Balance Boards – Oh Yea Baby!
Today we are talking about some the Best Balance Boards available and below I have compiled a list of the Top 10 Balance Board companies. The Power of Balance and Balance Board Training is greatly overlooked and should be incorporated into every athletes training regiment. There are 7 main benefits to balance training.
- Neuromuscular Coordination – This is where your brain communicates with your muscles during balance board training, honing the level of communication between your muscles and brain, which ultimately improves reaction time and coordination.
- Muscle Isolation – While performing balance drills your body is in constant stabilization mode, which forces the body to isolate movements by utilizing your stabilization muscles.
- Focus – While balancing you are forced to maintain a heighten state of awareness to maintain balance.
- Hip Stabilization – Many exercises can be performed using single leg drills, which promotes hip stabilization.
- Core Stabilization – Balance training involves many of your core muscle groups, which in turn promotes better posture and athletic performance.
- Injury Prevention – By performing balance drills you reduce the possibility of ligament ruptures, muscle injuries and more.
- Cool Factor – Lets face it, being able to balance on a board is cool, especially if your friends can’t match your balancing abilities.
OK so now that we know a Balance Board is good for us, what types of Balance Boards are there?
- Rocker Board – This is the most basic type of balance board, which offers only one degree of movement. They are perfect for beginners and are useful in rehabilitation.
- Rocker-Roller Boards – Similar to a Rocker Board except it adds 3 degrees of movement by allowing twisting.
- Sphere-and-Ring boards – Sphere and ring boards can rock and roll in any direction, giving the highest degree of instability, and offering the most movement. These also tend to be the hardest to master.
- Wobble Board – Is usually a wooden disk with a non-slip surface on top, that is able to rock and roll in any direction.
Below are some of the best balance boards companies available today. You may noticed that the list doesn’t just contain the Top 10 Balance Boards. I came across a few other companies while writing the article.
- Born To Run
- Groundswell Balance Boards
- Indo Board
- Lotus Balance Boards
- Pipe Board
- Revolution Balance Boards
- Rolo Board
- Surf Ball
- The Surf Zone Balance Board
- Vew-Do Balance Board
To get a good sampling of images check out our Pinterest on Balance Boards.
Born To Run – Is all about improving running performance by incorporating balance training as part of a running regiment. Their Level 1 board training system uses a single leg slanted balance board with trekking poles. The advantage to this system is it is very easy for a beginner to start on a balance training regiment. Included is a balance training video that shows you step by step how to perform the various balancing drills. Once you master their Level 1 balance system, they offer a Level 2 and 3 with a slightly different setup that requires much more balancing skill.
Reviews : Check out our Born To Run Strength Training System review.
Bosu – It’s a ball, not a board! Well the Bosu is sort of a mix breed, it’s half a ball with a deck. Pronounced “Bo,” like the boy’s name, and “Sue,” like the girl’s name. While most balance boards in this review only utilize one side, the BoSu utilizes both sides. This means that depending on the workout or routine, you may be on one side of the Bosu or the other.
Fitterfirst – Fitterfirst offers a huge selection of balance boards, which we will be introducing through various reviews. They offer balance boards for the squeamish to the expert and a lot in between. They hail from our northern boarder of Canada. One of their more difficult boards is called the Bongo Board.
GoofBoard – Is predominately geared towards the surfing crowd. It was designed for surfers as way to bring home the surf riding experience and a way to do dry land training when the option to surf isn’t available. GoofBoard achieves this by incorporating a long pipe parallel to the length of the board, which in turns gives a motion truer to the surfing experience.
Groundswell Balance Boards – These are no nonsense balance boards made from 18mm grade 1 structural plywood, very strong without unwanted flexing. The boards come with a single roller that is positioned perpendicular to balance on. The non slip roller’s diameter is 18cm x 45cm long. On the backside of the board there are 2 slide stops, which controls your ride and cuts down on wipeouts!
Indo Board – Has probably the biggest selection of board options and color schemes. They offer 2 main types of balance devices, which include an inflatable Cushion and Roller. They also offer both straight decks and rockered decks with 5 different models. Indo also sell a board geared towards Yoga called the Yoga Board that consists of a long board with 4 rockers underneath it and the option to add 3 inflatable cushions. If your looking for a board that looks as much fun as it is to use, Indo might be just the ticket.
Lotus Balance Boards – If your into the environment and want something that in made from recycled material, you may want to check out Lotus. Each board is made from Maple or Bamboo with the FSC stamp off approval (meaning it has been marked for responsible forestry), the tubes or rollers are made from 100% post consumer goods.
Pipe Board – One main advantage the Pipe Board has over many of it’s competitors is you can use it on grass. Most of the other Boards require either a hard surface or a mat. The pipe board was designed and geared towards the skateboarder, wakeboarder, and snowboarder. They use a long pipe with to rubber end-caps that allow grip. The board looks like a traditional skateboard, with grip on the top and rubber grip on the bottom.
Note: It appears that the Pipe Board has either gone out of business or is revamping their product line. I haven’t seen any activity from them on their Facebook or Twitter since 2011.
Revolution Balance Boards – Boardsport-aholics basically sums them up. From Skateboarding, Skimboarding, Wakeboarding Wakeskating, Snowboarding, Longboarding, you name it, they done it. Revolution produces 2 types of balance boards including the 101 (a beginners balance board) and the Core 32 for those who want to push the limits.
Rolo Board – The Rolo Board is really two boards in one, which means you will get 2 different size rollers (short and Long) with every Rolo Board purchase. The boards are made from hard rock maple, which is often used in the skateboard community to guarantee a high strength to weight ratio. The long roller allows a toe-to-heel movement that is a similar motion to snowboarding, surfing, skiing depending on how you place your feet. The short roller allows a rocking motion where you can twist, and spin simultaneously while rocking the board.
Reviews : Check out our Rolo Board review.
Sensorboard – Of course the Germans would come up with something completely different from the norm, with something that looks like it was engineered over countless years. When you first see the Sensorboard, it doesn’t look any like a traditional balance board. It has all these straps holding two boards together, which makes it all together unique in the balance board market. From what I can gather based on watching videos, the Sensorboard has 360 degree of movement allowing for some serious balance training. It focuses on sensory motor control, reflex activity and coordination.
Surf Ball – Take a ball that looks like a basketball, add a board with a concave depression and you have Surf Ball. The concept is pretty simple and the execution works. Having a ball vs a roller means you can pretty much do balance workouts anywhere. Want to make the workout harder, you inflate the ball. Want to make it easier, you deflate the ball. The SurfBall boards (similar to a surfboard) are specially designed exclusively for ball balance exercises. The concave depression in the bottom of the board helps control the ball, while the surfer maintains balance. The depression and the ball work as one and each change creates different effects in the balance.
The SurfZone Balance Trainer – Mix the Outer Banks of North Carolina with someone who loves to surf and you’re bound to come up with a great product. The SurfZone Balance Trainer consists beautiful balance board with a balance hub underneath. It is designed for use on solid level surfaces like concrete or asphalt. The core to the technology is what the SurfZone calls its non-resilient balance hub. The hubs come in 2 types, “The Expert”, which is hemispherical while the “Beginner hub” is more squashed. The Beginner hub allows slightly more contact with the ground, making it a little easier to balance on. What makes the SurfZone Board unique other than it’s design is the fact that it doesn’t require any additional pieces of equipment like a roller, rock or cushion. This saves a little time on setup and makes it easier to carry.
Reviews : Check out our SurfZone Balance Trainer review
Vew-Do Balance Board – Who Do? Vew-Do. Like Indo, Vew-Do offers a huge range of balance boards, from beginner to advanced. For most of their boards they use an integrated rail system and what they refer to as a rock. Their decks are made from zero void maple hardwood or Baltic birch. The rocks are precision turned from a solid piece of hard maple wood and come in a variety of shapes. The sub-decks and rail systems are made of bomb proof High Density Poly Ethylene plastic.
Wonkyboard – Looking to rock and roll at the same time, well Wonkyboard might be your ticket. They currently have 3 different sized balance boards that come with a 25cm roll, which incorporates a design for both rocking and rolling. This makes them the perfect choice for just about any active boarding sport.
Review : Check out our Wonkyboard Balance Board Review.
I hope you enjoyed our first real overview on Balance Boards. Look for more in-depth articles on individual balance boards in the coming months.
2016 UPDATE: For those looking for some extra fun. A company called Boosted Boards has a really exciting electric skateboard called the Boosted Board. The 2nd generation is now out and makes drastic improvements over the 1st generation boards. We have both reviews for you to check out.
Another Company out of Australia called Evolve Skateboards in our opinion is the top dog right now. Great range and speed. They also make and AT version (All Terrain), which allows 7 inches wheels to be attached. That means you will be able to ride it in more locations than your traditional skateboard could.
Boosted Boards – Electric Skateboards
Review : Check out our 2016 1st Generation Boosted Board Review
Review : Chick out our 2016 2nd Generation Boosted Board Review
Evolve Skateboards – Electric Skateboards
Review: Check out our 2016 GT CARBON STREET ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD REVIEW
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