The Easiest Balance Board You’ll Ever Make

When I had surgery on my ankle a couple of years ago, after tearing some ligaments during surfing, I used this as part of my physical therapy- with my doctor’s permission, of course. I’ve found this to be very helpful for balance training and therapy, which is always helpful for surfers. There are several types of balance boards out there, but I’m just wanting to train my muscles, not do fancy tricks- and this one’s as simple as it gets.
First, a sheet of 1″ thick plywood was used, and a circle was traced out (I remember using a 5 gallon paint bucket for that). You can make this as large as you need, but as long as it accommodates your feet being shoulder width apart, at least, at the diameter.

About 15″ in diameter

This circle was cut using a Dremel scroll saw. The edges of the circle were sanded to remove splinters and general rough areas, but since it’s going to be painted, and it’s plywood, you don’t need a satin smooth finish.
Next, I used a wooden craft knob I picked up at a craft store in the wood crafts section. The neat thing about this knob is that it’s pre-turned and sanded, and has a screw hole already drilled on the flat side. I used a 2″ knob, but they sell larger or smaller wooden knobs you could get to change up the difficulty of balancing, but I’ve been happy just using the 2″ knob.

2″ wooden knob from craft store

The plywood circle, or top, was drilled in the center to make a hole to attach the knob underneath. The knob was simply attached with a simple screw using a hand drill.

Top view of center screw being tightened down

Knob attached to center underneath

The top was painted with excess paint leftover from a boat project, and some grit was generously dispersed all over the top surface to serve as a grip, then sprayed over with some sealant. Some type of grip is essential- if you don’t want to use sand or grit, you can use grip tape all over the top that is sold at hardware or craft stores. I use mine barefoot, so good grip cannot be stressed enough for this board!
If you want to paint the bottom of the board, you can, but this one’s not painted on the bottom, since it’s really not necessary. I really don’t recommend painting the knob- the paint would rub off and be everywhere as you used it. I use mine typically on a scrap piece of wood to keep from making a bad indent in the carpet, and the wood on wood makes for a good challenge. Please be careful using this, and make sure your area is clear, but you should use a chair or another person to steady yourself as you get used to the board.

Completed board side view

Not only is this balance board handy for balancing, but you can use it for squats, lunges, and push-ups (THAT’S hard!) with a little extra challenge.
No twirling, Irish dancing, or Frisbee golf with this, please.

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