Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing segment in the Outdoor Industry currently. Sales of boards are going through the roof right now and it's easy to see why. Stand up paddle boarding has a quick learning curve taking you from "SUP what?" to "SUP awesome!" in less than a few hours; it's super fun and a great way to explore your local lakes, rivers and other bodies of water; and boards are finally coming down in price, especially inflatable SUPs. In the past inflatable stand-up paddle boards were viewed as the ugly step-brother in the paddle board industry. But new construciton techniques and boards that perform well is changing all of that.
Check out the video review below
One of the companies that is making a lot of noise in the inflatable segment of the paddle board market is Sea Eagle. If you think Sea Eagle sounds familiar that's because it does. Sea Eagle has been making some of the best inflatable kayaks and boats for years. So if there's something these guys know how to do, that's to make strong and durable inflatable floating devices.
New to their inflatable lineup is the Longboard 126. The Longboard series of boards come in an 11' (LB11) option and the 12'6" (LB126) that we reviewed. These boards are the jack of all trades in the Sea Eagle line of paddle boards. They're great for flat water and have features that let them perform in surf and whitewater as well.
Here are a couple of features that make the Sea Eagle Longboard 126 a board you should be considering if you're in the inflatable paddle board market.
Size: Size does matter and at 12'6" long, 30" wide and 6" thick it's what many, myself included, consider to be an excellent size for an all around board. Wide enough for beginner paddlers yet narrow enough to still perform. At 6" thick it sits higher out of the water and glides through the water very smoothly. The size is perfect for a variety of riders and gear. We've had testers from 115 lbs. up to 235 lbs on the board and it has worked great for all of them. Sea Eagle says that the 126 is a great option for paddlers up to 250lbs. or paddlers and gear combining to total 250lbs.
Pressure: Due to it's drop stitch construction the Longboard 126 can take a significant amount of pressure. Many inflatable stand up paddle boards can only handle 12 PSI, the Sea Eagle Longboard 126 can handle 15 PSI. In fact, 15 PSI is the recommended pressure to use. Why does an extra 3 PSI matter? At 15 PSI the Longboard 126 is very stiff and that stiffness equates to performance in the water. A stiff board is a fast board.
Fins: The Longboard 126 uses a three fin configuration, two smaller flexible yet fixed fins and a larger removable skeg. The two smaller, leading fins do a great job of giving the board a locked in feeling. The larger center skeg keeps the board tracking straight and allows for quick turning ability. Removing the center skeg also allows you to roll the board up even smaller which is a big deal with an inflatable stand up paddle board.
Construction: Inflatable SUPs must be tough, that's a given. These aren't your basic inflatable pool toys. Inflatable paddleboards need to be able to withstand sand, river rock, tree branches, parking lots among a host of other sharp objects waiting to poke and slice. The Sea Eagle Longboard 126 is tough. It's reinforced drop stich material and quadruple overlap seams are bomber and with a 15 PSI air pressure capacity it's nice and stiff.
Rockered tip and tail: The longboard 126 has a rockered tip and tail that was designed to help the boards perform in surf. Living in Utah, I can't really comment on how well that works but one thing I can vouch for is the rockered nose on windy and choppy lakes. The rockered nose does a great job of boucning across the tops of the chop and keeping medium to small waves created by the wind and boats from coming over the top of the board.
Sizing: It's always easier to size up on a SUP but that doensn't mean you necessarily should. The Longboard 126 is great for a paddler and gear up to 250 lbs. If you are no where near that total, maybe only topping the scales out at 200 lbs or less when loading all your gear on the board, you should take a look at the Longboard 11
Extras: tie downs up front, d ring for leash, d rings for converting the board to a sit on top kayak, wide, easy carry handle. kick tail
If I had to pick one board to own, the Sea Eagle Longboard 126 would be that board. It's versitle enough to handle a variety of conditions and to handle them well. I've seen people who have never set foot on a SUP before get on this board and have a great time as well as the most experienced of paddlers jump on and throw down. It's great for touring on all kinds of water, small surf and mild to gentle rivers. It's definitely not the fastest board in the water but you're probably not buying this board for the speed but more so for the versitility. It can carry a variety of people and all their gear and it's super tough. If you're looking for an inflatable stand-up paddle board the Sea Eagle Longboard 126 should definitely be on your radar. Or if you're on the fence about getting one, just go for it. You won't regret it.
For more information check out seaeagle.com. If you have questions that weren't answered in the review go ahead and let us know in the comments below or contact us here (link to contact a genius).