Best Swimming Kickboards
Swimming is not just all about fun and games. For some of you, the art of being in any body of water (in specific, a pool) is to provide yourself with a workout. And, while this can be achieved without any specific devices these same devices can also completely amplify the experience. Today, let’s talk about one such device and it is known as a kickboard. In concept, this is a very simple tool and it allows you to strengthen your kicking motion in the water. But, for such a simple tool, it is quite amazing how much goes into buying one. Our goal for you today is to simplify that process and leave you feeling confident that you can buy a model that fits your needs to a T.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 2.75 hrs of research
Sports a hydrodynamic design
Equipped with a stabilizing strap
Designed with EVA foam
- FINIS ALIGNMENT
- SPEEDO ELITE PULLKICK
- SPEEDO ELITE
- TYR ADULT
- SPEEDO TEAM
- NORDESCO RIGID
- TYR HYDROFOIL
- POOLMASTER SWIM
- VIAHART SWIMMING
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
OUR TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST SWIMMING KICKBOARDS
1. FINIS ALIGNMENT
Sports a hydrodynamic design
Equipped with a stabilizing strap
Designed with EVA foam
A snorkel is pretty much needed for optimal use
Not only is the top option here incredibly unique but it is also just a brilliant design. Even though it is much smaller than your prototypical model, it sports a stabilization strap and a hydrodynamic design.Read more
As with most top-end models on the market, this right here is made of durable and lightweight EVA foam. Also, this same material will prevent skin irritation.
It was previously mentioned and indeed, this does sport a stabilizing strap. What this allows you to do is control the board without gripping it with your palms.
Here is the deal; the hydrodynamic design makes this ideal for all sorts of competitive strokes. However, even though the seller claims a snorkel is not mandatory, it pretty much is. Due to the nature of this design, your head will be under the water more often than not.
Yes, this is a smaller model. Yet, it is designed in this manner purposely. This smaller stature is going to reduce the pressure on your shoulders.
This right here is yellow and that is the only color that is offered specifically. It is bright and colorful, though, so few people will have issues with it.
There is a reason why so many other buyers and experts have raved about this design. It is both unique and extremely effective and for most consumers, this will be a magical combination.
2. SPEEDO ELITE PULLKICK
It is a combination kickboard and pull buoy
It is an ideal size for travel
The groove in the middle enhances the grip
It can be unstable as a pull buoy
Spoiler alert, you will see Speedo a lot on this list. Back to the matter at hand, this is actually a pullkick which is a combination tool. Its unique shape and design you will either love or loathe, admittedly.Read more
Now, it is actually not specified by Speedo what material this is made of. It can be assumed that it is EVA foam and, for the record, few buyers have had anything bad to say about the durability.
This is actually engineered for both comfort and superior wrist support. As a pull buoy, there is a groove in the middle that helps you grip it.
It really does not get much more versatile than this. As it is a pullkick, it can be used as a pull buoy and a kickboard. But, for the former, it is going to take a little more effort due to the shape and the size.
At 10.5 by 9.25 by 2.5 inches in size, this is not very large and is not necessarily puny, either. As mentioned, though, it can be tough to use as a pull buoy due to its somewhat smaller stature.
Speedo provides you with two color options to choose from. You can either go with red or black.
Admittedly, some of you will not be a fan of this kind of tool. Some will feel it is a jack of all trades and master of none. However, though it takes some effort, it can be quite effective as both a pull buoy and kickboard.
3. SPEEDO ELITE
Sports an ergonomic design
The quality is excellent
Offers ideal comfort and support for your arms
Smaller than you may expect
This is a more traditional model but even so, this is still yet another unique model from Speedo. Though it lacks integrated slots or anything like that, it is much thicker than other models and is ergonomically designed.Read more
If one thing is certain, it is tough to question the quality of Speedo’s product. This is another prime example as it is has been developed with the latest materials and technology.
While there are no integrated grooves or handles, this is designed in a manner that will offer your arms both comfort and support during use.
Again, as mentioned, there are not too many hand positions to achieve here. Yet, the shape and ergonomic design allow for perfect positioning in the water.
One previous buyer commented that they were upset with the smaller nature of this model. However, in regard to the thickness, it is far from small.
Really, this is designed and colored in a similar manner as the previous Speedo option on this list. Of course, can you really go wrong with red?
Though the price may seem a bit steep for this type of training tool, it really is worth it due to the quality of the product. This is alluding to the materials and the effectiveness, quite frankly.
4. TYR ADULT
Crafted of durable closed cell EVA foam
The size is quite large
It is basic but extremely effective
It is not a contoured or streamlined design
TYR is much like Speedo in that it is a brand name that is plastered all over this type of technology. With designs such as this, it is not really hard to see why, either.Read more
For both extended life and performance in the water, TYR constructed their model out of durable closed cell EVA foam.
In regard to the handling, it all comes down to the texturing of the foam here due to the lack of handles. Thankfully, finding an ideal grip on this will not be difficult.
As hinted at, this is a truly basic design. It is not countered or streamlined and really only serves one purpose.
At 20 by 11.5 inches, this is actually a pretty big board. If your children wanted to play their hand at this, it would be too large. For most adults, however, it should be ideal.
Although this offering is in black, it is noted in the product description that this is also sold in yellow (if you prefer that style).
If there ever was a cliché and prototypical swimming kickboard, this would be it. It is made of EVA foam, sports a very simple rounded edge, and is a very effective training tool, after all.
5. SPEEDO TEAM
Sports textured EVA foam
Features side finger scallops
It is a very effective design
It is a bit small for most adults
Well, would you look at that? It is Speedo again and of all the three of their models on this list, this is the most basic. Still, the finger scallops on the side enhance the grip fantastically.Read more
Surprise, surprise, this is a kickboard that is made of lightweight and textured EVA foam.
In addition to the textured nature of the foam itself, there are also underside finger grooves that are integrated and these enhance the grip that you can achieve.
This is shaped exactly like the previous option and that means that, while very effective, it is a very basic option for sure.
Now, at 18 1/4 by 11 5/8 inches, this is a good-sized model. Yet, in spite of this, there have been a few buyers who have noted that this was too small for them.
Speedo provides you with a decent selection of colors. You can buy their model in either black, blue or lime.
Really, the best way to describe this is simple yet effective. Of course, its brilliance comes with its simplicity as the texturing and the integrated grooves enhance the grip you can achieve tremendously.
Made of 100 percent EVA foam
Multiple color options are available
There are integrated slots for your hands
It is not optimized for larger folks
What is really nice about this design, outside of the fact that it is made of EVA foam and engineered by Arena, is there are integrated slots that provide additional hand positions for you.Read more
The cat was already let out of the bag but at this point, you are becoming accustomed to seeing models made out of EVA foam.
Even if you did not want to use the integrated slots for handling, you could always grasp the edges of this board. That is what is so great about it as both methods allow for optimal grip.
The aforementioned slots allow this to be versatile because you can completely change up how you hold this board. It may seem simple but once you mess around with the different positions, you will understand why they are so nice.
Overall, this seems to be outfitted for smaller people. This does not necessarily insinuate, though, that it is a children’s model as some adults will find great use out of this.
First off, the Arena logo on each of the color options is superb. Oh, and speaking of which, there are indeed multiple color options including green, orange, pink, and gray.
Size is everything and for some of you, this is simply not going to cut it. There is really nothing “wrong” with this model but its smaller size will be the deal breaker for you.
7. NORDESCO RIGID
Provides great support thanks to its rigid nature
It is made of molded EVA foam
Quite a few color options are available
Not incredibly hydrodynamic underwater
As you can see from the photos, this is really as basic as it gets. But, you know, in a world that is focused on the next and most advanced technological breakthrough, sometimes it is “basic” that gets the job done the best.Read more
Being made of EVA foam, this is going to be resistant to the effects of both UV rays and chlorine. Oh yeah, and overall, it will also hold up to user abuse.
Though it can be difficult to see from the photos, this actually sports molded sides. These assist in allowing you to find and achieve a superior grip.
Even though this is hydrodynamic on the surface, it is not really so underwater. On another note, the rigidity of this board allows for excellent support.
When compared to other options on the market, this really falls in the middle of the pack in regard to its size. It is not puny but it is also not very large (it measures 19.25 by 11 inches, for the record).
A really solid selection of color choices is available with orange, green and yellow just being a few of them.
Really, one of the features that really sets this apart is its molded sides. Yes, this is a very simple feature but it really can make all the difference in the world in the water.
8. TYR HYDROFOIL
Showcases a three-dimensional design
The flat surfaces allow your forearms to rest comfortably
It is made of EVA foam
It is quite small and thin
Will not hold up larger individuals
Now, this is a completely different offering from TYR. They made an appearance on this list earlier but as opposed to that one, this sports specific hand cutouts that are designed to provide proper hand placement.Read more
It is stated that this is made using the highest quality of materials and this is proven because it is made of EVA foam.
Yep, this is indeed unique and it all comes down to the shape. There are flat surfaces and these provide an optimal location for your forearms to rest.
In addition to the hand cutouts, this entire design is three-dimensional. What this allows for is enhanced control over kinetic movement which is nice.
Various buyers have commented on the smaller size of this model and have noted that it simply is not optimized to hold larger individuals up.
The straight black design is certainly nothing special but it is also not an eyesore by any stretch of the imagination.
What most users will love about this swimming kickboard are its three-dimensional design and foam composition. But, as with other options, some of you will not be fond of the smaller size.
9. POOLMASTER SWIM
It can take a beating
There are small and large sizes available
Two sets of integrated handles are featured
It is hard plastic and can be “dangerous”
It is on the smaller side
No one can say that there are not unique kickboards on the market and this just happens to be another. Most notable of which is the material composition (which is not EVA foam).Read more
Well, would you look at that? Poolmaster introduces a model to this list that is not made of EVA foam. Instead, it is made of unbreakable polyethylene. And though it lives up to its unbreakable claim, it is also quite hard and is not nearly as forgiving as foam.
Perhaps no other model on the market has as many handle options as this one. There are multiple indents and slots integrated as you can see from the photos.
Does it really get more versatile than this? Think about it, each time you use it, you can place your hands in a completely different position.
What is really nice is there are both small and large size options available for you to select between. Even still, there have been some users who have criticized how small this is.
Blue is pretty much the cliché color of swimming tools and that is what you get here. There is nothing wrong with the color, per se, however.
Granted your kids do not get ahold of this and treat it as a weapon, it should be a great tool for you. But, you may have your heart set on options that are made of EVA foam and that is fair.
10. VIAHART SWIMMING
There are hand holes integrated
It is lightweight yet durable
Several colors are available to choose from
Can be a bit flimsy in the water
A few buyers did not love the smaller size of this
You know, many of you out there will probably not be overly enamored with this last model. At the end of the day, however, it is an effective, albeit quite simple, swimming training tool.Read more
For the record, the EVA foam that is utilized here is free of formaldehyde and phthalate.
Whether you want to grab on the sides of this kickboard or latch onto the integrated slots, the handling will be superb either way.
In spite of the integrated slots, the biggest complaint amongst previous users is that this does not float all that well.
This is not only thinner but also shorter than most of the models on the market. Both go a long way to explaining why so many users have had performance issues with it.
There is certainly not a lack of variety here as there are several color options available (such as blue, green, pink and orange).
Among all the entries on this list, this is perhaps the one that is hardest to judge. You see, it is effective and well-designed (for some) but it simply will not provide enough buoyancy for most adults.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Get used to seeing EVA foam because this is by far the most popular material within the market for this tool.
It should not have taken very long for you to realize that EVA foam is the go-to material in the world of swimming kickboards. And, even though not all models on the market will be made out of this foam, most will. So, with that being said, what is so great about it? Chances are, you have heard of it but do you know exactly what it is? For the record, it stands for ethylene-vinyl acetate and it is merely foam that is blended from copolymers of vinyl acetate and ethylene (it is also closed cell). But, what makes it an excellent material (and perfect for this type of tool) are its vast properties.
First and foremost, it offers superb cushioning and this enhances the comfort when you use a kickboard in the water. Of course, at the same time, EVA foam also remains incredibly resilient and durable. In large part, this is thanks to its closed cell structure as it sports excellent resistance to oils, moisture, water, and even sound. Oh, and one last thing, it also provides strong buoyancy. All in all, it is not too difficult to see why so many engineers around the world choose this particular material.
Not only is this about the texture but it is also about the overall handling in general.
When you analyze how you are supposed to “operate” this type of tool, it becomes apparent very quickly that the handling a specific model provides is going to be vitally important. After all, you generally hold a swimming kickboard out in front of you and grip it with your hands. Now, depending on the model that you pick, you may have different manners in which you can handle it. For example, you will often see designs on the market integrate slots. Though simple in nature, these provide your hands with a different position and this can completely alter the experience.
Of course, the most natural position for your hands is going to be on the ends of the board. So, in this sense, you need to look for models that are not slick. Thankfully, this is another advantage of EVA foam as the texture is generally very easy to grip. Then again, you could look for designs that are engineered with some sort of grooving on the sides to amplify the grip even further. Basically, you do not want to be slipping off the board when you are using it.
There are actually different types of design styles on the market and this is where you will see the versatility come to the forefront.
In all reality, you could dub this section either “versatility” or “style”. The two really do go hand-in-hand here and it all comes down to the fact that there are different types of designs available on the market. As opposed to pull buoys, the market for swimming kickboards is much more extensive. In general, there are three very popular design styles that you can choose from. The first is what is known as tombstone kickboards and they are called this simply because that is what they look like. If you want a classic design then this is the way to go. Chances are, you have seen these versions before because they most likely are available at your local pool. They remain popular thanks to their simplicity and hydrodynamic design.
However, you also have arrowhead kickboards. These are much different and the first aspect you will notice is their size difference. They are actually much smaller and due to this, they provide less buoyancy. This results in slimmer drag profiles and more challenging workouts as a result. Oh, and lastly, you can’t forget about pull kicks. Essentially, these take the premises of pull buoys and swimming kickboards and join them into one design.
While any size can feasibly work, you may have a preferred choice.
For some products, the size is going to dictate everything. Well, that is not exactly the case here. Now, do not get it twisted; the size of a kickboard is going to play a role in your final decision. At the same time, though, you could feasibly work with any size out there. Unlike shoes where you literally need one specific size, you could ignore the size entirely here and still be satisfied with your purchase. Okay, so then why is it even being talked about, then?
Here is the deal and this was alluded to in the previous section; it all comes down to the workout that you want. You see, if you consider yourself an advanced swimmer then you may be seeking a more challenging workout. If this is the case, avoid larger kickboards as they will offer greater floating support and easier experiences. Of course, if all you are trying to do is improve your water kick, then larger designs can be perfect.
No, this is not super important but hey, what is wrong with wanting a specific color?
It actually is quite amazing that the color of anything can play such an important role in the buying process. Now, you can make an argument that it is irrelevant here as it is not going to affect the performance in any way. Then again, will the color ever? For garments, it could, because, in hotter weather, lighter-shaded clothing will be preferred. But, you understand the point. In all reality, though, perhaps you simply want a swimming kickboard that is going to stand out from other pool equipment.
And, do not believe that you are a shallow individual because you actually care about the color of the model that you receive. For anyone who tells you otherwise, ask them why sellers on the market offer their models in different colors. You see, they are smarter than us all as they understand perfectly that their model will sell better if they offer it in different colors. It really is a simple marketing strategy but as they say, variety is the spice of life.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
With some products, they can be made with a plethora of different materials. However, it is pretty simple here. Upward of 90 percent of top-end models on the market will be made of EVA foam (and this percentage may even be higher). When you analyze the properties and characteristics of this type of foam, though, it becomes apparent very quickly why this is the case. Just take a look for yourself.
This is truly where there begins to be some diversity with the top models on the market. Though all of them hold the same general premise, the manner in which they are handled can alter significantly. From one model to the next, there may be entirely different ways to “operate” them. Some designs will be very simple while others will integrate slots and grooves. Either way, just ensure that you will not be slipping with the model that you ultimately end up going with.
Perhaps you are thinking about how versatile this type of tool could really be. Yes, each option on the market offers a simple premise, as mentioned, but their diversity comes with their style. Indeed, this is where you really see the versatility between the different available models. As you will see in this section, the style can literally change everything. Think long and hard about what you truly are looking for here.
Frequently Asked Questions
It has been alluded to quite a bit during this guide that this is a simple type of tool. Yet, what exactly is the purpose of buying one? Truth be told, the main reason is that it can offer you a focused workout. While it is not going to engage all of your muscles while you use it, what it will do is allow you to focus on your stomach, hip, and leg muscles. Essentially, you are completely taking your arms out of the equation and are using your legs to be the driving force.
Okay, so you know understand why you would want to use one. However, now the question is what are the benefits of doing so (outside of engaging the muscles previously documented)? First and foremost, it allows you to take a break from working out your arms. As you know, many swimming routines and exercises require the work of your arms. And, you should never overdo it so this tool allows you to continue your workout while resting your arms. Also, a kickboard itself is going to improve your balance and buoyancy during use.
Earlier, EVA foam was raved about for its vast properties and excellent benefits. Though consumers around the world have had many questions about the foam, this one right here is one of the most common. So, with that in mind, is it indeed flexible? The short answer to this is yes, it is. The primary reason is it is elasticized closed-cell foam and it sports rubber-like properties. If you know anything about rubber then you know that it is flexible. At the same time, though, much like rubber, EVA foam is not going to lose its shape if it is flexed.
Answering this question can be tricky because it depends on how you look at it. On the one hand, swimming kickboards are not toys and they should not be used in this manner. No, they are not exactly dangerous but they are also not intended for roughhousing (even though EVA foam is a very durable material and could probably take it to an extent). On the other hand, children can get use out of them as flotation devices. However, let’s get something clear, they are not safety floatation devices and should never be used as such. With the right size, though, your children may get as much use out of them as you do (as training tools).
If you know anything about the science of floating in water then you know it comes down to several factors. So, to outright claim that this type of device will prevent you from sinking is not fair. Yet, that is what it is designed to do but, again, it comes down to several factors. One critical one is the size (of both you and the kickboard). Flimsy and small models may not be able to provide you with the buoyancy you need to keep you afloat. Of course, what you also need to remember is that you will need to engage your legs to keep your body afloat.
As great as EVA foam is, it is not going to last forever as nothing does. So, in the instance where your model begins to wear down and deteriorate, the best bet is for you to recycle it (if it is made of EVA foam that is). Now, the market for recycled EVA foam is not exactly high but that does not mean that you can’t contribute to the cause. After all, this type of material is environmentally friendly and can cut production costs.
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