SUGA is a new brand of yoga mat in the developmental stage intended to help lessen the environmental impact of surfing and yoga on our planet. Neoprene surfing wetsuits last between one and two years before they hit landfills. SUGA grabs these wetsuits before they’re trashed and recycles them by grinding them up and baking them into durable, hygienic, slip proof, sweat proof yoga mats. SUGA began as an idea developed by passionate surfers and yogis in Encinitas, California. The SUGA people are adventurers who love stretching on the land warming up their bodies to surf in the sea under sunny skies. SUGA is an opportunity for surfers and yogis to be more mindful about their mat print and their splash.
Neoprene is perfect yoga mat material. Because Neoprene is a naturally closed-cell foam it doesn’t soak up dirt, dust or bacteria. Whether you’re on your mat at the studio, the beach or the park the SUGA mat keeps it clean. It’s also easily washable with a little soapy water and a hose down.
The cool circular logo inside the A in SUGA represents the flow of their three favourite elements: yellow for the sunny sky, charcoal for the West Coast rocky landscape and blue for the sea. The label SUGA itself is a combination of the two words surf and yoga.
SUGA mats are currently black with small speckles of colour, each a little different depending on the wetsuits that go into each mat. SUGA fabricators are looking into environmentally friendly dies in hopes to bring you more colourful mats in the near future. But for now, as they say, black is slimming. The mats themselves are also 100% recyclable. Once you’ve loved your SUGA mat to death you can send it back to the factory where it will be ground up with other dead mats and made anew again. While all SUGA mats are recyclable, SUGA also offers a special mat called the C2G—the Cradle to Grave mat. The C2G is a lifetime purchase. Included in the cost of the C2G mat is the return and recycling of your old mat and a brand new mat, which will be sent to you.
Having been a yogi for quite some time I have come to a deep understanding that yoga is physically, mentally and spiritually beneficial in and of itself. Apply everything you know about yoga—breath, body alignment and meditation—to your sport and hands down you will improve your athletic game.
The physical awareness and mental clarity that yoga offers us permeates our thirst for adventure and strengthens every part of our bodies including our crazy minds. Whether you like to surf big barrels, ski gnarly peaks, bike dope trails or be an active stay-at-home parent, yoga infuses us with the vitality to participate in life with big and positive impact. The asana (sequential yogic postures) connects us to our bodies to sustain our physical health giving us the energy to think and act clearly. From this place of energetic clarity, we have the sustenance to give kindness and generosity to our family, friends, community and planet.
SUGA bridges the gap between the sea and the land—the surf world and the yoga world. By upcycling wetsuits into yoga mats SUGA provides us with sustainable equipment to participate in the activities we love while also being kind to our beautiful, natural playground—Mother Earth.
If SUGA inspires you, send them some love by pledging to their Kickstarter campaign, or checking out their website for more information.
Words by: Savannah Robinson