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Enhancing your balance and coordination is made fun and effective with balance boards. However, the market offers a wide array of options, making it challenging to determine the best fit for your needs. This guide aims to unravel the mystery and help you make an informed decision.
What is a balance board?
Usually, a balance board is literally a board that is placed on a cylindrical roller. A person has to stand on a board with both feet and try to maintain a balance on it.
Normally it is a wooden board, about an inch thick with a rough surface on the one side to place feet on and two ledges on the bottom side to prevent it from slipping out.
The roller is usually made out of hard PVC or similar material and is usually about 7 inches in diameter. While there are so many balance board modifications out there, they all share the same principle.
There are some exceptions to that principle, not always a balance board has a roller. It depends on its type.
What types of balance boards are there?
There are different types of balance boards and they are also called differently:
- Rocker board
- Wobble board
- Roller board (usually referred to as a balance board)
- 360 Sphere boards
Each balance board type has a unique design and difficulty level.
The design of a rocker board is straightforward, usually, it’s a wooden board with a rocker attached to its bottom. These types of balance boards are simple and easy to use among other balance boards.
In some cases the rocker represents half a cylinder that goes along the board’s length, in others, it’s two semi-spheres located on opposite sides of the board.
It allows you to rock on the board only forwards and backward or from side to side if you change position.
Rocker boards are a good starting point to train balance.
Rocker boards are well suited for:
Wobble board design includes a board and a fulcrum (called wobbler) usually in the shape of a half-sphere attached to it. Its design allows rocking the board in any direction or 360 degrees if you will.
The material of a wobbler can be soft or hard, which makes it easy or difficult to balance.
Sometimes a wobbler can be a special inflatable cushion. On top of which you can place the board.
Wobble boards can be a bit challenging as compared to rocker boards. They are widely used in fitness and therapy.
Wobble boards are well suited for:
Roller boards are what most people are usually referring to as balance boards. Often, it’s a wooden board that is placed on top of a plastic cylindrical roller.
This is one of the harder balance board types to master. Unlike rockers and wobble boards, this one has a moving part – a roller. It is much harder to keep balance as compared to previous types.
Although the main concept of the roller board is the same, some design features may differ depending on the model and vendor.
Roller boards are widely used in fitness, sports, and recreational activities. Many professional athletes use roller boards in their training routine.
Roller boards are well suited for:
360 Sphere boards
These kinds of boards have a quaint and very unique design. The board is placed on a ball. To prevent the ball from sliding out, the board has a guard rail that goes all the way around the board base.
This is the most difficult type of balance board, as the board has the least amount of contact with the fulcrum, which in turn can spin in all directions.
360 boards are limited in models and manufacturers and are suited for advanced training.
What are the benefits of the balance board?
A balance board is considered to be a piece of fitness equipment to train balance. So the main benefit of course is to train balance and coordination.
However, it can be used in specific cases to practice specific skills and exercises. For example, it can be used to improve your overall physical condition, improve core strength, practice different movements, and even do tricks.
By training on a daily basis, you can gain and improve the:
- core strength;
- muscle strength;
Are balance boards safe?
A word of caution must be said. Like in any action sport, a certain level of risk is involved when using a balance board.
The board might slip out from under your feet, you can go off balance, or not landing a trick can lead to unwanted consequences. To avoid any serious injuries keep in mind these few simple tips:
- Always ensure a safe environment:
- Make sure there’s enough space around you;
- There’s a soft and dry surface under your board.
- Make sure your health and physical conditions are in proper shape;
- Ask someone to watch you or assist you if you are a beginner;
- Start small and progress over time.
How to choose a balance board?
When choosing the right balance board you have to look out for the following features:
- size and shape;
- rocker type;
First of all, you have to decide for yourself what is the main goal (intent) you want to achieve with a balance board. Here are a couple of questions you have to answer for yourself:
- Is it just balance and coordination training?
- Is it for rehab?
- Is it just for fun?
- Do you want to take it a step further and learn some tricks?
Keep the answer in mind. You’ll need it to make the final decision. Now let’s move on to the next point.
Versatility comes hand in hand with the previous point. There are many different types of balance boards. Each one has its own unique traits and is made for different purposes.
Hence depending on your needs and the way you want to use the balance board its properties may differ.
Size and shape
The size of the balance board deck is going to affect the way you feel and control the board.
Balance boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Usually the longer the deck is, the wider your stance can be.
The shape can affect the difficulty, e.g. some shapes are mellow and easy to control, while others are more angled and thus more challenging.
Some balance boards even have handles that are good for carrying and transportation.
Things to look out for:
- the size of the board has to be large enough in order to position yourself comfortably;
- the deck has to be sturdy and durable;
- the top of the deck has to be covered in grip tape or an anti-slip surface.
Rocker type is another property to look out for. You can choose either a rocker or a roller-type balance board. Both rockers and rollers can differ by a number of options starting from shape and ending with a material.
Different rockers and rollers provide different levels of complexity when it comes to maintaining balance.
Last but not least is the height and shape of the rocker. It is going to affect how easy or hard it will be to maintain the balance on the board.
Things to look out for:
- the roller has to move smoothly underneath the board;
- the rocker has to be mellow in shape to move smoothly.
The balance board has to be sturdy and durable. That’s why you have to look out for materials the board is made out of.
High-quality materials will ensure the balance board will retain its looks in the long run as well as endure everything that comes its way.
Things to look out for:
- high-quality multi-ply wooden or PVC deck (check weight limit);
- good grip yet comfortable anti-slip surface on top (possibility to use barefoot);
- soft materials on the bottom (anti-scratch and quiet).
Of course, last but not least is the price. You have to perform a simple market analysis to find the best board to match your budget. If you’re looking for more affordable models check my list of cheap balance boards.
Which Balance Board is the Best?
The best rocker board: The Ideal Starting Point for Balance Training
- Good beginner’s choice
- Weight limit up to 350 lbs
- Doesn’t have moving parts
- Made out of heavy-duty plywood
- Has anti-slip/anti-scratch pads on the bottom
The StrongTek Rocker Board is the perfect entry point for anyone looking to kickstart their balance training journey. As a rocker board, it boasts a unique feature: it has no moving parts, making it a top choice for beginners.
The top of this board offers an easy-grip surface that’s not only gentle on bare feet but also ensures you stay securely in place during your exercises.
Constructed from heavy-duty plywood, the StrongTek Rocker Board guarantees long-lasting strength and durability. It’s designed to accommodate both kids and adults, with an impressive weight capacity of up to 350 lbs.
To safeguard your floor and maintain a peaceful workout environment, this board is equipped with unique anti-slip pads on the bottom. These pads provide exceptional protection without generating disruptive noise.
Notably, the StrongTek Rocker Board is particularly well-suited for physical therapy. It serves as an excellent tool for enhancing overall balance and stability, as well as building physical strength and endurance. Whether you’re a beginner or on the path to recovery, this rocker board is your trusted companion in achieving your fitness goals.
|Deck dimensions||23.5 × 15.75 × 4 in (60 × 40 × 10 cm)|
|Item Weight||5 lbs (2.3 kg)|
|Weight Limit||350 lbs (158 kg)|
The best wobble board: Unleash Your Balance Skills
- Has handles
- Moves 360 degrees
- Good beginner’s choice
- Weight limit up to 300 lbs
- Has an anti-slip massage surface
- Doesn’t have moving parts
The Yes4All Wobble Balance Board is a remarkable specimen in the world of balance boards. This board belongs to the coveted wobble board category, which distinguishes itself by its unique ability to tilt and rotate a full 360 degrees. Wobble boards offer a more challenging balancing experience compared to rocker boards.
Crafted from high-grade, heavy-duty TPE plastic, this board is the epitome of durability and reliability. Its robust platform comfortably supports individuals weighing up to 300 lbs, making it suitable for a wide range of users.
The top surface of the board boasts a generously sized, textured area that not only prevents slipping but also provides a gentle foot massage. Whether you prefer to go barefoot or wear shoes, this board ensures a comfortable experience.
Beneath the board lies a semi-sphere made from sturdy plastic, featuring strategically placed spikes for added safety and durability. This design ensures a secure and stable range of movement.
A standout feature of the Yes4All Wobble Balance Board is its hassle-free maintenance. Unlike some other balance boards, this board can be safely washed with water, allowing you to keep it clean and pristine with ease.
For added convenience, Yes4All has thoughtfully included two handles on the sides of the board. This design makes transportation a breeze, enabling you to use it seamlessly in various locations throughout your home. It’s also a fantastic addition to your gym or therapy room, ensuring you can enjoy its benefits wherever you go.
|Materials||Heavy-duty TPE plastic|
|Height||3.5″ (8.9 cm)|
|Size||16.34″ (41.1 cm) diameter|
|Surface||Spikes at the surface to prevent slipping|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs (136 kg)|
The best roller board: Master the Art of Balance
- One of the most popular brands
- Quality durable materials
- Indestructible molded plastic cylinder
- Weight limit up to 250 lbs
- Offers a wide variety of exercises
The Indo Board Original Balance Board is a versatile and dynamic roller-type balance board that caters to users of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners.
This balance board boasts a generous deck measuring 30” x 18”, constructed from high-quality cabinet-grade Birchwood. The deck’s surface is thoughtfully finished with a non-slip texture, ensuring your feet stay firmly in place during use.
On the underside of the board, you’ll find two strategically placed ledges. These ledges play a pivotal role in preventing the board from slipping out of control while you embark on your balance training journey. With a deck thickness of approximately 0.6 inches, this balance board strikes the perfect balance between stability and challenge.
What truly sets the Indo Board Original Balance Board apart is its roller. This roller is an indestructible molded plastic cylinder with a diameter of 6.5 inches. To enhance your grip and contact with the roller, it features three strips of grip tape. The roller itself is sleek black, adorned with two stickers on the sides for added style and visibility.
The versatility of the Indo Board Original Balance Board knows no bounds. It can be utilized by individuals at various skill levels, thanks to its dynamic design. Whether you’re a novice seeking balance improvement or an advanced user looking for a new challenge, this roller board has you covered.
For a more comprehensive review of the Indo Board Original Balance Board, I recommend checking out my detailed article on the subject.
|Deck dimensions||30” X 18” (76.2 x 45.7 cm)|
|Deck thickness||0.6” (1.5 cm)|
|Roller size||6.5” (16.5 cm) diameter|
|Weight limit||250 lbs (113 kg)|
|Deck construction||11/16” (27/40 cm) Cabinet-grade, Baltic Birch plywood with a non-slip surface|
|Roller construction||indestructible molded plastic with three strips of grip tape|
|Cushion size||14” (35.5 cm) in diameter, mouth-inflatable, adjustable|
The best 3-in-1 set
- Slick design
- Quality materials
- Has 3 difficulty levels
- Weight limit up to 450 lbs
- Offers a wide variety of exercises
Standing out as one of the most stylish balance boards on our list, the Revolution FIT offers a unique 3-in-1 system designed to cater to individuals of all skill levels, starting from beginners.
This versatile balance board consists of four main components: a deck and three distinct fulcrums—a rocker, an air cushion, and a roller. Each fulcrum serves a specific purpose, allowing you to customize your balance board experience as you progress in your training journey.
The rocker fulcrum stands out as the most stable option, making it an excellent starting point for beginners. It provides a controlled and comfortable platform for novice users to build their balance skills before advancing to more challenging bases.
The air cushion, on the other hand, introduces a new dimension to your workouts. When inflated, it offers a 360-degree motion range that engages your joints and core muscles in unique ways. The best part? It’s mouth-inflatable, eliminating the need for a pump, and its difficulty level can be adjusted by simply adding or releasing air.
For those seeking the ultimate challenge, the roller base awaits. This dynamic and demanding fulcrum ensures that nothing comes too easily, making it perfect for advanced users looking to push their limits and master the art of balance.
Adding to its appeal, the Revolution FIT balance board features a Dura-Soft grip on the top surface, enhancing comfort and ensuring a secure foothold. Whether you prefer wearing shoes or going barefoot, this board accommodates your preferences, offering a versatile and comfortable training experience.
For a more in-depth analysis of the Revolution FIT balance board, I recommend perusing my comprehensive review in the full Revolution FIT balance board article.
|Deck Size||32″ x 14″ (81 x 35 cm)|
|Weight limit||450 lbs (204 kg)|
|Roller size||5″ x 18″ (12 x 45 cm)|
|Colors||Blue, Teal, Yellow|
The best balance board for you ultimately depends on your unique needs, preferences, and budget.
In this guide, I have highlighted the top choices in each category based on features, customer reviews, and brand trustworthiness.
If none of these options suit your needs, explore the balance board category page to find your perfect match. Elevate your balance and fitness journey with the right balance board today.