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After an serious ankle injury last year one of the things I used during physio sessions was a basic
wobble board this led me to consider buying one for using at home. The one used at the physio
sessions was a basic flat wooden board with a curved section underneath that allowed it to move
either backwards or sideways depending on which way you stood on it. Despite my
wrecked ankle this wasn't much of a challenge as the rocker wasn't very high off the ground and
years of surfing snowboarding and skateboarding means my balance is pretty good so keeping it
steady and gently rocking it was easy for me.
My physio did say that a balance board would help my recovery if used regularly and also said it would
be good for keeping muscles in good shape when I wasn't able to surf or snowboard so we went on a search for a balance board.
There are 3 main types of balance board available the solid type with a curved bar or round half ball shape attached permanently to the bottom. The skateboard type board with a separate roller
underneath it which moves freely from side to side such as the Indo Board and finally the sphere
board.Initially we were going to buy an Indo type board but although you can buy curved rollers
for these they still mainly go from side to side and only a little bit of movement from heel to toe
then a friend told us about the sphere board type which led us to purchase the Coolboard.
The Coolboard is a rectangular board with skateboard grip at each end so you don't slip off with an
oval shaped ring underneath which allows a ball to move freely in any direction while the oval rim
stops the ball from slipping out from under the board. The oval rim runs along the middle 3 quarters
of the board leaving a gap at each end of the board underneath your feet.
The best thing about this board is the fact it moves in any direction making it perfect for surfers and
snowboarders as your balance is tested heel to toe as well as side to side and most of all it's quite
unpredictable which means your balance skills, reactions and core muscles improve as well as your
Our board came with an inflatable ball although there are options to buy solid balls for both speed
or strength once you get used to the inflatable ball and also the option to buy a cushion to use
instead of a ball which is probably a good idea if you haven't used a balance board before or are recovering from an injury as this will make the board slower and more like a standard wobble board.
The basics of using this board are pretty simple you stand on the board and try to keep your
balance which sounds easier than it actually is! Once you've got the basic balance sorted you can
try to move the ball around while staying balanced after that you can move on to the various
exercises included with the board or there's also the option to get exercises specifically for the
sport you do with options available for skiing,snowboarding,surfing,football,rowing and many
As well as standing on the board it can also be used in much the same way as an exercise ball for
sit ups, push ups and many other variations of floor exercises even sitting on this thing watching tv
is working your core muscles as you body constantly adjusts to stay balanced
The board can be used indoors or outside we found the easiest way to start with this is on a
carpet or rug preferably with someone or something to hold onto till you get the hang of it another
good idea is to leave the ball slightly under pressure till you get used to the board as this means it
moves slower and is more predictable.We made the mistake of pumping it up full and using it on our kitchen floor the first time which nearly ended up in a trip to casualty as my other half battered the
kitchen unit with his arm as he fell off after about 20 seconds.
Once you get the hang of this it's fun to use and pumping the ball up to full and using it on a
hard surface will increase the speed and challenge you more. The great thing about this for me
is it's a lot more fun than most forms of home exercise but gets fantastic results if you use it
regularly. Although I can feel my leg muscles working when I use the board afterwards I feel
like I've had a full body workout and the constant balance training has helped to improve my
surfing and snowboarding as well as I'm using the same muscle groups away from the snow
The Coolboard costs between £98 and £178 depending on the model,ball and size you choose
the medium size is recommended for UK shoe size 1-6 and the large for UK7 plus. I'm a size UK6
but we ended up buying the large board so my partner could use it too. The boards are made in
Bristol UK from sustainable marine grade ply and finished with 3 layers of with eco friendly lacquer
which means it should last for years even if you use it outside.
Although this was expensive I would still say it has been worth it for us personally as it is one
of the few pieces of home exercise equipment that we still use regularly.
Balance boards are a great way to improve your core body strength,balance and also a great
low impact workout to aid recover from an injury or just to keep your body toned without the
boredom of endless sit ups and push ups. It's also a great way to keep snowboarders and
surfers entertained when there's no surf or snow.
This is one of my favourite fitness items on the market. I wouldn't be surprised if you have never heard of it before though. I am a keen snowboarder and came across this item at a recent snowsports trade fair.
So what is it you ask? It's basically a piece of wood and a ball! Although it sounds extremely simple they have been very well made and I would not recommend trying to make your own! The wooden base has a circular section hidden underneath the board and you put this section on top of the ball. You then stand on the board and try to balance it on the ball.
Not only is this good fun to try but it also helps aid balance, agility and proprioception. It helps core strength and stability, aids joint strength, and helps with injury reduction and recovery.
I bought the board as I like to snowboard but often find that having a lack of funds and time often prevents me from going away. Having this board means I can get some practice in without the expensive costs. It also allows me to practice at my own house - always a bonus!
The prices for these have recently been reduced, but depending on your weight, size and shoe size it will depend which size board you need to purchase. The prices are as follows:
Delivery is free on Coolboard packages but other items from them (such as new balls) have varying delivery costs.
Each board comes complete with a training ball, riders' ball, workout plan, needle and instructions. The training ball is the smaller of the two; this keeps you closer to the ground while you find your bearings. Once you get the hang of it you can try out the rider's ball which is bigger and a lot harder. The workout plan shows other interesting things you can do with the balance board such as use it to do raised press ups on an unstable surface, or do sit-ups on it. You can also purchase extra work out plans online, but I suggest going onto YouTube and watching some videos for this as you can see it being done properly and it's free!
You can also buy a Graffiti version. This is where you get your board customised for you by a graffiti artist, the price of this will be considerably more, but you have to submit and enquiry as to what you want before you can be given a price.
The board is different to other balance boards in the sense that it moves in all directions. This is what I like about it and what makes it so challenging. Other boards often only move from side to side.
The board is made of high quality marine rated plywood and finished using 3 layers of hard wearing environmentally friendly lacquer. This means that it will last for a long while. When parting with your hard earned cash it is good to know you are buying a product that is going to last a long time, give you hours of fun and help train you!
You can also buy extra balls from the website should you need any but as of yet I haven't had the need to. The balls are very strong and should last a long time before they need replacing, but just remember what they are meant for and don't use them as basketballs.
You can purchase a Coolboard from http://www.coolboard.co.uk and I would strongly recommend doing so if you are into your fitness or even if you just want to have a bit of fun. Dancers have recently reported using them as it strengthens their core and aids balance. Check out the videos on YouTube! This is one the best purchases I have ever made and I absolutely love it, without a doubt in my mind this gets 5 stars, well done and thank you Coolboard!