Surf balance boards have come a long way since the classic Indo Board made its appearance. I remember getting my first one in high school, lugging it to my friend’s house. We’d spend the day bruising our shins, attempting ollies and 360s.
Shopping for a balance board can be overwhelming, there are tens of models to choose from. In this guide, we’ll show you the best balance boards for surfing–so that you can live on the edge even when you’re out of the water. Plus, we’ll cover how to make your own if you don’t have the cash and what to look for when buying a balance board for surfing.
The Best Surf Balance Boards: At a Glance
- Ebb and Flo by GoofBoard
- Revolution 101
- Indo Board Pro
- Indo Board Original
- Vew-Do Surf
- Blue Planet
- Revolution Core
- Driftsun Balance Board
The Best Surf Balance Boards: In Depth
Best for: Longboarders wanting to nose ride and cross step
The Ebb and Flo balance board for surfing has to be one of the most stylish boards on the market. If you talk to Ebb and Flo owners, they often admit that they often leave the board out in their living room as a piece of decor.
Ebb and Flo balance board hasn’t put fashion over function. This option is ideal for those who want to fine-tune their longboard skills by learning to cross step and nose ride. There are three models on the market. All ride the same, the difference is in aesthetics.
Unlike most surf balance boards on the market, the Ebb and Flo roller runs parallel to the board, creating a side-to-side rock that’s more akin to surfing (versus a perpendicular roller that rocks front to back).
Shop Ebb and Flo: Amazon
Best for: Surfers who want to work on their all-around balance for skateboarding, snowboarding, etc
Tiny but mighty, the Revolution 101 is a compact and durable balance board ideal for surfers who do it all. Its small size keeps it portable and practical for travel and apartment living. Because it is so versatile, it’s one of the easiest balance boards to learn tricks and progress.
Shop Revolution 101: Amazon
Best for: Experienced surfers who want to nose ride and cross step
The Indo Board Pro is the updated model of the Indo Board Original, best for surfers who may already have a bit of experience with balance boards or who simply want one that can grow beyond the basic tricks.
The Indo Board Pro is meant to roll from side to side, simulating surfing in more realistic conditions. There is also a mini option of the Indo Board Pro, ideal for travelers or surfers with smaller living spaces.
Shop Indo Board Pro: Amazon
Best for: Beginner and intermediate surfers who want to hone in on their balance
Just the words “Indo Board” bring a sense of nostalgia among many surfers who spent their afternoons rolling around the living room. The Indo Board Original is by far the most popular balance boards for surfers on the market.
The Indo Board Original surf balance board has a wooden ‘stop’ built into the nose and tail of the board, meaning you won’t roll off the roller easily. This makes it one of the best balance boards for beginners, though those who want to progress their balance boarding skills can adjust the balance board to rock from side to side (similar to its pro model). Choose between 11 different deck options.
5. Vew-Do Surf
Best for: Intermediate and experienced surf balance boarding–a board that keeps the sport in mind
Vew-Do has a handful of different balance boards on the market, all with different shapes and intentions. The Vew-Do Surf 33 model is built with surfing in mind, as reflected by the tail and nose of the board (rather than the typical oval shape with other balance boards). The roller is also unique with tapered edges, making it easier to rock both side to side and back to front, another unique feature.
Shop Vew-Do Surf: Amazon
Best for: Home office use in addition to surf balance board training
The Blue Planet Balance Board is quite a bit different to the rest of the other balance boards for surfing. It comes with a rectangular board as well as three different ‘roller’ parts. Rather than being a pipe-like roller, the base of the board adjusts to three different balance settings (called balance modules).
You can remove the base of the balance board to simply stand on it and use the base as a balance board while working at a standing desk. The three other modules increase the difficulty in balancing. This would be an ideal board for families as you can swap out the intensity, or a board for those who want to practice their balancing passively as they work.
Shop Blue Planet Balance Board: Amazon
Best for: Working on tricks like ollies, 360s, kick flips, etc.
The more advanced model to the Revolution 101, the Revolution core balance board for surfing has no stops and is slightly harder to control. This board was made for all-around board sport athletes who want to progress when it comes to doing tricks.
The roller itself is weighted to avoid shooting out from underneath the board during jumps–allowing you to land back on the roller rather than the floor.
Shop Revolution Core: Amazon
Best for: Beginner and intermediate surfers looking for an all-around balance board
A strong competitor to the Indo Board Classic, the Driftsun Balance Board has a non-slip deck and wooden stoppers on the nose and tail of the board. The roller has non-slip grip bands, allowing the board to roll smoothly on hard surfaces. It’s durable, easy to use, and one of the best all-around boards thanks to its classic shape.
Shop Driftsun Balance Board: Amazon
Best for: Budget and compact all-around balance board
The Yes4All Balance Board is a great all-around balance board with movable stoppers. This means you can adjust how wide you want your balance board to be (11″, 16″, or 22″). The deck of the board has a non-slip coating, ensuring you don’t fall off as you ride.
Shop Yes4All Balance Board: Amazon
How to Make Your Own Balance Board
Don’t let price put you off from training on a balance board. There are plenty of ways to create one on your own.
To make a balance board for surfing, you’ll need to find parts for the two components:
- The roller
- The board
You can create the roller from PVC pipe, a foam roller, a baseball bat, or even an old metal water bottle. The roller should be in proportion to your board. For example, if you are using a narrow pipe as a roller, you’ll need a smaller board. If you have a large foam roller, you’ll be able to put a bigger board on top.
Create the board using a plank of wood, an old skateboard deck, a skimboard, wakeboard, kiteboard, or anything else that’s strong and sturdy. Put your creation on top of a towel or yoga mat at first to slow down the roll and protect your flooring.
Once you’ve found a set-up you like, paint it! Let us know how you go with your surf balance board below.
Tips for Choosing a Surf Balance Board
Choose one that suits your skill level–with room to grow
Some elements of balance boards like wooden stoppers (made to keep you from falling off of the roller), a grip deck, a large width, all help make balance boarding easier. Boards without stoppers, a smooth roller, and a smooth surface tend to be more challenging to ride.
The good news is that most balance boards for surfing have plenty of room to grow. There are always ways to make them easier or more challenging to ride. If you get one that’s a bit beyond your ability, use the wall to help you balance until you can ride it without external support.
Focus on durability
Cheap balance boards are prone to breaking, especially if they’re being used by adults. You’ll want one made from sturdy materials, like thick wood or durable plastic. Balance boards often have a weight limit of around 300 lbs.
Choose the right size
The larger your surf balance board is, the more space you’ll need to roll around. Be sure to clear a wide area around where you’ll be using your board, so that you won’t hit anything if (or when) you fall.
Balance Board FAQs
Do balance boards actually help me surf better?
If you don’t know how to surf (yet!), balance boards are a great way to build the foundations for balancing that you’ll need later on. Any time you spend fine-tuning your balance will pay off in the water.
Some balance boards can help you focus on skills like cross stepping, nose riding, and even jumping. This is because you no longer have to wait for a wave before trying your hand at this skill–when you fall off, you can simply get back onto the balance board. Like surfing, it takes dedication and repetition to progress.
What are some balance board exercises?
You can easily use a balance board to level up not only your surfing skills but also your overall fitness. Practice doing squats and push ups on the balance board–taking care. You can place a rolled towel on the sides of the roller to keep it from rolling out from underneath you, adding extra support.
As you get better, you might even be able to do handstands or bring weights onto the board. Time yourself to see how long you can stay on, and then move onto trying balance board tricks.
Can kids use balance boards?
With adult supervision, balance boards are great for kids. Some models, like the Indo Board Classic, the Revolution 101, the Driftsun Balance Board, and the Blue Planet Balance Board have wooden stoppers to make balancing a bit easier. However, kids are quick to learn and might be surpassing their parents after just a few weeks of practice!
Balance boards might also help kids become more confident when it comes time to surf, wakeboard, skateboard, and kitesurf. Like all balance sports, these skills overlap with one another.
What tricks can I do on a balance board?
An easier question might be what can’t you do. Each balance board is different, and that might hinder the type of tricks you’ll be able to do. Some, for example, are made for surfers who want to cross step and nose ride. Other boards, however, are ideal for doing more skateboard-style tricks like ollies, kick flips, 360s, and more.
What’s the difference between a balance board and a wobble board?
While searching for a balance board for surfing, you might come across wobble boards. These boards are similar to balance boards (and are a type of balance board themselves) in that you have a board resting on a platform–usually a small disk or mound. Wobble boards rotate 360-degrees rather than roll from side to side. Wobble boards are another way to focus on balance, and an easy way to practice this skill. The main downside is that wobble boards tend to be more limited in the tricks and progressions you can master.
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