In this article we discuss the best attributes to look for in a paddle board for SUP yoga and how an Atoll 11′ board might be the best board for you!
When SUP first started, most paddlers wanted to simply get on flat water and enjoy an afternoon under the sun.
But as the popularity of the sport grew, so did the need for versatility. The market demanded boards that worked in specific environments and uses. With this demand came shorter boards for SUP surfing. Longer boards for racing. Inflatable boards for travel and durability. And yoga boards for, well, yoga.
But with boards created for specific uses, there arose a separate problem.
Few people could afford multiple boards. Especially if they wanted to paddle in different environments. Or use them for different activities. As a result, paddlers began to look for boards that could handle more.
At Atoll we understood the need and decided to create a board that was great for travel. Durable for adventure. Perfect for whitewater river paddling. And excellent for SUP yoga.
While we can give you information about how our boards can handle every activity listed above…
Today we want to instead focus on SUP yoga.
In this article, we will cover size, shape, and deck pads, to arm you with the knowledge you need for your next SUP buy.
So, for you yogis out there, let’s get into it!
For SUP yoga, when it comes to the size it’s not as important to have a long paddle board as it is to have one with a wide deck and a thick rail.
Because yoga on the water is difficult. Especially in balance poses! And with a wide deck and thick rail, you will have the platform you need to stay upright on the water.
The wider the board is the more stability you will have side-to-side and the thicker the rail is on the board, the more buoyancy you will have. Both of these attributes will increase your ability to balance.
Now, back to the length. Most yoga-specific boards you will see on the market are short. We’re talking 10’-10’6’’. This can be great for practicing yoga, but not so much for paddling. If you want a board that can do both, we suggest purchasing one that is at least 10’6’’ in length. Avoid the shorter boards that are shaped just like a platform. Otherwise, you won’t have any fun paddling it in between sessions.
If you are looking for a board that has all three of these attributes, then look no further than our Atoll 11’ Inflatable SUP. We may be a bit biased (who are we kidding, of course we are!) but with a 32’’ wide deck, 6’’ rail, and 11’’ in length, you’re looking at a great board to paddle with plenty of width and thickness to give you optimal balance on the water – even in tree pose!
As we have already alluded to, most yoga-specific boards are shaped like you would think a yogi would like — in the shape of a mat. They’re shorter in length, wide, and boxier in style.
These can be great for practicing yoga but terribly unfun to paddle. Of course, if you are just taking a class and want to practice with a rented board, by all means, opt for the board that is shaped like a square. It will make your yoga class easier on the water.
But if you’re looking for a board that can do it all, then your best choice is to get a board that you know will paddle well when not practicing yoga.
Look for a board with a pointed nose that can break through the water and waves, one that isn’t too wide so that you will be able to paddle long distances without having to reach too far side to side with your paddle, and one with a pulled in tail that will be easier to turn and maneuver in a current.
The goal isn’t to have a floating mat in the water no matter how tempting that may be. The goal is to have a great paddle board that can easily be used for SUP yoga.
One of the most important parts of any stand up paddle board has to be the deck pad. Most boards come with a standard foam pad. Some are flat and some are diamond padded. In addition, some companies have begun to experiment with different materials to see if they could make a difference.
What you should be looking for, despite the material or the shape, is of course if it has enough grip. The point of a deck pad is to allow you to stand on your SUP without slipping, even when it is wet. For yoga, you should opt for a deck pad that will provide you with adequate grip when in difficult balance poses.
However, there is one caveat. If you have sensitive feet or hands, the diamond padding, while providing the most amount of grip compared to others on the market, might be too rough for you. Be sure to test out a few options before you decide on one.
SUP yoga is a fun and interesting way to expand your practice on the water. But when it comes to buying a paddle board for the activity, the choice is not always so obvious. While you want a board that will be able to float you and provide you with enough surface area for balance, you should also purchase one that will be great in various environments, in different conditions, and will paddle well for extended trips. Otherwise, you might only be using your board sparingly. Questions or comments? Let us know! Drop a message into our inbox and we will gladly get back to you.