Balance Trainers

Cold Surf

With temperatures well below freezing and finding myself miles away from any mountains, I’ve decided to post another indoor, off-season workout entry. For Surfing there isn’t an off-season unless, like me, you can’t afford a winter suit and find yourself bound to the shore watching the cool kids get all the waves to themselves.

To pass the time and stay in shape there are plenty of exercises that focus on strength, power, balance and endurance that don’t require any equipment, but as geeks we naturally want gadgets. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes a total waste of money, gadgets are the only thing that can get me stoked for weekend nights in my basement erasing the stress of the day.


In the past, I’ve written about balance boards and a skateboard deck with Softrucks that helps build balance and let’s you practice tricks. Both solid low-tech gadgets I enjoy all year round – they never get old.

Two more balance trainers have surfaced and I’d like to get my hands on both to test. World-class surfers Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton seemed to feel the SurfBall is where it’s at. Essentially a basketball under a shortboard (how is there a patent pending on this ‘technology’?), the SurfBall “…allows all users from the novice to the professional to work on developing fine motor skills and a keen sense of balance…” The SurfBall comes in three models; SurfBall Surfboard $399, SurfBall Stub $299 and the SurfBall Skate $159. The decks for the later two models resemble a wakeboard and skateboard (respectively).

The NoHo is another kind of balance trainer that uses a series of curve shaped pods which are easily attached to the bottom your surfboard. There is a well choreographed video on the NoHo Web site worth checking out. Longboard phenom Joe Aaron performs the same mind-blowing, practiced maneuvers on land that he does on the waves. I’m fairly certain Joe’s remarkable skills, which as a teenager leads me to believe he was born to surf. But you can’t totally discount the NoHo, it looks simple enough to set-up and using the same stick I surf appeals to me. The NoHo sells for $159 for boards up to 11 feet and $99 for boards up to 7 feet.

Check out both Web sites if you’re considering a balance trainer and let me know what you think.

Posted by: Lawrence

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