With as many options as there are stars, the Stand Up Paddle board market is left with many choices and not so many answers. Hard board or inflatable? Touring or all-purpose? Large rocker or none? Pink or blue? Well, at least the last one should be easy. If you’re in the market for a compact, portable, inflatable SUP, then the Sea Eagle line up of paddleboards are for you.
So what terms are important to know and what do they mean in English? After some quick searching on YouTube and trolling many sites who sell SUP’s, I have discovered some consistency to help everyone with their decision making. Larry Froley from Grey Whale Paddle assembled a series of videos that help consumers through the process of purchasing and using an inflatable SUP. Below is the first video in the series titled “How to Choose a Stand Up Paddle Board”. It has some basic terminology and helps to distinguish between the two most common styles of paddle boards on the market.
Some common terms that are used refer mostly to the main components of the board and how it’s used. Below are a few to review:
- Deck – The top of the board; some beginner boards have a recessed top and most have a non-slip surface, also known as a deck pad.
- Bottom – Self Explanatory; the main concern here is what the bottom looks like. Smooth, convex, with or without rocker.
- Nose – The front or Bow of the paddle board; the profile of the board nose help determines what category of paddle board as well as the type of application it serves. Sea Eagle offers two styles which can be found here: Sea Eagle Paddleboards
- LongBoard LB11 – Features a comfortable rocker and rounded nose for surfing and leisure paddling. Known as a Surf or All-Purpose profile
- NeedleNose – Features a distinct needle nose for wave piercing and faster paddling. Also known as a Touring or Racing profile
- Tail – The back of the board; a rounded profile lends to smooth turns while a more abrupt corner allows for more aggressive turning.
- Rocker – The upwards curvature of the Nose or Bow of the board. All-purpose and Surf boards should feature some sort of rocker.
- Fins or Stabilizers – Sometimes removable like the directional stabilizers on most of Sea Eagle’s Kayaks, the fins provide direction and contribute to the overall stability of the board. Some performance Surf paddle boards feature an inward camber to help prevent the board from sliding out when on a wave. This of course works against someone who is looking for distance or speed.
Stand Up Paddle Boards are made from many varying materials and methods. The inflatable paddle boards from Sea Eagle are all made with either 1100 Decitex PVC or 1000 Denier PVC. At the core, the paddle boards are constructed using the drop stitch method, ensuring the correct shape of the paddle board and giving each board it’s rigidity. The seams are all quadruple overlapped to ensure a leak free seal allowing the unit to be inflated to it’s maximum pressure without failure over and over again.
Sea Eagle has broken their offering of Stand Up Paddleboards into two different profiles with a few package options to meet most consumer needs. The first to hit the market was the LongBoard LB11 SUP which pioneered the way for Sea Eagle into the inflatable SUP market. The Sea Eagle LB11 LongBoard is an all-purpose SUP (or Surf SUP) with the beginner and leisure paddler in mind. Though it isn’t as efficient for distant paddles or racing, the LB11 makes up for it in stability, building confidence while still having fun.
The NeedleNose series from Sea Eagle was the second design release to consumers for their consideration. Appealing to the more seasoned users, or those bold enough to try, the NeedleNose Paddle Board featured a touring/racing profile. It’s pointed nose pierces the waves and helps maintain a steady course, even with deep strokes and the speed to match. It also has many of the creature comforts found on the LongBoard and the same variety of packages suitable for almost every user.
The obvious advantages of an inflatable product are revealed in the nature of the product. It’s inflatable, which means it deflates into a small enough package to fit in the backpack they come with. It stores it a small space, whether it’s your closet, attic, crawlspace or the trunk of your smart car. Finally, should it come to it, repairing the paddleboard is easy enough. There are no special tools or major skills needed to fix the flat.
All in all, an inflatable paddleboard from Sea Eagle is a suitable choice for most enthusiasts lacking the storage required for a rigid board, not to mention fitting it on the Bus!
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