Are you shopping around for a yoga paddleboard, but are unsure of what you need to look for? We’re here to help then, with our top recommended 2020 inflatable and hard yoga paddleboards! Here at SUPboardguide.com, we make sure to evaluate, test, and research each of the new yoga boards that hit the market so we can maintain a current, up-to-date list of top recommended boards.
We build these lists in order to help you make the best, most well-informed decision you can before investing in a paddleboard. There is a ton of misinformation on the web about paddleboards, with many reviewers relying on word of mouth or just looking at the technical specifications to write reviews. Our team will take the time to research boards, but also individually try each one hands on with multiple team members. We test paddleboards with beginners and advanced paddlers, along with shorter and taller paddles for the best overall understanding of paddleboards.
Our extensive testing has led us to develop this page, which features our favorite 2020 Yoga paddleboards and tips to improve your paddle boarding experience. Even if you already own a touring board, we hope you read on so you can understand your board better and make your trip even better. For those in the market for a new board, we hope that our advice is helpful as you search for the perfect yoga board for you!
What Makes A Great Yoga Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)?
The most important feature of a yoga board is its stability. You will be moving, stretching, and performing all sorts of poses and asanas as you search for inner peace on the water. It’s not a very peaceful experience if you slip and fall over every time you try to move your hands or feet. However, you also won’t find it enjoyable to drag out your board each time if your paddleboard is too large or weighs too much. Finding a great balance between a long and wide deck that is also light and easy to carry, especially by solo yogis, is an important balance to consider when it comes to yoga boards. Other important considerations include how soft the deck pad is, how much of the deck is covered, additional accessories, as well as if there are any design features that can help you get in the mood such as a Mandala printed on the deck pad. Additionally, you’re likely going to want to use your yoga board for activities outside of yoga, so finding a paddleboard that is built to do more than just yoga is important as well.
Another important consideration is whether to go with an inflatable or hard yoga board. We do a more extensive breakdown of the differences between the two after our top recommended board list. However, to help you determine which list to look at first, we invite you to consider which of these performance factors matter more to you in a yoga SUP.
Inflatable yoga SUPs are lighter than epoxy boards, and are easier to pack up and transport, fitting well in a car trunk or closet once you head back home. Stability is among the most important yoga board factors, and in still water inflatable boards, in general, offer greater stability and weight support than epoxy boards. Inflatable yoga boards are less expensive than hard paddleboards, while also being easier to ship with more comprehensive warranty coverage. We typically recommend inflatable yoga boards to hikers, teenagers, those who intend to share a board with another adult, and especially to those wanting to practice yoga on the water!
There are some great benefits to using a hard, epoxy yoga paddleboard as well. Hard yoga boards are far more rigid, which will make practicing yoga a more comfortable experience overall. Hard paddleboards have better tracking and speed, and are overall better options when it comes to performance in activities outside of yoga. While you are unlikely to practice yoga in choppy or windy waters, epoxy paddleboards will handle tumultuous waters better than inflatable ones. We typically recommend hard yoga SUPs to those who care about overall performance, able to do yoga while also being a solid option for casual touring as well.
Now that you’ve figured out whether an inflatable or hard yoga paddleboard is for you, you can check out our lists below for our favorite 2020 yoga SUPs. We review them based upon their stability, versatility, construction, appearance, and overall performance. While these factors will help you make the best choice for your needs, we also think that the vast majority of paddlers will love any of these recommended paddleboards. Be sure to send us an email or leave a comment below if you have any questions!
Best Inflatable Yoga SUPS
- 1. GILI 10’6’’ Komodo
- 2. Bluefin 10’8’’ Aura Fit
- 3. Thurso Surf 10’8’’ Tranquility
- 4. Bay Sports 11’ Mandala
- 5. NIXY 10’6’’ Venice
- 6. iROCKER 10’6’’ Cruiser
- 7. Red Paddle Co 10’8’’ Activ Yoga
1. GILI 10’6’’ Komodo(Read Full Review)
The GILI 10’6’’ Komodo is a very affordable yoga board that is great for practicing asanas and having fun with some other casual SUP activities at a more than fair price. The board is 10’6’’ long, with a 33’’ wide deck and 6’’ board thickness, and is definitely a good pick for adults who want to bring their kids or pet out with them. As it is a GILI Sports board, you will also be supporting ocean preservation charities with every purchase, a commitment solidified with the amazing turtle stamp logo on the bottom of the board.
GILI Sports donates $12 to $15 dollars to ocean conservation charities with every purchase, but there are a number of other great features that cause us to recommend this board. The board is extremely lightweight while being very durable with its dual-layer fusion, making this a good yoga board for teenagers and adults alike. There are 15 D-rings and an action mount, along with a large nose bungee area that are all well suited for loading up the board with stuff to improve your yoga session. The elongated traction pad is soft and long enough to stretch out on, with deep grooves that help the board drain water and also improves your grip and foot placement. There is also a side velcro paddle holder that will let you put down your paddle and clear the deck, without having to put the paddle in the water and risk letting it float away.
The GILI 10’6’’ Komodo is built with dual-layer fusion military grade PVC that protects a tight drop-stitch core. The Komodo 10’6’’ weighs just 21 lbs fully inflated, and has a recommended weight capacity of 340 lbs. The Komodo has a tri-fin snap-lock fin setup, with a 9’’ center fin and 4.5’’ side fins included. Beyond the fins, the Komodo kit also comes with a fiberglass paddle that weighs 34 ounces, a single chamber pump, a leash, a repair kit, and a roomy backpack.
If you want a good performing yoga board that is very easy to carry and has a consumer friendly price, consider the GILI Komodo 10’6’’. It’s a fun, versatile board, and you’ll be making a contribution to saving our oceans with this board!
2. Bluefin Aura Fit 10’8’’(Read the Full Review)
For those looking to save some money, or those who want a yoga SUP from a European manufacturer for closer shipping, we suggest considering the Bluefin Aura Fit SUP. The 10’8’’ long SUP is 35’’ wide and 6’’ thick, making it a very stable platform that is still pretty easy to maneuver with once you get it to the water. For very new paddlers and yoga practitioners, this is certainly a beginner friendly yoga board that will help you on your path to enlightenment.
There are five D-rings and an action mount on the nose, along with a removable bungee cargo area, that gives you basic accessory support without taking up deck space meant for laying down on. Four carry handles will allow you to lift the board, especially with the aid of another person, while keeping the center clean and clear for your asanas. The thermosealed crocodile skinned diamond grooved deck pad offers impressive grip support, while still being soft, cushy, and fun to practice yoga on. Lastly, it’s worth highlighting the raised heel pad, which will allow you to move your foot back to perform a step-back turn without having to look down, the arch support providing a more solid base to push down on as well.
The Bluefin Aura Fit Yoga SUP is built with ESL technology, or Exo Surface Laminate, which protects the paddleboard against damage while allowing it to be stable in the water and easy to roll up off of it. The Aura Fit has an easy to install tri-fin snap-lock setup, which will improve stability, tracking, and overall performance when used together. The Aura Fit has a recommended weight capacity of 200 lbs for solo beginners, and 350 lbs of total weight capacity for intermediate to advanced paddlers. Also included with this paddleboard is a 33 ounce fiberglass paddle, a single chamber pump, a coiled ankle leash, a repair kit, a waterproof phone case, and a travel backpack.
For european buyers or those who want a very stable, albeit heavy, yoga paddleboard for less than $650 dollars, consider going out on the 2020 Bluefin Aura Fit 10’8’’ SUP!
3. Thurso Surf 10’8’’ Tranquility(Read Full Review)
The Thurso Surf 10’8’’ Tranquility is an extremely durable and rigid yoga board built for those who want to practice yoga and paddle in rough, choppy water alike. The 10’8’’ long board is 34’’ wide and 6’’ thick, with the stand out features being its triple-layer PVC reinforcement and carbon fiber rails. While it is an inflatable, the rigidity and firmness because of its design makes it feel very similar to a hard inflatable, while still having a great 350 lbs recommended weight capacity. The Tranquility is more than capable of supporting up to two adults in calm water, while still being a fun board to take out in rougher water settings.
The carbon rails are the standout feature of the Tranquility, but there are a few other features worth highlighting for yogis, especially a few new additions to the 2020 model. There are 12 D-rings on the board, with a newly added action mount that is perfect for securing a speaker if you have an audio yoga instruction you want to listen to. There are side paddle straps that will let you secure your paddle on the side of the board, clearing up deck space but also ensuring you don’t let it float away either. The texted EVA deck pad covers the majority of the board, and has an overhauled floral design that is much better for getting into a peaceful mindset than the previous stripped Tranquility design. We also like the four different carry handles, all with cozy neoprene covers so you can stay comfortable even as you lift this paddleboard.
The Thurso Surf 10’8’’ Tranquility has a dual-layer construction, with triple/quad PVC coatings around the board along with the awesome carbon rails. The 10’8’’ board weighs 29 lbs when fully inflated, and has a recommended weight capacity of 350 lbs. The Tranquility has a triple snap-lock fin setup, with a 9’’ center fin and 5’’ side fins. Other accessories include a dual-chamber pump, leash, carbon fiber/nylon paddle, and a roller backpack.
For those who want a stable inflatable yoga board that bridges the gap with an epoxy hardboard, take a look at the Thurso Surf 10’8’’ Tranquility!
4. Bay Sports 11’ Mandala (Read Full Review)
The Bay Sports 11’ Mandala is among the most stable yoga boards out there, with a beautiful and very soft deck pad that are perfect for getting you in the mood for some asanas. 11’ long, 34’’ wide, and 6’’ thick, this is a very large board that has a ton of deck space for stretching and spreading out. The large volume board is more than capable for solo yoga sessions, and is also an excellent pick for couples and friends who want to go out and practice on the yoga together. Beginners who might otherwise struggle will also find the 11’ Mandala very easy to stay on.
There are some other key features built into the Mandala that make it an excellent choice as a yoga board. The nose and tail are extra thick compared to the center of the board for added stability and a more solid glide when paddling through choppy waters. The deck pad is built with ultra-soft EVA foam and covers the entire upper deck, making it very relaxing to stand, sit, and stretch on it. The Mandala takes its name from the symmetrically placed Mandala flowers that cover the deck pad, guiding you on where you should stand while being stunning to look at. Finally, we also appreciate the 9 D-rings and removable cargo area, great for securing your accessories and equipment to maximize your water yoga session.
Bay Sports 11’ Mandala is built with Fusion-Tec, consisting of a tight drop-stitch core and military grade PVC coatings. The 11’ Mandala weighs 21 lbs fully inflated, and has a recommended weight capacity of 375 lbs. The board has a standard US center fin box and is packed with a 9’’ FCS Connect II fin, along with 2.5’’ molded plastic side fins. Other accessories included with the Mandala include a full fiberglass paddle, a dual-chamber pump, leash, repair kit, and backpack.
If you want a dedicated yoga board that is ultra-stable and extremely comfortable, the 11’ Mandala is definitely an option worth considering.
5. Nixy 10’6’’ Venice G3 Cruiser(Read the Full Review)
If you are interested in an all-around/cruiser style board with great grip support and good performance for yoga and non-yoga alike, there is the NIXY Venice 10’6’’ G3 Cruiser. The board is 10’6’’ long, with a 34’’ wide deck and 6’’ thickness for stable, but also surprisingly maneuverable performance. You’ll be able to perform your typical yoga asanas on the 10’6’’ Venice, but also be able to tackle rivers, ocean waves, and even do some touring on this board.
There are a ton of other great features and accessories that make the NIXY Venice a good pick as well. The 10’6’’ has integrated carbon fiber rails, improving the rigidity, firmness, and overall performance of the board without significantly increasing the weight or dealing with removable rods like some other paddleboards. There are 12 D-rings and two removable bungee cord systems, so you can bring phone cases, dry-bags, coolers, and other add-ons along for the yoga trip. The Halkey-Roberts inflation valve is located on the nose, which helps you get the air out when you’re packing up, speeding up the process and extending the overall life of the board. This cruiser also has a side paddle holder, and while the paddle does sit in the water when used it keeps it nice and close so it can’t float too far away. We also love the impressive traction support the stamped logo deck pad provides, though it is a little coarse and not as cozy as other dedicated yoga deck pads.
The Venice 10’6’’ G3 Cruiser is built with Dual-layer FusionTech, consisting of a tight drop-stitch core and dual layers of military grade PVC composite. The 10’6’’ Venice G3 has a screw-in tri-fin setup with a 9’’ center fin and 5’’ side fins, the center fin box also compatible with standard US fins. When fully inflated, the Venice G3 Cruiser weighs 23 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 350 lbs. Included with this paddleboard is a 33 ounce fiberglass paddle, 10’ coiled leash, dual-chamber pump, and a heavy duty triple-wheel roller backpack.
The Nixy 10’6’’ Venice is a great hybrid style cruiser/yoga paddleboard that is a great pick for those who want to do yoga, but also try out all sorts of paddleboarding water sports!
6. iROCKER 10’6’’ Cruiser(Read Full Review)
The iROCKER Cruiser is a great overall all-around/cruiser hybrid, built for yoga, casual racing, touring, and other common and sporty SUP activities. The 10’6’’ long SUP is 33’’ wide and 6’’ thick, with a great mixture of stability, maneuverability, tracking, glide, speed, and overall performance. This is a board built for yogis who want to stretch and pose to help them feel peaceful, but are also interested in a board built for adventuring on lakes, rivers, and the ocean alke.
This is a very feature heavy paddleboard, designed so that those who use it can try a little bit of everything. There are twenty D-rings, four action mounts, and two large removable bungee cargo areas for more accessory compatibility than the average paddler will know what to do with. The board also has seven different grab handles, three of which will help you carry the board and additional four handles that kids can hold onto while you’re paddling in the water. The EVA foam deck pad has grooves and stamps for terrific traction support, while still being comfortable enough to practice yoga on. We also have to highlight the triple-layer construction, making this an extremely durable paddleboard that will resist almost everything you throw at it.
The iROCKER 10’6’’ Cruiser’s triple layer construction is made up of a tight drop-stitch core protected by multiple coatings of military grade PVC protection. The iROCKER Cruiser utilizes a tri-fin snap-lock setup, with a 9’’ center fin and 5’’ side fins that install in seconds. Fully inflated, the Cruiser weighs 25 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 400 lbs. Other accessories included with the iROCKER Cruiser include a 28 ounce carbon-blend paddle, a 10’ coiled leash, a repair kit, and a highly adjustable backpack.
If you want an inflatable paddleboard that is fun to practice yoga on but has the performance to try out all sorts of other SUP sports, definitely consider the iROCKER 10’6’’ Cruiser!
7. Red Paddle Co 10’8’’ Activ (Higher Budget Yoga Board)
The Red Paddle Co 10’8’’ Activ is the best option for those who want a dedicated yoga board entirely free of bungee cords, excessive D-rings, and other add-ons that get in the way of the deck pad. This board has a bit of a unique shape at 10’8’’ long, 34’’ wide, and a 5’9’’ thickness, the Activ an extremely stable paddleboard that has some solid overall performance as well. If you’re the type that just wants to inflate a board and get right on the water without any extra fuss for your next yoga session, consider the 10’8’’ Activ.
While it is light on D-rings and accessories, there are still a number of cool features that make the 10’8’’ Activ worth considering. The side rails have four layers of taping that improve the overall rigidity, but without the removable rods like other Red Paddle Co boards. There three 4.5’’ fins are built into the board, maximizing stability, tracking, and control in all water environments. There are a couple of D-rings included so you can attach shoulder strap, giving you extra carrying options outside of the four neoprene carry handles. The ‘Red’ EVA foam deck pad covers nearly the whole length of the board, and is very soft to prevent skin irritation while performing asanas with a great texture for additional traction and grip support. Lastly, you’ll find this board stays firm even when you leave it inflated for several days due to the integrated air block which slows down the overall air leakage as you paddle and leave it out to dry.
The Activ 10’8’’ yoga board is built with dual-layer fusion, which provides a great balance of rock solid protection along with keeping the board light enough for any solo paddler to carry. The Activ 10’8’’ has a 25 PSI limit, though we recommend sticking to the 15 to 20 range for firmness and easy of inflation. When inflated to 15 PSI, the Activ 10’8’’ weighs 23 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 265 lbs, though most expert paddlers can exceed this limit. All three fins are non-removable, and not only retain their shape well but are easy to restore to normal when bent. The kit also includes a dual-chamber pump, waterproof phone case, and a very roomy backpack.
We definitely recommend the Red Paddle Co Activ for those who want a premium, dedicated yoga board free of the distractions that might disrupt their quest for inner peace.
Best Hard Yoga SUPs
- 1. Pau Hana 10’ Moon Mist Yoga Paddle Board
- 2. Starboard 11’ Avanti
- 3. Adventure Paddleboarding All-Around 11’6’’
- 4. Cruiser SUP Balance 10’6’’ Yoga
- 5. Boardworks Flow 9’11’’
1. Pau Hana 10’ Moon Mist Yoga Paddle Board
The Pau Hana 10’ Moon Mist is a stable hardboard that is lightweight and quick, making it great for yoga and some light surfing alike. This 10’ long paddleboard is 29’’ wide and 4.25’’ thick, the thinner deck making this a solo yoga board only but one that is very fast and maneuverable in the water. This is a great paddleboard option for those who want the perfect balance between stability for yoga and those who want high performance for non-yoga activities.
So what other features make the Pau Hana 10’ Moon Mist stick out? We love the soft brushed EVA deck pad that is extremely comfortable for stretching and posing on, while still retaining good traction when wet. There are 6 Seamount anchor points which are compatible with a large range of SUP accessories, placed on the nose and edges of the board to clear up deck space. A self regulating Goretex vent plug protects the board against damage from intense heat and pressurization, while preventing water and rocks from getting inside your board. There is also a center handle insert molded for comfortable carrying, without relying on a center handle that might otherwise trip you up.
The 10’ Moon Mist is constructed with Pau Hana’s ‘Bamboo Sandwich’, which combines fiberglass and bamboo layers to protect a EPS foam core. This hardboard weighs a light 22 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 260 lbs. The Pau Hana Moon Mist has a center standard US fin box and comes with a 9’’ fin. There are also two side bites compatible with traditional US side fins, though these fins do have to be purchased separately along with a paddle.
If you want a yoga board that is cushy and solid that is great for tackling the waves when you’ve done your meditations for the day, consider the Pau Hana Moon Mist 10’!
2. Starboard 11’ Avanti
For those who want the widest, most stable paddleboard out there for challenging yoga sessions, we suggest the Starboard 11’ Avanti. This is the largest board on our hardboard list, with a 11’ length, 5’’ thickness, and impressively wide 36’’ wide deck. This is a hardboard more than capable of supporting multiple paddlers at once, an excellent choice for families or those who like to paddle with friends.
Looking past the fantastic stability of this board, there are a number of other features that encouraged us to put this board on our list. The nose is both raised and stunted so that it will handle waves and chop without diving under, with the center and tail of the board even with the water for improved glide. The rails of the board are thinned out so you won’t have to work as hard turning his large board. The wide yet rounded tail improves stability when performing a step-back turn, and has channels on the underside to improve speed and maintain momentum. We also want to highlight the textured deck pad, which covers about half the length of the board and offers a good mixture of traction support and comfort for long yoga sessions.
The 11’ Avanti has several construction options, but we recommend going with the Starlite for its very solid balance of features, affordability, and durability. The Starlite Avanti 11’ is built with fiberglass and carbon innegra rails, providing powerful impact resistance and rigidity. The Starlite option weighs 28 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 300 lbs that can be exceeded with experience and distributing weight across the board. All options of the 11’ Avanti have a tri-fin setup, with a standard US center fin box and insert side fins.
If you want a dedicated, large yoga board perfect for bringing your kids, pet, or an adult partner, go with the Starboard 11’ Avanti Starlite.
3. Adventure Paddleboarding All-Around 11’6’’
Adventure Paddleboarding All-Around 11’6’’ is a solid yoga board option for those who want a healthy balance of yoga and all-around performance, and are trying to spend less than $1200 dollars. This is a 11’6’’ board that is 5’’ thick and 33’’ wide, able to support a single adult paddler and their kids or pet with ease. Easy to handle and beginner friendly while being stable enough to perform all sorts of asanas, those new to trying SUP yoga will enjoy the Adventure Paddleboarding All-Around 11’6’’.
There are a variety of features that further help this all-around/yoga hybrid stick out on our list. The textured traction pad feels good to stand on and is prevents slippage when wet, but also has a back foot kick and arch bar for improved step-back turning and foot grip.The simple yet well designed flat-to-double concave bottom improves the board’s acceleration, and give sit a very smooth glide when used in flatwater. There are multiple nose plugs that improve air flow, with the plug on the tip of the board doubling as a GoPro accessory mount as well. If you have bungees, you can also use the other nose plugs to create a forward bungee cargo area similar to many inflatable boards!
The Adventure Paddleboarding All-around 11’6’’ is built with a combination of molded epoxy and fiberglass for great protection and solid all-around performance in the water. This paddleboard weighs 28 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 250 lbs that most experienced paddleboarders won’t have any trouble exceeding. Included is a 9’ center fin that improves tracking, and for those who want additional maneuverability there are two side plugs compatible with FCS II fins.
If you want an inexpensive all-around and yoga board combination, we recommend the Adventure Paddling All-Around 11’6’’ SUP.
4. CRUISER SUP Balance 10’6’’ Yoga
If you just want a simple yoga board and don’t want to worry about extra features or trying to find your own paddle, we recommend the CRUISER SUP Balance 10’6’’ yoga kit. The board is 10’6’’ long, 32.5’’ wide, and 5’’ thick, well balanced for yoga and casual activity alike. Stable, light, and very durable, this is a basic but effective yoga board for those who just want to get out on the water.
While built with simplicity in mind, there are still a number of cool features that will provide for a better yoga and paddleboarding experience. The crocodile skin deck pad is very plush and comfortable, covering the whole length of the board. A 2-way pressure vent will relieve pressure on hot, sunny days while also ensuring water doesn’t leak into the board itself. There are removable bungee cord cargo areas on this board, along with a GoPro insert and a lockable two sided center carry handle.
The CRUISER SUP Balance 10’6’’ is built with a polycarbonate shell and kevlar technology, offering great durability while minimizing board weight. The Balance 10’6’’ weighs 27 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity of 250 lbs for beginners, with expert paddlers able to greatly exceed this. There is a single center fin box, with CRUISER SUP including a screwless 9’’ touring fin for improved tracking. A 42 ounce alloy adjustable paddle is included with the Balance 10’6’’.
If you want the bare essentials for your yoga session and a paddleboard that is very easy to manage and maintain, go with the CRUISER SUP Balance 10’6’’.
5. Boardworks Flow 9’11’’
Yoga boards are large, and can be difficult to handle and maneuver with even for intermediate paddlers. For those who want a yoga board that offers great stability for stretching but is still easy to turn, there is the Boardworks Flow. This board is just 9’11’’ long, the shortest yoga board on our list, but still has a 32’’ wide deck and is 4.75’’ thick. Featuring great stability but built to be smaller and easy to handle than many traditional yoga boards, this is an extremely beginner friendly yoga board.
We recommend the Boardworks Flow 9’11’’ for a few other key features as well. The Honey Fomb deck pad is elegant in its design, complimenting the beautiful look of the Flow, and is both soft and built to drain water quickly. The LiftSUP handle will aid you as you carry the board, but also retract and give you a smooth surface to stand on when not in use. There are three tie-down points that you can tie down coolers, drink containers, and other small gear boxes you might bring out with you as you paddle. We also just have to highlight how much we love the woodgrain look of the board as well, perfect for getting you in a peaceful mood to practice some water yoga.
Boardworks Flow is constructed with their EPX-V technology, combining fiberglass, bamboo, and a EPS core with a high-quality paint design that is tough, sturdy, and good to look at. The Flow weighs 30 lbs, and has a recommended weight capacity that starts at 270 and increases with experience. There is a single fin box, with Boardworks including a FCS II Connect fin, which installs in seconds and is among our favorite fins in the industry.
If you want a tough but beautiful looking board that even brand new paddlers will find easy to use, consider the Boardworks Flow 9’11’’ yoga SUP.
Yoga SUP Buying Guide
The paddleboards we’ve recommended above are some of our favorite yoga SUPs for 2020. We also know that other circumstances, like a great deal or a friend offering to sell you a board, might have you look at paddleboards not on our list. As such, we thought we’d provide you with a breakdown of the key criteria we used to determine our 2020 top recommended yoga SUPs. We recommend considering yoga paddleboards by using the following key factors before purchasing: appearance, and overall performance.
Stability. Stability is the most important factor when it comes to yoga boards due to how often you’ll be moving across the paddleboard. Stability is also one the most important factors for beginners, as the more stable a board is the easier it will be to learn with. As a general rule, the larger a paddleboard is, the more stable it will be, with width and thickness especially important in determining the overall weight capacity. Inflatables often support an extra one hundred to two hundred lbs over hardboards of similar dimensions, and are especially recommended for those going out with more than one person. Finally, paddleboards boards with tri-fin setups will also have greater stability than SUPs with other types of fin layouts.
Versatility. Versatility refers to all of the other SUP water sports a particular paddleboard is well-suited for. While there are those who are fine with a dedicated yoga board, many people will prefer a paddleboard that is great for yoga and good for other activities as well. Due to their typically wide decks, yoga boards aren’t great for racing, but depending on their shape they can be good for surfing, fishing, touring, and casual cruising on the water. Touring or all-around hybrid yoga boards tend to offer the most versatility, though can be less stable or have unnecessary add-ons for it.
Construction. Evaluating construction takes into consideration the durability, rigidity, and weight of the board. Lighter paddleboards tend to be easier to carry and maneuver with, though they don’t perform as well in chop and are more prone to breaking. Heavier paddleboards offer greater weight support and tend to have more space to spread out on, but besides being hard to carry they tend to be slow and hard to turn. We love carbon rails, removable rods, and reinforced tape because they typically increase the rigidity of a board without significantly increasing the weight or size. Also, make sure you don’t just go for the board with the most layers, as not all layers are built the same.
Appearance. Appearance is our evaluation of the overall look of the board. While it isn’t a major factor, how a paddleboard looks will often have an impact upon your ability to get in the mood to meditate and practice yoga out on the water. Outside of yoga, it’s just nice to have a paddleboard that looks cool, elegant, or beautiful, a board that will stick out on the water or help you show off as you paddle. We always appreciate when paddleboard manufacturers offer their board in multiple color options!
Speed. Speed is straightforward, and refers to how fast the board will be in the water. All touring boards tend to be faster than most other SUPs, outside of dedicated racing boards. It is important to note though that the thinner a SUP is, the faster it will generally be in the water. Hardboards will also typically be 15% to 20% faster than an inflatable SUP with the same dimensions. There are also dedicated racing fins that can bolster speed as well, though they tend to be long and usable only in deep lakes and ocean paddling.
Overall performance. When it comes to yoga, stability is going to be the most important factor you have to consider. Be that as it may, there are other factors that play at least a partial role in how much you might enjoy your yoga session. When you’re paddling around to find a spot to practice, how smooth is the glide and how straight of a course does the board track? How easy is it to navigate and dodge obstacles, or maneuver where you want to go? Are you going to have to work hard just to get where you want, and will it take you a long time just to travel a short distance? We do include other factors like maneuverability, tracking, speed, glide, and more in our considerations, and rank boards with better overall performance higher on our lists.
If you are looking to take your SUP game to another level, then you are most likely looking for a high performance SUP. These SUPs cost more, but they will also outperform less expensive SUPs in certain areas. From fast touring, to whitewater rapids, if you are someone who has $1K+ to spend on a SUP and know exactly what you are looking for, then you should consider one of our top rated performance SUPS. Below is a short summary of our top rated all-around performance SUP for 2020, the ERS 10’7 V3.
Inflatable Yoga Board or Hard Yoga board?
When it comes to the better option for a yoga board, the answer is that both inflatable and hard SUPs can be great for practicing yoga on the water. However, yogis who want the most enjoyable experience should know that there are some key differences between the two. Here are our lists of the most important benefits of using a inflatable or a hard yoga board:
Benefits of Using a Inflatable Yoga Board:
- Inflatable yoga boards are more stable, often supporting 100 lbs more than a similarly sized hardboard.
- Inflatable boards are more resilient than hardboards, suffering little to no structural damage from most common SUP accidents.
- Inflatables are lighter than their hardboard equivalents, often by 5 to 10 lbs.
- Inflatables are easier to load, pack up, and store, fitting in a backpack in a trunk or closet at home.
- Inflatables are typically less expensive than a hardboard of the same size, often by several hundred dollars.
- Inflatables are easier to ship, and often have greater warranty coverage than hardboards.
Benefits of Using a Hard Yoga Board:
- Hardboards can handle chop, wind, and waves better than inflatable yoga boards.
- Epoxy hardboards have better tracking than inflatables, making it easier to keep a straight line in the water.
- Hard yoga boards tend to be slow, but they are about 10% to 15% faster than an inflatable yoga board of the same size.
- You don’t have to worry about pumps or other extra accessories with a hardboard.
- If damaged, it’s easier to get a hardboard repaired locally than an inflatable.
- Hardboards are more rigid than inflatables, which can lead to a more relaxing and better feeling yoga session.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Yoga Board
If we could summarize this final section, it would be to just get out there and paddle. Part of the fun of learning how to paddleboard is just experimenting and picking things up along the way. We recommend looking up videos and reading articles for ideas on how to improve, but we want to encourage just going out and trying things for yourself as well. If you need an idea on what to do next to improve your paddleboarding and yoga experience, consider the following tips:
- Improve your paddling form. Yoga boards typically don’t have the best speed, tracking, and maneuverability to begin with. Making sure you have a proper paddling technique will go a long way in maximizing your board’s performance, improving your time on the water. Make sure your paddle and handle are both facing the right way, and watch a few videos or read a few tutorials on how you should plant your paddle in the water. With just a couple trips, you’ll be paddling like a pro, and find your board much faster and easier to handle than when you started out.
- Learn the step-back turn. Due to large size, yoga boards can be tricky to maneuver with, at least until you learn a step-back turn. Some yoga boards on our list even have raised heel pads and arch-support, butil to make performing a step-back turn easier. Simply move a foot to the tail of the board, and as you press down into the water the nose will rise out like you see in the picture above. Once your nose is raised, it’s very easy to pivot and turn on the spot, though turn too quickly and you might fall off the board. Take the time to perform a step-back turn a few times until you’re used to it, and you’ll find it easy to dodge rocks, trees, and even other paddles with even bulky yoga boards.
- Find a sheltered and secluded spot. Wind, waves, and chop can disrupt your routine, so finding a place that’s sheltered against the elements is important. Messing up a yoga pose will often cause you to fall into the water, so finding deep water that is safe to tumble into is important. Finally, we know that it can be hard to focus and mediate when there’s a bunch of noise, so try to paddle around until you find a secluded spot. Paddleboards are great for getting to places in the water that boats don’t have access to, so you shouldn’t have to search for for a place that’s perfect for getting your next yoga session in.
- Take it slow, and get used to the board and water. Even experienced yogis find yoga on a paddleboard to be quite different from their typical, land based sessions. Remember to take it slow as you learn how to stretch and pose on the water, getting used to both the feel of the board and how it disturbs the water around you. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to perform more advanced techniques and do it faster than where you’ve started out. Part of the fun of yoga paddleboarding is just seeing the progress you make as you find yourself able to do what you couldn’t do before!
- Make use of the whole deck pad. Many yoga techniques involve compressing and shrinking yourself, but the goal is the opposite once you’re on the water. For maximum stability and comfort, you’ll want to spread out as you perform yoga techniques, making use of the whole deck pad. Some advanced yoga techniques have only one point of contact with the ground on land, but you’ll want to steer clear of those once you’re on a yoga board. Always try to have at least two points of contact with the yoga board, though you can try single point contact techniques if you want a real challenge and don’t mind the risk of getting wet!
- Accept that you are going to fall in. Whether it be on purpose on accident, you are eventually going to fall into the water. That’s okay! Part of the fun of yoga paddleboarding is the chance that if you mess up a pose or asani, you’re going for a swim. Some yogis even make it part of their routine, performing high intensity stretches and cooling off with the water surrounding them. The more you incorporate the water into your plans, the more fun you’re going to have with yoga paddleboarding!
- Make sure you have a personal flotation device. Some paddleboards come with a leash, which are very helpful for keeping your board close if you fall in fast moving water. However, they won’t help you float, so always make sure you go out with a PFD. There are many popular PFD vests and belts that will give you the support you need to stay safe without restricting movement, ensuring you can wear one and still practice yoga. Even if you aren’t required by law to wear one, even if you’re in shallow water, make sure you stay safe by wearing a personal flotation device at all times!
Hardboard or inflatable, new or experienced, our number one recommendation for all paddleboarders is to just remember to have fun! Yoga boards are great for trying a new water sport away from the noise and bustle of the city, and will provide a new challenge to your meditative sessions. Whether you’re going out to work out your muscles or to find a nice and quiet place to think while you stretch, yoga boards are built for all sorts of paddlers and activities. So make sure to experiment, try new things, and enjoy the wonders of nature and the water the next time you go out on your yoga paddleboard!
Thank you so much for reading, and we hope that this article has been helpful to you in learning about yoga paddleboards. If you have any questions, or want our feedback on a particular yoga board you found, send us an email or leave a comment below! We also update our articles based upon the comments we receive, so if you feel like there is something we missed that other yoga SUPers should know about, be sure to let us know! Be sure to check us out again in the future as well, as we update our lists based upon our reviews of the latest and greatest yoga boards.
And remember to have fun paddleboarding!