How to Choose a Paddle Board for Yoga

how to choose a paddle board for yoga

People know that SUP yoga is a fantastic way to enjoy nature and that it comes with numerous health benefits. But few know how to choose a paddle board for yoga. 

Finding that one perfect SUP yoga board from all the available options can be quite the task. It is easy to waste your money and end up with a SUP you won’t even like. 

In this guide, we talk about choosing a yoga paddle board that is right for you, based on your individual needs. 

A good yoga board translates to a good time. You want to be able to practice comfortably, easily transitioning from one pose to another as you embrace the peace and relaxation. 

So let’s get into it. 

RELATED: Read our article about the best paddle boards for yoga in 2021.

What Is SUP Yoga?

It involves practicing yoga on a SUP board on a body of water. The paddle board acts as your floating yoga mat. 

Stand up paddle board yoga is different from regular yoga in several ways. First, you will be on the water and the SUP will be swaying under you. 

The surface is also smaller than you’re used to if you practice yoga on land. 

SUP yoga is a little more challenging than yoga on land but it is a whole lot of fun.  

An Inflatable Paddle Board Vs a Hard Board for Yoga

This is the first decision you have to make. Should you get a hard board or an inflatable paddle board?

Inflatables make the best yoga paddle boards for a number of reasons.

Blow-up boards have a soft surface. All yoga boards—hard and inflatable—will have a soft deck pad, which is great. But it doesn’t cover the entire paddle board. 

As you can imagine, falling during your SUP yoga sessions is expected, especially for beginners. With the soft inflatable surface, you are less likely to get hurt if you hit the board when you fall.

Another reason why we believe inflatables are better is that they are generally thicker. Most of them are 6 inches thick and ride above the water. They make it easier to stay dry. 

You’ll also notice that inflatable boards have a uniform thickness while solid boards tend to be tapered. This uniform thickness helps with stability. 

Lastly, an inflatable SUP board will be easier to store and travel with.

Hard paddle boards, on the other hand, are superior in terms of speed and general performance. 

Key Features to Consider When Buying a Yoga Paddle Board

1. Size: Best Dimensions for a Yoga Board

When it comes to paddle boards for yoga, bigger is always better. Bigger stand up paddle boards are more stable.

For board length, we recommend 10’6 to about 11’6. You can get a shorter one, but not shorter than 10’. 

Width is one of the most important factors because it greatly affects stability. Go for yoga boards that are 33 inches or wider. Avoid SUPs under 32 inches wide. 

Although wider paddleboards are great, especially for advanced yoga poses, they can be slow. So you may need to find a balance between stability and speed. 

Thicker boards offer more buoyancy and stability. Stick to boards that are 5 to 6 inches thick. 

Don’t also forget to check the weight capacity. You want a SUP yoga board that can hold you and any gear that you will want to bring. 

ALSO READ: Is the Bluefin Aura Fit the best yoga SUP board?

2. Hull Type

Displacement hulls are designed for speed and not stability. Most of the paddle boards that have this hull type are best used for touring and racing. 

The planing hull is designed for stability and is, thus, more suited for SUP yoga.

3. Fin Setup

In most cases, the fin setup doesn’t matter much when it comes to practicing yoga on your SUP. But there are a few things you should know.

Many paddle boards will either have a single-fin setup or a three-fin setup. The single-fin setup is one large center fin while the three-fin setup includes one large center fin and two side fins. 

The three-fin system can help with stability. 

You should also decide whether you want fixed or removable fins. With fixed fins, you won’t have to worry about losing them. Removable fins allow you to try different fin configurations and see what you like. 

4. Deck Pad

A deck pad doubles as a yoga mat. 

The best paddle boards for yoga are those with a large traction pad. Other yoga boards even have a full-length deck pad which is amazing. 

A good traction pad should be soft and textured to keep you comfortable and prevent you from slipping. 

5. Build Quality

You don’t want a yoga SUP board that will not last. So pay attention to the construction quality.

Most inflatable paddleboards are built using PVC. But they are not all the same.

Get a paddleboard made with multiple layers of military-grade PVC. It will be more rigid and will last longer. 

Make sure you buy from a reputable manufacturer. The inflatable paddle board should also have a warranty.

6. Don’t Fall for the Advertising Language: Check the Features

Don’t just buy the best paddle board—buy the best yoga board for you. 

You’re the only one who knows what your yoga routine will look like. You may want to engage in other paddle boarding activities too. 

Figure out how you want to use the board and then choose a paddle board with the features you will need. 

Pay attention to features like the non-slip traction pad, bungee cord for storage, and maybe D-rings for attaching a kayak seat or other gear. 

What Do You Need to Get Started with SUP Yoga?

yoga-paddle-board

You will need:

  • Yoga paddle board
  • Paddle for paddling to and from your spot
  • Safety leash
  • Personal flotation device for safety
  • Dry storage bag for valuables
  • Anchor

How to Choose a Paddle Board for Yoga FAQs

Q: Can You Do Yoga on a Paddle Board?

A: Yes, you can. Stand up paddle board yoga is an amazing full-body workout. You can get started on your own or find a yoga instructor to help you out. 

Q: What Type of Paddle Board Is Best for Yoga?

A: A stable board with a large comfortable EVA deck pad. For stability, you want to go for the bigger boards: 10 to 11’6 long and 33+ inches wide. 

Q: How Wide Should a Paddle Board Be for Yoga?

A: A yoga board should be 33 to 35 inches wide. 

Q: How Do You Anchor a Paddle Board for Yoga?

A: Anchoring a paddle board is simple and straightforward. This video explains it best.

Wrapping Up

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How difficult is paddle board yoga really?

SUP yoga is a great way to reap all the benefits of paddle boarding and yoga. To choose the best paddle board for your needs, focus on the features—dimensions, fin setup, deck pad, build quality, and hull type. 

Once you find the right SUP, go out there and have fun with other SUP yogis!

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