The Paddle Board
When you’re practicing Pilates mat exercises on the stand up paddle board, you will be lying on the board for many of the movements. Not all paddle boards have a nicely padded deck which can be painful to articulate the spine against. For this reason, I recommend the Naish Mana Air. This inflatable stand up paddle board is really smooth while you’re paddling and is stable yet cushioned for fitness exercises.
There are D rings on both ends where I attach the ankle leash and a 3 pound anchor (so I don’t float away while doing Pilates)! There are also bungee cords near the front where I store a water bottle and a water proof case for my keys & ID. Plus, this paddle board can easily travel with you in the included backpack and takes less than 5 minutes to inflate. You can find more information on the Naish Mana Air Inflatable SUP here at The-House.
If you are just out on the water casually stand up paddle boarding or doing SUP Pilates, you will need a paddle, an ankle leash, and a personal flotation device. As I mentioned above, I also take along a bottle of water, a waterproof case, and a small anchor. Finally, I have a GoPro waterproof camera mounted to the front end of the board to document my adventures. You can checkout our guide on SUP accessories or getting started with SUP for more information on accessories and basic SUP techniques.
I have written a book titled ‘Pilates Expanded Stand Up Paddle Board’ which is a photo encyclopedia of Pilates-inspired exercises that can be done floating on the water. The exercises are reflective of Pilates matwork and can first be practiced on dry land. The back of the book includes beginner, intermediate and advanced routines that can be torn out, laminated and attached to a floating key chain for use on the paddle board. If your SUP has tie down slots or built in tie downs like the Naish Mana Air, your routine pages can be secured using bungee cords for easy viewing. You can check the book out here at The-House.
Let’s face it- summer in Chicago is better on the water and this is a great way to explore Lake Michigan while exercising under the sun. And if you’re getting impatient, simply add a wetsuit to your shopping list to get out in the early or off season months!
That wraps up the basic gear you’ll need to properly gear up for SUP Pilates. Join me, Eme Cole, out on the water this summer for SUP Pilates classes Monday mornings at 7AM beginning mid June at Chicago SUP.