Monday, January 30, 2017

Pono Board Review

I am fortunate enough to get messages from companies every once in a while asking me to review their stuff.  I am a pragmatist and realize that:
1. they are contacting oodles of people;
2. they are contacting me because of some SEO that shows I get enough hits that sending me a product is well within their market budget to do so given the eyeballs reading my review make up for the cost of the product.

That said, I politely decline most requests, occasionally say yes, and even less frequently get blown away. Once instance where I became enamored with a product is Shurky Jurky.  A beef (and other meat) jerky product, I saw this at a local market in Portland, tried it, loved it and became a part-owner in the company (long story short.) It is some ridiculously good jerky. Read more and get a free bag here. But I digress.

The people at Pono Ola reached out to me and I was initially intrigued. As I utilize a stand up desk and have for years, I am always looking for a way to take pressure off my feet and remove fatigue. I am a writer but I am also a runner. I need fresh tootsies. So anything that is going to help my feet I am big fan of trying.

I had been utilizing an awesome product called FluidStance and wasn't really looking for anything else, to be honest. But as I said, I was intrigued. Getting the board in the mail, I knew immediately this was something different altogether.

The company really stresses a yoga/exercise/fitness vibe. I wanted to see how it worked for the person who doesn't want to do a downward facing dog backbend while working on their already perfect abs. So I put it to the test of replacing my FluidStance.  Now note, I love my Fluidstance. I love rocking back and forth on it while I write and type. It is fun. But immediately, the Pono Board showed me something else.

First of all, the board is a rectangular piece of flat wood in a lightwood color. Made out of pure bamboo, the board is meant to be sturdy, but it is also very lightweight (5.9 lbs). I was curious how it would hold up to daily wear and tear and my body weight (180 lbs).  Granted I have not had it long enough to know how that will play out but it seems incredibly well-made. On the four corners of the board are four grey balls which allows you to balance while using the board. (There is presently another option for the balls to be colored teal.) The balance feature is supposedly what makes the board the effective and useful device that it is.

I found myself, like the Fluidstance, bouncing back and forth a bit while I wrote.  I would be doing minor balance corrections which is supposed to help you work on your core. Obviously this alone isn't going to allow me to do laundry on my abs but it isn't going to hurt.  Most importantly, it was really comfortable. Surprisingly so. With regard to using it for this form, I was sold. So I wanted to try other things.

Every day when I come in from a run, I throw down 100 pushups in sets of three. I figured I could see what it would be like to do them on the board. Doing so added just a little bit of wobbliness to my pushups that made me need to try and stabilize without make them impossible. Believe me, from a guy who has always had upper body problem (two broken collarbones on both sides, dislocated shoulders, separated shoulders and so much more) if I am able to balance doing a pushup on this board, so can you.

Admittingly I do not do a whole range of other floor exercises that the board touts people using the board for but I could see immediately how one could do just that.  To say I am impressed would be an understatement.

The board retails for $140 which is a very solid price point. It has a weight limit of 250 lbs so if you exceed that, I guess maybe drop a few pounds before buying one. Or buy one and use that to help motivate you. The balls themselves can be adjusted using an included pump from between 5 and 15 lbs. With dimensions of 14.5 x 29.5 x 3.5 in, it is relatively totable while still being significant enough that you won't feel like you will step off the edges while moving around.

All in all, it is rare I am taken aback by how good a product it. The Pono Board is one of those times. Get yourself one.

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