Like any growing sport, several companies are looking to become the brand synonymous with stand-up paddle boarding. San Clemente’s BOGA Paddle and Surf Co. is one of them, and they’ve got a head start on something a lot of other companies haven’t even thought of yet.
"As a yoga instructor I would practice yoga for fun on our largest board which spawned the idea to create an actual paddleboard specific to the practice of yoga on water," says Trish Meyler, BOGA's co-founder. "This new type of board would include increased stability, width, and need a unique pad like a yoga mat, that is smooth with grip and water wicking."
From there, Trish and her husband Dave decided to take what they already had and fine tune it for yoga purposes. The board’s shape was changed and the surface was flattened out. With a prototype of what serves as a water-wicking yoga mat, they began trying the board out. After they’d perfected their first yoga-specific model, the next task was figuring out what to do with it.
“Yoga is very community-based, so we created a floating yoga studio, and that really caught on,” Dave says. “Instead of being inside, you’re in the water. You can even be inside in a pool, so they can be all over the place. Because it can be done in interior locations away from the ocean, the growth of it is a lot faster than something like surfing.”
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Since every young company needs a little help, Dave and Trish found the perfect outlet when they met Rachel Brathen (better known as Yoga Girl) in 2010. At the time, Brathen had been practicing yoga on windsurfing boards, but she was still looking for something better. That’s when BOGA stepped in and both parties began to see rapid growth.
“You can have fun on a windsurfing board, but you can’t really have a great yoga flow,” Trish says. “After working with Yoga Girl, we partnered up with the Wanderlust Yoga Festivals and set up floating studios with them. We’ve created a network of floating studios, so they can all work with each other, visit each other, and feed off each other.”
Five years later, the two self-described “serial entrepreneurs” have created a corner of a market they’re passionate about. As Dave points out, floating yoga certainly isn’t quite as popular as something like Crossfit, but it’s a unique market and community they’ve created. It’s also one they can stand behind wholeheartedly.
“The company’s soul is really about trying to get to the water as much as possible,” Dave says. “We do it because we love it. It’s been a wild ride, and it’s the fastest growing watersport for a reason. The accessibility of the sport is huge. It’s a very easy entry, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 70.”