How To Make Your Own Balance Board And Improve Your Snowboard Balance

 

Indo Board

Balance boards like the one above are great for working on your overall balance while off the snow, but they’re also kind of pricy for what is basically a few pieces of wood and a roller.

To solve this, one of our readers decided to make his own balance board. I thought it was a neat project, so I’m going to repost the instructions and pictures he sent me in case any of you guys want to build your own balance boards.

This does require some basic knowledge of how to use power tools like drills and cutters, so it’s not a project for everyone.

Here’s some alternatives for the non-power tool using readers of Snomie:

  1. 2 liter coke bottle filled with water + skateboard deck (very simple and cheap budget alternative to buying an Indo board)
  2. Buy the original Indo Board (indoboard.com) (easy, no work required, but pricy)

Alright, so for the rest of my readers who like DIY projects and know how to use power tools (or can bribe a knowledgable friend to help them), here’s how to build your own balance board.

The homemade balance board:

Homemade balance board - final product

Disclaimer – As with building anything and handling tools/power tools, please make sure you’re careful and know what you’re doing. If you are under 18, don’t try this without help from your parents.

Don’t even think about using power tools if you don’t know how to safely use them.

Obviously I take no responsibility if you injure yourself building or using this balance board, so please build and use with care.

What you need:

  • 1 plywood board: 76cm x 46cm x 18mm
  • 2 plywood bumpers: 46cm x 6cm x 18mm (which are first attached to the board, then cut out with the same pattern)
  • 1 PVC pipe: 16cm diameter x 3mm thickness x 120cm length
  • 6 screws 30mm
  • 3 strips of duct tape to put around each PVC pipe (for grip)

Optional:

  • 1 layer of varnish for the finishing touch
  • 2 rubber stops (to stop ends of balance board loudly hitting against ground)

How to build the balance board plank:

balance board plank

Step 1:

Cut out the board, then the 2 bumpers.

Step 2:

Draw half a circle on both ends and on both sides of the board with a radius of 23cm.

Step 3:

Attach the 2 bumpers to the nose and tail with 3 screws while making sure the screws form a triangle and that they are located at least 1-2cm from the sides.

Drill a countersink for every hole so the head of the screw is flush with the surface.

Step 4:

Cut out the arcs on both ends of the board with a jigsaw.

Step 5:

Detach the 2 bumpers and round off the edges of every piece of plywood.

Step 6:

Brush off every piece of wood and apply 1 layer of varnish. After applying the layer of varnish you can let it soak in, and then remove excess varnish with a cloth so the end result has a more coarse surface.

Step 7:

Reattach the 2 bumpers to the board.

Homemade Balance Board - attaching the bumpers

Step 8:

Attach 2 rubber anti-skid patches on the bottom of each bumpers with a distance of 10cm in between them and close to the edge. This way the board makes less noise when it hits the ground and it makes it easier to initiate the balancing.

Put a nail through the center of each patch so it will never detach from the bumper.

Homemade Balance Board - Rubber stoppers

Homemade balance board - rubber stopper example 2

Alright, that’s the balance plank done. Now to build the roller.

How to build the circular roller:

Homemade balance board - roller

Step 1:

Cut the PVC pipe to a length of 60cm and round off the edges.

Step 2:

Apply 3 strips of duct tape around the pipe for grip.

Step 3:

Cut a second piece of PVC pipe (length of 60cm or just a leftover piece).

Step 4:

Draw a straight line over the length of the pipe and use a jigsaw to cut the pipe open and make it smaller so it can fit inside the first pvc pipe.

Step 5:

Insert the second pipe in the first pipe, hold it against the inside of the first pipe and mark the overlay on the second pipe.

The reason for adding the second pvc pipe to the inside is to add strength and help keep the roller keep it’s shape.

Step 6:

Draw a straight line from the mark and cut off the piece of excess material lengthwise.

Homemade Balance Board - Inner PCV Pipe

Step 7:

The second pipe should fit nicely inside the first pipe. Attach 3-5 strips of duct tape around the second pipe to hold it together and give a better fit inside the first pipe.

Homemade Balance Board - Inner PVC pipe with duct tape

Step 8:

Insert the second pipe back into the first pipe.

Homemade balance board - inner pipe example 2

You’re Done! Put both pieces together and you have yourself a homemade balancing board.

A quick warning on using your new balance board:

Don’t use the balance board on slippery surface! Use it on a surface that provides enough grip combined with the duct tape. You can use a piece of vinyl or anti slip rug (1m x 2m) under the balance board to protect the floor.

Thanks Kevin D. for sharing his instructions and photos from this project.

- Jed

3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Snowboard Balance Without Snowboarding

Today’s reader question:

Do you have any tips for improving my balance while I’m at home?

There are a few ways that I work and improve my balance from home.

I used each of these 3 methods while re-learning to walk and re-gaining my balance skills after my knee surgeries, so I know that work (and I continue to use them to this day).

1) Add a bosu ball to your normal leg exercises

This is a Bosu ball:

Bosu Ball

You can take nearly all your basic leg exercises and stick a bosu ball into the workout to make it a balance exercise.

For example, one exercise that I usually incorporate into my routine is a one leg lunges with a bosu ball. I simply place my forward leg onto the bosu ball while I carry weights and lunge forward like normal.

If you want to do more athletic building balance exercises there are also a ton of drills you can do involving jumping on and off bosu balls.

Basically, in all the exercise routines and the balance rehab training that I’ve done with gym trainers, bosu ball exercises were always standard in basically every single balance improvement workout that I’ve ever been given.

2) Yoga – it’s not just for girls

I know most guys refuse to do yoga, but it’s amazing for balance and stability training and a lot harder than it looks. Yoga works on a whole different set of stability and control muscles than traditional workouts, which is why it’s awesome for balance training.

To this day I still credit yoga as one of the few workouts that was able to strengthen the stabilizer and balancing muscles in my post-ACL surgery leg.

Plus yoga girls are usually in good shape… just saying.

3) Build your own practice jib

One of my favourite tools is a simple wooden jib rail that you can build yourself. You can strap into your snowboard and literally hop onto the rail to practice all sorts of snowboard balance tricks and techniques.

It’s a great way to train and improve the same balance techniques that you’d have to use for all sorts of different snowboard rail tricks.

Eg:

Practice Jib Box

Here’s how you build your own practice jib box: How to build a snowboard practice jib box

So those are the 3 basic things I do for working on my balance off the ski slopes. Hope that answers your question!

- Jed

ps – you can also build your own balance beam. One of our readers built one himself and he sent over some photos and instructions, so I’ll have a blog up detailing ‘how to build your own balance beam’ up in the next week sometime.