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Nautical 11’6 iSUP (by iROCKER) Review | 2023
Nautical 11’6″ Review 2022: Overview
iRocker introduced the Nautical series of boards as lower-cost alternatives to their iRocker and Blackfin brands. The Nautical 11’6” keeps the core of iRocker’s All Around series, but with fewer features and a lighter-weight construction. Bottom line: It’s a great choice for an all-around style board on a budget.
— Nautical 11’6″ Summary Ratings and Review – —
iROCKER Nautical 11'6"
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
Warranty & Customer Support
The Nautical 11’6” iSUP is a great value board for new paddlers on a budget.
- Low cost
- Double layer construction
- Removable fins
- Lots of tie-down points
- Kayak seat compatible
- Only 1 year warranty
- Fiberglass paddle
- Tracking and speed not as good as iRocker All Around
Construction and Durability
The Nautical 11’6” (and 10’6”) use two layers of PVC glued to the 6” drop stitch core for the deck and hull of the board. By using two layers of PVC instead of three, iRocker reduces the weight and packed size of the Nautical 11’6”. This does reduce the stiffness compared to the iRocker line (like the All Around 11’) however it still maintains excellent durability.
The seams are strengthened with additional layers of PVC around the side of the board, so there is additional thickness where the board is most likely to bump into objects you might encounter on the water.
Nautical iSUPs are still rated to use a recommended 15psi for maximum stiffness. The overall quality of the construction meets the bar set by iRocker and Blackfin iSUPs.
|Max Capacity||265 pounds|
|Board Weight||22 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||88 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
When looking at iSUPs on a budget, most shoppers will see bare-bones boards with few options available for customization or on-board features. iRocker has kept almost all of these options from the iRocker All Around for their Nautical SUPs.
The Nautical 11’6” still sports three carrying handles, two sets of passenger grab handles, two cargo areas, and three removable flip-lock fins. Compared to the iRocker All Around, the Nautical 11’6” is missing three D-rings – two from the middle of the board and one on the nose. There are still 18 D-rings available, including an anchor point under the nose of the board, and there are still kayak seat compatible D-rings found around the middle of the Deck.
There is one action mount on the Nautical 11’6” – integrated into one of the front D-rings.
The deck pad on the Nautical 11’6” is pleasantly long – reaching all the way to the rear carry handle. It is not textured like iRocker’s other deck pads, however the soft EVA foam still provides good grip with bare feet, booties, or boat shoes. The main standing area does have grooves to allow water to drain out from under your feet.
Because of the Nautical’s dual-layer construction, the overall weight capacity is on the low side at 265lbs. This is important to keep in mind if you plan to paddle with kids or dogs, or if you want to explore SUP camping.
Nautical iSUPs are packaged with the same style of paddle that comes with the iRocker and Blackfin boards, but with one major difference. Rather than a full carbon fiber shaft, the Nautical SUP Paddle uses a fiberglass shaft. Fiberglass tends to be a little more flexible than carbon fiber and is just a touch heavier – 3 ounces heavier to be precise. For the average paddler these differences aren’t really that noticeable unless tested side-by-side.
One thing I really like about the Nautical paddle is the blade shape. I’m a personal fan of these “high-aspect” blades with rectangular shapes and slightly smaller surface areas for a few reasons. The smaller blade reduces strain on your arms and shoulders without really losing much power compared to the traditional teardrop- shaped blades. With a teardrop blade, most of the surface area is at the tip, and makes you take a “big” stroke every time. With a rectangular blade, you can more easily adjust how much power you use with each paddle stroke by changing the depth of the blade in the water. Lastly, if you do want more speed, the rectangular blades are much easier to paddle quickly with (more strokes per minute) than the teardrop blades. For the average paddler I feel that these shape blades are easier to use and offer more versatility overall. Teardrop blades still have their use – especially in surfing, and are still usable for general paddling, but given the choice I’ll pick the rectangular blade.
The Nautical 11’6” comes in at 32” wide – pretty typical for all-around style iSUPs. Its overall shape has very parallel sides which provide high volume and a consistent feel in stability whether you prefer to stand in the center, slightly forward or slightly back on the deck. The triple fins on the bottom of the board help resist rolling better compared to a single fin. The Nautical 11’6” is not as stiff as it’s triple-layer cousins from iRocker and because of that can feel a little bouncy at times. This can reduce stability in choppy conditions or when moving around on the board. Overall there is still plenty of stability for paddlers, including beginners, so long as the weight capacity is kept in mind.
At 11’6” long, the Nautical 11’6” is on the longer end of the spectrum for all-around boards. Without going into technical details of boat design, typically longer vessels have a higher theoretical maximum speed, but there’s a lot more to it than that. While the Nautical 11’6” can carry some speed, it does not accelerate quickly and has a bouncing sensation when putting lots of energy into paddling, keeping the board from going faster. It paddled very well at a cruising speed, but the overall performance of the board dropped when attempting to sprint.
Paddlers taller than 5’8” will likely find the Nautical 11’6” to fit them well and be easy to maneuver with basic turning strokes. The long, parallel, sides help aid the board in tracking, but do make it a touch more difficult to turn while the board is flat on the water. For intermediate and advanced paddlers, the deck pad does extend to the very rear of the board and provides a gripping surface to step back and execute a pivot turn, however without a raised kick pad it’s easy to suddenly find your foot at the very back edge of the board.
The Nautical 11’6” does track well when paddling thanks to its long water line and triple fins. Once you stop paddling, it does not hold its course as well as some other similarly shaped and sized boards, particularly in windy conditions where the lighter weight board is more susceptible to being moved around by wind and choppy waves. While trying to sprint, the bouncing sensation of the Nautical 11’6” does also reduce its ability to track straight, forcing more effort into steering than speed. At cruising speeds and casual paddling cadences, the Nautical does respond to steering input well and will go where you want.
Warranty and Customer Support
iRocker provides excellent customer support for all of its products including the Nautical line. The Nautical 11’6” has a 90-day no-questions-asked return policy. If you don’t like the board for any reason you can send it back for a full refund. After that the Nautical boards are covered by a 1-year manufacturers warranty. This is a shorter warranty period than what is offered for iRocker and Blackfin SUPs. This warranty period difference is likely due to the different construction of the board. While the warranty period is shorter, with proper care your Nautical 11’6” should last for many years.
iRocker created the Nautical line of iSUPs to provide a high quality option at a lower price point. When comparing the pricing of boards, we look at the type of board, what features and accessories the kits include, constructions and materials, warranties, and what general price category a kit falls into. With these items in mind we’ve found that the Nautical 11’6” by iRocker does present a great value for paddlers. It is not the cheapest of the budget boards available, but offers many great features and good performance for the price.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Nautical 11’6” by iRocker is a great value iSUP. It maintains many of the great features that we liked in the iRocker All Around 11’, but at a more wallet-friendly price. If you are on the fence, or are able to stretch your budget, we do recommend considering the iRocker All Around 11’ for better paddling performance, warranty, and paddle. However the Nautical 11’6” is still a great option for a casual all-around paddleboard, especially if you are buying multiple boards for the family. Smaller paddlers may benefit from the shorter Nautical 10’6”.
Nautical 11’6″ 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. In short, buy what you can afford and know that all of iRocker’s inflatable SUPs offer outstanding value at the price point they’re sold at. For an in-depth look at the differences between the lines, we’d recommend reading our Nautical vs. iRockerR vs. Blackfin SUP comparison guide.
Can I paddle my dog around on the Nautical 11’6″?
Yes, this board offers good stability and the tough outer PVC layer won’t be damaged by your dog’s nails. Paddlers should be mindful of the weight capacity when paddling with larger dogs.
How long does it take to inflate iROCKER’s Nautical SUP?
Depending on how quickly you pump, the Nautical 11’6″ can be inflated in 5-10 minutes.
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