4 min read In today’s world of sport, all tools are welcome to help athletes achieve excellence. Riders of all abilities can now work on their balance in the comfort of their living room with balance boards. So far, nothing new, balance boards have been around for a long time and there are hundreds of models. But finally, someone has looked into the cool factor of a balance board. This someone is a Montrealer named Nicolas Loiselle… and it all started with a classic soul-searching trip to Costa Rica. When you’ve been skateboarding or snowboarding, you tend to think that mastering a surf will be fast, easy and natural. I’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s very rarely the case. “I wanted to surf right away when I got there and I wasn’t very good at it… so some guys told me that if I wanted to master surfing a little bit better, I had to get on that.” That’s how Nicolas got on his first balance board and quickly realized how complex it was. “I climbed on it and bailed so hard !” https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn-5R1DllMR/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link But with his pride being hit, Nicolas immediately tried his luck again. Then another time. Then again. “I had a lot of time to waste because I was there for six months and I was trying to stretch my budget as much as possible and find activities that didn’t cost much. When I was able to get my balance under control, I got the hang of it!” But before becoming an expert, Nicolas spent almost a week full time on the balance board. “I started working at it for hours and hours. The first week, honestly, I had to spend about 25 to 30 hours on the balance board challenging myself and doing small manoeuvres with the two Brazilians I was traveling with.” https://www.instagram.com/p/CDRD37EHBBT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link After developing a certain technique, Nicolas realized that his body was experiencing the benefits. After all, if surfers used the balance board to work on their balance, other riders could probably see the benefits too! “It’s very, very demanding,” says Nicolas Loiselle, owner of MTL B-Boards. “It works a lot on the abdominal belt, the obliques, the laterals, but also the thighs and the adductors. All the small stabilizing muscles of the lower body are put to work.”
A sexy board Of course, Nicolas didn’t invent the balance boards, but he realized that he could add his own personal touch in terms of design and look. “I noticed that there was no sexy side to the board, it was just a board,” he explains. ‘’ Anyone can build a balance board at home, it’s not very expensive… but I wanted to sell a different lifestyle, a different culture.” This culture was that of snowboarders, skaters, paddle boarders and so on. “I focused on shapes that were going to represent the different board sports that people do: skateboard, snowboard, surf, paddle board, skimboard and so on. I figured that the people who practice those sports, they’re going to go for the shape that represents the sport they like.” https://www.instagram.com/p/CAF41EvnUdZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
JACKALOPE: the key moment! Before officially starting his business, Nicolas treated his company as a hobby. He wasn’t convinced and he didn’t dare to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship. He was invited to the JACKALOPE festival in 2018 to present his products, which was the ultimate test for him. Would board sports enthusiasts respond favourably to his idea? “I was convinced I was going to sell, but I didn’t know how many. I sold 38 in 3 days, which was like winning the lottery for me,” he laughs. “I had a few demos and I had kids at my booth all day, I was almost at a daycare center.” After this successful weekend, Nicolas decided to take off his safety net and go all in! He quit his job at Du Proprio two months later and has been 100% dedicated to MTL B-Board ever since. A change that allows Nicolas to find the perfect balance between his personal and professional life.