Retractable Whiteboard

Whiteboard To Go

Rob Budryk had his aha moment watching New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick carry a whiteboard for diagramming plays on the sidelines. Too bad it wasn’t more portable, thought Rob, who’s a coach and retired police officer. And with that thought, Rob started devising plans for a retractable whiteboard that would be rigid for writing and roll up tight for easy carrying.

The Zipboard has a sturdy, erasable writing surface when it’s extended. With the push of a button it retracts into a slim tube that you can clip on
your belt, stow in a pocket, or toss in a briefcase or equipment bag. It also includes a spot for storing the black marker with an eraser.

We heard about the Zipboard from Liz Meagher, a diehard sports fan with a knack for spotting unique products. The plain white version is ideal for teachers, builders, and anyone who thinks on their feet. Rob also offers Zipboards for specific sports, including basketball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse and volleyball. Field boundaries and court lines are already drawn on the surface to make it easy for coaches to diagram plays.

Teaching, sketching, planning, collaborating -- on-the-go brainstorming just got a whole lot easier.

— Ann
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Shop Zipboard Products

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Rob

    Hi Daily Grommet fans I’m thrilled the Daily Grommet has invited me to share my story and my product, The Zipboard, with all of you. You see, three years ago I was a Police Officer lying in bed recovering from a back surgery while watching the New England Patriots in a playoff game. I watched as Coach Belichick was using a conventional whiteboard that was bulky and cumbersome to demonstrate a play on the sidelines. I thought to myself that there has to be a better way to make the whiteboard more portable and easy to use and the idea for the Zipboard was hatched. I am here to answer your questions.

  • Steve O'Neill
    Steve O'Neill
    10/20/2011 12:12 PM

    I love the Zipboard! I coach football and use it at every practice. I love not carrying around a bulky whiteboard and never have to worry that I can't find my marker. It makes coaching so much easier, it is an amazing invention.

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 12:16 PM

    Thanks Steve! Good luck to your team.

  • Judy Dutruch
    Judy Dutruch
    10/20/2011 12:23 PM

    where is the eraser? where is the eraser stored? thanks..

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 12:28 PM

    @Judy Dutruch: Hi Judy< The eraser is on a cap that sits on the end of the expo marker.

  • Cheri
    10/20/2011 12:24 PM

    How easy is it to erase from this white board? What do I use, and does it come with the board? Does it tend to stain after leaving marker drawings on it after, say, a week? Thanks!

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 12:45 PM

    @Cheri: Hi Cheri, There is an eraser on the pen cap.

  • Tess
    10/20/2011 12:28 PM

    My exact question too! Where does a coach store the eraser? Does it need to be wiped clean as soon as possible so the 'ink' doesn't leave a "shadowy" affect on the board?

    Can you only store one pen in the holder and if so can you use any kind of dry erase pen? (size?)

    Looks like a useful product otherwise.

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 12:30 PM

    @Tess: Hi Tess, We have a specially designed cap that sits at the end of the expo marker. There is also an internal cap inside the unit so that the marker will not dry out. The pen is extracted from the unit by simply using a "push push" method similar to the technology used for cabinet doors.

  • Jon
    10/20/2011 1:00 PM

    Hi Rob,

    To follow up on an earlier question which wasn't answered. Will the marker leave a permanent stain if the notation is not wiped off the white board in a timely fashion? Please explain in detail.

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 1:05 PM

    @Jon: We have seen occasions where there has been some residue left over from not erasing, although the solution is to simply use windex and a dry cloth to bring the board back to normal.

  • Pat
    10/20/2011 1:14 PM

    Is there a whiteboard for FOOTBALL?

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 1:18 PM

    @Pat: Hi Pat, Yes we have a plain white board for a football field. The market research we have done revealed that the majority of football coaches we spoke with preferred a plain white writing surface.

  • Jenny
    10/20/2011 1:16 PM

    I'm intrigued. I am wondering about the durability of the surface, especially with likely exposure to moisture on sports fields. Will the surface warp, crack, scratch easily, or become too rough? Your warranty is only 30 days.

  • Rob
    Rob – Special Guest
    10/20/2011 1:29 PM

    @Jenny: Hi Jenny, The writing surface is comprised of a "tyvek" paper which is traditionally used to wrap houses prior to siding and a laminate surface over the tyvek paper. These 2 materials are attached to a tempered spring steel that is wrapped with a high grade tape. our field testing has not shown any signs of warping, cracking or scratching.

  • Wendy
    Wendy – Grommet Team
    10/20/2011 2:05 PM

    We tested this board at a number of events and it does clean off easily. Rob gave us the tip to use Windex on the surface for writing that got left on and this does work, but most of the time you are writing and erasing fairly quickly. I was impressed by how solid the product is overall: the outer container will definitely survive getting moved around in sports bags/backpacks. The writing surface is sturdy as well -- I'm still wondering how it can be sturdy and still roll up in the tube at the same time.

  • Erin M.
    Erin M.
    10/20/2011 3:26 PM

    This would be great to have in my classroom!

  • Teresa
    10/20/2011 3:28 PM

    I recently purchased a Zipboard and I'm amazed at the number of different ways it can be used. I bought it mainly out of curiosity because it looked like an interesting gadget. Now I can't imagine not having my Zipboard. I have even used it when helping my kids with their homework. In the car it keeps my youngest entertained and I even bring it along to keep her busy during our Saturday soccer games, now thats a durability test! I just purchased one for each of my kid's coaches as an end-of-season gift, I can't wait to see their reactions. The holidays will be here before you know it, and I'll be purchasing more Zipboards for those on my list who have everything... great stocking stuffer!

  • Headacheslayer
    10/20/2011 4:43 PM

    What a cool idea!

    Please, someone tell me I'm not the only person that thought "Hey, HouseMD needs one of these" lol You should send one to Hugh Laurie!!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/20/2011 4:53 PM

    @Headacheslayer: Too funny and great idea at the same time!

  • Teddyballgame24
    10/20/2011 4:44 PM

    I bought 3 Zipboards. This thing is cool. Everyone who sees it asks where to get one. It is so much more convenient than the standard dry erase board, plus there are an endless amount of uses. I bought 3 blank ones because of the versatility. I highly reccomend this product!

  • cindy
    10/20/2011 5:34 PM

    what a great invention! practical use. my husband coaches hockey and loves it. also great as entertainment for kids in the car!

  • Susan
    10/22/2011 1:18 AM

    What are the dimensions of the carrying tube? What are the dimensions of the whiteboard when unrolled? Thanks.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/22/2011 9:16 AM

    @Susan: You can find detailed information about our Grommets by clicking on the 'Details' tab that is under the video but above the story. The dimensions are: 17” long x 12” high x 2-1/8” deep (open); 3-1/8” long x 12” high x 2-1/8” deep (retracted). We're glad you've stopped by today!

  • Rebecca
    10/27/2011 11:31 PM

    Not one week before this came to my inbox via a Daily Grommet email, my 12 y/o conservationist-minded son was wondering out loud why a collapsible white board wasn't invented to use in his math class. I saw this and immediately ordered two (because I know at least one of his friends is going to love it). It came in the mail today and he was thrilled - said, "This is the coolest thing ever!" Thanks for such a great product, and putting a smile on my adolescent son's face! :-D

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/28/2011 12:18 AM

    @Rebecca: What an amazing coincidence! We're glad we could be part of the story of putting a large smile on your son's face.

  • Ellen
    11/19/2011 4:00 PM

    This sounds super. What's the marker point size -- Med.? Fine?

    When the marker finally does dry up, how can one replace it?


  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/20/2011 12:05 AM

    @Ellen C: The marker is a conventional chiseled tip 'Expo" marker. Replacements can be found in most office supply stores.

  •  Maria
    6/21/2012 5:22 PM

    We are looking for a larger version of this idea to display our weekly events in our office lobby, preferably something that pulls down from the ceiling. Can you custom make something like this?

  • Chew-Hoong
    Chew-Hoong – Grommet Team
    6/22/2012 6:08 PM

    @ Maria: Great idea! We have a message in to Rob and will let you know.

  • Rachelle
    11/17/2012 4:07 PM


    did you ever find out if there could be a larger version for an office setting?

  • Desmond
    Desmond – Grommet Team
    11/17/2012 11:49 PM

    @Rachelle I am sorry but the partner is focusing on the sports market for now. No office version.

  • thalOmaphlymn
    11/2/2012 9:25 AM

    Estoy totalmente de acuerdo contigo, creo que te estas dando con una tapia, no insistas e invierte donde creas, este foro no es de consulta, se mueve por intereses de unos pocos que hablan del interés personal de lo que debe de hacer un valía y no un estudio de cada valía.

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