Following our recent article (rant) on action-tat, we've found another item that will definitely not make it onto our Christmas list. This time, though, the product does purport to have a purpose. Snowboard Addiction's "Balance Bar" is a little bar of plastic that you can use to practice jibbing on in a "controlled environment." It is made of "solar resistant materials" (meaning what? It doesn't melt in the daytime?) and is generally weatherproof (although surely if you're jibbing outside in a lightning storm you've lost the "controlled environment"). If you can't tell from the picture and video, it is literally a metre long red plastic stick with a "spin device", which is just another bit of recycled plastic, on top. It also comes in pink.
So granted, this is a bit different to those Boing bracelets. Snowboard Addiction seem to be a pretty legit company, who put out trick tip DVDs and run camps and instructor courses, which makes it even more strange that they would chose to make such a product with so little purpose. It seems to us like all of those useless bits of kitchen equipment that you see in department stores - they all have a "purpose", but the circumstance in which you'd need to use it are so far-fetched that there's really no point in going to the bother of inventing it. It seems like they've had to invent the problem before marketing a solution.
Because they even seem to have missed the point of jibbing. The whole point, especially in the street, is finding something different to what you know. Practising on a single piece of kit will "improve your muscle memory" only if you're out looking to jib on more identical "Balance Bars". Maybe it gives you the most basic feel for spinning on and off, but maybe you should just go out in the park and try something a little less ambitious whilst you get a feel. If you really are all that desperate to jib in your living room maybe just use a bit of 2x4 and save yourself $69.99.
What other useless crap have you seen being sold to snowboarders recently? Comments below...