Riding the SUP wave of popularity, Sea Eagle has introduced a unique take on inflatable stand up paddleboard design with its Needle Nose™ SUP. The board derives its name from a hard, plastic V-shaped bow designed to cut through the water in the same manner as a displacement hull on a non-inflatable stand up board. Since 1968, Long Island based Sea Eagle has been a leader in the inflatable boat business. From kayaks to transom boats, Sea Eagle has a reputation for designing durable, long lasting inflatable products to meet the needs of customers interested in lightweight and compatible watercraft.
- Hard plastic V-shaped displacement bow
- 6” (15.25 cm) drop stitch construction
- Curved touring shape
- Diamond grooved EVA deck pad with a raised tail kick pad
- Rugged rubber carry handle on the bow
- Four-point bungee cord on the bow
- Multiple D rings for center seat attachment
- Fabric carrying handle in the center
- Removable plastic center fin
- Two fixed plastic side fins
- 15 PSI capacity
- Dimensions: 12’6” x 30” x 6”
- Weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)
- Two-piece adjustable aluminum SUP paddle
- Quick repair kit
- Hand pump and backpack
SUP Examiner’s Take on the Sea Eagle Needle Nose SUP
The Needle Nose 12’6” Inflatable SUP from Sea Eagle stands out from other inflatables due to its solid, displacement bow designed to cut through the water like a conventional foam based epoxy board. The nose section is firmly attached and aptly named as it comes to a much sharper point than its epoxy board counterparts. Like its epoxy board counterparts with sharp displacement style bows, Sea Eagle’s Needle Nose Inflatable SUP is optimized for flat water paddling. And in this regard, it performs quite well.
The utilization of the hard nose really makes this board more of a hybrid along the lines of a rigid hulled inflatable boat. When paddling the Sea Eagle Needle Nose Inflatable SUP, we found the board had a glide as good as many foam based epoxy boards. The board lacks any nose rocker (the upward curvature in the front of a board), therefore it has limited utility on the ocean when mother nature dishes up a lot of swell and wind chop. With that in mind, however, the generous 30” wide standing deck provides significant stability in rough conditions for experienced paddlers and the hard nose slices through small waves and chop. Back in the flats, the Needle Nose inflatable SUP’s dimensions provide more than enough stability for beginner stand up paddlers.
The deck pad on the SUP is comfortable underfoot and its generous proportions make it easy to maneuver on the board when performing turns. The center cloth carrying handle is well positioned and balanced along the board’s deck. Together with the rugged nose handle, the Sea Eagle Needle Nose inflatable SUP is easy to manage when entering the water from a dock and also makes a great hand hold if you are deploying/retrieving your SUP from a boat. The four point bungee tie downs on the bow work well for securing small items, but could be improved upon by making it a six point bungee system.
We inflated the paddle board with Sea Eagle’s hand pump (included) and were able to fully inflate the Needle Nose SUP to 15 PSI in just over 5 minutes of continuous pumping.
The Sea Eagle Needle Nose inflatable SUP comes with a removable fin which easily slides in and out and is secured by a removable plastic pull tab. There is no need for a screw driver or fin key. Along with the removable center fin, this SUP has two small plastic side fins which enhance the board’s tracking and stability.
Sea Eagle includes a two piece aluminum/plastic paddle with the Needle Nose inflatable SUP. We found the included paddle to be sufficient to propel the board across the water, but if you are accustomed to using a carbon fiber paddle you are going to find the two piece paddle Sea Eagle includes with the board to be heavy and cumbersome to use. Over time, the weight and clunky nature of the Sea Eagle paddle could have a detrimental effect on the level of enjoyment you derive from paddling the board. Quickblade Paddles makes a lightweight carbon fiber travel paddle available in two or three piece configurations, providing an off the shelf solution to this dilemma. Travel paddles from Quickblade Paddles come in a nifty soft sided case which can be stored in the Sea Eagle backpack that comes with the board.
As indicated above, the Sea Eagle Needle Nose inflatable SUP works best in flat water. If you paddle primarily in a lake, river or intracoastal waterway, this inflatable SUP would be a great option to consider. One if the unique aspects of the Sea Eagle product line is the ability to customize your board for a variety of uses. Available accessories which can be configured for the Needle Nose inflatable SUP include an inflatable seat for conversion to a canoe or kayak, a sail and a rowing rig.