iRocker Cruiser iSUP 2023: Overview
The iRocker Cruiser inflatable paddle board is an all-around iSUP with extra width for beginner friendly stability, paddling with a small passenger, practicing a bit of yoga, or just about anything else. The Cruiser’s moderate length and width fit a large variety of paddler sizes, and the entire package provides an excellent value for paddlers of any skill level.
— iRocker Cruiser Summary Ratings and Review —
iROCKER Cruiser 10'6"
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The iRocker Cruiser is a highly versatile and stable iSUP.
- Excellent stability thanks to its 33” width and wide shape
- Great rigidity with high-quality construction
- Very maneuverable, but still has good tracking performance
- Triple fin setup allows for more customization and performance tuning
- Efficient paddling and cruising
- Quality kit accessories included with the board
- High versatility with multiple different mounting points
- 3 year warranty on the board and 1 year warranty on accessories
- The fliplock fin boxes are very easy to use, but I’d like to see iRocker expand their range of fin shapes and sizes for more options.
- The wider shape adds stability, but does reduce overall board speed.
Construction and Durability
The iRocker Cruiser is built with iRocker’s “Triple Layer Composite” construction for rigidity and durability while keeping both weight and cost at reasonable levels.
iRocker’s “Triple Layer Composite” construction is actually made up of two layers of PVC material with a third layer of fabric that is part of the internal drop stitch construction. While there are technically three different layers here, this type of construction is usually called “dual layer” (referencing the PVC) since all iSUPs have an internal drop stitch fabric layer.
The outer shell materials are made with fiber-reinforced PVC tarpaulin on the top and bottom of the board – a thick and rigid material that’s resistant to damage from impact and light abrasions. This PVC material is glued to the inner drop stitch core before the board is shaped and sealed.
Inside the board there are two knitted fabric layers (one on the deck, one on the hull) that are connected by thousands of “drop stitch” space yarns. These yarns keep the board flat when inflated and provide additional rigidity while under tension.
Once the shape of the board is cut from the material, the top and bottom layers of PVC material are joined together with a glued internal rail strip to complete the airtight chamber. A wider band of PVC is then glued around the entire rail again to protect the inner seam and provide additional support and rigidity. Lastly a narrow seam of PVC is glued onto the top and bottom edges of the outer rail band to help protect that layer from physical damage while using the board.
All together, these different pieces create a rigid, stable, and well-shaped iSUP.
To test just how rigid the iRocker Cruiser is, we put it through two separate bending tests. The first is our dry-land bend test. We place the board on an elevated surface with a 7’ gap across the middle of the board. Then we add 170 lbs of weight to the standing area and measure how much the board bends. The iRocker Cruiser did moderately well in this test with a 1.875” bend. That is a bit below the nearly 1.6” average across all of the boards we’ve tested (lower numbers show less bend), but the dry land bend is only half of the story.
The second bend test we do is more subjective rather than data driven, but it’s arguably more important since we do it on the water! While out paddling on the iRocker Cruiser, I do not notice any significant flexing while paddling normally or while standing on the board. I do feel a little bit of flex and vibration when I walk around on the Cruiser, but it’s minimal and feels well-controlled. When I jump up and down or paddle hard for a sprint, I do feel a moderate amount of flex in the board. It does have a slight impact on the overall speed performance, but is overall significantly more rigid than iRocker’s Nautical iSUPs (made with a single layer of PVC).
|Max Capacity||435 pounds|
|Board Weight||25 pounds|
|Returns period||45 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
The iRocker Cruiser is highly versatile thanks to its multitude of cargo and accessory attachment points along with its user-friendly, stable, shape.
In addition to the board itself, when you purchase the iRocker Cruiser you also get a great kit of accessories. The iRocker Cruiser includes a color-matched carbon fiber/nylon three piece paddle, full set of surf/all-around style fins, a color-matched coiled ankle leash, repair kit, and a double-chamber/triple-action hand pump. All of this fits in the included wheeled travel and storage backpack for easy transportation. The only other thing you’ll need is a well-fit PFD and you’re ready to hit the water!
The iRocker Cruiser comes with iRocker’s carbon fiber/hybrid paddle. It’s a great starter paddle that’s durable and comfortable to use.
It’s pretty rare to find a SUP paddle with a carbon fiber shaft included with a paddleboard in the same price range as the iRocker Cruiser. Carbon fiber paddle shafts are usually the lightest weight options (that’s not always the case, but it trends that direction) and typically provide a better stiffness profile. The iRocker paddle has a medium weight overall (around 28.5 ounces) and also has a medium flex profile. Combined with a medium-to-large size blade and it’s a paddle that’s ready to fit most paddlers in most situations. The moderate amount of flex between the paddle shaft and blade makes the iRocker paddle comfortable for casual paddling all day, but loses its efficiency when paddling for speed.
The blade is made of a fiber-reinforced nylon material. This is far more impact resistant than composite materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber, but it is heavier. The thinner, more flexible blade does balance well with the rest of the paddle compared to thicker, larger blades. The curved blade shape is intuitive for beginner paddlers, but doesn’t offer all of the benefits of a straighter blade with a higher angle to the shaft.
The handles section of the paddle is also made of carbon fiber, but is topped with a plastic palm grip. I sometimes found the palm grip to feel soft – mostly while paddling with a lot of force for our speed testing – but was otherwise comfortable.
The iRocker paddle uses a pin-and-clip system to adjust the length of the paddle from 72-86” long and the pins have the added benefit of automatically aligning the blade and the handle together.
The Cruiser is built for a comfortable time on the water for beginner paddlers, paddling with a small passenger (a small dog or child) and for larger paddlers. The width and shape work well together to keep the Cruiser comfortably stable all day.
Cruiser-style iSUPs are known for their stability and laid-back paddling style. Comfort over performance is the mantra with these boards (but that doesn’t mean comfort without performance). The iRocker Cruiser is 10’ 6” long and 33” wide at its midpoint. It’s a great size to accommodate a wide range of paddler sizes and weights. The relatively wide semi-square tail and wide nose also do a great job of providing stability when you aren’t standing in the middle of the board or when you have a passenger or equipment up front.
While standing and paddling on the Cruiser I didn’t experience any twitching or rocking sensations. The initial stability is very confidence inspiring, and the Cruiser is a board I often have beginner paddlers use when first learning to SUP.
If you do get a little wobbly, or encounter some boat wake or waves, the Cruiser also stays stable when it’s not perfectly flat. This secondary stability helps you stay upright on the board when things get choppy. While purposely rocking the board side to side the Cruiser has a comfortable resurface and return to its normal paddling position without any overly-buoyant feeling reactions. Holding the Cruiser on its edge is also quite easy to do thanks to the way the width carries through the nose and tail of the board. This keeps more surface area in contact with the water for a more stable feeling.
While walking back to the tail of the board I did feel just a little bit of flex and vibration, but it settled out very quickly. Sinking the tail to lift the nose took a little bit of effort (again, it’s on the larger side), but once I did I was very comfortable and could easily spin the board around for a series of pivot turns without needing to set it back flat on the water.
The iRocker Cruiser prioritizes stability and comfort over hitting higher speeds, and I’m 100% OK with that. This style of board is designed for, well, cruising! That being said, it still cruises along at a decent pace with relative ease.
The first part of our board speed evaluation looks at raw speed for short sprints and top possible speeds. I was able to maintain an average sprinting speed of around 5.3 MPH (8.5 KMH) and hit a top speed of 5.5 MPH (8.9 KMH). These are very respectable speeds for a board this size and are right around where we expect them to be – but they do take a lot of effort to achieve.
The second part of our speed evaluation looks at average cruising speeds and efficiency. Cruising on your SUP is a leisurely activity and is great for enjoying your surroundings, wildlife, and friends. So even our modest pace of 25 strokes per minute (essentially taking a short pause between strokes) is still a relatively fast cadence, but it’s easy to maintain for long distances. At this pace, the iRocker Cruiser moves along at an average of 3.4 MPH (5.5 KMH). Again, this is right in line with what we expect from an all-around cruiser this size.
With each paddle stroke the iRocker Cruiser glides about 18 feet before it slows down. With a 10’ 6” overall length, that gives the Cruiser a glide ratio of about 1.7 board-lengths per stroke. That’s actually quite good for an all-around cruiser. The higher the glide ratio the fewer paddle strokes you’ll have to take to go a set distance. So while the iRocker Cruiser isn’t the overall fastest board we’ve tested, it paddles with the speeds we expect (which is a good thing) and does so rather efficiently.
Maneuverability and Tracking
Tracking and maneuverability can sometimes be a bit like having cats and dogs in the same house. Yes they’re both there, but not always at the same time. The iRocker Cruiser does a great job of bringing both of these characteristics into one board, but does favor maneuverability just a little more than tracking.
All of our testing is designed to stress our equipment to highlight its strengths and show us its weaknesses. Our maneuverability test specifically uses forward sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from the nose to the tail) for this reason, and because they are one of the first turning strokes new paddlers will learn how to do to turn their board.
Using just forward sweep strokes, I found that it takes the iRocker Cruiser an average of just over 4.5 strokes to turn in a complete circle from a standstill. That’s quite quick, and is a significantly smaller turning radius than a lot of other all-around style paddle boards I’ve tested (my average for all-around boards is around 6 strokes).
Using other paddle strokes and techniques will turn the Cruiser even faster. Reverse sweep strokes spin the board in just 3.5 strokes. And of course stepping back onto the tail for a pivot turn makes that even faster (though a little trickier).
With excellent maneuverability performance I didn’t expect the Cruiser to do overly well in our tracking test. Here we start by paddling toward a target on the horizon. Once the course is set, I take 10 strokes on a single side and then measure the difference between my new course and the old course with a compass. The iRocker Cruiser averaged just 15° of deviation over 10 paddle strokes – which is actually just a little better than average for all-around iSUPs.
Now, this test is done with effort to use the best forward stroke technique I can to keep the board as straight as possible. During regular paddling I did feel that the Cruiser was drifting and turning a little more than I would normally like and needing to switch paddling sides a little more frequently than normal for me. Overall, though, the Cruiser still has respectable tracking performance, and it also responds easily to any steering input to change or correct your course while paddling.
All of these tests were done while using all three of the fins that are included with the iRocker Cruiser. There are two 4.5” side fins and one 9” center fin that match to their corresponding fliplock fin boxes. All three of the fins have a swept back “dolphin” or “surf-style” fin shape which does favor maneuverability over tracking. The fliplock fin boxes are easy to use and require no tools or bolts for installing and removing your fins. This style of fin box is not the most common or standard in the SUP world, and so fin choices are a little bit limited. I would like to see iRocker expand their fin offerings for more user customization.
Warranty and Customer Support
iRocker offers a 3 year warranty on the iRocker Cruiser iSUP against seam leaks and a 2 year warranty against other manufacturing defects. The included accessories also receive a 1 year warranty. Additionally, the iRocker Cruiser does have a 45 day return policy in case you find out that it does not suit your paddling style. Customers are responsible for return shipping and refunds may be subject to a reduction based on the condition of the board. If you have any questions, you can contact iRocker via telephone, email, webform, and social media.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The iRocker Cruiser is an excellent choice for beginner paddlers, paddling with smaller passengers, or just as a comfortable and stable inflatable paddle board that has a lot of different features for different uses. It’s one that I always bring along with me when I work with new paddlers (and one I recommend often). The quality and performance of the board, the quality of the accessories, and the three year warranty all make the iRocker Cruiser an excellent choice for any paddler – and doubly so when considering the actual price of the kit.
iRocker Cruiser iSUP FAQ
Nautical vs. iRocker vs. Blackfin— which SUP should I buy?
If you’re on a tight budget and money is an issue, we’d recommend the Nautical. If you can afford to pay a bit more for an inflatable SUP, then we’d highly recommend bumping up to the iRocker or Blackfin range. Blackfin iSUPs offer more features for anglers and are larger and stiffer as well.
iRocker Cruiser vs the iRocker All Around 10’ or 11’ - what’s the difference?
The Cruiser is a wider, more stable all-around paddle board that fits a wide range of paddlers. The iRocker All Around 10’ and 11’ are a little narrower for a more paddling-centric performance, but are sized more specifically for smaller paddlers 5’6” and under or paddlers 5’7” or taller.
How long does it take to inflate the iRocker Cruiser iSUP?
Depending on how quickly you pump, the iRocker Cruiser can be inflated in as little as 5 minutes, but average inflation time is closer to 8 minutes.
Is the iRocker Cruiser compatible with a kayak seat?
Yes! The iRocker Cruiser has four D-rings around the middle of the board that are compatible with the iRocker kayak seat and inflatable kayak seat.
Do I need to use all three fins with the iRocker Cruiser?
No, you don’t need to, but changing the fins setup will change the performance. Using just the center fin will be a little more maneuverable, but will track a little less straight. It will also be a little bit faster. Using just the side fins, the Cruiser will be significantly more maneuverable and can be paddled in shallower water, but will lose more tracking ability.
How long will the iRocker Cruiser last?
WIth proper care and regular maintenance, your iRocker cruiser will keep you paddling for many years. Always clean and dry your board before storing it, avoid over pressurization, and store in a cool, dry place out of the sun.
Can I paddle with kids or dogs on the iRocker Cruiser?
Absolutely. The extra width of the iRocker cruiser makes it a great choice to use with kids and smaller dogs. For larger kids or dogs I do recommend looking at a larger board like the Blackfin Model X for even better stability.