Starboard Tiki Mat Inflatable
There are a sizable number of inflatable yoga boards on the market. In fact, Starboard has another yoga model. The reason that that Taki Mat really stands out from the pack, though, is that it’s literally a floating yoga mat. The more we look at it, the more difficult it is to even put it in the iSUP category. That’s not to say that this isn’t an excellent option for those looking to join the ever-growing world of SUP yoga.
- Extremely wide
- Stable on calm water
- Easy to set up
- No fins mean poor tracking
- Not able to handle rough water
- Shape not conducive for paddling for any length of time
[ez-toc]Have you ever wondered what would happen if an iSUP and yoga mat loved each other very much? Besides probably being the last thing you thought you’d read today, this is pretty much exactly how you would explain the Starboard Tiki Mat Inflatable.
|8’0″||38″||6"||20 lbs||265 lbs|
We almost thought about skipping this section altogether since this is not presenting itself to be a “real” iSUP nor does it perform like one. Right off the bat, there are no fins which means that tracking is non-existent. As long as you’re in a pool or the glassiest of waters you’ll be fine, but you shouldn’t press your luck on open waters.
Don’t expect to go too fast on this bad boy since it’s a giant floating rectangle that’s shorter than most non-child boards. Also, it’s very easy to drift in various directions if you try to pick up too much speed or to maneuver around too much.
All that being said, it works great for what it was designed for. It keeps you secure on the deck while still providing an extra challenge to your normal yoga routine.
There are few surprises as everything on this board is for a single purpose. For instance, most iSUPs have a pad that covers a certain percentage of the deck. Here, the entire deck is a pad. It’s extra soft compared to most other Starboard iSUPs and is somewhat less slip resistant than others boards but still does the job.
A neat change to this board is the center handle is actually on the bottom of the board for easier transport while not getting in the way once you’re onboard with a front and back handle for assistance getting it in and out of that water.
Toward the nose you’ll find an FCS attachment point for holding a phone, GoPro or other devices. Along the side there is an attachment point for an optional carrying strap and paddle holder which works out great to keep the paddle out of the way without getting lost in the water.
Finally, there is a marked point on the deck that shows where the balance point of the board is. This can come in handy if you are doing more advanced poses that required extra balance to keep the board from losing stability.
As far as color design goes, it’s nearly identical to the Starboard Yoga, which is a lovely pink and purple. Unlike many other boards from the same company, you don’t have the option to choose from different sizes and colors schemes.
The board itself is as flat and square as can be. In fact, if you were to look on it land, it wouldn’t really strike you as a paddleboard at all. Again, this is nothing to be counting against the Tiki Mat because it is exactly what it set out to be in the first place.
There’s a bungee storage area up front — though very limited and condensed — just in case, we guess. In addition to the D-rings on the storage area, they are along the front and rails in case you wanted to anchor or connect multiple boards together for group yoga.
While Starboard generally give a choice of 1 of 4 construction options, the All Star only has one available — the Deluxe Single Chamber. Essentially, it’s a single chamber inflation area on the inside but reinforced rails that use a heat process on their seams versus the traditional glue in addition to drop stitching.
If you’re comparing with the Starboard Yoga Inflatable, you’ll notice that that that board only offers the Deluxe Double Chamber construction. That means that the Tiki Mat is going to be lighter be square inch but not as strong. It does make inflating easier, however.
Out of the box, you get a backpack and tiki air pump. As a side note, the air pump is made from recycled fishing nets and the newest version is 10% more efficient than the previous model. Also, note that this board does not include a paddle.
A neat extra feature that can be purchased is a floating docking port where you can connect up to 10 boards together so that you can all enjoy your yoga session together, just like with the Yoga Inflatable.
Honestly, this is one of the strangest boards we’ve ever reviewed. We’re not saying this is a bad board by any means, but it’s certainly not what comes to mind when you think of an iSUP. When it comes down to it, here’s the major issue: despite what Starboard says in their marketing, this is not a board that you want to take outside of a pool or pool-like conditions. Since it lacks so many of the features we expect to see in a traditional iSUP, it will not be forgiving with even the lightest of chop in the water. In addition, you have very little control once you’re on the water — even with a paddle.
If you want a yoga paddleboard that can do more than just be a literally floating yoga mat within the Starboard line, we recommend the Yoga Inflatable. While it isn’t the best overall iSUP, it does a great job of being a yoga platform while still having the same general capabilities of a paddleboard. However, if the actual paddleboard features don’t matter to you and you truly just want the best SUP yoga board solely for the yoga itself, then you are the exact target audience of this board.