The Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 is one seriously fun inflatable SUP. Designed for maximum speed and handling, the NN116 continues Sea Eagle’s philosophy of providing convenient and easy-to-use inflatables of outstanding quality.
With a durable hull and a host of design features intended to make stand up paddling easier and more enjoyable, the NN116 is perfect for all kinds of water, providing fun for young and old alike.
Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116
Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Review: SUP Overview
Before we begin to example the features of this high-quality inflatable paddle board, let’s take a quick look at the physical dimensions. Inflated, the NN116 measures 11’6″ x 30″ x 6″. This optimal balance of length, width, and thickness makes for a superbly stable paddling platform; and with a weight of only 23 lbs., it’s great for beginners as well as more experienced paddlers.
The first thing you notice about the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 SUP is the bow. Thanks to the patented NeedleNose design, the NN116 can cut through water smoothly and cleanly, just as the name implies. This not only means that you can paddle faster, but it also ensures improved tracking and efficiency when paddling. Sea Eagle claims that their NeedleNose 116, 126, and extended-length NN14 are some of the best-tracking iSUP’s in the world.
Because of this unique NeedleNose, the prow of the NN116 doesn’t exhibit the upturn common with so many inflatable and rigid-hull SUP’s. This not only means the longest waterline length for the NN116 (important for high speeds), it also allows you to use Sea Eagle’s innovative “gearing system” that lets you customize the performance of the board depending on your skill. For experienced paddlers, shifting your weight from the center of the board towards the front (gearing up from 1-3) physically pushes the NeedleNose deeper into the water, optimizing the NN116’s performance and speed. Conversely, less experienced paddlers can stay in “lower gear” at the center of the board and benefit from improved stability and a more comfortable speed.
The hull of the NN116 is manufactured to form a single 1100 Decitex reinforced drop stitch chamber, secured by quadruple overlapped seams. The material itself is extremely strong and durable (Sea Eagle prefers it for their high-performance inflatables), and the drop stitch technology offers some useful advantages when it comes to inflatable SUPs.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the process, drop stitch construction simply means that the walls of the chamber are tightly bound together by thousands of threads of ‘space yarn’ that will only allow it to inflate to a certain width (6″ in the case of the NN116). Once this maximum inflation width has been achieved, any further air pumped into the chamber serves to increase the rigidity and buoyancy of the chamber. The NN116, which inflates quickly (six minutes) to a pressure of up to 15 psi, offers an extremely buoyant hull (the drop stitch construction gives it a capacity of 200 lbs.) that is very comparable in rigidity to any fiberglass, resin, or expanded foam board. And to further increase both the rigidity and durability of the hull, the NeedleNose 116 is protected by a top and bottom layer of reinforced Decitex.
For your comfort and safety, an EVA-foam deck pad provides secure footing and a non-slip surface. The EVA foam is tastefully decorated in an Electric Pattern that makes the Sea Eagle NN116 one of the most handsome inflatables on the market.
The final feature aimed at improving the NeedleNose 116’s performance is the EVA kick tail. This not only lets you perform more advanced maneuvers like impressive kick turns and full 360° turns, it also serves the additional function of preventing you from falling off the tail. And because it’s raised, the kick tail can be found blind every time – no more looking around at where you’re going to put your feet.
The NN116 not only offers you an amazingly durable, light, and stable stand-up-paddling experience, it’s also packed full of little features that are bound to make your paddling more enjoyable and easier.
The bow is fitted with numerous stainless-steel D-rings supporting a rigging of elastic cords – great for lashing down gear if you want to take anything along with you on the NN116. Four more D-rings are set further back on the hull and provide sturdy anchor points for a seat, while a final, large D-ring is fastened to the tail. This not only lets you fasten a leash, but it’s also suitable for towing.
A convenient grab handle is also fixed to the nose of the NN16, while a center-mounted carry handle lets you easily and conveniently carry the inflated NeedleNose 116 under one arm.
Two built-in skegs provide a good deal of the Sea Eagle NeedleNose’s inherent stability, and this can be further improved by sliding in a large (13″ long x 7″ deep) removable skeg. The weed-free design of the skeg promises improved performance, and it can be removed quickly to suit the paddling conditions.
And as a final finishing touch, each NN116 comes with Sea Eagle’s new PaddlePocket. This simple but ingenious addition keeps your paddle safe and secure when it’s not in use – you’ll never need to go searching for a lost paddle again.
As with all of Sea Eagle inflatables, when you buy a NN116, you’re buying a whole lot more than just a high-quality inflatable SUP. Thanks to Sea Eagle’s innovative design philosophy, this board can transform within minutes to a variety of configurations, making it just as practical as it is fun.
- The company’s entry-level configuration is the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Start-Up Package. This basic kit is perfect for beginners and contains the hull, a SUP paddle (adjustable 66″-85″, 3-part, 2.65 lbs.), a hand-piston pump, the removable skeg, and a repair kit, together with a blue backpack for convenient transportation and storage.
- To experience the best of both stand-up and sit-down paddling, try the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Deluxe Package. This upgrades the start-up package by including a Deluxe inflatable kayak seat that fastens quickly and easily in position, as well as an AB30 kayak paddle (7’10”, 4-part, 2.62 lbs.). An adapter is also included to make inflating the seat simple.
- Many experienced paddlers choose the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Electric Pump Package. Another upgrade from the start-up package, this kit not only makes inflation easier with the BP12 single-stage electric pump, but also includes a professional-quality carbon-fiber SUP paddle (adjustable 70″-85″, 3-part, 1.95 lbs.) that improves power and control.
- If you’re going to use the NN116 as a fishing platform, the company recommends the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Swivel Seat Fishing Rig Package. The fishing rig weighs only 15 lbs., fixes to the hull in less than a minute, and features two Scotty rod holders. This package supplies both the standard SUP paddle and the AB30, while the comfortably padded seat swivels through 360° for unlimited fishing enjoyment.
- For dedicated professionals, there’s the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116 Power Paddle Package, an upgrade of the start-up package that replaces the SUP paddle with a Blue Oblio double-bladed paddle. This top-end paddle (adjustable 121.5″ to 138″, 4-part, 14.7 lbs.) provides maximum paddling power while reducing stress to your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
- For genuine Sea Eagle versatility, choose theSea Eagle NeedleNose 116 QuickRow Package. The QuickRow kit comes complete with a set of oars (7’1″, 2-part), a footrest, and a comfortably padded swivel seat. It fastens easily onto the hull, turning the NN116 into a powerful, streamlined rowing machine. Thanks to the Scotty rod holders and the SUP paddle, you can fish, row, or paddle with this package.
The NN116 is, to be honest, the perfect ISUP for everyone from beginners to professionals. With a highly stable hull that features great convenience and safety features, this inflatable paddle board is well-suited for kids and adults alike.
If there are any complaints about the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 116, they usually revolve around packing it up and getting it into the bag – a problem that will alleviate itself with a little practice. And, to be honest, the NN116 functions better on flat water than in chop and surf – the NeedleNose improves your speed, but sacrifices a bit of performance, because the sharp nose struggles to turn as quickly as a traditionally-shaped SUP.
However, if you’re looking for a quality product that can offer hours of fun on the water, the Sea Eagle NN116 is a solid board. For speed, performance, and durabilty, the NN116 is tough to beat.