A fitness tool for the whole family?
The Wahu Balance Board promises a lot: You can develop your sense of balance, have fun together and train your balance at the same time. We wanted to know if the practice keeps what the theory promises: That's why I put the Wahu Balance Board through an extensive test together with my three children. These are our results.
What is a balance board?
It is a piece of sports equipment that promotes a sense of balance and agility. They strengthen the deep muscles, provide better uprightness and improve your reflexes and coordination. They come in a variety of shapes, some are round, others have a wooden board shape, like the Wahu Board I tested. Basically, anyone of any age can train with it and have fun, you just need to feel fit and be able to stand safely.
Who is the Wahu Balance Board suitable for?
According to the manufacturer, all people with a good sense of balance can use this board. I would like to add: You should also dare to put your feet on this initially quite wobbly affair. Do not underestimate this. Because yes, of course, everyone from toddlers to adults can keep fit here in theory, but those who are very afraid of falling should definitely give themselves plenty of time to get to know the board well.
It took me some effort to lift both feet off the ground and stand on a piece of wood with a cork roller moving back and forth underneath. My husband was nearby and it must have taken an hour before I dared to let go of his hands.
My children are much braver in that respect, after only a few minutes they didn't want any support. I like childlike impulsiveness very much, but I also have to admit: Because of their fearlessness, they all overestimated themselves and fell off the board more often. I think it is not as easy for everyone to master the Wahu Balance Board as it seems at first glance.
Very noticeable: The big Wahu Board sticker on the huge package.
Is the Wahu Balance Board suitable for children?
In the test, we had the model with the cork roller, but I personally do not consider it suitable for absolute beginners and children. Wahu Board now also offers a beginner's board with a hemisphere. I imagine that it is actually easier because the hemisphere itself is fixed and does not move. I guess it's much easier to practice with it and your kids can still do lots of tricks and exercises with it.
In general, I wouldn't let the kids balance on the wobble board too young. Of course, in theory, even three-year-olds can have fun with it, but I noticed in the Wahu Board test that the older the children, the easier it is for them. After all, it needs a certain weight to be able to stand stably. This assumption is also supported by the manufacturer himself, he points out that for stability reasons children under five years may be a little heavier.
For the very young there is a Kids Board. We didn't test this either, but according to the manufacturer, it's primarily intended to awaken the desire to move. Your children can swing, sit or lie on it and, above all, do their first balance exercises.
If you order the roller, you get two packages. The Wahu Balance Board comes with a beginner guide and a cork roller.
What do I have to keep in mind when using the Wahu Balance Board?
Not overestimating your own strength is a good starting point. The manufacturer says that after two to three days of intensive practice, most people will feel confident. Everyone has a different idea of intensive practice days, but I have to admit that even after a month of standing on the board from time to time, I didn't really feel safe. Of course, it makes sense to spend several hours at a time with the balance board, but my family routine doesn't allow for that. On weekends it is more possible, we all used the board much more often, but I can't say that I really mastered it after one weekend.
Attention with small children
What I find very important: Explain to your children that they are not allowed to romp next to their siblings or parents when someone is balancing on the Wahu Board. Unfortunately, it happened to us more than once that the board slipped backwards and hit a sibling on the leg. And that really hurts, because the board is made of 100% real wood and is accordingly massive. In my opinion, you should only really leave your children alone with the balance board when they have been standing on it very securely for some time and are starting to do some exercises.
Order a mat
I would also personally advise you to order the mat that Wahu Board offers. You protect your parquet or laminate floor with it. I did not find the cork roller a problem, it rolled without problems on any floor. But if you just slide off the board or it rolls over the roller, the wooden board can scrape the floor and leave scratches. I also felt that the roller had a little more resistance on the sisal mat and I was able to stand on the board a little better because of it.
My test kit at a glance: I got the mat, the advanced Wahu board set (at the time of testing there was only one model for everyone), a cork roller, and the beginner guide.
What are the benefits of training with the Wahu Balance Board?
First and foremost, fun. I didn't approach the test with the idea that the Wahu Board would bring me anything except the joy of movement and a sporting opportunity when the weather outside really sucks again.
In fact, I feel like I stand up straighter when I exercise with the board. My back muscles, which are not really challenged when I'm sitting a lot, have to work hard here. And my posture improves, at least temporarily.
Good for body and mind
In general, I think that a balancing board is really good for challenging and promoting the body in a new way. Because my ankles, my core muscles, my thighs and my arms are active all the time and I have to tense up, let go, balance. It's a real full-body workout in the deeper layers, and I don't break a sweat.
What I also really like is that exercising with the board clears my head. Because I'm so challenged on the physical level, my head is completely empty, there's simply no more room for all the everyday trivia that I otherwise think about far too often. So for me, training is always a mental time-out and real me-time. But that only works if I train when the kids are asleep. Otherwise they see me standing on the board and want to get right back on it.
Important tip: Don't get too far forward on the board and make sure you have a chair, a wall or another person nearby to hold on to in the beginning.
Which balance board is suitable for beginners?
If you are an absolute beginner, try the half-moon version of the Wahu Board. When I started the test, this version was not available, so we immediately trained with the cork roller. However, I wouldn't do that again, because we are still rather insecure on the device.
A beginner's guide is included, I think it's especially important that you learn to climb properly from the beginning. Otherwise, take a look at the videos listed here, you will also get a good impression of the first basic steps on the board. And then it is called: Practice, practice, practice and preferably have a chair, a wall or someone nearby who can hold you.
By the way, don't worry if you're not super athletic, you can move on the Wahu boards even if you're a little stronger. The manufacturer recommends using it up to 120 kg body weight.
Wahu Balance Board exercises
My own skills are still not really enough to recommend you great exercises on the Wahu Balance Board. However, I do know that if you can keep your balance really well, there's really no limit to what exercises you can do. I've rounded up a few balance exercise videos for you guys for inspiration. All of them work with the Wahu Board.
Which variants of the Wahu Balance Board are available?
You can buy the following versions from Wahu Board:
- wahu Balance Board Beginner
- wahu Balance Board Advanced
- wahu Balance Board Kids
- wahu Balance Board DIY
Buy accessories for the Wahu Balance Board
Wahu Balance Board experiences and conclusion
I still find the idea of the balance board interesting and am still trying to get to the point where I can safely stand on it. I like that when I'm standing on it, I'm really focusing on myself, getting my head clear, and exercising muscles that atrophy from sitting so much. I'm a little disappointed that I haven't really achieved quick results, even though the manufacturer promises that you'll be able to master the sports equipment after two or three days of intensive exercise. But because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for me and I simply want to be able to rock my head freely in everyday family life, I just keep practicing with the chair nearby.
For kids, I don't think the model we had is well suited. One of my kids hurt himself so badly with it that he has completely ignored the board since the accident. It leaves the room when the siblings want to train with it under my guidance. However, the two of them are now a bit more reserved and make sure that no sibling is around. I think the beginner model would actually be much more suitable for them and I would definitely advise you as beginners to use it. Once you're really fit on this one, you can always get the advanced upgrade.
Balance Board in outdoor use
What I find great is that the Wahu Balance Board can be taken anywhere. It's not just an indoor piece of sports equipment, you can theoretically take it anywhere in the world. We have already used it on the playground. However, I must point out that the small grains of sand and stones can press into the basket and this could affect the gliding ability in the long term. Therefore, we cleaned the cork roller very well before putting the wooden board back on.
If you have older kids, are just trying out a new sport, or are looking for a fun full-body workout, feel free to check out the Wahu Balance Board. Be patient with yourself and always have a holding option nearby until you are really confident standing, that would be my tip. And take it slow, no master has fallen from the sky yet.