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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