The fitness aquatic revolution is upon us and we are moving away from paddleboard yoga and towards aquatic fit and floating mats like the Boga Fitmat and the Glide FitFloat. The next step in the standup paddle evolution has been in the off-season with indoor yoga and fitness classes. Yet, the days of lugging big paddleboards in and out of aquatic centers is being replaced by fitness mats thanks to SUP Yoga industry pioneer manufacturers like Boga and Glide. The result is a board specific for fitness and aquatics. At their foundation, both boards feature a durable self inflating mat with a traction padded surface for stability and a symmetrical design.
So what's the Difference? Well, to be honest. There is not much difference at all other than the color and the brand name. Here is what both boards feature:
- Same durable, inflatable material as an inflatable SUP Board. Self-inflating with pump and great for travel and storage. (The downside is that you have to inflate and deflate every time you use, when left at indoor aquatic facilities in the off-season, inflatables will tend to deflate because of colder temperatures)
- extra long, soft and comfortable deck pad for hands and feet, stretching and yoga moves
- storage netting for a water bottle, towel, clothing, you name it
- 4 Handles built into the boards for bungee cord fitness exercises
- Both are about 8 feet in length and 35 inches wide. Glide FitFloat dimensions: 7'8 length, 35.5" wide. Boga FitMat dimensions: 8.2 X 35 X 6 and also listed at 26 lbs.
So the Boga FitMat is just a hair bigger, but the boards are basically nearly identical to one another. The deciding factor of your decision to buy a fleet of these might be in the Boga and Glide network and certification programs. Available at Boga is a BogaFit certification and training program, not as much information is available on Glide's website other than to contact Glide for more info (here's their email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Boga FitMAT Video
Glide FitFloat Video
"We love our fleet of Boga FitMats because as Colorado residents, we are very limited to "float" time and the FitMats allow us to maintain our yoga practice or fitness routine throughout the year with access to indoor water space. I love the ease of set up, simplicity of storage and variety of anchoring options it provides for me and my students."
-Sarah Snyder with Journey Yoga Company
Besides Boga and Glide there is also a company called AquaPhysical who makes a mat called the AquaBase. More info at aquaphysical.com. This company is based out of England and provide a FloatFlit program and instructor certification course including a 30 minute HIIT workout with burpees, lunges, squats and aquaclimbers. This seems to be the best option for your SUP or aquatic company in Europe.
A Brief History of Paddleboard Yoga, aka SUP Yoga and Fitness:
Since the paddleboard boom began, back in 2008, when Surf Expo became known as "SUP Expo," SUP Yoga's popularity grew in parallel. If you were a new paddleboard concessionaire or outfitter then you probably offered a SUP Yoga class along with your board rentals and sales. Boga, thanks to the efforts of founder Dave Meyler and ambassador Jeremy Vaine, played a big role in the sup yoga movement via "Boga Yoga."
Boga and other manufacturers created yoga specific paddleboards and concentrated their efforts on the fact that 70% of paddleboard sales were from women. In 2014, Riviera Paddlesurf introduced the concept of a symmetrical board via their Yoga Mat; today the Yoga Mat has been discontinued because it just didn't sell well, but why? A specific symmetrical paddleboard or floating mat for flatwater lakes and rivers just does not make sense because you cannot paddle them, or at least very well. At the heart of standup paddle fitness, on the ocean, lake or river, is the sport of paddling; but when taken indoors to pools and aquatic centers with swimming lane barriers, there is no need for paddleboarding at all because the focus is floating fitness.
So what does this mean for the future of SUP Fitness and Yoga? Well, it definitely means that the sport is blowing up in popularity which is a good thing for manufacturers and local companies. The next step is that other SUP manufacturers and aquatic companies will take the floating mat idea and design a mat of their own. So, like the standup paddle market, the aquatic mat market might also be flooded with new companies trying to get a piece of the pie. Water aerobics and synchronized swimming classes will either be replaced completely by SUP Fitness and Yoga, aqua yoga, floatfit, or whatever you want to call. Or there might be a total re-birth in aquatic programs because of the popularity of these floatfit and yoga classes. A very similar movement can be found in studios thanks to Mark Cuban backed company- Surf Set Fitness. Surf Set and Surf Set fitness boards aka the RipSurferX have exploded nationwide. If you take the popularity of Surf Set and combine that with a fresh new aquatic program and the surf/sup exploding inland lifestyle there is no doubt that FloatFitness will be a huge success.
What do you Think?
By Tyler Marshall. About T-Marsh- Boarders Mag founder and editor, watersports entrepeneur and surf/sup expert. Tyler owns a local company in Dallas called DFW Surf and with the aid of group fitness and yoga instructor, Jenn Bodnar, they have pioneered SUP yoga and fitness classes in conjunction with aquatics programs since 2012.