Fun with Swoppers

Allow me to present the Swopper family:

I have had the privilege of experiencing each variety of Swopper first hand. And now I'd like to tell you about them.

I like to describe the Swopper as a yoga ball that doesn’t roll away when you stand up. The truth is, it’s even better than that. For starters, it’s also not made of rubber. That means it breathes better, and doesn’t stick to you (with the possible exception of leather options).

All Swoppers feature:

  • Tension-adjustable tilt
  • Tension-adjustable spring

The built in variability provided by these two features keeps your legs, core and spinal muscles engaged and shifting, promoting healthy posture and bloodflow through active sitting. Plus it's just incredibly fun.

Now let talk about the differences between the models.

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Standard Swopper Made-to-Order

  • Available in an impressive array of fabrics and leather options
  • Available with either Anthracite (charcoal gray) or Titanium (silver gray) base
  • Optional backrest*
  • Optional wheelbase**
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Swopper Air

This model features specially-designed seat material for extra squish and breathability:

  • Two layers of elaborately woven mesh/foam for extra breathability and cushion (avoid swampass)
  • Third sublayer allows continued airflow, but provides a firm base for you spine to climb from
  • Limited color options, but with somber and cheerful options, to satisfy your dignity or silly streak (Stone Gray, Dark Silver, or Lime Green. Planned release of a Ruby Red option, winter 2015!)
  • Optional backrest*
  • Optional wheelbase**
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Swopper Classic

This version is just gorgeous. It features:

  • Extra soft ultrasuede (makes you want to rub your face on it)
  • Vibrant colors (the blue and red are amazing)
  • Anthracite base with a spring painted to match the upholstery (very sleek)
  • Optional backrest*
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Swopper Saddle

This is my personal favorite. Not only is it better for taller people (I am 5'9"), I just love the way the saddle feels to sit on. This is a much less severe saddle than some other chairs on the market. That said, saddles just aren't for everyone. The saddle version of the Swopper adds to the classic design:

  • 4 extra inches of height (good for tall people)
  • Increased openness of hip angle (good for circulation and posture)
  • Leather saddle

Things to be aware of: the Swopper Saddle is only available in leather (black). That means it’s going to be somewhat less breathable (especially compared to the Air), and not animal friendly. It also only comes with an Anthracite base.

Let's talk add-ons

swopper with back

*Swopper Back

The back can be added to any existing configuration of Swopper, but is only available in the Anthracite (charcoal gray) frame color.

Until last week, I had never personally seen a Swopper with a back. Frankly, the notion sort of mystified me. If you’re sitting on a tilting, bouncing, dome of joy, where does a back even come into play? if you lean on the back, does it push the seat away and down along it’s tilty axis? Because, physics. The entire idea seemed pretty counter-intuitive, given the nature of the Swopper itself.

Now that I’ve met one, I must say I still don’t see much reason for the back. Contrary to my expectations, it actually is possibly to sit on the seat and lean on the back without the seat falling forward, as long as the tilt tension is turned up. This basically turns the Swopper into a comfortable, slightly bouncy office chair. And if that’s what you’re looking for, great! For me, that’s not the point of a Swopper. It's all about the active sitting!

**Swopper Wheelbase

These are a little different than the wheels on a standard office chair. Swopper wheels are "locked when loaded" which means that they only roll when nobody is sitting on the chair. This is an important feature because the tilting design of the seat’s stem necessitates a solid, planted base. Otherwise you’d start to get a good lean on, and the stool would roll away, dumping you unceremoniously on your buns. The wheels do make the Swopper easier to maneuver around your space when you aren’t sitting on it, but you shouldn’t get the wheels with the intention of having Swopper derby in the hallway.

The wheel base is only available in the Anthracite (charcoal gray) frame color.

Also important to note, the wheel base is completely different than the standard base, so you cannot add wheels to your existing Swopper, or hedge your bets by getting the Swopper with wheels, and taking them off later if you don’t like them. You would need a whole new base. In fact, once the stool is assembled, you can’t disassemble it without special tools, so you’d actually be looking at a whole new stool.

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Here's a copy of the Swopper Manual for those interested.