Imagine the ocean. The huge volume of water filled with fish, whales, turtles and other amazing creatures. Birds going round in the sky. And the morning breeze, when the sun is just about to shine. There’s no better place on Earth to do your yoga routine, so why not try practicing it on a stand up paddle board. SUP yoga is becoming more and more popular, with communities gathering to practice it on the shores.
It is said that once you’ve had your first SUP yoga experience, you will fell in love with this sport. Plus, the water helps you do a more intense workout, as it is more unstable than the ground and you will have to put all your muscles to work to maintain your equilibrium. However, things can get difficult and unpleasant if you don’t have the perfect gear, so you should pay a little attention when choosing the board. Is it better to go with air inflatable board or a hard model? Does size matter. We’ll explore all these criteria and more in this article.
Hard Board vs Inflatable Board
When choosing the SUP type, you should consider 2 main things. First of all, you need to think if you will use it exclusively for yoga or you would like to do other activities. An inflatable model is the better option for yoga, as it is less rigid than a hardboard and offers a smoother surface for your body. Furthermore, it features a uniform thickness that provides more stability and helps you maintain balance, while the hard type is usually tapered at the edges, and this makes it tipper.
You can use an inflatable paddle board for SUP cruising, fishing or sunbathing, but if you are more adventurous, and wish to do some SUP racing when you are not doing your yoga exercises, you should orient towards a hard model. Nonetheless, with a little research, you will find that the best inflatable stand up paddle boards do boast the lengthy profile and pointy nose design needed to give you speed and keep you on track so that you get ahead of the competition. However, our focus is on yoga, and inflatable models are definitely the go-to for this activity as the surface is much more comfortable to practice this activity on.
The second thing you should think about is transportation. If you need to bring your board on a plane, store it in your trunk while traveling or carry it on the mountain for river paddling than the only option is an inflatable board. Although not the lightest in the world it is lighter than a hardboard and fits into a bag when deflated.
Depending on your weight and skills, you may need either a wider or thicker board. Beginners should start with a larger model, as it is more stable and allows them to practice their balance. A 36-inch board is usually recommended. While thickness is important, so the board doesn’t sink under your weight, a 6-inch board doesn’t ride as low on the water as a 5-inch, and you will find it harder to maintain position. Furthermore, if you end up in the water, it will easier to get back on a 5-inch model than on a 6-inch. Besides that, you need to check if the board supports your weight because if you overcharge it, it will be harder to maneuver.
Length isn’t so important when it comes to yoga, as you will look to remain in the center of the board for better stability, so we recommend you choose an average 10-11 feet board.
Fins don’t have a direct action upon the board’s performance when it comes to yoga. However, you might want to use it for other paddle boarding activities and it doesn’t hurt to have everything prepared. Thus, you could go with a permanent 3-fin system, as it is stronger and you don’t have to worry that you might some of the components while practicing your yoga. A configurable system includes removable fins, being a wonderful choice if you wish to use the board to do yoga on the land, as you can detach them and find a better position.
The most popular fin arrangement is the one including one fixed central fin and 2 side removable fins. However, it doesn’t prove the most efficient for yoga, as you can neither completely remove the fins, nor have them all fixed, so you don’t lose them.
Although yoga is known as being a sport that doesn’t require many accessories, when you are practicing it on the water, you might want to have everything at hand. This is where the bungee system comes handy, as it will help you secure your water bottle and other supplies. The paddle will get you to the right spot, but it doesn’t play an important part in your routine.
However, the deck pad will make a difference, and here’s where you need to decide between a full or partial cover and choose the optimal texture. While practicing yoga, you will sit mainly in the middle of the board, for balance purposes, so a pad that covers the whole deck won’t bring you any benefit. It is better to go with one that covers 3/4 of the board but has better quality. Moreover, although a patterned pad might give you a better grip, it leaves marks on your skin, so we recommend you go with a plushy, flat-textured one.
Yoga is about relaxation and finding your inner peace, so make sure you choose a board that helps you exercise and doesn’t turn it into a stressful routine. Although many variables depend on personal taste and skills, some are proven to be best for this activity. So don’t let yourself mesmerized by colorful, sleek-designed models. Check dimensions, quality, and accessories to make sure you get the perfect SUP.