How To Choose A Paddleboard for SUP Yoga

After practicing Yoga on a SUP board and getting first-hand experience of how great it is, you may have decided that buying your own SUP Yoga board is the next step.

After all, SUP Yoga is a fantastic way to get out on the water and enjoy it. The practice of Yoga has a different sensory aspect thanks in part to being outside and particularly on the water. Being on a board adds an element of instability that challenges you and activates additional muscles from a physical standpoint.

While a specialized SUP Yoga board is available on the market, you might be wondering if it’s actually necessary to purchase one. Let’s explore some of the key features of a SUP Yoga board and see if they’re worth the investment.

Yoga-specific paddle boards exist, but many find that an all-purpose inflatable board performs just as well while being more versatile. To make the best decision, take a close look at the features of each option to see which suits you better.

What Board Proportions Are Ideal For A Yoga Board? 

Beginners will want to start on the most stable possible platform while experts may begin with a more unstable one. This will provide you the greatest possibilities as you continue your progress and confidence in your equipment every session by allowing you to add more difficult postures to your flow sequences.

Although many people are aware that a SUP board’s width plays into its stability, fewer realize how thickness contributes to steadiness.

A board that is 36 inches wide might appear to be the logical choice for stability. But if the board is 6 inches thick, it becomes less stable. A thinner and shorter 34-inch wide 5-inch thick will actually be more secure because it cuts through waves better. If you test yoga poses on a 6-inch board and then try them on a 5=Inch board, you’ll immediately feel the difference .

A 5-inch board is a lot easier and more fun to casually paddle than a 6-inch board, in the case you do find yourself in the water.

The length of your board has little influence on SUP Yoga stability, especially when compared to suitable all-around alternatives, so go for a length of 10-11 feet. A board shorter than 10ft will be hard to extend out on in certain postures, therefore for most users a board longer than that is preferable.

Deck Pad

A lot of people think that a good SUP Yoga board is supposed to have a deck pad that goes the entire length of the board. However, you rarely need to go to either extreme end of the board while doing yoga – You would tip over before getting close enough!

A deck pad that covers approximately a fifth to three-fourths of the board surface should enough. The bungee system should be placed outside the deck pad where you have room for your water bottle, dry bag, and other belongings.

You may also use an old towel to protect your mat and deck if you have limited space. If you’re using a damp dry towel, be sure it’s not too thick or rough. You’ll want the deck pad to be similar to your mat and have a smooth texture that doesn’t harm your skin. The utilization of a towel is a personal choice that is determined by the intensity of your workout and the weather conditions, but most individuals will not need or utilize one if the deck pad has excellent grip.

Look for a center handle that flattens so you can lie on top of it without discomfort. Because it will protect your hands while transporting the board and allows you to remove it when doing yoga, a flat strap handle with a detachable hand grip cover is ideal.

Some yoga-centric paddle boards come with handles on the edge of the decking to keep the center completely smooth. These kinds of boards can be inconvenient to carry because they often drag on ground due to handle position, requiring you transport it over your head or use an straps that aren’t ideal given its size.

Fin Set Up

While fins don’t play a significant role in the performance of a SUP yoga board, there are some advantages and disadvantages to different fin systems that could affect how you use the board overall.

For Yoga, a permanent 3-fin setup is preferable since lost or damaged fins are not a worry, and it makes it simpler to get into the water if you’re starting in a shallow place.

A configurable fin system in which all of the fins are removable, while adding some cost, allows you to remove the fins for practicing your SUP yoga on land. Alternatively, you can also use a board with a permanent 3-fin setup on land by propping it up a few inches to keep the fins off the ground–a foam roller can be used for this.

If you plan on using your SUP for activities other than yoga, it is wise to choose a board with a configurable fin system. This will give you the ability to change the fins depending on the activity and water conditions. For most people, there is one right answer—it simply depends on your preferences.

While several of our models come with a mixed fin setup that has both permanent and removable fins, we don’t believe that this is the best option for any type of paddling. This system doesn’t provide the advantages or benefits that you would get from either a fully configurable setup or one with only permanent fins.

In practice, a mixed-fin setup appears confused about the board’s goal, and as a paddler progresses and gains more expertise, he or she will see how restricting it is.

Inflatable vs. Hard SUP Board for Yoga

Inflatables are by far a more popular choice over hard boards for SUP yoga due to various reasons. For starters, an inflatable SUP has a softer surface which in turn is much easier on your body compared to standing on a hard epoxy board. Furthermore, inflatables are generally more stable than their hard board counterparts of similar dimensions because the thickness of an inflatable paddleboard remains consistent across the width of the entire board– as opposed to hard boards whose edges tend to be tapered and thinner, making them capable of tipping over more easily.

SUP paddle boarding provides a unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere, which is only amplified by the picturesque locations you can take your inflatable board to.

Focus on Features And Ignore The Marketing Hype

Consider the fundamental differences between any SUP Yoga board you’re considering and a similarly designed all-around board. Will you want to use the portion of the deck pad that extends all the way to the nose of the board, or would a bungee system be more convenient?

Want the handles put at an angle or with a complex strap system, even if it’s harder to transport the board to the water? That is up to each paddler to decide, but our point is that a dedicated yoga board isn’t a necessity, even for serious yoga paddlers.

An all-around inflatable SUP with a wide deck, moderate thickness, a mid deck pad area free of mounts and d-rings that covers a wide section of the board, and a removable handle grip will give you everything you need for yoga while also allowing you to paddle however you want.