Fun physical activity
Can be used in myriad ways
Simple and easily accessible
Portable and easy to store
Bottom scratches up (on pavement)
We purchased the Spooner Freestyle Balance Board so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
My boys (particularly my younger ones: ages 7, 10, and 12) like pretty much any physical activity from soccer, basketball, and swimming to running around with friends or walking the dog. They gravitate toward anything with wheels from bikes and trikes to skateboards and scooters and enjoy anything with balance and jumping like trampoline, gymnastics, and parkour. They have the energy to burn and are always seeking ways to get out the wiggles. I was intrigued by the Spooner Freestyle Balance Board, which can be used indoors or outside. I wasn’t sure if my kids’ would be super interested in it since it doesn’t have wheels. Read on to see if the Spooner board will earn a spot in their lineup of favorite on-the-move activities.
Entertainment Value: Spoontastic
This toy didn't dazzle me when I took it out of the box. It was an oval disc of plastic. On the other hand, my kids all clambered to get their hands on it, and it seemed entirely clear to them how to use it. Needless to say, each one wanted to be the first to give it a try.
While I couldn’t imagine what a person might do with it, my boys had no difficulty coming up with endless ways to play on this freestyle board beyond stand on it and balance. I love the creativity that comes from using such a simple device, which is essentially a slightly curved, spoon-shaped, approximately 2-foot by 1-foot foot thin slab of solid plastic. It reminded me of the surprisingly inventive and gleeful play kids have with a plain cardboard box. The Spooner balance board takes the simplicity principle into the realm of athletic play.
My boys used it to spin, balance, jump, flip, and twist. They practiced skateboarding and scootering “moves” like ollies and kickflips. They competed to see who could stand and spin on it the longest or the fastest. They challenged each other to complete the same series of skills and tricks. They had a blast with it on our trampoline (not recommended since the board can become a flying projectile). Despite being warned, my kids learned this the hard way. Minor boo-boos aside; my kids keep coming back for more spinning, balance board fun.
Education Value: To the core
In addition to its sheer recreation value, the Spooner Freestyle Balance Board is a great tool for honing balance and practicing skills relevant to learning skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing.
Regular use can provide a solid core workout and improve gross motor skills and coordination as well. It gives kids a great rainy day option for getting out the wiggles when cooped up in the house. However, not all surfaces are conducive to spinning. My boys found the greatest mobility on flat, tightly woven carpets or smooth concrete. Use with caution on hardwood floors since the balance board can scratch the flooring.
Design: It's a big spoon
This USA-made product has a deceptively, simple, patented design. It’s constructed out of virtually indestructible, high-density polyethylene, which results in a hard, smooth, lightweight, spoon-shaped hard plastic device.
Its unique, molded shape was specifically designed to simulate the experience and feeling of surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. “Riders” can do a surprising number of things with it. With four strips of grip tape across its top surface, feet can stay grounded to the board, allowing kids to do tricks like getting up in the air and flipping the board up and over itself. Its centered, spoon shape also makes optimal balancing, twisting, wobbling, spinning, and balancing. The board can be used with or without shoes, while the grip tape provides non-slip protection for bare feet and shoe-clad users.
The boards come in appealing, vibrant colors, including red, blue, orange, purple, green, yellow, aqua, and black. Boards can also be customized with “limited edition” grip tapes, such as the “Sunset Palms” and “Turtle Wave” designs for around $12. The Spooner logo, which is the name “Spooner” with an eye in each “o” and a sly smile underneath, perfectly captures the sparkly, snarky, silly, “try this, try that” fun this toy inspires.
Age Range: 3 and up
The manufacturer recommends this toy for ages 3 and up. My boys, aged 7, 10, and 12, all loved using it the second they saw it. My kids' friends (age 4 to teens) also enjoyed this toy and could use it effectively—even the adult-sized ones.
The board can be used in innumerable ways and also comes backed by a lifetime guarantee.
This model is specifically designed with a slightly shorter and lighter build than Spooner’s Pro model (which is 3 inches longer, about a pound heavier, and retails for around $55), making it a bit more manageable for smaller bodies (it’s geared to accommodate age 3 to 8 on up). However, older and bigger kids can still ride it with ease, and it’s the preferred size for spin board newbies of any age.
Additionally, I’m sure just about any kid who could sit or stand could also have fun with this toy. The manufacturer also deems it safe for toddlers (18 months and up) with supervision. I know my kids would have loved it as 2-year-olds. In fact, on the included “Trick Tip Instruction Chart,” there is a photo of a cheeky 18 month-old balancing on a Spooner board. I recommend using caution when using with toddlers to fall on the hard plastic, resulting in injury, particularly if it slips out from under them or lands on top of them.
Ease of Cleaning: A snap
Outdoor-indoor toys are bound to get a little dirty and banged up, particularly one with the primary purpose to be stepped and jumped on, flipped over, and swirled around on hard surfaces. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well this toy has held up and kept its bright color. Over a solid month of use, our red board's bottom is now a bit scratched up from use on pavement, but otherwise, the rest of the board still looks new. It has permanent lines and discoloration across the bottom; however, the bottom retains a relatively smooth surface and performs well.
To clean off any accumulated mud or grime, I use a sturdy dry cloth first, then, if needed, a damp one. Even though the plastic surface is slightly textured, debris wipes off easily. Dirt sticks a bit more to the grip strips, but they also wipe clean.
This spin board is wonderfully compact, light, and portable. At about two pounds and just under two-feet long, it’s super easy to store either flat on a shelf, vertically propped against a garage wall, or tucked into a toy bin. Our board is nestled between skateboards and BMX bikes on our side porch, making it easily accessible for play.
Price: Worth a spin
The Spooner Freestyle Balance Board retails for around $40. The deceptively simple design is well worth the price. This well-conceived product spins and moves with ease under kids’ feet and is constructed of high quality, durable plastic in fun, bright colors. The board can be used in innumerable ways and also comes backed by a lifetime guarantee. Comparable products tend to cost between $60 and $100, so at $40, the Spooner toy is nicely priced for a high-quality spin board.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well this toy has held up and kept its bright color.
Spooner Freestyle Balance Board Review vs. Kinderfeets Wooden Balance Board
These two balance boards share the same simple, curved board design and intended use. Both are exceptionally well-made, built-to-last toys offering hours of spinning, balancing, wobbling, sliding entertainment.
They differ in that the Kinderfeets Wooden Balance Board has a steeper curve to its shape and is made with beech plywood (and can be purchased in the natural wood color or a range of other colors and designs). In contrast, the Spooner board is made from thick plastic and comes in multiple bright colors, including red, orange, and blue.
I like that the Kinderfeets toy is made with natural, ecologically-friendly materials rather than the Spooner product's plastic. I also like the smooth wood design and feel, whereas the Spooner product has scratchy grip strips on its top side, which helps kids stay put on the board but can scratch them.
The plus of the plastic construction is that the Spooner board is much lighter at roughly a third of the wooden board’s weight (2 pounds compared to 9). Additionally, the Kinderfoot is more than double in price ($99). The Spooner board's disparities in price and weight and the slighter curved shape give the plastic board the edge.
Yes, buy it!
The Spooner Freestyle Balance Board was a hit when my kids laid eyes on it, with each one of them, from 7 on up, vying for a turn. This toy has a magically simple concept that delivers so much fun. I’m blown away by how many different creative things they come up with to do with it and love using it inside and out.
- Product Name Freestyle Balance Board
- Product Brand Spooner
- SKU SPI001
- Price $47.95
- Weight 2.2 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.25 x 22.5 x 0.5 in.
- Color Blue, green, orange, purple, red, yellow, aqua, and black
- Recommended Age 3 to 15
- Weight Limit 500 lbs.
- Warranty Lifetime guarantee