Sea Eagle Needlenose SUP Review

Sea Eagle Needlenose inflatable SUP

Sea Eagle has three different inflatable SUP’s… the Longboard, the Hybrid SUP and the Needlenose. I am already a big fan of their Longboard, it was one of the original inflatable stand-up paddleboards that I tried several years ago.

Therefore I was quite excited to try out the Needlenose. The unique design and the fact that it is able to paddle faster and further with less effort really piqued my interest.

It has been a couple years now since I first reviewed this board and this year Sea Eagle updated and upgraded the look and design features.

I already love this ISUP – It is most definitely my board of choice for flat water paddling.  So I bought the new NN as soon as it came out so I could update my pictures and compare it to it’s previous model.

Therefore this seemed like the perfect time to update my review.

After two years of steadily paddling the Needlenose SUP I feel I have a really good grasp for it’s performance, features, pros as well as cons.

This board is unique and different from any other ISUP on the market.  If you like the idea of a smooth gliding paddle board that cuts through flat water effortlessly and tracks extremely well then read on…

Quick Stats

It is worth noting that there are three different size options for the Needlenose.  Which size you choose will depend on your size and your needs.

Specs for Needlenose 116:

  • 11 feet, 6 inches long
  • 30 inches wide
  • 6 inches thick
  • weighs 24 pounds
  • can hold up to 200 pounds and still perform at its best
  • inflates to 15 PSI
  • has one large removable center fin as well as 2 attached smaller side fins

Specs for Needlenose 126:

  • 12 feet, 6 inches long
  • 30 inches wide
  • 6 inches thick
  • weighs 26 pounds
  • can hold up to 225 pounds and still perform at it’s best
  • inflates to 15 PSI
  • has one large removable center fin as well as 2 attached smaller side fins

Specs for Needlenose 14

  • 14 feet long
  • 30 inches wide
  • 6 inches thick
  • weighs 26.5 pounds
  • can hold up to 276 pounds and still perform at it’s best
  • inflates to 15 PSI
  • has one large removable center fin as well as 2 attached smaller side fins

Material: 1100 Decitex reinforced drop stitch. Drop stitch construction that allows for a very high air pressure.

Pros Light, compact, streamline design and sharp bow makes this board glide smoothly and quickly through the water, tracks very well, extra long deck pad, back kick tail for advanced moves, large removable fin, 2 attached side fins, option to sit or stand-up paddle, bungee tie-down cords at bow for securing gear, 3 year warranty.

Cons – This board is designed for and will excel on flat water. The design does not make it versatile for moving rivers or surf. It is best suited for lakes, ocean bays and calm wide rivers.  With the hard pointy nose it does make for a slightly bulkier package – but still very portable.

Where to Buy

When you buy directly from the manufacturer you truly get the best deal as you are able to take advantage of their 3-year warranty, 180-day risk free trial and frequent sales.

Click Here For The Best Deal On The Needlenose Inflatable SUP’s From The Official SeaEagle.com Website.

More In-Depth Info

What really makes the Needlenose stand out is the design. As the name implies, the nose of this board is very pointed and totally rigid.

With the sharp nose, it cuts through the water beautifully and I would say definitely can paddle faster and further with less effort than most other recreational ISUP’s.

There is no other inflatable SUP on the market (outside of the racing boards) that has a bow this sharp and consequently it really puts the Needlenose in a class of its own when it comes to touring and speed.

The length and width compliment the sharp nose nicely and make this SUP perfect for flat water paddling.

Interestingly I found that the pointy bow makes the board seem shorter than it really is.

You lose a bit of the width and room up front but it is still long enough to support a wide variety of people along with gear and even a dog if you choose.

Sea Eagle Needlenose 126 2016

Setup

Setting up the Needlenose is similar to setting up most other inflatable paddle boards.  Take the board out of the bag and unroll.

Take the cap off the valve and push down the valve tip and twist so that it is in the ‘up’ position.

Then attach the green hand pump that comes with the board and start pumping.  The pump works well and it is fairly easy to inflate up until around 10 PSI.  The last 5 PSI take a bit of work but it’s very doable.  Watch the gauge that comes with the pump to make sure you reach the right air pressure.

At 15 PSI this board is completely rigid.  The center fin can be secured either before or after inflation by sliding it into the fin slot and securing the clip.

The whole process takes less then 10 minutes and can even be done in 5 minutes if you are a super pumper!  I usually take a few breaks from hand pumping to catch my breath haha.

If you have an electric pump even better.  It takes roughly the same amount of time, maybe a little faster but it certainly saves your energy for when you are actually on the water.

Below I am unpacking and setting up my new Needlenose for the first time…

unpacking new NN126

unpacking the Needlenose paddle board

securing valve on Needlensose

testing out the Sea Eagle Needlenose SUP

Performance

The first time I took this board out, I went with two friends and three different inflatable SUP’s (including the Needlenose).

We all paddled each board and at the end we agreed that the difference between the Needlenose and the other two paddle boards was quite significant.

I now take this board out with me each time I do new reviews or go paddling with friends or family.

I like to get a variety of people trying the different boards as opinions and experience can differ. At the end of the day, the Needlenose is consistently the one that everyone wants to paddle.

I  have noticed that beginners find it less stable than some of the wider ’rounder’ shaped board but they still love the way it moves in the water.  I would not put a beginner on this board in choppy ocean water.  However on flat water lakes or rivers most people do great!

On flat water, compared to many other inflatable stand-up paddle boards, the Needlenose is like a breath of fresh air… might sound strange but it really feels good to paddle this board.

It handles really well… tracks nicely, glides smoothly, feels solid and stable, and takes less effort to paddle further.

The difference in ease of paddling and in performance is quite noticeable.

paddling the new SE Needlenose inflatable SUP

Choppy Water Or Surf

On choppy water and in surf this board is certainly less stable.  It was designed for touring and speed and really excels on flat water such as lakes, calm rivers or ocean bays.

Personally I still love paddling the NN in chop but I have several years of paddling experience.  For those just starting out, I would suggest using this ISUP on calm water until you gain your SUP legs.

It isn’t ideal for surf although if you have the desire and the skill it can be done.  The hard tip nose that makes it cut through the water so nicely also makes it harder to turn and jump waves.

The front tip is heavier than one would normally like for a surf board.  The heavier tip also makes pivot turns harder to do.  A shorter board with a rounder nose is more ideal for surf.

Needlenose inflatable SUP

Which Size To Choose?

There are three different size to choose from:

  1. a 6” thick 11’ 6” long version called the Needlenose 116
  2. a 6” thick 12’ 6” long version called the Needlenose 126
  3. and a 6″ thick 14′ long version called the Needlenose 14

The smaller 116 board weighs 24 pounds and can hold up to 200 pounds and still paddle well. The 12’6″ board weighs just over 26 pounds and can hold up to 225 pounds. The long 14′ board weighs 26.5 pounds and can hold up to 276 pounds.

All three boards can hold a lot of weight. The 6″ thickness provides more rigidity and less flex under pressure.

The nice thing about these boards is that they are all fairly lightweight. Therefore if you choose to go with the larger option you are still getting a SUP that is extremely easy to carry, transport and store.

All three sizes are ideal for touring open water, have great tracking and speed.

Needlenose SUP's

SE Needlenose 116, 126, & 14 – older models

Large Fin

There are two smaller attached side fins and one large removable plastic fin.

The large fin is necessary to use for proper tracking. It slides into the fin box and then clips in. It is solid, secure and best of all very easy to take on and off.

I find that the fins on some boards are a real hassle to get on and off, but this one is very easy and it works great.

Use the large fin when paddling in open water. If you take this board on a shallow river then remove the large fin and only use the two smaller side fins.  However be warned that the tracking is infinitely better with the fin attached.

fin for the new Needlenose

Needlenose SUP fins

Paddle Holder

The new 2016 models have a paddle holder.  The paddle holder is basically a piece of PVC fabric attached up front on the board.  The blade of your paddle slips into the holder and stays in place when you are swimming in the water or just chilling out on the NN.

It’s a nice feature, not critical but nice to have all the same.  I also found the paddle holder was nice to use when carrying the board and paddle together.

ISUP paddle holder

Kick Tail

You will notice on the back of the traction pad there is a slightly raised part.  This is the kick tail.

The kick tail on the 2016 NN SUP is slightly different from the older model.  It is quite a bit wider.

We always love to have a kick tail, it is ideal for doing pivot turns and advanced maneuvers.

However compared to many other ISUP’s we find it much harder to actually use the kick tail on the NN because the front end of the board is heavier.

So it’s nice to have and you will likely have a lot of fun trying to use it but ultimately what this board does best is just paddle straight and fast as opposed to fancy maneuvers.

NN126 kick tail

Needlenose ISUP kick tail comparison

Kick tail comparison between old and new model. Newest model is on the right.

You Get A Lot For Your Money

As usual with the Sea Eagle inflatable SUP’s and inflatable kayaks you really get a lot for your money.

Standard with every board are:

  • two attached small fins
  • large removable fin
  • D-rings and shock bungee cords to secure your gear
  • front as well as center grab handles
  • extra long skid resistant foot pad
  • kick tail for more advanced moves
  • SUP paddle
  • high pressure pump and pressure gauge
  • backpack carry bag to transport and store your board
  • repair kit
  • 3-year warranty and 180 day risk free trial

Optional packages include:

  • deluxe inflatable seat (with back pocket) that you can attach to your board to paddle kayak style if you choose – this seat is also great for fishing
  • kayak paddle for sit-down paddling
  • swivel seat fish rig
  • 3-piece carbon fiber SUP paddle
  • electric turbo pump
  • QuickRow kit and footrest

having fun paddling the new 2016 Sea Eagle Needlenose
Click here for more pictures of the Sea Eagle Needlenose from the Sea Eagle website.

Stand Up Or Sit Down

A really cool feature is the option to attach a seat so you can paddle sitting down as well.

The seat attaches to the center D-rings and is great for someone who wants the added versatility of being able to paddle their board kayak-style as well as stand-up paddling.

I find the seat is also ideal for those who want to use their board for fishing.

I used to see people in Hawaii with a crate tied to their stand-up paddle board so they could sit while fishing out in the ocean.

The fact that you have the option of adding an inflatable seat to your package is pretty cool if this is something that interests you.

The seat is fairly comfortable.  It is a different feel than paddling a kayak and if you’re used to standing on a SUP, it does feel different to sit down and paddle kayak-style.

However I found that I got used to it quickly.  It is easy to stand or sit with the seat attached so you can switch back and forth from standing to sitting and back if you choose.

Convenience & Quality

I find the vast majority of inflatable SUP’s to be extremely compact and convenient.

The Needlenose is no different and the fact that it is so lightweight makes it very easy to carry when it is inflated as well as when it is deflated and stored in the backpack.

The rigid nose does make the package a little bulkier when rolled up and stored away but it is still easily taken anywhere you want to go.

The quality is excellent. The material is tough and the construction is solid. I’ve never had any issues at all with any of the Sea Eagle products.

They stand behind their boards and offer a great 3-year warranty as well as a 180-day risk free trial.

Basically if you are unsatisfied with your purchase at any time within 180 days you can return it for a full refund as long as it is in good condition. That is always a nice added security.

Backpack Carry Bag

Needlenose bag

The bag that comes with this board is a nice blue backpack that is easy enough to carry.

I wouldn’t say the bag is superb but it certainly does the trick.

It has padded shoulder straps and a front clear pocket which can hold a few accessories such as the repair kit and some straps or possibly your wallet.  It also has mesh sides so the board can breathe when stored in the bag.

The top of the bag has a draw cord to secure the top and there are also a couple of clips to secure the board in the bag.

The bag is standard size for an inflatable SUP and it fits the board plus the fin.

I find with the rigid nose of the Needlenose it can take a little extra effort to get the board back into the bag properly.  However if you fold the board up the right way it will all fit in fine.

I would love to see a side zipper added to this backpack carry bag however to make the process a little easier.

Check out this instruction video from Dan at Sea Eagle.  At around the 3 minute mark it shows how to effectively fold the board back up and put it in the bag.

Sea Eagle SUP backpack

The Down Side

I found very few negatives with this stand-up paddle board. It impressed me a lot and has all the features that I want in a board.

The only thing I would caution is that if you are looking for complete versatility then this may not be the board for you.

It is best suited for flat water such as lakes, calm rivers and ocean bays. If surfing or whitewater is your thing, then you should look for a SUP with more of an upturned bow.

The one real downside that sometimes gets to me is folding it up and packing it away in the backpack.  Watch the above video to eliminate any frustration there.  It will fit in the backpack fine if you do it the right way.

After two years I have finally mastered the folding technique.  Don’t ask why it took me so long!

More Pics

deflated Needlenose ISUP

swimming with the Needlenose ISUP's

Darryl decided he wanted more exercise so he’s swimming and pushing our boards back to shore. Yes I am lounging on my board 🙂

NN D-rings and carry handle

having fun with the NN126

 

Needlenose

Final Thoughts

After over two years of paddling the Sea Eagle Needlenose it continues to be one of my favorite touring ISUP’s that I have tried up to this point.

I now own the Needlenose 116 and my boyfriend owns the Needlenose 126.  Our new upgraded NN126 for 2016 looks sharp in my opinion.  I really like the added color and design features.  These are the boards we love to paddle most on flat water.

The 6″ thickness will appeal to newbies and the sleek design will appeal to more experienced stand-up paddlers. It really has all the bases covered for flat water touring.

The accessories and features are excellent and the price is good considering the quality and the fact that the package includes not only the board but also the backpack, paddle and pump.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Needlenose to anyone who wants a compact inflatable SUP that tracks and glides smoothly on flat water lakes, rivers and ocean bays.

Where To Buy

Sea Eagle often has great sales going on.  The price can differ depending on the size of board you choose and the package option.

When you buy directly from the manufacturer you can take advantage of their 3-year warranty and 180-day risk free trial.

Click Here For Current Pricing On The Needlenose Inflatable SUP’s From The Official Sea Eagle Website.

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Comments

  1. I bought this SUP and I’m totally in love with it especially when I use it as a sit on top kayak. My dog also loves it. He get to ride on it with me.

  2. what about the saturn,any comments, thanks,looking for a long board and 6 inches thick thanks

  3. Thanks for the detailed review… very helpful! Is this a good choice for paddling along coastal Lake Erie in light/moderate chop? Or would the longboard be more suitable? Primarily interested in recreational / touring paddling. Also, if max weight is not an issue (well below 225) any advice for picking between 12′ 4″ or 14′ models? Is the speed difference significant?

    • I prefer paddling the Needlenose over the Longboard if I am mainly on flat water. It handles a little chop just fine. Anything heavier or if you will be in surf, I would suggest the Longboard. I think the Needlenose will be great along coastal Lake Erie. The 14′ SUP is good for extra speed and stability but personally I would recommend the 12’4″ board for most people as it is easier to maneuver. I don’t personally think the speed difference is that significant or necessary unless you are racing. Hope that helps!

  4. Talked to someone else earlier today who also recommended the 12′ 4″ as well, so between everything I’ve learned from both of you I’m sold! Thanks again!

  5. Love your site! Struggling to decide between Needlenose 14 and Airis Hardtop 12’6″. 240 pounds; been out a few times on a Naish One and liked that; value both tracking and stability. Uses: bays, lakes, and Aegean islands. Any advice beyond your words in these reviews?

    • The Airis Hardtop 12’6″ has a very similar feel to the Naish One. If you liked the Naish One, you will definitely like the Airis SUP… Very stable, solid board. I like the tracking of the Needlenose, it’s really smooth on flat water and I like the fact that you can remove the skeg if you want to whereas on the Airis board it stays attached. However the Airis might be a little more versatile if you will be on ocean bays and it’s a nice board to paddle. Overall you really can’t go wrong either way… they’re both great. Good luck with your decision!

  6. Love your site! I am planning to get an isup soon. I currently have a starboard blend 11’6 that I use on local lakes( not inflatable). My problem now is my family, lol. We have a canoe that the three of us can use together but we can’t quite get the canoe and my sup on the roof all together….solution…an inflatable! (Any excuse to get another board, hee hee) I really love these needle nose, the optional seat, etc seems fun. I frequently paddle my son around, he is about 40 lbs. plus me, 180, so 220 total. Is it comfy sitting on the deck pad for my son? Just curious your thoughts!

    • Hi Leslie, Yes an inflatable would definitely solve your problem and be very convenient. The Needlenose is by far one of my favorites. The deck is quite comfy. Although the board is very rigid the padding on the deck is fairly comfortable to sit on, shouldn’t be any issues. I paddled my very pregnant friend around on my board a while back… I figure if she can get comfortable sitting on the board, anyone can 🙂

  7. thank you for your review; it helped me greatly in deciding the isup.
    just purchased the needlenose 124 through the link in your site…

  8. I was wondering if you have had an opportunity to try the Starboard Astro 14 Touring and the Boardworks Shibu Raven. Thank you

    • Sorry Chris I haven’t had the opportunity to try either of those boards yet. They’re both on my list of SUP’s to review this year so hopefully soon.

  9. Hi, I’m just under 120 lbs. I am trying to decided between the 11’4” and the 12’4”. I like the idea of the bigger board because of stability and because more friends might be able to use it, but do you think it is too much for a small person? thanks!

    • Hi Kat, I’m about your size and I use the 11′ board most often. However I like the length of the 12’4″ board a lot and every time I use a SUP that length I have to admit I consider getting the longer Needlenose. You’ll definitely be good with an 11′ board but I don’t think you’ll have any issues paddling a 12’4″ SUP.. and the extra length and stability is nice. Basically I don’t think you could go wrong either way.

      • Kati Smith says:

        I just ordered the eagle Needlenose I am about your size I hope I can handle it being a newbie, I Also added the seat in case I get tired. Hoping it arrives for the weekend, anything I should know before I get on. What kind of life jacket should I wear

        • That’s awesome Kati, you’ll be absolutely fine with it as a newbie. It’s quite stable and I find it just takes a couple times out to feel comfortable. I use the Onyx manual inflatable PFD belt pack… I find it more comfortable when paddling SUP’s as opposed to wearing a standard life jacket.

          • Kati smith says:

            I cannot swim at all, will that belt hold me up and where can I find it.

          • Allison says:

            Yes it will hold you up but the belt has a manual t-cord that you pull when you want it to inflate, so just depends how comfortable you are with that. You can find it at Amazon.com.

          • If you can’t swim at all, you should also consider a normal type III life jacket, especially while you are learning. I learned on the ocean and fell in a number of times while getting the feel for it. Because I often go on my own in open water, I’m more comfortable using a standard life jacket. I bought this one.
            http://www.stohlquist.com/life-jackets/sup-pfds/edge.html

  10. Thanks! I am now torn between this one and the tower 14 footer! Ugh. What to do, what to do. Anything you can say comparing the two?

    • I was torn between the same two myself and ended up choosing the sea Eagle. I thought the design would be a faster ride. I also liked the skin design that clips in and out rather than a screwdriver. That way I can leave the large skeg off off in shallow river water and still have the small steps. Also liked that the tie downs came with the boat rather than having to add later at the time Tower did not have a bag, and Sea Eagle included it. Finally the 3 great guarantee and 6 month return gave me confidence I have not used it yet – still too cold in northern Ohio, but think I made a good choice.

      • Burt I really hope you love the board. I’m waiting for warmer weather too…. it seems to be taking a long time to get here 🙂

    • Hi Leslie, I agree with Burt, the Sea Eagle in my opinion is a far better board with a lot of advantages. It has more accessories, a nice carry bag and I think it glides more smoothly through the water. I don’t think you’d be unhappy with the 14′ Tower, it’s still a good board, but I personally much prefer the Needlenose. Good luck with your choice.

  11. For a paddler weighing less most, say 115 lb, which board would be faster, the 4″ or 6″? I’m looking for an inflatable that would work both on San Diego Bay and in the ocean. Thanks!

    • Good question Sarah, I’m not really sure which one would go faster. My guess is that the 4″ SUP would go faster with someone weighing around 115 lbs. I think the extra weight of the 6″ SUP might slow it down unless the person paddling is bigger. On the flip side, I think a larger person would be slower on the 4″ board because there would be a little flex under their weight and the board would not be as rigid and therefore not perform as well. I use the 4″ board for ocean paddling and really like it. However I always enjoy the secure feeling that a 6″ board provides when I use one, especially on ocean waves. Hope that helps! One day I’ll have to do a speed test.

  12. Allison, sorry for last post, hopefully people understood what I meant. I learned that typing on a small screen in bright sunlight doesn’t work so well… 🙂

    On a related note… not sure if you still have the needlenose or just tested it, but do you have any tips for rolling it back up and storing in the bag? The instructions are not real clear, and Sea Eagle did not do a video for the Needlenose like they did for the Longboard at ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzM9xPbb2ag ). If I start folding like a flag, as the instructions state, pretty soon I have a giant triangle which does not work so well. With the displacement hull in the front, it’s a little tricky, and I’m not sure if the small skegs should be rolled up inside the SUP or not. I wish I’d have paid more attention to how it was stored in the bag when I first took it out..

    After trying for a while, I did get it back in the bag, but likely not the way it is supposed to be… Would appreciate any guidance / pictures you could supply to help.

    • Hi Burt, I’m not the greatest at getting the boards rolled back into their bags perfectly, it does take a little focus lol. However I’ve gotten pretty good with the Needlenose. I’ll take some pics this week and post them to the review, or maybe even a video of rolling the board back up. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know when they’re up.

      • Hi, Any chance you have some of the pics of rolling this board? I just bought one and to be honest I found its portability and backpack to be a bit disappointing. However, I’m still glad I bought an inflatable over a normal board and I’d like some pointers on how to roll it better.

        • Allison says:

          I haven’t done any pics of rolling the board back up but I will soon. It takes a little trial and error at first. I find the best method is to basically fold the board in half as best you can (width wise) so that it’s half the width and then rolling it up. I’ll take some pics of this process soon and post them.

    • http://youtu.be/KhohjfEA0Bc. Watch this video at 3 minute mark to learn how to fold properly.

  13. Thanks for the review. I think you have me sold.

    Never SUP ‘ed. I was considering buying a float tube for fishing, but since I live 3 blocks from the Pacific ocean (an inlet), I figured a SUP board would just be more versatile. I’m about 150 lbs, and though I tend to like gear that fits/compact, am I right in thinking the 12’4″ would be more suitable for fishing (standing flyfishing and sitting etc..big salmon) … possibly camping etc? Have you personally fished in the needlenose?

    Also is the weight you have for the 12’6 correct at 28lbs? The manufacture lists it at 24 lbs?

    Thanks. I’ll make sure to purchase off your link.

    • Hi Scott, Yes I really think the longer Needlenose is going to be much sturdier for fishing. I haven’t fished from one myself but the extra length and thickness does make for a more stable platform. I’m really glad you asked about the weight because it made me realize that Sea Eagle has upgraded their board. Instead of the 124 Needlenose they now have the 126 (12’6″ Needlenose)… 2 inches longer and yes it looks like it is 4 lbs. lighter which is fantastic. I’ll update my site today. The longer board still fits in the backpack they provide so it’ll be quite compact.
      My pics are from B.C. which is where I am located although I do head over to Washington to paddle sometimes… good eye!

  14. Thanks for the review. I think you have me sold.

    Never SUP ‘ed. I was considering buying a float tube for fishing, but since I live 3 blocks from the Pacific ocean (an inlet), I figured a SUP board would just be more versatile. I’m about 150 lbs, and though I tend to like gear that fits/compact, am I right in thinking the 12’4″ would be more suitable for fishing (standing flyfishing and sitting etc..big salmon) … possibly camping etc? Have you personally fished in the needlenose?

    Also is the weight you have for the 12’6 correct at 28lbs? The manufacture lists it at 24 lbs?

    Thanks. I’ll make sure to purchase off your link.

    BTW were the pictures in this review taken in Washington or British Columbia?

  15. Thanks for nice reviews, had a few questions do not remember seeing in your FAQ
    1) how bad is the pump that comes with sea eagle? Getting a k1 is really starting to break the budget
    2) did not see video of needle nose but the Napali video shows pretty poor tracking, is needle nose significantly better?
    3) any ideas why none the big outdoor chains carry these boards? They carry most others, and the smaller sea eagle products
    4) can you strap this to the roof of a car for moderate distance? At highway speeds?
    Thanks again and happy paddling

    • 1) The pump is just fine. I’ve used it often and it works well. I prefer the electric pump because it takes less work and it’s easier to get the SUP to a higher PSI level but it’s not a necessity.
      2) I really need to do a video of the Needlenose… that will come soon. Hands down better tracking than the Napali.
      3) Unfortunately no idea why the bigger outdoor chains don’t carry them.
      4) Yes you can strap it to your roof. I’ve done it at highway speeds before although not for a long distance. However I don’t foresee any issues there.
      Hope that helps!!

  16. Thanks for all your great reviews. I’m 5’5 115lb and will mostly paddle on flat water in rivers and lakes. However, one of the rivers we’ll be on pretty frequently has the occasional powerboat that will create a wake i’ll need to handle. I practice yoga, and can snowboard & wakeboard pretty well. Do you think the Needlenose ISUP could handle a small powerboat wake? Mostly bass-boats and ski boats on the bodies of water we will ride. Tell me if there is another ISUP you’d recommend. Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Allison says:

      Hi Elaine, The Needlenose has no problem handling powerboat wake. My boyfriend and I had our Needlenose SUP’s out just a couple days ago and had to deal with a fair amount of powerboat wake. We felt very stable and the boards had no problem dealing with it. My suggestion with any board is to take the waves head on, it’ll make it easier. Another board I would recommend is the Astro Whopper. I’m just reviewing it now and I’m loving this board. It is also ideal for rivers and small surf. I’ll be posting the review later this week.

  17. I’m looking at the needlenose 126, I have two boys age 8 & 5. Would this paddle board accommodate me as well as one of my boys? (I wouldn’t consider both riding with me, just one at a time)

    • Yes for sure, it would be no problem with you and one of the boys on the board… very doable.

  18. CINDY T says:

    Hi Allison. I love your reviews. I’ve been paddling SUP for approximately 6 years and own 2 boards. I’m considering the 11 ft Needlenose. Is the Needlenose ISUP sturdy enough to be used in areas where there are mangroves and sea walls covered with sharp oysters? I live in Florida and currently launch my 12 ft YOLO board from a floating dock. I have to be very careful with my board when launching and when paddling near the mangroves. I like the idea of being able to transport an inflatable by myself. Have you tested the Needlenose near rough surfaces?

    • Allison says:

      Hi Cindy, I have tested the Needlenose near rough surfaces. I find for the most part it’s really tough and I rarely worry about tears. I find surface scratches not to be a big deal as they don’t actually puncture the board but I do try to be cautious around anything too sharp. Besides a possible leak it’s just wear and tear on the board. I haven’t tested it up against a wall covered in sharp oysters however. The board is tough and it’s built to be able to withstand a lot of different conditions. My feeling is that bumping up against anything scratchy or sharp isn’t likely going to do any damage unless you really ram it into a sharp object. That being said I would just be cautious and aware of what it is hitting.

      • CINDY T says:

        Thanks, Allison. I will probably order the 11 ft board. This should greatly expand my paddling areas! Thanks again for the prompt response.

  19. Has anyone had experience surfing with the needle nose?

  20. Allison,
    What do you think of the iBeaver SUP? Have you tried it and how does it stack up to the 116 Needlenose?

    • Allison says:

      Hi Doug, I know of the iBeaver but I have yet to try it. It looks like a good board. It’s a foot shorter than the Needlenose and two inches wider. The size tells me it isn’t going to paddle quite as well as the Needlenose in flat water, I doubt you’ll get the same good speed and tracking. However it looks well made and stable and probably quite versatile. Hopefully I will get a chance to review it one day soon.

  21. Thanks for the great information. Have you ever tried the Isle brand inflatables? Any thoughts on how they stack up to Tower, Needlenose, etc? Thanks!

    • Allison says:

      Unfortunately not yet Greg, but I’m hoping to review their boards this year. I’ve only heard good things however. I don’t think the performance of their touring board is going to compare to the Needlenose. They seem sort of basic in design to me but priced well and have good features. I would guess their 10′ board is probably fairly comparable to the Tower Adventurer… but has more features than the Adventurer. I like the look of them and I like what I’ve read so far so I’m looking forward to doing a personal review. Sorry I couldn’t help you more. Hopefully I’ll have more info soon.

  22. Jenna Holcombe says:

    Hi Allison! After researching the heck out of inflatable SUP’s and reading through your entire blog, I’ve just purchased the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126. I just wanted to thank you for all of the thorough info. I’ll definitely post again once me and my partner give it a whirl! Thanks!

    • Awesome thanks Jenna! I just took my brother and sister-in-law out on the 126 Needlenose yesterday… it was their first time paddling 🙂 That board rocks, I hope you enjoy it.

  23. Perry Subia says:

    Hi Allison. I’ve been researching isup’s for the past two weeks and keep returning to your reviews of the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126. I live in Hawaii, I am a beginner, and will be using it at Ala Moana Beach,Pokai Bay, and other calm ocean water areas, where the conditions may vary from flat to a little chop. I will use it mainly for the exercise and fun of being on the water! Since you mentioned that you have been to Hawaii, how do you think this board will do in these waters? Also I am 5’9″ and 195 lbs (at least for now), hopefully I will drop a few more lbs. Do you think the 126 is good for me? Thanks for the reviews!!

    • Hi Perry, Yes I think the Needlenose 126 would be perfect for calm ocean water in Hawaii. It can handle small waves and some chop with no trouble too. I just wouldn’t say it’s the best board for surfing. But I would most definitely use it in areas such as PoKai Bay (gorgeous area!) And yes I believe the 126 would be the best option for your size. My boyfriend weighs roughly 190 lbs. and totally prefers the 126 over the 116.

  24. Thanks for the great website, just ordered a needlenose 126 deluxe package. Just a quick comment, it would be nice if you could include the date in the review. You can use the comments section to get an idea but would be nice if all entries were time stamped when you are trying to research. Again, thanks for the awesome resource that is isupworld!

  25. Charles Stone says:

    Thanks for the review. It convinced me to buy the 126 which is on the way here. I wonder if you could review the sail that Sea Eagle sales on the Needle Nose?

  26. Perry Subia says:

    Hi Allison,
    Got my Needle Nose 126 and I definitely know I made a great investment. The board is very stable, which is important for a beginner like me. I start out paddling on my knees,then I stand up and paddle. I find that going from my knees to standing and even sitting is not a problem, it is that stable!! One question tho, if I want to cartop it would it be better to use soft racks or just plain strap it to the roof? My concern is the hot roof of the car. Once again thanks for helping me decide on the isup and NN 126.

    • Hi Perry, I am so glad to hear you are happy with the NN126! I’ve done both… used soft racks as well as just strapped it to the roof of a car. I didn’t have any issues with it just strapped to the roof even when the car was hot, but I think it is a better idea to use the soft racks. I only strapped it to the roof when I was on vacation and didn’t have another option. If possible I’d recommend some type of roof rack to be on the safe side.

  27. Perry Subia says:

    Hi Allison,
    Thanks for the quick reply.BTW I purchased my NN 126 from your link, so keep up the good work!
    Gotta go paddle, Aloha.
    Perry

  28. Christine says:

    Ordered the 116 today…now just have to find some patience waiting for it to arrive!

  29. great paddle board. I bought it after reading Allisons review Handles chop and boat wakes really well. The deck is very comfy. The removable skeg is a nice feature–just don’t loose track of it. paddle is ok. I do like that you can make the paddle small enough to be comfortable when u need to kneel down into a wave or wind. The only thing I’d add is a better tie down on the bow and adding a tie down to the stern. Otherwise she is a great ride! Also I love the warranty. Lifetime. Company believes in their product.

  30. Started sup short time ago w/ 11’6″ fiberglass board off Catalina island, ca. Handled it real we’ll
    I bought a Seaeagle 126 needle nose and have used it Dailey for 4 days. I spend more time in the water!
    I find it very unstable and friends tell me they can see the boars flexing.
    After half an hour boarding/swimming I went back to the fiberglass and never fell in.
    Are all isup’s like this?
    I would like an is up, but only if I can stay on it
    Any comments

    • With the proper air pressure the Needlenose is very rigid and stable. The only thing I would suggest is making sure you have it inflated right up to 14 or 15 PSI.

    • I also notice a difference between hard and rigid boards, but I wouldn’t say its a negative. Inflatables have greater buoyancy than a rigid board of the same size, so they seem to act a little corky, and behave a little more top heavy. Also, a taller board will make this more noticeable, so if your rigid is thinner that could also explain it. It usually takes me a little while to get used to either when switching it up.

  31. I can’t tell you how helpful your site has been. I purchased a NN126 today (with an electric pump cuz I’m impatient like that) and am quite excited about being able to travel with a board. I’ve owned a Riviera 11.6 for about 3 years now and its lovely, but heavy and definitely slow. I agonized between the Naish and the Needlenose, but your review and the comments above sold me on the NN. (Then of course I agonized over the 116 and the 126…)
    Thank you for your time and in depth reviews. Living in the middle of Texas… not many people I could ask for input…I look forward to trying the board out down in Austin (hopefully in time for Waterman’s Paddle Race)

    • Both the Naish and the NN126 are good boards but I think you made a great choice, especially with the electric pump! After using the electric pump it’s hard to ever go back to a hand pump, it’s totally worth it. I just looked up the Waterman’s Paddle Race… what a cool event! I’ve put it on my wish list for events to go to next year 🙂 Enjoy!!

  32. Hi Allison, just wanted to say thanks! After reading through your very helpful reviews and articles, I recently purchased the NN126, and it’s been a delight. These past few weeks I’ve had many wonderful mornings padding before work, and the Needlenose has been perfect for exploring the calm shoreline of Lake Sammamish near Seattle. This is my first SUP board, and your site was instrumental in giving me confidence that an inflatable would suit my needs, and in helping me understand what to look for and how to choose a great board. Thanks a bunch!

    • Thanks Daniel! That is so great to hear and I am so happy you are loving the NN126. Happy paddling 🙂

  33. I am new to SUP and only recently even considered an inflatable. I was wondering if you would recommend this board for harbor paddling, some ocean, and with a 3yr old on board? We will be moving to a place without the beach and only lakes. I just want to invent in a board that we can use for many years. Thank you.

    • Yes absolutely, this board is ideal for harbor paddling and especially for lakes. It is fine for ocean as well, but not ideal as a surf board. It is quite stable with the 6″ thickness. I don’t think you’d have any issues with a 3 year old on board, especially on flat water. The longer 12’6″ board would give you more room with the 3 year old but you could definitely get away with using the 11′ board as well. I think the Needlenose is ideal as a long term board… it is suitable for beginners but the design is good for novice to intermediate riders as well. It’s one you won’t grow out of. Hope that helps.

  34. Hi Alison, thank you for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions…. That is truly amazing, and very sincerely appreciated! Paddle boarded for the first time in Moab last year. Was awesome, but boards were inflatable and so hard to control, and didn’t track well. So I started researching for “solid” flat water boards that are fast, track we’ll and are suitable for Colorado… But i like the idea of an inflatable SUP (if it tracks well & is fast) which brought me to your awesome site. I really like the displacement hull on the needle nose, and don’t see that design used by any other manufacturers. But durability is a concern for me, as a lot of forums have been bashing. Does the quality compare to higher end iSUPs, and do you really need 20+ PSI?

    • Hi Terrence, I find the quality to be very good… totally comparable to some of the higher priced ISUP’s. They can take a pretty good beating and I’ve never had a single issue with mine. The hull on the Needlenose is definitely unique. I’ve yet to have anyone who has tried mine not like it. It paddles well. Although design and construction do play a role in the rigidity of the board, in general the higher the PSI, the more rigid the board will be. Most people are totally fine on a board inflated up to 15 PSI. A larger person would appreciate more PSI and a board inflated up to 20 PSI will support them better as well as perform a little better. However that being said, these 6″ thick ISUP’s are super rigid at 15 PSI and can hold a lot of weight and still perform at an optimum level… so although inflating up to 20 PSI is nice, it’s not really necessary. I’m not sure what type of water you will be paddling in… I know the water can vary in Colorado. The Needlenose is mostly ideal for flat water paddling. It wouldn’t be my choice for heavy rapids.

  35. My cousin in Seattle told me about your website and the NN inflatable. I bought two after looking at your reviews and my cousins thoughts (she 3 boards and this is by far her most favorite). I live in Colorado and have a place in Sarasota and had tried SUP once and loved it. Just opened the boxes today in Sarasota, took them to the bay, inflated them (easy) and got out and up on them and it was lovely! Can’t stop smiling and waiting for tomorrow to do it all over again. It was easy to deflate and pack up as well. They are everything you said they would be. Also looks like I will be able to bungee the board (deflated) to the back of my bike and ride with it to the beach or bay. Both boards are 116 – my husband is 5’10” and 155lbs and I am 5’2′ and 140lbs. We only inflated them to 12PSI today as we went for a short paddle and they did just fine. However, going up to 15PSI will only make the board better. We are in our late 50’s and this is a great low impact workout for the core, arms and legs. We plan on taking them back to Colorado in the summer and using them in the local lakes and reservoirs. The back packs that they come with are nice – but big for a shorty like me. However, they do hold everything. Looking forward to many years of fun with these boards. Thanks for your reveiws.

    • Thank you for the comment Mel. I am really glad to hear you are both loving the boards. I feel the same way, they make me smile every time I get out and start paddling. They provide an awesome workout and are so fun and convenient. I love the idea of securing the board to the back of your bike and riding to the beach, even better! Happy paddling!

      • Today we took them out and the water was a little rough so we put the seats on and used the kayak paddles – it was a great alternative to still be on the water even in some chop. As the sun set and the waters calmed we were able to stand and use our SUP paddles. Lovely day!

  36. Julie Carter says:

    Hi Alison: Thanks for the great review! I have been contemplating both the Needle Nose and Sea Eagle’s Long Board. I live in Arizona and will primarily use it on our local lakes. You’ve pretty much convinced me that the NN is the way to go. I am still hashing around the right size for me. I was leaning towards the 11′ 6″ board. But most of those who have posted opted for the 12′ 6″ version. I am 5′ 6″ and weigh 125 lbs. if it matters, I will be 60 in January. I’ve been paddle boarding twice and am in LOVE with the sport! What are your thoughts on the approprate length for me? Thanks! Julie

    • Hi Julie, I think you’d be fine with the 11’6″ board. That’s the one I use and I really like it. I am very similar size, and the board fits me well. The longer NN is nice but it gets heavier to carry and takes a little more effort to get moving in the water. You can’t go wrong either way, the difference isn’t extreme. However if I were you I’d personally go for the 11’6″. Have fun!

  37. I live in Northeastern Florida, I bought the needlenose 11’6″ package in May 2014, I chose it because I like to go to beach on my motorcycle, This fits so good in the backpack with room for towels, Also the chair works good while resting on beach, It only takes me 10 minutes to pump up, It’s very stable, I,m 56 so whenever it really choppy I set down to paddle, It’s very easy to hadle, With or without the seat, Been out when the waves are pretty high, Its the best investment I ever made, Also know in the winter months, I have been using it in the St Mary’s river, Set up as a kayak no problem paddling up stream it’s easy and faster than a canoe or kayak I’ve owed both. Also I stay dry, Haven’t had any problems with sharp objects I have rubbed against wire along the river bank and some pointy sticks some surface scratches but no holes yet these things are supper tuff. No problems with wakes from other big boats either, I can launch it without even getting my feet wet, Try that in a kayak or canoe, I’m even thinking about a way to hook ups small electric motor. I weigh 185lbs six foot, This works great for me, Also to fold it small,start like a flag on the needlnose end then second roll go square lay seat in middle then when you get to end flip last end back over, That gets you the smallest roll also gives me plenty of room for extra gear when using as a kayak, I fit my life jacket in the pack also.

    • Crickett says:

      Thank you for your insight. I have a Sea Eagle FastTrack and I’m looking for something to take out on the calm days when the whales show up in Santa Monica Bay. The FastTrack does well if there is not too much chop or current but the slightest wave and it butts its way around. Great workout if you are looking to lose a ton of weight and have shoulders to die for. I was thinking of getting the RazorLite but now I am intrigued by what you said about the NeedleNose. I have the Sea Eagle highback seats. I am not certain about being able to cross my legs to paddle when seated in a RazorLite (bad spine from a life time of adventuresome fun). I think this might work out. It’s a bit cheaper than the RazorLite and would give me another fun water sport to play with. Thank you.

      • I also own the RazorLite and love it so both are great options. The Needlenose is really a lot of fun though. Plus the fact that you can paddle it kayak-style with a seat is a great feature. Hope it works out for you!!

  38. John Pontius says:

    Is there any situation where you would recommend the Needlenose 14 over the Needlenose 126? I am 6′ 3″ and weight about 200lb. I plan to use the board for fly fishing on lakes and ponds. Some of the lakes are big enough to have chop. And thank you so much for your sight. I will be sure to buy through your links. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi John, thanks for the nice comment! The 14′ board is going to be a little more stable in chop and of course there is more room if you need to stack it with any fishing gear, plus you can load it up with more weight if needed. I find with the Needlenose boards you lose a little deck space because of the tapered nose so that’s something to consider. I do find the 14′ board takes a little more effort to get moving but once you get going it cruises nicely and is ideal for straight touring, which is where it excels. With your height you could definitely handle the 14′ board well. My boyfriend and I both prefer paddling the 12’6″ Needlenose however, mostly because we find it easier to turn and maneuver. I really think both sizes would work well for fishing though, just depends if you want the extra space and stability.

  39. James Johnson says:

    I am thinking about getting a stand up paddle board (inflatable only). I am 66 years old and 250 lbs (on the way back down to 210) and have a bum right knee that was replaced 2 years ago, but kneeling on it for other than a second or two is very uncomfortable. I am strong and athletic (former college and professional athlete), but wonder if stand up is for me, as I have never tried it.
    Will an inflatable rated at 220 lbs be appropriate of me, or should I go with a 14′ board. I am thinking about the Sea Eagle Needle Nose, but there are so many others out there. Can you give me tour suggestions as to what is the best board for me?

    • The only time you’ll be on your knees is when first getting on the board and it’s only for a second before standing up. You might have an issue with this at first if you can’t put much pressure on your knee but I find most people get comfortable standing fairly quickly… especially if you are paddling on flat water. The Needlenose is a great board, I think you’d be okay with the 12’6″ NN but the 14′ board might feel more rigid and secure for you. The longer width just adds that much more stability and it can definitely hold more weight.

  40. James Johnson says:

    Also, how easy is it to install and use the kayak seat on the Needle Nose? Is the board stable or tippy? Is there a big stability difference between the 12″6″ and 14″ boards?

    • The seat is super easy to install, it just attaches to the D-rings. I found that it felt a bit strange the first time I used the seat on the board but I got used to it really fast. I find it to be fairly stable. The 6″ thickness provides quite a rigid platform. It’s a little more tippy than some other boards, but overall it’s nothing to be concerned about as I find you get used to it really fast. I do find a difference in stability in the 12’6″ and the 14′ board. The 14′ board feels extremely secure. When paddling the 14′ board waves and chop barely faze me at all. The board just seems to roll over or through them easily. I do find the 14′ board takes more effort to get moving, but once you pick up speed it glides nicely. I personally prefer paddling the 12’6″ NN over the 14′ NN because I find it easier to manage but the 14′ NN is extremely popular.

  41. Is the 12.6 NN stable enough for a newbie on large rivers and calm open ocean? Do you have any thoughts on how it would compare in stability to the Tower iRace. I can’t find any reviews on that board. Great site. Thanks.

    • Hi Sam, yes I think this board would be no problem for a newbie on a large river or calm ocean. I’ve had people stand-up paddle for the first time on my 11′ and 12’6″ Needlenose and they did great. In fact after trying a couple other boards I find they always wanted to paddle the Needlensoe, so it tends to be a favorite. I think the Tower iRace would be quite stable as well. I wish I could compare them but I haven’t reviewed that board yet, hopefully soon.

  42. Hi, I am trying to decide between the Naish One and the Needle nose 126. I’m an advanced beginner, 5′ 6, and 150lbs. Would be mostly using it in Vancouver area – so fairly calm ocean waters. There may be some trips to Torino, but they wouldn’t be a common occurrence. . Would you see any major advantages to the Naish over the NN 126? One of my paddling partners loves her Naish One. And I want to make sure i can keep up. 🙂

    Also, how is the pump that comes with the Needlenose? Am considering getting the kpump 100 but wonder if it’s really necessary?

    Keep up the great work on the reviews!

    • Hi Gina, I love the Naish One and I love the Needlenose… I’ve spend quite a bit of time on both. You can definitely keep up on the NN, it would be my personal preference on flat water. I’ve paddled the NN often on ocean bays around Vancouver with no issues. However I would say the Naish One is slightly more stable and handles waves and chop really well. You can’t really go wrong either way. I think the NN outperforms the Naish One on flat water but the One is a great board and I always feel really secure on it when ocean paddling. As far as the pump goes, the new green colored manual pump that comes with the NN works quite well. I do find the Kpump to be a little easier to use but you might want to try out the NN pump first. However truthfully you can’t beat an electric pump. I don’t really find it to be faster but it makes getting out on the water way easier. Hope that help! Happy paddling!!

      • Hi Allison,

        Thanks for the getting back to me on think. Re…Naish One performing better on waves and chop – how big would the waves/chop have to be before you would be able to tell the difference in performance between the 2 boards? At this point, I’m leaning towards the NN 12′ because of the great packages they offer through the Seagate site. With Naish – to get the package with paddle, etc, it ends up being a 400+ difference in price. Just wondering if it’s worth the investment. This is my first iSUP so it may be likely that I wouldn’t even notice. 🙂

        • I personally prefer the NN, it’s what I paddle all the time. The difference in stability on waves/chop between the NN 12′ and the Naish One is not huge. It’s the more tapered hard nose on the NN that creates a little less stability but adds to the speed and great tracking on flat water. Unless you’re planning to surf I think you’d be absolutely okay with the NN and I agree their package deal is hard to beat.

  43. Hi Allison!
    First off, thanks for creating such an informative site! I will soon be living on a small lake/water basin just a few miles from Lake Superior, so those will be my primary waters to learn on. I was hesitant to buy a hard board, knowing that transport would be a headache, but did not know that the inflatables were so highly regarded.

    So, I am 6’2″, 200 lb., and pretty much sold on the NN 12.6. My main question is regarding the automatic pump. Is it solely powered by a car battery, or are there other options to use as a power source? I am just trying to determine how useful it might be if I am limited to inflating the board while at my car rather than at the water’s edge. Lastly, do you see any reason to consider the NN 14, or even another brand altogether? I don’t plan on any whitewater or large surf, beyond what Lake Superior might churn up, but even there it will be mostly small waves. Thanks!!

    • Hi Rodney, so glad you are finding the site helpful! Yes the inflatable SUP’s are truly awesome. They are rigid and durable and totally convenient and portable.

      I use the automatic pump all the time. I just inflate the board at my vehicle and then carry the board to the water. However I rarely have to walk too far with the board inflated. The NN isn’t hard to carry but if you have quite a distance to go, it could be cumbersome. Sea Eagle does have an electric pump that comes with a battery pack so you can inflate it right at the water. I have the battery pack as well, I just find I rarely use it. However it works well… costs more but is a good product.

      The NN14 is the best performing board out of all the NN sizes for straight-line paddling. It takes a little extra effort to get moving but once you get going it glides beautifully, tracks well and is quite fast. The only downside is that it does not turn quite as easy. In wind or waves it is solid and I find you feel really secure on it.

      I paddle the NN11 and my boyfriend paddles the NN126 most often. We both love those boards, they are definitely our favorites out of most of the ISUP’s we have tried for flat water paddling. However the NN14 definitely has it’s advantages if you don’t mind the larger size.

  44. I am trying to determine which board would be preferred, the SeaEagle NN 12’6″ or the standard LB 12’6″. I will be 100% new to the sport and most if not all of my paddling will be in lakes around the Alberta and BC regions in Canada. Any comments?

    • If you are going to be mainly paddling on lakes, I’d recommend the NN126. I have both the NN and the Longboard, love them both, but the Needlenose is my preference on flat water. I find that any time I take friends out with a bunch of different boards, the NN is always the favorite. It just paddles so smoothly and can definitely pick up better speed. You might find it a little less stable initially but you’ll be fine after a couple times out. I’ve had several newbies out on the 12’6″ NN with no issues.

  45. Hi Alison,

    I appreciate your review very much. I was wondering what thoughts were about using the board for Yoga as well. Or if I should two boards one for yoga and one for touring. I also was wondering what thoughts are about the BOGA boards. Thank you for all the info!

    • Hi Karol, You could definitely do a little yoga on the Needlenose but it is not the most ideal. The leaner width makes it less stable for yoga and I also find there is less room on the board in general because of the tapered nose. I find the extra wide SUP’s made specifically for yoga are fantastic for actually doing yoga but they tend to be slugs in the water when actually paddling, so it’s hard to find that right balance. Another option is the Sea Eagle Longboard, which would be a little better for yoga and still paddles well. I prefer the NN for touring myself but if you don’t want to get two boards the shape of the Longboard is better suited for yoga… or at least very doable and it is still good for touring.

      I haven’t tried the BOGA boards yet unfortunately and I haven’t heard much about them. Hopefully I’ll get to review one down the road.

  46. Allison, your site is amazing! Your reviews are super helpful, and I really appreciate all the great information. I’ve settled on the NeedleNose, but now am trying to decide between the 116 and the 126. I’ve read your answers to all the questions above. I think generally you tell people my size, 5’6″, 125 pounds, to go with the 116, but I’ve also seen you say you personally really enjoy the 126. Can you tell me what your experience of the different lengths is, and why you enjoy each of them? I will be paddling mostly on lakes and intend to occasionally portage my board from one lake to another. And I have a 20-pound dog I hope will learn to love the SUP too. Thank you so much for all the great work you do!

    • Allison says:

      Thank-you Carole for your kind words!.. So glad you have found the site helpful. I do paddle the NN116 most often but lately I find more and more I am taking out the 12’6″ NN. I think it can actually go faster and it just glides really well. It is also a little more stable in waves. The extra room is really nice especially if you are taking your dog out with you. So you would definitely be good with the NN116 but I think performance wise, the NN126 is a little better… a little more solid in the water with great glide!

  47. Hello again. I still think I’m sold on the NN, but I’d also be very interested in your thoughts on the NRS Adventurer and the NRS Earl. I first looked at the Adventurer when I started my search for my ideal ISUP, but the NRS website led me to believe I wouldn’t be heavy enough for it. Any thoughts? Thanks again!

    • Allison says:

      The Adventurer is a nice board as well. It has a great shape and it is ideal for touring. I think you’d be totally fine on it. I think a 30″ width board for a smaller framed person is ideal as there is less reach when paddling. However the 30.5″ width of the Adventurer isn’t that much wider. I don’t think it is as fast as the NN however, but still a good quality SUP. The Earl is more of the original SUP design. It is very versatile but slower in the water. Easy to turn and maneuver and fun to paddle but wouldn’t be my choice for touring. Hope that helps!

  48. Excellent reviews. Thank you so much for helping me choose a ISUP. I decided to go with the NeedleNose 116. I am a rather small person, 4’10, 95 pounds and wanted a more narrow board, but didn’t want to sacrifice performance for a kids sized and kids quality board. I’ve had a blast on boards that were clearly not the correct size for my frame, so I’m confident this is going to work out. I’ll update once I receive my NN and get it out on one of our nearby lakes and rivers.

    • Thanks Tanya! I really hope you enjoy it, happy paddling!!

      • Finally got my NN116 out on the water. It is definitely the best paddle board I’ve ever used and was so easy to inflate and later pack down. Thanks again!

  49. Hi Allison,

    Great review! I am a beginner paddler and looking for the right iSUP for upcoming travels and weekend fun on the river.

    I am 6’1″ and 270 lbs. I have demoed this weekend the AquaGlide Cascade 12’6″ board and was fun but slightly unstable but not bad. The more I paddled the more comfortable I got. Was able to get comfortable even in some chop and boat wakes.

    In my research I keep coming back to this NN14 as a good option. My fear is due to my weight the board may flex and not stay rigid with only the 15psi max.

    Thoughts?

    Jason

    • Hi Jason, I really think you would be okay with the NN14. It’s a solid board and is able to hold a lot of weight. I have friends who paddle that board with their 80 lbs. dog, and I have seen it piled with one adult and three kids. It seems to hold up fine with a lot of weight and no flex. As long as you make sure it is inflated to 15 PSI I think you’ll be okay. If not Sea Eagle always has their 180 day return policy – where you can return it at any time within 180 days for a full refund as long as it is in good condition. The NN14 paddles really well and I find it solid in waves and chop. For sure the more you paddle the more comfortable you will get. Good luck!

  50. Hi Allison! EXCELLENT site you’ve got here. 🙂 I’m ready to buy my first SUP and will be getting an iSUP for sure. I’m leaning towards the NN 126, and love the package they’re doing with the seat, kyak paddle, etc. Question for you though… Have you tried having both you and your boyfriend on his 126? The site says that the load capacity is 225, but a reviewer on the site said he easily paddled himself (220lbs) and his wife (weight not disclosed). I’m 125lbs, and, while I’ll usually be riding solo, I would love to be able to take my husband (160lbs) or one of my kids (70lbs, 100lbs) out with me. What do you think?? If you think it’s a no-go, what would be your next choice in boards for the above. Oh… Most of my paddling will be on flat-ish lakes/rivers, but I’d like to be able to handle some chop and small-ish waves. Thanks in advance for your advice!!!! (P.S. We have a little cockapoo named Curly who looks a lot like your Seth!)

    • Hi Katie, I think it’s doable it just might be hard paddling. I’ve never tried it with both myself and my boyfriend but I have paddled a pregnant friend plus my dog on the NN126 and it was fine. It was slow moving and it took a lot of extra paddling effort on my part but we managed. I also had a friend paddle the 126 with her 3 kids and their little dog. So it’s definitely doable. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble, you just might have sore arms 🙂
      A Seth look-a-like?? Oh my so cute. Hope Curly gets to go boarding too!

      • Thanks, Allison. Just ordered my NN126 (through your link), and CAN’T WAIT til it arrives! (Not sure Curly will be a fan of boarding, but I’ll let you know if he joins me.) 🙂

        • Awesome, thanks Katie!!! Really hope you enjoy it. Send a pic if Curly joins you! 🙂

  51. Allison, Like all others on here, a big THANK YOU for all the information. Like most, I am torn between the NN 116 and 126. I want to share it with my 34 year old son who is around 5’9″170lbs. I am 5’3″, 120lbs. I will be using it on the intracoastal waterways in Fort Lauderdale, probably not the ocean. I started on an inflatable last year in the keys and am thrilled there are so many to choose from. As I live on the intracoastal, is there a “less expensive” inflatable that you could recommend, as a secondary one for when guests come? And last, is there a way to launch these off of a concrete dock with ease and get them back up again? I do not have a ramp here, so I am wondering how tricky this might be.

    • Hi Cindy, Aw thank you, so glad you are finding the site helpful! Honestly you’d both be okay with the NN 116. However I would personally go for the NN 126. I think it is more versatile if it is being used by people of different sizes. Your son especially will likely prefer the 126. I find that I am using the 126 more often these days, especially when heading out with friends who will be trying it out. It seems to work for everybody and is definitely a favorite. It also paddles really nicely. That being said, the 116 would suit your size well so you could go either way, can’t go too wrong 🙂

      A couple boards that are less expensive that I think are ideal for friends and family are the Ten Toes Weekender or the Tower Adventurer. They are all priced fairly well and are solid boards. They don’t perform nearly as well as the Needlenose but they are ideal as a secondary board. I like the Ten Toes one the best, it’s a fun board for a good price and paddles fairly well.

      Launching off a concrete dock isn’t too hard. How you get on the board will depend how high the dock is. You might be able to sit on the dock with your feet on your board and just get right down onto your knees on the board. If you can steady yourself with your paddle on the board you might be able to just step right onto the board as well. Helps if you have someone who can help steady you but it is very doable. When getting back up on the dock, put your paddle up first then get yourself up and then your board. I should do a video of this one day, I think a visual would explain it better.

      • Thanks Allison, I appreciate all the information. The dock launching is a 4 1/2 foot drop, yet there is a ladder to the water level. I was just concerned about getting it in and back out of the water. I am thinking a rope with a pulley attached to the cleat on the dock may help. Then laying down a matt of some sort to not scrape it against the concrete as I thought it might damage the paddleboard. (Just heard there is a large bull shark hanging out, am hoping he will share the area with paddleboarders….)

        • Oh okay if there is a ladder that is even easier. I have a similar dock I use sometimes. The tricky part is just making sure the board doesn’t float away from you. A rope would be ideal. I usually climb down get one foot on the board, steady myself with my paddle then place the other foot on the board. With the ladder you could even climb right down onto your knees. It’s actually much easier than you’d think, you’ll be fine. Unless your dock is particularly sharp or scaly, I wouldn’t worry too much about the board bumping into it. Mine bumps it all the time, it doesn’t seem to even scrape it. The boards are pretty tough.
          A bull shark, ugh! I had to share my favorite paddle boarding bay with a shark once while on vacation. He was apparently a regular and luckily not too interested in us.. but I was thoroughly freaked out. I hope yours is friendly… better yet I hope you don’t see him! 🙂

  52. Kristen says:

    Hi Allison–Thank you so much for all the great information on your site. I am a beginning paddler looking to purchase my first board; your site has been tremendously helpful. I’m wondering if you have any information on the carbon paddle and electric pump that come with the NN deluxe package. If they are good quality, then that makes the package more affordable compared to buying a cheaper board (like Ten Toes) but then needing to purchase a quality paddle and electric pump separately (and yes I do want an electric pump for sure). And one more question: where are you paddling? I’m guessing Washington state or Oregon….the scenery in the pictures is so beautiful!

    • Hi Kristen, you’re close… I’m paddling in British Columbia but I’m very close to WA and sometimes I cross over the border to paddle there. There are so many gorgeous spots to paddle around here 🙂

      I have the older version of the carbon fiber paddle that comes with the NN. Actually I have two of them. It is a good paddle. I used it for years before finally upgrading to an even lighter one. However mine still gets used often with friends and family. I personally think it’s worth it to get the upgraded paddle. The lighter weight of the carbon fiber is really nice to use… less fatigue on your shoulders and arms. I find it makes a big difference in comfort and efficiency while paddling. There are lighter paddles out there for a higher price and you may want to upgrade down the road but I think you would be happy with this one for awhile. The electric pump is great. I use it every single time I go out. It’s a little noisy but it does the job well.

  53. hi,

    thanks for the detailed reviews. i am looking into getting the needlenose, but am unsure if the 11’6″ or 12’6″ is right for me. I’m 5’4 tall and weigh about 120 lbs and would like to take my dog with me who is 20 lbs. when i looked at other inflatable touring boards i had sales people recommend both sizes strongly to me while rejecting the other. personally i think i would prefer the maneuverability of the short board and its easier transport over the speed of the longer board. any suggestions?

    • For your size you would be totally good with the 11′ board. I have the 11′ Needlenose and my boyfriend has the 12’6″. I do like paddling his a lot, it moves well and I think it can pick up slightly better speed. However I do find the 11′ board a little easier to maneuver and it does pack up into a smaller package.. so easier to carry and transport. You’d be good with either but if you are leaning towards the smaller size then go for it. The 11′ NN still paddles really well.

  54. oh, and I’m planning to use it around port moody and may be deep cover. i believe you are from vancouver, so you would know the conditions.

    • Yes I certainly do! I paddle Port Moody and Deep Cove area often. In fact a great route is to paddle from Belcarra to Deep Cove. I did that last weekend, it’s not that far and super fun. I was testing out new boards so I wasn’t on my Needlenose but I’ve paddled the NN in those areas many other times and it is totally fine. When the water is really choppy either from wind or wake from speed boats you will feel it on the NN but I’ve never had an issue, it always handles fine. The 12’6″ board will be a little more stable but I still think you will be totally good with the 11′ board.

  55. Fantastic site! How easy is it to stand on either the 116 or the 126 when the seat is in place? The pictures indicate that you have stand in front of the seat. Does that put you too far forward for comfortable paddling?

    • You do have to stand in front of the seat but you can actually put the seat further back if you wanted to so that you are not standing too far forward. I would say it is slightly more awkward than normal but totally doable and overall fairly comfortable.

  56. Hello, great site keep the awesome reviews. Do you know if the needlenose will get any updates for 2016? Thanks again

    • Thanks Shawn!! I haven’t heard of any updates for the Needlenose for 2016. Don’t know for sure but I doubt there will be any major changes to that SUP at least for another year or two.

  57. Has anyone used a NN as a Rowing platform in conjunction with an OAR BOARD or similar product? If so what did you think? I’m thinking about buying a NN14 for such, as well as to have it to do some traditional paddling on a lake and coastal use. PS is the deluxe version with the seat and 2 ended paddle worth the extra $100? Thx for your thoughts.

    • Hi Steve, I am dying to try the Oar Board or something similar. If anyone else has tried it I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work on the Needlenose… especially the NN14 as it has lots of room. That is probably the board I would use it on as well. I have the deluxe version with the seat and kayak paddle. I find I rarely use the seat but it is a nice option to have. The kayak paddle is basic but handy if you are only using it once in a awhile.

      • Thanks so much.
        I live in Halifax, NS. I have rowed a scull for 8 years and paddled a K-1 for a couple as well. I am really looking forward to trying this. It should be really fast! Do you think there will be a noticeable flex with the OB. I think weight will be better distributed sitting on the OB relative to standing upright. My weight and OB will be 220 lbs + the oars. I will provide some feedback in May.

        • I love Halifax, beautiful area! That’s a good question with regards to flex with the OB. I would hope not but hard to say for sure. Make sure the board is inflated to maximum capacity. The NN14 can handle quite a bit of weight. We have had it loaded right up with no flex so hopefully it will be fine. I would definitely love to hear your feedback once you have tried it out. Good luck and happy rowing/paddling!!

  58. Nice site and appreciate all the reviews and responses. Like many of the other folks I am looking to buy my first iSUP and in my case trying to decide between the NN12 or a Raven 12’6. Would be paddled in the local Vancouver area, ocean and lakes. Looking for a bit longer board simply to add a little more speed, but still want an all rounder. I think both could work-just want to ensure they can all handle a little chop. From what I, have read they both can. Another alternative could be the SE Lomgboard. Any preferences, or simply a matter of any will be a good choice?

    • Hey Gordon, Definitely either or would work for you. I haven’t tried the Boardworks Raven but I know the quality of the Boardworks ISUP’s are good and I have no doubt it performs well. I would guess the NN12 is a little faster with the hard pointy nose however I think both would handle a little chop just fine. I have had the NN12 out in ocean chop many times and it is definitely a favourite to paddle. The only thing that bothers me with the Raven is that it only has a 90-day warranty, which is particularly low for the industry and very low considering the price of the board. The SE NN12 has a three-year warranty in comparison.

  59. Great reviews of boards, appreciate your time and effort. Especially keeping up with comments for 2+ years now!

    The NN12’6 is exactly what I’ve been looking for, between your review and the comments, most of my questions have been answered. What are your opinions on the travel bag aside from what’s in your review? Specifically for traveling purposes, if you’ve traveled with it.

    Have you used the Isle or Red travel bag? Would those bags be worthwhile to purchase for the NN12’6 for a 2+ week trip? Would be used daily, several towns, inflating/deflating multiple times, car and bus transportation.

    • Hi Bryan, So glad you are finding the site helpful! For the Sea Eagle travel bag do you mean their Trolley bag? I do have that bag. I have only used it so far for weekend trips by car. It has actually held up better than I thought it would. It is fairly large and quite functional. It is perfect for wheeling your ISUP around as well as car and bus trips. It is actually ideal for airplane travel too but I have yet to fly with it. The Isle bag is good as well although I find the SE Trolley Bag far more functional and easy to use. The Red travel bag is excellent. The quality is far above the others in my opinion. The only issue is that I am not sure if the Needlenose will fit in it with its hard pointy nose. It is possible but I have never tried and I no longer have the Red bag here to test it out for you unfortunately. It is longer than the Trolley Bag but not as wide and I am just not sure. The pointy nose on the NN could make it tricky. Hope that helps, the NN126 is really an awesome board. Good luck and have a fantastic trip!!

      • Oh wow, I didn’t even see the SE Trolley bag. Sorry I mistyped, I just meant the backpack it comes with. The Trolley bag looks like a good travel bag but pretty bulky and maybe overkill for my travel needs. The Red travel bag seems great, but if I were to buy that, I might as well pay extra for the Red Race/Elite board. I think the NN126 is more fitting for my travel board needs.

        Is the Isle travel backpack a good step up from the SE backpack? I will need to check my bag for flights too.

        • Oh the regular backpack.. For sure the pack that comes with the NN is just fine. You would have no trouble traveling with it by car or bus. For airplane travel I would suggest taping the straps to the bag so they don’t get caught or torn on anything. The Sea Eagle grey all purpose backpack is also quite nice. It is slightly larger and has a zipper that opens the entire main compartment making it much easier to load and unload the SUP. The quality of the Isle Travel Bag isn’t any better than the Sea Eagle bags. The only advantage to the Isle Travel Pack is that it has wheels and the zipper goes all the way around so you can front load it similar to the Sea Eagle grey backpack.

  60. Your my go to site, I just keep coming back to. Looks like Bryan beat me to my questions. I’m interested in the NN126, but would like to bag the bag. You may have changed my mind though with the new gray backpack. The pump seems inadequate, and I would like to go with the Red Paddle Titan. Would Titan make short work of inflating the NN126, or do you have a recommendation for the best handpump for the NN. I don’t want to go battery pump. I’m just torn between the NN126 or the Red Paddle Explorer. You save a bundle on the NN, but seems to me the accessories are lacking. Notably the bag and pump. I’m sure I would upgrade the paddle after getting some experience. Your thoughts please. ps bag not for air travel, just local car transport but I want ease of packing. Thank you.

    • Allison says:

      Thanks Jim! Glad you are finding the site helpful. The pump that comes with the NN is not bad at all. I like it better than most and still use it sometimes. The Red Paddle Titan pump would shorten the work load a little for sure. The K-Pump is another good one, I used to use it often before I got my electric pumps. However if you go for the NN126 I would suggest trying their pump first before buying another. Although I prefer using my electric pump I don’t find it inadequate, you might be okay with it.
      It’s true you would save a bundle with the NN126 over the Red Explorer. The Explorer is a great board although I don’t find that it paddles any better than the Needlenose. I think the NN126 actually cuts through the water better. However with Red Paddle Co you get all the high-end extras like the good pump, bag, etc… but you definitely pay for it. I would prefer that the Needlenose came with a bag that zips all the way open. It would make it easier to load and unload the NN with that hard nose. The grey backpack is a better option but I’m not 100% sure if it fits the NN126. On the Sea Eagle website it lists the NN116 to fit in that backpack but doesn’t mention the larger Needlenoses. I will check on that.

      • Allison,
        Thank you for your response, I appreciate it. That is one problem with the internet, it often leads to decision paralysis. Some much info, so many opinions, so many options. Your response that your of the opinion that the NN paddles as well and cuts the water better then the Red Paddle, has lead me to decide on the NN126. I’ll give feedback later in the summer as to how goes. Boy, I’m glad that’s settled. Give my best to, as well as a good bellyrub to Seth. Take care. Jim

        • Allison says:

          Excellent! I really hope you like the NN126, it’s a great board! Seth thanks you!.. belly rub done 🙂

  61. Sergei says:

    Hi Allison,

    I am trying to find information on how rigid the NN14. I have seen videos with Tower, Red etc products showing people standing on the board which supported on the opposite ends. I am 240 pounds 5’11 and worry that I might be too heavy for the board and make it flex too much in the middle. If you have any reference to video, photo to see how rigid the board I would greatly appreciate it. I have already Tower 14 ft and I know how solid it is but I would like to get NN for speed and trucking, especially in windy conditions. Do you know if NN14 comparable to Tower Xplorer 14. Thank you very much in advance!

  62. Amy Files says:

    Thanks in part to this page I have pulled the trigger to try this board out. I am not completely sold, based on the first use but wanted to share my experience as I found, outside of this page, it very difficult to find reviews I felt I could trust. If anyone is interested, so far I’ve posted it to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1GKKX7MWZHOTX/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00NJR929G&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=3375251&store=sporting-goods

    I have plans to update it the more I go out, as well as whether or not I decide to keep it.

    Thanks for all of your help on this site! I would be interested to hear any feedback you have on some of my comments… particularly on the fin.

    On second thought — for easy reading, I am going to copy/paste my comments here:

    “I have been researching inflatable for a couple of years now — I’ve wanted to check this one out but frustrated they don’t have any vendors in New England. I’ve finally bit the bullet to try out the “risk free” trial — which isn’t really risk free because you take a big risk that you may damage the product and then own it even if you decide you may not like it.

    In any case — I currently own an Odyssey SUP Touring Board — a hard board — 11ft. I am an advanced beginner in that I have only been out on a few boards, I don’t go super-regularly, but I feel pretty comfortable when I am out. I like the Odyssey but it was my first board — I was able to get it used with the thought that if I really liked paddleboarding, I might upgrade at some point. The Odyssey is a displacement board and so faster than the average beginner BIC or something like that but it’s still pretty wide and only 11 ft. It’s a great board if you don’t care too much about speed.

    But for me, I am only 5′ 2″ and struggle to get the board up and down from my car — in even small amounts of wind I often choose not to go out, not because of the conditions on the water — but because of the challenges of getting it back and forth. This problem would be solved a bit if I went a few days a week — because I’d get stronger. The other issue is storage — we have a barn but it takes up a lot of space in it — and travel — the one or two times I go away — I’d like to take it with me — but driving for multiple hours with a SUP on the top of our car is stressful.

    In any case — I ordered the NeedleNose 116 to try it out and see if I might want to switch out boards for this one.

    Here are my first impressions — which I will update after I’ve gone out a couple of more times: I just received the board yesterday. First big impression — whoa — this is a lot heavier than I thought it would be. And when I measured myself on a scale holding it — it seemed to be coming in more than the manufacturer weight of 24 or so — close to 30. Not sure what is going on with that. I can carry everything on the bag on my back but wouldn’t want to have to walk too far with it. It also takes up most of the back seat of our Honda Civic.

    Overall, the quality seemed good. This is my first inflatable so I don’t have any other inflatables to compare to. You can tell right away if something feels cheap and I did not get that feeling with the board — maybe a little with the pump — it’s very plasticky (but that is probably a good thing for weight)…the plastic tubes for the pump feel particularly low-end.

    My second noticeable experience was pumping up the board. It was not so hard that I thought — wow, I’ll never do that again. But let’s just say that my weak upper-body got quite a workout, pumping for close to 10 minutes or so. Again, I am only 5′ 2″ so I don’t have the height to put into it. I was happy to find that the board felt lighter than my hard board as I carried it to the water.

    The only thing that I noticed and was unhappy with — the fin. While the system is “easy” — the plastic click-in system seems like something due to fail. And for mine — I noticed I could slide out the tab just by pulling on it (I didn’t need to push down the little piece that is supposed to lock it in). So on that mark — I’d prefer something a little more substantial holding my fin in.

    On the board — so far so good. I didn’t find any issue with the stiffness, which I was worried about. It might be slightly bouncier but not enough for me to notice in general — more like when I jumped up and down on it. The speed seemed good — I think it’s faster than my Odyssey but need to go out a few more times in different conditions to really weigh-in on that. And the tracking was relatively good. Much better than a BIC beginner board but I’m not sure if it beats out my Odyssey yet. Though the length is longer than my Odyssey, because of the shape (and being a teeny bit narrower), it actually felt shorter. This is good for portability but I am not sure if I might want to upgrade to the 12’6″ yet for some extra speed.

    Getting it back out was easy — deflating it was fine. When you first push the button down, so much air shoots out that it is loud and a little scary — like you are doing something incorrectly — I’ll have to get used to that. I didn’t have a problem folding it up but what I did have a problem with was drying it off — if you need to get it right back in the car, it can be challenging to really dry the board well — which is what the manufacturer says to do before storing it again.

    So far it’s a good purchase but I’m not sure if it’s a keeper. I am hoping to compare it back against my hardboard as well as try out a Starboard this summer. MORE TO COME…”

    • Amy Files says:

      So here is a quick update — I have decided to keep the board for a couple of reasons:

      1) even after taking it out only a couple of times it was already getting scuffed up — so I was starting to stress out a bit about really being able to return it even if I decided to — this is a reality with the “risk-free trial” — it’s hard to take any board out and not mark it up while trying it out

      2) I do like the board — it’s relatively fast (I think faster than the hardboard I had), tracks well and is fun

      3) I have been able to get out on the water more than I would have with my hardboard — this is mainly because when there is even a little wind, I am not comfortable lifting my hardboard above my head onto teh car — since that’s not an issue with this board — I’ve gone out more often — which is awesome. It’s also because I am able to bring it on trips more easily.

      Other thoughts/notes:

      — I love the needlenose aspect and how you can play with tracking by standing up front or standing towards the back for easier turns

      — pumping is a bummer but a trade-off for not having to load it on the car — I tried an electric pump but it’s really too loud and kills the experience for me (plus I find it obnoxious to bring that kind of noise to others who are enjoying a quiet lakeside experience) — so after some research I am going to purchase a Red TItan with the hopes it will halve the pumping time

      — I definitely need to upgrade the paddle — Allison — I’d love to know what your “go-to” paddle is… I would prefer a travel one though so I can carry it in the pack with the board… I had a Koala Insanity but actually found it a teeny bit too long for me -0 and it doesn’t break down — besides that, I liked it.

      — I wish the bag were better designed — as you’d noted Allison, it could use a front or side entry as well as wheels; it also needs a handle to pick it up and hoist onto your shoulders like a hiking pack has

      — I really hate (hate) how loud the noise is initially when you deflate (is it this loud on all isups?) — I feel like you should really be wearing hearing protection the whoosh is initially so loud (and a little dangerous)

      Overall — thanks again for the reviews and information here — I definitely would not have purchased a Sea Eagle without having this initial information and thorough review…

      • Allison says:

        Awesome love the feedback thanks Amy! To answer your questions…
        – My go to paddle these days is the Werner Nitro. It actually belongs to my boyfriend but I use it when he’s not with me. It is crazy light, I love using it. I also use the Isle Carbon 3-piece sometimes as well. It’s good for traveling but I find the blade a little on the big side for regular paddling. I am on the search for a new one this summer so I should have more paddle reviews coming up soon.
        – You can’t really escape the loud noise when you first deflate the board… it’s the same on all ISUP’s.
        Happy Paddling!

  63. Allison, great job on the www site! There are a number of “review” sites that are thinly disguised ways to get Amazon clicks, and don’t really provide any substantive information. I like how you are willing and able to make specific comparisons and recommendations.

    So, re the needlenose. My concern is the width and the stability/balance for beginners, as opposed to a board like the Isle Explorer/Touring or the Tower Adventurer which are wider but probably do not track or glide as well.

    I know this is hard to quantitate in words, but how much harder is it to balance on the NN vs a wider board like the two above?

    How much time do you think it would take for two adult beginners to get comfortable on the NN ie essentially never falling unless doing something crazy?

    Would guests who have never paddleboarded but want to try be able to get up and stay up on the NN without much difficulty?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Allison says:

      Hi Tom, Thanks for the nice words! I have had beginners on the Needlenose. I found that for some they had no trouble with stability on it at all and for others it took them longer to get comfortable and required more focus to paddle initially. However I have never had anyone fall in the water when paddling it. That being said I definitely take beginners out on flat water on a nice calm day. If you will be sticking mostly to flat water paddling then I think you’ll be totally fine with it and it’s a great choice.

      The Isle Explorer is the ultimate in stability and when paddling on ocean waves it feels much more secure than many other boards. However on flat water you can feel the drag and it is more sluggish to paddle. The Tower Adventurer is stable as well but shorter and feels very ‘basic’ to me. It’s an affordable option to get on the water but I don’t find it to be as fun to paddle.

      The Sea Eagle Longboard is another option and might be a good compromise. The rounder nose creates a little more stability but it is still a streamlined SUP that paddles well (not as fast as the NN but still good) and it’s quite versatile. I have had many beginners on this board and they’ve done well with it.

      Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Thanks for the follow up.

        Here’s hoping an Isle Touring review is in the future — would love to know how it stacks up against the Sea Eagle options.

      • Amy Files says:

        Hi Tom,

        I am not a super-beginner but would say that anyone with average balance will be fine on the Needlenose — it’s definitely a little tippier than the hard board I had (which was also an inch thicker) but still pretty stable relatively stable… if they are an absolute beginner it may take a little getting used to but that would probably be the case on any board…

        Amy

  64. Hi Allison,
    First, kudos on your extremely helpful website. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but it’s hard to find a website on any topic that’s as beneficial to consumers as yours. In fact, based largely on your comprehensive commentary and reviews, I decided to purchase TWO Sea Eagle NNs. I planned to buy a NN126 for myself now, let my companion (a petite but extremely fit and athletic lady) try it out, and then get her either an identical 126, or a 116–if she would prefer a smaller board–for her birthday in a couple months. So I emailed the folks at Sea Eagle–you know, the ones that are purported to provide world class customer service–and I was totally amazed when “Alex” wrote back to say that they couldn’t guarantee the price on a second board for two months! Just to be clear…I’m telling them I want to buy an SUP now for $949, and then I’ll buy another board for the same price within two months, and the guy tells me they can’t guarantee the current price and free shipping for two months! What planet are these folks on? Are their boards flying off the shelves so fast that they can easily afford to turn away customers and lose sales? Or maybe it’s just that “Alex” is in the wrong line of work. As I see it, if a company doesn’t provide great customer service from the very first contact (and that means bending over backward to satisfy prospective as well as present customers) then chances are their service won’t improve after the sale is made. And no matter how good a company’s products are, somewhere someone else is making them just as good. Anyway, the heading says “Speak Your Mind” and so I did. Thanks for listening. Oh, and please feel free to share this with your contacts at Sea Eagle 🙂

  65. Rodney Winkler says:

    Thank you for the valued information. I am struggling with what touring paddle board to purchase. I have found more information on the Sea Eagle NN14 and find that many seem to like it. I also am looking at the Red Explorer 13’2. Any thoughts? I weigh around 210 and am 5′ 8″ and am looking for a recreational tourer that is no dog. I am new to paddle boarding. I have not been able to try out boards locally as there are no vendors with inflatables so I have to go on advise.

    • Allison says:

      Hey Rodney, Both are great boards and I think you would be happy with either of them. The 14′ Needlenose is going to be a little faster and cut through the water a little better with the hard tip pointy nose. The 13’2″ Red Explorer however still performs quite well and it comes with some really nice accessories and features. I personally think you get a lot for your money with the NN14. My partner and I really love paddling the Needlenose SUP’s. However you really can’t go wrong either way. They are truly both great options for touring and would suit your size well.

  66. Greetings again Allision,
    I am getting closer but have a few more questions for an experienced rider. I am now looking at the NN14, the Red Explorer 12’6 and the Explorer 13’2. I was advised against the 13’2 as it is 30″ and too unstable but the NN14 is also 30″. You are my advice so I look forward to what you may add to the mix. It is not easy to distinguish board dynamics without opportunity to try them! I guess my thoughts were that the dealer felt that I would just keep falling off the 13’2 and not have a good experience versus the 12’6″. My thought is that I want a board of good speed but also something stable. I would not want to lose everything from under the bungies in to the water. Are they hugely different 32″ wide versus 30″ wide?

    • The 32″ width does add more stability but also slows down speed. The 14′ NN is a big board even though it is only 30′ wide. I have had brand new paddlers on that board and they had no trouble. It might take a little more practice to get used to it but personally I think it is worth it. That being said the 12’6″ Explorer still paddles well and is also quite versatile… But it doesn’t cut through the water quite as well as the NN.

  67. Thinking of purchasing 14′ Sea Eagle Needle Nose but I’m concerned about the lack of info regarding the center fin/skeg. Are there replacements available, can you use another brand/style of fin? Also wondering if you plan on updating your review with the 2016 model to see what improvements have been made since your 2014 review.

    • Hey Alex, I have never had any issues with the fin for the NN but you can buy a replacement fin on the Sea Eagle website if you ever needed to. The clip-in attachment for the fin is common on many inflatable SUP’s. If you wanted to use another fin you would just need to find one that used the same type of attachment. There are several out there but the SE fin is great, you shouldn’t have any issues. I have been taking the new 2016 NN model out this past week and getting some new pictures. I will be updating the review and adding new pics this week.

      • Thanks Allison,
        I really appreciate the info. I’m thinking of purchasing a 14′ SeaEagle Needlenose or a 13’2″ Red explorer. I’m living in Bend, OR and we’ve got lots of water and a fair amount of wind. I’m considering these two boards because I think they would cut through the water, get blown around by the wind less and be able to handle some choppy water. I know the Red is almost twice the price of the SeaEagle but I know it has a reputation for making the most durable boards, the SeaEagle’s durability is unknown. I would love your expert opinion on my choices and which one of the two you would choose. Thanks in advance,
        Alex

  68. Allison, you have the most thorough and informative site for ISUP’s I’ve found. I’m glad I came across it. Since I’m 6’1″, 225 I’m looking at the NN 14 or the Long Board 12’6″ to carry the load. I have an 11′ 6″ hard board but my interest is really peaked by the portability, touring and speed of the NN. My principle for SUPing is paddling but I was considering carrying bare bones fishing tackle too. Does the NN have any other place to attach bungees for small cooler or tackle. Also, do you know of a big difference between the new model NN and the “Classic” beside the deck pads? Thanks again for the great info on all the boards!
    Bill

    • Hi Bill, Thank you!! I appreciate your kind words and I am so glad you are finding the site helpful! The 14′ NN is really nice. I find it takes a little extra effort to get moving but once you start gliding, it feels fantastic to paddle. There is definitely room for added bungees. The back end behind where you stand would work well as it is a little wider than up front. That is probably where I would add them. However you could also add more bungees in the front section just in front of the existing bungee cords if you wanted to. There is quite a bit of space on the 14′ long Needlenose so I think it would work well for bringing along some fishing gear. You could also make the 12’6″ Longboard work but you will definitely find more room on the 14′ NN.

      The main differences between the new NN and the classic NN is that the new one has the newly designed longer deck pad as well as the paddle holder pocket up front,the skeg is a different shape and has a more ‘swept back’ design. I believe the kick tail at the back is a slightly different size as well. However performance wise I didn’t notice much difference at all. I think it is supposed to track and glide slightly better but honestly it feels very much the same to me and just as good as ever. The new NN also weighs a pound and a half less, which is not huge but kind of nice considering this is a larger board. Depends on what is important to you… I think the classic NN handles just as well and is a great price. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks very much for your advice and thanks again for all your information. Exactly what I needed to know!

  69. Allison,

    Do you have any experience with the Quikrow system from Sea Eagle? Or any rowing conversion units for Sup’s, such as the Oar board. If so, what do you think of them. Thank you Jim

    • Hi Jim, No unfortunately I don’t. I have been wanting to review their rowing system for quite awhile and I have seen others out there as well from different companies. I love the idea of converting a SUP to a rowing system. I hope to review it this year so I can provide more info! If you end up trying it I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  70. Allison:

    I have only tried paddle boarding twice and need a lot of help with stability: 6’3″ 200 pounds, 50+ yrs. Also want a board that is good for guests to use at our cabin in Michigan. Our neighbor’s have a 12.6 Sea Eagle NN and a 12.6 Longboard that I tried last summer. Thinking I need more stability. Also spoke to someone who is my size and they have a 14 Sea Eagle NN which they like. Also looking at Red Paddle 10.8 as all Sea Eagle boards are 30″ wide – thinking 34″ width of Red Paddle 10.8 might help with stability vs the 14 NN. However, like that Sea Eagle offers seat – good for windy days on our inland lake that is close to Lake Michigan…so wind and surrounding hills can make it quite windy on some days. Is there a seat that would work on the Red Paddle 10.8 ride? Your thoughts would be appreciated. Sorry to throw out so many variables to you.
    Joe

    • Hi Joe, You might really like the 14′ NN. Even though it is still only 30″ wide the extra length makes the board feel quite a bit bigger and more stable. If you weren’t happy with it you could always take advantage of Sea Eagle’s 180 day return policy. The Red Paddle Co 10’8″ Ride is a really nice board. The 34″ width definitely adds a lot of stability. It is only 4.7″ thick however (as opposed to 6″ thick) and I’m not sure how you’ll feel with that. The Red Paddle Co boards are very rigid but the thicker 6″ boards tend to feel better under more weight. However the 10.8 Ride is rated for up to 265 lbs. You could add any seat to the Ride, you would just need to glue on some D-rings to be able to secure it. Some other options to consider that are wider and quite stable are:
      Isle Explorer – 11′ long x 32″ wide x 6″ thick. The Explorer has long been popular for those wanting extra stability and is a solid board. We’ve had it loaded up easily with 275 lbs. and although a little slower, it still handled well.
      Naish Glide Air – 12′ long, 34″ wide, 6″ thick. The Glide Air is super stable and feels safe and secure. It is a nice looking SUP with good features.
      Red Paddle Co Explorer – 12’6″ long x 32″ wide x 5.9″ thick. This one is a little pricier but would suit your size well.
      Starboard Astro Blend Deluxe – 11’2″ long, 32′ wide, 6″ thick. The Blend Deluxe is popular and we loved paddling this board. The overall shape, design and size provides good versatility and performance.

      Hope that helps! I think the 14′ NN is a good choice but any of these other options would also work great.

      • Allison:

        Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate your suggestions. Will let you know when I make the final decision. Happy paddling!

        Regards,
        Joe

  71. This is a great website…thanks for the feedback. I wanted to see your opinion on stability between the NN126 and the NN14. I will be using this paddle board for traveling to the Bahamas for bonefishing, so stability is important. I am 5’6″ tall and weight 165-170, as I am fairly stocky. My buddy who is traveling with us purchased the NN 126 and felt it was OK with stability, but did fall off once. We are mainly using these to move from one spot to another and bringing fishing gear with us on the board. We will be traveling about 5 to 8 miles a day and mostly on flat water on the flats. Do you feel the 14 footer will add noticeable stability and not have any downfalls as compared to the 126 for the conditions mentioned above? Thanks for any insight as part of me wants to get the 126 to match my buddy, but the other part of me wouldn’t mind getting the most stable board if there is no downside for flat water paddling.

    • Allison says:

      Hi Dave, We find that the 14′ NN does feel quite a bit larger and I definitely notice more stability. I actually think you would be just fine with the 12’6″ NN but if you really want more stability the 14′ would do the trick and another added bonus is that it does provide more room for fishing gear. The only downside to bringing the 14 footer is that it makes for a slightly bulkier package to travel with. The new ones however are only 0.5 lbs. heavier than the 12’6″ NN, which is pretty cool. Hope that helps. Good luck and have a great time, sounds like a fantastic trip!!