The 10 Best Kickboards

Updated April 02, 2018 by Richard Lynch

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Perfect for pool activities ranging from swimming lessons to intensive training, kickboards help swimmers improve their form, stamina, and technique. Here, you'll find plenty of selections sure to build the aquatic confidence of beginners and experts alike. If you want to enhance your in-water performance, look no further. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best kickboard on Amazon.

10. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch

The Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch makes the pool fun for children, thanks to its fabric cover that's decorated with the friendly face of an aquatic creature. It makes a great teaching tool and will help your kids build up their confidence.
  • dolphin and shark designs
  • ideal for toddlers
  • artwork can fade over time
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 6650
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Swimtastic Kids

An ideal pick for anyone interested in teaching youngsters in the pool, the Swimtastic Kids is engineered specifically for inexperienced users. Its handle cutouts minimize slippage and make holding onto this one easy and comfortable.
  • does not absorb water
  • available in pink or blue
  • not appropriate for adults
Brand Swimtastic®
Model pending
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Finis Alignment

If you're an experienced swimmer but are looking to build on your skills, the eye-catching Finis Alignment has your name written all over it. Its stabilizing hand strap will keep you steady and in complete control of your body movements, so you can focus on your form.
  • promotes streamlined positioning
  • can also be used for snorkeling
  • may be too porous
Model 1.05.042
Weight 9.6 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Tyr Classic

No matter your skill level, the Tyr Classic is certain to meet your needs. This traditionally shaped selection is made from a sturdy material, and it can be utilized to teach kids how to swim or during physical therapy sessions.
  • 2 colors available
  • helps you use your legs in the water
  • odd size is too large for some bags
Brand TYR
Model LKB
Weight 14.9 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Speedo Double Barrel

Created with athletes in mind, the Speedo Double Barrel will push you to your limit. Its unusual shape provides added resistance, which makes for more intense workouts. If you have a competition on the horizon, you'll want this option in your training arsenal.
  • cutout handles for a secure grip
  • textured to prevent slipping
  • pricier than other models
Brand Speedo
Model 7753002
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Poolmaster 50513

Crafted for durability and longevity, the Poolmaster 50513 is constructed from an unbreakable polyethylene material that can withstand heavy abuse from UV rays and harsh chlorine. Its multiple integrated handles make for especially versatile applications.
  • rear handles assist with back stroke
  • dries quickly in the sun
  • heavy and bulky
Brand Poolmaster
Model 50513
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Nordesco Rigid

The bright yellow Nordesco Rigid is the perfect tool for training and improving your technique. And because the sides are molded, you can easily find the right position for both of your arms without suffering any discomfort.
  • supports average adult's weight
  • rigid design withstands heavy use
  • stands out at the public pool
Brand Nordesco
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Tyr Hydrofoil

Tested for performance, the Tyr Hydrofoil is a fine choice whether you swim competitively or just for recreation. This model's unique 3-dimensional shape delivers exceptional control in the water and promotes a natural body position, lowering your chance of injury.
  • ergonomic surface
  • angled cutouts for hand placement
  • convex center for gliding
Brand TYR
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Finis Foam

Available in both adult and junior sizes, the yellow Finis Foam makes it possible for everyone to enjoy the pool. Its buoyancy and functional shape combine to create a user-friendly model that will have both children and grownups feeling right at home in the water.
  • does not bend under pressure
  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • isolates leg muscles
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Speedo Team

The Speedo Team is an affordable, no-frills option with a classic design. Built for performance, this one includes grooved sides for a comfortable, secure grip. And it's available in two color choices: black or bright blue.
  • good for multiple applications
  • eva foam construction
  • appropriate for resistance training
Brand Speedo
Model 7753005
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

What Separates a Good Kickboard From a Great One?

When it comes to kickboards, it's best to prioritize substance over style, as there are a lot of sleek-looking boards that simply can't live up to their design. The classic kickboard is shaped like a U (or a tombstone) across the top, thus allowing the board to make easy turns while in the water. Certain boards are also built with hollow slots along the rim. These slots act as a safety mechanism by keeping a submerged board from springing up and hitting its owner in the chin.

Most people prefer a kickboard to be light (i.e., 5-12 oz.), but not flimsy. Ideally, you'll want a board to be made out of either plastic, or fiberglass, or polyurethane. Foam boards aren't very durable, and you're likely to encounter some problems whenever you're trying to balance significant weight on a foam board in the water.

It's important to note whether a kickboard has been designed with any type of a curve along the base. A curved base will allow you to avoid knocking into the board with your knees - or your head - whenever you're doing standard exercises. In addition, a curved base will keep the board from jamming into your chest whenever you're leaning on it from behind.

As a precaution, you may want to do some research to ensure a kickboard offers UV protection. Certain boards attract the sun by virtue of their colors. This could, of course, cause a major sunburn if you happen to be outdoors on a kickboard for any extended period of time. In addition, it helps to confirm that a kickboard is weatherproof. Certain plastics are prone to warping, and a lot of people tend to leave their pool supplies out in the yard during the cold-weather months.

A Quick Breakdown of The Most Beneficial Kickboard Exercises

Swimming has tremendous cardiovascular benefits. And whether you are an experienced swimmer or someone who rarely goes to the deep end of the pool, using a kickboard can make exercising in the water a whole lot easier, and fun.

The most straightforward kickboard exercise requires that you drape the top half of your arms over a board, while kicking your legs across a pool. This builds the quads, while easing joint and muscle pain throughout your lower body. You can shift the focus to your hips by maintaining the same position, while bringing one leg up, and out - as if you were climbing - until that leg runs parallel with your waist. Switch legs. Repeat.

One of the benefits of doing kickboard exercises in a pool is that the water offers a natural form of resistance, which is the basis for a lot of fitness equipment. As an example, consider one kickboard exercise that requires you to stand in chest-high water, while pressing down against the side rails of a board. You can build your biceps and your forearms this way (just be mindful not to lose hold of the board).

If you're an experienced swimmer, you can really work the abs (along with the shoulders) by lying on your back while holding the board above your head and kicking forward. This exercise is difficult in that it places the onus almost entirely on your lower-body. But it'll pay significant dividends if you can build up to doing it while kicking your way across the water.

A Brief History of The Kickboard

Kickboards were invented by Adolph Kiefer, an American swimmer who set an Olympic record in 1936 on his way to taking home the gold. Upon returning from Berlin, Kiefer was hired by the U.S. Military to handle water training. Eager to help recruits work on their leg strength, Kiefer developed a series of "kickboards," which he had designed by way of combining plastic polymers with fiberglass.

These boards caught on so quickly that Kiefer began to manufacture them. Within a few years, the "Kiefer Kickboard" had become a staple of the physical-therapy market. The demand for these kickboards was such that it led to increased competition, along with several derivative items, including the swimming noodle and the leg buoy.

By the 1970s, kickboards had evolved into a training tool for aspiring swimmers, as well as toddlers who had just started making their way into a pool. Once the fitness craze took hold, waterbugs throughout the U.S. began to experiment with different aerobic exercises that could be done via a kickboard in the pool.

Today, you can find kickboards at any swim club, gym, water park, therapy center, YMCA, or aquatic class. Kickboards are still used as a military resource, and they are often used in conjunction with certain facets of lifeguard training, as well.

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Last updated on April 02, 2018 by Richard Lynch

Richard grew up in the part of New York state that doesn’t have any tall buildings. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time reading and playing video games. A massive fan all things sci-fi, he’ll happily talk with you for hours about everything from the deserts of Arrakis to the forests of Endor.

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