Hybrid inflatable SUP/kayak vs. SUP with seat added

I took my daughter out on a rented SUP and she liked it better for swimming than when I took her out with my Sea Eagle 370 (easier re-entry, more room to maneuver). My wife also expressed some SUP interest (no interest in kayak. though). My daughter was just sitting on it and I was driving. I got the standing part done OK without shaking too much. But also wanted to sit more, or be lower in case of a wave. So my idea is to have something that can be like a hybrid that can do SUP duty, and also is OK for kayaking on recreational and shorter excursions. Being on a knee isn’t great and paddling while kneeling isn’t great at all. I also see this as a trick to get the family interested in kayaking while they think they are on an SUP :slight_smile:

One option is an iSUP with D-rings for a seat. Like the Sea Eagle Needlenose or most of any iSUP. But I saw this review of the GoPlus Dropstitch. That basically is am iSUP with a center mold for a lowered seat area. I imagine when standing up walking around the center hole can be annoying. but one could stand in the lower part as well.

Or is an iSUP with D-rings for a seat just better? Main downside of that is higher center of gravity when sitting. an iSUP with seat on top basically is a SOT. I assume the SUP will be much more convenient to use due to larger size.

I also never heard of GoPlus and couldn’t find an actual manufacturer’s website. this seems to be a cheaper boat at $340. but we are talking mainly recreational use here during warm days only on calmer days. That boat is only 10.5’ long, which I consider too short for solo use. But I wonder if there are more such boats that are longer.

A few SUP/SOT like the SUP yak or the NRS Rival are sold as a similar combo. but I think basically any iSUP with proper D-rings could be fitted with a seat.

I’m only interested in inflatables at this point.


  • what’s to say about goPlus boats and specifically this dropstitch one?
  • would an iSUP with seat on top all around better? Or is there any reason to go the route of the goplus design?
  • is there any point in looking into one of the specific hybrids (like the above NRS, and SUP yak) when I could get an SUP and add my own seat?

Just let your daughter use an SUP as it’s intended, standing for paddling, it’s very easy to kneel if conditions get too rough to stand, either upright body position or lower “Pochohantas” style. It just requires a bit of time on the water to learn. Go with a hard board SUP. Most inexpensive ISUPs suck. So beware.

The cockpit on that GoPlus would easily get swamped and degrade its performance and possibly its stability. Just get a regular board; a lot of them come with removable seats.

Good point. My SE 370 collects some water from splashing. I also once got caught in the rain, and had more water, which wasn’t a big deal in the huge “cockpit” of the SE 370.

I looked in some SUP that already come with a seat, but think they are not a great value. Same for the NRS Rival, which basically is an inflatable SOT. I may be better off buying a SUP with the proper D-rings, and add a seat of my choice myself. I was looking at the Sea Eagle Needlenoses. That seems to be a reasonably fast and well tracking SUP and has the D-rings for seats. So it should be an OK recreational kayak.

Since boating season is almost over, I’m in no rush and this is for next spring. I plan to wait till Black Friday to see if there are deals.

TBH, I don’t really see a practical difference between a SUP with seat (inflatable, or hard) and a SOT. The SOT can only be a kayak, the SUP can be both SUP and SOT. Honestly, until I took my daughter out, I thought SUP are a fashion fad. But with the seat, they seem to make more sense than SOT. YMMV.

I’m not a SUP person, either standing or sitting. But I’m curious, does a SUP (or ISUP) with an optional seated position also have any sort of foot pegs? Years ago, I tried paddling a windsurf board and found the lack of foot pegs to be really fatiguing.

None of the “off the shelf” solutions (seat and SUP from manufacturer) seem to have a foot rest. My plan would be to build something that attaches to the seat. For example a 4"PVC pipe could be the foot rest and this could be strapped to the seat.

Some solutions:

None of them seem 100% OK and require either gluing or strapping. But I’m sure one can invent something. In my SE 370 I put my feet against my drybag, which is just wetched into the bow. not great, and sure part of my discomfort on longer tours.

Tahe Beach SUP-Yak is an inflatable paddleboard with attachment points for a kayak seat and foot rest. (Tahe took over Bic’s line of kayaks, paddleboards and small sailboats)

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Seems that daisy chain attachment system would be helpful. Not bad for $740 with 2 seats

I’m not sure how I like the short-wide vs. the longer-narrower needlenose. I bet the wide short SUP will be sluggish. The longer needlenose, despite being narrower, may do better in waves due to slicing through waves.

Another need is storage for the paddles. I assume those combo SUP/kayak paddles will suck and I’d prefer a good kayak paddle and a good SUP paddle.