The Best kickboards for swimming in 2021

Bobby Savulich,

June 11, 2021

The Athlete Approved Guide to Kickboards for Swimming

There are a lot of different kickboards you can find at the pool! The best kickboards are ergonomic, durable, and can even improve your swimming technique.

Many swimmers think: “a kickboard is a kickboard, I’ll just grab any old one from the equipment bin.” That plan can work for some…

For those not lucky enough to have access to a well kept shared equipment bin that does not contain moldy and teeth marked boards (for some odd reason children love biting these), this guide will help find your perfect kickboard.

Also, if you are a swimmer looking for an edge to improve your swimming, read on to learn about the different options of kickboards and how they can benefit your training.


The Best Technique Kickboard: FINIS Alignment Kickboard

The Finis Alignment Kickboard is an amazing tool for swimmers to perfect their swimming body position. It is our top kickboard to use when working on technique.

The Alignment Board helps you hold your body in the correct position during workouts. Keeping your head in the “neutral position” with your eyes down is key to proper swimming technique. This board teaches you just that.

When using this kickboard on your front, you will have your hands in a streamline and head in the water. Try pairing it with a snorkel, so you can breath easily while perfecting your body position.

This cleverly designed tool will additionally help get you in the perfect position when side kicking and doing one-arm-drills. It is also great for flip turns.

The contoured shape helps you float effortlessly while staying on top of the water. It is also designed to decrease stress on your shoulders. It feels more like an extension of your body than a cumbersome piece of equipment.

The great thing about an alignment board is that it provides just enough buoyancy that allows swimmers of all levels to work on different aspects of their technique.



The Best Kid’s Swim Training Kickboard: FINIS Junior Foam Kickboard

Get those little swimmers in motion with the FINIS Junior Foam Kickboard. This kickboard is our go-to tool for teaching kids how to swim. It is light and simple, but is perfect for young swimmers.

The junior size is designed for smaller and lighter bodied swimmers who are just learning to swim. Kiddos can building leg strength while removing much of stress on the shoulders as well. It is also the perfect size for teaching “catch-up” freestyle.

The EVA foam will not chafe or irritate your skin and you will feel at one with the water with it!

The Foam Kickboard is perfect for kids, but also comes in an adult size. Be sure to designate the adult or jr size at checkout.


Why You Should Use a Kickboard

Work on Kick Technique and Body Position

Swimmers know there are hundreds of little technical nuances to every stroke. Using a kickboard will isolate your kick, so that you can focus 100% on your lower body.

Some argue that the kick is more than half your propulsion. While we do not wholly agree with that, it’s worth noting that a solid kicking foundation can help you swim faster and stronger.

Beginner swimmers can kick on their back and “hug” a kickboard in their chest. This will give that extra support and flotation while working on body position.

You can also work on balance and core stability by kicking on your side. Hold a kickboard in one hand to provide extra support (a snorkel is also highly recommended).


Work on Lower Body Strength and Cardio

Our legs are the largest muscles in our body, which is why it’s important to give them an isolated workout! Kicking with a board will help you increase aerobic capacity without waring your shoulders.

We recommend incorporating kicking into warmup to loosen your legs. You can view more guidance in our article on How to Create Your Swim Workout Plan.

You can also mix in kicking to any workout (by the way, here are 100 Athlete Approved Swimming Workouts).

Or even have your main set be kicking only. Elite swim programs typically designate one swim workout a week to kicking, so that shows the importance of working on our kick!

You can also add fins to further work your legs. It is also just fun to go fast!


Mix Up Training

The best swim workouts incorporate mixing strokes, pulling, and kicking. Using a kickboard isolates your legs to work them extra hard.

Swimming laps can get boring. That is why we always use a kickboard! Not only does it add variety, but also makes workouts more exciting and much less monotonous.


Fun Ways to Use a Kickboard

  • Social Kick: Swimmers kick while they socialize. The nature of our sport limits social interaction. Use social kick to change that!
  • Scull while standing on the kickboard: Work your shoulders and back while strengthening the core to maintain balance. You can also race against a friend!
  • Flip turn with a kickboard: Most swimmers will do an open turn when using a board. Test your athletic coordination and shave seconds off your time by learning how to flip turn with a board.
  • Birthday swims: When it comes to birthdays, there’s no better way of celebrating than with a birthday swim! Have your swimmer do a 50 or 100 butterfly while teammates splash water at them from either side of the lane with kickboards. Get the entire team involved while they bond together in the mayhem.

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