The best surfing balance boards can help you train and can keep you fit when you don’t have time to hit the beach. Over the past several years, using this type of balance board for training has become huge and a great way to improve core strength, not to mention agility and general fitness. But finding a good board to train on can be tougher than you think. Because these training boards are so popular, the market has become essentially flooded with cheap knockoffs that don’t challenge the core and the skills of the surfer, the way they’re meant to. Because of this, I decided to create a buyer’s guide that discusses what features to look for and the factors to consider that can help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect training board that can take your surfing skills to the next level. I’ve also tested out several popular models, narrowing it down to six boards that will challenge even the best surfer. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each board, how it rated, and important specs.
Surfing Balance Boards Comparison Chart
INDO BOARD Pro Balance Board Training Package
This pro training package by Indo features the ultimate balance board for taller surfers. This model not only helps improve your balance, but posture and core strength as well. This set includes a deck that measures in at 42×15 inches. The deck is made out of birch plywood. The included plastic roller measures in at 8.5-inches in diameter. Also included is an inflatable cushion that’s 24-inches that can be used instead of the roller. This cushion allows users to choose the right amount of air for an easier or more challenging ride.
This balance board system is perfect for surfers, skateboarders, skiers, and more. The board is designed for both lower and upper body strength exercises, surfer training, physical therapy, injury prevention, and neuromuscular response training.
- Includes cushion and roller
- Perfect for surfers 6 feet tall or more
- Deck is made out of birch plywood
- Offers a challenging core workout
- Instructional DVD and two-sided exercise chart
- Exercises and workout programs are not beginner friendly
This training set is perfect for the surfer who can’t make it to the beach as often as they need to. You can choose how easy or challenging a training session is and inflate or deflate the included cushion accordingly. While for some, the price may seem a little steep, Indo is one of the first manufacturers to produce the surfing balance board and over the years, they have perfected their balance board design, producing some of the most challenging and effective balance boards on the market. So, for the dedicated surfer, this is a great investment.
INDO BOARD Mini Pro Balance Board with Roller
The Mini Pro balance board by Indo is designed to improve stability, balance, and core strength. These boards were originally designed for indoor use on carpeted floors, but users have found that use on slick floors, such as hardwood, can increase the intensity of any practice. Beginners should start off practicing on carpet to prevent serious injuries. This board is designed for surfers who are 6 feet tall, or riders who need more room so they can try out different stances.
The included deck is made out of birch plywood that comes equipped with a non-slip surface. The roller measures in at 8.5 inches in diameter and is made out of tough plastic. The included instructional video is over two hours long and goes over a variety of exercises you can try that can help improve agility, core strength, and balance.
- Improves agility, core strength, and balance
- Includes a 2-hour instructional DVD
- Designed for riders of all skill levels
- Deck is equipped with a non-slip surface
- Birch plywood deck
- Designed for taller surfers
- Instructional DVD does not include training sessions for beginners
- Larger diameter roller places users higher off the ground
If you’re looking for a balance board that can really test your core strength and put your balancing skills to the test, your search is over.
This set by Indo is perfect for users of all skill levels and is just the training tool you need for muscle memory, improved core strength, and of course, improved balance. This model is a great choice for the dedicated surfer who doesn’t want to miss out on a chance to perfect their craft.
Revolution FIT 3-in-1 Exercise Balance Board Training System
Whether you’re looking for a set specifically designed for surfing or wakeboarding, or you want a more challenging core workout at home, this training system by Revolution Fit delivers. This board comes with a cushion, rocker, and a roller, so you can choose the rocker if you’re new to balance training and advance to using the cushion or roller once your balancing skills and core strength have improved. This training system works by engaging the whole body, especially the lesser used stabilizer muscles and the core muscle groups.
- Includes three bases
- Cushioned deck surface
- Improves core strength
- Reasonable price
- Designed for surfers of all skill levels
- Does not come with an instructional video
- Not designed for larger riders
The Revolution Fit system includes a roller, cushion, and rocker, allowing you to grow with this set as your core strength and balance improves. The deck is comfortable to use, with or without shoes. The fact that this system comes with three different bases makes it one of the most versatile training sets in my lineup. It also gives you more bang for your buck, since you won’t need to run out and buy a more challenging system once you’ve outgrown the rocker or cushion. Versatile, durable, and designed for one of the most challenging balance training workouts out there, you’ll love how this system constantly challenges your body and provides the type of fitness results all surfers are looking for.
Yes4All Balance Board Trainer Wooden
If you’re on a tight budget, but you’re looking for an effective, challenging surfing balance board you can use for those days you can’t make it to the beach, then you’ll love this low-priced system from Yes4All. It’s perfect for balance training and can help improve posture, coordination, balance, and core strength. The deck is made out of hardwood construction and comes complete with an anti-slip surface that improves your grip, whether you’re wearing shoes or you’re barefoot. The board is built tough and has a max user weight of 300 pounds. The included non-slip roller is made out of wood and features a thick TPE layer. The roller works well on all types of surfaces including concrete, carpet, wood, and tile. The system comes with a couple of removable stoppers and screws that will allow you to adjust the distance. You can choose from 22, 16, or 11 inches. When the stoppers are removed, the board is very challenging to move and can do so freely. With the stoppers in place, it prevents the board from rolling fully from end to end. These stoppers are a great addition to this set and will allow you to continue to use this training board, once you’ve improved your balance and core strength.
- Roller distance is adjustable
- Non-slip surface on deck
- Deck and roller are made out of hardwood
- High max user weight
- Low price
- Recommended for surfers of all skill levels
- Set doesn’t come with instructions
- Board may be too small for taller riders
This set is designed for surfers of all skill levels, thanks to the included stoppers that allow you to start off with training sessions that are beginner friendly. The board and roller’s durability is one of the reasons this set is so popular with experienced riders. This is a system that can provide serious results with consistent use and challenging workouts.
Blue Planet Balance Surfer Bamboo Wooden Balance Board Trainer
This balance system features a 360-degree balance radius and a deck that’s made out of bamboo. This set is designed to help strengthen your core, improve coordination, posture, and balance. The bamboo deck has a non-slip surface, which makes it a great choice for beginners. The deck is also 25-inches wide, offering more space so you can try out different stances. The ends of the deck curve just like a skateboard, which also promotes a wider stance and better control. This set challenges a surfer’s balance, moving front to back, side to side, while also allowing for 360-degree rotation so users can safely practice tricks and turns.
- Bamboo deck
- Anti-slip surface
- 360-degree rotation
- Wider deck design
- Low price
- Bamboo splinters
- May not be challenging enough for experienced surfers
This Blue Planet rocker style balance board is perfect for beginners and children, but a seasoned surfer may not find it challenging enough. Additionally, a beginner can quickly outgrow this model and will need to purchase a more challenging system later down the line. Overall, the solid bamboo construction, non-slip grip, and overall quality makes this model a great buy for those new to surfing, children, or anyone who wants to improve their balance, coordination, posture, and core strength.
Raise Your Game Balance Board Trainer Agility Set
This Raise Your Game balance board training set can improve coordination, balance, agility, and posture. The deck of the set is made out of polar and pine wood and comes equipped with an anti-slip surface that improves your grip, whether you’re barefoot or wearing shoes. Also included is a roller made out of PVC and is covered in a soft fabric. This set also comes with a free workout guide that will go over different exercises you can do that will improve balance, agility, core strength and more. This board can be used on both carpeted and wood floors. Slicker surfaces will provide a more challenging workout.
- PVC roller
- Free workout guide
- Anti-slip surface
- All-wood deck
- Can be used on slick surfaces for a more challenging workout
- Not recommended for seasoned surfers
- May not be big enough for taller surfers
This is a budget friendly set that’s pretty basic in design. It works well for beginners and children but it may not offer the more challenging workout that an experienced surfer is looking for. Additionally, the smaller board design makes it a poor choice for larger users.
Surfing Balance Boards Buyer’s Guide
These balance boards are commonly used in surf training programs. They consist of a thin, flat board that’s designed to move back and forth over a roller. Most boards are made out of some type of plywood and come with rollers that are made out of plastic.
These boards are used by a wide range of athletes because they not only improve balance, but reaction times, muscle strength, and fitness in general.
Over the years, balance board technology has come a long way. But since there are dozens of models to choose from, shopping for one can be overwhelming. If you’re dead set on becoming a better surfer, then be prepared to invest in a top-of-the-line balance board. Just like when shopping for a new surfboard, when you’re searching for the right balance board, there are many factors you’ll want to consider before you buy, which I’ll discuss here.
I’ll kick off this buyer’s guide by first going over the benefits of training with one of these systems.
Benefits of Surfing Balance Boards
- The biggest benefit these boards offer is the ability to brush up on your surfing skills any time of the day or night. This makes a balance board an invaluable training tool for the surfer who can rarely make it to the beach during the week
- Next, these balance boards are perfect for surfers of all skill levels who want to get in shape. While you’re practicing your balancing, your core muscles will be engaged, this can result in a stronger core, which will definitely have a positive impact on your surfacing skills.
- These boards can be used for more than practicing catching waves. If you work out, or you want to start working out, adding a balance board to your routine can help you burn some serious calories.
- If you lift weights and you want to make your workout more challenging, instead of adding more weight, try lifting while balancing on one of these boards.
- If you love paddleboard yoga, you can also use this balancing system to practice your yoga moves, before you hit the water.
- You can find boards available for every skill level
- These boards provide a controlled, safer way to learn how to surf, making them a great choice for beginners
As you can see, these boards can do a lot for your body, including boosting core strength, improving posture, and of course, improving your balance. Now, let’s check out the different types of balancing boards available.
Types of Surfing Balance Boards
The sport of surfing requires the rider to keep their center of gravity low while they maintain an upright, stable, shoulders back posture. To achieve this, a surfer has to learn how to squat at the waist, with a very minimal bend. This posture has to be maintained while standing on a moving surface. As you can imagine, this will require a significant amount of core strength, stability, and balance, not to mention the ability to shift weight between one foot to the other. This can take plenty of practice, especially for beginners who are not in the best of shape. Fortunately, there are many different types of boards to choose from, some of which are perfect for beginners.
This type of board is the most difficult board to use. This is due to the left-right tilting motion, combined with the wheeling motion, which makes it incredibly challenging to stay on the board.
These boards are not quite as versatile as roller systems. This board will come in a single piece that has a curved base. These boards are only able to go side to side and back and forth and are a great choice for beginners but may not be challenging enough for the experienced surfer.
Another option is boards that use a type of cushion as the balancing component in the set. These cushions can be made out of EVA foam, or they may be inflatable. Inflatable cushions are surprisingly durable and highly adjustable. You can deflate the cushion if you’re a beginner, using this type of easy, stable option. As you improve your balance and core strength, you can inflate the cushion, causing the deck to rise higher off the ground, which will make your training session much more challenging.
You’ll come across balance boards that come with a roller, rocker, or cushion. However, you will also come across balance training sets that may come with more than one balancing option. These sets are a great buy for surfers of all skill levels and allow the user to slowly grow with the set. This can be a more cost-effective option as opposed to purchasing a new, more challenging system once you’ve outgrown the old one.
Features to Look for
Below, I’ll dive into the must-have features you’ll want to look for, before hitting that buy now button, and how each feature impacts the board’s overall design.
The board’s construction is what determines its durability. Most of these boards are made out of plastic or wood. A board that’s made out of wood is usually more durable compared to their plastic counterparts.
Plastic boards tend to be easier to maintain since boards that are made out of wood can become damaged if exposed to moisture. Additionally, plastic models are much lighter, thus more portable.
Each board will have a max weight limit. Before you buy, check out a board’s max weight and choose a model that has a max weight limit of at least fifty pounds more than what you weigh. Fortunately, many of the leading boards have a max weight of 250-300 pounds.
Learning how to use one of these balancing systems can be just as challenging as surfing in a wetsuit.
Some boards are easier to use than others. But the goal here isn’t to choose a board that’s super easy for you to use. Instead, you want to challenge your body and your skills. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner, you also don’t want to end up with a board that’s designed for the pros and one that’s too difficult to use. Because of this, it’s important to buy a board that matches your skill level, but one that’s still somewhat challenging for you to use. If you’re a beginner, once you’ve mastered an entry level model, you can always upgrade later down the line.
Fortunately, many models have plenty of room to grow and there are many ways you can make them more challenging or easier to ride. If you end up with a model that’s beyond your skill level, you can always use a wall to help you balance until you’re able to ride the board without any external support.
Low quality boards are prone to breaking, especially if the board is used by an adult. Make sure you look for a model that’s made out of sturdy materials, such as a thicker plastic or wood. The thicker the board, the better.
If you’re a beginner, then you need a board that’s large and offers plenty of room for you to move around. Narrower boards tend to be more challenging to use because they’re not as stable as wide boards. A wide board is a better choice for the beginner. A narrow balance board will be a great choice for the advanced surfer in search of a challenging practice session and work out.
Stoppers work with roller systems and can prevent the roller from fully rolling down the length of the board. This makes the board more stable, so it’s a great feature for beginners. Sets with stoppers are very adjustable and often come with two or three stopper distance settings to choose from.
Some boards will have longer rollers, which can improve the stability of the board, making it easier to use, while boards that have shorter rollers are not quite as stable and more designed for the advanced surfer, not the beginner.
Rollers vary in diameter as well as length. A narrower roller can provide a more challenging workout, while a wider roller offers more stability, so it’s a great choice for beginners. Some models will come with more than one roller, so you can change the roller based on your skill level.
If you’re a beginner, look for a model that comes equipped with an anti-slip surface. This can make your training sessions more efficient and safer, since you won’t have to focus both on balancing while trying to maintain your footing on a slippery board.
The cost of a balancing board will vary from brand to brand and can depend on the size of the board and the types of materials used. On average, you’ll come across models ranging from $60 up to $180. Higher priced boards tend to be more durable and are made out of heavy-duty materials. Lower priced boards are usually made out of plastic and have a lower max user weight.
Is a Surf Balance Board the Same Thing as a Wobble Board?
As you’re shopping around online in search of the right type of balance board that can improve your surfing skills, you’re bound to come across wobble boards. A wobble board is very similar to a balance board in terms of construction. Both types of balance boards consist of a board resting on a mound or disk. Most wobble boards are designed to rotate 360-degrees, instead of rolling side to side. Wobble boards can also be used to improve core strength and balance, but they tend to be very limited in terms of the tricks you can master and surfing tips and exercises you can practice.
Why Every Surfer Should Train with a Balance Board
Unfortunately, not every surfer can make it to the beach as often as they want to or need to. Whether it’s a busy work schedule or whenever you do have time for a little surfing, you’re dealing with fickle water conditions, a balance board system allows you to practice regardless of weather conditions, wave conditions, time of day, or environment.
While a balance board really can’t compete with the actual surfing experience, they can be great devices to have that can keep you in great shape and ready to catch a wave.
Balance boards are designed to closely replicate the surfing experience. It’s the perfect way to mimic the timing, coordination, and the balance needed for surfing waves.
Balance boards can help your surfing by:
- Strengthening the legs, helping to create more drive in your surfing
- Improving balance
- Strengthens and stretches the synergistic muscles
- Prevents injuries
- Improves core strength
- Improves muscle memory
- Perfect for visualizing turns
- Excellent cross trainer
- Replicates surfboard weight distribution
- Allows you to work out with limited space
- If you’re new to surfing in general, then you’ll want to start off slow. Stand on the board and hold onto a wall or a stable piece of furniture for support. Move the board in all directions. Get off the board, then stand on it again, this time without any support. Move the board from front to back, then side to side. Try to balance on the board for as long as possible, without the board’s edges making contact with the floor.
- Once you’ve mastered the basics of balancing on the board you can continue to challenge your core and newly developing surfing skills by increasing the complexity of the exercise. Try complicated exercises such as standing on one leg or rotating the board in a circle.
- Avoid placing the board on an uneven or wet surface. If you’re a beginner, then you should start off practicing on a mat or carpeted floor. This will minimize the risk of the board sliding out from underneath you.
- Remove all furniture and large items that may get in your way, so you have plenty of room to maneuver.
- If it feels like you’re about to fall, step off the board immediately. Go back to practicing near a wall for extra support.
These boards can be used a couple of ways: rail to rail and nose to tail. This will give surfers the ability to ride the board both ways to improve their balance and challenge their core.
Riding the board nose to tail is the traditional way to use a balance board. It’s also perfect for general core strength training. If you really want to turn up the intensity of a training session, try riding the board rail to rail. This method improves your surfing by really challenging the body and your balance.
When you place the roller lengthwise, it can provide more of a realistic surfing feel. This layout can be very difficult to master, but it will also significantly improve core strength and balance. It’s also a good way to learn how to cross step. It’s important to keep in mind that the slicker the surface the board is placed on, the more difficult it will be to balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Balance Boards Good for Surfing?
Yes. These boards will help to keep you in shape year-round, during the off-season or those busy weeks when you don’t have time to make it to the beach.
Are Balance Boards Dangerous?
They can be. They can also be great tools to use to develop your balance. If you have terrible balance, play it safe and use a piece of furniture or a wall to help keep you stable as you practice. Once you improve your balance and core strength, you’ll no longer need help with balance.
Are Balance Boards Good for Core Strength?
They are. These boards are multipurpose tools that can improve your overall fitness, core strength, and balance.
What is the Best Exercise for Surfing?
The best exercises for surfing include:
- Mobility drills
- Dynamic lunges
- Front squats
Surfing balance boards will mimic the sensation of catching a wave and can affect your surfing skills in a positive way. There are many different types and models of balance boards to choose from these days, but the best surfing balance boards will push your surfing skills and your body to the limit, creating a challenging workout that will have you fit and ready to take on any wave.