Equipment Review: Shin-Kaya - 1-1/2 Go Board

Shin-Kaya - 1-1/2” (4 cm) Go Floor / Table Board

Overall Rating: 10 / 10 Ponnuki


  • Legs are removable, which allows the board to function as both a floor and table board.
  • The floor height is not nearly as high as the standard floor board, but it is pretty good for the price and quality of the board.
  • This is a good board that is more suited for staying at the house and not quite suitable for bringing to a coffee shop to review a pro game.
  • Stones that measure 9.2mm (Size 33) fit comfortably on the board. Any size larger maybe a bit of a squeeze.

Product Details

  • One 2-3/8” (6cm) thick Tibet Spruce (Shin-Kaya) wood board [including feet].
  • Made of 2-4 solid pieces of wood joined together to prevent warping over time.
  • Measures 18-1/4”L x 17”W x 3-3/4”H (46.5cm x 43cm x 9.7cm)
  • Board is 1-1/2” (4cm) thick.

Detailed Review

As this was my first legitimate go board (aka goban), I was incredibly excited the day it arrived on my doorstep. To add to my excitement, I was delighted to find out that everything was packaged extremely well. To prove my point, look at the how well protected the board is!

Top layer of styrofoam (not in picture)

Here are the contents of the order in its entirety.

Board + Information Pamphlet + Introduction to Go Brochure

Size & Weight: The board has a nice weight to it that feels extremely solid. In terms of portability however, it’s not something that I would recommend trying to carry around. In other words, this is a board that is perfect as an “at home” type of goban.

Durability: I have had it now for more than two years and found that the board holds up very well. Like any other wood product however, be very careful in regards to dropping objects on it since it will scratch and leave dents. Otherwise, I have played many stones on it and have not seen any blemishes or fading as a result.

Functionality: Now the best part about this board is that the legs are removable, so it doubles as a great solid table board while also giving you the option of using it as a floor board. For those who cry blasphemy at the idea of calling it a floor board, I know that it’s full height of 6 cm does not compare to the typical height of 15-21 cm; but considering the price tag of $60 versus the average $400+ floor board, I think it does a great job.

Before I conclude, I want to address the two types of buyers that I would not recommend this board for:

  1. “I want a floor board like the one in Hikaru has.” - This is absolutely not the product for you. I have not purchased one yet, but they are rather expensive ($400 minimum for a decent quality one from my research) and not as readily available. If I ever buy one, I will be sure to update this section with my review.

  2. “I need a board that is easy to store away / portable.” - This board is a little too big and thick to be stuffing away in a corner or bookshelf somewhere inconspicuously. Instead, I would recommend looking for a foldable board or a thinner one if at all possible. (Reviews for these types of products will be added in the near future).

Otherwise, if you’re in the market for a quality go board for a great price that can double as a floor and table board, this is the one for you.

Additional Photographs


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Last Updated March 30th, 2013