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Nautical 10’6″ Review 2022: Overview
The Nautical 10’6” by iRocker is an all-around inflatable SUP ideal for smaller paddlers on a budget. This lower-volume iSUP is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and is still packed with lots of great on-board features as a truly all-around paddleboard.
— Nautical 10’6″ Summary Ratings and Review – —
Nautical 10'6" by iROCKER
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
Warranty & Customer Support
The Nautical 10’6” is a great value for smaller paddlers on a budget.
- Super light
- Packs small for easy transportation and storage
- Plenty of cargo space and D-rings
- Kayak seat compatible
- Beginner-friendly stability
- Fiberglass Paddle
- 90-day return policy
- 1-year warranty
- Not as stiff as iRocker All Around 10’
- 240lb max weight capacity
Construction and Durability
iRocker uses a double-layer PVC construction for their Nautical series of iSUPs to help reduce costs without sacrificing durability and performance.
The two layers of PVC are glued together and bonded to the 6” drop stitch core. The seams are reinforced with two additional layers of PVC around the sides, or rails, of the board providing even more protection.
We recommend inflating to the maximum 15psi internal pressure to get the most stiffness and stability available. The lighter-weight construction does reduce the carrying capacity of the Nautical 10’6” to 240lb. While it is still usable at this maximum capacity, we recommend users consider the Nautical 11’6” or iRocker All Around 11’, or other similar iSUPs for larger paddlers and those bringing heavier dogs, lots of cargo, or additional passengers.
|Max Capacity||240 pounds|
|Board Weight||20 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||90 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
When making lower-cost SUPs, many brands reduce the number of on-board features that are available on higher-end models. iRocker has kept all of the available types of features from their All Around iSUPs on the Nautical 10’6”, making it one of the most feature-rich and versatile budget boards available.
The Nautical 10’6” has three carrying handles (front, center, and rear) in addition to two sets of removable, padded, passenger grab handles (front and rear). There are 18 D-rings available for you to use to secure cargo – both under the included deck rigging bungees and directly mounted to the D-rings. The four mid-board D-rings are set to work seamlessly with the available iRocker Kayak Conversion kit.
The deck grooved pad is comfortable on your feet while still maintaining excellent grip when wet. Behind the standing area the deck pad loses its groove, but stretches all the way to the rear handle for yoga, passengers, and pivot turning. On the front cargo area the Nautical 10’6” also sports an integrated multi-purpose action mount directly into one of the D-rings and is compatible with a range of accessories.
Under the board you’ll find a D-ring on the nose for anchoring or towing, and the same triple flip-lock fin system found on all Nautical, iRocker, and Blackfin iSUPs.
In keeping with the theme of reducing cost without reducing functionality, the fiberglass and nylon paddle included with the Nautical 10’6” has the same excellent blade shape and size that we like so much with the iRocker and Blackfin series.
The rectangular shape and smaller size lets paddlers choose how they want to paddle – casually cruising along, throwing down some watts for maximum speed, and everything in between – just by adjusting how deep their paddle blade goes into the water. The fiberglass shaft provides a soft feel for all-day comfort. While it is slightly heavier than the carbon fiber versions that come with the iRocker and Blackfin boards, most paddlers are not likely to notice the extra 3.2 ounces unless holding them side-by-side.
The pin-and-clip adjustment system is easy to use and requires almost no maintenance or adjustment to hold the handle securely in place. It also has the added benefit of automatically orienting the handle correctly to the blade. Inside the handle section is a large piece of foam to keep water out and help the paddle float if you do drop it. There is no sizing scale printed on the handle, however users can count the number of visible holes to easily set your preferred size each time you paddle.
At 10’6” long and 32” wide, the Nautical 10’6” provides great stability for users under 5’8” and 160lb. Its gently-curved shape gives very consistent-feeling stability as you load additional equipment or move around on the board. While on its edge, the Nautical 10’6” can be a little unstable feeling compared to larger boards, and the lighter weight construction does produce more noticeable bounce when moving around. Larger paddlers, or those wanting to load their iSUP with more weight, should consider the Nautical 11’6”. The extra foot of length does translate to noticeably more stability.
Overall the Nautical 10’6” does have good primary stability (how it feels when flat on the water) and is a good option for smaller beginner paddlers on a budget.
Between its shorter length and slightly-less-stiff construction, the Nautical 10’6” is not going to be winning any races. When paddling with hard, down-ward focused strokes, the board bounces noticeably in the water, slowing it down. When cruising with moderate intensity and focusing on gliding the board, the Nautical 10’6” does paddle at a very reasonable pace. Paddlers who like to focus on distance but are budget conscious should consider a longer iSUP like the Nautical 11’6”. The extra length and volume help increase the maximum glide per stroke and tracking ability.
Speed and maneuverability are often two sides of the same coin. The shorter length and lightweight construction make the Nautical 10’6” very maneuverable. It is very responsive to forward sweep strokes (making a large arc from the nose to the tail of the board) and easily turns with reverse sweeps (from tail to nose) and flies when weighting the back on pivot turns.
The triple fin system can be adjusted to change the tracking and maneuverability by either adding all three fins for maximum tracking, or using just the center or side fins for better maneuvering.
In reality, the two-sided coin of speed and maneuverability make more of a 3-sided polyhedron (yup – it’s about as complicated as it sounds) when you also consider tracking – how well a board stays straight when moving.
When all three fins are in place the Nautical 10’6” stays true to course when paddling forward with good technique. Because of its lightweight construction and shorter length, it is more susceptible to turning forces while paddling if your paddle blade begins to tilt or move away from the board’s rails.
Once it is under way, the board will continue forward relatively straight after you stop paddling, but does not glide as far as the longer 11’6” version and is more susceptible to wind than the heavier All Around 11’.
Overall the tracking is as-expected with the Nautical 10’6”. It does track straight, but requires a little bit of finesse for best results.
Warranty and Customer Support
The Nautical 10’6” is backed by iRocker’s excellent customer service. Like all of iRocker’s boards, Nautical iSUPs have a 90-day no-questions-asked return policy. After 90 days, you are covered by the 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. The Nautical warranty is shorter than the iRocker or Blackfin warranty (1 year instead of 3 years) because of the lighter-weight construction. The materials and build techniques are the same between the three product lines, so users should still expect great quality and excellent longevity.
When comparing the price of any iSUP it’s important to take into consideration not just the board, but also the quality and quantity of included accessories and features, its construction, and the manufacturer (and their warranty).
While the Nautical 10’6” is not the least expensive iSUP kit we’ve tested, it does have an incredible value for the price. If you are shopping for a new board on a budget, this one should be on your short list.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Nautical 10’6” is a great value board for beginner paddlers on a budget. It offers a stable ride and easy cruising for smaller paddlers (under 5’8”). If you are on the fence about the size, or you want to more easily bring along passengers or more cargo, then we recommend you take a look at the Nautical 11’6” or the iRocker All Around 11’ for even more capacity.
Nautical 10’6″ 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. iRocker vs. Blackfin SUP comparison guide.
Can I paddle my dog around on the Nautical 10'6"?
Yes! The tough outer-layer of PVC won’t be damaged by your pup’s paws, however do be mindful of the weight capacity. While a small Heeler may do well on the Nautical 10’6” a large Lab may make things a little unstable. For higher weight capacities, look to the Nautical 11’6” or iRocker All Around 11’.
How long does it take to inflate iROCKER's Nautical SUP?
Depending on how quickly you pump, the Nautical 10’6” can be inflated in as little as 5 minutes, but average inflation time is closer to 8 minutes.
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