Has any of this ever happened to you? If it hasn’t, it could, unless you make sure you are equipped with the right accessories for a full day of kneeboarding.
Gloves: For wakeboarders, gloves aren’t cool. For kneeboarders, gloves are a necessity. With wakeboarding and kneeboarding alike, going without gloves allows the rider to have a better feel for the handle while performing handle passes. Manufacturers have also made the handles softer to prevent blisters. However; in kneeboarding, the rider is so close to the board that the probability of smashing fingertips on the top or cutting fingers on the edge is greatly increased. I can’t even count the number of times that, upon landing, the handle would get yanked by the boat as my fingers smashed against the top of the board. I have also sliced right through the thumb of a quality pair of gloves on the edge of my board. It left only a nick on my thumb and not a trip to the hospital for stitches, had I not worn gloves.
I recommend using the softer grip handles and standard amara palm gloves. If you use a more aggressive grip handle, your gloves will wear out quicker. Certainly don’t use a kevlar glove on a soft grip handle as this will tear up the grip on the handle. Don’t use ¾ finger gloves either, since most of the abuse will be on your finger tips. Masterline’s online store has an assortment of gloves in their bargain bin that can be had for very little money.
Back Support: With kneeboarding, most of the impact force from a jump is taken by your back. Therefore; it’s a no-brainer that you need to have a back support belt. Even if you think your back seems strong enough to take the impact now, it won’t be able to take it in the future. Extend your kneeboarding years by getting a back support belt now. Light weight, velcro only belts provide a little support; however, a heavy duty belt with a buckle of some sort will provide a much higher degree of support. Schiek has a belt that works very well and stands up to a wet environment. Many fitness stores carry this belt. Some regular weight lifting belts, though bulky, may also do the trick.
Tough shorts: If you start getting some serious air and find that, upon landing, you keep ripping out the seat in your board shorts, it’s time to buy neoprene slalom shorts or a wetsuit. The higher you fly, the more likely your chances are at ripping out your shorts because they get pinched between your legs and butt. This causes a tremendous tearing force right at the seam of your shorts. Overton's sells a reasonably priced slalom short.
Shock Dispersion Seat: A reduction in the landing impact can be further reduced by adding a shock dispersion seat. This is basically either a buoy or partially inflated football that you place under your butt. This will not only reduce strain on your back and knees, but will also prevent heel bruising. Sometimes, a hard landing will slam your butt into your heels causing them to bruise. Kneeboard World.com will have a seat coming out that you can purchase here in the near future.
So, get the right accessories and get out there and ride. Your body will thank you and your friends will thank you for not flashing your butt all over the place!