What is a Balance Board Pt. 2 - How Does A Balance Board Work
When the rider activates the Vew-Do Balance Board with movement, the board continuously disrupts your center of balance using dynamic and multi-directional motion. This puts you in "balance recovery" mode and forces you to use and develop all three of your body's balance systems; The Visual (depth, velocity and motion perception), the Vestibular System (inner ear), and the Somatic Sensory or Somatosensory System (proprioception and exteroception). The Vew-Do Balance Board also trains and develops the three main balance recovery strategies including the ankle strategy, the hip strategy and the step strategy.
As you achieve a higher skill progression, you're body will store this information as muscle memory. In reality, it's really an "unbalance" board. That's because the skill enhancement for balance recovery is gained by disrupting your balance or base of support (BOS). Balance training is training to go from an unbalanced state back to a balanced state.
In addition to improving balance recovery skills, proprioception and other benefits, balance boards also add physical conditioning, strengthening of muscles, tendons and ligaments, calorie burning and enjoyment to your training routine.
By: Rick Contrata
What is a Balance Board Pt. 1 - Balance Board Composition
Used on a dry flat surface, a balance board is a board used by a rider in the recreational sport of balance boarding and or multi-sport training for static (stationary) and dynamic (in motion) balance recovery skills, rehab, injury prevention and physical therapy.
Balance equipment that doesn't span or roll over a fixed fulcrum (rock), in motion under the deck like a balance board are wobble boards, teeter boards or rocker boards. These balance training tools are static balance training and rehab devices, not balance boards.
Balance Board Composition: The Vew-Do Balance Board has three main components; the riding deck, a round tapered fulcrum (rock) and a rail system that guides the board over the rock and helps maintain the rider's position on the board. The riding deck independently sits atop the fulcrum (rock). The board can then multi-directionally span the fulcrum (rock) underneath the deck when activated by specific body movements of the rider.
Today's Vew-Do Balance Board is still manufactured primarily of wood; just like many other board sport products including skateboards and snowboards. The deck is generally made from 7 or 9 ply zero-void Canadian maple (depending on the model and intended use) laminated in a criss-cross pattern to prevent warping. The decks are either flat or concave and mimic some of the design characteristics of snowboards and skateboards.
Although some manufacturers use other materials, hardwood decks are more desirable because of the performance capabilities for the riders. Wood decks have the ability to flex and pop like a skateboard or a snowboard when performing tricks, stunts and for overall performance regardless of use. Depending on the model, the top of the deck where the rider places their feet is covered with grip tape or a sandpaper-like finish for traction.
Vew-Do uses two types of sub-decks (bottom of the board) all of which have grip tape to maintain optimal friction between the deck and the rock. The 9-ply boards are geared towards recreational, strength and fitness users and sit directly atop the rock, while the 7-ply boards use an addition bomb-proof molded sub-deck for added height and durability. Performance balance boarding and high-performance users require the extra height and strength to achieve maximum air-time and the ability to absorb high impact landings and maneuverability on the rock.
The fulcrum, which as you now know is commonly referred to as the rock, is precision turned from a solid piece of hardwood. Although Vew-Do has used a variety of materials over the years for its rocks, solid hardwood is the only material that is durable enough to maintains its roundness, survive high impact balance boarding during extreme and maintain a high level of performance.
By: Rick Contrata
Bongo Board Facts - Bongo Board History & Evolution
Bongo Board Fact: The inventor of the original Bongo Board was WWII pilot Stanley Washburn Jr. Curiosity was the first instinct that motivated Washburn to shuffle over to some African Gold Coast children. They were skillfully balancing themselves on a wooden plank and a log. That was Stanley's first vision of his future Bongo Board.
Bongo Board Fact: Did you know that the first Bongo Board Stanley Washburn made in his woodshop was a Christmas gift for his daughter? She told her dad she wanted something unique, that no other kid in the neighborhood would have. The first Bongo board was born in December of 1952.
Not surprisingly, as the board's popularity began to grow, so did the diversity of its users. In the late sixties, skiers and other athletes started to take notice and began using the Bongo Board for balance training. The commercially successful Bongo Board stayed in production until 1980.
With the death of his business partner, Stanley folded the Bongo Board Corporation in 1980 to pursue other interests. But the spirit of the original Bongo Board was resurrected again in 1992 when Vew-Do Balance Boards patented the world's first multi-directional balance training device.
I mentioned earlier that there was a reason why no other modern day balance training equipment is closer in spirit to the original Stanley Washburn Bongo Board than Vew-Do Balance Boards. It's because Vew-Do President Brew Moscarello and Stanley Washburn have been working together since 1995. Stanley is an honorary member of Vew-Do's board of directors and he's been an avid supporter of Vew-Do Balance Boards since day one.
By: Rick Contrata
History of The Merdel Balance Board
Classic Merdel Balance Board Revisited
The Merdel Balance Board came along after the introduction of the original Bongo Board. This balance board never achieved the commercial success the original Bongo Board enjoyed, but the Merdel Balance Board had its own legion of loyal users.
The Merdel Balance Board is a two piece system which used a flat riding deck constructed of plywood and used strips of grip tape at the foot-placement ends of the board for traction. The sub-deck used a rail system, while the roller consisted of 4 individual round disks bandied together with dowels, a block of wood and an axle.
The rollers tended to develop flats spots and shred into sawdust after a fair amount of use because of the soft waffle-like core of the disks. It was considered to be toy-like in its construction, but the Merdel Balance Board found its way into the living rooms of many Americans.
By: Rick Contrata
Why Balance Train? How and Why Does a Vew-Do Balance Board Work
If you could solve problems that you didn't even know existed... Would you?
Have you ever fallen down, stumbled, sprained a knee or an ankle while jumping, landing, running or even just walking? Most people will try and treat the symptoms which they identify as lack of strength or weak knees or ankles, instead of the problem which could simply be poor balance and balance recovery skills.
The benefits of balance recovery is an ignored training protocol for one simple reason. The human balance system is designed to make balance and balance recovery sub-conscious and automatic. Everyone "thinks" they have adequate balance skills. And most people won't fix anything unless they feel it's broken. That's a big mistake.
In sports and most physical activities, once your body moves out of its balance comfort zone, our balance systems quickly become overwhelmed with input to try and recover balance. Unfortunately, without balance training this results in inadequate performance and even the risk of injury. There are numerous medical studies that prove balance training works.
How and why does a Vew-Do Balance Board work.
The human body uses a triad of sensory systems to maintain balance. The eyes, the inner ear and proprioceptors in the joints for spatial and kinesthetic awareness *positioning of your body limbs and touch sensors located at the bottom of your feet.*
A Vew-Do Balance Board continuously disrupts your center of balance using dynamic and multi-directional motion. This forces you to use and develop all three of your body's balance systems. Along with the physical conditioning, you're body will store this information as muscle memory.
When you re-create an unbalanced state in a sports specific environment, you will sub-consciously unlock your recovery method. In other words, when you become unstable, you'll react quickly and recover. That's because muscle memory instantly tells the brain, "hey, I've been in this situation before and I know how to recover from it."
By: Brew Moscarello