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How to Choose a Kickboard


A kickboard seems like a straightforward piece of swim gear: A generally rectangular piece of foam that helps swimmers isolate their kick and increase leg endurance. However, kickboards come in many shapes and styles, each with its own benefits. This guide explains the various types of kickboards and what they're designed to do.

Traditional Adult Kickboards

Kickboards for adults are generally thick, highly buoyant, and rigid. Traditional kickboards are rectangular, with a slightly rounded front and concave bottom, and can be used by adult swimmers of all abilities. Because these are the most affordable kickboards, they are a common sight at swimming pools around the world. However, because of their buoyancy some swimmers complain of shoulder pain after long periods of use.

Ergonomic & Streamlined Kickboards

Ergonomic kickboards perform the same function as traditional kickboards, but put less strain on the shoulders. Made with lighter foam and a more triangular (and therefore hydrodynamic) shape, ergonomic kickboards move through the water with less resistance and put less pressure on shoulders. They also often have cutout handles at the bottom for easier head-down kicking. More expensive than standard kickboards, these streamlined versions are usually used by either advanced swimmers or those with shoulder issues.

Children's Kickboards

Children's kickboards are lighter and smaller than adult kickboards. They are designed to be easy to grip, which makes them easier for beginning swimmers to handle. Bright colors and graphics usually decorate these boards to encourage fun in the water.

Kickboard-Pull Buoy Combos

Also known by some brands as a "pull-kicks," the combination kickboard-pull buoy is a foam board that features a flat middle section between two slightly rounded side panels. This way, the two-in-one piece of equipment can be held out in front as a kickboard or between the legs as a pull buoy. The main benefit of the pull-kick is that it reduces the amount of gear swimmers need to carry with them, making pull-kicks ideal while traveling.

Kickboards are a Universal Fit

While kickboards do come in a variety of shapes and sizes, any swimmer can use any style of kickboard. Adults can use boards designed for children, just as children can quite easily — and often do — use adult-sized kickboards. While it's a good idea to buy the board that best meets your needs — like an ergonomic board for swimmers with shoulder problems, or a pull-kick for swimmers who hate lugging around lots of gear — kickboards really are one-size-fits-all pieces of equipment once they're in the water.

Shop all Kickboards

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Joe B
3 months ago.
What happened to the old style stiff kick boards that you could break over your head, we loved so much in the 80s and 90s? I hate the EVA foam boards today.
SwimOutlet
3 months ago.
Hi Joe!

Those were made with styrofoam. Now, manufacturers changed the material into EVA foam which is more durable.
Joe N
3 months ago.
Thanks for the info! I wish I could find the old style ones though. ☹️
Katrina
1 month ago.
Me too. There are things that a stiff board can do that the new ones can’t.
ruben
1 year ago.
I CHATTED WITH SOME EARLIER... I RETURNED A KICKBOARD... TOO SMALL FOR ME ... I'M 6'3 250 AND WAS RECOMMEDED WHICH BOARD TO CHOSE FROM... BUT, DIDN'T WRITE IT DOWN...

WOULD YOU PLEASE SENT THE MODEL AND MAKE PLEASE... THANKWS
Nicole
1 year ago.
Hi, I am an adult who recently learning to swim. I wanted to get a kickboard but not sure which one is better for beginner that has shoulder issues.
SwimOutlet
1 year ago.
Hi Nicole!

We recommend the FINIS Alignment Kickboard which is shoulder-safe: smaller design puts less pressure on the shoulders.
Lynn Bowerman
4 months ago.
I could not find this board on your site. Is there one you carry that would work to prevent shoulder pain.
SwimOutlet
4 months ago.
Hi Lynn!

We do not carry the recommended item anymore. At this time, the SwimmersBest Hyper Kickboard is the closest to it. Kindly copy-paste this link - https://www.swimoutlet.com/p/swimmersbest-hyper-kickboard-8184535/?color=9325.
Roxanne
2 years ago.
are there technical advantages/disadvantages between a hard kickboard and a more flexible one? or is it just personal preference?
Margret Walters
2 years ago.
Which size kick board is better for water exercises?
Swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
Hello,
Kickboards are really one size fits all. Any adult sized kick board would be fine.
HI
4 years ago.
HI GOT A QUETION WHAT IS OS AND ONE SIZE
swimoutlet.com
4 years ago.
Hello! OS means one size. If it is an adult one size, it means it will fit most adults or kids one size it will fit most kids.
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