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No, this isn’t kneecapping. Go watch “Goodfellas” for that.

If you’re marrying into a boating family — or if you’ve just started dating someone from a boating family — chances are you’re going to be exposed to kneeboarding sooner or later.

No, this isn’t a new dance craze, and no, it’s not to be confused with kneeing (we’ll send you to Urban Dictionary to further explain that.)

To the uninitiated, kneeboarding looks just like another form of water skiing, but it’s far more than that. It requires a whole new set of muscles and moves that you didn’t know you had.

And just be prepared: you will wipe out. You will wipe out a lot. That’s part of the fun. So in that spirit, we offer 10 tips for your first kneeboarding experience.

Make sure you’re lying flat on your stomach on top of the kneeboard as the boat begins to move. Make sure you’re floating directly behind the boat, the dead center, not to the left or right.

Man having fun laying on surfboard while riding a wave rider on a cruise ship.
Man having fun laying on surfboard while riding a wave rider on a cruise ship. (iStock)

Get a good grip on both sides of the board. Keep your elbows on the board. Your feet should be dangling directly behind you.

Your kneeboard should have a hook for the handle of the towrope. Now, if you’re unlucky enough to be using some old kneeboard — it’s possible — then you need to grip the handle of the towrope with your thumbs pressing down. Keep those hands gripping both sides of the board.

A ten year old boy kneeboarding and having fun
A ten year old boy kneeboarding and having fun (iStock)

Keep that tow rope pulled tight. It should be stretching into a nearly straight line between you and the boat.

OK, the boat is moving now. Bring your knees up on the board until they reach your elbows and center them in the kneepad.

Young man doing a kneeboarding stunt at high speed
Young man doing a kneeboarding stunt at high speed (iStock)

Make sure the boat moves slowly off the mark. You need to have an understanding with your driver, a signal when to increase the speed. An experienced driver is essential because he or she will know how to gauge speed vs. the weight of the kneeboarder.

Wear a face shield, and possibly glasses. If this is your first time, especially if it’s your first time on the water, you need to be prepared for the spray that’s going to hit you in the face. And there are other things that may hit you in the face – like insects.

A son and his Dad kneeboarding on Lake Norris
A son and his Dad kneeboarding on Lake Norris (iStock)

Your board should have a Velcro strap. Secure this strap over your thighs to lock yourself in place on the board.

Rock back on your heels and get into riding position.

Doing a 360 while kneeboarding
Doing a 360 while kneeboarding (iStock)

OK, you’re moving now. To steer the kneeboard, point your head and shoulders in the direction you would like to turn. This will turn the front of the board, allowing you to apply pressure to the edge of the board in the direction you are steering.