There are two main national kneeboarding competitions in the UK, the Cutting Edge for children and the Kneeboard Nationals for everyone.
The Cutting Edge
The Cutting Edge has been running for many years and often takes place one weekend in August. One kneeboard club hosts the Cutting Edge every year and it has recently been held at Cotswold Water Ski Club, Kingsbury Water Park and Church Wilne Water Ski Club.
Each region of England contributes a team to the Cutting Edge and this has worked well in recent years. It is really good that the number of entrants has grown recently and there were ideas for 2020 limit the number of entrants from each region to make sure that the day could run to time.
Anyone of 16 or younger can enter the Cutting Edge.
The Cutting Edge teams are organised on a regional basis and there may well be regional qualifiers if the competition can go ahead in 2020. You will need to contact your regional organiser, who should be well-known in your area, to find out how the qualifiers will work in your region and how to get involved.
The Cutting Edge is a really good weekend with 6 events:
- Kneeboard trick
- Kneeboard slalom
- Wake board trick
- Monoski slalom
Competitors are encouraged to take part in as many events as possible and the total score for all the events for each region is added up leaving one region as the winner. The big competition of the day is to find out which region has the best team.
In addition to this, podium places are announced and prizes given for the top three positions in each individual event. The scoring system is weighted by age which makes sure that even the youngest competitors have a good chance of doing well.
There is an additional award for the youngest competitor on the day. A few years ago the youngest competitor was seven years old but recently an amazing four-year-old managed a kneeboard trick run, to massive cheers all around!
The host club provides great food and drink at reasonable prices and with camping on site in most years for tents and caravans, there is a real party atmosphere and everybody has a great weekend.
For many years the event has been supported generously by Simon from Wake and ski. Simon has provided not just the boats and many of the prices but also an unforgettable commentary over the course of the whole weekend.
Over recent years many children have taken part in the Cutting Edge, having only started the sport a year or two beforehand. The easy-going, friendly, welcoming and supportive atmosphere ensures that everybody has a great time and that everybody feels able to take part.
It has been great to see the number of entrants growing and after a bumper 2019 competition, there was a suggestion that regional heats might be held to limit the overall number of competitors slightly in 2020.
The Kneeboard Nationals
The Cutting Edge is for children but the Kneeboard Nationals cater for everyone, from the very youngest to people who are old enough to know better! Every year there are three tour stops, each held on an individual day or a weekend, often in early June, the end of July with the final tour stop, the Kneeboard Nationals, in early September.
This is really a multi-event competition with categories including
- Kneeboard trick
- Kneeboard slalom
- Flip out
To give everyone a chance to shine, the Kneeboard Nationals is broken down by ability, with different divisons, from beginners to the best and most experienced riders in the country.
Kneeboard trick and Kneeboard slalom will be familiar to many people but Flip Out involves scoring the highest number of flips in one run. This makes it sound very difficult but the winning number of flips in 2019 was just two. If you can flip, you can win!
The Freestyle event is a quickfire round with the rider scoring for the best single trick they can perform.
The competition really mounts for the final event of the tour stop, the Kneeboard Nationals. In 2018 and 2019 the nationals were held at Humber Bridge Water Ski Club in Yorkshire.
This is a two day event runing on a Saturday and Sunday with a practice day on the Friday. Like the Cutting Edge, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming and with only a few entrants in some age groups and disciplines everyone has a chance of winning.
Some people camp on site, others stay locally and with great hospitality, good food and drink this really is a great weekend. The ski club is based on a very small lake just yards from the stunning Humber estuary and the tight turn at the start of the slalom course is a challenge in itself!
A big draw at the Kneeboard Nationals is the Open Division which sees the very best Kneeboarders in the country compete for glory. It’s worth the trip just to see this!
As well as these two big national competitions, there are lots of local and regional competitions to get involved with. Just contact your local club.
We really look forward to seeing you on the water soon at the Cutting Edge and the Kneeboard Tour stops!