Glide O2 Lotus iSUP: Overview
The Glide O2 Lotus iSUP is a yoga-specific inflatable stand up paddleboard that combines extreme durability, well-implemented minimalist feature set, and a beautiful design. As a yoga-specific iSUP, its overall versatility is not as high as an all-around iSUP like the O2 Retro 10’6”, but this is a purpose-built iSUP. In addition to its great construction, the O2 Lotus also includes a shoulder strap for carrying your board, a padded seat for those times you prefer to sit, and a lifetime warranty.
— Glide O2 Lotus iSUP Summary Ratings and Review —
Glide O2 Lotus iSUP
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The O2 Lotus is a yoga-specific iSUP with excellent build quality.
- Heavy-duty dual-layer PVC construction increases durability and rigidity without becoming overly heavy
- Welded interior seams are the most durable way to build an inflatable paddleboard and allow the Lotus to be inflated to higher pressures
- The full-coverage EVA deck pad gives you more room for yoga than a yoga mat!
- The minimalist feature set gives you everything you need for a day on the water without cluttering the deck.
- Lifetime warranty
- While super maneuverable, the Lotus can be difficult to paddle in a straight line over long distances
- The narrower, rounded, tail makes the Lotus less stable when shifting your weight toward the back quarter of the board.
Construction and Durability
Glide SUP is known for their high-quality construction and durable materials for both their hard and inflatable SUPs.
The Glide O2 Lotus is built with durability and performance at its core. Starting from the inside, the O2 Lotus uses a woven drop stitch rather than a traditional knitted fabric. Our testing has shown time and again that woven drop stitching drastically increases stiffness at a lower weight compared to the knitted fabrics – this also holds true for the O2 Lotus.
The deck and hull are made of two layers of heavy-duty PVC Tarpaulin. This material uses a 1300D fabric reinforcement layer combined with the PVC plastic. Both layers are adhered to the O2 Lotus’s core with fusion lamination (heat and pressure) rather than adhesives. Once again this increases stiffness and reduces weight, while also reducing the chance of manufacturing errors in the gluing process.
The deck and hull are then sealed together with an interior PVC seam that is heat-welded to the top and bottom layers. Heat welding the seams physically fuses the materials into a single layer and is stronger and more durable than glued seams. Lastly, a second layer of PVC is adhered around the entire board to provide additional abrasion resistance and stiffness.
With the heavy duty materials and fusion construction, the O2 Lotus isn’t just durable, but it’s also incredibly rigid. In our dry-land bend test we loaded the O2 Lotus with 170 lbs of weight and measured its deflection, or how far it bends, at various internal pressures. The O2 Lotus is rated for pressures up to 25 PSI, however we max out our testing at 20 PSI, as most users find no significant difference in rigidity above 20 PSI.
At 15 PSI, the O2 Lotus bent 1.125” and just over 1” (1.0625”) at 20 PSI. The average deflection across all of the iSUPs we have tested is 1.73” at 15 PSI and 1.65” for each board’s individual best result. This is an excellent result and puts it among the stiffest boards we’ve tested. So let’s see how it does on the water.
While putting the O2 Lotus through my highly-scientific bounce test (I bounce up and down on the board with a good deal of effort), I did notice a moderate amount of flex, but with a very controlled rebound, so I never felt like I was going to be thrown off the board. I did fine the Lotus to flex significantly during heavy sprinting – enough to cause some stability issues – but this type of paddling is far out of the scope of design for the O2 Lotus.
The important takeaway is this: While on the water I did not notice any flex or bounce during regular use, or even while trying a few simple yoga poses (a yogi I am not).
|Max Capacity||400 pounds|
|Board Weight||25 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||10 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
The O2 Lotus is a yoga-specific paddleboard. It does have a few basic features, however they are limited specifically to provide the best platform possible for yoga and on-board fitness.
At first glance the O2 Lotus seems to be pretty empty. While it’s not completely covered in accessory mounts, fishing mounts, handles, and more, this frees up more space across the board for stretching, yoga, fitness (burpees on an iSUP are quite the challenge!), and just relaxing.
The full-length deck pad is truly full-length. It stretches all the way to the edge of the nose and tail and from side to side. The brushed EVA foam is soft to the touch, but provides good grip for your feet. The lotus-flower design is made of individual die-cut pieces of foam. I did find a few very tiny gaps in some of the corners between pieces, but all were firmly glued in place.
There is a small cargo bungee on the nose of the board. It’s large enough to hold a small dry bag, water bottle, and other paddling essentials, but not large enough under the bungees for a standard soft-sided cooler (though you could strap one to the D-rings).
There are grab/carry handles on the nose, center, and tail of the board – all of which easily fold flat to the board. The leash D-ring is integrated into the handle mount at the rear of the board as well. Under the nose there is one more D-ring that can be used for towing or anchoring the board.
There are three D-rings along each side of the board (six total). These are set up to work with the included shoulder carrying strap, the padded folding seat, or both at the same time. In addition there are two velcro loops on one side that can be used as a paddle holder both on and off the water.
The O2 Lotus also comes with a standard repair kit, coiled leash, three-piece paddle, and double-action hand pump. All of this fits in the heavy-duty wheeled heavy-duty travel bag. The bag itself has a large front pocket and backpack harness on the outside, and two compression straps inside to help hold the board in place. There are no compression straps outside the bag, though, so it is best to use the interior straps to prevent the contents from flopping around while carrying or wheeling the it around.
The O2 Lotus comes with a three-piece fiberglass and nylon adjustable paddle that’s easy to use and works well on the water.
The Glide three-piece paddle is built with a fiberglass shaft and nylon paddle blade. This gives it a very soft feel in the water and is light and comfortable enough to use all day. While fiberglass is not as light as carbon fiber, the Glide paddle is well balanced and feels good in the hand.
The nylon paddle blade is medium-sized with a rectangular shape. This gives a very consistent feel throughout the paddle stroke and is large enough to work well for most paddlers without being so large that it requires significant power to move through the water.
Because the O2 Lotus is a yoga-specific iSUP, it’s not really designed to move at high speeds through the water, so a stiffer carbon fiber paddle and/or blade aren’t needed.
The handle section uses a pin-and-clip adjustment mechanism. This not only provides a sturdy connection that’s easy to use, but it also automatically aligns the handle and paddle blade. There are no height or length markings on the handle section, but the pre-drilled holes make it easy to set the same length each time by counting the number of visible holes.
The Glide O2 Lotus iSUP provides a significant amount of stability on the water (which is great for yoga) however the smaller tail section does reduce stability if your center of gravity is over the rear quarter of the board.
The O2 Lotus is specified to be 35” wide, however our board only measures 34.5” at its widest point. While that is a little narrower than specified, it’s still quite wide, and it has the stability to go along with it. While standing and paddling the O2 Lotus is very stable. There’s no twitching or rolling, and it’s easy to balance and move around on the deck. Thanks to the rigid construction there’s also no flex or rebound noticeable during normal use.
Setting the O2 Lotus on its edge, the wide board with its gently-curving outline remains extremely stable as much of the length of the board remains in contact with the water. When rocking it back and forth, the O2 Lotus dipped and resurfaced very smoothly without any “popping” sensation or rapid change in stability.
Where the O2 Lotus could improve on its stability is in the tail. The O2 Lotus’s outline tapers rather rapidly over the last quarter of the board to a 20.5” tail width. This is smaller in comparison to many other 34-35” wide iSUPs. Smaller tails reduce volume and buoyancy in the rear of the board. If you shift your weight to the rear of the board (mostly the rear-most 2 feet) you will notice a shift in stability. Now, this happens to some degree on all paddleboards, but a wider tail would lessen this change in stability.
The overall stability of the O2 Lotus, including at the rear of the board, is still high, but I feel that the primary reason I noticed this change is simply because the front ¾ of the board is very stable. When stepping back onto the tail for some pivot-turning, the O2 Lotus still feels secure and stable without any excessive tipping, wobbling, or flexing.
As a yoga-specific iSUP, the Glide O2 Lotus is not really meant for sprinting. The size and shape aren’t ideal for it (nor should they be), but it does have great paddling efficiency.
Even though this is an iSUP built for yoga, I still ran the O2 Lotus through all of our standard speed testing, starting with the 100m sprint. At the end of the day, the O2 Lotus clocked a respectable average time of just over 47 seconds for an average speed of 4.7 MPH. 4.7 MPH is also the top speed I was able to attain on the O2 Lotus regardless of distance. Part of the reason I could not get the board any faster is because I did experience a high degree of flex in the board while sprinting. This not only slows the board down as it bobs up and down in the water, but it makes it difficult to paddle straight, and at one point the tail actually dipped just below the surface of the water and “stuck” in the water nearly tossing me off the board. I bring this up in the spirit of being open and honest in my reviews, but with a board like the O2 Lotus, it doesn’t really matter. This isn’t a sprinting paddleboard, it’s built for casual cruising speeds and stability while moving across the board itself.
Now, while the O2 Lotus isn’t going to win a sprint race, it is extremely efficient on the water when paddling it at normal speeds. In our ¼ mile cruise test, the Glide O2 Lotus clocked an average speed of 3.4 MPH with a 25 stroke/minute cadence (essentially paddling continuously at a comfortable pace). This is a slightly above average pace for an iSUP of this size. The good news doesn’t stop there, either. The O2 Lotus also has excellent gliding capabilities – how far the board will travel (before it slows down) with each stroke. We measure this both with an accelerometer and GPS unit, and we calculate it by counting strokes over a fixed distance. Between both measurement techniques, the O2 Lotus is capable of gliding an average of 19 feet, or 1.9 board-lengths, with each stroke. This glide ratio (1.9 board-lengths) is on par with touring-style iSUPs compared to the shorter 1.4-1.6 board-lengths we normally see with shorter, wider paddleboards.
Maneuverability and Tracking
The Glide O2 Lotus iSUP excels at maneuvering on the water, however it can be a little challenging to paddle in a straight line for long distances.
We test maneuverability by measuring the number of sweep-strokes needed to turn in a full 360° circle. Shorter boards like the O2 Lotus (10’ long) offer less resistance in the water as you turn and typically turn very quickly. From a standstill, the O2 Lotus made quick work of our testing needing an average of just over 4 forward sweep strokes or 3.5 reverse sweep strokes to get all the way around. Other similar-size iSUPs typically require between 4.5-5.5 forward sweep strokes or 4 reverse sweep strokes.
Stepping back to the tail of the O2 Lotus for a pivot turn will get you spinning around much quicker, and still offers good stability and traction even without a raised kick pad on the tail.
Maneuverability and Tracking are quite commonly two sides of the same coin. When a paddleboard has very high maneuverability, the tracking ability is usually reduced (and vice-versa). This is the case for the O2 Lotus. While it is easy to turn and maneuver the O2 Lotus, paddling a straight line over a longer distance definitely takes some effort. In our straight-line tracking test, the O2 lotus deviated an average of 22° off course in 10 one-sided paddle strokes. While this certainly isn’t the lowest tracking performance we’ve seen, it is on the lower side. The shorter length, wider width, and single dolphin- style fin all conspire together to make tracking more difficult. However, when taking into consideration the design purpose of the O2 Lotus, this lower tracking performance is not necessarily an issue. The O2 Lotus is first and foremost an inflatable paddleboard for yoga, not for touring, so having excellent tracking performance is not a particularly important metric.
The O2 Lotus has a single center fin that uses a standard US fin box. It comes with a 9” dolphin-style fin whose shape has its origins more in surfing. This fin style is meant to allow for good turning and maneuverability and provide only moderate tracking ability. The excellent thing about the O2 Lotus’s fin box is that the US fin box is one of the most common fin boxes in the world. There are hundreds and hundreds of different size and shape fins that work with the US fin box to let you dial in your desired maneuverability and tracking characteristics. They are also available in any Surf or SUP shop, and are common enough that if you forget yours at home, you can probably find someone at the beach who has a spare you can use. If I could magic-wand one thing in the SUP industry, it would be to standardize fin boxes (and this is the primary standard I’d pick).
Warranty and Customer Support
Glide warranties their inflatable stand up paddleboards, including the O2 Lotus, against any manufacturing or material defects for the lifetime of the board. Like all manufacturing warranties, this doesn’t include normal wear and tear, however Glide does offer a fee-based repair service if any issues are non-warranty issues are found. Additionally, all of the O2 Lotus’s accessories are covered by a one-year warranty. If you have any questions for glide, or about your O2 Lotus, you can reach the Glide customer service team in just about every way imaginable: web form, email, phone, social media, and even in-person through their retail network or at their Salt Lake City headquarters.
The Glide O2 Lotus is a yoga-specific inflatable paddleboard. Like all specialty iSUPs, they are designed first for their intended use, and everything else is incidental. The O2 Lotus is built for, and excels in stability and maneuverability. It has excellent quality construction using high-quality materials for durability and rigidity. It comes with a standard set of accessories plus a carrying strap and padded seat. While the list-price of the O2 Lotus is higher than many all-around iSUPs, it is priced in line with other speciality paddleboards. Add to that a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service, and the O2 Lotus is an excellent value for a buy-it-for-life product.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Glide O2 Lotus is a yogi’s paddleboard. The rigidity and deck pad allow you to use the entire board for your practice, while the wide (and well-shaped) outline keeps you on the board rather than in the water. Glide’s construction and materials are top-notch and backed with a lifetime warranty. If you are looking for a yoga-specific iSUP, why not get the same one trusted by SUP yoga instructors around the world?
Glide O2 Lotus iSUP iSUP FAQ
How durable is the Glide O2 Lotus iSUP?
The O2 Lotus is made with heavy-duty, dual-layer PVC and features heat-welded seams to create a permanent, airtight chamber. The double-layer rail and shell provide excellent abrasion and puncture resistance. To top it all off, the O2 Lotus is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Can I paddle the Glide O2 Lotus with a kid or dog?
Absolutely you can! The high stability, full-length deck pad, and 400 lbs max capacity make it easy to bring along passengers no matter how many legs they have!
Is the Glide O2 Lotus heavy?
The Glide O2 Lotus itself weighs about 25 lbs, which is fairly average for an inflatable paddleboard. It also comes with a shoulder strap and a wheeled storage bag to make carrying the board even easier whether it’s inflated or packed away.
Can I use the Glide O2 Lotus for fishing?
Technically speaking, yes. However there are relatively few tie down points and limited cargo space built into the O2 Lotus. Glide uses the same excellent construction in their O2 Angler fishing iSUP which is loaded with features to make SUP fishing even easier.
How long does it take to inflate the Glide O2 Lotus?
It takes about 8-10 minutes to inflate the Glide O2 Lotus to 15 PSI using the included hand-pump.