The Best Yoga Paddle Boards (SUP’s) – Walk on Water!

yoga SUPTo call yoga a new trend would be incorrect, the art has been practiced for thousands of years. That said, in recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence and yoga has become recognized for the amazing benefits it can have on your strength, flexibility and health, both physical and mental. People from all walks of life are trying out yoga and many people are doing so on the water via a paddle board or SUP. In this article, we look at the best paddle boards for yoga, for beginners and experts who want to buy a new SUP to take out on the water.

There are many reasons for practicing yoga on a lake or other body of water. For one, it creates more of a challenge. Naturally, water is going to be less stable than dry land, and so gives you a chance to hone your balance and other yoga skills. As well as that, the environment is very peaceful, and one of the reasons a lot of us try yoga is to get away from the rest of the world and enjoy some tranquility. Being out in the water and at one with nature is good for the brain as well as the body, and the challenge of yoga on the sea is one more and more of us are starting to attempt.

As with any SUP, there are some choices out there to make, and criteria that make certain boards the best for yoga. What is the correct choice for one person may not be so for another, and your individual needs are something to consider when looking at paddle board reviews, checking out the features and deciding if one is right for you. Our list of the best boards has looked not only at features, but at prices too. If you need a beginner SUP for yoga or are on a budget, you’re probably going to want a good cheap SUP, so we have included something for all budgets and sizes.

As a short aside, you might have heard the term BOGA used to describe ‘boot camp yoga’ which incorporates the use of yoga on stand up paddle boards. The criteria are exactly the same, and the best boards for BOGA are the same models mentioned below, of course. There is no difference in the SUP part of boot camp!

If you need any more convincing about the amazing benefits of this hobby, the huffington post have made an amazing article exploring some of the benefits!

ISLE Airtech Inflatable Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board

It is little surprise that a lot of the models we’ve looked at are made specifically for yoga, and the ISLE airtech inflatable yoga SUP has been designed exactly for the needs of yoga lovers. The company have been making products like this since 2004, and have really considered yoga when designing the board. Its wide nose and tail bring a lot of stability which means that it is not difficult to ride out and that it also stays relatively stable whilst performing your moves, poses and exercises. The last thing you want when trying out a new pose is a board that wobbles everywhere, and though SUP yoga will always test your balance, the ISLE airtech does a great job of giving some support under you.

One of many great things about this iSUP is the fact that it comes with everything you need. People just getting started on this journey are unlikely to have  huge amounts of SUP equipment and knowledge, especially if you’re just coming from a yoga background. This has an inflatable paddle, accessories bundle and even a travel bag. Which leads me nicely to the next benefit of the ISLE iSUP, the portability. Of course, it is inflatable, so can easily be thrown in the car and taken to a lake or to the sea. Not having to worry about a roof rack or difficulties taking your paddle board to your destination is definitely a plus point.

This board is also great for paddlers of all different shapes and sizes. It can handle weights of up to 255 lb but the manufacturers also say that some riders who exceed this may still be fine if they are experienced. Is this the cheapest yoga SUP? Absolutely not, you will have to part with a bit of money to get your hands on the ISLE Airtech iSUP, but if you want something that is an all in one solution, that is well made, durable and stable then look no further. You get all of the accessories you could possibly need and are ready to go as soon as your SUP is in your hands, and there is even a money back guarantee if you find anything is not to your liking. Deserves its place on our ‘best of’ list.

Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

On the whole, paddle boards aren’t the cheapest product, but the Emporium Weekender is on the more affordable end of the scale, making them a good choice for those on a budget, and offers excellent value for money. It is another inflatable model which makes it a top choice for portability. This is a 10′ model, and ten toes have products which are bigger, great for gliding and touring, or smaller, which won’t be big enough for yoga.

The Ten Toes weekender comes with an adjustable paddle, easy to use carry case and even has a one year warranty. Rolled up, this SUP is just 11″ x 36″, so it is easy to see why people opt for an inflatable model in order to make the storage and transportation so much easier. In terms of its durability, this is described as ‘virtually indestructible’ by the manufacturer. It would take more than a little wear and tear for anything to happen to this paddleboard, especially if being used for yoga and standard paddling. This will last many years, and considering the fact that this is already cheaper than many of its competitors on the market, the value for money offered by the Emporium Weekender is excellent. The maximum rider weight is 275lb meaning that even those with a larger frame can use it safely and with no fear of running into troubles.

A quick look at the ten toes weekender reviews on amazon or elsewhere will show that the vast majority of people who have taken the plunge and bought the Weekender ISUP are very happy with their buy, and a huge amount of five star reviews show that this is definitely one of the best options for yoga enthusiasts.

Lotus YSUP Inflatable SUP Board

We’re completing our list with another very high quality inflatable board. To be honest, it was hard to find any boards that aren’t inflatable and are designed to be used specifically for yoga, and that is understandable, the pros of a board being inflatable, especially for a hobbyist, outweigh the cons.

The Lotus YSUP is an exceptionally crafted, luxury SUP board with a huge amount of positive reviews online. Most people who have used the board seem to be exceptionally happy with it, and a huge amount of five star reviews suggest that in spite of being a bit more pricy than some of the other SUPs on the market, the Lotus hits the nail on the head.

This board has a thick, six inch covering material which is designed for yoga sessions, they’ve made sure they don’t have a carrier handle in the center of the board which would inevitably get in the way, so they’ve considered the needs you will have for a productive yoga session. A shoulder strap is the alternative and keeps it easy to carry.

Yoga SUP Accessories

There are many accessories out there that can make your life easier, too. Whether you already have a board or are buying one for the first time, many accessories are worth considering. Of course, there is some obvious equipment such as the SUP paddle, any storage accessories you may need and a carry bag if you’ve gone for an inflatable model, but we’ve put together some of the more specific yoga accessories.

Surfstow Paddle Board Mat

A paddle board mat can help to convert an ordinary SUP into something a bit more suitable for yoga. Slipping can be a big issue with many paddle boards, and having a good quality mat over the top can make things a lot easier for you. It simply attaches with a suction system and is very good at staying put once it is on there. If you have a specific yoga SUP then this may be overkill, but if not, it could just become your best friend.

Paddleboard Anchor

There are a number of anchors available, and they can help greatly with the stability on offer. Of course, you have to balance (no pun intended) a need for an anchor with a need to take something out on the water, a huge anchor isn’t going to work, but many of the anchors you can buy are just a couple of lbs in weight, and are easily portable, yet are able to grip in many conditions that can help to keep your paddleboard in one place.

Conclusion

This is a hobby that can have huge benefits, and there are a lot of reasons why it is growing at a rapid rate. Doing some research up front and exploring the best products for SUP yoga can be very beneficial in the long term, and ensure it is something you stick to for the long term.

What is Stand Up Paddleboarding? A Beginner’s Guide

ocean-1804114_640Many have described stand up paddleboards or ‘SUPs’ as the fastest growing trend in the world of water sports. Considering the fact that if you saw somebody stand on a board and start to paddle 20 years ago you probably would have been more than a bit confused, the sport has become pretty mainstream.

Legend has it that Hawaiian surfer Laird Hamilton in the 90s started paddling with a canoe paddle on his biggest surfboard to try and bulk up for big waves. He found it to be great exercise and it stuck. While this is likely one of the reasons it is so popular today, SUP’s of some form have been used in Hawaii, South America and Africa for thousands of years. Hawaiians describe it as Hoe He’e Nalu, a term you’re likely to hear if you visit the surfing hotspot.

So why has it caught on so much? Well, as already briefly mentioned, it is great exercise for a few different reasons. As well as the balance and weight distribution in your legs, your upper body gets a workout whilst propelling you across the water. Paddle boarding is a great way to vary what you’re doing on the water and give different muscles a workout. On top of this, it isn’t the most intimidating of board sports. If you look at a surfer or skimboarder for instance it can be intimidating, and a huge amount of skill is required to reach the top level. Paddleboarding isn’t easy as such, but it is more simple to pick up the basics and start to propel yourself along.

So You Want to Start Paddleboarding

There are so many places you can get started with your SUP adventure. Choose a lake, river or coast with pretty tame waters for your first trip and make sure it isn’t too windy. There are a few pieces of equipment you absolutely need to start off. These can sometimes be rented from water sports stores but buying a beginner model doesn’t have to cost the earth and if you plan to head out regularly it can be well worth it.

  • The Board – you need a board, and a suitable one for your size. Some boards come in multiple sizes, and all will tell you how big they are before you buy it, the bigger the board, generally the more stability you will have.
  • Paddle – you need a paddle to propel yourself, this will sometimes come as part of a set with the board. They can be made of fiberglass or metal materials.
  • Leash – this is vital and will ensure that the paddle doesn’t get lost! If you drop it in the water it can be hard to ever get back, and you don’t want to make a habit of losing your paddles.
  • Life Jacket or Life Vest – as always with any water sport, you have to take the adequate safety precautions.

Tips for SUP Beginners

  • Keep an eye on the weather. There is nothing worse than finding yourself on the water in a storm or windy conditions if you’re not yet comfortable on your board. Be sure that you stay in calm waters.
  • Face the right way. It sounds a bit rudimental but some beginners get confused which way to stand. The narrower ‘nose’ of the board should face the way you want to go, this is the front of the board.
  • Long strokes, hold the top of the paddle. If you hold it at the bottom or like a broom you’re not going to get the most of the propulsion your body can create.
  • Don’t rely on your arms. Most of the ‘heavy lifting’ should be done by your back. Ensuring you stay upright and looking forward rather than looking down will help this.
  • Fall away from the board. If you fall on the board or manage to get it to fall on you, it hurts. If you feel yourself going, jump away from the board and fall straight into the water.

Conclusion

As well as being amazing fun, going out on an SUP can be an amazing exercise, and it is no wonder this is a hobby which is catching on as being one of the most popular water sports. It is an accessible sport and one you can get started with pretty simply. Follow our basic tips and have an amazing time on your board!

Best SUP Paddle For Stand Up Paddleboards

best sup paddles reviewsIf you’re getting into the world of SUPs or you’re a seasoned paddleboarder, you may already know how tough it can be to pick out a paddle. Some SUPs don’t even come with a paddle as standard, and those that do may not be the best for your own personal needs. Perhaps it is time to upgrade to the best SUP paddle for you. For the best results you need to first work out exactly what you need from your paddle and find one within your budget, fitting your requirements.

A paddle should never get in the way of what you want to achieve on the water. You may want to stay out for a long time fishing, to go faster along the water or just make sure your paddling is efficient. If you’re using a clunky and heavy paddle then fatigue might be an issue, and after a little bit of time you may find yourself longing for the shore just to give yourself a break, but with the modern technology behind making SUP paddles and materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass and alloy giving the maximum efficiency at minimal weight, there are plenty of choices to give a good experience.

List of the Best Models of SUP Paddle

First up, we’ve selected some models that we consider to be the very best, before explaining below exactly what variables to look for depending on your build, interests and abilities when it comes to paddle boarding. These models won’t see you too far wrong, and we’ve included a cheaper beginner/casual user option, an intermediate option and an elite performance option. They’re also at different price points, whether you want an SUP paddle under $50, under $100 or under $200 then we’ve got something reviewed which will likely suit your budget.

BPS ULTRALITE Fiberglass Shaft Performer Adjustable SUP paddle

This is one of the best selling SUP paddles we’ve come across, the ultralite fiberglass made by BPS (standing for bulletproof surf) is a top model which has some amazing reviews online, hence it making our list of the top paddles. So what makes this such a good option?

Well, this is a stand up paddle which has been picked up for under $100 on many occasion, and has been known to outperform the other models on the market which cost vastly more. When they say it is adjustable, they mean it, and there are even markers to help you work out the size you need to set it to based on your own height and weight. This is suitable for a medium sized adult all the way down to children, so it can be used by a huge portion of paddleboarders out there.

BPS have put a lot of thought into the design here. As well as being usable by both children and adults, it is also super easy to adjust, and vitally it floats on water. Remarkably, a lot of paddles still don’t float on water which makes it all the more likely that you’ll lose a paddle and have to replace it, buying one of the best floating SUP paddles is good common sense, and with the Ultralite you’ll be safe on both salt water and fresh water.

When doing our research for this product, we took a good look at other consumer reviews and pro reviews to see what people were saying about this product, and the vast majority were positive. Most seem to be in agreement that this is a great value for money product and while some of the more expensive models may be superior, they come at additional cost. This is great for people who want to start taking their paddle boarding a little more seriously.

Pure Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle

We’re heading into the elite models here with the pure carbon fiber SUP paddle. It ships as a three piece model and is easily constructed and totally adjustable. This is not just light, but super light, and comes in at under 700g! This can vastly reduce fatigue and tiredness setting in and is perfect for moving at speed or going for a long time or over long distances. If you’re a serious paddle boarder, this could well be a model to consider. The size can be anywhere from 72 to 86 inches depending on the adjustment settings, and the manufacturers claim this is great for anyone to use, of all different heights.

This model, made by manufacturer iGK, is well made. The way it looks and feels, you can tell that the workmanship that has gone into it is pretty great, and the fact that it can remain sturdy at such an amazingly low weight is some feat. It ships with a deluxe carry bag which adds to the feeling of quality and also makes things more convenient.

It has what is called a super dihedral blade, this means that double concave and dihedral blades give a lot more stability to the stroke, and make it a great option for people who are boarding to a high level. As we’ve already said is essential, the Pure carbon fiber SUP paddle also floats on the water reducing the chances of it going missing, never to be found again.

The reviews we’ve looked at online are even more impressive than its counterparts. People have mainly been delighted with the quality on offer here. Durability, quality and ease of use are reported again and again, as well as people being pleased with just how adjustable and flexible this can be. This is not the kind of flimsy model that sometimes gets shipped with your first SUP set, and will likely serve you very well for many miles out on the water. Definitely comes with the watersporter seal of approval.

Affordable Option: Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle by BPS

There is a lot to be said for a cheap option, especially if you’re just getting started, but even if your budget is relatively small, that doesn’t mean you don’t want something decent, and you need a paddle to do the job well. BPS are a brand we’ve already mentioned, and their range of SUP paddles is very good. This, their alloy offering, is cheaper mainly due to the material, which does definitely come with some drawbacks, but lets be honest, at this price range that is inevitable. What we need to decipher is whether this is the best cheap SUP paddle, and the answer may well be yes.

This ships as a two piece paddle, and though it is made of alloy it is relatively lightweight and pretty easy to use. It is adjustable from 71″-83″ and can be safely used by people who weigh up to 240 lbs, so pretty much anyone can pick up this paddle and use it with a little adjustment. The manufacturer guarantees that for 12 months after purchase this model will float, so you don’t need to worry about losing it at the bottom of the lake.

The blade is made of a nylon composite and designed to be versatile, so while it may not be the best if you want to race your SUP, it is a good starter paddle or perfectly usable for the casual paddle boarder. If you want to be a pro, or are looking for an elite model, one of the options above may be a better call as they’re more lightweight and effective, but for a budget option, this can’t be argued with too much! The reviews of the product on Amazon and elsewhere online are very positive, and as long as you don’t buy it expecting it to be the smoothest paddle in the universe then you will probably not be disappointed.

Notable Mention – Advanced Elements

Advanced elements are a big player in the world of SUPs and they manufacture many different models and accessories for the pastime. We haven’t featured full advanced elements SUP paddle reviews, but it is definitely worth mentioning the brand as an option, as they do provide some great gear, including a few solid options when it comes to paddles. Their AE2057 Alani Adjustable Fiberglass SUP Paddle is a real highlight and can be picked up at a decent price considering the fact that it is such a lightweight and quality fiberglass model. The brand make a lot of paddles for other water sports too, and the majority of the products they produce seem to be very well received. Their stand up paddles are no exception, and are worth a look if you can pick them up for a decent price.

We love the brand Advanced Elements, and their mission to make the world of paddle sports better equipped, so we had to mention them in this article. If you need other gear besides paddles, they make some amazing accessories for the dedicated boarder.

Choosing an SUP Paddle

We’re running through the things you should consider when you’re choosing an SUP Paddle. There are a few different elements which are variable and what works best for one person may not work for another, so it is good to go in with a bit of knowledge.

Length

Length is one the most important factors and you need to think about both how tall you are and the type of water you will be using it in, as well as the size of your SUP.

You should basically be able to stand up and the paddle next to you should be 8-12 inches higher than you are. If it is too short, the leverage is not as effective and the strain becomes higher to paddle effectively. Think archimedes’ lever. If it is much bigger though, it can be hard to move in and out of the water and make your experience tough. 8-12 inches bigger than you is the sweet spot here.

Material

Another vital thing to consider when choosing your paddle. The materials used to make the paddle have a huge impact on the price, and the performance.

Carbon Fiber – This is a super light material and is designed for being agile and easy to glide through the water. The shaft can be rigid and this makes it easy for racing or going fast, or it can be more flexible which is good for the more casual user or a fishing SUP.

Aluminum. Aluminum is cheap in comparison to the other materials used to make paddles, and thus usually makes for the cheapest SUP paddles, which are of a decent quality, but maybe not the most ‘sporty’ models out there. Good for beginners.

Fiberglass – Similar to fiberglass but heavier and denser, great for beginners too but also very good for those who are a bit more advanced in their SUP careers.

Blade size. Small, Medium or Large.

Smaller blades may be more lightweight, and some find them more visually appealing, but they’re best for tranquil waters and ‘touring’ on your SUP. They can be effective on some tranquil lakes for instance, or great for a peaceful trip, but as waters get more choppy and challenging, a bigger blade will be more effective for you. Considering whether you want to ride waves or simply paddle down a quiet stream will inform the decision on blade size.

Best Adjustable SUP Paddles. Adjustable is another option when you’re looking for a paddle, if your SUP is used by more than one person or you want to be able to lend it to a friend or your partner, having an adjustable SUP gives you that flexibility. If you go somewhere that rent out paddleboards then you are likely to find a lot of adjustable paddles as they can be used by people of different shapes and sizes.

Conclusion

As mentioned already, your level of ability, build, budget and even your personal preference, do you want something which looks cool or do you just want something to do the job well? Are you going to be using it on a tranquil lake or in choppy seas? A little bit of thought with regards the use of the paddle will ensure that you can make the best choice for your needs.

Our recommendations are based on the most simple to use and easy on the arms as well as those which are durable and well constructed, the models mentioned in this article won’t see you far wrong as long as you take the time to make an informed decision.

SUP equipment is being released all the time, and we’re committed to keeping our finger on the pulse, so we will bring you updates as more products come onto the market. If you’ve had experience with any of the above models of paddle, have another to recommend or want to join in the conversation, leave us a comment sharing your thoughts.