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Kneeboarding Deepwater Starts

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A kneeboard is a good piece of equipment to start out on for boat-towed sports. Why? The low center of gravity often makes it easier to get up on than a water ski or wakeboard, which both require standing up. Below are two ways to do a deepwater kneeboard start.

The Belly Start

    The most common kneeboard start is what is called the "belly start." For this, lay your belly on the board with the strap forward and pointing towards the nose of the board. The nose of the board should be sticking out of the water. Place one hand on the side of the board and the other hand grasping the rope and on holding the other side of the board.

    As the boat starts moving pull your knees forward into the padded knee-wells on the board. Try not to lean forward as you do this, keep your weight back. When you feel balanced, let go of the rope with one hand, and with the other hand pull the strap up over your knees and tighten the strap to where it feels secure. Keep your arms extended and slightly bent.

The Low Buoyancy Kneeboard Start

    A low buoyancy kneeboard is one that is very thin, and while you are waiting in the water it will sink slightly into the water when you apply your body weight to it. This allows you to go ahead and strap yourself into the board before the boat pulls you up. I have experimented with several different kinds of kneeboard starts and I prefer this one hands down.

    It is easiest, in my opinion, if you adjust the strap to your desired fit before you get into the water. This can be done on the swim platform or on a flat spot in the boat. Simply get on the board and adjust the length to where it slides slightly less than snugly over you knees.

    After the strap is adjusted, hop in the water with the board. Apply weight to the board by pressing down with your elbows, and with your hands on the board in the same position as described in the belly start, pull your knees up on the board and underneath the strap.

    While this start requires less effort when the boat is pulling you out of the water, it requires a lot of balance before the boat starts moving. You need to balance yourself to keep the board from turning over while you are strapped in it as you wait to be pulled out of the water. Balance can be achieved by moving your arms back and forth in the water as if you were treading water.

    Remain in that position, keeping your balance with the nose of the board pointing slightly out of the water. As the boat starts moving lean back and you should pop out of the water with ease. This is the time to tighten the strap if needed. Keep your arms extended and slightly bent.

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