The fast-paddling Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 is an extremely popular inflatable paddle board, and for good reason. With Sea Eagle’s patented NeedleNose prow, this high-speed, high-performance iSUP is a whole lot of fun in the water.
The NN126 is the mid-sized board in Sea Eagle’s innovative NeedleNose series, and it offers more speed than the smaller NeedleNose 116 because of its longer hull. This increased speed and performance, together with the Sea Eagle’s track record of outstanding quality and customer service, make the NN126 the most popular of Sea Eagle’s NeedleNose range of inflatable stand up paddle boards. Those wanting even more speed should check out the longest board in the NeedleNose lineup — the NN14.
Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Rating
Sea Eagle NN126 Review: SUP Overview
With hull dimensions of 12’6″ x 30″ x 6″ from NeedleNose to stern, the Sea Eagle NN126 is a whole foot longer than Sea Eagle’s NN116, but displays an identical beam of and depth. The added hull length allows the NN126 to reach higher speeds, making it ideal for going farther and faster.
The NN126 can be paddled either standing or sitting (an inflatable chair can be easily clipped to the hull), and the sturdy construction of the hull allows the board to support a maximum weight of 225 pounds.
The integrity of the hull and your own safety are assured by Sea Eagle’s high standards of quality. As with all of Sea Eagle’s inflatable SUPs, kayaks, and boats, the NN126 is backed by the company’s industry-leading 180-day return policy and 3-year warranty on workmanship.
A high-quality inflatable SUP requires an outstanding inflatable hull, and nobody makes a better one than Sea Eagle. Utilizing the immensely successful drop stitch technology that has proved to be so successful and popular in so many of their other inflatables, Sea Eagle uses a 1100 Decitex reinforced material to create a rigid, stable, buoyant, and damage-resistant hull that compares favorably with any other iSUP on the market.
The Sea Eagle NN126 can be inflated in under ten minutes to a pressure of 12-15 psi. Although a more rigid hull is generally to be preferred (under high pressure, the board exhibits tremendous rigidity and buoyancy, providing a stable platform that actively tries to float higher), a softer hull can present its own fun and challenges, and Sea Eagle let you explore this possibility.
However, there’s more to the NN126 than just an outstanding, efficient hull. It’s studded with small features that Sea Eagle has added to make this a truly enjoyable inflatable stand up paddle board.
First, there’s comfort. The NN126 is built to go far, and that means you’ll be standing and paddling for long stretches. This could be hard on your feet, but that isn’t the case thanks to the NN126’s full-length diamond deck-pad. The ergonomic EVA-foam evenly distributes your weight over both the short and long term, adding a welcome level of comfort to your paddling experience. At the same time, of course, the deck pad provides a secure, non-slip surface for your safety and stability.
The prow of the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 SUP features a very handy grab-handle, and is fitted with four stainless-steel D-rings that support a convenient rigging of elastic rope. This is super useful for bringing along your backpack or dry bag, a towel, or a change of clothes.
The middle of the hull features four more D-rings designed to let you position an inflatable chair, in case you ever want to try something different with your NN126. Also at the middle of the hull is the convenient carry-handle. This allows you to easily pick up the inflated NN126 and carry it under one arm.
Towards the tail of the NeedleNose 126 is the super useful kick-tail. This nice addition by Sea Eagle lets you perform to your utmost on the NN126, allowing advanced maneuvers and turn-on-a-penny agility. Just behind the kick-tail is a large D-ring that can be used to fasten a leash, and it is also great for towing.
For improved tracking, the NN216 offers you a choice of skeg configurations. There are two small skegs fitted to the hull, but these can be complemented if conditions require it. Thanks to Sea Eagle foresight, a slide-in, swept-back skeg is also included with every NN126 hull. The less energy you have to expend staying on-course the better, and that’s why this large (7″ deep x 13″ long) skeg is such a great addition for speed or distance paddling.
The NN126 can be purchased directly from Sea Eagle. Not only will this cut any unnecessary costs and have it delivered right to your doorstep, you’ll also receive the benefit of their 180-day return policy and 3-year warranty.
Sea Eagle has several different NN126 configurations to choose from:
- The Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Start-Up Package is an ideal introductory kit for beginners or first-time buyers. Together with the hull, you’ll receive a SUP paddle (adjustable 66″-85″, 3-part, 2.65 lbs.), a hand-piston pump, the skeg, and a repair kit. You’ll also get Sea Eagle’s inflatable SUP carry bag.
- If you’re looking to take things up a notch, the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Electric Pump Package makes it not only easy to inflate the NN126 with the included BP12 electric pump, but also makes paddling easier with a carbon-fiber SUP paddle (adjustable 70″-85″, 3-part, 1.95 lbs.).
- The Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Power Paddle Package replaces the carbon-fiber paddle with Sea Eagle’s top-of-the line double-bladed paddle: the Blue Oblio. The Oblio adjusts from 121.5″-138″, disassembles quickly into four parts for easy transportation, and weighs less than five pounds.
- For a different boarding experience, the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Deluxe Package extends the benefits of sit-down paddling to the NN126. An inflatable kayak seat fixes easily onto the board, and the kit contains an AB30 paddle (7’10”, 4-part, 2.62 lbs.) in addition to the SUP paddle.
- Hardcore fishermen will be delighted with the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 Swivel Seat Fishing Rig Package. The fishing rig fixes quickly to the frame, then provides a comfortable and efficient fishing platform complete with oars and Scotty rod holders. A SUP paddle and an AB30 are provided, so you can choose your preferred method of paddling.
- The most versatile of the packages, however, is the Sea Eagle NeedleNose 126 QuickRow Package. This functions as a standard iSUP, or converts quickly into a streamlined and efficient rowing machine, while Scotty rod holders mean it’s also perfect for fishing.
All in all, the NN126 is twelve-and-a-half feet of fun. Designed to be a truly convenient inflatable paddle board of outstanding quality, it fulfills these requirements absolutely. If the NN216 has one weak area, it’s in precision handling – the NeedleNose prow sacrifices a bit of maneuverability in the interest of speed and efficient paddling. Apart from that, however, this is without a doubt one of the best inflatable iSUP’s on the market.
So, if you’re looking to get that little bit more from your inflatable SUP experience and if you can afford to make an investment in a well-designed and excellently manufactured board, the Sea Eagle NN126 is a model that should definitely be on your shortlist.