Inflatable SOT or other type that allows paddling sitting and standing

I’m trying to replace my Sea Eagle 370. Main issue is I can’t sit for more than 2+ hours and think if I can switch between standing (SUP style) and sitting that will help with comfort and endurance. I’m looking into buying an iSUP and add a seat to accomplish that. but also think a type of SOT inflatable could work.

I want the new boat to have somewhat better tracking and speed than my SE 370. Ideally I don’t increase cross- wind-surface.

I found:

  • NRS Star Rival has a 20" wide drop-stitch deck (out of a 38" width). I’m a bit concerned I couldn’t have my feet wide enough for SUP style operation. This review also seems to show it not track well, but that could be resolved with a longer fin. He also says it is slow, but i don’t know if that means slower than a hard-kayak, or a typical inflatable.

I kind of like the pontoon idea to give a wide platform while only having 2 thinner hulls.

Another boat I looked at is the Saturn OK 420, but the inner deck is only 14"wide, making SUP mode even less feasible.

What I hope to find in a kayak vs. just using an SUP with a seat is that it could be wider with not more drag (pontoon style), and has multiple air chambers. But what I have found above seems to be worse for SUP operation.

I don’t know yet if my boating will be 20% sitting vs. 80% standing, or the other way around. That is something I will need to try out. but from a comfort point, I really want to try out a craft that allows me to do both. I’m actually surprised there isn’t much that allows both since SUP and kayaks both have a large fanbase. And no matter which is the better sport, after 4 hours of being in one position, I sure what to switch things up. One could say to get both a kayak and SUP. but on longer tours I really think switching will be good.

Are there other inflatables that basically would have an open deck?
And a question that also could be answered by hard-SOT users: do people actually use an SOT or similar craft to use for stand-up paddling and switch between sitting and standing?

Here is another option perhaps, same reviewer, different boat:

(1) Kayak or Standup Paddleboard? Full Review of Tahe 11’6 Beach SUP-YAK - YouTube

I have only seen a handful of people using an SUP to sit and paddle. Mostly these are beginners who get tired of standing and sit down or who don’t have enough balance/technique to stand up and paddle or paddle from a kneeling position. Rental customers here mostly. The problem with a seat is that the sweet spot for standing on a SUP and staying in trim is quite small, too far forward and the nose sinks, too far back and the tail sinks, if you hit a large wave or boat wake you need to be able to go into a surf stance with one foot forward and one back to control the weighting and balance. A seat makes it impossible to do that since the butt pad is located at the center of balance. Seats are sold as gimmicks for people who have never used a SUP. My advice would be learn to stand up and learn to kneel if you need to steady your balance or take a rest. Otherwise buy a kayak or canoe you can stand on and sit in. Fishing kayaks are capable of that.

Thanks. I had seen that (I like his reviews :-). It is basically a wide planing hull iSUP marketed and packaged with the seat. But any iSUP could be fitted the same way as long as you have the D-rings.
That basically is my plan and I want to know if I’m overlooking kayaks that could do the same or better.

My (so far) favorite iSUP I’m comparing this too is the Sea Eagle Needlenose 126 with a displacement hull and should be quite faster and track better than the Tahe. But other touring (displacement hull) iSUP should be similar. So from a tracking and speed point, I like the SOT at least get close. I realize compromises have to be made.

I never paddled with a metal seat like the NRS. But for some reason I imagine that seat to be comfortable. Did anyone try this? but I fear too much the NRS is slow and doesn’t track well based on his review. In that regard it looks like not to be better than my SE 370. I know this will bug me.

An advantage of the iSUP compared to the SOT idea is it is lower. So wind and re-entry are less of a problem. But for some reason I fear I’m over-looking some iSUP-disadvantage.

SeaDart: good points and there probably is a reason we see mostly entry iSUPs with the D-rings. I envision I would move the seat away when I stand, and put it back when sitting. In wind/waves/wakes I would sit. If it is flat (or my butt hurts from sitting), I would stand. On shorter trips, I could just decide which mode I want and do that without switching on the run. But for longer (2+ hours) trips I really think switching will be nice. I’m always close to some pier etc. and could even go on shore to switch things around. But even on calm water I should be able to move my seat around.

I don’t fish, and all fishing-related craft get heavy and expensive. They also compromise on speed since anglers just float or anchor a lot. I need it transportable, so a 12’-14’ inflatable craft somewhat optimized for moving is my goal.

I had rented a hard-SUP for an hour. I had my daughter on it, so this isn’t the best trial of SUP for stability. but after initial shaking was Ok standing. but when I was on the knees… no way I ever want to do that. My knees don’t do that and for me it is either standing or sitting, not kneeling.

Why I gave up kayaks a long time ago, and why I don’t paddle canoes much these days. Now I mostly row a drift boat. Plenty of room to get up and move around, good seats with back support, room for dogs, and they can handle rough water.

Regional differences again. Most of the SUPers I’ve seen were sitting down while paddling. A few kneel, and the ones who stick with it eventually paddle standing up.

I tried one once, from a rental in Port Townsend. I stood up to paddle but didn’t much like it. My seated balance is better than standing balance, possibly from the much-touted ten thousand hours and more of bicycling. The views into clear water below ARE delightful when standing on a SUP, though.

One of our neighbors there used an inflatable SUP. She said it was squirrely (in manuvering) compared to a hard SUP.

OP could rent a SUP for several outings, then rent a SOT for the same amount of time. Figure out which is easier to get used to.

I need to find out how it works on 4+ hour trips, and if I rent that trice, I could buy an equivalent iSUP with the rental fee. Trying out hard-kayaks or SUPs wouldn’t necessarily tell me how an inflatable works for me.

I need to find out how I can deal with the seat, the kayak paddle and the SUP paddle and my bag. So renting wouldn’t give me any insight into how it would work for my needs.

I took the 14" wide inflatable seat from my SE 370 and put it on the floor. With tape I outlined the 30" wide iSUP and pretended to stand over the seat with feet next to the seat. It looks like with a wide stance, I could stand where the seat is. So I wouldn’t need to remove the seat for standing operation. See below the picture from the SE website.

I originally looked into 30" wide touring iSUP. But now I think I may be open to a wider planing iSUP for more stability. I’d hope it still would kayak better than my SE 370

While I know a couple of very talented paddlers that can paddle a sea kayak while standing, these aren’t normal human beings. You might be able to accomplish this if you can outfit a SINK or SOT kayak with an outrigger, but still, standing would put you in front of the normal center of gravity design. This would become even more of an issue with a shorter boat. Maybe less so paddling solo in a tandem.

Is it possible that a different seat may be more comfortable?

Thanks for the response. I meanwhile bought a Nixy Monterey with their seat.

I’m not sure if you are referring to hard or inflatable boats… but I only looked for an inflatable. and I limited myself to a watercraft that already comes in a stable enough shape to stand. Adding outriggers would just complicate life and likely ruin any boating dynamics.

A better seat may help. Although the SE 370 seats aren’t bad. I think my problem more is to sit for pro-longed time. Even on my comfortable desk chair i can’t sit for hours. You won’t know how often one walks around in an office before you are tied into a kayak seat. sitting for 4+ hours in the same position is jut not my thing - good seat or not.