I know you guys are bummed just as much as I am about not surfing. Thinking about how rusty I'll be when I jump back in the water is getting to me and I am trying to figure out things that will keep me as close to shape as possible. My friend David turned me on to balance boards. As much as I would love to buy a $200-250 super slick looking one I don't see that in the cards for me and many other people. So after getting some dimensions from him I came up with my own version to make at home. It cost me about $40 in supplies from Home Depot and no more than 2 hours of time to make. So to share the wealth I put this little post together so you guys can do it at home if you wanted to. Follow the steps bellow and hopefully this keeps our feet and cross stepping as strong as ever.
BALANCE BOARD TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD
Make sure to print the template out at 100% and tile the image on a standard printer. Shouldn’t take more than 5 sheets of standard 8'%" x 11" paper. When it’s taped together it should be 36” long. Also note that is a half template so you will need to flip it over to trace both sides giving you a symmetrical board outline.
1 Piece of plywood at least 36” x 30”
2 Pieces of 3/4” x 36” dimensional lumber or bead molding
1 24” X 4” PVC pipe or foam roller
8 1” Drywall or wood screws
Wood glue (elmers will work as well if in a pinch)
Jigsaw or hand saw drill with drill bits
80 or 100 grit sandpaper
180 or 220 frit sandpaper
1. After printing out and assembling the template trace out one side onto your plywood. Then flip it over horizontally and trace the other side of the outline. I found drawing a center line helped not only for this step but for future steps below.
2. Cut the outline out using a jog saw or hand saw. Also cut off about 4 inches of both of the 36" x 3/4" pieces of lumber. At this point I sanded all the pieces with 100 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper to knock off the edges and give it a decent finish.
3. Drill 4 holes in each of the 3/4" pieces of dimensional lumber and add a counter sinks to them. Draw a line on each side of the bottom of the board that is 5" away from the center line. This will be what you align each "guide rail" to. Put some wood glue on one side of each "guide rail" and put down along those lines you just drew. Now screw in the 1" screws into the "guide rails" to connect them to the bottom.
4. After it's assembled treat it with finishing oil and let it dry out. This gives it a nice finish and makes it feel better under your feet. I realized you needed a stringer line for this to be an effective balance board. You can either draw it in with a marker or get a little fancier and mask it off and paint it on. I chose to do the later.
5. Peel off the tape and you have a nicely finished balance board. Looks almost as good as one you'd buy online but you didn't have to spend that paper on it. If you have a foam roller you are all done and can get right on it. If not look at the next step.
6. If you used the PVC pipe like me I recommend you wrap it in duct tape. Reason being is that the PVC pipe is way too slippery and shifts all over the carpet or rug. You want the roller to have a little grit against the balance board and the carpet if not it's like trying to ice skate on a unicycle.
Well I hope you cats found that helpful and maybe this will give you a little sanity. But I also think this is a great trainer you can use well after we all get back in the water to perfect your skills. I'd love to see if anyone made theirs, if so please tag me and I will repost them.