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