needs.
Wakeboarding is a little harder since you have to stand up on your feet, which is a little harder for balance.
When it comes down to it, there are a lot of great kneeboards out there to choose from. That said, we still have our favourite.
Our choice for the best kneeboard was the O’Brien Voo Doo Kneeboard. This board has high-end features, but is still affordable for riders at all levels. It is also practically indestructible.
For anyone wanting a high performance board, we found that the O’Brien Enforcer Kneeboard was a great option. This beast of a board is perfect for advanced riders who are really looking to catch some air out on the water.
Regardless of our top choices, you need to be sure that the board that you are using is the right choice for your needs.
You want something that is going to hold up and last a long time, but it also needs to be at your level of riding. Look carefully and consider your needs before you buy.