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Kneeboarding is an aquatic sport where the participant is towed on a buoyant, convex, and hydrodynamically shaped board at a planing speed, most often behind a motorboat. Kneeboarding on a surf style board with fin(s) is also done in waves at the beach. In the usual configuration of a tow-sport kneeboard, riders kneel on their heels on the board, and secure themselves to the deck with an adjustable Velcro strap over their thighs. Most water ski kneeboards do not have fins to allow for easier surface spins. As in wakeboarding or water skiing, the rider hangs onto a tow-rope. The advantages of kneeboarding versus other tow-sports seems to be an easier learning curve and a sense of being closer to the water when falls occur.
Kneeboards were first produced commercially in the 1970s. While they were not widely popular at first, kneeboarding had become widespread by the mid-1970s. Today, kneeboarding remains popular, with sales of about 100,000 units per year.
As waterskiing gained popularity, riders also experimented with kneeling down on round plywood discs. Others tried kneeling on surfboards and some used purpose-built kneeboards designed specifically for riding waves, but the water ski kneeboard did not emerge as a product until the 1970s.
The first commercially available water ski kneeboard was Knee Ski, co-invented by Mike Murphy and Bud Hulst in 1972. Hulst had a background in surfing, manufacturing kneeboards for wave riding under the name of El Paipo. Murphy had been a professional show skier. The original Knee Ski was made from molded fiberglass, like a boat hull, and was neutrally buoyant. Each Knee Ski had a flat neoprene pad covering the entire deck, and a Velcro strap.
In 1973, John Taylor, a former Knee Ski employee, decided to make and sell his own boards under the name of Glide Slide. Taylor took a new approach, blow molding a plastic shell and filling it with foam. Unfortunately the teardrop design was unstable, and Glide Slide faltered as the 1973 oil crisis slowed the water sports industry.
Danny Churchill, quarter mile speed ski record holder in 1974 and former Glide Slide employee, bought the company in the wake of the oil crisis. Churchill redesigned the Glide Slide, in conjunction with fellow employee and engineer John Tanner, to make it more stable, and renamed the product Hydroslide in 1976. Churchill is most commonly known for popularizing the sport through advertising and promotions in the newly released full color water ski publications of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the early 1980s the very first association for competition was formed called the International Kneeboard Association (IKA). Founded by Roland Hillier of Maitland, Florida, a former World Overall and Slalom Champion; National Slalom and Trick Champion; Masters Overall Water Ski Champion and three time Intercollegiate Overall Champion. Hillier created the rules and regulations for kneeboarding not only for boat towing method but also cableway towing. In boat towing the three competition events were tricks, slalom and wake crossing. A special event was also included to be called the "Flip-off" to see how many flips could be completed in twenty seconds. This proved to be quite popular with the spectators. In cableway competition, Roland designed the trick event which also included the use of small ramps for doing spins and flips. Calculations were needed to adjust for cableway towline length when the water levels changed. Roland Hillier also wrote and published the first book on kneeboarding called "Kneeboarding A - Z". After several National Championships, he produced and broadcast on ABC and, later, PBS of "The International Kneeboard Championships". This broadcast was the very first of its kind. The next year, Sea World of Orlando approached the IKA to hold a National Championship at their park, however, the original sponsors to the IKA would not be allowed to participate and Hillier felt strongly that supporters should be included and did not accept. The American Kneeboarding Association (AKA) was founded by another group of people after the International Kneeboard Association rejected the Sea World offer, and created their own form of competition. Eventually the AKA merged with USA WaterSki as one of its designated towable sports. ¹ Kneeboarding History
One of the earliest types of kneeboarding is 'tourist kneeboarding'. In this type of kneeboarding, the rider begins on land, already strapped to the board. This type of kneeboarding is far easier than normal kneeboarding, usually done in a river or on a lake. Regular kneeboarding is far superior to "tourist kneeboarding" because you are already in the water and can take off faster.
Required equipment includes a tow rope, a kneeboard and a boat that can go about 15-20 mph (28–32 km/h). Also, most importantly, a certified life vest for safety. Kneeboarding starts are relatively simple, and the rider does not need to travel very quickly.
There are two basic grips – the palms-down grip and the baseball bat grip. For the palms-down grip the hands facing downward while holding the ski rope. For the Baseball Bat grip kneeboarders hold the handle just like a baseball bat.
Here is a list of kneeboarding tricks:
Wakeboarding is a water sport in which the rider, standing on a wakeboard, is towed behind a motorboat across its wake and especially up off the crest in order to perform aerial maneuvers. A hallmark of wakeboarding is the attempted performance of midair tricks.
Boardsports are sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. These sports take place on a variety of terrain, from paved flat-ground and snow-covered hills to water and air. Most boardsports are considered action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. A large proportion of youth partaking in these sports, together with aesthetic damage to property from sports like skateboarding, has led to many board sports being marginalized by the greater world of sports in the past. However, many board sports are ever-more frequently gaining mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.
Water skiing is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski. The sport requires sufficient area on a smooth stretch of water, one or two skis, a tow boat with tow rope, two or three people, and a personal flotation device. In addition, the skier must have adequate upper and lower body strength, muscular endurance, and good balance.
Barefoot skiing is water skiing behind a motorboat without the use of water skis, commonly referred to as "barefooting". Barefooting requires the skier to travel at higher speeds than conventional water skiing (30-45mph/50-70km/h). The necessary speed required to keep the skier upright varies by the weight of the barefooter and can be approximated by the following formula: + 20, where W is the skier's weight in pounds and the result is in miles per hour. It is an act performed in show skiing, and on its own.
Freestyle BMX is bicycle motocross stunt riding on BMX bikes. It is an extreme sport descended from BMX racing that consists of five disciplines: street, park, vert, trails, and flatland. In June 2017, the International Olympic Committee announced that it was to be added as an Olympic event to the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Flatland is a freestyle BMX riding style performed on smooth flat surfaces that do not include any ramps, jumps, or grindrails. It is sometimes described as a form of artistic cycling with a blend of breakdancing.
Tubing is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube, either on water, snow, or through the air. The tubes themselves are also known as "donuts" or "biscuits" due to their shape.
A kneeboard is a board ridden in a kneeling stance. Kneeboards are ridden in ocean surf, or while being towed behind a boat on a lake or river.
The tailwhip is a bike trick typically performed on a BMX, in which the frame of the bike performs a complete rotation around the front end, which remains stationary throughout the move. The same trick may also be performed on a kick scooter.
A freestyle skateboarding trick is a trick performed with a skateboard while freestyle skateboarding. Some of these tricks are done in a stationary position, unlike many other skateboarding tricks. The keys to a good freestyle contest run are variety, difficulty, fluidity, and creativity. This is an incomplete list, which includes most notable tricks.
A slide is a skateboarding trick where the skateboarder slides sideways either on the deck or on the wheels.
Cable skiing is a way to water ski, in which the skier's rope and handle are pulled by an electrically-driven cable, whereas traditionally a waterskier is pulled by a motorboat. The mechanism consists of two cables running parallel to one another with carriers between them every 80 metres. The carriers are metal tubes that can hook up tow ropes with riders. Tow ropes are detached and attached at the same time without slowing the system down, which is a main reason for its high efficiency. With a main cable of 800 metres long, 10 riders can waterski or wakeboard at the same time. The speed of the main cable can be up to 38 mph (61 km/h), and slalom skiers can reach much higher speeds. The most common speed is 19 mph (31 km/h), which suits wakeboarders best.
Skurfing is a tow sport similar to wakeboarding or water skiing but uses a shorter version of a surfboard instead. The board has two foot-straps and the rider is holding onto the rope the whole ride, unlike wake surfing. Skurfing is considered the precursor of the modern wakeboarding. Although very popular in the 80s and the 90s, skurfing’s interest plummeted when the twin-tipped wakeboards entered the market. Nowadays, skurfing is considered a recreational activity for nostalgics more than a sport.
Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat. After getting up on the wake, typically by use of a tow rope, the wakesurfers will drop the rope, and ride the steep face below the wave's peak in a fashion reminiscent of surfing. Wakesurfers generally use special boards, designed specifically for wakes.
The sit-down hydrofoil, first developed in the late 1980s, is a variation on water skiing, a popular water sport. When towed at speed, by a powerful boat or some other device, the board of the hydrofoil 'flies' above the water surface and generally avoids contact with it, so the ride is largely unaffected by the wake or chop of the water and is relatively smooth. The air board is a modified hydrofoil where the skier stands up.
A surface lift is a means of cable transport for snow sports in which skiers and snowboarders remain on the ground as they are pulled uphill. Once prevalent, they have been overtaken in popularity by higher-capacity and higher-comfort aerial lifts, such as chairlifts and gondola lifts. Today, surface lifts are most often found on beginner slopes, small ski areas, and peripheral slopes. They are also often utilized to access glacier ski slopes because their supports can be anchored in glacier ice due to the lower forces and realigned due to glacier movement.
Motorcycle stunt riding, often referred to as stunting, is a motorcycle sport characterized by stunts involving acrobatic maneuvering of the motorcycle and sometimes the rider. Common maneuvers in stunt riding include wheelies, stoppies, and burnouts. Sport bikes have become a common vehicle for stunts.