I grew up surfing, and I was raised in a surf shop. My teenage years all the way up to age 30 I lived at Infinity Surfshop, in Dana Point, CA. We saw every imaginable fad, trend and invention come through the shop, with the sales reps or the inventor of the product selling it to us as the next great thing. From surfboard, skateboard and snowboard accessories, to the off the wall bike boards and electric skateboards, we saw it all. We often were given shop demos to try-before-you-buy. Some good, some not so much.
One of the categories in which there was no shortage of products was balance boards. Makes sense, right? Surfing, skating, snowboarding, all require balance. We would stand behind the counters while folding clothes, or ringing customer up, all while balancing on the different offerings of balance boards that we sold in the shop. Different products offered different benefits, some made better than others. One thing for sure, balance boards are not a fad, they are a legit training tool for amateurs and professionals, while also serving the physical therapy market. While VewDo Balance Boards never made their pitch to Infinity during my time there, I wish they would have.
Vew-Do Balance Boards was founded in 1991 in Manchester, Vermont. Fast forward to 2015, VewDo is still located in Manchester, Vermont and their wood balance boards are still made in the USA from hard Wisconsin Maple. Beautiful boards, with a wide range of offerings for different experience levels.
Today we are reviewing the VewDo Longboard. A versatile balance board for all experience levels. Fun to do while watching TV, or to push your limits with the different tricks and maneuvers that are possible on a balance board. A relatively flat rocker and traditional longboard skate outline.
The board itself is beautifully crafted with several plies of wood alternating from natural to blue and red stained. There are fewer plies of wood on the Longboard than most other boards I’ve used. It’s more comparable to an actual skateboard than a traditional balance board that usually average around an inch thick. That thinness is nice for board feel and flexibility. It’s still thick enough and stiff enough to feel solid and well-made.
Some stiffness is provided by the “rail-system” that VewDo uses on the bottom of their boards. Another unique feature that is not offered on most other mainstream balance boards. The rail system runs most the length of the board, with stoppers on both ends so the board does not roll infinitely off the wooden roller.
The wood roller that comes with the Longboard is a work of art in its own right. Beautifully finished and extremely functional. It provides a nice smooth consistent roll that can be rolled side to side, spun around from 180 to 360 degrees easily and also smooth enough to slide on concrete or wood floors. That should also be a warning, if you want a more stable experience, start on carpet. You can also upgrade to the Flow Rock roller that provides a larger diameter as well as beveled edges to increase the movement of the board on the floor.
That brings up another difference between VewDo and other balance boards; grip is provided from griptape applied to the bottom of the board so there is slight friction between the board and the roller. Other balance board apply the griptape on the roller, which also interacts and interferes with the roller to ground contact. No griptape is included on the top of the board, for your feet. This makes socks a bad option. Go barefoot or with shoes, or like any skateboard deck you can buy griptape and apply it on your own. I prefer it without. Many balance boards have a rough surface or griptape on the deck of the board making going barefoot less than ideal.
The VewDo Longboard retails for $189.95. That’s the same price, or less, than most other balance boards on the market, some of those which are made over seas.
If you’re in the market for a balance board to work on core strength, to train for another sport or to help with recovering from an injury, I recommend taking a look at the wide variety of boards that VewDo has to offer.