Using a kickboard at Linslade Crusaders
Kickboards are floats most commonly used to isolate the lower body while swimming to enable focus on kick technique and leg strength. They have been used since the 1940’s and are a great aid when learning to swim.
The swimmer simply holds the float out in front of them, with their hands through the hand holes, gripping over the top of the float or, for a more streamlined position, holding the back end of the board. They then try to get their body in a horizontal position at the surface of the water and begin the leg kick. It is easier to start with a strong push-off from the wall than standing in the pool. The swimmer should turn their head to the side to breathe, not lift it up.
To practice backstroke leg kick, the swimmer should simply lie on their back and either hug the float to their chest or hold it behind their head flat on the water, to help keep the body at the surface as they kick.
As swimmers progress they may find they use the kick board less. This is because technique development will work on a streamlined position in the water and kickboards can cause the front of the body to sit up, the legs to drop and place the neck in extension, increasing the risk of neck strain. The leg action also changes when a swimmer is more upright, with the kick coming from the knee and not the hip.
Kickboards are not recommended for endurance use. This is because swimming with a kickboard can increase stress on the shoulders and lower back, making injury more likely.
You should never swim with your kick board under your body. The buoyancy of the kick board lifts the chest up and increases risk of lower back strain.
Kick boards increase drag, even if held flat in the water. Certain manufacturers have started to develop alternatives to the standard kickboard. Two of the more radical examples of this can be seen here.
Information on Using a swim kickboard for our swimmers from Linslade, Leighton Buzzard and Bedfordshire