iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0 Review: Overview
The iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0 is a truly-compact board that doesn’t sacrifice performance on the water. The 10′ All Around Ultra 2.0 is best suited for average to smaller paddlers under 5’6” and 160 lbs, though the 11’ All Around Ultra 2.0 and Cruiser Ultra 2.0 are equally great options for larger paddlers.
— iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0 Summary Ratings and Review —
iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0 is a great travel board for smaller paddlers.
- Stiff construction
- Cross-thread and woven drop stitch
- Triple layer PVC
- 15 D-rings
- 2 threaded action mounts
- Lots of cargo space
- Electric pump included
- Excellent warranty and customer service
- It would be nice to see the deck pad expanded a little more forward and back
- The included fins do a great job for tracking, but restrict maneuverability. A second, smaller, set of fins would be a welcome addition
Construction and Durability
With new board lineups focused on cutting weight, it’s important to see how those weight reductions impact the overall build quality of the paddleboard. It’s very easy for manufacturers to make lightweight boards, but it’s much harder to make lightweight boards that perform well and hold up over time.
With the iRocker 10′ All Around Ultra 2.0 (I’m going to call it the 10′ Ultra 2.0 in this review for brevity’s sake) iRocker has reduced nearly 20% of the weight from the Original 10’ All Around with some new materials – most notably a cross-threaded drop stitch core – while still keeping the triple-layer composite construction they have been known for. The new drop stitch material is not only lighter, but is also stiffer. This means less flexing while paddling for more efficient glide and speedier acceleration. This new drop stitch pattern crosses the threads from the top and bottom of the board in an X shape (similar to a steel bridge support) for additional strength using fewer individual threads.
The triple-layer composite construction is quite durable and abrasion resistant. These ultra-compact iSUPs fold in half (hot-dog style) prior to being rolled up. By folding tightly in the same spot repeatedly, there is some cosmetic wear in the coloration, but no tearing, cracking, or other structural issues.
As with all iSUPs, care should always be taken when moving the boards, launching, and landing that you don’t drag or bump into sharp objects. With basic care and maintenance, the 10′ Ultra 2.0 iSUP should well outlast its 3-year warranty. The maximum inflation pressure of 16 PSI is plenty to keep the 10′ Ultra 2.0 stiff and performing well even for a larger paddler like myself (230lb).
Otherwise, the Ultra 10’ does have similar construction to the Original 10’ All Around with a reinforcement layer along the rails and then another layer of seam tape over the rail for additional durability (and cosmetic finish). The overlapping layers can be seen along the sides of the board. The deck pad is noticeably different with both a shorter length and split design to accommodate folding the board in half. Also adjusted to allow the Ultra 10’ to fold, the center handle is offset to the left side of the board and the inflation valve and leash D-ring/action mount have been moved to the side of the board.
|Max Capacity||260 pounds|
|Board Weight||18 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||45 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
iRocker is known, among other things, for incredibly versatile boards with numerous D-rings, threaded mounts, and other on-board features that let you customize your iSUP to meet your specific needs. The same still holds true with the Ultra 10’. While there are not quite as many of these features, there are still 15 D-rings, three threaded accesory mounts, two cargo areas with removable bungee cords, and two sets of neoprene passenger handles. That’s pretty impressive for a sub-20lb board.
In order to allow the Ultra 10’ to fold in half for compact storage, the deck pad was split in half and shortened in the rear. During normal paddling this split isn’t noticeable. If you like to play in the surf or use the back of the board for pivot turns, though, you will notice a big downfall. The rear area of the board has no traction. Trying to step back onto the tail is risky as the PVC can be very slippery on bare feet. It’s slightly better with high-quality water shoes like the Astral Loyak (with a thin sole designed to grip wet, slippery surfaces) but it is still noticeably less secure. For the beginner user this may not be an issue at all, but is a concern for intermediate and advanced paddlers moving around on their boards.
Another design change made for the Ultra 10’s compact storage and transportation is the switch from a 2+1 fin setup to a twin fin setup. The twin fin boxes use the same short-base length as the side fins on the Original 10’ All Around (and iRocker’s other boards), but come with double 9” fins instead of the 4.5” side fins. These two fins are great in some ways, but less ideal in others, as I’ll explain in the Maneuvering and Tracking section below.
The new bags designed for the Ultra 10’ have a roll-top velcro closure and a fully-zippered front panel to make loading and unloading your board super easy. The interior pockets have sewn-in daisy chains to hold each part of the 5-piece paddle in place and are large enough to easily hold the paddle and fins. Also included is a matching accessory bag that holds the electric pump, repair kit, leash, and fins.
This is where the Ultra 10’s design changes for folding in half really shine. This package becomes incredibly small when packed away, and can easily fit between the front and back seats of a sedan without the front passenger losing any leg room.
The Ultra 11’ includes a new 5-piece paddle, however the core design and materials remains the same.
iRocker developed a new five-piece paddle for the Ultra series iSUPs. Utilizing their tried-and-true nylon blade and carbon fiber shaft, the new paddle breaks down and assembles easily. The handle section uses the same pin-and-clip adjustment system for easily-repeated adjustability.
With the launch of the Ultra 2.0 iSUPs, iRocker also updated their 5 piece paddle with significantly better fit that essentially eliminated any play or misalignment noticed in the previous generation.
I find that the push-button connection between two of the shaft segments happens to be exactly where my hand sits on the paddle. While this will be totally dependent on the paddler’s armspan and placement, it is something that will hopefully be considered for future iterations. There is a significant amount of flex in the paddle. While the extra flex does reduce the total amount of power you can put into each paddle stroke, it also reduces the strain of each paddle stroke on your body for more comfortable paddling over longer periods of time.
The blade is a great size and shape for the vast majority of paddlers. The entire package is relatively lightweight – even including the extra material and connectors between the segments, and the handle is comfortable to grip.
Stability of an inflatable paddleboard is impacted by lots and lots of factors. The size, shape, fins, and materials all dance together to determine how a board feels on the water.
The Ultra 10’ starts off well with high quality materials and construction for an extra-stiff build. This prevents the board from flexing or wobbling under your feet and gives a very solid feel that’s easier on your stabilizer muscles.
A 32” width is fairly standard for all-around style iSUPs, however the 10’ length does reduce the volume, making it a better choice for smaller paddlers under 160 lbs. However, even though I’m significantly larger than the target paddler size, I still found the 10’ Ultra 2.0 to feel quite stable in calm conditions. I do feel that in less than ideal conditions I’d appreciate the larger 11’ Ultra 2.0 or Cruiser Ultra 2.0, though.
For the intermediate or advanced paddler who likes to play on their board, the deck pad stops short far from the tail of the board. This reduces how far back you can securely walk to lift the nose of the board for quick pivot turns or surfing. For those who stick to the middle of the board, though, the logo-embossed and grooved deck pad is both comfortable and grippy, even when vigorously rocking the board back and forth.
When paddling hard your body moves up and down in rhythm with your paddle stroke. On some inflatable SUPs this causes them to flex and bend wildly out of shape. As constructions and materials have improved, so has the stiffness and performance under power. The Ultra 10’ uses some of the most advanced materials and constructions available today and it shows. It’s stiff enough that even an over-sized paddler (like myself) doesn’t notice any bouncing while sprinting.
In our speed tests, the iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra 2.0 averaged a sustained sprint speed of just 5.0 MPH, but reached a top speed of 5.4 MPH for a few paddle strokes at a time. This is fairly average speed for a 10’ all around iSUP. However, the 10’ Ultra 2.0 is extremely efficient at cruising speeds.
With a more reasonable cadence of about 25 strokes per minute, the 10’ Ultra 2.0 averaged a respectable 3.4 MPH. Once you get to that speed, a single paddle stroke is enough to propel the board around 19 feet before noticeably slowing down. This gives the 10’ Ultra 2.0 a glide ratio of 1.9 board-lengths per stroke – an incredible feat for such a short board. Most shorter all-around iSUPs average around 1.5 board lengths per stroke. This means with each paddle stroke you can glide farther with less effort on the 10’ Ultra 2.0 compared to a board that is less efficient.
Maneuverability and Tracking
Swapping to a twin fin design makes choosing the right size fins a little more challenging. Too small and you’ll lose stability and tracking, but too large and turning becomes incredibly difficult.
iRocker stocks the 10′ Ultra 2.0 with two narrow-base 9” fins. These fins also have a good amount of rake as they curve backward toward the ends further improving tracking performance.
What they do not do is make it easy to turn the board while paddling. Our maneuverability test involves turning a full circle from a standstill. The first few strokes turn the board relatively well, but after that the fins grab a little bit of momentum and force the board into a wider turning radius. On average it took 9 high-quality forward sweep strokes to turn a full circle. Zooming out a little bit, this is quite a bit slower than most all-around iSUPs (and more similar to boards up to 3’ longer!)
While completing a maneuverability stress test isn’t as easy, the 10’ Ultra 2.0 is still very responsive while underway for minor course adjustments. Stepping back to pivot turn the Ultra 10” makes things a little spicy without a rear deck pad, so you are a little more limited in your maneuverability options. Changing the fins to the 4.5” iRocker side fins absolutely makes it easier to turn, but you do sacrifice stability and tracking to do so./p>
Paddling in a straight line is a whole different story with the 10′ Ultra 2.0. During normal paddling and even during sprint paddling it was still easy to keep the 10’ Ultra 2.0 paddling in the right direction. In our 10-stroke tracking test the 10’ Ultra 2.0 only strayed an average of 15° off course, which is quite good for such a 10’ board.
Warranty and Customer Support
iRocker offers a 3 year warranty on the Ultra series iSUPs against seam leaks and 2 year warranty against any other manufacturing issues. You also still get the 45-day no-questions-asked return period with the 10′ Ultra 2.0. If you decide the 10′ Ultra 2.0 isn’t for you, iRocker will accept the board for a full refund and help you get the right board for your needs. You can call, email, or chat with the iRocker customer support team on their website and social media as well.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
At the end of the day, the iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra performs very well. The 10′ Ultra 2.0 is ideal for smaller paddlers under 5’6” and under 160 lbs looking for a lightweight travel board. When choosing boards for myself, I am not going to select the 10′ Ultra 2.0, but not because it’s a “bad” board (quite the opposite), it’s just not the right size for me. I prefer the Ultra 11’ and the Cruiser Ultra as they offer more volume and better stability for a larger paddler like myself. Smaller paddlers give the 10′ Ultra 2.0 a try and I think you’ll love it. Average to larger paddlers may want to hop up to the 11’ Ultra 2.0 for a better fit.
iRocker 10’ All Around Ultra iSUP FAQ
What are the new Ultra series of iSUPs from iRocker?
The new Ultra series, short for ultralight, are compact and lightweight inflatable stand-up paddleboards (iSUPs). They use a new woven drop stitch construction to increase rigidity and performance while also decreasing overall weight.
What is the difference between the iRocker Ultra All-Around 10’ and Blackfin Ultra CX?
The Blackfin Ultra CX is sized between the Ultra All-Around 10’ and Ultra All-Around 11’ and features the same carbon fiber rail found on other Blackfin series iSUPs. The Blackfin ULtra CX is a little more stiff and a little more stable than the Ultra 10’.
How compact is the Ultra 10’?
The Ultra 10’ packs down into a new backpack-style bag approximately 24”x19”x12”. The board itself weighs 19.8lb and the entire kit (including electric pump) weighs 31 lbs. It’s small enough to fit in any car and comfortable to carry as a backpack.
How long does it take to pump up the Ultra 10’?
The included electric pump inflates the Ultra 10’ in approximately 8-10 minutes.
Is the Ultra 10’ compatible with a kayak seat conversion kit?
Yes it is! The Ultra 10’ works well with the iRocker kayak conversion kit. Simply snap the seat straps into the side D-rings on the board, swap the SUP handle for the kayak paddle blade, and launch!