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Baby Boards for Beginners!

Gym GameChoosing the right vault board to fit the needs of your gymnastics club’s programs and their athletes can be a confounding endeavor. Ten-o.com, itself, carries 20 different boards from major manufacturers across the industry and they’re all excellent pieces of equipment.

However, they’re not created equally. Our vault board offerings vary in length and height, number and size of springs, platform covering, guide graphics and punch. Some boards are designed for younger, smaller bodies in recreational classes; while others are geared for the weight, strength and skill of older gymnasts training to compete.

We’ve written a 3 post series to help you sort through the diverse specs of our vault boards to ensure you spend your hard-earned money in the wisest way. To begin, let’s look at vault boards designed to cater to the size and capabilities of your littlest gymnasts.

These boards are: By GMR’s “Little Stars” 5 mini-spring vault board, Norberts 4 spring Performance Top Pre-school board, Spieth-America’s 3-spring “Little Thumper”, Gibson’s 3-spring “Bronco” board and AAI’s Pre-school 3-Spring vault board.

Our “Little Stars” baby board is the springiest of the bunch and perfect for pre-schoolers who weigh 50lbs. or less; and therein, don’t pack the punch necessary to get a bigger bounce from a harder board. It’s made with 5 mini-springs which are 4 3/8 inches high. The “Little Stars” board’s platform is padded in flexcell foam and covered in carpet with cute, colorful stars to capture their attention and ignite their imaginations, as they launch themselves toward their dreams of being a gymnastics star. Additionally, “Little Stars” is not as tall or as long (measuring 20” x 30”) as other pre-school program boards offering a lower crown and shorter hurdle to younger gymnasts and rec program kids. For smaller children, a springier, shorter board is more forgiving and easier to use when they lack strength, stride and weight to really punch it.

Norberts Performance Top Pre-school boards come in your choice of pebbled “basketball fabric” for extra slip prevention or grey anti-slip carpet. They’re made from baltic birch plywood and covered in cross-link foam and feature 4 removable springs that bring the bounce to young gymnasts weighing 75lbs. or less. If you’re trying to stretch a thin budget across of a couple of classes, this vault board makes a nice middle of the road choice before you get to the bigger boards for bigger kids.

Spieth-America offers a great rec and pre-school program board with their 3-spring “Little Thumper”. It measures 20” x 30” x 5” providing a shorter hurdle and lower crown to little gymnasts weighing 50lbs. or less. It’s fully padded and covered in red carpet that features a set of foot prints which guides inexperienced, little thumpers to know where to place their feet in the approach.

Baby, bucking broncos love Gibson’s “Bronco” board whose blue, short napped carpet features 2 horseshoes that help tame & train your young, wild ponies into hitting the right spot on the approach. 4 heavy duty, removable springs offer a Big Kick under the 5/8 thick baltic birch, cross-link foam padded platform. It’s made for gymnasts and rec kids weighing 75lbs. or less and is a great work horse, if you’re looking to stretch your vault board purchase across multiple classes of gymnasts.

Last, but not least, in our bevy of board offerings is AAI’s Pre-school 3-Spring vault board. Constructed from ½” 8-ply cross-grain maple and poplar plywood and padded with ¼” polyethylene foam underneath a rich, rust-colored carpet. 3 black oxide springs bring the bounce and the placement of the AAI branding tells kids where to hit on the approach. Designed for gymnasts weighing 85lbs. or more, this board will also help you bridge the gap before getting to bigger kids punching bigger boards.

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