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Nautical Go Cruiser iSUP: Overview
The Nautical Go Cruiser is a wide, stable all-around iSUP that is lightweight and available with a customizable kit – or as just the board and fins – allowing you to select your own accessories to fit your own needs and budget. The Go Cruiser’s shape and size make it a great option for larger paddlers or for paddling with small pets and kids.
— Nautical Go Cruiser Summary Ratings and Review —
Nautical Go Cruiser
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The Nautical Go Cruiser is a budget-friendly, stable all-around iSUP for paddlers on a budget.
- Super stable shape and 34” width make it very beginner friendly
- Minimalist feature set has everything you need for a day on the water without cluttering the board
- Lightweight construction is easy to transport
- Customizable kits allow you to get exactly what you want with your board
- Comfortable and grippy deck pad covers the most-used sections of the board for you and a passenger
- 1 year warranty
- The board is not as rigid as some of iRocker’s other iSUPs which can reduce performance for heavier paddlers
- The twin fliplock fins are limited in available options for different lengths
Construction and Durability
The Nautical Go Cruiser uses the same “double-layer composite” material as the original Nautical lineup for a reliable and lightweight construction.
Inside the Nautical Go Cruiser there are two sheets of knitted polyester fabric that are stitched together with thousands of 6” long yarns. This double-wall drop-stitch material is what gives an iSUP its flat shape when inflated. A layer of PVC material is applied to the fabric to make it airtight, increase its rigidity, and prevent damage to the board. These two layers make up the “double-layer composite” construction used in all of iRocker’s Nautical-series iSUPs.
The deck and hull layers of the board are joined together by gluing a strip of PVC tarpaulin to the two layers, completing the air chamber for the board. Another, wider, layer of PVC is glued over the top of this first layer to provide additional support and protection. Lastly two narrow strips of PVC are glued to the top and bottom of the outer rail for additional protection and durability.
With the same type of materials and construction as the original Nautical boards, the Nautical Go Cruiser is primed to provide a great paddling experience through many years of use.
Because it shares the same construction as the original Nautical iSUPs, I fully expected the Nautical Go Cruiser to have roughly the same result in our dry-land bend test. When loaded up with 170 lbs of static weight, the Nautical Go Cruiser bent 2.44”. The current running average in our bend test is 1.55”, so the Go Cruiser is less-rigid than average. However, it did greatly outperform both the Nautical 10’6” (3.25”) and the Nautical 11’6” (3.125”). I was quite surprised by this outcome and am not sure what is accounting for the difference between the boards. But the true test of an iSUP’s rigidity is on the water.
On the water I did notice a moderate amount of flex in the Nautical Go Cruiser while standing on it and paddling normally. I didn’t feel that it was significantly impacting my ability to paddle the board, but it was noticeable. While moving around on the board, bouncing on it, and paddling hard the flex was far more noticeable and I could feel it impacting paddling performance – particularly tracking performance. Once I slowed back down or stopped moving or bouncing on the board, the Go Cruiser settled back down with a low-intensity rebound that was very natural feeling rather than springy.
Compared to the Nautical 10’6” or 11’6”, the Go Cruiser did seem to have more flex on the water, or at least I could feel the impact of that flex more. While the Nautical 10’6”/11’6” do have some flex, it seems to be better controlled overall compared to the Nautical Go Cruiser (and Ten-Six).
|Max Capacity||275 pounds|
|Board Weight||19.5 pounds|
|Returns period||45 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
The Nautical Go Cruiser has a core set of features built onto the board to help you spend your day on the water, though not as feature-packed as the original Nautical iSUPs. However one feature found on the Nautical Go Cruiser that is not on any other Nautical iSUP is the extra width and extra wide tail for increased stability.
The Nautical Go Cruiser is designed to be a minimalist iSUP with just what you need for a casual cruise on the water. The cargo area can easily accommodate medium size dry bags, or even slightly larger items with your own straps, and the accessory mount in the back works with fishing rod holders, cameras, and many other accessories.
The Nautical Go Cruiser is available as a standalone board only (including a set of fins and repair kit), or you can use iRocker’s Package Builder to add any number of accessories like carrying straps, bags, pumps, paddles, and more. This is great for paddlers looking for a second (or third) board who already have items like pumps, or don’t want an additional bag. For new paddlers purchasing their first board, it is worth it to consider a full kit, or opt for a turnkey solution like the Nautical 11’6” that includes everything you need to get started on the water (except for a lifejacket).
The Nautical Go Cruiser does not automatically include a paddle, however you have your choice of several paddle options with the iRocker Package Builder tool. New for this summer is a five-piece Nautical fiberglass paddle.
The Nautical five-piece fiberglass paddle offers good performance in a small package. One of the biggest concerns with a five-piece paddle is how well each section fits together – if they are loose there can be a significant amount of play throughout the paddle. The Nautical five-piece paddle has great fit between each section resulting in very minimal play. You can feel a little bit of looseness when shaking the paddle in the air, but once the paddle is in the water you can’t feel any play.
The fiberglass shaft has a significant amount of flex when you put more energy into your paddle stroke. However for casual paddling, this keeps things very comfortable for long days on the water. It does reduce the amount of power you can generate with a single stroke, but overall this paddle’s feel and speed in the water matches the paddling style of the Nautical Go Cruiser very well.
The Nautical Go Cruiser is surprisingly large, even knowing that it is 34” wide. The extra width combined with a wide tail makes this board very stable on the water.
iSUP Stability comes from many different aspects of a board. Primary among them are size, shape, and rigidity. The Nautical Go Cruiser is 10’6” x 34” – which is quite large for a budget all-around iSUP. But what really sets it apart and gives it excellent stability is its extra wide tail. One foot from the very end of the board, the square-shape tail is nearly two feet wide. This puts a significant amount of volume in the rear of the board and does a great job of resisting tilting from side-to-side compared to a round tail.
With a wide midpoint and wide tail, the only thing holding the Nautical Go Cruiser back from “very stable” to “Holy Cow! That’s stable” is its rigidity. The board does have a noticeable amount of flex and you can feel that under your feet as you stand, paddle, and move on the board. It’s still the most stable Nautical iSUP so far, though, so don’t let that little bit get you down. Even when you walk back to the end of the deck pad to lift the nose for a quick pivot turn, the wide tail of the Go Cruiser gives you a confident and smooth feel as it turns through the water.
With a wide outline and some noticeable flex I didn’t expect the Nautical Go Cruiser to “wow” me with speed, but it actually did much better in our testing than I expected.
With “Cruiser” in the name, it’s pretty clear what type of paddling the Nautical Go Cruiser is intended for (hint: it’s not racing), but it certainly surprised me with how well it actually did in our testing.
To start things off, the Go Cruiser put some very respectable numbers on the table for sprinting speeds. I was able to hit a sustained sprinting speed of 5.1 MPH and a peak speed of 5.3 MPH on the Go Cruiser while using the Nautical five-piece paddle. Going into the testing I did not expect to break the 5.0 MPH mark. For its size, shape, and construction this is actually a very fast board, though not when compared to iSUPs that are shaped more for higher speeds.
While it’s great to see a higher-than-expected sprint speed, how does it do in its namesake activity of cruising? At a casual 25 strokes per minute cadence, the Go Cruiser averaged 3.6 MPH. While this isn’t record breaking it’s definitely a respectable speed for all-around iSUPs in general.
The Nautical Go Cruiser had one more surprise for us when it came time to measure its gliding efficiency. Once it is up to its cruising speed, each paddle stroke can carry the Nautical Go Cruiser nearly 20 feet before noticeably slowing down. That gives it a gliding ratio of 1.9 board-lengths per stroke. Like its smaller sibling the Nautical Go Ten-Six, these boards are exhibiting paddling efficiency normally seen in longer, skinnier, touring boards.
I didn’t expect the Nautical Go Cruiser to “wow” me with speed, but I gotta give it credit where credit is due. Wow. I did not expect that at all.
Maneuverability and Tracking
The Nautical Go Cruiser uses the same twin fin setup as the Nautical Go Ten-Six and all of the iRocker/Blackfin Ultra series iSUPs. This twin fin box, combined with the two 9” fins included with the board typically lean toward favoring tracking over maneuverability, but that is not the case with the Go Cruiser.
Our maneuverability test is designed as a stress test to really showcase the agility of an individual iSUP. We use forward sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from nose to tail) to turn the board in a full 360° circle. This technique is one of the simplest ways to turn, but is also one of the least efficient, so it really highlights maneuverability, especially for new paddlers. The Nautical Go Cruiser was actually quite maneuverable needing only 5.5 strokes on average to make the full circle.
Repeating the test with reverse sweep strokes (paddling tail to nose) works against the fins, rather than with them, and helps turn the board much faster in just 3.75 strokes on average.
The deck pad stops about halfway between the handle and the tail of the board, so you can’t securely step all the way to the tail of the board, but larger paddlers will still be able to slightly lift the nose by stepping to the very back of the deck pad. This lets you turn much faster again, needing only 2-3 strokes to turn the full circle.
With twin 9” fins I expected the Nautical Go Cruiser to have above average tracking performance. However the board did not do as well as I hoped it would. In our 10-stroke tracking test we paddle the board toward a distant target and then take 10 strokes on a single side of the board and measure the difference in the new course vs the original course using a compass. The Nautical Go Cruiser deviated an average of 26° in 10 strokes. That puts it toward the bottom of the list for tracking performance for all-around iSUPs.
While the iRocker and Blackfin Ultra series iSUPs use the same twin fin configuration, the Nautical Go Cruiser does not have the same rigidity as those other boards. Being less rigid means it bends more on the water, shortening its water line and creating a stronger pivot point at the center of the board. The Nautical Go Ten-Six also out-performed the Go Cruiser when it comes to tracking. I believe this is due to the narrower width allowing the paddle to stay closer to the midline of the board.
The Nautical Go Cruiser has twin fliplock fin boxes like the ones found on the Nautical Go Ten-Six and the iRocker/Blackfin Ultra iSUPs. These fin boxes are very easy to use and feature a locking tether to help prevent accidental fin loss both on and off the water. While they are easy to use, there are not many fins available if you want to change the performance characteristics of the board. iRocker currently does not officially support any other fin for these fin boxes, however we have found that the Nautical/iRocker/Blackfin “side fins” do fit these fin boxes and allow you to use the 5” side fins for paddling in shallower water.
Warranty and Customer Support
iRocker offers a 1 year warranty on the Nautical Go Cruiser iSUP and a 1 year warranty for all iRocker/Nautical accessories. This covers any manufacturing defects or issues that may arise during this time. Additionally, iRocker has a generous 45 day return policy. Returns are subject to inspection for damage and customers must pay for the shipping cost of the return. iRocker’s customer service team can be reached via email, web form, phone, and social media if you have any questions about the Nautical Go Cruiser.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Nautical Go Cruiser is a lightweight, customizable, and budget friendly all-around paddle board that’s great for those paddlers who want beginner-friendly stability. It’s a great option for paddlers who are looking for a second (or third) board to be able to share with friends, or for those new paddlers looking for more simplicity. The Nautical Go Cruiser is very stable and highly maneuverable, making it a great cruiser board for those relaxing days at the beach with friends and family.
Nautical Go Cruiser iSUP FAQ
What is the difference between the Nautical Go Ten-Six and Nautical Go Cruiser?
The Nautical Go Cruiser is 2” wider than the Nautical Go Ten-Six and has a much wider, square, tail for increased stability. It also has a higher weight capacity of 275 lbs vs 240 lbs.
Does the Nautical Go Cruiser work with a kayak seat?
Yes, the Nautical Go Cruiser has four D-rings around the middle of the board for use with a kayak seat attachment.
How long does it take to inflate the Nautical Go Cruiser?
It takes about 8-10 minutes to fully inflate the Nautical Go Cruiser with the standard Nautical hand pump, 10-12 minutes with the new compact hand pump, and about 10 minutes with the iRocker electric pump.
Is the Nautical Go Cruiser durable?
The Nautical Go Cruiser is made with a high-quality single layer PVC material that is resistant to puncture and abrasion during normal use.
Is the Nautical Go Cruiser a compact iSUP?
The Nautical Go Cruiser is not designed to fold in half like the iRocker Ultra iSUPs are. However it is lightweight and rolls up into a small package.
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