The first commercially available water ski kneeboard was Knee Ski, co-invented by Mike Murphy and Bud Hulst in 1972. Hulst had a background in surfing, manufacturing kneeboards for wave riding under the name of El Paipo. Murphy had been a professional show skier. The original Knee Ski was made from molded fiberglass, like a boat hull, and was neutrally buoyant. Each Knee Ski had a flat neoprene pad covering the entire deck, and a Velcro strap.
In 1973, John Taylor, a former Knee Ski employee, decided to make and sell his own boards under the name of Glide Slide. Taylor took a new approach, blow molding a plastic shell and filling it with foam. Unfortunately the teardrop design was unstable, and Glide Slide faltered as the 1973 oil crisis slowed the water sports industry.
Danny Churchill, quarter mile speed ski record holder in 1974 and former Glide Slide employee, bought the company in the wake of the oil crisis. Churchill redesigned the Glide Slide to make it more stable and renamed the product Hydroslide in 1976. Churchill is most commonly known for popularizing the sport through advertising and promotions in the newly released full color water ski publications of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In the early 80’s Churchill sold Hydroslide to toy giant, Kransco. Kransco eventually decided do exit the watersports category. At that time Swimways purchased Hydroslide and moved production to Virginia Beach, VA, where they made the rotomolded kneeboards until December of 2001. Swimways sold the Hydroslide brand and all related molds and assets to Nash Manufacturing. Shortly thereafter, Nash began manufacturing kneeboards in Fort Worth, TX. Nash expanded the Hydroslide brand to include many other categories of watersports items beyond just Hydroslide kneeboards. In September of 2017 Motion Watersports bought the Hydroslide name and related assets, adding the brand to the group of watersports companies.