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The Nautical 10’6″ paddle board was first launched by iROCKER in 2020 as part of new budget range designed for paddlers in search of a lower-cost inflatable all-around SUP that didn’t cut corners on construction quality and was an instant hit. As we’ll cover in this Nautical 10’6″ SUP review, iROCKER has increased the value even further with new features and colors for 2021.
Jacksonville, FL-based iROCKER SUP continues to make waves in the industry with a growing lineup of of inflatable paddle boards of varying sizes, features, and prices. After establishing their mid-range iROCKER line, in 2018 they launched the popular BLACKFIN SUP range aimed at the premium market with extensive features and high-end included accessories.
In 2020 iROCKER launched their new budget-priced Nautical range for the cost-conscious paddler. Starting initially with just the 10’6″ model, the Nautical lineup now boasts a second longer 11’6″ paddle board.
In this review of iROCKER’s 10’6″ Nautical iSUP, we’ll check out the board’s features and specs, build quality and construction, how it performs on the water, what we like and don’t like about it, included accessories, and more. We’ll also tell you where you can buy the board and where to find the latest sales and discounts.
|Max Capacity||240 pounds|
|Board Weight||20 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||60 days|
— In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary —
Nautical 10'6" by iROCKER
The 2021 Nautical 10’6″ is a Top Pick again for a budget all-around paddle board that doesn’t cut corners on construction and packs in the value when it comes to features and included accessories.
- Affordable price
- New action mount
- New rear cargo area
- New child safety grab handles
- New upgraded backpack
- New design and color choices
- 3 removable fins
- Only 1 year warranty
- Tracking not as good as iROCKER’s other SUPs
Nautical 10’6″ Review: SUP Overview
Measuring 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″ and weighing a light 20 pounds, the Nautical 10’6″ inflatable SUP has a typical all-around SUP shape that provides a good balance of stability, maneuverability and speed, that gives it the versatility that all-around boards are known for. The Nautical 10’6″ can be used for a wide range of paddling activities, including recreational paddling, on-the-water SUP fitness workouts, cruising with a dog or small children, and more.
Paddlers who expect to frequently have ride-along passengers or a lot of cargo may want to consider getting the Nautical 11’6″ to benefit from the extra space and buoyancy that the additional length will provide.
We’ve been recommending iROCKER inflatable paddle boards since the brand’s launch several years ago and it’s been interesting to see them grow during that time. Since the launch of their original two paddle boards, the SPORT 10′ (now discontinued) and SPORT 11′, iROCKER has stayed focused customer requests — like like action mounts, improved accessories, and affordability.
With the growing onslaught of cheap boards on Amazon and other ecommerce platforms, it’s evident that there is demand in the market for low cost iSUPs — often for beginners just starting out or families that need to buy several boards at once. Unfortunately, we hear all too often from buyers who discover once they’ve bought a cheap board from a brand with no track record that they frequently aren’t around when it’s time to provide repairs or warranty support after the sale.
This is the opportunity that iROCKER was looking to address when they launched their Nautical line — a quality board from a trusted name at an entry-level price.
The 2020 design for the launch of the Nautical was, while not bad, a touch boring. Fortunately, the 2021 Nautical 10’6″ gets an excellent makeover. More color contrast is incorporated throughout the board design, the Nautical’s compass logo is featured more prominently, and a contrast pinstripe is introduced on the deck pad. Overall, the effect is more sophisticated and less “bargain bin.”
There are also more color schemes to choose from this year: Sky Blue, Blue, Teal, Gray. Our board pictured throughout this review is the Blue color. Overall, the 2021 Nautical boards really upped their game appearance-wise this season.
As you would expect for a budget-oriented paddle board, the Nautical 10’6″ is not as feature-rich as some of the much more expensive SUPs out there. Understandably, that’s part of the necessary balance of keeping the cost down. That said, iROCKER seems to find a way to add something new to the mix every season, and after only a year on the market, they’ve been able to add several surprising new features to the Nautical for the 2021 season.
— Click on hotspots for additional details —
Starting at the nose of the board is a convenient grab handle which is helpful for handling the board in and around the water. Behind this is a generous 6-point bungee storage area that provides a convenient and secure place for you to stash your cooler, dry bag, sandals, and other paddling gear.
There are two important new features to be found here for 2021. First, the bottom-right cargo bungee connection now also contains an action mount point. This M8 threaded insert allows you to attach optional accessories like GoPro cameras and fishing rod holders to your SUP. Action mounts have become increasingly popular in the past few years as the number of compatible accessories for them have exploded. iROCKER is rather famous for the number of action mounts on their iROCKER and Blackfin SUPs so the lack of any mounts on the Nautical SUPs at their launch in 2020 was a bit disappointing. Fortunately that omission is corrected for 2021!
The second new feature is the addition of removable safety side grab handles on either side of the front (and rear) cargo area. These neoprene-wrapped handles are great if you have small children riding on the front of your paddle board so that they have something to hold on to. They can be found on all of the rest of iROCKER’s lineup so we’re glad they’ve been added here. The handles can be easily removed when not needed too.
Moving to the middle of the board, the top deck of is covered by a soft and comfortable EVA foam traction pad. It features a brushed surface that is easy on the hands and feet. The grip pad also has a grooved pattern for added traction as well as channeling away water. We found the pad to be plenty grippy even when wet. There’s a basic webbing center carrying handle which makes it easy to haul the board around, although it’s not as padded as iROCKER’s higher end boards.
On both rails of the board in front and behind of the center carrying handle are four stainless steel D-rings which can be used to attach iROCKER’s popular optional kayak seat kit. These can also be used as handy tie-down points if you want to secure additional gear.
Also added for 2021 near the rear of the board is a second 6-point bungee cargo area. This adds a lot of new storage area that didn’t exist last season and is especially handy when you have a passenger riding at the front of the board.
At the tail is the inflation valve and a D-ring for attaching the included safety leash. Behind them is a second grab handle, used most often to drag the board out of the water or along the beach without causing damage to the fins.
On the bottom of the Nautical are three removable fins that use the same tool-less lever-lock system seen on iROCKER’s regular and premium BLACKFIN SUPs. With all fins removed (unlike boards where only the center fin is removable), it’s easier to roll the board up tightly to fit in the backpack or to stack and tie several boards on top of a vehicle.
Experienced paddlers will also appreciate the ability to configure their board with only a center fin or all three fins, depending on water conditions and their paddling preference.
The Nautical 10’6″ is constructed with durable drop-stitch core covered by two layers of PVC material and it shares much of the hardware that you see with that used on the company’s more expensive SUP lines. The fit and finish of our board was excellent, better than we generally find on inflatable paddle boards in this price range.
What you don’t find on a board at this price are some of the more exotic construction techniques like carbon fiber reinforced side rails (iROCKER uses this on their BLACKFIN boards like the Model X) or woven drop stitch construction (THURSO and NIXY use this on their newest all-around SUPs). These have the advantage of adding extra rigidity to a board, saving weight, or both, but come at a significant price premium.
With their Nautical family, iROCKER has had to strike a fine balance between building a solid, reliable SUP (that we’d trust much more than the no-name boards you’d find online or in big box stores) and keeping it at a reasonable price point. We think they got it right.
The Nautical 10’6″ is an all-around board that was designed for moderate stability and general on-the-water fun. It’s a great board to learn on and given the affordable price point, it was unsurprisingly one of the most popular models on our site after its launch in 2020.
It is similar in dimensions and the iROCKER All Around 10′, clocking in at 6 inches longer. For comparison, we found the Nautical to handle similarly in terms of stability and maneuverability, although the All Around 10′ had superior straight-line tracking.
While not designed to be a record-breaker in terms of speed, the Nautical paddles well on the water and you won’t find it to feel sluggish for recreational paddling.
If you’re looking for a board that can be used for a wide variety of conditions and activities without breaking the bank, the Nautical 10’6″ is an excellent option.
Our Impressions: Likes and Dislikes
We were excited about the launch of iROCKER’s Nautical line as it gave paddlers a solid option in the budget-priced inflatable SUP bracket. iROCKER is known for good customer service and few companies can match the number of markets that it serves. This gives paddlers around the world an opportunity to buy an inexpensive board from a trusted name.
The 2020 Nautical’s success certainly proved that the need was there such a board and that IROCKER had largely gotten the value proposition right.
If they had a winner on their hands last year, then we think the 2021 Nautical 10’6″ really knocks it out of the park. It keeps all of the strengths of the previous board and addresses the few criticisms we had.
The 2021 models gains an action mount, a second rear cargo area, and and removable child safety grab handles on both the front and rear cargo areas. A visual refresh sharpens the look and increases the color choices as well.
They’ve managed to narrow the feature gap even more between the Nautical and mid-priced boards on the market (in fact, there are several brands costing hundreds more that should be worried), further cementing the value-for-dollar.
One obvious question that many might ask is whether this low-priced iSUP cannibalizes the company’s regular range of inflatables. We think the answer is largely no. Take again the comparison with the iROCKER All Around 10′. For approximately $250 more it offers triple-ply construction, better tracking, 4 action mounts, a carbon fiber hybrid paddle, a premium roller backpack, a triple action pump, and a 2 year warranty. For the right person, that’s a great deal. But on the other hand, if you need to buy three SUPs for a family, three Nauticals might be just the ticket.
iROCKER’s strategy seems to be to provide lots of options and let the buyer choose for themselves what best serves their needs. And since the accessories are compatible in between the lines, we’ve also seen families buy one “nice” iROCKER or BLACKFIN board and then a couple of Nauticals to round out their set.
As far as dislikes go, most of what could be criticized are, again, choices made to keep the price down. The accessory bundle is basic but functional — we’ll cover it in detail below — and generally compares favorable with accessories for similarly priced boards. Interestingly, most of these accessories are essentially what the iROCKER boards came with just a few years ago.
The 1-year warranty is a step down from iROCKER’s standard 2-year warranty. This was probably a cost-management choice on iROCKER’s part and it is on par with what you see with inflatables in this price range. It is worth pointing out, though, that Bluefin’s budget board, the Cruise 10’8″, still comes with their full 5-year warranty. In any case, the Nautical is well enough constructed that it should provide many seasons of enjoyment if well cared for.
Accessories: What’s Included
Unlike many of the cheap iSUPs flooding the market these days, iROCKER includes a complete bundle of quality accessories with the Nautical 10’6″. Included with the board is an iSUP backpack, three-piece fiberglass paddle, dual-action hand pump, safety leash, repair kit, user guide, and Nautical sticker pack…
The Nautical SUP backpack is much nicer than the bags that come with other entry-level paddle boards and has received several improvements for 2021. New this season on the front of the bag is an exterior bungee storage area for stowing a towel or other loose items. There’s also a new deep zipper pocket for accessories that extends down the front of the bag.
On both sides at the bottom are a mesh storage pocket meant to stow your paddle or other gear. The are also two compression straps which help secure the contents once verything is packed.
On the top of the bag is a see-through luggage ID window which is great if you’re planning to travel. You’ll also find a grab handle, convenient for picking up the back or pulling it out of the back of a vehicle.
On the back of the pack are two lightly-padded shoulder straps and a padded waist strap. All three are fully adjustable and the shoulder straps feature plastic D-rings for securing small items and a sternum strap for stabilization. There’s also a back cushion to keep things comfortable when the bag is loaded and on your shoulders.
Lastly, on the bottom of the pack are four rubber feet and a metal grommet for draining any water or sand from the bag. New for this year on the bottom is a strap for attaching an optional accessory wheels tray that turns your bag into a roller backpack.
The included three-piece paddle is essentially the same as the 2020 model. It’s a good quality basic fiberglass shaft with a nylon blade and plastic t-grip handle. This lightweight paddle floats and is fully adjustable.
We definitely find this paddle preferable to the heavier aluminum paddles that you’ll find with some other budget SUPs, but this is one area where you see the benefit of stepping up to the main iROCKER line and their carbon fiber hybrid paddle.
iROCKER includes their basic dual-action pump (not to be confused with their dual chamber, triple-action pump included with the iROCKER and BLACKFIN boards). This is a high-quality hand pump that does a good job of inflating the board.
This pump features two inflation modes:
- Dual-action: Adds air to your board on both the up and downstrokes, speeding the process along while the pressure is low.
- Single-action: Only adds air to your SUP on the downstrokes, making it easier to finish inflating your board as the pressure increases, nearing the recommended 15 PSI.
The pump also has an easy-to-read pressure gauge on top of the handle, allowing you to see exactly how much air is in your paddle board during the inflation process.
iROCKER includes a basic 10 foot coiled SUP leash with the Nautical 10’6″. This leash is a basic black color, instead of color-matched to the board as iROCKER does with their higher-end boards.
The ankle cuff is covered by soft neoprene material for comfort and there are dual metal swivels to prevent tangling.
If you ever need to perform a repair on your board, there’s a handy iSUP repair kit included in the box. Inside the plastic canister is a valve wrench and two large color matched PVC patches. You would need to purchase your own adhesive.
User Manual & Sticker Pack
Last but not least, in the box you’ll find a user guide and a large sheet of Nautical SUP stickers which is a nice bonus.
Warranty & Returns Info
As mentioned earlier , iROCKER’s Nautical SUPs come with a 1-year warranty that covers any manufacturing defects. While it’s not as good as the the 2-year coverage included with the company’s more expensive paddle boards, it’s common for boards in this price range, although we are starting to see some longer warranties on budget boards from reputable brands like Bluefin and GILI. We’ll be curious to see what the trends are like over the next few years.