In this post, we will be testing out the iRocker All Around 11 Ultra SUP. We received the board courtesy of iRocker for an unbiased review.
The main basis of comparison for this board will of course be the classic lineup of the iRocker All Around 11 in which I have access to the 2020 version of the board. Click the link above to see that full review.
Despite being 2 years older, the classic All Around 11 has undergone few significant changes since 2020 so we still believe it is still a good basis for comparison.
The Ultra Compact series that has recently been released by iRocker is a portable line of SUPs that differ both in construction as well as storage and accessories.
Is this the ultimate travel companion? Find out below as we dissect all the features of the All Around 11 Ultra.
To see my Review on the All Around Ultra 10 Click Here
My IRocker All Around 11 Ultra SUP Review Ratings
Below are my ratings on the iRocker All Around 11 Ultra Line which I used to directly compare the All Around 11 classic board. We rated the All Around 11 Ultra as the #2 pick in our Best Portable Paddle Boards List.
- Click the below scores to jump to each section*
Total Score: 8.7/10 (Score Rounded out)
- On-Water Performance – 8.1
- Stability 8
- Tracking 8
- Speed 8.5
- Maneuverability 8
- SUP Construction – 9
- Board Features – 8.6
- Deck Pad 9
- D Rings 8.5
- Deck Bungees 8.5
- Action Mounts: 7.5
- Handles 9
- Accessories – 8.6
- Backpack 9.5
- Paddle 7.5
- Pump 9
- Fins 8.5
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 9
- A better constructed iRocker board from previous models
- The board is very lightweight, rivaling lightweight competitors like Nixy
- The bag is very well designed and is easy to fit the board back into
- One of the most compact packages on the market
- Great board for traveling as it meets airline baggage requirements
- The inclusion of the 12 V electric pump is a big plus
- The speed is good on this board
- Board is easy to carry
- Not very difficult to set-up and take down
- Great board to take on camping trips as it takes up less room compared to the majority of the SUP boards
- The tracking is good but I feel it could have been a little bit better in comparison to the classic All Around 11
- To inflate this package you need to be close to a car or buy a battery pack
- 5 Piece Paddle has more play compared to 3 piece design
- Less D Rings and fewer Action Mounts compared to Classic All Around 11 Board
Who Should be Using the iRocker All Around 11 Ultra?
The iRocker All Around 11 Ultra is first and foremost for those who want a more portable and easy-to-transport package.
These types of packages are really starting to take off in the SUP industry.
This is due to the fact that, while inflatable SUPs are more transportation and storage-friendly compared to their harder cousins. Many of the bags are still pretty bulky and take up room. Which is less than ideal if you have a lot of other stuff you have to pack with you as well.
“A scenario that comes to mind for me is going to my friend’s cabin near 100 Mile House. We need room for groceries, our clothes, pillows, and other miscellaneous stuff. So when we want to add our full-sized paddle board bags to the equation it can get tricky fitting everything back in”– Editors Note
However, with the All Around 11 Ultra you get a bag that is more than 2 feet smaller in length compared to its classic cousin. That’s a good amount of saved space!
Storage and portability aside the All Around 11 Ultra is also a great board for beginner paddlers looking to get their feet wet. I found the board to be sufficient stability wise but I’ll go further into detail on that later on in this post.
The board can also be used by more experienced paddlers looking to go to lakes, beaches, and calm coastal conditions.
What SUP Activities Can The IRocker All-Around 11 Ultra Be Used For?
The All Around 11 Ultra may be compact, but it is also fairly versatile in terms of what SUP activities you can do with it.
I think we gave this a bit of an explanation already but this will be one of the better traveling SUPs that you can find on the market. It’s a great choice for those sunny calm beach destinations.
Or for those who are doing road trips in their car/ SUV or RV and need room for other necessities.
Other than traveling, this board is a great pick for those who want to paddle around their local waterways and gain some valuable skills.
If you are going to be away from your car it’s best to either bring a small portable manual pump with you or get the battery pack for the included electric pump.
Like most other iRocker models, the All Around 11 Ultra can turn into a kayak hybrid thanks to its 4 designated D rings on the middle of the board. Although it will take a bit of adjusting to fit the iRocker kayak seat onto the board in comparison to some of the classic models.
The kayak conversion kit comes separately but it may be a good thing to invest in if you want some relief for your back after sitting/ kneeling on the board for long periods of time.
Many of the Ultra series from iRocker actually make good touring boards because of their lightweight frame. Their lighter weight allows you to get that extra bit of speed which helps you cover more ground with a bit less effort compared to the heavier classic iRocker models.
If you are dead serious about performance you may want to change the paddle to something more lightweight and stiffer.
IRocker All-Around 11 Ultra Specifications Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational
- Length: 11’
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 6″
- Volume: 327.5 L
- Weight: 21.4 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 290 Lbs
I was lucky enough to have a conversation with one of the iRocker staff. The main things they said were different was the fact that they used cross-threaded drop stitch construction (also known as woven). Rather than having the board use threads for its drop stitch, it uses a criss-cross pattern to use fewer materials all the while being stronger and more rigid.
Another feature that iRocker has added in its Ultra lineup is the fact that they have gone away from the triple layer construction and veered more to where the industry is going, which is dual layer fusion technology. The fusion process is when 2 layers of PVC are fused together (usually by machine).
This helps the company save weight as well as money on materials like glue and manual labor. These two things along with a few dropped D rings and Action mounts allow the board to be almost 5 lbs lighter than the classic models.
This is a change in philosophy compared to iRockers triple layer PVC set-up that features in most of the classic iRocker series from the All Around 10 ,11, Cruiser, and Sport all the way to the Blackfin series.
All Around 11 Ultra SUP Board Profile
While from a distance the Ultra may look similar to its predecessor All Around 11 classic model, there are a few big differences.
As you look closer at both boards, the first difference you will notice is the split deck pad of the All Around Ultra series. This split deck helps the iRocker board fold in half lengthwise, which allows the folded-up package to be shorter in bag length.
The next thing that your eye may catch is the fact that the handle and the inflation valve are not centered. Again this is to aid in the folding process.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes between the All Around 11 vs All Around 11 Ultra is the fin set-up. The Ultra series features two 9” center fins as opposed to the traditional 9” center fin and 5” side fin setup. We will go into more detail on some of the improvements and why they did this below.
What’s on Deck
Belo we summarize what the All Around 11 Ultra has to offer, and compare some of the features to the classic All Around 11 board.
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra Deck Pad
As mentioned above perhaps the biggest change to the iRocker Ultra series is the fact that the deck pad is split in half. This, as mentioned above is to help with the folding of the board.
I found very little difference between the two boards’ deck pads. It was snug and comfortable on my feet. Just be wary of rubbing your finger quickly on the dry surface of the deck pad. I managed to get a cut doing this while shooting a video. No biggie though.
Taking a closer look at the deck pad this series of boards offers the same stamped iRocker logos that are embedded onto the board’s pad. These small little logos both help with grip and directs water to the channels of the pad to eventually sweep off.
The deck padding on the Ultra takes up less room on the board compared to this year’s classic All Around board which has deck padding on the back of the board.
iRocker All Around Ultra D Rings
The Ultra series features 15 D rings that are used for either the deck bungees, kayak conversion seat, or the leash. In this case, iRocker has really simplified the number of D rings to be limited to must-use areas. I also have a theory that they did this to save a bit of weight on the board.
With this particular model, iRocker has taken out 5 of the extra D rings that could otherwise be used for rigging or towing. If having a lot of tie-down capabilities is more important to you than saving space and weight. It may be best to stick to the All Around classic series.
All Around 11 Ultra Deck Bungees
The Ultra series features 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front and 2 at the rear.
The way this SUP is designed, the larger items go in the front while the smaller items go in the rear. This is usually the opposite of what I do but I can see the advantage to this set-up if you are camping.
Overall the All Around 11 Ultra compared to its classic cousin has one less row of deck rigging in the back. Similar to my theory with the D rings, I believe they did this to make the board fold more easily as well as save weight on the package.
All Around 11 Ultra Action Mounts
The All Around 11 features 3 action mounts:
- 2 at the font on the last row of deck bungees
- 1 on the rear where the Ankle leash D ring is
The amount of actions that this SUP has is below what is usually the norm which is 4-6 for many iRocker and competitor SUPs. However, I also understand that there is a fine line to balance between having the board be lightweight vs having more doohickies.
A few things that you can add to the action mounts include:
In my review video, I shoot some of the footage from a cell phone holder to give you a look at what some shooting angles are.
iRocker All-Around Ultra Handles
The handles on the Ultra compared to the classic series are actually placed a little bit differently. For one the main middle handle that you would use to carry the board is offset on the left-hand side of the board. This is of course to keep it away from the main folding area. In the middle of the board.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this placement. On one hand, for people with shorter arms, it does give them a more comfortable grip on the board for carrying. However, I found that the handle gets in the way of your kneeling position on the board which can be a little bit annoying at times.
The good news is that it does not get in the way of your foot position, so really that’s all that matters.
The Ultra All Around 11 also features a handle on the very tip of the nose, which is something I’ve never encountered before in a SUP. Thankfully at least in my experience, it does not get in the way of the water as they put it high up enough that the rocker keeps it out of the water.
The only handles that are similar to the All Around 11 classic board are the rear padded handle and the “child handles” on the side of the deck webbing. Although I also find the “child handles very handy for keeping the board steady while carrying the board with gear strapped on.
All Around Ultra 11 Accessories Explained
Compared to many other SUPs on the market, The All Around 11 Ultra has accessories that are designed to meet the board’s compact requirements.
iRocker Ultra All Around 11 Backpack/ Bag
I must say out of a lot of high-quality SUP bags I have used this is one of my favorites in terms of design.
The bag is very well thought out and put together. One of the biggest issues people will have with a paddle board backpack is trying to fit the darn board back into the bag. Sometimes you have to re-roll the board or rejig the bag which is honestly one of the last things you want to do after paddling.
Thankfully with this bag, you do not have this problem. Not only is it a compact size, but the board is also pretty easy to fit the back in the bag. This is thanks to the design of the bag which has 2 zippers that zip down lengthwise of the bag. This allows you to fit the board into the bag and then zip the flap back up, adjusting it as you go.
Compare this design to other SUP bags where you have to hold the bag open and wrestle the folded board back in like Crocodile Dundee.
The backpack also features 5 loops on each side inside where you can fit the 5 piece paddle as well as a compartment bag that fits on top. This bag is used to store the electric pump, the inflation/ deflation hose as well as the fins.
The compartment bag is a very good innovation by iRocker as oftentimes items like the fins and other loose ends are stuffed in certain pockets which you often forget about. With this design, everything is in one compartmentalized bag that easily fits into the complete kit when everything is packed away.
Another thing that I liked was the fact that it is designed like a giant dry bag. No, it’s not waterproof but when you first open it you have to unclip the roll top, unravel it and open it by taking apart the velcro. It’s a very unique design to most other SUP bags like the classic All Around 11 that bag which features a zippered top.
The All Around 11 Ultra bag comes with bungee webbing at the front that allows you to clip accessories on as well as pockets on the side for other smaller miscellaneous items you may have.
I must say, this was one of the more comfortable bags to carry. Yes, part of that is due to the smaller size and the lighter weight of the package. But I found that the padded shoulder straps and back pad allowed this to be one of the more comfortable packages to carry around on your shoulders. Especially if you are going on long-distance walks or are a smaller framer individual.
All Around 11 Ultra Paddle
For me the paddle was one of the more underwhelming parts of the package. Not to say it’s terrible, as it’s more than good enough for recreational paddling.
But if you were looking for a stiffer paddle that gives you a direct connection to the water you will probably be best off getting a 3 piece paddle or a carbon fiber paddle.
In my experience, I found that there was a bit more bend with this included paddle. This is due to it being a 5-piece paddle and having more connection points.
This is one of the give and takes of having a compact package like the Ultra 11.
The paddle comes color-coordinated with the board and comes with a newer scratch-resistant Nylon blade with a carbon fiber composite shaft.
This is a vast improvement to the previous iRocker paddles that came with the classic All Around 11 boards. My friend’s 2020 All Around 11 paddle blade is starting to get more and more scratches to it that are more noticeable.
The paddle weighs 2 lbs and extends from 77” to 87.5”. This may be a lot longer than smaller paddlers are comfortable with. In this case, it may be best to go with the All Around 10 Ultra where the paddle goes from 72” – 86”.
iRocker Electric Pump
Finally!!! A SUP that actually comes with an electric pump! I admit it’s taken long enough but I’m happy to see that iRocker has finally included an electric pump in their packages. Honestly, using an electric pump compared to a regular hand pump is like a day and night comparison. I just find electric pumps so much more efficient because:
- They take hardly any effort to use! (Press the button and you’re off!)
- Takes up less space in the bag
- You can use the time more efficiently to set up your board while it is pumping
- You don’t feel exhausted before even going out on your paddling adventure
I timed the iRocker pump to take about 12 minutes to fill up the board. Although truthfully if you are waiting around, it will feel longer.
The electric pump comes with the hose, adaptor as well as a choice of power outlet. You can either use the cigarette lighter from your car to power the pump or the alligator clips that hook onto your battery. In my experience, if you are filling up more than 2 SUPs use the crocodile clips. In the past, I used the cigarette lighter and after the 3rd full fill up the fuse of the cigarette lighter went out.
For those who are planning to do some hiking and be away from the car, it’s best to get the electric pump battery.
I have a full set-up video where I go through the settings of this pump in greater detail. The iRocker electric pump is compatible with most SUPs that have Halkey Roberts valves.
iRocker Ultra Fins
Another one of the trademarks that make the Ultra series unique is its fin setup. Instead of having the traditional 9” center fin and 5” side fin set-up, they now feature 2 9” center fins on each side of the board. This design’s inspiration partly comes from what Red Paddle does on some of their paddle boards.
After testing this fin design out I found that it took about 6 strokes each side before you needed to correct it. Of course, this was only tested once in calm conditions so more testing is needed to get a better idea of the performance of the fins.
The fins track sufficiently and work well but in my experience, it was not the best tracking 11’ board I’ve been on so the jury is still out on the 2 center fin set-ups vs the 1 center fin and 2 side fin setup.
One of the things which I’m very happy iRocker did was put on locking tethers on their fins. There have been many reports of customers losing their fins with iRockers classic versions. So it’s good that iRocker acknowledged that fault and did something about it in the Ultra series boards. The tethers can come on and off and lock into place, making sure that you don’t lose your fins even if they come loose from the clips.
There is not too much to talk about here. Just like in the classic All Around series the inside of the ankle part is made of padded neoprene and is comfortable to wear. The leashes come color-coded and have swivel bases both on the ankle and tether parts.
All Around 11 Ultra On-Water Performance
When testing the All Around 11 Ultra I did feel some subtle differences between the Classic and the Ultra series which I will go into detail about below.
The stability of the All Around 11 Ultra was pretty good. In terms of going from kneeling to standing there was little struggle to keep balance.
In terms of paddling the board, and maneuvering it around using some simple stroke techniques, the board remained mostly steady throughout. I did feel that the All Around 11 Ultra felt just a little bit less stable in certain circumstances compared to the classic All Around series.
One of the biggest factors that I found affected the stability of the 11 Ultra was waves coming from other boats. I could mostly stand when tackling them head on, but I felt unsteady at times and had to crouch down to counter some of the movement. This compared to the board my friend was on (Atoll 11) looked better equipped to handling these waves.
I was very curious as to how the 2 fins would allow the board to track in the water. While the board tracked sufficiently in the water, I felt that the 3 fin set-up of the All Around 11 classic series was the better tracking vessel, purely based on memory. But this needs more testing. In the video, I counted about 6 strokes per side before I needed to correct the vessel.
Update: I recently did a 2 hour paddle with a friend paddling against the tide. One thing I’m noticing more and more with this board is that as you put more power into your strokes the tracking gets better. I was observing my friend paddling next to me in the Atoll zig zagging more as soon as we were increasing our pace to get to the rocks. While the All Around 11 Ultra was giving me more strokes per side before I had to correct course.
One on-water performance area where I found that the All Around 11 Ultra came ahead was speed. This is because this board is 4.6 pounds lighter compared to the classic All Around series which allows you to gain a bit more speed with the same amount of effort exerted.
The glide on the board was impressive both with casual paddling and harder paddles in the water. Making this a good pick if you were looking for a board that will go longer distances with a tiny bit less effort.
The board is also very hydrodynamic and well designed in that aspect. Making it one of the quicker boards in the iRocker line-up.
I found doing more force-heavy maneuvers like sweep strokes, the maneuverability was responsive and the board turned the way it should. However, when I was doing little side paddles I noticed that the board did have a bit more trouble turning compared to boards with 3 fin setups.
My theory on this is that the two larger 9” center fins create more resistance in the water compared to having the 1 center fin and 2 smaller side fins attached which is easier for water to pass over because of the smaller mass of the side fins. Again more testing on this is needed to have a concrete opinion.
All Around 11 Ultra Set-Up/ Take Down
The process of setting up the Ultra series is no more complicated than setting up most other SUP boards. In Fact, it may be slightly more streamlined thanks to all the miscellaneous accessories being placed in one compartment bag as opposed to searching for them in the pockets. As well as with the inclusion of the electric pump.
When unraveling the bag you will first have to unclip the top and roll the top of the bag out. Its held in by velcro so just undo it and you will see the contents of the package. As mentioned above there will be a bag that has the fins, electric pump, hose as well as a repair kit, instructions
To properly take the board out you can unzip the two zippers in the front. Simply take the board out, unfold and connect your electric pump to either your battery or cigarette lighter and start letting the 12 V electric pump do the work for you!
Taking down the board may take a little bit of getting used to, especially with folding the board lengthwise. In my experience, it’s hard to fold the board perfectly lengthwise, but do the best you can and then you can start folding from the nose to the tail.
I found that in my last few experiences that the tail will never fold exactly in line with the rest of the folds. But it works as I usually get it to fit back into the bag. Which is the only thing that really matters.
As mentioned above the bag is one of the better ones in terms of getting the board to fit. Simply unzip the front 2 zippers and place the bag inside, adjusting the board as you zip it back up.
The first few times there will most likely be some adjustments and readjusting that you have to get used to but once you get the hang of folding the board back into the bag it’s a pretty straightforward process.
About The iRocker Company
iRocker has been in business since 2013 and has taken over the likes of Tower and other Amazon brands to become one of the biggest paddle board companies there are. In fact they have distribution centers in the USA, Canada, UK, and Europe.
iRocker Warranty Information
Most iRocker boards (outside of the Nautical series) feature a 3-year warranty on their boards. This warranty is above the average that we see from other SUP manufacturers which is 2 years.
The return period is also impressive with a 60-day warranty. The industry average for inflatable SUPs is usually 30 days.
What Customers Think
The best most unbiased information that I could find on the All Around 11 Ultra came from the Facebook group “iRocker SUP Owners”. You have to join it first but it has a good amount of posts about iRocker owners who have both good and bad things to say about various different models, including the Ultra series.
Ron Wallace from the iRocker SUP owners group had some interesting insights on the On-Water performance of the All Around 11 Ultra, with a direct comparison to the Blackfin XL.
“Let me premise this by saying I also have the ’21 Blackfin Model XL. The difference in boards became obvious right away. The pics I posted yesterday of the difference in backpack size is shockingly apparent. Furthermore, the weight of the Ultra All Around is craaaaaaazy light! My 5’2″ paddle-buddy even commented on how light the Ultra is in comparison to her ’21 All Around. Shocked the polka dot britches off of her! lololol But seriously, the board is very light.Once I dropped in, I immediately notice the difference in stability. Yes, I get it and I’m fully aware the Blackfin Model XL is 2″ inches wider than the Ultra…size does matter. 🤣 After a few paddles, I got my “bearings” on the board, but I found myself working a lil bit more than I expected. For me, I could feel the board “tilt” to either side as I paddled. As I paddle-buddy would jokingly remind me from time to time, “you’re used to your Blackfin” or “should have started on a board like mine!” *What are friends for, right?* 😂 In any case, I made it do what it do for a lil while longer. What came next is where this board earned it’s keep. While weaving our way through those mangroves, I had to go from standing to sitting. The Ultra proved quite worthy of the task! I felt comfortable on it and it handled magnificently!!! I only needed the slightest paddle stroke to maneuver the board in the direction I wanted to go. It amazed me how quickly it responded. Once out of the mangroves and in an “open” area, the Ultra moved through the water pretty quick and with ease when I wanted it to.”– Ron Wallace (iRocker SUP Owners Group)
There are others further in the group who questioned the stability of the Ultra series
“I took it out tonight for the first time and couldn’t even get one foot into position whilst kneeling without nearly tipping myself off the board lol never had that happen before. A little disheartened by how unstable it felt but hoping it was something else and not the board”– Charlie Doll (iRocker SUP Owners Group)
My personal opinion on the matter is that the All Around 11 Ultra is stable, but not necessarily as stable as some of its predecessors. I also did have a bit more difficulty tackling waves and wake from boats as they passed by compared to the classic All Around 11 series.
Where to Buy the iRocker All Around 11 Ultra Series
As of now, it seems the All Around 11 Ultra is sold primarily on each of the above iRocker websites. iRocker used to put their products on Amazon but over the past few years I have not seen them on there.
Of course, it could be easy for me to list the All Around 10 Ultra, Blackfin CX and Cruiser Ultra boards as alternatives but we prefer to list other companies as well to give you the full picture of travel-friendly SUPs.
Red Paddle 11’ Compact
One of the originators of this compact trend in ISUPs. The Compact 11 is designed very similarly to the Ultra series with the main differences being its in-house construction using MSL fusion technology (they actually have their own factories to design their boards, they don’t outsource to Asia). It is also over 2 X more expensive because of the above-mentioned inhouse manufacturing process. A few other differences are that its thickness is 4.72 inches and it comes with a manual pump instead of an electric one.
Nixy Huntington Ultra Compact Board
This board is a bit more inline with the 11 in terms of price but it is a full foot and a half shorter at 9’6”. The Huntington Ultra Compact also does not come with an electric pump but rather a 3 stage double chambered manual pump. The paddle also comes in 4 pieces instead of 5 like the Ultra series boards do. The Huntington Ultra Compact is better suited for maneuverability as opposed to longer-distance paddling like the All Around 11 Ultra series.
Should You Get The IRocker All-Around 11 Ultra Board?
Based on my testing and what a lot of other customers say the All Around 11 Ultra is a great board to get if:
- You want an airplane travel-friendly board
- Having a package that does not take up a lot of space is important to you
- You want a faster All Around Board
- You are a beginner/ Intermediate paddler who wants a board to grow with
- You want a board with some light touring capabilities
- You want a board to take on camping trips that does not take up much space
My testing of the board proved to be sufficient in terms of on-water performance with a few slight performance drops in maneuverability, tracking and stability compared to the classic All Around board. But the board is much more lightweight which makes it a slightly faster pick.
In terms of the set-up and takedown of the board, it was easy enough to figure out with the electric pump and when rolling the board back up you don’t need to be perfect to fit back into the bag.
Overall my impressions of the All Around 11 Ultra were positive and it is a solid pick for the majority of inflatable paddlers out there.