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The specific physical components that directly correlate to improving your surfing skills involve balance, coordination, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility. To be successful surfing, the surfer needs to maintain a low center of gravity with minimal waist bend and an upright, shoulders back body position, which will help to create a stable platform. To do so, requires that surfers have significant lower body and core strength, which promotes improved balance and stability
Additionally, one primary ability a surfer needs to master, is being able to distribute their weight between their front and rear foot on a moving surfboard. A surfers ability to effectively and efficiently distribute their weight is critical to maintaining stability and balance, and is key to being able to generate and/or vary their speed while riding a wave.
So for these reasons, surfers need to train to increase their physical fitness, improve their abilities and fine tune their surfing skills. One of the great tools created for these purposes is the balance board, designed specifically for surfers to focus on balance training, core exercises and fitness training through a variety of surfing workouts and exercises that can be done anywhere.
This piece of equipment should be considered a must have for the beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers. To help surfers in their search, we have provided a review of our top recommendations and a buyers guide in assisting you to find the best balance board for surfing.
Best Balance Board for Surfing Reviews
1. Indo Board Original Balance Board
The Indo Board Original is a great balance board for surfers looking to hone their skills on days they can’t get on the water, or individuals looking for a great workout and even those who are inexperienced and are looking to get into the sport. The Indo was originally designed exclusively for surfers and quickly grew in popularity and intended uses.
A design and style similar to a surfboard, the Indo Original will improve your overall coordination, balance, and stability, while being a blast to use. This board is well constructed, making it very durable and has an amazing design, and comes in eleven different colors and graphics.
2. Revolution 101 Balance Board Trainer
The Revolution 101 balance board works to improve your balance, stability, coordination and core strength. The Revolution features removable roller stops, which is a nice feature for inexperienced individuals, providing an additional level of security as the beginner develops their skills. Experienced surfers can remove the stops for greater flexibility and challenge.
The Revolution is designed and constructed in the USA, utilizing quality materials for a durable design, slip resistant surface and a 400 pound weight capacity.
3. Ebb and Flow by GoofBoard Surfing Balance Board
The Ebb and Flow GoofBoard balance board was designed by a group of surfers from California and features a long and somewhat narrow deck, giving it a similar look to a surfboard. The board roller is also narrower than similar balance boards, giving a more realistic feel to surfing and providing a more challenging experience.
The GoofBoard is constructed using birchwood on the deck, with a clear gloss coating and recycled cork for the roller. The board is 44 inches in length, making it one of the longest balance boards on the market.
4. Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Exercise Balance Board
The Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Exercise balance board has a rectangular shape and is designed for the surfer that wants to focus on strength and conditioning and fitness, in addition to their surfing skills. The board is made of sturdy and durable plastic.
The Revolutions 3-in-1 exercise system includes a FIT Board, an extra grip roller, a rubberized pad on both sides of the board, a high density rocker and an exercise guide. This balance board system uniquely includes three different bases, providing various degrees of challenge and motions.
5. URBNFit Balance Board Trainer
The URBNFit balance board is made of a durable and sturdy wood blend of pine and poplar, with a layer of non-slip emery grip tape on top of the deck. The roller is made from PVC with a soft fabric on the outside that adheres naturally to the bottom of the board.
The URBNFit boasts an amazing weight capacity of 800 pounds and is constructed with vibration dampening technology for a smooth roller experience.
An essential component for improving an individual's fitness and skill level for any sport is improved balance. Even if you are not an athlete, balance is still a critical element of a healthy individual, impacting almost every aspect of our lives. An individual's eyes, inner ear, muscles and joints impact our balance.
So, a balance board for the athlete, fitness enthusiast or just those interested in their overall health can be a great tool for influencing your overall health. There are numerous models for a wide range of ability levels and purposes that are out in the market. This buyers guide will focus on the best balance boards for surfers, providing the information needed to assist you in choosing the right balance board for you. The following are the features you should consider and research during your search:
Individual Skill and Ability Level
Before making any decision on a balance board, you need to factor in your individual skill level and abilities. You should also consider how committed you are to improving your skills. Finding a balance board that fits your abilities, while providing enough challenge for you currently and as you advance, is important to consider. Doing so, supports not giving up because you become frustrated and helps to ensure you won’t hurt yourself on a board you’re not quite ready to use.
Dimensions and Capacity
Balancing platforms and balance boards come in a variety of sizes and dimensions. Typically, the narrower the board, the greater the instability of the balance board. Also, check for the weight restrictions to ensure the board and platform will accommodate the size of the individuals who will be using the balance board. Generally, the larger the balance board the higher the weight limits.
Type of Roller
The two components of a balance board are the board itself and the roller. The roller is positioned under the board and influences how the board moves in a side-to-side motion. Basic rollers are a cylinder that best mimics surfing’s side-to-side motion, challenging an individual's balance relative to and in a similar manner to when riding a surfboard. Other options, like a wobble board, provide an alternative for those looking to challenge their abilities to adjust their balance in a variety of directions, not just side-to-side.
Board Design and Construction
The second component is the board itself. When you invest in a balance board, you will want a well designed and constructed piece of equipment. Quality boards are made from materials that provide durability and greater safety. In most cases, balance boards are constructed using either plastic or wood.
A plastic board will likely be lighter, easier to manage and less expensive, however they may not be as durable. Additionally, a plastic board often have a lower weight threshold.
Wood boards often provide a more durable alternative to a plastic board. A wood board may also be a heavier option, making it more challenging to carry or transport and are usually more expensive.
As you search balance boards you will find they come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, each have their own strengths and drawbacks. Do your due diligence in exploring balance boards. Don’t get caught up in how the board looks before understanding how the board can be utilized to support your intended goals.
Cost vs Value
As we’ve stated in previous articles, an inexpensive board does not mean it’s not a quality board and an expensive board does not mean it has a higher quality. We are not saying the price tag shouldn’t be considered, however it should not guide but rather be one of the last factors you evaluate in making your purchase. You need to ensure you get a high quality, durable and effective board for your purposes and intended uses. Narrow your search and then find the best price that gives you the greatest value.
Some manufacturers offer only a balance board, others a board with a roller and others with a variety of accessories included with your balance board purchase. The additional features can include items like: a balance cushion or foam roller, resistance band attachments, textured surfaces for additional traction, board and balancing platform dimensions and curvature of the board.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of using a balance board?
Balance boards are a great tool for increasing your balance, fitness, endurance, and overall strength. There are a variety of intended uses for balance boards but generally they all will provide the following benefits:
- Improve overall balance and fitness
- Improve board sport performance
- Used in some instances for rehabing and physical therapy
- All around sport performance training tool
- Used at anytime and anyplace
- Improves focus while attending to balance and stability
- Reflex and agility training
- Core strength training, as well as a total body workout
- Can provide a low impact workout
- Great for off season or inclement weather training
Are there safety concerns when using a balance board?
Short answer, Yes! As with any physical activities there is a level of risk for getting injured. It’s important to choose a board that is appropriate for your skill and fitness level. Training in an area free of other objects, wearing protective gear, especially if you have an existing injuries and choosing workout routines suitable for your individual circumstances will reduce your risk for injury.
Does the surface I use the balance board on matter?
A hard surface with some cushioning such as a thin yoga mat or carpeting can be ideal, especially for beginners, older individuals or those with existing injuries. These surfaces will slow the motion of the roller and provide some cushion if you should fall or stumble. More advanced or skilled individuals may seek out harder surfaces. This should be done with careful consideration and caution. Additionally, you may want to avoid wood floors as the balance board could damage the floors.
Are there different styles of balance boards?
There are various styles of balance boards. For the purposes of this article we have focused on balance boards best suited for surfing training. Some of the options of other types of boards include:
- Wobble board: dome foundation the board will tilt in all directions
- Sphere board: a rubber sphere that will move along the base. Similar to the cylinder roller but with a sphere instead
- Rocker board: Does not move in all directions, exclusively side-to-side with a limited range of motion. Most often used by children, inexperienced individuals or anyone with mobility concerns.
- Springboard: A platform that sits on top of springs.
For surfers looking to improve their balance and surfing skills, improve their strength, flexibility, and endurance, as well as provide a tool for practicing surfing on inclement days or when they are unable to get to the water, a balance board is a great option. Professionals and beginners alike use these boards to improve skills and enhance overall physical fitness.The balance board reviews and recommendations, along with the information contained in this article are intended to assist and guide you in the purchase of your board. Please let us know in the comments section how your search is going and which balance board you finally decide to purchase. So, grab your balance board, put on some surf songs and lets get started.
Megan Jones is the lead author of Seaside Planet. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and travel enthusiast who takes any opportunity she can to spend time in the ocean. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.