We all need to ski. Getting back on the water is the one privilege that we watersports lovers have. With most of us working from home, this access to the water gives us a unique opportunity to ride even more than we would if the world were normal. However, it is very important that we use social distancing guidelines to maintain this privilege and to make sure that we are keeping those around us safe.
Here are a few ways you can help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 at your club/facility:
In the best case scenario, no shared surfaces will be used, however, if this is not possible, make sure the you wipe down any surfaces that you use with a clean cloth sanitary wipe.
2. DO NOT SHARE GEAR
It is very common for riders to share boards, helmets and other gear. Do not share gear, Covid-19 can survive on surfaces for hours and this would be one of the easiest ways for it spread, so keep gear strictly to one household.
3. SOCIAL DISTANCE
This is, in many countries, the law, and so should be a given. Stay 2 meters apart from anyone out of your household, at least and ensure that you step back if someone breaches that 2 meter space. It can, and will, feel very weird to many people but it is necessary if clubs and parks are to remain open.
There will be, of course, situations where some or all of these things aren’t possible, however, the government urged us to use common sense to help overcome the virus. We are a very fortunate few now that we can ride and we want to keep it this way, so make sure you stay safe, and keep others safe.
We’ve all been there, wanting to improve and make our time on the water valuable, but we don’t know exactly what to practice. Well, if this particular question is bothering you, read on!
THE TRICK TRIANGLE
This training method involves breaking down a trick into two different, easier ones. For example, an invert is a backroll 180, taking off backwards; so we could break this down into firstly: wake front, then backroll, then invert. The trick triangle makes you perform the two easier moves so that you practice the fundamentals for the new trick by breaking it down into smaller and easier tricks. Look at the diagram below to see it visually.
This technique is really useful not only for mastering the basics of the target trick, but also mentally as it breaks down the big goal into small, manageable steps. For years, if someone wanted to learn a trick they just would try, try, try, not caring to break down the trick at all. That usually takes a long time as it is so difficult to overcome a big goal such as an entirely new trick in one go.
You may wish to keep doing a certain trick triangle in one trainingsession and focus on nailing one trick, or it might suit you to do several in one session. However, make sure that you only move on once you are very confident in your abilities to do one certain trick triangle as its not wise to skip ahead if you’re finding one particularly difficult.
So we hope that you can find a use for this training exercise when you’re next on the water, and remember, small steps are the key to mastering the overall goal.
Prokneeboarding was conceived by a small focused UK team in 2020 to promote kneeboarding online. We are passionate about this exciting sport and we have a combined experience of over 30 years within the UK kneeboarding scene.
We are committed to growing the sport in the UK and we want to help to establish a solid online presence to bring others into the community.
This site covers all areas of the kneeboarding scene including tricks (from beginner to expert), best training techniques, gear reviews, information about events and competitions, profiles of leading athletes and information about clubs across the UK.
Our aim is to be the one stop shop for all kneeboarding news and to provide a friendly, honest and no-nonsense view about all aspects of our sport.
We want to bring together the kneeboarding community, online and off-line, and showcase the best talent and equipment around.
When you are starting out it can be difficult to know what to expect and how to progress. We want to break down these barriers and get more people involved. It is very easy to get involved in our small sport, even at a national level, and we want to give you the inside track on how to progress right through from starting out to being a competitor at a national level (it’s easier than it seems).
It can be difficult to get accurate and up-to-date information about the timings, locations and arrangements of national competitions, as well as the rules. There are some easy dos and don’ts and we want to bring you these so you can get involved on the water.
With the Kneeboard World Championships coming in 2021 we also want to promote international links and we’ll be featuring the leading global athletes in the sport through a series of interviews and videos in the months to come. All the leading athletes are committed to promoting the sport and we want to promote coaching opportunities across the UK on this site. There really is something for everyone.
This is a community effort and we hope you will join us on social media and by contributing to this site. We invite anyone to contribute with writing, photos, videos, suggestions or offers of gear for review and in any other way that will help the sport.
Having a solid trick run is fundamental to the outcome you get at a competition, but what are the rules around them? And how are they formed?
WHAT IS A TRICK RUN?
During a competition, you will normally have two twenty second intervals to perform your tricks, one going up the lake and one coming down, during this time which will start when you attempt your first trick, either by hitting the wake for air tricks or initiating the surface trick, and end according to individual competition rules, the aim is to score as many points as you can.
A trick run is a list of the tricks in chronological order which you intend to throw down. The tricks, if you land them cannot be repeated and if you are doing a trick on the reverse (from the other wake) then this has to immediately follow the same trick from the other side. During a trick run you are allowed one fall on the first pass, if this happens you will be picked up by the boat and taken to your second pass, if you fail a trick on this pass your run is over.
WHAT TRICKS TO USE AND WHERE TO PUT THEM
The typical trick run, assuming the tricks you are using are performed in the air will consist of eight tricks, four on each pass averaging at 5 seconds each. However, there is a technique to arranging these tricks into the most effective order to optimise the amount of points scored.
Trick runs can be broken down into four sections: Section 1 – safety tricks, Section 2 – advanced tricks, Section 3 – setup tricks and Section 4 – advanced tricks.
SECTION 1 – Safety tricks. These tricks, which are the first two in your trick run are tricks which you are confident at, and rarely fail when attempting them. These are used to test the riding conditions, for example the wake or the water conditions, and will give you a good idea as to what you will need to think about when trying the harder tricks later on.
SECTION 2 – Advanced tricks. These next two tricks are the real high scorers, the reason being that now you have an idea of the conditions and if one of these tricks is failed then you are still able to continue your run. I would recommend putting your most advanced and high scoring tricks in this section.
SECTION 3 – Setup Tricks. If you need more time to initiate your trick, this is the place to put it. As the timer starts when you hit the wake it allows you as much time as you need to prepare, whether it is a wider cut or wrapped handle, take your time and get it right!
SECTION 4 – Advanced tricks. The final two tricks of your trick run, these can have a huge impact on the final placing within a competition and there is no better time to attempt that awesome high-scoring trick that has been eluding you for months. Again if these next tricks are not landed it has the smallest impact on your trick run as it does not prevent you from trying other tricks, so this section is about go big or go home!
So now it’s time for you to write down a trick run and start practicing for your next competition. Good luck and have fun.
They key word here is BALLAST. No matter what size the boat, adding weight will make the boat sit lower in the water, creating more displacement and therefore the wake will be bigger. Some of the newer boats have built in features that add ballast automatically (even in these cases you can still add external ballast) but for the vast majority of boats out there, you are going to need external ballast.
Physics aside let’s get into what options you have for adding ballast. To be completely honest, you can get by with using barrels of water (which are widely available at any club) or failing that, metal weights (you may have these at home from when you thought you were going to get big). Either of these options are good objects for weight.
Perhaps a better option is to buy a FatSac, these are plastic cylinders which fill with water to create the weight you desire, the good thing about the FatSac is that it fills up and empties (in a matter of minutes) with a pump directly from the lake meaning that you don’t have to carry around heavy weight with you wherever you go.
Much like technique to a trick, the positioning of the ballast is the most important aspect of adding height to your wake. The general rule is about a 70/30 weight distribution of back-to-front. So the majority of your weight should be in the back, however, the weight in the front is needed to make sure that the boat can plain and the driver can see forward and that the boat isn’t putting too much strain on the engine by overloading the back.
3. HOW MUCH WEIGHT
The weight needed to build up a bigger wake differs between each boat and also depending how much bigger you want the wake to be. This page by FatSac will find the right weight (and Sac!) for your boat.
4. DEPTH OF WATER
One factor not thought about by many is the depth of the water you are riding on. There is, of course, a depth at which this factor plateaus but if you are riding on a relatively small, man-made lake, then this factor could be a reason you are not getting a very big wake. Especially when wakesurfing you will see how the wake sometimes gets smaller (or bigger!) and this is due to (if maintaining the same speed) the depth of the water. Therefore, it is advisable to ride on the deepest part of your lake if at all possible.
So there it is, how to get a bigger wake off any size boat. Hopefully you’ll now be able to land bigger tricks and get more air (it will also look a lot better in the photos!! 🙂 )
The slalom board seems to be the most elusive board online, with rare descriptions on profit-driven, unexperienced websites and with no photos easily accessible. This is why we decided to answer all the FAQs on the Internet and tell you where you can find Slalom Boards if you’re looking to buy one.
“Do I actually need a slalom board..?”
It’s a good question, with the level of quality of most modern day boards, it is possible to get away with using a trick board, and still be competitive in competitions. However, for serious riders, a slalom board is essential as it offers a completely different way of riding. Unlike a trick board, there is less surface area (smaller board) and with little or no rocker (concave) the board feels quite flat and can slice through the wake instead of shooting up like a trick board. This also makes the board easy to turn and you will be surprised how much you are actually able to put it on edge, in comparison to a trick board. So for those of you looking to win national/international competitions, a slalom board, without doubt, is a must have.
“I’ve never heard of a slalom board”
That’s fair enough. Trick boards get all the attention, it is very common when buying a slalom board for the seller to not even know it’s a slalom board; they are usually labelled ‘old kneeboard’ and are never listed on eBay or other sites as slalom kneeboards, which makes them hard to find and to hear about. However, from a buying perspective this is great as you can get them really cheap. If you go to a national/international competition then you will definitely see some slalom kneeboards knocking around.
“I want one, but nobody is selling one”
To clear things up, it’s not that nobody is selling a slalom board, it’s probably just that you haven’t looked hard enough or in the right places. As mentioned above, not many sellers know that the board they are selling is a slalom board, so instead of searching eBay for days for a ‘slalom kneeboard’. Just search for ‘kneeboard‘. Sites like gumtree, craigslist and eBay are the only sites you will find a slalom kneeboard as they will all have been previously owned as no company currently manufactures slalom kneeboards (Take note O’Brien/HO!). If someone is selling a bundle of ski gear always search through all the items as you never know what might crop up (life lesson: slalom kneeboards are found at the back of the shed in the cobwebs, not next to the new slalom skis/wakeboards) don’t be disheartened if you can’t find one at the moment because listings come up all the time; Good Luck!
“What does a slalom board actually look like?”
This is the Jobe Launch. As you can see the board is quite flat with no rocker. It also is very thin so there is less drag and weight can be distributed with little effort. The problem with these boards is that since they are quite old, the straps are usually of old design and are not great at keeping the rider in. We recommend that you look at buying a replacement strap. The best straps on the market today are the CINCH straps, these are manufactured in the USA and we have an article here explaining how to get a CINCH strap.
So there you go. We hope you now have a better understanding of what a slalom board is but if you have any additional questions then please comment below.
The type of board you decide to get could be the difference between big progression or disaster (and an empty wallet!), so to help you out we’ve put together a few tips for when you’re choosing which board to get for various skill levels and budgets, so don’t worry, we’ll get that indecisive mind sorted out.
First, and perhaps most importantly, we need to understand the different types of boards that exist today.
1. The Recreational Board
This style of board tends to be a plastic mould which is very thick, the edges are rounded, and the pad is usually hard and fixed to the board. Recreational boards may have a hook on the front of the board and fins on the bottom. The price varies but is usually around £150, however, if you are looking to ride for a long time and see yourself improving quickly then a competitive board has a much better value for money.
This type of board is great for beginners (no wake jump tricks) as it is very steady and is hard to ride any other way than forwards. The fins make sure that the board stays straight and the hook makes deep water starts easy.
WARNING: However, for any rider doing wake jumps or better, this board is definitely not the one to get as the rounded edges make it hard to put on edge; the fins mean that landings are completely unforgiving and the board does not slide easily. These boards simply aren’t made for tricks, despite what the companies say.
2. The Competitive Board
This style of kneeboard is the level up from the recreational board. It is made out of hard-moulded design which has much thinner edges and is usually lighter. These boards are for riders who are doing wake jumps/tricks and the boards are perfectly acceptable in competitions. They don’t have a front hook (apart from the O’BRIEN RICOCHET) and they definitely don’t have fins. These boards can range in price from £150-upwards. They are a good buy for intermediate riders, however, be aware that you may wish to upgrade to a better board for the harder tricks, in the long term.
3. The World-Class Board
This style of board is, without doubt, the best in the world. In our opinion, the only three trick boards in the world-class range are the O’Brien Sozo, HO Agent, and O’Brien Enforcer, each with different riding styles. These boards are made with a foam or wood core for shock absorption and extra pop off the wake. The pad is usually velcro-on and therefore can be moved around the board to suit the rider’s preference. The strap on these boards is always a triple locking strap (folded 3 times) and this keeps the rider in tight even if they crash out on a trick. These boards are upwards of £500 and are extremely durable, it’s unlikely that they will need replaced at least for a good few years, depending how much riding is done and at what intensity. There really is no limit to the tricks that can be done on these boards and a few world firsts have been set recently on them (Stephen Hausler’s Double Backflip on the HO Agent.).
Alright, with everything explained here is, in our opinion, the best value for money board, that is also capable of catering from beginners to pros: The O’Brien Rush 5150. This board has a similar design to the world-class O’Brien Sozo, however, is significantly cheaper and doesn’t scream ‘FLIP ME’ like the Sozo, which suits intermediate riders. From our experience it is a very durable board with comfortable landings and the pad, although not velcro-on, is very comfy and forgiving on those harsh landings. The board comes with a single-locking strap, however, we suggest that you buy a double-locking strap as it will ensure that the board stays with you on flips and spins. This board can be found in our Store section.
So now that you understand what the different types of boards are, the price ranges and the type of rider they suit, it’s up to you to make the final decision and select which one you want to go for. All the kneeboards can be found in the Store page of our website so head on over and have a good one!
With Kneeboarding having become a part of, and recognised by the IWWF in its own right as a discipline; the first Kneeboard Worlds’ (Previously named the Rider Cup) provisional dates have been planned.
The provisional dates for the first ever Kneeboard Worlds are the 6th, 7th and 8th August 2021 at USA Waterski Headquarters, Holy Cow Road, Polk City, Florida.
As mentioned, these dates are provisional, however, if the venue does have to be changed then it is likely that the new venue will be within a 15 minute drive from the provisional venue.