I’M 80 YEARS YOUNG and I’m NOT giving up my fishing & boating enjoyment!

“This is my story of my experience with Sea Eagle and the STS10 Stealth Stalker. I appreciate that most blogs consist of pages of verbiage explaining the story line. I have taken an old approach of “a picture is worth a thousand words”…

My age and health don’t rule my life!

The following slide presentation includes captioned pictures covering the arrival of my boat, first assembly, shoreline assembly, and finally on the water. It continues with additional captioned pictures covering my stubbornness of not letting my health and energy rule my life.

B27 copyJohn’s worked around age-related problems so he can still do what he loves

My good buddy helped me with the very first maiden voyage last fall. We loaded the car, unloaded the car, inflated and loaded the boat, launched, tested on the water, hauled it up and onto shore, deflated, folded and packed everything into the car. Got home and unloaded the car and put things away in the garage. I’m 80 years old and my buddy suggested I get a trailer to make things easier. My reasons for going to a trailer for my STS10 were very simply an “age related” problem. Too old and not enough energy. COPD was also not helping the situation.

My call went out to my son to get working on a set of plans to modify a standard 4 x 8 trailer to transport my very personal and special boat. We took the winter months to plan and change, and plan and change again.

I do love my STS10 boat. I was not going to sacrifice my enjoyment!”

— John Nichols, STS10 Owner, Machesney Park, IL

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23 EXPEDITIONS IN 40 COUNTRIES, 20,000 MILES OF ADVENTURING — Yannick’s boat? Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak

Yannick Daoudi and his girlfriend, Audrey Mc Mahon, recently traveled 130 miles down the Nam Tha River in Northern Laos in Yannick's Sea Eagle <a href="https://www.seaeagle.com/ExplorerKayaks/380x" target="_blank">380x.</a> "We passed small local villages the entire trip and witnessed the threat to the indigenous way of life in Northern Laos because of damming and mining projects. "

Yannick Daoudi and his girlfriend, Audrey Mc Mahon, recently traveled 130 miles down the Nam Tha River in Northern Laos in Yannick’s Sea Eagle 380x. “We passed small local villages the entire trip…It was such an inspiring experience to see how the locals relate to and respect their environment. “

Canadian, Yannick Daoudi, has woven together his professional, humanitarian, and personal lives in a way that’s led to non-stop travel and adventuring all over the planet. Professionally, Yannick’s an international educational consultant. His humanitarian volunteer work helps improve health and education in developing countries. His personal interest is exotic travel. His boat is the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak.

“In 15 years of expedition travel, I’ve taken over twenty trips through forty different countries in Africa, The Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceana. I estimate I’ve traveled close to 20,000 miles, all by muscle power, on bicycles, on foot, and by kayak.

I’ve kayaked down the Gambia River in Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. The country is largely the river and narrow strips of land on either side. You can practically see the whole country from the river!  I also paddled in the ocean in Palau, an archipelago near the Philippines. I slept on desert islands and snorkeled into amazing underwater environments.

I’ve kayaked down the Vaupés River, a tributary to the Amazon River. Kayaking is the best way to travel the Amazon. I organized two expeditions in Panama — one in the ocean and the other down a river in the Darién Jungle near the border with Colombia. My boating trips last up to four weeks during which I try to rely on myself and the gear, food, and water I bring with me or can collect along the way.

I saw I needed a sturdier inflatable kayak

I chose an inflatable kayak because they’re the most transportable kind of boat. When I travel by plane, I can pack it and check it as luggage – it’s not overweight or oversized. As I never know which situations I’ll find myself in when I travel, it’s important for me to be able to carry the boat and all my gear at the same time.

The 380x Explorer Kayak looked good because I wanted a rugged boat that could endure punishing conditions, that was large enough to travel with a partner and a heavy load, yet small enough to maneuver alone and light enough I could carry with the rest of my expedition gear when needed.

The 380x Explorer Kayak looked good because I wanted a rugged boat that could endure punishing conditions, that was large enough to travel with a partner and a heavy load, yet small enough to maneuver alone and light enough I could carry with the rest of my expedition gear when needed.

I started out with an ordinary inflatable but after a few trips I saw I needed something sturdier. I compared a few brands. I read customer comments online, judging quality vs. price. Then I saw Sea Eagle’s video of someone pounding it with a claw hammer and driving a Jeep over it. I knew that Sea Eagle 380x Explorer Kayak was the one I needed.

I got Sea Eagle’s QuickSail, too. I tested it on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. It’s a lot of fun because, with the wind behind you, you can travel at higher speeds than paddling. With the sail, I just used the paddle for steering. I’ll definitely use it on my next ocean trip.

150 remote river miles in Laos

My most recent adventure was down the Nam Tha River in northern Laos with my girlfriend, Audrey Mc Mahon. We put in at Louang Namtha , and came out at Pak Tha on the Mekong River . That’s about 130 miles on the river.

“We had to face a wide range of conditions on the river, from low water levels forcing us to drag the boat over rocks on the first day, to varying classes of rapids, to placid waters and the Sea Eagle 380x Explorer was ideal.”

We passed small local villages the entire trip and witnessed the threat to the indigenous way of life in Northern Laos because of damming and mining projects. It was such an inspiring experience to see how the locals relate to and respect their environment. They are a very spiritual people. A lot of the villages had Buddhist temples, and although their homes are basic – simple bamboo huts on stilts — their temples are very elaborate and colorful.

What struck us most was the vital importance of the river in every aspect of these people’s lives. It is their main source of food, it is where they bathe, do the laundry, wash their dishes, play, and since there are no roads to link these villages, it is also their only means of transport. Curious locals would touch my Sea Eagle 380x and couldn’t understand how light and strong it was – all they knew were the long wooden dugout canoes they have been using for generations.

Traveling day after day at the pace of the river, and camping in the jungle, you start to build a relationship with the river and at the end of such an amazing trip we felt like we were saying goodbye to a good friend.

Mozambique next?

The Sea Eagle 380x Explorer kayak is the right boat for this kind expedition. It allows me to explore hard to reach places that are rarely visited by tourists. I find that this makes the contact with the locals more authentic and the experience more enriching. I’m looking forward to my next adventure trip. Maybe I’ll go back to Africa. I’m thinking about Mozambique…

— Yannick Daoudi, adventure traveler, Sea Eagle Explorer Owner

Learn more about Yannick’s adventures on his website and Facebook page. Learn about his humanitarian foundation on its website and Facebook page.

 

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WILD HORSES, HOT WATERFALLS, OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCES with his Sea Eagle 330

Ryan explores Emerald Cave in Black Canyon. "At a certain time of day, the sun come in and lights up the water, turning it an emerald green."

Ryan explores Emerald Cave in Black Canyon. “At a certain time of day, the sun come in and lights up the water, turning it an emerald green.”

Chillin’ with the ‘Earthblazers’

Ryan Bradley puts in long, long hours under hot lights in the film industry in Los Angeles. But between shoots, you’ll probably find him chillin’ with his posse, the ‘Earthblazers’, on a kayaking and camping trip to Lake Powell, the Colorado River, or another of the remarkable bodies of water just a couple hours outside the City of Angels.

“I had no idea kayaking would be this cool”

“I have a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak. I love it. I’ve gotten friends interested in kayaking. Several of them got Sea Eagle 330’s and 370’s and we go kayaking together. We call ourselves ‘Earthblazers.’ We’ve posted dozens of photos and describe what we do as ‘promoting an awareness and a lifestyle that reveals the great outdoors to be the missing piece of the puzzle in your modern life.’ We’re adventure enthusiasts using kayaks for adventure and enjoyment.

We go boating and primitive back country camping — the longest trips have been three and four nights. My favorite trip was to Black Canyon, on the Colorado River, south of Hoover Dam. It’s a National Water Trail. The water is super-clear and chilly, then you get to hot volcanic pools and hot waterfalls you can practically paddle into.

Kayaking in Lake Powell’s slot canyons was one of our coolest moments. We paddled to the end of the canyon then discovered that over a small rise the water continued. We portaged our kayaks and had our own private paddling paradise, almost another world. We camped in a huge natural alcove that was awesome. We ate Korean barbecue, set up a few speakers, and played music — it was like a big amphitheater.

"The Earthblazers kayaked into Lake Powell's slot canyons, a remarkable maze of waterways. I found this canyon as the sun was setting," says Ryan.

“The Earthblazers kayaked into Lake Powell’s slot canyons, a remarkable maze of waterways. I found this canyon as the sun was setting,” says Ryan.

My ‘posse’ and I are talking about kayaking the Russian River near San Francisco. I understand it has a 50 mile stretch of navigable water. We want to go back to Black Canyon. And the Verde River in Arizona, too.

I was hooked

I live in LA and work in the film industry. I’m a key grip; I handle the technical aspects of lighting for the films, TV, and commercial work I’m involved in. I’m self-employed and work long, long hours — kayaking is a great break from the working world.

During some downtime on one video shoot in Georgia, I took a boat ride down the Chattahoochee River. I knew I wanted to do a lot more boating and camping. Then I did a five-day trip in Utah and I was really hooked!

I soon realized I wanted my own vessel — something small because I didn’t want hassles with transport or storage. I started looking into kayaks and inflatables made a lot of sense to me. I live in a duplex and don’t have a lot of storage space. Inflatable Sea Eagles seemed affordable, light, and efficient. Mine is just 26 lbs. and fits in one bag.

Money’s worth 10 times over

I wasn’t comfortable spending a lot of money on something I wasn’t sure I’d like. But my Sea Eagle was just a couple hundred dollars and I got my money’s worth 10 times over. And even my inexpensive SE330 is rated for Class II and III rapids. I’m very happy with it! I keep it in a duffel bag in the back of my car.

By now, I’ve kayaked in the LA River, Lake Powell, the Colorado River, the Pacific Ocean, Florence Lake in the Sierra National Forest, and more. I kayaked with dolphins in Morrow Bay, California, south of Big Sur. It’s the coolest thing seeing a dolphin swim next to you in the water. They were just eight feet away and I paddled right along with them. Then I paddled near the jetty where there were seals paddling around near me.

Ryan paddles in Black Canyon on the Colorado River in his Sea Eagle 330. Black Canyon is on the state line between Arizona and Nevada. The western wall is Nevada's El Dorado mountains. The eastern wall is Arizona's Black Mountains.

Ryan paddles in Black Canyon on the Colorado River in his Sea Eagle 330. Black Canyon is on the state line between Arizona and Nevada. The western wall is Nevada’s El Dorado mountains. The eastern wall is Arizona’s Black Mountains.

Wild horses

I had no idea paddling would be this cool. Paddling in Florence Lake, I photographed horses running wild. I saw some deer, some very wild forest. I’ve kayaked and hiked Lost Valley that winds through the John Muir Wilderness.

For me, kayaking is pure entertainment. I do it just because I enjoy the outdoors. It’s a great relief from the business world — really, it’s just heaven. I carry a cooler, backpack, tent, and everything I need.

Zen-like experience

I find paddling is zen-like. The consistent movement of paddling almost gives me an out-of-body experience. You just point your kayak’s nose where you want to go and enjoy the motion. I enjoy paddling and how that repetitive motion can put me in a meditative state. I’m outdoors, I have the river to myself, and I can take whatever I need with me in a backpack. There’s a health factor, too; I’m getting exercise as I paddle. Sometimes I just drift with the current and take photos.

This is a very stable kayak. I always feel safe, never feel in danger. I always have a life preserver and have never had any issues. Of course safety is always important and I never do anything unsafe on the water.”

— Ryan Bradley, LA, Sea Eagle 330 Owner, ‘Earthblazer’

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Wild Adventure Kayaking Alberton Gorge — Class IV Rapids in a Sea Eagle 420x

What’s a kid from New York City doing ripping down Class IV  rapids in some of America’s wildest, most remote rivers, with the foam flying and the adrenaline pumping? Meet Matt Corritone — backpacker, hiker, camper, kayaker, and Sea Eagle® Explorer™ Kayak owner.

“I go kayaking all the time — it’s my favorite thing to do, especially here in the Northwest. This is big sky country that’s graced with so many rivers, creeks, lakes, and waterways, plus a network of forest roads to access them. By now, I’ve kayaked every big-water river in Montana, Colorado, and Washington State. My Sea Eagle 420x kayak is an A+ dependable boat. I have no issues at all. I’ve been in Class IV rapids, streams, lakes, and flat water, too. No problems.

No previous boating experience

I grew up in New York City and moved to Montana 10 years ago. I’ve worked seasonal jobs I found online for the National Park Service; they’ve helped me travel throughout the Northeast United States.

CU1gorge6Growing up in New York, I’d never gone kayaking but I wanted to try it. I’d never owned a boat before and was pretty apprehensive about getting in a hard hull kayak for safety reasons. About five or six years ago, I searched the internet and found Sea Eagle®  inflatable boats.

I bought my first Sea Eagle, one of the smallest ones, an SE370. It looked a lot safer than a sit-in hard hull kayak. I loved the SE370 so much I wanted a bigger one.

A big upgrade

So I bought a Sea Eagle 420x Explorer kayak. I was impressed with its gear-hauling capacity; the fact that it holds three passengers easily; and that it’ll handle higher-rated rapids than my 370. All in all, it was a big boating improvement and upgrade for me. I don’t have a roof rack on my car; the 14’ 420x rolls up and packs in the back of my little Ford Focus hatchback. That’s a big plus.

Matt enjoys calmer waters in his 420x, too. He and his fiance, Chelsey, go boating and camping at Lake Como in Montana.

Matt enjoys calmer waters in his 420x, too. He and his fiance, Chelsey, go boating and camping at Lake Como in Montana.

My 420x Explorer is very stable in the water. It’ll float through anything. It’s easy to use, portable, and fun. As soon as the snow melts, I’m ready to go kayaking. This boat has allowed me to have many fun adventures I hadn’t done before, like deep-woods camping.

You couldn’t ask for a better, hassle-free boat. You don’t need a boat launch, just inflate it and go. My fiancé, Chelsey, and I go boating, back country camping, and back packing with the 420x. She prefers flatwater paddling but she went through white water rapids recently and that’s a big step in the right direction!

Crystalline blue glacial melt water

Owning this boat has enabled me to see so much of Montana, all the way up to Glacier National Park on the Canadian border. I’ve explored Glacier’s Logging Lake, Quartz Lake, Kintla Lake, and others. I’ve kayaked to the Continental Divide and hiked up onto glaciers. It’s been great! You can’t beat paddling in melt-water from the glaciers. The water’s crystalline pure, glacier blue. I’ve only seen water this strikingly blue in glacial waters.

When Chelsey and I go camping, we’ll drive on forest roads to get to the edge of a lake — for example, Lake Como, in the shadow of El Capitan. We’ll set up our base camp, inflate the Sea Eagle, load it with all our gear for a day trip, paddle out, and go boating and camping for three or four days.

Boating’s humbling, fishing’s great, too

Why do I love boating? I find it’s a beautiful and serene experience. Without a boat, you don’t get to experience the greatness of our country. Boating is a humbling experience when you see how water has shaped the Earth. And the fishing’s better than on shore!

For anybody else who’s thinking about adventure kayaking in a Sea Eagle, do your research. Get the one that’s tailored to your needs. And be safe — wear a lifejacket.

— Matt Corritone, Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Kayak Owner

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PADDLING WITH SEALS – Winter Paddling and the Ever Changing Scenery

A Friend Shows Up On My Dock

Getting ready for a morning paddle last week, I was welcomed to my dock by this cute visitor.

By Cecil Hoge

I paddle pretty much all year round. Since I live on the water this is not very difficult to do; I just have to walk about 100 feet to the water. The other day this feller (he or she, I am not sure which) greeted me on my dock. I am fairly used to seeing seals out in one of the bays in the middle of winter, but I must admit that I was quite surprised to find this feller taking a break on my dock.

Aside from the relatively short period when the bay is frozen solid, I go paddling every day I can and that includes paddling on winter days when the tide is in, when the weather is passable. I do not like to paddle in driving snowstorms or in winds over 25 mph or in temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

When paddling in winter, I do have one rule and that is not to paddle when there is ice. That usually occurs in January and February. Last year was a particularly cold winter and my local bays were frozen from the end of December to early March. This year has been a particularly warm winter with the bays freezing over only two or three times for no more than 3 or 4 days.

Now you might think it is kind of crazy to go paddling in the winter because even if the water is not frozen, the air temperature is often 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I am in total agreement that is a terrible thing to be cold when you paddle, but I believe that it is very easy to be warm. I always wear a warm windproof/waterproof jacket, warm gloves and warm, lined pants. I also wear a life jacket in winter – that not only adds warmth, but it also helps prevent drowning in 40 degree water. I consider falling in not an option since exposure to 30-40 degree water for more than 10 or 20 minutes can quickly lead to death. Not a good way to start the day.

That said, I believe by dressing warmly in appropriate clothes you can be both warm and safe. Here I have to put in a plug for our Sea Eagle® boats. They are very stable, more so than most rigid kayaks, and they have their own built-in flotation, which is something most kayaks and rowing shells do not have.

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This is a tree I pass on my way from Little Bay to Setauket Bay

You might ask doesn’t paddling get boring? Yes, it could if you are bored by endlessly changing scenery. The fact is that when you paddle the same conditions are never repeated even if you paddle along the same general course, day after day. This is because the tide is always different, going or coming at one level or another, the weather is always different and what you see paddling is always different.

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One of the pleasures of paddling in winter are the many different birds you might see along the way.

It is quite easy to take pictures of nearby birds, especially if you have a camera with a good zoom lens. I did not go out of my way in taking these pictures. In winter my little bay, cleverly called Little Bay, is often filled with swans. Swans pay kayakers little mind – I probably should say kayaker since I am the only kayaker they ever see.  This makes them very easy to photograph. I pass literally hundreds of birds every day I paddle. Here are some more.

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In the picture above, I am guessing one duck is a Mallard male and the other is his wife. You may have to look carefully to recognize the wife – she is very modest.

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Crossing paths with a heron and some geese.

Herons do not like humans. I think they remember when they were giant flying dinosaurs and humans were little snacks to be picked off on a slow day of hunting. They are harder to get close to and when you do get close, first they give you the evil eye, then they squawk their ancient dinosaur squawk and fly off thoroughly disgusted.

I think winter paddling is very healthy. I think breathing the air when paddling on salt water clears out your lungs and helps ward off colds. It’s just a theory – I cannot promise that it will work for everyone, but it seems to work for me.

If you ask a serious kayaker why they like to paddle they may not be sure just what to answer. Yes, they like the exercise…yes, they like seeing different kinds of birds…yes, they like the fact that something is always different. The sun, the clouds, the tide, the wind, the weather, the time of season, the time of day…every time you go paddling the surrounding elements are different and in flux – this is both soothing and exhilarating.

But I think it is not just the changing scenery that makes paddling interesting, exhilarating and just plain fun. There is another notion I would like to suggest. It is the horizon that is visible when you are paddling – the sheer open spaces that come into view without the obstructions that are so normal to everyday views. Think of it, when you go out of your front door, there are a lot of things immediately in view…a car, a driveway, a hedge, a road, a telephone pole. But when you are paddling, often you come to places where your view is not obstructed by objects. Literally, the horizon in front of you expands and seems limitless.

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Paddling out to Port Jefferson Harbor.

This may not seem exciting as a description, but I think if feeds an inner calm that most of us seek and long for. Even when you go for a jog, there is not much of a horizon visible. Usually, you are on a road with no great expanse of horizon in view…with houses and telephone poles and mail boxes. This is the great difference with paddling for there is a true horizon and it seems limitless. There is no path, there is no road, there is no set course, you may paddle where you will and along the way you come across unobstructed views. Of course, many will say it is a stupid and crazy idea to paddle in winter when your fingers might get chilled, but I will tell you, “Oh no, your fingers will be as warm as toast if your paddling in winter, because your hands are moving and exercising all the time so cold is simply not a factor.”

Now, I would like to get back to paddling with seals. It is usually out here in Port Jefferson Harbor (see the picture above) that I see seals. I guess that is appropriate because they are harbor seals. Port Jefferson Harbor is 2 bays away from my house and I usually paddle out to there on a kind of route. It is about 2 miles from my house to get to the harbor itself.

Usually, I do not see many seals and when I do, it’s generally not their whole body. What I do see is their head protruding out of the water. Sometimes, I mistake them for a small buoy or duck or a loon. It is only when I see the head disappear and then reappear that I realize what I am looking at. Generally, they keep their distance. I am told that the first thing that they do when seeing a large object on the water is try to determine if it is a predator and I suppose me in my kayak could be considered a predator.

Occasionally, seals swim within 50 or 100 feet of me and I can get an idea of their size. They can be quite large and, I suppose very heavy. They seem to be 6 to 8 feet in length when I see them out in the harbor. That was one of the reasons I was surprised to see the little feller on my dock. He or she was only about 3 feet long and had this very sweet adorable look. I wanted to go down the dock stairway and see if I could pet this cute creature, but the seal slouched off of my dock before I could get close. This was probably fortunate for both of us, he or she got to slide off into the water, its true medium, and I got to keep all the fingers on my hand. I am told that seals are quite fond of fingers.

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This is currently my favorite Sea Eagle® – The RazorLite™ 393rl – I may be prejudiced, though, because I designed it. And no, I do not always paddle on cold winter days!

As you can see from the picture above, I do also paddle on warm sunny summer days. There is, however, a beauty to paddling in winter. Generally you are out there by yourself – in my case, in winter I only see an occasional clam digger. There are no mighty Mastercrafts charging back and forth with skiers in tow, there are no large yachts or small boats cruising back and forth, the waterways are pristine and empty. You feel alone, at peace, remote and all to yourself and the birds and the seals. Winter is in fact a nice time to paddle.

 

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iSUPs TO THE RESCUE! Sea Eagle® Paddleboards Turned Flood Disaster Into a Happy Experience

Wilfred Baker rides his Sea Eagle Needlenose™ SUP through their neighborhood during a recent flood in Summerville, SC. "A surreal experience," says his wife, Wendy.

Wilfred Baker rides his Sea Eagle® Needlenose™ iSUP through their neighborhood during a recent flood in Summerville, SC. “A surreal experience,” says his wife, Wendy.

Marooned for 5 days by flood waters, this couple’s Sea Eagle® Needlenose ™ iSUPs (inflatable stand-up paddleboards) became their water taxis — and turned what could have been a disaster into an unusual, memorable, and downright surreal adventure.

Dear Friends at Sea Eagle,

All last year my wife and I had been considering buying a couple of paddleboards.  After doing a lot of market research, we eventually bought a pair of 12’ 6” Sea Eagle Needlenose Stand-Up Paddleboards this past summer. We took our new SUPs on vacation and had all the fun you would expect on the lake.

However, we live near the Ashley River in Summerville, SC and were dramatically impacted by the recent flooding. Though the flooding of the immediate area was severe, it was obvious that due to our home’s location there was no life-threatening danger.  So as the water rose we and a handful of neighbors stayed throughout to keep an eye on our properties.

The cool thing was that while we were marooned in the house, we had our Sea Eagle SUPs with which to get around in the high but calm waters.  We used them to survey the damage in the area, entertain the housebound kids next door, shuttle neighbors and groceries, and eventually even get out to where a car was parked so we could get to work.  Of course our boards performed wonderfully, as expected.  The real point is that we bought them for recreation, and had never expected to use them during a flood. 

Sincerely, Wilfred & Wendy Baker

“Kids are grown, time to get OUR toys!”

“Wilfred and I are in our 40s. We’ve always been very active in the outdoors — we love biking, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and swimming. Now that our children are adults, it’s time to get our toys!

We researched SUPs for a year. We wanted to get a 12-footer for each of us. But the reality of how to store and transport 12’ hard-hulled SUPs made us think inflatables made good sense. We looked at different brands and read reviews on different websites.

Wendy took neighborhood kids, Avery and Mclain, for paddleboard rides turning what could have been a disaster into a memorable and fun event.

Wendy took neighborhood kids, Avery and Mclain, for paddleboard rides turning what could have been a disaster into a memorable and fun event.

Flood water 4 and 5 feet deep – get the Sea Eagles out!

After a full day of heavy rain, the land around our house became flooded and water rose into the yard. Neighbor kids had fun when it was ankle deep but as it rose higher and higher, nobody could get their cars out. We were suddenly stuck in our house, marooned for five days!

We watched the water rise for three days straight with no way out. It wasn’t fast or dangerous and when it got to four or five feet deep, it occurred to us we could get our
Sea Eagle® paddleboards out! The National Guard came to evacuate us but we told them we had our SUPs and could get to dry ground if we needed to.

This turned out to be a surreal experience but a good way to get through a disaster. We checked on our neighbors. We used our SUPs to get groceries — we paddled and met friends who brought food to us at the water’s edge. We entertained neighbor children by taking them for paddleboard rides. And I even arranged to borrow a car outside the flooded area and paddled to it so I could drive to work.

Awesome! Great exercise, too

We thought we should tell you at Sea Eagle® how awesome your iSUPs are. We got interested in them when we were on vacation and watched people using them. I became intrigued with being able to stand and look around while I paddle. It’s great exercise – you use your whole body on an SUP. You use your arms to paddle and your legs for balance. And you grip with your toes. It’s really easy. And if you want to go swimming while paddling, you just jump right in!

His 'n her Needlenose™ Paddleboards for an energetic and athletic couple. "With the kids grown, it's time to get OUR toys," says Wendy.

His ‘n her Needlenose™ Paddleboards for an energetic and athletic couple. “With the kids grown, it’s time to get OUR toys,” says Wendy.

Wilfred and I decided that if we were going to do this, we wanted boards that we could paddle for long rides each time we went out. That meant long boards — 12’ seemed right. And we wanted our boards to track straight. Other brands were like surfboards with a turned up nose. The Sea Eagle® NeedleNose™ has a straight nose and three skegs for excellent tracking.

Lightweight and tight as a drum

They’re also lightweight. You’re rarely able to park right near the water and I can carry mine under my arm, inflated, for a half-mile if I need to. We knew we’d use them more if they were light and easy to carry.  Yet they feel solid when inflated, but with a little flex. You can knock on them with your knuckles and they’re tight as a drum. Performance? They’re sleek and fast, very pleasant to use.

Honestly? At first the word ‘inflatable’ didn’t inspire my confidence when it came to SUPs. But now that we’ve used them for recreation in mountain lakes and for our only means of transportation during our recent flood, we love them! We recently went paddleboarding among dolphins in Charleston harbor.

Sea Eagle’s 180-day trial period gave us confidence. My advice to anyone thinking about getting one: try it for 180 days. And if you’re wondering about stability, don’t worry about it. I balanced 10 bags of groceries fore and aft, plus my purse, with no problem. And your customer service  is excellent, specifically because it’s very personalized. So many companies have a far cooler corporate approach with customers. Good for you!

We’re incredibly happy with our Sea Eagle® iSUPs. They’re awesome watercraft, handier than a kayak, and they turned what could have been a disaster into a happy experience.”

Wendy & Wilfred Baker, Sea Eagle SUP Owners, Summerville, SC

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PRO ANGLER & TOURNAMENT CHAMP SHARES HIS FISHING SUCCESS SECRETS

Craig won a fishing derby recently. Here he is with a lemon shark, sitting in his Sea Eagle 285fpb, the boat he uses in fishing competitions and tournaments.

Craig won a fishing derby recently. Here he is with a leopard shark, sitting in his Sea Eagle® 285fpb, the boat he uses in fishing competitions and tournaments.

Craig Adkinson was stationed in Iraq as a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp. After leaving the military, he started working as a Mechanical Assembly Lead for a major oil company. But on the weekends, he says, “I’m just a fisherman!”

But Craig’s being modest. He’s a tournament fisherman; a Pro Staff Fisherman and Pro Angler who’s sponsored by many well known fishing equipment companies. He caught the largest trout in California last year. He just won a Float Fishing Derby. Craig gives fishing seminars and his fishing experiences have been written up in California Sportsman magazine, Western Outdoors News, and on the Big Fishes of the World website.

So when Craig said, “This Sea Eagle® 285fpb is the best boat I’ve ever had,” this was one guy we had to talk to. Here’s his story.

“Fishing is my passion. I love it. The first time I went fishing, I was three years old and in diapers. I go fishing every chance I get. If I get in a boat without a fishing pole, there’s something wrong. I fish all over California — Irvine Lake, Corona Lake, up into the Sierras, all over. Anywhere I can take a boat, I go fishing.

“I used a dropper loop setup with a straight 30 single hook and stinger hook.”

Craig pimped-out his 285 for tournaments with a crate in the bow. He uses it for extra gear he uses in competitions.

Craig pimped-out his 285fpb for tournaments with a crate in the bow. He uses it for the extra gear he uses in competitions.

I recently participated in the Float Tube Derby in Dana Point Harbor in Dana Point, California. I caught the biggest fish of the day — a 53” leopard shark – and won first prize.

Fishing for lemon shark, you hope you get lucky and just hang on! I used a 20 to 30 lb. test setup and a conventional rod and reel with what you’d call a dropper loop setup. From there, I ran a straight 30 single hook with a stinger hook. For bait, I used live sardines and mackerel.

When I go up against other fishermen in competitions, I need every advantage to win. I have a couple boats but for tournaments I use my Sea Eagle® 285fpb Frameless Pontoon Fishing Boat. I chose it for the fishing advantages it gives me. It works with many different fishing techniques like drop shot, using mini jigs, bass fishing, looking for spawning fish, and more. I can stand up in my 285fpb and that’s a big advantage: I can spot fish in the water using UV sunglasses. And it also gives me the option of using it seated, as a float tube boat.

“The 285’s a great fishing setup – best I’ve had.”

Here's another look at Craig's 285. He's ready to win with rod holders, swivel seat, net, California "license plate," trolling motor, and oars "just in case."

Here’s another look at Craig’s 285fpb. He’s ready to win with rod holders, swivel seat, net, California “license plate,” trolling motor, and oars “just in case.”


The Sea Eagle® 285fpb is a great fishing setup. The rod holders are easily accessible. It’s easy to use for bait fishing and lure fishing. Sometimes I do both. I put one rod for bait fishing in a rod holder, then I’ll throw out a lure on another rod. I keep an eye on my bait rod while I stand up to cast lures. In California, you need to pay for a rod stamp license for each rod you’re using.

I customized my Sea Eagle® 285fpb Frameless Pontoon Fishing Boat for tournaments. I built a deck out of plywood, covered it with AstroTurf™, and mounted an egg crate on top. I attached rod holders to the crate. I use the crate to hold my fishing backpack, tackle box, my gaff, net, and more.

“I’m out fishing while others are still waiting at the launch ramp.”

I like Sea Eagle® inflatable boats because they’re easy to transport and you don’t have to deal with the headache of a boat launch ramp. There’ll be 15 or 20 guys waiting to launch their boats off their trailers. I can just drive to the free parking lot and free launch area and pull my 285fpb out of the back of my truck. I throw my trolling motor on it and start fishing while the others are still waiting to launch. It’s a quick and easy way to get out on the water and have great day fishing.

I’ve tried a lot of boats and this is the best I’ve ever had. Quality? On a scale of one to 10, I’d give the 285fpb a 9.5. It’s quality boat at a good price. The gear that comes with the setup can’t be beat. The tube material is thick and high quality; you don’t have to worry if you bump into a rock or whatever. It holds its own. I like that you can stand up in it; I feel safer in it than in other boats. From a safety point of view, it’s 100%. I feel a lot safer in this boat than in some of the others on the market.

“Thinking about getting one? Just do it.”

Craig's not just fooling around. Here is is with a 20.3 lb. trout he pulled from the Santa Anna River.

Craig’s not just fooling around. Here is is with a 20.3 lb. trout he pulled from the Santa Anna River.

If you’re thinking about getting this boat, just do it. It’s less expensive than others but if you need to save up for it, do it. It’s worth the money. It’s the best fishing boat I’ve used and it’s worth it to buy the right one the first time. I have friends who have other brands. They’ve seen what I can do with this boat and now they want to sell theirs to get one like mine.”

— Craig Adkinson,Pro Angler, Sea Eagle® 285fpb owner

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