Yup. They're Here, And I Couldn't Be More Stoked. Salty Shreds Balance Boards now Open for Pre-Order.
What is a Balance Board? Only Your New Favorite Shred Stick!
Off the top of my head, I can think of dang near a million reasons why balance boards should belong in every household.
For countless hours they've kept our legs busy, and it's not often you find an indoor activity simultaneous with exercise, excitement, and improved mental health. As a busy surf mum, this brilliant trifecta has made life not only easier. But seriously, you wouldn't believe how incredible such a simple activity as this will make you feel! The health benefits and infinite, stoke-instilling ways to use your new favorite shred-stick are inspiring.
So, what is a balance board, and how do you use one?
This guide balances all the necessary information with my personal, unique advice on balance boarding. By the end of it, you'll be a bloody expert.
And just in time, too, because I am beyond stoked, proud, and anxiously eager to share our very own Salty Shreds Balance Boards with you. It's crazy to see this little piece of my life, something we've loved and practiced for so long, manifesting as a killer product that so many other families will soon enjoy. So, as always, thanks for being a part of the journey, and we hope you discover some radical moments and big smiles with this crazy-cool collection!
What is a Balance Board?
Balance boards are flat, slightly rounded & oval decks placed on a cylindrical base. In lifting the deck off the ground and atop the base, the rider must make challenging weight/position adjustments to balance & prevent the board from falling.
Nothing attaches the board to the base. It will wobble and oscillate, requiring intense focus, strength, and coordination to align your majority mass over the free-standing, constantly-moving support.
There are also no straps for the feet, and advanced riders can mimic longboard surfing by walking the nose.
Some crazy folks can even kickflip their balance board, no different than a skateboard. That's why, with features like various tail configurations & dimensions, you will notice such similarity bewteen surfboard + skateboard shapes and balance board shapes
So, to summarize, quite as the name implies: a balance board is a free, unattached board that you balance on!
A Quick History Lesson for You & Your Groms
I like giving credit where credit is due, and Hunter Joslin is credited with 'inventing the balance board'. So thanks, Hunter!
But really, what I mean by this is he commercialized this concept of standing on a balancing plank into a popular balance board brand, "Indo Boards". Since then, we've seen tons of variations and different approaches to balance boards derived from the Indo Board inspiration.
Balancing on planks centered on a log has been done by many cultures for centuries, so you can't really give the concept any credit.
But the IDEA of balance boarding was surprisingly popularized by circus shows and similar performance-style shows. Performers would stand on these boards while juggling or blowing fire, adding another crazy, challenging element to their show.
Once the exercise world realized how this wobbly surface improved certain movements + workouts, and once the extreme sports world saw how much a balance board could enhance their skills, balance boards became a popular living-room staple. And now, as crazy as it is, we have our own!!
Moving On... Is a Balance Board Worth It?
Hell yeah, it is! Balance boards have way more than one thing going for them, and anyone will hugely benefit from them. Worth it? That's an understatement.
At its core, balancing boarding is nothing less than a crazy fun activity. It's challenging, it's thrilling, and the groms will love competing with each other to see who can balance the longest or achieve the most radical trick!
They Literally Last Forever…
Surfboards and skateboards break. Balance boards are forever. These things have no mechanical parts, so you never need electricity to use them (bye-bye screen time!!).
And it'd be one of the most impressive feats in the world to damage one.
Inside, Outside... They're Occupied for Hours.
One purchase equates to infinite good times; for that, we busy parents love them.
Health Benefits Galore
The activity of balance boarding in itself curates tons of family fun, but there's some serious science behind some seriously positive health effects that you'll really enjoy hearing.
A session on the balance board will showcase health benfits like:
- Improve overall balance (duh) & coordination.
- Strengthen and tone the muscles, especially the core & legs!! Balance boarding is my favorite way to get the blood flowing, and whether you're looking to lose weight or become stronger, this might be your next favorite workout.
- Strengthen bones, ligaments, & joints.
- Help prevent & rehabilitate injuries.
- Speed-up reaction time while improving concentration.
- Improve your posture by strengthening back muscles and core.
And at the end of the day, nothing is more important to health than doing something you enjoy. I always feel so dang good after balance boarding, and I could spend hours watching my groms smile while doing the same. If anything at all, this is the most important, powerful health benefit of balance boarding- happiness!
Are Balance Boards Good Exercise?
Decked Out in Salty Shreds. You Know Where to Go.
One of my favorite things about balance boards is the exercise factor involved. A killer cardio workout, you can also enhance this entertaining exercise with aspects of light strength training, such as balanced squats or weighted balance, to tone and build muscle.
Are balance boards good exercise? They're the freaking best, and I'll always choose one over the gross surfaces of a smelly gym. And when it comes to the kids, they're one of the best ways to promote natural muscle growth during their growing years without strain or injury.
I've relied on balance boarding as my primary form of exercise for years, and honestly… It's working wonders on my physical and mental health. I'll always appreciate the fact that the fun factor entices me to workout more than I ever would (or could with three crazy groms & a business to keep up with), so that's pretty radical, too.
Maintain a Killer Work-Life Balance
Had to hit ya with the cliche blog post pun, but on a real note, balance boards need to be in every workspace! Yes, that includes the office cuticles!
In realizing the crazy health benefits of balance boarding, some creative folks have chosen to enhance their work day by balancing boarding while working from a standing desk. Now that's one hell of a workout and, for sure, a two-bird, one-stone kinda thing that I can stand behind.
Even if you use a balance board for a quick 5-minute break every hour, they give any working day a nice shot of positivity.
Anyone Can Use One!
Whether you're a boardsport fanatic or you've never stepped foot on any form of board in your life, balance boards are an all-inclusive good time for all, as honestly, anyone can use them!
Even if you think there's no way you're balancing on that thing, I can promise you: with a little bit of practice, you're undoubtedly wrong, and wait… Isn't that what balance boards are for anyways?! Improving this unique yet constantly used life skill?
Balance boards and athletes of all shapes and sizes, and those of nearly every sport, have a great relationship. This unique exercise is often a fundamental part of an athlete's training program, especially considering the injury prevention/rehabilitation aspect.
Board Sport Fanatics
This shredder will tell you a thing or two about balance boards! Proof in the pudding, is it?
Enhance surfing, skateboarding, and other board sports by mimicking the riding sensations while practicing sideways-standing balance. Balance boards are a favorite training method to get better at every board sport.
I can't believe what they've done for my own, and my kids, surfing.
Busy Mums and Dads!
Need a quick workout but can't hit the gym? Bust out the balance board!
Take it outside for sunshine and fresh air to get the best out of it.
I'm often asked the question, "what age are balance boards good for?".
As long as you're there to ensure safety and to prevent falling, at the end of the day, any walking age will do!
Are Balance Boards Dangerous?
Speaking of safety, this is another common concern regarding balance boards. And let me just begin by saying: balance boards are entirely safe, but as with anything, they come with risks and associated precautions you should take. Here's what I mean:
How To Promote Safety While Balance Boarding:
1. Wear the Pads!
No one is judging, I swear! Pads are the single most effective way to rescue the risk of injury, specifically helmets and wrist guards. Wear them while you learn or if you prefer this additional layer of protection.
2. Soft Surfaces
Soft surfaces like the grass, the beach, a yoga mat, or a carpet will always help soften the blow of a little tumble.
3. Teach How to Fall!
Teaching your groms how to fall is hugely crucial for activities like skateboarding, rollerblading, and, of course, balance boarding. Because yes, there are many proper ways to absorb impacts and avoid serious injury, like not using your wrist to catch your entire body weight as you come down with gravity.
4. Hold Onto Something
For grom safety, you can hold their hands as they practice to avoid serious tumbles. After helping them with your hands, move on to being their spotter.
However, you also need to know there will always be a time when they'll move onto balance boarding on their own, and a fall or two is inevitable!
Balance boards will grow tough, determined, and strong-willed kids.
If it is you who is learning, try holding on to a railing or a wall to help stabalize.
Wear Shoes if you Want!
I love balancing boarding with bare feet, especially at the beach. But other surfaces can be a little intimidating for those twenty toes, so if you want to up the precaution levels and increase grip, toss on a pair of covered-toed shoes.
How to Use a Balance Board
Step by step, here's how to use a balance board.
Just like with any exercise, take a few moments of stretching before getting on your board. Balance boards require some intense muscle tightening to maintain a center of gravity, and you don't want to pull one while extending hard to one side!
2, Set the Base & Board on a Flat, Even Surface
Balance Boards AND Yoga Mats? Yeah, We Got Em'.
Flat, even, and smooth surfaces are key. And, as I said, if you're just starting out, I definitely suggest the grass or carpet. In this case, make sure the ground is as flat as can be, and you're not trying to balance the board on a slight incline or dirt pile. We like to use a yoga mat on grass to create the perfect balance board surface.
3. Lean the Board Against the Base
Lean the top third of your board against the cylindrical base while the tail end is resting on the ground. Step your back foot onto the tail. From here, lift your weight forward and up using the front foot to push the board atop the base.
4. Keep the Knees Bent!
Like wayyyy bent. Probably more bent than you think when starting out! Bend those knees well, especially as you lift the board off the ground, and you'll eventually learn to relax them with practice.
5. Look Forward
Looking forward will help create centered control versus looking over a shoulder. For those who skate and surf, you can eventually work towards looking over a shoulder to enhance your skills, but for now, keep your eyes ahead.
I like choosing a still point ahead of me to focus my eyes on, as this allows me to concentrate more on balance and maneuvering.
6. Adjust your Weight
Keepin' the Gravity Centered!
As the board deck begins to lean towards one side, the goal is learning how to bring it back over center, requiring crazy combinations of weight adjustments. When the board extends far to one side, you'll need to use those leg muscles to pull it back while tightening the core and leaning the upper body in the opposite direction.
You'll realize that your whole body makes a difference, even those arms, and this really showcases the whole-body experience of balance boarding.
Practice makes perfect, so get on there!
Well… Do You Want One Yet?
A million reasons to have one and zero to not. If you can't tell, I'm a balance board fanatic, and I hope you will be, too.
Check out our new collection and get your hands on one quickly, as they're selling out insanely fast.
And please: drop a comment or tag us on Instagram (@_SaltyShreds_) to tell/show us how you use your balance board and all the unique ways it's improved your life. Sharing these positive activities with the world is such a big part of why I do what I do, so seriously; let me hear it!
Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!
Live rad, stay salty.
- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.