Bay Sports 11' Mandala Yoga SUP
- Very stable
- Paddles well also
- High quality accessories
- Durably and stiff materials
- Lightweight (given it's size)
- Little tricky to carry long distances without handle
- Mandalas get dirty easy (wash feet!)
- You have to deal with everyones jealousy how pretty it is
Do you know what one of my favorite ways to end a day is?
To take a SUP out on the lake near my house and do some stretching while I watch the sunset.
Now having a Yoga SUP specifically for that reason makes me one happy girl! Not only is the BaySports Yoga SUP beautiful and practical for doing poses/SUP exercise, it actually is not a bad board to paddle around too!
BaySports is an Australian company based in Manly, Sydney that does a range of inflatables including kayaks and floating pontoons. They, however, ship overseas too!
Considering the existing boards I have reviewed of Bay Sports, I expected nothing less than another high-quality board. Read on to find out what I think.
|Weight||20.7 lbs / 9.4 kg|
|Weight Capacity||374 lbs / 170 kg|
Well, I guess we best be covering performance in the sense of what a Yoga SUP should offer! When I think Yoga SUP I think stability, comfort, and easy paddling. Luckily, the 11’ Mandala offers all this! Not to mention it’s beautiful!!
As I mentioned above, I was surprised by how nicely the board paddled as with other Yoga SUPs they tend to feel a bit clunky. That’s fair enough though because it’s more important that the board is stable than can paddle well.
However, I thoroughly enjoy going for a paddle and then being able to lie down and stretch out a bit. So being able to have a board that can still offer a fun paddle while also being a perfect platform for some yogi action you get to enjoy the best of both worlds!
The 11’ BaySports Yoga SUP includes the new FCS Connect II fin which I was quite surprised by! Seeing as Yoga SUP’s are quite a niche product, many manufacturers skimp on the extra features and accessories. It’s nice to know that the guys at BaySports care about all their products, not just the ones they think will sell well.
I mention the fin because it really does add to the performance, it provides excellent tracking as well as the ability to still turn the board. Admittedly it’s a lot slower to turn than say their 11’6” Tour, but this is a Yoga board after all! I have noticed an improvement in glide, tracking and turns across their whole range since introducing this fin.
Moving onto the stability at 34” wide and the board not really having much rocker nor any streamline shape, you’ll have no problem with stability. Now because of this, I have actually recommended this board onto paddlers who really need the extra volume too. Not just for the yogi SUP’ers. One friend paddled this board alongside us for 10km and kept up totally fine!
Comfort wise, you’re also in luck. The beautifully designed and printed Mandala deck pad has a smooth finish so no weird imprints will be left unlike on the diamond groove pads. I also found the pad still to be grippy enough to not feel like I would plop into the water on my first downward dog attempt.
Much like the 11’6” Tour Original Series, the Mandala Yoga SUP has been built using Fusion Tec but still opting for 6” thickness which is rarely seen. The result is a very sturdy and rigid board that weighs a fraction of what many other SUP’s this size would!!
Inside these fused layers of PVC lays your drop stitch core that ensures the durability and strength of your board for many yoga sessions to come. Then just to make really really sure you won’t be left sinking after accidentally hitting a passing log, they’ve reinforced the rails 3 times. Given the rails are the most commonly hit and damaged area, it makes sense! You’ll even bounce off rocks with this kind of manufacturing!
As already mentioned the Mandala includes the FCS Connect II center fin which requires no tools whatsoever. You simply shove it in place, and the barrel lock engages, and you’ve got a fin going nowhere! Not only is it so easy to install and remove, but it’s also made from tough urethane that also has flex to prevent it from damage.
Then you also have your side fins, which aren’t entirely necessary for this kind of board apart from they help keep the tail end stable. They are made from molded plastic so they can also bend and move without being damaged. Sometimes they are a little curled when first out of the package if that’s so, pour some hot water on them or get your board in the sun and voila! Fixed!
Inflating a SUP has never been easier. I originally inflated this board with a dual action, single chamber pump and it did take some time given how huge it is! So when I received the new double chamber, triple action pump BaySports is including with all boards, I was over the moon.
I got this board up and going in about 7 minutes I would say, the smaller boards I’ve used it with only take about 5 minutes and much less exertion than before.
Deflate is super simple with pushing the pin in, clockwise twist and then let the air escape! Bit of playful rolling around on the board helps to get a bit more air out before you try to roll her up!
Just looking at the board, you can tell it’s going to be a cruisy ride. The shape is consistent the whole way through, so your weight is evenly spread no matter what pose/movement you’re doing. Which is a huge factor into what you’re capable of achieving on the board. My proud moment was achieving some acro yoga on board!!
Though the body isn’t completely square, so you still have a bit of glide and tracking performance. I love the fact, that it’s quite the versatile Yoga SUP.
On the nose, there’s a bit of storage area which I think is necessary! If you are doing some exercise, you should be taking some water with you! As well as some sunscreen if you plan to be out for a little while. 4 D-rings and some bungee are plenty enough!
Rather than having a handle in the middle which can get in the way, they’ve just attached two D-rings to the rails where a strap can be attached. I did find it a little tricky to move the board very far carrying it like this, but I can’t see another alternative! The only thing could be a soft material handle that can be undone and laid flat. Though it’s still not very comfortable if you are lying down or kneeling on it.
Though if you are with another, then you’ll have no issue as there is a handle on the nose and tail making it a breeze to carry. The tail end handle also doubles as your paddle holder while you are busy stretching and getting fit! Simply slide the paddle handle up through the paddle and let it float behind you.
To get you out to your ideal yoga spot, you shall need to paddle your way! And again I was impressed to see they still included a decent paddle to get you there. The 3 piece fiberglass paddle is a little upgraded from previous paddles included. Whereas part of the paddle was plastic originally, this new one is full fiberglass and weighs only 700g!
It breaks down super easy into 3 pieces to store away in your bag. Also, I noted all the joins feel secure even with some hard paddling. The blade is also slightly narrower which at first I wasn’t entirely sure about, but after a few uses I got used to it and decided it’s actually better!
Ahhh the pump. The newest addition to the BaySports packages. This guy is going to give Red Paddle Co’s Titan pump a run for its money.
It’s a dual chambered, triple action powerhouse. It’s such a relief to pump boards with a decent pump. It makes you want to get out more often and as a result really get the value of your board! There’s also a deflate option to help squeeze out that last little bit of air for an easier roll.
So this is a tricky one with a Yoga board! You don’t want your leash getting in the way of exercise, but you also have a greater risk of falling off and losing your board! I’ll wear mine for the paddle if I need to and then store it under the bungees while I do my handstands and backflips. I joke. I manage a headstand that’s it. It’s got a key stash spot which I appreciate as I am the queen of “Where are my keys?”.
My suggestion if you are doing yoga, take the leash off but fashion some sort of anchor. Whether you’re close enough to tie off from a tree or put a rock in a bag and tie it to your board. That way your board will stay in one place! No matter how awkwardly your limbs flail as you try to exit a tricky yoga pose.
To keep it all in one place and ready to go with no preparation, you have your backpack. It’s a big board so expect a little weight, however, the straps are padded and comfortable to help ease the load.
Inside there’s plenty of room for your board as well as all your extras. The bag opens right up to give easy access to it all. If you want to really get efficient, you can keep a little bag of goodies, sunscreen, hat, etc. in the spacious front pocket too.
Lifting the bag in and out of your car/house etc. is a walk in the park with multiple handles on the outside of the bag. I would still love to see a chance to upgrade to a wheeled bag one day, especially with these bigger boards that weight a bit more.
To keep you on the water no matter what you’re supplied with your own repair kit. You normally need to put hardboards into a shop and wait a week or two for them to be fixed. While with inflatables you can fix a puncture on your board there and then. Well so long as you have your handly little orange mate on board.
If you’re in the market for a versatile Yoga SUP, then you can’t go wrong here. The only other Yoga SUP I’ve recommended in the past was the Thursosurf Tranquility. The quality of materials and accessories with the Mandala are definitely way better.
It’s such a beautiful board to have around you just feel relaxed and zen looking at it. Let alone letting it whisk you away across the glimmering water to release all the day’s stress. If you fell asleep out there, I wouldn’t be surprised given how comfortable this SUP is.
There’s now a 3-year warranty on all Bay Sports boards. You can also look at the many reviews to clarify how great their customer service is. Don’t forget they also ship overseas 🙂
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