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Bad Knees: Are You Able to Paddleboard with Leg Issues?

Paddle boarding is an increasingly popular sport requiring much knee movement and strength. For those with bad knees, this could be a source of concern.

So, can you paddle board with bad knees?

It is possible to paddle board with bad knees. Paddleboarding can be a great way to gain and maintain strength if someone has sore, stiff, or weak knees. Also, paddleboarding can benefit people recovering from surgery or chronic knee injuries.

In this article, I will dive deep into how you can paddleboard safely with bad knees and how to make the most of your experience.

older man at the doctors getting his knee pain checked out

Tips For Paddleboarding With Bad Knees

Paddleboarding with bad knees can be tricky, but fortunately, there are ways to make it a bit easier.

Whether you’re just starting with paddleboarding or are an experienced paddleboarder, you can still find ways to enjoy the sport despite your bad knees.

Here are some tips to make paddleboarding with bad knees a bit easier:

Look For Boards With a Stability Focus

When you think about paddle boarding with bad knees, look for boards that offer stability.

A stable board will help take the pressure off your knees and ankles, allowing you to move more freely.

If you need help finding a stable board, look for one with a more wide and flat deck.

These boards will be able to distribute your weight, so you don’t have to worry as much about putting too much strain on your joints.

Practice Kneeling

One of the best ways to make paddleboarding with bad knees easier is by practicing kneeling on the board.

Although it may be tempting to stand up right away, it’s essential to take the time to get comfortable kneeling on the board first.

Start by practicing balance on your knees on the shore and getting used to the feel of the board.

Once you are comfortable, you can try it on the water. This will help you get a better feel for the board and give your knees time to adjust.

Make sure to keep your knees bent and be mindful of the pressure you’re putting on them.

Use Padded Grip-Pad

Another way to make paddleboarding with bad knees easier is to use a padded grip pad.

These pads are usually made from a soft foam material and can be strapped to the board to protect your knees from the hard surface.

A padded grip pad will help cushion your knees and make it easier for you to move around on the board.

The grip pad will also help keep you from slipping off the board and potentially injuring your knees.

Keep The Knees Bent

When paddling with bad knees, keeping your knees bent is essential. This can help reduce the strain on your joints and make paddleboarding more comfortable.

Straightening the legs can put a lot of strain on your knees, so it’s important to keep them bent even when you’re paddling.

This will help prevent potential injuries, make it easier for you to move around on the board, and help alleviate the pressure on your knees.

Avoid Knee Paddling If You Are In Surf

If you’re out on the water in the surf, it’s best to avoid knee paddling. This is because the force of the waves can cause extra strain on your joints.

Standing up and using your arms and shoulders to power your strokes is safer.

Remember to do a proper warm-up before you go out and stretch your body. Just like your arms, it’s important that you remember to flex your knees, ankles, and back properly when paddling.

Paddle With A Partner

If you have bad knees, the best way to paddleboard is to find a partner who can help you.

You can reduce the strain on your knees by having someone who can support you. Paddling with someone else will also allow you to keep your balance more easily.

Your partner can also offer you more security in case of an emergency. Additionally, having someone around will make the paddling experience much more enjoyable.

Benefits Of Paddle Boarding With Leg Issues

Paddleboarding is a great way to strengthen your core, knees, and the muscles around your kneecaps.

Not only does it provide balancing movements for your knees, but it also helps you recover after knee surgery.

Best of all, paddleboarding has minimal impact on your joints, making it an ideal activity for people with leg issues.

Making Your Core And Knees Strong

One of the greatest benefits of paddle boarding for people with leg issues is that it helps to make your core and knees strong.

Using a paddleboard, you can engage your core muscles and those around your knees to create a stronger, more supportive foundation for the rest of your body.

You can better support your lower extremities and take pressure off your knees by strengthening your core muscles.

This can make it easier to balance and reduce your risk of injury.

Makes Muscles Around Knee Caps Strong

Paddleboarding also helps strengthen the muscles around your kneecaps and is an excellent form of low-impact exercise.

When your paddleboard, you’re engaging the muscles around your kneecaps. This helps to strengthen the structure that supports your knees and can reduce pain and discomfort.

It can also help to increase your range of motion and flexibility. With regular paddleboarding, you can even prevent future knee issues, such as arthritis or tendonitis.

Gives Balancing Movements Of The Knees

One of the best things about paddleboarding is that it allows you to practice balancing movements with your knees.

Paddleboarding also allows your legs to move in a variety of directions. This helps to improve your balance and coordination as your legs stretch and move in different directions.

This can help strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your knees and reduce pain. Also, it can help to improve your overall balance and stability.

This can be especially beneficial if you suffer from leg issues or an injury.

Helps To Recover After Knee Surgery Fast

If you’ve recently had knee surgery, paddleboarding can be a great way to help you recover.

Using a paddleboard, you can engage the muscles around your knee to help it heal. It’s low-impact so that you won’t strain your joints too much.

Additionally, it can help increase your flexibility and strength, making it easier to return to your daily activities.

Puts Minimal Impact On Joints

One of the greatest things about paddleboarding is that it has minimal impact on your joints and muscles.

Paddleboarding is a great way to get active without putting too much pressure on your joints.

This makes it an ideal activity for people with leg issues, as it reduces your risk of further injury. 

This low-impact activity helps build strength in the muscles around your kneecaps and improve your balancing movements.

Also, the low-impact movements make it safe to return to the water and start paddling again.


According to the information above, I hope now you have the answer to the question: can you paddle board with bad knees?

Paddleboarding with bad knees doesn’t have to be a difficult or painful experience. Instead, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity for all experience levels.

There are a variety of modifications and techniques that can help make paddleboarding more comfortable and accessible for those with leg issues.

The activity’s low-impact nature puts minimal strain on your joints and can help keep your leg injuries at bay.

So, don’t let bad knees keep you from trying paddleboarding.