balance / bongo / indo boards

I picked one of these up at a yardsale today for a few bucks.  Been having a lot of fun with it, and feels like a good leg and balance workout.  Probably kinda hard on the carpet padding, 'tho.  Feels a little sketchier on the vinyl, like I could easily end up somewhere I wasn't planning on being!  I found this pic on the internet - this is pretty much the one I got, minus the blocks at the ends.

So, then I got interested more, and started googling images on the internet.  And there is quite a spectrum of variations out there.  Some have a much smaller diameter wheel, and some of the wheels look "soft".  Which made me wonder, what are other people using, what works best for training / workouts for you, are you making your own or did you buy one?  Just curious - and thinking about making one, since the yardsale model I got has a bit of wear on the wheels, and it feels rough when it rolls through the worn spots.

Hey Huck, I've been using a Bongo board since the late '60s early '70s. When they came out my neighbor had one and used his a lot. After he moved, I made one myself. I slightly domed the deck because that's what is comfortable for me and my surfboards also get a domed deck. Glued up some scrap maple with gorrilla glue and had a shop turn the roller for me. It is solid with no groove. My plank has no guide rail or end stops and this allows for more and different movements since it can be skewed. You can land on your a$$ easily, but once you get the hang of it, you can stay on it indefinitely. Plus, it's fun.

ps. My wheel is 6" diameter. This gets you off the ground a little higher for more range of movement.

I built my own.

Here’s a link to the thread with pictures:


Besides the roller, I used an inflatable cushion. It’s a different feeling, and nicely complements the roller.

Hey Huck,

They are really easy to make.

I picked up some thick remainder ply at the local home builder store, and have made a couple in different sizes:  jigsaw cut an elongated oval, glue some trim pieces on the ends to keep it from rolling all the way off the end (similar to the picture you have) and got a couple of different diameters (4" and 6") of irrigation pipe from the local irrigation/farm store (pvc 120 guage, with left over bubble wrap on the inside for a little more structural support). I used self-stick cork shelf liner on the bottom for a better traction on the roller, but I imagine skateboard grip tape would work as well, roll a little quicker, too. In a pinch, any skateboard deck would probably work.  I don’t think that a center track is really necessary.

You can paint something on the top, seal with acrylic and apply clear skate deck griptape on the top if you want.

Sorry, I’ve never managed to upload a picture, or I’d provide one.

They’re fun!

I dont have one but i just picked up a skateboard cheap. Thinking of getting the smoothstar trucks for practising.

howdy huck,

this philippine prototype circa early 1900s can help you get an excellent balance workout AND save you $$$ off your monthly utility bill while doing the ironing! hehe


counting down until the "I broke my wrist on my bongo board’ thread…

I use a PVC tube and the deck of an old skateboard. Works great. It’s also fun to use different shaped/sized pieces of wood for the plank. When it gets too easy use a 1 ft piece of 2x4.

I picked one up for $15 at a garage sale.



counting down until the "I broke my wrist on my bongo board' thread...


I'm not saying it isn't possible, but seems much more likely on a skateboard than a balance board.  I gave up skateboarding years ago.  Good friend of mine just broke his collarbone skateboarding.  This seems relatively safe, but still a good balance practiser, and a bit of exercise too.  I had seen and heard of them, but never tried one before.  Now I'm hooked!

These are Slaters feet on one of his balance thingoes.. which looks more like a sandbag at the back and a flat plate with a rod at the front.



 My version is a 9 ply 'board' with a contoured piece of EPS


The contours make it similar feel to surfing with roll and vee as well as rocker so the whole board moves in 3 dimensions like a surfboard. Its unstable but its hard to fall off.


Ive seen these other ones


and they look good for posing but theres no dynamic balance other than front /back.

this one looks fun!

maybe the Indo Board is more prone to this stuff because of the larger roller, but I’ve seen some horrendous falls off those things.

I tried it one time and fell flat on my ass. There's no way I'll ever get on one of those again.

I made a quasi indo board a few years ago for my lady. 3/4" plywood, with stops (but no guides).We usually put down a piece of scrap carpet to protect the wood floor (and ourselves–the carpet slows down the roller some, and minimizes launching the board across the room). I used grip tape on the bottom, and irrigation pipe for the roller.

indo board