Best Paddle Boards for Yoga – 2021

Best Paddle Boards for Yoga – 2021

Unless you’ve been hiding under a wave of late, you have likely seen an increased number of floating yoga enthusiasts taking to the waters. While stand up paddle boarding itself continues its year-on-year rise in popularity, so to does the increased versatility of how these boards are being used.

Many manufactures now produce boards that are specifically designed to meet the needs of SUP fishermen, surfers, competitive racers, all-round recreational paddlers and of course SUP yogis.

But what should you look for if you’re keen to buy a SUP that has been primarily designed with yoga in mind? Below we cover off some of the key characteristics and features that you should keep front of mind as well as providing some great recommendations on the latest yoga boards on the market.

Best Paddle Boards for Yoga
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Stability, Stability and more Stability

If you stop reading here, then at the very least you’ve covered off first base. Even the most proficient yogis need a rigid and stable board to work from. Stability is typically the most important attribute for new paddlers as without it you will find it much harder to gain the confidence and a level of proficiency to be generally comfortable out on the water.

Key attributes to the stability of a paddle board (beyond build quality) are its dimensions. Larger paddle boards generally offer greater stability with width in particular being a key factor. The boards thickness and buoyancy (volume) also dictate how high it will ride out of the water. Less water splashing across the deck will enable more grip and provide better overall stability as well.

Performance

Female in Yoga Pose on Glide Paddle Board

If its all about yoga, then performance will not necessarily be front of mind given that these boards are primarily designed to be stable floating platforms in the first instance. This said, you still want to be able to comfortably paddle to your desired destination, manoeuvre about in the water and generally make the most of your SUP.

All-round inflatable boards typically tick many of the more general performance boxes given their versatility. We touch on inflatables below but if you are looking to make the most out of your board then think beyond yoga and consider things like manoeuvrability, how well will the board glide and track through the water, its ability to tackle choppier waters or build up a little speed if you want to paddle over longer distances.

Inflatable or Hard Board

In a word – inflatable.

While it does come down to a matter of preference as well as the versatility that one board offers over the other, it is widely accepted that the benefits of an inflatable paddle board outweigh those of a rigid or hard board when it comes to SUP yoga.

Inflatable – from a like for like size perspective, an inflatable paddle board has greater stability and weight carrying capacity when compared to a hard board given its thickness and overall volume. Inflatables are more durable and can handle greater punishment as they do not dent, chip or get as damaged with general use, wear and tear. They are generally a few pounds lighter than a hard board, are far easier to transport and store given their portability, are not as expensive as hard boards and importantly, they offer a more cushioned surface if you lose balance and take a spill.

Hard / Rigid – not to dis hard boards altogether as you can still quite comfortably perform yoga on them and there are hard boards that are specifically designed with yoga in mind. While not as easy to transport or store, hard paddle boards generally perform better than an inflatable board particularly when it comes to speed, rigidity, tackling choppier and windier conditions and overall paddling performance. No need to pump them up either so more time on the water.

Construction

A lot comes down to the actual manufacturer of the paddle board, the build and quality of materials as well as the design and construction methodology and processes. Mass produced, machine laminated single layer boards are not as durable as multi-layered fuse laminated boards with hand tapered carbon fibre rails for instance.

Design and construction methodologies can vary considerably be it hard or inflatable paddle boards. Beyond the boards performance on the water, its durability, rigidity or stiffness, and weight are important considerations to factor in not just for a Yoga SUP but in general. A heavier board will likely offer greater weight carrying capacity but it will be sluggish in the water and not as manoeuvrable or light to carry.

Cross-Section of Inflatable SUP

Fin Configuration

Not really a big consideration when it comes to SUP yoga. Most all-round boards will typically come with a standard tri-fin (thruster set). The better quality boards will have detachable fins which is handy for practicing when not in the water or for general storage or fin set-up and adaptability. A single fin set-up is still perfectly fine for yoga it will just make the board a little less manoeuvrable so not quite as versatile.

Features and the Hype

Yes a purpose designed SUP yoga board is great for yoga and it can come with a few bells and whistles, but you shouldn’t get yourself caught up in all of the marketing noise.

The key features that you really need is a reasonably sized forward cargo bungee system to store a dry bag or other accessories as well as a few D-rings which can be used to further accessorise the SUP or attach an anchor. A quality deck traction pad that covers at least two-thirds of the decks surface is of course also important given that you’ll be stretching out and getting into poses etc. Yes some boards have a full deck padding but unless you plan on hanging off the nose of the board its really not needed.

Boards without a centre grab handle will make for a cleaner and more comfortable surface to stretch out on although they will be far more difficult to carry. Look for a board that has a handle that retracts back into the board or is otherwise soft enough to not cause discomfort when you are stretching out.

Outdoor Master Shark Electric SUP Pump

Recommendations

Glide 02 Lotus Inflatable Yoga SUP

  • Length: 10’ (305 cm)
  • Width: 35” (89 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (15 cm)
  • Volume: 300 litres
  • Weight: 26 lbs (12 kgs)
  • Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kgs)
Glide 02 Lotus Inflatable Yoga SUP

Summary

Manufacturers of arguably the most durable, rigid and eco-friendly paddle boards on the market today, Glide are known for producing high quality purpose built SUPs suitable for paddlers of all levels. The 02 Lotus is constructed using their proprietary Fusion Technology which uses a dense drop-stitch core that is enveloped with 4 layers of military-grade PVC that are fused together. Thats right – 4 layers which is unheard of within the inflatable paddle board market.

Highlights

☑️ Incredibly stable and rigid board
☑️ Best in class materials & build quality
☑️ Significant weight carrying capacity
☑️ Highly buoyant at 300 litres
☑️ 9” centre fin / USA-style fin box

☑️ Full length non-slip deck traction padding
☑️ Light-weight fibreglass paddle
☑️ Kayak seat as a standard inclusion
☑️ Complete accessories package
☑️ Backed by a 2 year warranty

Performance

The 02 Lotus was featured at the Wanderlust Festival and is recognised as one of the first purpose built yoga SUPs on the market. The boards expanded width of 35” and its incredibly rigid structure creates a very stable platform making it ideally suited to meet the most discerning yogis needs. At 6” thick the board sits nicely above the waters surface for increased buoyancy and to aid traction as well as reducing drag when paddling.

The oversized single centre fin supports quality straight line paddling (tracking) while its slightly shorter length relative to other all-round inflatable boards makes the 02 Lotus fairly nimble in terms of manoeuvrability. While not the fastest board on the market, with proper technique and a little practice, the Lotus glides nicely across the waters surface and can comfortably handle moderate swell although is best suited for flat water recreational paddling.

MORE DETAILED REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.


Aquaplanet Wilderness

  • Length: 10’ (305 cm)
  • Width: 32” (81 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (15 cm)
  • Volume: Not Available
  • Weight: 24 lbs (11 kgs)
  • Capacity: 353 lbs (160 kgs)
Aquaplanet Wilderness iSUP

Summary

The Wilderness is a purpose built inflatable SUP primarily designed for both whitewater and SUP Yoga – yes an unusual marriage but characteristics considered the ideal specs are somewhat similar. At the core of the Wilderness is a dense drop-stitch material which gives the board its rigidity once fully inflated. This inner core is then wrapped in layers of military-grade PVC that are fused together to form a highly durable waterproof outer skin.

Highlights

☑️ Significant rider weight capacity
☑️ Highly stable and rigid
☑️ Planing hull for better stability and glide
☑️ Tri-fin configuration to aid manoeuvrability
☑️ Fused laminate to reduce weight

☑️ Versatile in varied water conditions
☑️ Complete accessories package
☑️ Side grab handles or maximise deck use
☑️ Rear kick-pad for agile performance
☑️ 12 month manufacturers warranty

Performance

Shorter and chunkier in design, the Wilderness is not built for speed. It is however built for stability which is why its ideally suited for yoga or stationary board exercises as well as rougher water conditions – whitewater paddling, surf and river surfing. Its flat planing hull allows the board to glide across the water meaning it can be easier to paddle in calm water conditions although with a less aerodynamic squared off nose and tail it can be a little sluggish.

As is the case with tri-fin configurations and again in tandem with the flatter more sleek bottom, the Wilderness is quite responsive so performing step-back turns or other more agile manoeuvres is quite achievable once you’ve found your feet. This is further aided again with the rubber kick pad at the tail of the board. Its squared off shape provides a greater surface area to stretch out on although this better supports stability more so than actual usable yoga real estate.

MORE DETAILED REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.


MOUSA 11’ Inflatable SUP

  • Length: 11’ (335 cm)
  • Width: 34” ( 86 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (15 cm)
  • Volume: Not Available
  • Weight: 20 lbs ( 9 kgs)
  • Capacity: 330 lbs (150 kgs)
MOUSA 11’ Inflatable SUP

Summary

A genuine all-round paddle board and at a very affordable price point. The MOUSA 11’ iSUP is an entry-level inflatable board that has been pitched at beginner to novice paddle boarders. Slightly longer in length for greater versatility, all MOUSA boards are made using a dense polyester drop-stitch core wrapped in two layers of military-grade PVC. MOUSA’s construction methodology is such that the board weighs only 20 lbs making it amongst the lightest on the market.

Highlights

☑️ Extremely light-weight at 20 lbs
☑️ Good build quality for an entry-level iSUP
☑️ Detachable tool-less tri-fin configuration
☑️ Amply weight carrying capacity at 330 lbs
☑️ Quality all round paddling performance

☑️ Well suited to beginners
☑️ Enlarged comfortable traction padding
☑️ Full accessories package
☑️ Easily transportable
☑️ 6 month manufacturers warranty

Performance

As an all-round iSUP, the board offers versatility for more broader use on flat waters for recreational paddling as well as mild surf or choppier water and wind conditions. At the longer end of the all-round category, with a slight front rocker (upward turned nose to help prevent pearling) and with a tri-fin configuration, MOUSA’s 11’ SUP glides nicely through the water and tracks fairly well once you settle into your paddling stroke.

At 34” wide there is ample room to take to the deck and stretch out with the board offering plenty of stability and buoyancy even for heavier paddlers. Not necessarily built for speed, the board is still quite rigid at the recommended psi. Unusually, MOUSA have put the bungee netting at the rear of the SUP making it a little more challenging to step back and perform turns although the tri-fin set-up does help the manoeuvrability so this isn’t too much of a hurdle.

MORE DETAILED REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.


ISLE Pioneer 10’6” iSUP

  • Length: 10’6” (320 cm)
  • Width: 34” (86 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (15 cm)
  • Volume: 326 litres
  • Weight: 24 lbs (11 kgs)
  • Capacity: 285 lbs (129 kgs)
ISLE Pioneer 10’6” iSUP

Summary

As a very well reputed manufacturer with an established standing within the industry, ISLE take it up a notch with their boards, so the Pioneer is by all means no entry-level SUP. Constructed using ISLE’s proprietary AiRTECH FUSION technology, the board has an inner drop-stitch core with a high-density military-grade PVC laminate that is fused together to form the outer skin. Fuse laminated boards are more durable and lightweight relative to their glued only counterparts.

Highlights

☑️ Outstanding build quality
☑️ Ample rider weight capabilities
☑️ Light-weight at 24 lbs
☑️ Suits paddlers of all levels
☑️ Exceptional customer feedback

☑️ Significant rigidity and stability
☑️ Quality all round paddling performance
☑️ Optional colour schemes
☑️ Quality accessories package
☑️ 2 year manufacturers warranty

Performance

With quality comes enhanced expectations and enhanced performance. With superior build quality strongly contributing to the boards stiffness and rigidity, the Pioneer has a highly stable paddling surface so is very easy to find your feet on and get to work. Its wide deck surface amplifies stability making it ideally suited to SUP yoga and general stationary board exercises while the slightly tapered nose and fin system heightens overall paddling performance and manoeuvrability.

Staying true to the classic dimensions of an all round inflatable paddle board, the Pioneer has been really well-received by customers particularly beginners and novice SUPers who are newer to the sport. As a middle market board offering great value for money (at a discounted rate), the 10’6” Pioneer is great on flat waters for general recreational paddling while still offering the versatility to comfortably tackle choppier waters in less favourable conditions when the wind is up.

MORE DETAILED REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.


NIXY Venice G4 10’6” iSUP

  • Length: 10’6” (320 cm)
  • Width: 34” (84 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (15 cm)
  • Volume: 315 litres
  • Weight: 23 lbs (10.4 kgs)
  • Capacity: 350 lbs (160 kgs)
NIXY Venice G4 10’6” iSUP

Summary

Another well received all-rounder although with slightly enhanced design features which add to the boards versatility and overall performance. NIXY again continue the theme of stepping it up from the entry-level market with a greater focus on quality. The G4 is NIXY’s latest generation of iSUPs which utilises their Advanced Fusion laminated woven drop-stitch technology with a military-grade fused outer skin for enhanced durability and rigidity.

Highlights

☑️ Highly stable and rigid
☑️ Propriety technology in build quality
☑️ Light-weight and easily transportable
☑️ Versatile all round paddling performance
☑️ Tri-fin configuration for greater agility

☑️ Generous deck traction padding
☑️ Plenty of volume for added buoyancy
☑️ Substantial capacity at 350 lbs
☑️ High quality accessories package
☑️ 2 years manufacturers warranty

Performance

We really like the Venice G4 as it not only takes on the classic dimensions of an all round inflatable, but it takes it up a notch with a focused design for those that are looking for more than just a recreational iSUP. This is clearly evident by the aggressive tapered nose and slight front rocker (upward turned nose) which helps the paddle board efficiently drive through the water enabling you to get up more speed and glide.

The wide belly section with comfortable full length deck traction padding is great when you’re down low stretching out offering ample room and stability for yoga. The squashed tail and thruster fin set-up makes the board responsive for greater manoeuvrability while the bungee netting and well shaped D-rings help complement your ability to accessorise the G4. A really nice all-rounder from a quality manufacturer albeit one of the newer players within the industry.

MORE DETAILED REVIEW CAN BE FOUND HERE.


Easy Tips for Better Success

Female Paddle Boarder in Yoga Pose

? Stay low and focus on the horizon – sitting down or generally keeping your body lower to the waters surface particularly if you are a beginner will give you a lower centre of gravity making it easier to maintain your balance. Looking at the horizon and not down at your feet also helps reduce the wobbles so you can maintain stability.

? Think about the location – a sheltered location that is protected against the elements or where the water and wind conditions are calm makes obvious sense. As you’ll likely fall off, make sure the water is not too shallow so you do not injury yourself. A quite location with minimal water traffic or noise will also make for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience as well – mind, body and soul stuff.

? Safety first – ensuring that you and your board do not become separated in the event of a fall is a must so always wear your ankle leash. In some territories it is also a legal requirement to wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). Legally required or not, play it safe and wear your PFD at all times.

? Paddling technique and confidence – Although purpose built yoga boards are not designed for their dynamic performance, the more time you spend on the water building up confidence and paddling proficiency, the greater you will be able to maximise your boards usage. Learning techniques like the step back turn or ensuring that you are adopting a proper paddling stance to optimise each paddling stroke will go a long way to making the most out of your SUP.

? Clothing and attire – you’ll be out on the water and exposed to the elements so light-weight swimwear or yoga attire makes the most sense. As you will likely get wet, avoid heavier items and that waterlogged feeling. Water is a very reflective surface so remember the sunscreen, hat and sunnies as well. Waterproof easy grip shoes are optional but barefoot is best.

? Take a group lesson or two – are you a confident paddle boarder who is new to yoga or a yogi who is new to paddle boarding? Building up some paddling confidence or taking a ‘land based’ yoga class or two is a great way to jump start and fast track your next SUP yoga adventure.

? SUP Anchor – not necessarily front of mind but a great accessory making it a lot easier to remain stationary without drifting or getting separated if you are with other yogis.

? Get wet – it’s gonna happen so enjoy it. Make sure you can swim beforehand of course!! You can even build in a few dips in the water as part of your yoga routine. Having a laugh at yourself and others is all part of the fun so make the most of it.


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<< On a budget? Check out some of the Best Cheap Paddle Boards on the market >>

As a recreational activity, paddle boarding offers some tremendous health and fitness benefits ranging from a full body workout engaging many of the core muscles, improvements in endurance and stamina, injury rehabilitation, weight loss and much more. When combined with the meditative nature of yoga and a soothing ability to connect and engage with nature, its quite easy to see why SUP yoga continues to increase in popularity.

We hope these recommendations are beneficial and as always it would be great to get your thoughts or feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you.

Until then, stay safe and get wet.

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