ProView – Advanced Elements Lotus Y-SUP
I’ve spent the last month testing the Advanced Elements LOTUS YSUP, an inflatable standup paddleboard designed for yoga practice and touring. When I think of my history of paddleboarding and surfing, I look back at years of lugging around a heavy or awkward hardboard or an inflatable board that doesn’t quite fit into a bag. Those days are over! This board has gone everywhere with me. I’ve used the board daily in my pool, on choppy beach waters, in a harbor, and on a lake. I’ve transferred my daily yoga practice to this board and have been challenged, humbled, and triumphant!
Advanced Elements Lotus Y-SUP
Product Description: The Lotus YSUP™ Inflatable SUP is 10 feet long, 32 inches wide, and utilizes 6 inch thick drop-stitch material making it perfectly sized for a stable ride and a balanced yoga session. The Lotus YSUP™ features a convenient removable shoulder carry strap which eliminates the need for a bulky carry handle in the middle of the board. This provides a clear deck surface and a nearly full-length traction pad for maximum comfort. The Lotus YSUP™ is simple, light, and compact; perfect for travel anywhere!
Offer price: MSRP: $999.99
Ease of Transport/Inflation
The Lotus YSUP is very convenient for travel and provides a firm, stable ride and wide deck surface for yoga practice and touring.
- Carry strap for transport
- Wide deck surface
- Full traction pad for yoga
- No cargo tie-downs for gear or life vest
- Extendable paddle loose at the locking mechanism
These summer days have been mostly sunshine and warm waters. This is good because I fell in– a lot. Paddling around in choppy waters is challenging in and of itself. Adding yoga to the mix meant a lot of falling in. Practice not perfect, right? When on the calmer waters of the harbor and lake, I of course had more ease paddling and success staying on the board during yoga practice. To say I’m growing stronger is an understatement. I feel my entire core working, my back, shoulders, stabilizing muscles, legs– everything fired up when I practice yoga on this board! I always like to say that if we’re not falling and wavering while we practice, we aren’t challenging ourselves to grow. I’ve been practicing and teaching yoga for the last eight years and exploring SUP’ing and SUP yoga the last four years. SUP yoga is a practice of surrender. Just like life, I can’t control what happens on the board. The wind and water will shift, people and vessels around me will affect the ride. I can just do my best to stand, stabilize, breathe, and enjoy the ride. Trusting the board, surrendering control, and adjusting to the unsteady waters is definitely good life practice.
The LOTUS YSUP met and exceeded my expectations as far as performance. Accessories Included with the board are the following:
- Single-action pump with gauge,
- Duffle bag w/ shoulder straps, adjustable paddle, coiled SUP leash,
- Shoulder carry strap, repair kit, and 3 tracking fins.
The board itself features high-pressure 6” thick drop-stitch material which allows for ultra stiff performance. The double/single-action hand pump with a pressure gauge really enhanced my experience with the board. The pump’s double-action feature is for low pressure, high volume inflation while the single action feature helps top off the board– high pressure, low volume inflation.
With the gauge, I can ensure I pump the board up to 15 PSI for maximum stiffness and stability for touring and yoga. The durable double layer outer skin makes the board feel like a hardboard. Comparing an inflatable board to a firm epoxy board, riders sit higher on the water and have a more stable surface for yoga. An inflatable board, however, is more lightweight than an epoxy board, so it does make for less weight and stability in choppy waters when touring. When inflated, onlookers doubted that it was inflatable due to the firmness and look of the board.
The detachable center tracking fin also helps with maneuverability, making it an easy board to turn given its size and shape. I really like the detachable and adjustable shoulder carry strap. It makes the board easier to transport than other boards I’ve used and also eliminates a carry handle in the middle of the board. I can practice yoga without having the handle in the way. Though other SUP users may prefer the handle in the middle of the board to load and unload the board from water, I found the adjustment to using the strap was a small change for the comfort of not having a handle in the way of my practice.
The full-length traction pad is great to utilize the whole board for yoga practice, though it was a bit slippery when wet. I prefer the foam traction pad on this board to other more firm pads which may be less slippery but also less comfortable and supportive. The foam provides more comfort in poses, especially kneeling postures.
The duffel bag with shoulder straps is like a backpacking pack. It has a padded hip belt, padded adjustable shoulder straps, and a chest strap. It’s extremely comfortable and can easily carry the mat, accessories, and pump with extra room to spare for my water bottles, snacks, and a towel. The pump also has an “in” feature which helps to deflate the board completely for packing easily into the duffel. Unfortunately, the standard paddle included with the board slipped at the locking mechanism a lot while paddling on the ocean. After tightening it with an allen wrench, however, I didn’t have any continued slipping.
The board is extra wide for increased stability. At 32” wide, the deck is wider than the standard yoga mat, which is 24”. The round nose and width of the board give it a lot of stability but don’t make it a good board for speed touring. Despite its size and round nose, it glides smoothly on the water. At 10’ long, the board is shorter than the average yoga board I’ve seen at 11-13’. I found it was a good length to maintain stability and also improve maneuverability and transport compared to other boards. The board folds and stores easily in the duffel at 13.25” x 11.75” x 36”. At 28 pounds and compact, I adventure and explore new locations easily, setting up and breaking down the board in multiple locations within a day.
Room for Improvement
The only feature I missed on this board compared to others I’ve used is an elastic cargo hold to secure a life vest or pack.
The Final Word
The Lotus YSUP definitely met and exceeded my expectations for an inflatable yoga stand up paddle board. It performs best and with the most ease for touring and yoga on calm waters, however it can stand up, pun intended, in choppy ocean waters. If you are planning on using the board for yoga practice, I suggest to purchase the Advanced Elements Canoe and Kayak Anchor System, a 3 lb. anchor that will help you practice without having to paddle a mile back when you’re done. The stability of being anchored will make a world of difference amidst wind and tide.
I love the LOTUS YSUP– its packability, carry strap for transport, wide deck surface, full traction pad for yoga, and great pump! The only feature that I would suggest to improve the board is cargo tie-downs for gear or a life vest.
About the Gear Tester
Francisca Lizotte is a lover of nature and wisdom, California Naturalist, Yoga Instructor and Reiki Practitioner. She has guided in person and remote group, private and corporate yoga classes and yoga hikes for 10 years and teaches regular group classes at Session Climbing Gym in Santa Rosa. She’s passionate about being of service to her community and has volunteered in various capacities in the outdoors over the years. Her recent joy has been sharing kids’ yoga with LandPaths Owl Camp the past two summers in the North Bay area. When she’s not teaching yoga, playing outside, or practicing the art of deep rest, she’s proud to be a part of the Community Engagement team at Traditional Medicinals. You can connect with her @commonthreadyoga on Instagram.