Surf Without the Beach: How to Make a Balance Board

Looking to get your body in shape to surf this summer? On the days when you can’t get to the waves, you can train and condition with a balance board! If you don’t have the cash to shell out for an Indo board or a Goofboard, which can run up to more than $100, you can build your own for under $20.

What you’ll need:
1 sheet of firm, thick plywood
1 sturdy PVC pipe
Masking tape/rubbery tape/duct tape (optional)
A saw (optional)
8-12 screws (optional)
A hammer (optional)
A screwdriver (optional)

How to Make Your Own:
1) First, you want to pick the right size board. Pick a board that fits your height and shoe size. I’m 5’6” with a size 8 shoe and I picked out a 2x2 sheet of wood that works really well for me. I would say 2x2 is a safe pick for most people.

Make sure the sheet is thick enough for you to step on it and balance all your weight on. Bend it at the store before you buy it to see if it can take pressure.

I got my board for around $6.

2) Pick out the right PVC pipe. Common sizes are 3” or 4” in diameter, but Goofboards come with tubes that are a bit smaller in diameter. The size is up to you – the bigger the diameter, the bigger the dip when you ride it. You want the PVC pipe to be sturdy enough to support all of your body weight as well.

I picked up a 3” diameter PVC pipe for around $8.

3) Take your tape and wrap your PVC pipe with it if you want a really smooth ride. I don’t really mind my PVC pipe without the tape so you can skip this step if you don’t need it.

4) Cut 2 to 4 inches off both ends of the plywood with a saw. You should have two long, skinny rectangular pieces (about 24” x 2-4” each) and one large rectangular piece by the end of this step.

You can actually skip this step if you want. The idea is to create stoppers to fasten to the bottom of your board for safety, but if you’re confident in your balancing abilities then by all means, skip the stoppers.

5) Fasten the two long, skinny pieces of wood to the bottom of your board with screws, a hammer and a screwdriver. I’d fasten two on the edges and one in the middle on each side.

6) Put your board on the pipe and ride! Strap on a helmet, arm pads and knee pads in case you fall. Remember, safety first. You should be riding along the pipe, not tittering from side to side on it. I like this style because it feels like the pipe gives more support without compromising the difficulty.

7) Hit the gym and do cardio and strength training. Once you do get out in the water, you’ll need arm strength to paddle out and leg strength to kick and swim out in the water and pop up. Strengthen your core to gain control of your body on the board and practice swimming.

Surfing consists of a bucket load of swimming and paddling and only a spoonful of riding the waves. Get yourself ready to swim and you’ll be set to catch the perfect wave!

By: Diana Kraikittikun | Image: Source

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