One of the hallmark activities within martial arts such as karate and tae kwon do is board breaking. Board breaking can be used as repetitive training for building force and power and also as an artistic impression when breaking numerous boards at once or in rapid succession. This feat is used by some instructors as a test before students can advance to a higher belt rank. When it comes to training, having the right boards increases your safety and success. At AWMA, we have a range of boards to prepare you for any test.
Getting the Right Board for Your Needs
When choosing a breaking board, it's important to consider what you'll need the board for. If you are breaking boards for a children's event, choose a lightweight wooden board that offers a full experience for both participants and onlookers. AWMA offers boards made of Chinese Paulonia wood that is perfect for beginners and kids. Boards that are 3/8" thick are thin enough for children to break on their own and are a great way to inspire confidence in beginners.
If you are preparing for an upcoming belt test, you'll want to pick boards that help you train for that specific test. Some schools and gyms do not allow students to use plastic boards during belt tests. While plastic mimics the feel and power needed to break traditional wooden boards, it's often useful to practice with both types to ensure you are prepared.
Breakable or Rebreakable Boards
Start by deciding whether you need a wooden board or a rebreakable board. Wooden boards are ideal for presentations and demonstrations as they create amazement from the sheer power and strength required to break wood using only your hands. Rebreakable boards are better suited for repeated practice or testing for instructors and students. High impact molded plastic allows boards to be broken over and over again while a rubber pad covers both sides to provide a solid grip for the holder. Since each mold is padded, you don't have the sharp edges of wood, which makes rebreakable boards ideal for the holder as well as the striker. Each board can be reused hundreds of times, meaning you'll save money and time without having to constantly buy breakable boards or wood to create your own. Our ProForce® Rebreakable Boards are available in black, blue, red, and yellow to represent the different difficulty levels.
Finding the Right Thickness
For safety during training and demonstrations, you must pick the proper thickness for your skill level. Since plastic has different strength characteristics than wood, the thickness of plastic rebreakable boards differs from traditional wood boards. You can choose a thickness based on the required breaking tension weight or by comparing plastic thickness to wood board thickness below:
- 101 pounds: 1/4" thick Yellow board is the equivalent of a 1/2" wooden board
- 125 pounds: 5/16" thick Blue board is the equivalent of a 3/4" wooden board
- 136 pounds: 3/8" thick Red board is the equivalent of a 1" wooden board
- 251 pounds: 5/8" thick Black board is the equivalent of a 1-3/4" wooden board
Curved or Flat Rebreakable Boards
ProForce® offers two types of rebreakable boards, including flat and curved. Curved boards inspire confidence in strikers and they can use all of their force without worrying about hitting the holder or crushing their fingers. Flat boards have the upper hand when it comes to practicing for belt tests as these are more similar to wooden boards that are used by instructors. Both board types offer the benefit of repeated use. Simply slide each piece together and start breaking.
Quality Construction and Safety
ProForce® rebreakable boards feature soft padding to protect your hands and feet when punching and kicking the board. This means you can get in more hits and more practice than you could with traditional wooden boards. Repeated practice builds up confidence and allows students to focus on technique and power. Just bear in mind that even with the highest quality gear and supplies, you are responsible for your personal safety. Remember to never strike boards that are above your training level, and do not strike boards without proper instruction and technique. It's always a good idea for the striker and the holder to wear mouth guards to prevent injuries from glancing blows or missed kicks.