About Vew-Do Balance Boards
Trees fall because the stability of the root system is compromised; unable to support the rest of the tree. Situational loss of balance and stability in humans suffers from the same circumstance. Strengthen the roots and you strengthen the tree. - Brew Moscarello
Balance Designs Inc. (BDI) was founded in 1990 by Brew “Vew” Moscarello in Manchester, Vermont. As one of the pioneers in snowboard instruction, Brew recognized there was a need for more inner balance training with students serious about learning how to snowboard. At the time, the market for balance boards left much to be desired for someone looking for a board that could perform and imitate more precisely the movement and tricks common with modern day snowboarding and Brew set out to change that.
Brew moved to Manchester, Vermont in 1986 to be a sales representative for Burton. After three years of selling, Brew began to realize that his heart was more involved with riding the boards rather than selling them and in 1989, Brew made the decision to leave his sales position at Burton to focus on instructional riding at Stratton Mountain in Southern Vermont.
As Brew progressed as an instructor, he began to see the need for more balance training both on and off the mountain. Using an older model of a balance board, the Bongo Board, Brew started incorporating more training centered on the balance required to excel board sports before he put students on a snowboard. The actual vision of the present day Vew-Do board didn’t develop until the summer of 1990, when Brew was inspired to create a newer, more modern balance board after watching friend and arguably one of the most influential product developers in snowboarding John Gerndt try and ride that same older style balance board from the 1960’s that Brew used for instruction. As Brew watched, he noticed that John tried to ride with the flow of a snowboarder rather unsuccessfully, as the board was not built to handle such movement. Inspired and influenced by his work instructing snowboarders at Stratton Mountain, Brew recognized then the potential for a large market that could benefit from balance training a scope he saw reaching far beyond just snowboarding.
And so began the evolution of what you know as a Vew-Do board today. Brew started it all in the basement of an old restaurant in Manchester, Vermont crafting a rock and board from logs that he took –with the intention of returning, of course from neighbors’ wood piles. As his passion grew, so did his research into the original Bongo board, and eventually he was able to arrange a meeting with Stanley Washburn, the creator of the very first balance board. Stanley gave Brew his blessing to carry out the vision of a more modern and versatile balance board. In the fall of 1990, the final prototype for the original Vew-Do balance board was finalized and that following Christmas, the first production board was sold.
Shortly after in 1992, Brew patented the world’s first multidirectional balance board having added a taper to the roller rock that the board sat on in design. As Brew began doing more traveling to promote his product at trade shows and ski and snowboard expos, the newly formed company Balance Designs, Inc. landed its first wholesale order in February of 1992 an order that it still has today over 20 years later. Over the course of the next few years, BDI continued to evolve quickly and progressively as Brew advanced instructing snowboarding for people of all ages by incorporating balance board training, including but certainly not limited to, then governor Howard Dean. The brand’s recognition began growing as the Vew-Do crew was showcased on MTV’s Beach House and as awareness for the benefits of balance board riding begin to increase. Balance training using Vew-Do boards started being implemented into training programs for other professional sports including both the NFL and NHL.
Having all started in the basement of a restaurant, moving into an abandoned chicken coop, followed by a renovated barn in Manchester, Vermont, it was a big deal when in 1996, BDI moved their production facility into a much larger location in Manchester, Vermont. There, the growing staff hand produced all Vew-Do performance boards, and in 1997, the company reached its 100th dealer. As production continued to grow in the United States over the course of the next few years, Brew was persuaded to move manufacturing overseas to Taiwan and against his better judgment after touring different potential manufacturers in Taiwan, all manufacturing did officially move overseas in 2000. The boards were being sold internationally in countries such as Japan, Australia, and the UK, and the company continued to progress, but in 2002, Brew began to feel that the quality of the product line diminished from being crafted outside of the US. After many long, exhausting trips back and forth from Taiwan, Brew decided that he wanted to move production back to the United States and began exploring his options. Eventually, in 2003, Vew-Do boards were once again produced in New England through the National Wood Products of Oxford Maine.
Brew traveled speaking at national conventions and different seminars within the athletic community and chiropractic fields while remaining true to his core snowboard market. Looking for ways to expand the company in 2011, he began inquiring about the Snurfer brand. The Snurfer board is recognized as the predecessor to all snowboards, and in 2013 determined to keep the iconic Snurfer brand true to its roots BDI applied for the intellectual property rights to the brand. In 2014, BDI was granted trademark rights for the Snurfer brand and production began for the first time in 25 years debuting a three board line at the SIA Ski and Snowboard Show. In 2015, the Snurfer brand has expanded to five models and was promoted with a 50th birthday party at the SIA, with the blessing of its original creator, Sherman Poppen.
What began over 20 years ago as the desire to improve people’s abilities on snowboards has quickly evolved into the desire to improve people’s lives by instilling in them the tools to build a more solid core. BDI has created a niche corner for fitness, balance, and fun, by exploring different markets that could benefit from balance training. Brew and Balance Design Inc. continues being inspired by the past, while using the technology of today, to pioneer the future of balance.
Today, the Vew-Do line consists of eight models, including the Zone Fitness and Zone Standup and the 2016/2017 Snurfer line has six models including the Racer replica. The offices are still located in Manchester, Vermont and all production and manufacturing is still done in the United States.