Needle Nose 12’6″ Inflatable SUP from Sea Eagle: Fast and User Friendly

Sea Eagle Needle Nose SUP, sup examiner, sea eagle, inflatable sup, isup, stand up paddling, watersports, paddle
Demonstrating the board's rigidity.

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.

Description

  • 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.

Sea Eagle Needle Nose SUP, sup examiner, sea eagle, inflatable sup, isup, stand up paddling, watersports, paddleThe 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.

MSRP: $1,295
SeaEagle.com

9 Comments

  1. I have two of these boards here on the Pacific in San Diego and they often travel to Baja California on the Sea of Cortez, sometimes also on the Pacific side. I love touring – paddling straight and fast over long distances. I learned that with rounded/raised-front boards, wind and chop blow me all over the place. This board cuts through chop and keeps me on track even in windy conditions. In the flats they’re so fast, it’s crazy. I’ve had them now for two seasons and they’ve stood up better than expected, even though I’ve left them out in the sun on beaches for weeks at a time. I often snorkel, pulling it behind, and they’ve been dragged up on coral, oyster-beds, and rocky beaches more often than they should. The only puncture occurred when I dropped the needle nose onto the middle of the board as I was packing it up. Oops. The patch has held fine. One of the board’s skeg slot is getting a bit warped. I did leave it upside-down in the sun too long. I’m admittedly hard on my gear! Having tried a lot of inflatables, this is the one I recommend most to friends who tour – i.e., do not intend to surf.

  2. Thanks for reading SUP Examiner, Carla. We’re glad you enjoyed our review of the Sea Eagle Needle Nose SUP!

  3. Thank you. I am intending to get a Sea Eagle Needlenose. I paddle the local waters around Los Angeles and Long Beach. My biggest waves are caused by passing yachts. I have the Fast Track 385 (which I have stood on and paddled like a stand up). This SUP board sounds like the perfect addition to my “boat house” closet.

  4. Thanks for reading SUP Examiner! We’re glad you found value in our review of Sea Eagle’s NeedleNose SUP. Paddle safely and have fun!

  5. Hi, can you answer my question? I am 6’11 and 240 lbs and I wonder if NN14 would not bend under my weight. I read your test rider was 230 lbs but you tried 12 ft NN and it slightly bed in the middle. Do you know if NN14 more sturdier that 12′? I really like the idea of the pointy displacement bow for windy days. Thanks in advance.

  6. Hi Serge,

    Thanks for writing. Yes, based on my experience with the NeedleNose 12’6″, I believe you should be fine on the NN14.

    Warm regards,
    Matt Chebatoris

  7. Hi Jason,

    Thanks for reading SUP Examiner! I have not had the opportunity to try out a 14′ model to compare it with the 12’6″. The glide is pretty solid on the 12’6″ and not just for an inflatable. Assuming there are not any unforeseen issues with the 14′, I’d expect it to perform well.

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