The snowboarding off season is a long, hard slog of waiting for the temps to drop and the snow to fall. Skating, SUP and surfing are no-brainers when it comes to filling that time to keep your body and balance skills in shape and dialed in. But sometimes you may just want to strap into your board and press, hop, and bop around to keep the feeling alive. This is where a snowboard balance bars come in and give you a way to jib about in your garage or wherever. I picked one up this summer after seeing more and more videos on YouTube of people using them, and I can definitely say that it’s a lot of fun and a really good work out.
Snowboard balance bars are easy to make or you can buy one from Snowboard Addiction like I ended up doing. The first one I made by taking apart an old rowing machine and used the slider bar and upright stands set it up like a rail. I used my regular snowboard set up to jib it. It worked great but it was all of 50 pounds and a good 5 feet long- a real pain in the ass to lug around. I made the second bar by cutting up some old 2 x 4’s and screwing them together to make basically the same thing but shorter and a lot lighter. I used my skateboard deck with bike inner tubes to strap it to my feet. This was a lot more convenient to set up but the bike tubes were uncomfortable and kept coming off my feet. Also, the skate deck’s concave wasn’t anything like jibbing on a snowboard.
That’s when I went on Snowboard Addiction and ordered the three piece set up- balance bar, board, and bindings that are made for shoes. This was by far the best set up and I can strap in and start hitting the bar in no more than 10 seconds. There are three pieces in all that you can buy separately or as a kit.
– The balance bar is flat and 8” wide at the bottom so it feels a little like a park box or wide flat bar. It comes with an attachment goes into the top that raises the height and narrows the width to emulate the size and feel of a rail. The bar also has a grippy texture to the bottom so it won’t slide out on you when you ollie on.
-The snowboard training board is only 99 cm long and super light so you can jib a lot longer before getting tired. It has 2 x 4 insert pattern and you can get up to a 24” stance. The bottom has high density foam so you can session on any surface and not slip out. The board also has a wood core and flexes like a snowboard. This is great for popping out of boardslides and holding presses.
-The training board bindings are really cool. They are made to wear with your shoes so that you don’t have sweat like crazy in your big, stuffy snowboard boots. They have extra padding in the straps and around the heel loop for really good comfort. And there are no highbacks so you can tweak out your moves as far as you want.
I watched a few of the Snowboard Addiction videos that they posted on their YouTube channel while the board was being shipped. They showed a good range of tricks that you can do including 180s on and off, bluntslides, backlips, 270 outs, as well as the basic regular and switch 50/50, front and back boards, nose and tail presses- plus a ton more. The work out your legs get is pretty intense. My heart rate gets blasting away in no time at all especially when combining tricks in rapid succession. Getting the counter rotation dialed in for switch outs and board slides while landing smack between the binders is great practice and takes quite a bit of balance to get it right. You can really feel the same motions that you would when hitting the park.
The whole kit is pretty light and compact. Have some spare time? Bored? Can’t get to sleep? Strap in and bust out some moves. You can throw it in your car and break it out whenever you have a few minutes. It keeps your jib moves dialed in and your snowboard legs solid and ready for the hill come opening day. I definitely recommend checking it out.