Anyone who wants to improve their coordination or balance will benefit from a balance board. Whether you’re an athlete wanting to fine-tune your skills, an elderly person who wants to stay nimble, or someone just looking for a way to get quicker and more responsive/agile, a balance board is the ideal piece of equipment for you. Using a balance board helps you know your body’s movement better, growing aware of the way your muscles and joints all work together.
To use a balance board, you stand on it with your feet shoulder-width apart and try to balance. The concept is simple, but it’s actually not all that easy to do. At first, you’ll likely wobble a little bit but, with practice, you’ll gain more and more control and eventually see improvement. You can also try to turn to board from side to side or front to back to get a little more practice.
While this sounds like a really easy concept, there are some things to keep in mind before you buy a balance board. Before we get into our 6 top balance boards of 2017, let’s take a look at what you need to know before you buy one so you can figure out what is the best kind for you.
Top Balance Board Comparison Chart
There are a few different styles of balance boards to choose from. When deciding which is best for you, think about what you’re trying to do. Are you an athlete hoping to hone some skills that you’ve already developed? Are you realizing your coordination just isn’t what it used to be and looking for something to help? Or are you just looking for something new to incorporate into your workouts? Once you know what your goal is, you can decide which of the following types will work best for you:
This is the most common type of balance board. It consists of a board that sits on top of a cylindrical rocker. To use it, you stand on the board with the rocker in the center and balance, trying to keep the rocker from rolling around underneath you. A tip for buying this kind of board: the longer the board, the easier it will be to balance. So, if you’re new to the concept of balance boards, try to find one that is on the long side. These boards can be tricky to use sometimes because it’s possible that the rocker cylinder can slip out from underneath you. Use caution when using one of this type.
Rocker with Rails
This is a kind of modified version of a rocker board. Instead of the board just sitting on top of a rocker, a rocker with rails has a track on the bottom of the board and a rocker with a channel that fits into the track. It’s the same concept as a rocker, but a little more stable and secure. It’s also a little safer because it’s harder for the rocker to get out from under you, but this one is also a little more difficult to balance on. These are primarily used by athletes as they can be designed to replicate the motions used in various sports. They’re popular among surfers, gymnasts, and snowboarders.
Instead of a cylinder-shaped roller, 360 Rockers have what looks like half of a ball attached to the bottom of them. You can balance a little but this type is mainly meant for spinning and turning. These are relatively safe and probably the easiest to learn of the four types of balance boards which is probably why it’s often used for physical rehab and injury recovery.
Where rockers and rockers with rails have the roller positioned so that it sits across the width of the board, parallel rockers have the roller going down the center of the board lengthwise. This is not a very common type of balance board, but it’s a great way to improve skateboarding or surfing skills.
There are a few balance board sets out there that let you use one board in multiple ways by changing the roller or adding an inflatable base so the board can wobble. If you’re unsure about what kind of balancing board to get, you might consider one that will let you experience more than one kind.
Before you buy a balance board, you need to really consider the safety aspects of using one. Balance boards can, in fact, be very dangerous. It’s not hard to see how easy it would be to fall off of one and get seriously injured. Depending on the kind of surface you’re using your balance board on and what objects are surrounding you, you could easily break an arm or hurt your head or spine.
It is possible to make balance boarding just a little bit safer.
First, start with wobble board. They’re typically easier to balance on and it will allow you to get the feel for it. Use the same safety equipment you would for biking – a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
When you’re just starting out, stand near a wall or a tall, solid piece of furniture so you can hold onto something while you work on balancing. As you get better, do it by a chair, ladder, or anything else at a comfortable height for you to grab onto if you feel yourself start to fall. These precautions won’t necessarily stop you from falling, but if you have something there to grab onto, it lowers the chances.
If you get a balance board with a roller that doesn’t have stoppers or a track on the board, the rollers can roll out suddenly at a pretty high speed. They have the ability to cause some severe damage. It’s worth considering looking into a more stable kind of balance board if you’re a beginner.
Use your balance board on a carpeted surface or invest in a mat. There are a few reasons for this. First, concrete, asphalt, or other hard surfaces will damage your balance board more than something softer will. Also, it will help to dampen the sound that balance boards can make when you lose your balance.
If you’re looking for a board that will grow with you, look into buying a set that lets you adapt the board from roller to wobble to parallel. This will give you a lot more options once you do get comfortable and are ready to tackle something a little more challenging.
Best Balance Board Reviews
The Revolution 101 Balance Board Trainer is made of a solid 11 ply hardwood construction. It has a good grip on the top of the board so you can use it with or without shoes. The roller is lightweight but durable and should last a long time as long as it’s not used on hard, abrasive surfaces.
This roller board doesn’t have a track or any grooves, so you have all the control when using it. There are roller grips and stops on the underside to help you get the board to do what you want it to do. This is a great board for surfers, skateboarders, or snowboarders to try, although anyone looking for a challenge will find it adequate.
This roller should be used on carpet or a pad. Don’t use on hardwood floors or any other smooth, hard surface. First, it’s much more dangerous because it makes it easier for you to slip. And second, it can also really damage flooring after repetitive use. This probably isn’t the best board for beginners since it can be a little tricky to control the roller. Because of the injury risk, this one might be best for those that already have some similar experience.
- Solid construction
- No tracks or grooves so the user has superior control
- Good grippy surface so can be used without shoes
- Can scratch hard flooring
- Risk of injury, especially for those just starting out
The ProFitness Wooden Balance Board is a wobble style board that is good not only for helping with balance and coordination but also great for anyone who needs rehab or to recover from an injury. A lot of people who reviewed this used it because they needed it for some kind of health reason, whether it was for physical therapy or some other ailment like plantar fasciitis.
The board is made out of lightweight wood and weighs less than three pounds, making it exceptionally portable. There are foot grips on the top to help you get traction and keep your footing when balancing. It’s designed for both kids and adults with a weight limit of 330 pounds. While some balance boards wouldn’t be appropriate for younger children, this wobble board would probably be great for school-aged kids so long as the proper safety equipment was used and they have supervision.
With this balance board, you’re also given access to an online exercise class that will teach you how to incorporate the balance ball into your regular routine or learn some new exercises. One thing that users did complain about was that there were minimal if any directions that came included with it.
- Access to online exercise resources
- Lack of directions included in packaging
Indo Board is a big brand when it comes to balance boards. Their board designs go back to the 1960s. This is one of the originals and it’s great not only for someone experienced but also for beginners. And, as a bonus, it comes is a variety of bright patterns and colors to make it truly unique. In addition to being functional, Indo Boards are just generally beautiful to look at.
The wooden deck is long with a slightly textured grain which makes it a little easier to balance on and keep your footing. The bottom has wooden stoppers to catch the roller. It won’t get away from you but pay attention to the room you have and prepared for the roller to stop suddenly.
The Indo Board Balance Board also comes with an inflatable cushion you can place the roller in so you have a little more control over how much it moves. If you inflate the cushion a lot, the roller won’t move very much. Basically, the more it’s inflated, the more stable the roller is and the more control you have over the roller. This is a great way to get a feel for the board if you’re just beginning.
- One of the original balance boards
- Comes with inflatable cushion to control roller movement
- Good for all skill levels
- Comes in a variety of patterns and colors
The Goof Board Classic is unique in that it’s a parallel rocker, making it a great balance board for someone who is into surfing or paddle boarding to use to hone their skills. The Goof Board brand actually claims credit for inventing this type of balancing board, which is why it’s the best of this kind out there. And it’s really long at 44 inches, which makes it the longest balance board you can get
The board itself is designed as a little surfboard while the roller is a cardboard-like material, reinforced with steel. This is a balance board that can get away from you if you do it in the wrong conditions, so avoid hard floors and make sure there’s something you can grab onto if you feel yourself begin to fall.
This board feels a lot like surfing. You use similar muscles and it can keep you in shape when you aren’t able to surf.
- Parallel rocker, great for surfers
- Very long
- Roller can get away from you if you’re not careful
Revolution’s FIT system is a versatile balance board training system that covers all your bases. With the FIT system, you can change your balance board to three different types. It has a rocker base for beginners to get comfortable and learn how to improve stability and reflexes. It also has a wobble cushion to let you move 365 degrees on the board. And, there’s the roller option, which is the most challenging choice for when you reach advanced levels.
You can use the wide range of choices this set gives you to work on your balancing skills or you can incorporate them into your current workout. This set gets really high ratings and minimal complaints.
It’s a little on the expensive side, but that’s to be expected considering you’re basically getting three balance boards for the price on one.
- Three boards in one
- Fits a wide range of skill levels
This training package from Rolo features two different rollers so you can work on the skills you use when surfing, snowboarding, using a stand-up paddle boat, or if you just want to work on your core. The multi-fulcrum design is key. This set can move either front to back or side to side.
The original roller is meant to be used when using the board as a standard rocker, while the pro roller lets you use it as a parallel rocker. Each of this is great for any workout and will help with coordination and balance. But using the pro roller to get a parallel rocker is ideal for sports like surfing or snowboarding. It mimics the movements and balance needed to compete.
The set is a little on the expensive side, but when you consider you’re essentially getting two boards for that price, it seems a lot more reasonable. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, too, so you’re sure to find one that fits your style.
- Two boards in one
- Can use as a standard rocker or parallel rocker
- Great for surfers and snowboarders
And that sums up our list of the six top balance boards for this year. There really are a lot of options and each of our picks differs from the others. Every one of our choices has something to offer you, so take some time and figure out which of these is perfect for you.
For someone who’s use a balance board before and feels comfortable without grooves or tracks, try the Revolution 101 Balance Trainer. This one comes highly rated and is a good choice if you want to be in total control of the board. Just be aware of how quickly a roller can get away from you.
If you’re in the market for a wobble style board, look into the ProFitness Wooden Balance Board. Because wobbles are the easiest style boards to use, this one is recommended for new users and anyone who needs a balance board to use for therapy or recovering from an accident or injury.
For a classic option from a trusted brand, they the Indo Board Balance Board Original. It has a long wooden deck and wooden stoppers to catch the roller if it tried to get away. It also has an inflatable cushion to help slow down the movement of the board for beginners. Simply inflate the cushion, put the roller in and the board on, and you’ll find you have a little more stability.
The Goof Board classic is a parallel balance board made by the brand that claims to have begun the parallel board trend. The 44 inch board is a great one for surfers to use as it mimics the same motion and balance.
If you’re really serious about getting into using balance boards, perhaps you’ll want to invest in the Revolution Fit 3-in-1 Balance Board Training System. This allows you to alter the board to three different types: basic rocker, wobble, and roller. This one board alone will allow you to work through various levels of difficulty.
The Rolo Balance Board Original Training Package is a two in one, allowing you to use it as a roller and a parallel board. This is another one that is great for surfers, but it will work just as well for anyone who just wants to work on agility and strengthen their core.
As you can see, each of these boards is unique. We recommend choosing the one that best lines up with your needs. If you’re a beginner, make sure you follow our tips from the above buying guide to make sure you’re being as safe as you can. It might be best to start with a wobble board or a rocker with rails. They don’t require as much skill to control and will help you get accustomed to balancing.
For anyone who’s a little more advanced, there are a lot of highly rated options here to choose from. A balance board is an ideal way to keep your body trained and in shape for a lot of other sports. Figure out which one will work best for you and make the most of your workouts.