Pono Ola ‘Pono Board’ Review
- Forensic Review
Like most reviews sites, our editorial staff and laboratory testing expenses are partially offset by earning small commissions (at no cost to you) when you purchase something through those links. Learn More
Pono Board is a great balance board for beginners. You don’t have to worry about extreme rocking or wobbling at all. And if you plan on using your board with socks or dress shoes, a grip sand version will keep your feet safely planted on the platform. You can change the level of bounce by deflating the PVC ball legs on the board, but don’t expect any challenge if you’re proficient with your balance.
Yoga, Exercise, Gym
|MSRP / List Price||$299|
Basic board: $299 (last known price as their website has no price now)
30 Day Returns
29.5″ x 14.5″ x 4″
|Competition||Top-Rated Balance Boards|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Amazon
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||Easy to use. Exercise-friendly. Provides plenty of real estate to tall users.|
|Negatives||May pose no challenge at all for those who have great balance and would like something more mobile.|
[Editors’ Note – This product is no longer available from the manufacturer. We will keep this review up for future reference and comparison.]
Pono Ola (Hawaiian for ‘a balanced life’) was founded in 2014 by Danielle and Jeff Olson. It began when the wife and husband pair felt that the pressure of running two separate businesses was taking up too much of their family time. In their desire to find a better work-life balance, the professional photographer and marketing director collaborated to create a balance board that would help them alleviate that pressure both physically and mentally. Inspired by the idea of ‘playing on the sand at the beach’, the Pono Board looks right at home in the outdoor tropics, or a sunny yoga studio in LA. What does it have to do with a standing desk? You can use it as a standing desk balance board if you’re looking for a bouncy movement rather than the teeter-totter motion found in most balance boards.
Designed to emulate the beach, the Pono Board features a generously sized 0.5-inch bamboo deck and four ball-shaped inflatable PVC legs located at each corner of the board. Thanks to this unique design, the board offers an unusual approach to balancing. Wanting to step away from the “distracting, disorienting and potentially dangerous ‘see-saw’ movements” of other balance boards, the designers built a board in a way that allows you to only move laterally while staying parallel to the ground, which is one of the best options for those with balance issues and vertigo (only bested by the iMovR Gymba and Movemate in that regard).
A Balance Board for Standing Desk and Yoga
Thanks to its inflatable legs, the board offers some degree of adjustability, as you can regulate the level of bounce by inflating or deflating the balls using an enclosed hand pump. The pressure in the balls must not exceed 15 lbs psi, but since there is no indicator to show the pressure levels, we recommend that you inflate them until they’re slightly firm.
Light finished wood and aqua PVC make it a very beautiful balance board that can fit with a modern interior style at home or office. You can get it at half the price of The Level, but there’s a trade-off in the type and amount of movement. While the former bounces in place and side-to-side, the latter allows for omnidirectional wobbling that requires a bit more physical effort but also creates more mobility. Just like with any board, though, when you stand still, it doesn’t move on its own. Plus the hardwood deck isn’t conducive to comfort compared to an anti-fatigue mat.
We tested a grip-sand surface balance board in Natural Bamboo Color in our labs, and we loved the anti-slip surface treatment. The deck is definitely large enough to practice yoga, CrossFit, or any exercise really. This is where the board’s overly secure design proves incredibly useful, as it does not undermine your safety during exercise but rather adds a light challenge to it.
Users report high quality of the product and great customer service (the PVC balls are not as sturdy as bamboo but are replaced swiftly if they arrive damaged). The only complaint that we could find about the board was regarding the price—we wish it was more affordable. If you’re looking to save even further on your standing desk balance board, check out our comparison review to see more options available on the market.
If you are seeking an affordable alternative to Fluidstance Level, you might be looking at a good deal here. That depends on what you look for in your standing desk wobble board. The Pono Ola Board restricts active movement but can help you enhance your other activities such as fitness and yoga. It also costs almost half the price of The Level. If you are set on getting more active while standing, though, an omnidirectional board like any one from FluidStance might be your first choice, as it’s more mobile and challenging.
If you’re interested in exercising with your balance board, we’ve put together a list of our favorite balance board exercises. Or if you want to look at how it compares to all the balance boards we have reviewed, see our full roundup of boards for standing desks.