HOW TO CHOOSE GEAR FOR SUP YOGAApril 18, 2016
SAN DIEGO, California – As one of the leading voices in the SUP Yoga movement Dashama Gordon knows a thing or two about Yoga and paddle boarding. Some of her credentials include: hosting Yoga and SUP Yoga retreats around the world; having her own SUP Yoga board made by Starboard; and being a contributor to several media outlets. To help others connect with this exciting new discipline and to help them grow through it, we’ve picked Dashama’s brain for some tips on choosing the right gear for SUP Yoga. Here is what she had to say.
1. Inflatable Board
Inflatable boards have the best trade-offs. They’re soft on the fall, easier to carry, and still fairly stiff. Knowing that you’ll hit a soft surface can be quite a friendly thought. And it can also encourage you to try harder poses. This inflatable technology is not something that you’ll typically find in a Yoga Studio, but here in SUP Yoga it’s your friend.
Also, inflatable boards are much easier to carry. Not only are they much lighter in weight, but often times come with bags that make them quite portable. In fact, many of the inflatable boards come with backpacks or luggage-type bags, some featuring even wheels and 3-piece foldable paddles that make them a joy to take on travels. And do not worry about the stiffness. It is true that they’re not as stiff as fiberglass boards, but the drop-stitch or cross-stitch technologies used on them deliver boards stiff beyond your expectations. The same technology is used for some surfboards, to run rapids, and rescue. Go inflatable!
2. Wide, Thick, Stable deck
Stability is key. The water is already quite dynamic and the surface area quite limited, especially if compared to your typical Yoga studio. So you want a fairly stable board. Width and thickness are just some of the features that can affect a board’s stability. With the growing popularity of the sport, there are several brands manufacturing SUP Yoga specific boards. But, some are more stable than others and may come with a few more bells and whistles, such as hooks for anchors, visibility panels for you to see the water through the board, storage pockets, paddle attachments, etc. Do not write off SUP Yoga if you have a tough experience during your first few times. That may have been related to how stable the board was that you were on. Find a board with more width and go from there. Some of the width’s in SUP Yoga stand up paddle boards range from 33 inches, 35 inches, and even 40 inches. Give them a try and see what best fits you.
3. Attachments for Paddle and Anchor
You’ll need to put the paddle somewhere. You don’t want to place the paddle on the deck of the board, for you’ll want to use that space for your yoga poses. And you don’t want it floating loosely, for it will likely drift away. The bottom line is that you’ll need it to get to your SUP Yoga destination, but then you’ll stow it away to start your routine. Some boards, like Dashama’s Starboard model, have attachments that ensure your paddle is in the water annexed to the board but not drifting away. Also, depending where you perform your routine, you may need an anchor or a rope to attach yourself to a buoy. Make sure you have a board that can handle these needs.