5 Best Kneeboards: Kids, Budget, & Whole Family Options

best kneeboards

Anyone who’s experienced the thrill of being towed behind a motorboat on a kneeboard will tell you it’s an experience like no other. Kneeboarding is a popular towsport enjoyed by thousands each summer. Pick up a kneeboard from our ranking of the best 5 best kneeboards and find out for yourself.

But what do you need to know about a kneeboard before finding one that’s right for you and your skill level? Or maybe instead, you want a kneeboard for children, or a kneeboard that’s versatile enough for the whole family? In this article we answer these questions, and a whole lot more. What’s for certain, this watersport is easy to get into, and once mastered, easy to make as adventurous as you wish. Our picks for the 5 best kneeboards are coming up next.

Our Top Picks

Here’s a quick look at each kneeboard in our ranking.

Leader-Accessories-Kneeboard-2Best Kneeboards: Leader Accessories Kneeboard
Durable and easy to use, Leader Accessories make the best kneeboard on the market.
zup you got this 2.0 kneeboardBest Kneeboards for Kids: ZUP You Got This 2.0 Board and Handle Combo
Get the kneeboarders of tomorrow started young with the ZUP You Got This 2.0 board and handle combo.
xspec kneeboard for knee surfingBest Kneeboards for Tricks: Xspec Kneeboard With Hook Strap
Xspec kneeboard with hook strap keeps things interesting for more experienced kneeboarders.
serenelife water sport kneeboardBest Budget Kneeboard: SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard
Ultra-light with a strap for safety, SereneLife makes the best kneeboard for those on a budget.
o'brien voodoo kneeboardBest Kneeboard for the Family: O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook
With an integrated hook and adjustable strap, O’Brien Voodoo provides hours of fun for the whole family.
 

A Closer Look: Best Kneeboards

Like the best water for kneeboarding: here’s a deeper look at the pros and cons of each kneeboard we reviewed.

1. Leader Accessories Kneeboard

The best kneeboards overall

leader accessories kneeboard- best kneeboard overall

Brand: Leader Accessories | Padding: EVA Foam | Hook: Integrated | Strap: Adjustable | Price: 💰💰

Right up front, what caught our attention about the Leader Accessories kneeboard were the comfort features, like 3/4″ EVA foam padding, an adjustable padded strap, and deep knee wells. 

Look into it though, this board offers more than just a comfortable ride. It’s durable, made from corrosion-proof and marine grade materials, with a beveled edge for fast cuts. It also sits low in the water making it a great choice for beginners.

Overall, this board is easy to ride. The large strap helps beginners get up and ride quickly, with comfortable knee indents. Whole families enjoy the kneeboard, and more experienced boarders say it tracks well over wake, though the grooved bottom does somewhat limit turns and twists. 

Nevertheless, the board is lightweight and easy to maneuver for every skill level. Best of all, it’s also very reasonably priced.

  • Rope hook easy to use
  • Great for kids to learn on
  • Issues with bolt holding knee strap
  • Some kids get tired of holding the rope

2. ZUP You Got This 2.0 Board and Handle Combo

The best kneeboard for kids

zup you got this kneeboard for kids

Brand: ZUP | Padding: EVA Foam | Hook: Built-In Handle | Strap: Tow Handle/Rope | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Many kneeboards in our ranking could work for kids or beginners, but the absolute best is the Zup You Got This 2.0. 

First off, it’s versatile, like many water toys in one, including a kneeboard, wakeboard, and boogie board among others. It’s also easy to use, with an integrated side handle covered in rubber EVA foam padding, and ABS molded construction. We also like the integrated tow hook.

But You Got This also has plenty to offer for more experienced riders, easily carving, spinning and performing tricks. Kids feel comfortable on the board and it’s easy to use and get up on, though some say it’s heavier than expected. 

For these reasons and more, this is the absolute best kneeboard for kids, according to reports.

  • Super buoyant
  • Fun for adults too
  • Tough and very well made
  • Handles could be grippier
  • Too big and heavy for some
  • Poorly placed foot strap, some say

3. Xspec Kneeboard With Hook Strap

The best kneeboard for tricks

xspec kneeboard for tricks

Brand: Xspec | Padding: EVA Foam | Hook: Integrated Easy-Start | Strap: Adjustable Knee Strap | Price: 💰💰

Maybe you’re an intermediate or advanced kneeboarder looking for a good kneeboard for tricks. 

For this purpose, we love the Xspec kneeboard with hook strap. With EVA foam padding and an integrated, easy-start hook, what make the board great for tricks are the blended wakeboard and water ski design elements. It’s a great choice for spin-type tricks, but the molded fins also offer a smoother ride. 

Overall, it’s a very easy-to-use board and the hook is ideal for deep-water starts, which is also the best environment for tricks. 

Kneeboarders of all ages and of every skill level enjoy the board, and with super-soft foam, it’s also very comfortable. Don’t miss the high-impact durable plastic housing. We like that it comes in a few different color and design combos to match your style as well.

  • Looks great
  • Small, compact design
  • Raised area in front holds ski rope handle perfectly
  • Not the best for larger riders
  • Not for wakeboarding, some say
  • One shipped without second knee strap hook

4. SereneLife Water Sport Kneeboard

The best kneeboard on a budget

serenelife water sport kneeboard

Brand: SereneLife | Padding: EVA Foam | Hook: Integrated | Strap: Adjustable | Price: 💰

Looking for a cheap and affordable way to get into kneeboarding without sacrificing quality? For this purpose we choose the Water Sport kneeboard from SereneLife. 

Very light and easy to carry, this SereneLife kneeboard has an adjustable strap, and it’s made from marine-grade and corrosion-proof materials. It’s compact design makes it easy to throw in the back of a car, or even in the trunk, and it’s tough enough to accommodate the most experienced riders.

On the shorter side for a kneeboard, SereneLife might not be the best choice for larger adults, but it’s perfect for teens and kids. The hook up front is easy to use when it’s time to strap in and get towed along, and the padding is adequate, taking most pressure off the knees, especially in choppy water. 

And according to feedback, the ride is smooth and the board is solid, especially for the price.

  • Priced right for its function
  • Easy to launch and maneuver
  • Tow handle holder works great
  • No fins
  • A little nose heavy
  • Not the best for taller folks

5. O’Brien Voodoo Kneeboard with Hook

The best kneeboard for the whole family

o'brien voodoo kneeboard with hook

Brand: O’Brien | Padding: EVA Foam | Hook: Integrated | Strap: Padded Adjustable | Price: 💰💰💰

Offering fun for the whole family and for all skill levels, the O’Brien Voodoo kneeboard with hook is up next in our ranking. What makes it great for more experienced riders is the variable beveled edge and quad molded fins, with a curved underside, rolling edge to edge for smoother transitions. 

Those new to kneeboarding, though, love the padded adjustable strap, and the molded-in hooks make hands-free starts particularly easy.

Also, the handle is easy to take off and put on, according to reports, but the rope is sold separately, we found out. The tow rope helps first-timers concentrate on getting up on the board, while the integrated fin offers great control and better cuts getting into and out of the wake. 

Overall, the O’Brien Voodoo is great for beginning to intermediate riders, but it is a little slower than most fiberglass kneeboards. Nevertheless, adults can ride it aggressively, while kids can have a blast on it too, according to feedback. 

  • Good bang for your buck
  • Accommodates “big dudes”
  • Hook on front a huger plus
  • Slow to respond crossing wake, some say
  • Tough to hang on to rope when cutting hard
  • Risk of pinching fingers between handle and hook

How to Prepare for a Successful Day of Kneeboarding

Although a relatively easy watersport to get into, kneeboarding does take some practice. An experienced kneeboarder should always accompany someone who’s new to the pastime, and kneeboarders of all ages should always wear a life jacket when they’re out on the water.

Otherwise, here are some additional tips to get better and stay safe while kneeboarding:

best kneeboard
Image by Canva

1. Pick the Right Board and Rope

For beginners, we recommend a roto-molded board for stability. They’re also less expensive than other kinds of boards, and a good choice for kids.

As far as the rope, they come both low-stretch and no stretch, and they’re also available in different lengths. We recommend those new to kneeboarding pick a no stretch rope at a length of about 40 feet.

Speed is another important thing to consider when just learning to kneeboard. Kneeboards typically travel from between 18 and 24 MPH and less experienced riders should start slow. Higher speeds also require a longer rope.

2. Maintain Good Posture

When just learning to kneeboard it’s important to maintain proper posture to keep your center of gravity back further than normal.

Proper posture for kneeboarding is:

  • Back Straight
  • Shoulder Back
  • Hands at your waist

It’s also crucial to keep your eyes straight ahead at all times. There’s a saying among kneeboarders: “look down, fall down.” 

When learning, don’t try tricks too quickly, and it’s generally recommended that if you feel like you’re going to fall, it’s best not to bail out. Do your best to stay on the board, and chances are, you’ll be more successful than you might expect!

But most all, when just learning how to kneeboard, keep trying and never give up!

Our Process

For this guide on the best kneeboards, our team spent 5 hours researching the top 25 most popular options from various brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about 30+ user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each kneeboard. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 5 kneeboards on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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