After decades of being ignored, Balance Board training has finally started to receive the attention it deserves as a key component of a rounded fitness program. One result has been that a large number of retailers have jumped on the Balance Board bandwagon in order to cash in on the board’s popularity. Not all of them are offering boards of the quality that your body deserves.
In order to provide you with a satisfying answer to the question, ‘Where can I buy a balance board?’, we’ve gone in search of the best of the best. In this article, we reveal the 6 best balance board online retailers.
First, though, let’s consider what you need to be looking out for when buying a balance board.
Balance Board Buyer’s Guide
Your first consideration when shopping for a balance board is what type of board will best meet your needs. Your options are:
- A Wobble Board – Wobble boards are the most popular choice for people who are new to board training. They provide many opportunities for stability training and are ideal for integrating with your existing workout. If you’re a surfer or a skateboarder, however, they may not provide the board simulation that you’re after.
- A Single Piece Board – These boards are a good introduction for people who lack balance confidence or are recovering from injury. They mainly rely on side-to-side stability.
- Board with two separate pieces – These are the most challenging types of boards. They are extremely versatile, however, and provide the best surfboard / skateboard simulation.
- Combination Boards – These boards require assembly and can be modified to switch their function between the other options.
Having narrowed down the type of board that you require, just what should you be looking for in a quality board. Here are some key considerations:
- Board size – If you’re a beginner you’ll want a decent amount of board size that won’t over tire your legs, but will still give you a strength challenge. You don’t want to feel like you’re too confined and can’t get enough leg control.
- User Height – Some boards are designed for different user heights. Check the specifications to see if the board is made for your height. Most will accommodate users in the 5’4” (1.4m) to 6’0” (1.8m) range. If you’re more than 6’0”, you may find that the board is a little small for a comfortable ride stance – Keep looking until you find a board that is designed for your height.
- Board construction – A good board thickness is about a half inch. Boards may be constructed of plywood or plastic. You will need to ensure that the board surface is smooth as you will, more than likely, be training in bare feet. If you are buying a plywood board, check reviews to ensure that the board doesn’t produce splinters over time.
- Maximum weight – Check the dimensions to find out what the maximum carrying weight of the board is. A good board will allow 350 pounds. That may sound a lot, but if you are planning on doing exercises with added weight (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc) the poundage can soon add up.
- Fulcrum – The fulcrum is the key to the board. It is what creates the imbalance and challenges your ability to stay on your feet. Some boards come with a range of fulcrums to allow you to change them out as your progress in your coordination. Changeable fulcrums, however, may not be as secure as fixed ones. Some of them are held in place with Velcro, making them less than ideal, especially in high traffic situations.
So, Where Can I Buy a Balance Board?
2. Indo Board
Hunter Joslin has been a pro surfer and skater for more than 40 years. His design of the original Indo Board was to assist surfers with land-based training. Users soon discovered that Hunter’s board was doing a great job of improving their ankle, calf, knee, hip and thigh strength. Hunter realized that he had a great cross training tool on his hands.
Since that time the Indo Board has been used and acclaimed by Olympic medalists, world champions and professional athletes all over the globe. It is one of the most well known and the most respected balance boards brand in the world today.
The Indo Board website breaks their extensive board range down into broad categories to make it easy to find the board that will suit you. The site provides a very helpful FAQ section to guide you through your purchasing decision.
All Indo Boards come with a free Demo DVD. The decks on all boards are made from high-quality hardwood, while the rollers are constructed of durable injection molded plastic. All their boards are latex free.
The Indo Board website is packed with useful information to allow you to get the most from your purchase. The site’s blog goes even more in depth. Specials are always featured on the site.
3. Fitter First
For more than a quarter of a century, Fitter First has been offering customers the very best functional training equipment to help their customers achieve their fitness goals. Long before functional training was the buzzword in fitness, they were providing innovative training options, backed up by impeccable service.
In 1994, company founder Louis Stack secured a US patent for his tri-level wobble board design. The Wobble board was then introduced for home and clinical use. Nearly twenty-five years on and Fitter First produces and sells one of the most respected ranges of balance training gear available anywhere.
Fitter First is not a specialist balance board retailer, but they do offer an excellent range of products in this category. The website conveniently breaks your options down to such categories as:
- Active Office Boards
- Professional Balance Boards
- Soft Boards
- Extreme Balance Boards
Another useful site feature is the option to shop by price range. In addition to an extensive range of balance boards, Fitter First also offers a number of board accessories, including balance pads, rotational discs, sit discs and balance board stands.
Vew-Do is another balance board company that was born from the need to provide an alternative training option for surfers. In this case, it was snow surfers, and the man behind the innovation was Brew ‘Vew’ Moscarello, snowboard instructor at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Using his old bongo board as a starting point, ‘Vew’ improved the design to create a board that could turn, spin rotate and ollie. What he came out with is known as the ‘Vew-Do’ Balance Board.
Vew-Do’s website is easy to navigate and offers a very impressive information section. Here you can find answers to all of your balance board questions, along with detailed information in the form of help pages that will guide from newbie to accomplished balance boarder.
Vew-Do boards look like skateboards and feature an integrated rail system that guides the fulcrum. All of their boards are made from maple hardwood or Baltic birch. The rail systems and sub-decks are manufactured out of high-density polyethylene plastic.
Vew-Do offers three product categories:
- Their performance series features rolling fulcrums with an i-beam construction under each deck. Boards vary in their amount of taper. These boards are for serious balance board trainers.
- The Nub series offers boards that are closer to the ground while offering 360-degree rotation, without fear of falling. These are great for new users.
- The fitness/specialty series are designed for athletes and others who are serious about getting in the shape of their lives.
The GoofBoard is a throwback to the skateboard craze of the early 70’s. The inventor of the GoofBoard, Armin Brown, innovated the balance board while searching for an experience that felt more like skateboarding. His idea was to place a pipe fulcrum parallel, rather than perpendicular, to the board. The GoofBoard was officially launched in 2010.
As well as more closely replicating the skateboard sensation, the GoofBoard gives what is probably the truest surfing feel of any of the balance boards currently on the market. The uniqueness of the GoofBoard is in its ability to provide a rail-to-rail ride by way of a long roller parallel to the length of the board.
Riding a GoofBoard is quite a bit trickier than most other types of board. It is not suggested for beginners, but if you are a paddle boarder, skier or surfer then this is the ideal place to advance your skills.
The GoofBoard website offers both Classic and Freestyle balance boards. The boards are constructed from premium grade hardwood. At 29.5” x 15”, the Freestyle is quite a bit smaller than the Classic. It doesn’t have any grip tape, which allows for a much freer style. The GoofBoard guys use a secret roller coating to provide the ideal grip-slip ratio. With this board, you’ll feel like you’re riding on the waves or snow, even as you’re balancing in your bedroom!
While some claim that the Bosu is a ball and not a board, the truth of the matter is that it is one of the most popular balance training items on the market today, and is capable of acting as both ball and board. In fact, the name Bosu is an acronym that stands for Both Sides Utilized and is the brainchild of David Weck, who first developed it in 1999.
The dome of the Bosu is filled with air and, as the name suggests, you can train on both sides in order to improve your balance. The dome of the Bosu Ball is constructed of high-quality vinyl, so people with latex allergies will have no problems using it.
Bosu products are all manufactured in the United States at their manufacturing plant in Ashland, Ohio. The Bosu website is easy to navigate with the shop featuring a range of 8 different types of Bosu Balls to meet every user requirement.
The Bosu Ball will not offer the advanced training options of a GoofBoard or a Vew-Do, but is an excellent option for seniors, children and those who want to combine balance training with their existing resistance-based workout.
The website features an extensive FAQ and product descriptions are in-depth. A generous warranty is provided with each purchase.
So, where can you buy a balance board? The online marketplace offers every balance board training option that you’ll ever need. We’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to online retailers. However, if you use our Top 6 as your go-to suppliers, you’ll be well placed to get the balance that your body deserves.