Surf balance boards are a great way to stay surf fit outside of the ocean. Over the last decade many surfers have taken to using balance boards to improve their core as well as their general strength and agility. These days there isn’t a surf camp worth it’s salt that doesn’t have a surfing balance board lying around somewhere. However these boards transcend the surfing world.
What is a Balance Board?
Balance boards usually consist of a flat, thin board which moves backward and forward over a roller. The boards are usually made of maple plywood and the rollers are made of plastic.
In general balance boards are used by a wide range of different athletes to improve not only their balance, but also muscle strength, reaction times and overall fitness. This post specifically looks at the best surf balance boards.
Types of Balance Boards
There a many different types of balance boards and there are loads of reviews covering each type. In this post we are going to mainly focus on the balance boards that most closely simulate surfing.
The rocker-roller balance board is seen as the most challenging balance board to use. This is because the wheeling motion, combined with the left-right tilting motion, combines to make staying on the board very challenging. There is quite a broad range of rocker-roller balance boards on the market.
We are also covering non-rocker-roller balance boards which have been specifically designed with surfing in mind. These boards have custom features designed to simulate surfing as well as other board sports.
The 7 Best Surf Balance Boards
We’ve tried and tested just about every surf balance board there is in search of the board that provides the most enjoyment and also most closely correlates with surfing. Without further ado, these are our top 7.
The Balance Surfer
The only balance board designed by surfers for surfers. The Balance Surfer offers 7 different balance levels within one board. This balance board accurately simulates the balancing sensation you get on the water.
It comes with the three plastic balance modules. This allows you to adjust it from easy to extra hard which means that this board moves along with you as you advance.
You can also practice rotations on the board which helps simulate cutbacks in surfing. The other cool aspect is that board comes with thee different top sheet options, namely, EVA foam, clear skate, and black skate.
Without any of the plastic balance modules inserted the Balance Surfer operates in what is called “Office Mode”. This is an ideal way to improve posture, engage your core and increase blood flow while remaining fully focused when working at a standing desk.
With the challenging balance module inserted, the Balance Surfer is an ideal training tool for anyone wanting to improve their balance. The unique 360 balance challenge is optimized to simulate the balance required in boardsports such as surfing, foiling, supping, skateboarding, snowboarding, wake boarding, kitesurfing and windsurfing.
It’s also great for physical therapy and injury recovery to strengthen muscles and joints. This is because you can incrementally increase the difficulty level of this surf balance board.
Revolution Swell 2.0
The Revolution Swell is specifically designed for surfers and skateboarders and handcrafted in the US of A. If you can’t get out for a shred, then the Revolution Swell is the ideal indoor replacement. You might not be able to cut back, but you’ll be able to ride the nose, practice equilibrium balance and simulate the sensation of the force of the wave.
The balance and coordination skills learned by using the Revolution Swell transmute into real improvements in the water. The Swell makes for a pretty cool gadget to have around the house when friends come over.
It makes for awesome entertainment. If you’re a surfing or skateboarding novice, fear not, the Swell allows you to start slow and work your way up becoming a balance board aficionado.
Thus Revolution balance board has both a longer roller and board. Combining these attributes with the Magswitch stop system allows for a variety of both heel-to-toe and side-to-side balance training moves. This also makes the Swell balance board ideal for tricks like cross stepping to the nose and simulating popping up on the board.
Revolution 101 Balance Board
This revolution balance board itself is constructed from a 11-ply hardwood which makes it extremely durable. It also comes with a soft-track gripped top deck which is basically a finer sandpaper texture than the Indo Board.
Improve your balance skill and body control, all while getting a workout. The 101 balance board is extremely fun to use. The roller is a smaller diameter than the Indo Board roller making it ride with less variability.
The roller is made from an ultra dense plastic which reduces vibration and sound. It comes in pretty rad colorways, and is one of the sleekest balance boards on the market today.
The Indo Board is probably the most well known balance board for surfing. It’s been around the longest and the quality of the wood used on the board and plastic used in the roller is as good as it gets.
Shortboarders can practice the barrel riding on this board by dropping into the pig-dog position. Longboards can practice their nose riding by bringing the board over to the edge of the roller.
The Indo Board was originally designed to be used indoors, but people use it anywhere where there is enough space to roll back and forth – on a porch, tennis court, in a garden. Always make sure to have cleared the surrounding area of any sharp or potentially dangerous objects in case of a fall.
As the Indo board is the original balance board, first introduced in 1998, it’s since then attained somewhat of a cult following. Many Indo Board enthusiasts have over the years invented their own tricks of which many can be watched on YouTube.
Driftsun Wooden Balance Board
They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and let’s just say that the Driftsun Balance Board is awfully similar to the original Indo Board.
Driftsun was founded in 2014 on the Lakes of Northern California by a group of like minded board-riders who had a passion for the outdoors and water sports. Their goal is to inspire people who have a sense of adventure. Unlike other balance board companies, Driftsun make a whole host of different boards from, wakesurf boards to kneeboards and even floating platforms.
Whether you’re practicing new tricks, working on coordination and strength or sharpening up your skills, progress as a surfer depends on, discipline, balance and control. The Driftsun balance board can help you hone these skills so that you can be a more proficient surfer in the water.
Vew-Do El Dorado
This surf balance board most closely resembles a skateboard due to its narrower dimensions. The main difference between this board as others is that it utilizes a rail system which allows for seamless vertical tracking up and down the board.
This in turn creates a much faster and responsive surf balance board. The board also offers very quick heel to toe rotational performance, simulating sports like surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. Its narrow, twin-tip deck and steep rocker allow for a snappy transfer of energy from hips to legs and finally to the board creating perfect lower body conditioning.
The downside to this board is that it lacks the ability to slide on the roller at different angles and do skating tricks like ollies and shove-its. The board is made of a high-quality maple ply and consists of concave deck with shovel ends and skateboard grip tape on the top deck. It comes with a 4.25 inch wooden roller.
Standing Desk Balance Board
Another innovative balance board coming out of the Revolution stable. It’s designed primarily to be used in an office environment as part of a standing desk setup. Instead of coming with a roller it comes with a fully adjustable air cushion base which makes it much easier to balance. As you improve your balance, you can inflate the base.
Standing desks have become more and more popular in recent times. Many studies have shown that standing at a desk for at least half the work day can improve efficiency as well as personal wellbeing. When you throw the Revolution Focus into the mix not only does it help you get more out of your standing desk endeavours, but it’s a whole lot more fun. It’s no wonder more and more people are buying balance boards for standing desks.
Truth be told it’s hard to find time to get to the gym or stick to your running schedule. Using the Focus at your desk engages your entire core which in turn saves you from any back pain issues. Using a standing desk balance board like the Focus is pretty much the best way to depart from your normal routine and get into a more fun and exercise-centric habit.
Go on! Challenge the status quo this year and try a Revolution Focus balance as your new desk. Perhaps you may even be able to get work to pay for it as part of your employee benefits.
Make Your Own Balance Board
If you’re more of a DIY-type person, then making your own balance board may be a fun project. In order to create a balance board for surfing, you’ll need to procure the parts which will comprise both the board and the roller
The easiest way to make the roller is from PVC pipe. Some people also use exercise foam rollers. It’s important that the roller is in proportion to your board. If the PVC pipe you’re using is relatively small in girth then the board you use should be shorter.
For the board you can really use any piece of wood. Procuring an old skateboard or skimboard deck can work very well and also keep costs down. Alternatively you can buy some 7 or 8 ply wood from a hardware store and then cut and sand it down to your exact size specifications. From there you can paint it and then add a layer of varnish to really make your surf balance board unique.
Balance boards are an ideal solution to improve your surfing when you’re not in water. Your training goals will ultimately determine which balance board exercises you choose to do.
Remember that if you’re a complete surfing beginner, learning to surf on a foam surfboard is a great starting point. Using a foam surfboard in conjunction with a surf balance board can help beginner surfers accelerate their learning path at a rapid rate.