You have to admit that there’s just something attractive about doing a swim workout! Dang! If you have ever seen a graceful swimmer, then you probably were transfixed by the image, or better put, the vision. It’s so breathtaking. Makes you wish you could replay in slow-mo, which you probably already did in your head, right?
From the long, elegant strokes in the water to the water sluicing down from the hair, and down to the trim figure hugged by a fitting swimsuit
, when a swimmer emerges from the water—it’s like an apparition of a god. They just feel so at home in water, sometimes swimming deep underwater for a while, only to rise later like phoenixes. And they do this without even bothering with a life vest
! What?! Like, how on Earth…?!
If you’ve ever seen agile swimmers grace a pool, then you must have had, at least, a tiny crush on a swimmer simply from watching one. There’s a reason all these lifeguards at pools and beaches snag all the dates in the vicinity. We could go on and on about how stunning they are. (insert dreamy exhale here).
Now that we’ve drooled accordingly, let’s face our reality. Truth be told, with the rate at which we’re going, we just might never attain that near-mythical “lifeguard status” (snagging dates left, right, and center). We can swim, alright, but it’s not “lifeguard standard.” In fact, it’s a drift at best, like we’re adrift, or better yet, lost at sea if you catch our drift. No use whining – we need a plan to reach the lifeguard standard, going from a naïve swimmer to an elite swimmer. We need to get you a kickboard. Oh the wonders of that little rectangular instrument of transformation! It doesn’t just stay with you at the beginning of your swimming adventure but all through. It’s like your shadow that never leaves your side!
As you go from starting your training to being able to show off in the water, a kickboard can help you every step of the way. From a great training buddy to a fun workout partner, a kickboard always delivers. And you can also use it as a pull buoy too. You like? Of course you do!
So get your floating cam strap
ready. Someone other than John Legend is gonna be “head underwater and breathing fine” pretty soon and there’s got to be evidence!
If we’re going for “date-snagging lifeguard” swim skills, then we can’t afford to even glance at anything closely resembling a cheap kickboard. Not only are they not durable, you wouldn’t want to have your kickboard snap and break while you are practicing around other people – that would be embarrassing. Did you know that even the so-called high-end kickboards rarely exceed $20? That means that you can even get a great kickboard for between $15 and $20! Of course, the high-end ones come with more bells and whistles but they all work fantastic!
Remember the goal: “date-snagging lifeguard standard” swim skills. So, we need the best kickboard available. How do you pick them out of the pack? Here are pointers to help your selection process. Look out for:
- Colors and Designs
Let’s dive into the details already!
Construction and Design
There are different types of kickboards that could catch your fancy. We look into the different types now and discuss their importance on your swimming experience in the next section.
- Traditional Adult Kickboards – These kinds cost the least, maybe because they are the oldest type of kickboards we have. Usually, a traditional kickboard is thick, sturdy, and buoyant, which means that it will last a long time. It is also somewhat rectangular in shape, with a rounded front end and a back end that curves inward, to fit along your body.
- Child Kickboards – As you might intelligently guess, kickboards for children are not as heavy or as large as adult kickboards. They are also easier to grip, and come in more fun colors and designs.
- Kickboard-Pull Buoy Combo – If you hate lugging baggage around or you’re constantly on the move, this is your guy. These are made of a foam board with a flat middle part, and slightly rounded sides. The fact that it works as a pull kick makes it perfect for travelers who want to get multiple types of workouts in with just one piece of gear.
Now, let’s talk shapes. There are two shapes that kickboards come in. The traditional kickboards are usually U-shaped, as we described when we discussed traditional adult kickboards above, while the ergonomic are more streamlined. The ergonomic kickboard is made with lighter foam than the U-shaped one, and that ultimately reduces buoyancy. They also often have handles cut out at the bottom of the board to make swimming with your head down a lot easier.
There is a wide array of kickboard colors for you to choose from. Of course, child kickboards are a little more “exciting” than those for adults but even an adult can pull off a fun pattern. You can have any color of the rainbow on your kickboard, or even all of them, if you so please.
Performance and Ease of Use
Although many people do not know it, there is actually a way to correctly size your kickboard so it works with you perfectly. When you get your kickboard, hold your hands in towards your chest. In that position, the concave side of your kickboard should be midway through your biceps. Then when you hold the kickboard out, it should be approximately the same width as your shoulder. If these two boxes are ticked, then congrats, you have found your perfect match in size!
Another thing you want to consider before you purchase your kickboard is the fact that there are different kickboards for different purposes. Let us explain. If you’re looking to train your leg muscles and perfect your kicking techniques, a traditional kickboard will do just fine. On the other hand, if you want the flexibility to sometimes concentrate on your arms and upper body instead, a kickboard and pull buoy combo is the way to go. A pull buoy, sometimes called a pull kick, is a flat buoyant piece you can tuck between your legs to keep them afloat as you focus on your arms.
Other technique-specific kickboards include sprint boards and alignment boards. Sprint boards are for sprinting and strengthening your legs and core body muscles. Alignment boards are less buoyant and sink to about two inches underwater, making it perfect if you want to work parts of the butterfly stroke.
If you have any shoulder pain, you should avoid traditional kickboards like the plague. The reason is that the major buoyancy of traditional kickboards will only worsen the pain in your shoulder by putting it at an uncomfortable angle. Your time in the water should be fun not painful. So, though it’s a little more expensive, go for an ergonomic kickboard. Its streamlined shape makes it hydrodynamic since the pointy end will glide through the water easily. Plus, it’s made of lighter foam so you won’t float too much. These are usually the kickboard of choice for advanced swimmers.
Kids will definitely want to start off with a children’s kickboard. Traditional kickboards work well for swimmers of any level. We recommend that beginners start off with a traditional kickboard before working their way up to the more ambitious ergonomic kickboard.
In the end, and in the water, kickboards are a good fit for almost anyone. Of course, you should still purchase one that works uniquely for you.
We loved doing this research, and we love that you’ve joined us, we hope that the pointers we’ve given help to made your shopping experience go swimmingly! Go through them and pick the one that catches your eye.
Now that you’ve come to the end of the review, we believe you know more about kickboards and are ready to make an informed choice. Go ahead and feel free to dive in and get yours today!