Sea Eagle Needlenose 126 Standup Paddleboard

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Power & Motoryacht Tested:

Sea Eagle Needlenose 126 Standup Paddleboard
Sea Eagle Needlenose 126 Standup Paddleboard

Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126

$1,000; www.seaeagle.com

Look around your anchorage and you’ll likely notice that more boats than ever have stand-up paddle boards (SUP) lashed to their hardtops or side rails. The boom in popularity of these water “toys” makes sense; whether you’re looking to explore shallow waterways, clean your hull while on the hook, or get some exercise after a day of cruising, the uses for the boards are many. I’ve even noticed boaters bringing their dogs ashore via a SUP, to which I usually murmur, “Show-off.”

But seeing these boards lashed down with bungee cords doesn’t exude confidence that they won’t sail away in a stiff breeze. And as for the popular side-deck mount, you might think that’s a convenient spot until you need to get to the bow in a hurry.

So for simplicity of stowage, it’s hard to beat an inflatable board, which led me to test the Sea Eagle NN126. The first thing I liked about the Sea Eagle was the backpack it came in, which made the 25-pound board easy to carry across the parking lot and down to the water. After rolling the board out across the dock, I used the manual pump (works just like your typical dinghy pump) to inflate it. An optional pressure gauge ($12) is a nice tool to ensure you reach the optimum 15 psi pressure, which makes the board feel as hard underfoot as a solid board. Blowing up the board took about two minutes with minimal effort.

Taking to the water, I immediately noticed how well the 12-foot-by-30-inch board tracks courtesy of two side skegs and a large (removable) center skeg. Indeed, I could paddle three or four times on one side while keeping a straight course. As for the unique neendlenose bow, I thought it was just a marketing ploy until I gently glided through the wake of a passing Sea Ray I was sure would put me in the water. In fact, it was so stable I figure you could probably take a small dog to shore on it pretty easily ... no more judgment from me. When done for the day, I simply pulled the plug, wrapped the board up like a sleeping bag, and stowed it out of harm’s way.

See more shots from our test of the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 standup paddleboard here.

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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