You can think of it as a natural pairing. You get the health benefits of yoga while doing it in a relaxing environment. It helps that using a paddle board adds to the challenge too. Over 3 million people go paddle boarding. That’s a 28 percent increase in participation between 2012 and 2015.
It requires balance, coordination and a strong core which gives it a lot in common with yoga. That may account for the fact that 42 percent of individuals who paddle board also practice yoga. Let’s run down our list of the best paddle boards for yoga and explain what to look for when buying one.
Quick Answer: What are the best paddle boards for yoga in 2018?
- Isle PEAK Inflatable 10’6 Stand Up Paddle Board
- Boardworks Flow Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board – 9’11”
- Atlantis Paddle Boards Inflatable SUP
- ISLE Versa Epoxy 10’5 Standup Paddle Board
- YOLO Board 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- Gold Coast Surfboards Anima Soft Top StandUp Paddleboard
- Some of Our Favorite Paddle Boards for Yoga in 2017 – 2018
- 1. Boardworks Flow Stand Up Paddle Board – 9’11”
- 2. Atlantis Paddle Boards SUP Inflatable Paddle Board
- 3. Isle PEAK Inflatable 10’6 Stand Up Paddle Board
- 4. ISLE Versa Epoxy 10’5 Standup Paddle Board
- 5. Gold Coast Surfboards Anima Soft Top StandUp Paddleboard
- 6. YOLO Board 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
- What Is Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga?
- Things to Consider When Buying a Paddle Board
Some of Our Favorite Paddle Boards for Yoga in 2017 – 2018
All of our picks would work well for all-purpose paddle boards. They have the features for doing yoga or just paddling around the lake. Most people have only one board, so it makes sense to find one that will suit the paddling that you do. Any of our choices will work well for the beginner or more advanced user.
1. Boardworks Flow Stand Up Paddle Board – 9’11”
If you’re looking for the absolute best yoga paddle board for the money right now, and you take your yoga and SUPing seriously, then you definitely need to check out this model from Boardworks. As you likely already know, this is one of the best SUP brands for quality boards right now, and this Flow model is seriously great for doing yoga on the water.
The Boardworks Flow SUP for yoga offers paddleboarders like you a comfortable, supportive platform for placid, on-the-water activities. So, strike that warrior pose and cruise around the water when you’re done.
- High quality board made by one of the top SUP brands
- Very stable in the water, even in small waves
- It features a full-length Honey Foam deck pad offers traction and comfort underfoot
- It even has 3 tie-down points on the deck that are perfect for lashing down a cooler
- The price is higher than most of the boards on this page, but you’re paying for quality
- It comes with zero accessories
Where to Buy:
Overall, this is out topic pick for the best yoga SUP on the market right now. So, if you can afford the slightly higher price tag, this will be a great board for yoga, flat water paddling, and small waves for many years to come.
2. Atlantis Paddle Boards SUP Inflatable Paddle Board
The Atlantis Paddle Boards SUP Inflatable Paddle Board measures 10 feet 6 inches long by 30 inches wide and is 6 inches thick. It has a removable 3-fin setup. It comes with a high-pressure air pump, leash, adjustable paddle and a carrying bag. Its weight capacity is 398 pounds. We liked the roomy anti-slip deck pad surface for doing just about any yoga pose.
Its bow is raised which makes it easy to cut through the water. Overall, it’s a well-made product that was rigid when inflated. It’s stable in the water, though have extra weight on board doesn’t detract a bit from it. The paddle and pump are okay, but at least we could get on the water right away with having everything with one purchase.
- The board is backed by a two-year warranty.
- It has a generous amount of surface area that is anti-skid.
- It is very durable considering it’s an inflatable.
- The ankle leash is a bit short at 10 feet long.
- The air pump is manual rather than electric, though it is dual action.
- Replacement parts are hard to get.
Where to Buy:
The Atlantis is a decent beginner paddle board that includes some welcome extras like the carrying bag and leash. Also see our full review here.
3. Isle PEAK Inflatable 10’6 Stand Up Paddle Board
The PEAK Inflatable 10’6 Stand Up Paddle Board comes in at 10 feet 6 inches long by 31 inches wide x 6 inches thick. It has a single-fin setup with a generous amount of space in front for a PFD and gear. Like the previous model, it includes a pump, leash, paddle and carrying bag. It also has a handle on the nose to make hauling it around less cumbersome.
The weight capacity is 300 pounds but probably could handle a bit more in a pinch. The board and carrying bag are well-made. It’s solid and rigid when inflated. It is easy to maneuver and tracks well too. It provides a stable paddling surface that beginners will appreciate. Inflating and deflating are easy to boot.
- The carrying bag has padded straps to wear it like a backpack for easy hauling.
- The overall weight is light at 23 pounds.
- You can remove the fin with no tools.
- The non-slip surface is a bit small compared to other boards we considered.
- The included air pump is manual.
- Inflating is somewhat awkward with the valve.
Where to Buy:
The PEAK is a good value for the price for a board that includes the extras and just looks great on the water. See our full review here.
4. ISLE Versa Epoxy 10’5 Standup Paddle Board
The ISLE Versa Epoxy 10’5 Standup Paddle Board is one of two solid paddle boards that we considered. Its dimensions are 10 feet 5 inches long by 32 inches wide and 4.5 inches thick. It comes with an adjustable paddle which is a step-up from some that we’ve seen with other models. It has a nylon blade and a carbon shaft that makes it lightweight and durable.
Because it’s a solid board, it can handle both flatwater and some waves. Its weight capacity is a little lighter at 275 pounds. It has a single, removable center fin. The nose is upturned just enough to glide through the water easily. It comes in aqua and a wood finish that really looks great.
- It’s lightweight for a solid board at 27 pounds.
- It’s easy to handle both on and off the water.
- The board has a lot of deck space for doing yoga.
- The warranty is short at only 30 days, and you’ll have to pay a 20 percent restocking fee if you return it.
- The board can’t handle a lot of punishment without causing damage.
- The paddle doesn’t float well.
Where to Buy:
The ISLE Versa is a good-looking board that delivers a smooth and stable ride at a decent price. See our full review here.
5. Gold Coast Surfboards Anima Soft Top StandUp Paddleboard
The Gold Coast Surfboards Anima Soft Top StandUp Paddleboard is the second of our solid boards. Its dimensions are 10 feet 4 inches long by 32 inches wide and 5 inches thick. It has a weight capacity of 275 pounds as well. The first thing you notice about this model is how great it looks. The manufacturer is well known for their surfboard. We see a lot of the same details here.
It has 3-fin setup for better handling and gliding in waves. It also includes an 11-foot leash. It is well-designed to handle rougher treatment than similar boards of its kind. It provides a stable ride and is easy to maneuver. The board weighs in at 28 pounds. It doesn’t include a paddle, but it’s not a deal breaker.
- The squared-off rails improve its stability on the water.
- The foam top is a welcome touch for doing yoga on it.
- The soft top is easily damaged and can’t take a lot of UV radiation.
- The warranty is only 15 days, and you have to pay the shipping costs.
- The gear storage area is a bit small.
Where to Buy:
The Gold Coast’s Anima SUP delivers a smooth ride with a cushy surface that is ideal for SUP yoga.
6. YOLO Board 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
The YOLO Board 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board is the longest and most expensive of the boards we considered. Despite its size, it weighs in at only 23 pounds. The 11-foot model is 30 inches wide and 6 inches thick. It comes with an adjustable paddle, air pump and carrying bag. One of the great features of it is its look. This is a wicked-looking paddle board.
The back-storage area is very small given its overall size. However, there is a generous amount of deck space for SUP yoga. The longer length gives it a boost on its stability which puts it up there with the best paddle boards for yoga. It has a single-fin setup that is longer to improve its tracking.
- It comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- The carrying bag is quite nice for using it like a backpack.
- It is by far the best-looking paddle board we’ve seen in a while.
- The paddle isn’t the best quality and seems cheap.
- Ditto on the pump.
- The width could stand use another inch or two to balance the longer length.
Where to Buy:
The YOLO is a paddle board that will get you compliments on its sexy design.
What Is Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga?
Stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga involves swapping out your mat for a board instead. Before you panic about the size, a model for an adult runs about 10 to 12 feet versus 68 to 84 inches. A board is wider too at 30 inches or more rather than 24 inches. The bottom line is that you have a lot more room for doing poses on a paddleboard versus a yoga mat.
Other than these features, it’s the same thing only with the instability of the water added to the mix. You can do the same asanas like downward dog, bridge pose or lunges just like you do at home or the studio. Of course, you’ll need to become comfortable using a paddle board before you start doing plank poses. But there are plenty of good reasons why you should.
You can look at the advantages of SUP yoga in terms of each activity individually and together. Both will give your core quite a workout. That will, in turn, improve your balance and coordination. Strong abdominal muscles will help prevent back pain too. The benefit of doing them both together is that you will ramp up the intensity.
You should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity each week to maintain good health. Trying to stay upright on a paddle board is an excellent way to get in your time. SUP yoga has other benefits too. Research has shown that exercising outdoors has a greater impact on your mental and physical well-being than working out indoors.
Things to Consider When Buying a Paddle Board
You should take your time when choosing the best SUP for yoga. It is an investment. You can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on several factors that we’ll cover in detail. Some features offer clear advantages for individual who’ll use their paddle board for yoga. Let’s run through the ones you should consider.
Solid or Inflatable?
You’ll find paddle boards that are either solid SUPs or inflatable. The advantages of the former lie with stability and performance. Chances are you’ll feel more comfortable on this type if you’re just starting out with SUP yoga. You’ll find boards made of the following materials:
- Polyurethane foam
- EPS foam
- Carbon fiber
Plastic is the least expensive option, but it’s also heavier and harder to maneuver on the water. Carbon fiber on the other end of the scale is light but costs much more. A board with a foam core with a fiberglass and epoxy exterior is an affordable middle-of-the-road option.
Inflatable paddle boards can run as much as the solid models, but they offer other advantages. They’re easier to store versus a 10-foot long model. If you want to practice your yoga on the road, you’ll have no worries taking it along for the ride. And there’s the cushy factor. While they are solid when inflated, they still are softer.
An ideal board for SUP yoga runs about 10 to 12 feet. It’s a good size if you just want to paddle around in between poses. While it seems like a lot, the longer length will add to its stability. The same is the case for width. You’ll find paddle boards between 29 and 36 inches wide. Smaller individuals should stick toward the low end of the range and larger toward the high end.
Thickness is important when considering the weight capacity and durability. Materials, of course, also play a role. You can expect to see boards between 4 and 6 inches thick, depending on the type.
You’ll find boards with either a planing or displacement hull. The short answer is that the latter is the better choice for SUP yoga. Its wide and flat profile will provide stability and better maneuverability. The other type is designed for racing or touring over long distances.
Your paddle board will have at least one fin on it to help with stability and tracking. Larger ones work well for yoga. That applies to both solid and inflatable models. Most are removable too. You’ll also see other fin setups that include more than one. Some of these types are more appropriate for surfing.
The 3-fin setup has three like components. It’s an upgrade from the single one that improves on tracking and control. You’ll also see it called a thruster.
Weight Capacity and Volume
The specs on a paddle board will include figures for weight capacity and volume. The former is self-explanatory. We would add that you should also take into account the gear you might bring along with you. The volume tells you how it floats in the water with a larger amount meaning it can hold more weight.
Many paddle boards come with some extras. Some will include a paddle which is nice to get started right away. However, many prefer to buy their own to get something to match their paddling style. Our advice is to use it and upgrade if it is making it more of a chore. Inflatable models will have a pump and carrying bag too.
You’ll also some products sold with ankle leashes. If yours doesn’t have one, don’t go out on the water without it. It’s imperative to prevent losing your board if you fall off of it. And you will end up in the drink at least in the beginning. The other essential item is a personal floatation device (PFD). The US Coast Guard requires paddlers to have one on the board at all times.
The best paddle boards for yoga are the ones that will enhance your experience and help you enjoy the calming environment of the outdoors. SUP yoga offers many health benefits that make it worth looking into if you want to try something different or want a new challenge.
Start slow and gradually work up to intermediate poses. As you get stronger, you’ll find it easier to stay upright and focus more on your surroundings. That is the beauty of this up and coming sport. It’s the ideal prescription for good physical and mental health.
top image license credit: by Luna Vandoorne/ Shutterstock