In this iRocker Nautical 10’6” review we will be inspecting this SUP with a magnifying glass from tail to nose and everything in between.
We will also explain the who, what and why:
- Who the Nautical 10’6” is for
- Why the series is ranked as one of the best cheap inflatable paddle boards
- What the Nautical 10’6” excels at and what it could do better
Without further ado let’s get into this Nautical 10’6” SUP Review! Taller folks I recommend taking a look at our Nautical 11’6″ Paddle Board Review.
For More Nautical Paddle Board Reviews click here.
What Did we think of the Nautical 10’6″ sUP?
We thought the Nautical 10’6″ SUP was a solid affordable entry board for about 80% of paddler shapes and sizes. In our 20 hours or research we concluded that the Nautical offers fantastic stability and above average on-board features and accessories for boards within its price range.
Despite the Nautical series being the “cheaper” iRocker board both in price point and materials used I would pick this over similarly priced Amazon boards any day. This is due to clear terms of service in the warranty and returns as well as the overwhelmingly positive things customers have said about this board. Read on as we put this board under the magnifying glass and give you all the details.
iRocker Nautical 10’6 Review Ratings
Below is how I rate the Nautical 10’6” SUP board. Click the links below to jump to each section.
Total Score 7.7 (Average of Accumulated Rating Below)
- On-Water Performance – 7.5
- Stability 8
- Tracking 7
- Speed 7
- Maneuverability 8
- SUP Construction – 7.5
- Board Features – 7.9
- Deck Pad 7.5
- D Rings 8.5
- Deck Bungees 8.5
- Action Mounts: 6
- Handles 9
- Accessories – 7.4
- Backpack 7.5
- Paddle 8
- Pump 6
- Fins 8
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 8
- One of the best value-for-price ratios for a budget SUP
- On-Water Performance is not too far off higher prices iRocker series
- The quality of the paddle included is a huge plus
- Board is Lightweight
- A great SUP for kids who are outgrowing their kid SUPs
- A great board for beginners 5’10 and 180 lbs and under
- Can be used as a board that can grow with your skills
- Great with calm water environments like lakes
- Can feel steady on small chop
- A good amount of bungee deck webbing available
- For Beginners that are taller and heavier, this will not be your board (go for 11’6” Nautical)
- The board features some bend in it. Especially with stronger paddling strokes
- The pump that comes with the board is nothing to write home about
Who Should be Using the Nautical 10’6” Paddle Board?
The Nautical series first and foremost is an introductory paddle board line made to get people into the water for an affordable price tag. And it must be said that iRocker did a good job with this mission statement for the Nautical 10’6” paddle board.
The Nautical 10’6” paddle board is best used for beginners who are a medium to small build. While most of the time taller folks like me can get on 10’6” boards with no problem, this board does have more flex which as a result limits how much weight you can put on it.
The listed maximum capacity of the 10’6” Nautical is 240 lbs. This basically means at about this weight limit, you can still paddle the board, but it won’t be doing you any favors performance-wise.
So taller folks, come with me as we take a look at the Nautical 11’6” Paddle board instead!
Now that we got that out of the way, and the smaller/ medium build people are still with me. The Nautical is in our mind one of, if not the best introductory SUP to get you into the sport.
It’s also a great pick for kids, tweens, and teens who have outgrown their kid’s SUPs. While allowing your growing child to still enjoy getting outside and enjoy paddling, similar to what my parents allowed me to do when I was a kid.
The shape of the paddle board makes it feel stable for first-time SUPers. All the while allowing the paddler to grow with the SUP as their skills improve. More on how the Nautical does this in the Stats Deconstructed section.
What SUP Activities Can the Nautical 10’6” Inflatable SUP Be Used for?
Just because the Nautical is an introductory paddle board doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for other SUP activities. On the contrary, we actually found this SUP to be quite useful for.
Learning Paddle Boarding
Okay, so I’ve mentioned this quite a bit, lets’s just get this one out of the way and explain why. The Nautical 10’6” SUP has a rounder platform compared to some other iRocker cousins like the All Around 10 Ultra. This rounder frame allows you to feel more stable on the water and gives you more confidence to stand up.
It is also lightweight enough to respond well to paddling maneuvers like side paddle’s, sweep strokes and even the more advanced pivot turns.
As you get more comfortable paddling on the iRocker Nautical, you will find that the board has good enough performance to keep up with most of your paddling demands. On-water metrics like tracking, maneuverability and speed are not too affected by the board’s rounder shape that we touched on above.
The board has a more pointed nose than most budget round-nosed all-around boards. This allows the nose of the board to not drag through the water, but rather glide on top of it with little resistance.
For those longer day paddles, the Nautical features 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front and rear of the board which is pretty generous for boards within its price range. You can store coolers, drybags, speakers, or probably a combination of all 3 onboard.
Is this the best board for SUP yoga? No, but it’s a pretty decent board for one of its price ranges! The board’s deck pad takes up more than 2/3rds of the space of the board which gives you enough traction to practice basic yoga maneuvers.
For positions that require more grip, you may want to look at our Best Yoga Paddle Boards list. While the deck pad is sufficient on this board it lacks the grip of some of the others on that list.
You don’t need an expensive SUP to have a sufficient paddle board that acts as a kayak hybrid. You just need to purchase iRockers Kayak Conversion kit and voila your Nautical 10’6” turns into a 2 in 1 vessel.
This is an especially handy accessory to have as often your legs start to get a bit numb after a long period of paddling. So plopping your bum into that kayak seat and relaxing your leg and back muscles is a very handy option to have. The board’s fins also give it sufficient tracking which will help the nose of the board not wag too much.
Nautical 10’6” On-Water Performance
Below are some impressions of the iRocker Nautical’s On-Water Performance.
|Rating Factor||Score||Average SUP Score|
(All Around Boards)
|Total On-Water Score||7.5||8.0|
|Stability Score||8 /10||8.3|
|Tracking Score||7 /10||7.8|
|Speed Score||7 /10||7.7|
|Manueverability Score||8 /10||8.1|
One area where the Nautical 10’6” shines is in the stability department. Depending on your size. Anybody over the 180-190 lbs range may have a bit more difficulty balancing on this SUP if experience is rather limited. It’s recommended people within my height and weight range (180 lbs and 6’0” range) look at the bigger Nautical 11’6” board for better stability.
If you’ve been on a paddle board a few times and have some experience you can probably get away with being my height/weight range and getting the 10 ‘6” Nautical.
The Nautical is designed to be one of the rounder boards in the iRocker lineup. Its purpose is to be designed for those who want to make the plunge and get their first board. Chances are if you learn proper standing techniques this board should not be too difficult to get accustomed to.
Keep in mind that while this board will feel more solid than other single-layer boards it will feel more bouncy compared to more expensive models like the iRocker All Around 10 Ultra and Blackfin Ultra CX series.
One of the things that I really appreciated was the tracking of this model. They gave this SUP the 3 fin set-up that is prominent on all classic iRocker models. Most of the time budget SUP manufacturers throw in a slide-in single fin and maybe tiny 2” side fins on the board and call it a day.
The Nautical comes with the proprietary fin set-up that allows this board to track that much better. In my experience, most boards with a single cheap plastic dolphin fin need about 2 strokes on each side before changing sides to stay the course. With this fin set-up, it takes about 3-4 strokes a side before changing course. Which allows you to keep a bit better momentum.
If tracking is important to you the 11’6” Nautical shows a slight improvement over the 10’6” Nautical due to the extra foot length.
If you are planning on buying the Nautical primarily for speed purposes I would look at other models like the Ultra 11 or the Blackfin Ultra CX. Although to a beginner, you won’t notice the difference as much truthfully. I promise I won’t harp on this board too much for this though.
Now if we were to be fairer and compare this board to other budget boards the 10’6” Nautical would perform quite well, Its lightweight 20 lb frame gives the board pretty good acceleration. Its uplifted nose allows it to have a fairly hydrodynamic profile that will spit the water rather than plow through it like other budget boards such as Serenelife does.
This is where the 10’6” Nautical will shine compared to the 11’6” model. Its shorter length will allow the Nautical to maneuver more easily which is why we say people under 6’ should use this SUP.
The 10’6” is also a great model to learn your paddling maneuvers on. It would be a good pick for places that require a bit more maneuvering like mangroves, calm coastal bays, or slow-moving rivers.
The wider tail also makes this a good board to learn some more advanced maneuvers such as pivot turns. The deck pad extends all the way to the tail of the board. Something which even the more expensive models like the All Around Ultra series do not currently have.
iRocker Nautical 10’6” Inflatable Paddle Board Specifications Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational
- Length: 10’6″
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 6″
- Volume: 221 L
- Weight: 20 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 240 Lbs
|Rating Factor||Score||Average Score (All Around)|
|Construction Score||7.5 /10||8.3|
One of the main reasons why we rated the Nautical 10’6” as the best budget SUP is the way its constructed. Many budget paddle boards are made of a single-layer PVC material and at most have a 1-year warranty associated with them.
The Nautical is made of a dual-layer PVC frame along with a military drop stitch core which gives the board an added layer of protection. Now, this is not the best construction in our humble opinion. But for the price tag, I would take this over single-layer PVC construction found on many Amazon boards any day.
As your paddle board skill set starts to grow and you improve your paddling stroke, you will notice that this board does have a bit of bend. This is even more noticeable if you are taller or heavier. This is some of the flex that comes with the territory of the dual-layer PVC. For something more performance-oriented that’s stiffer take a look at the iRocker All Around 10 Ultra series.
This also allows the Nautical 10’6” SUP to be lighter than boards like the triple-layer Cruise or All Around series boards. Less materials in a SUP equals an easier time carrying the SUP to the shoreline.
Check Out the iRocker All Around 10 Ultra Review Here.
Nautical 10’6” Board Profile
The Nautical 10’6” SUP has a well-rounded profile which is primarily meant to keep the board stable. This boards nose has a bit of a rocker which allows the board’s nose to not plow water when you are paddling at faster speeds. Its slightly pointed nose also allows the water to easily part as well, especially when you are heading into a little bit of wake.
The tail is also rounded which is actually pretty ideal for practicing maneuvers such as pivot turns. I do also like the fact that the deck padding runs all the way to the tail of the board. More on this below though.
What’s On Deck
|Rating Factor||Score||Average SUP Score|
(All Around Boards)
|Board Features Score||7.9||8.1|
|Deck Pad Score||7.5 /10||8.3|
|D-Rings Score||8.5 /10||8|
|Deck Webbing Score||8.5 /10||8.1|
|Action Mounts Score||6 /10||7.8|
|Handle Score||9 /10||8.2|
Below we will through what the Nautical 10’6” has to offer onboard and why it has a bit better value than most other budget SUPs.
iRocker Nautical 10’6” Deck Pad
The Nautical has a rather generous amount of deck padding available to the paddler. Which is one of the reasons why I mentioned above that it would be an underrated SUP Yoga pick.
The deck padding takes up nearly 2/3rds of the board which goes all the way to the tail. As you get more confident in your SUP skills you can start practicing standing on the tail of the board to make the board turn a full 360 with just a couple of paddle strokes.
The tail’s wider width makes it easier to balance/ stand on as well while you are trying these maneuvers.
In my experience, including with many iRocker boards, the striped deck padding is not the most grippy. There have also been comments from customers and reviewers that the padding is not as thick as some other iRocker SUPs as well.
This may make paddling longer distances a bit harder on your feet. Even more of a case to get a kayak conversion kit with this SUP.
Nautical 10’6” D Rings
The Nautical offers a generous amount of D rings, especially when compared to other budget SUPs. In fact, off the top of my mind the only other budget SUP series that offers close to as many is the Gili Air 10’6” and 11’6” Paddle Boards.
The nautical D Rings are located as follows:
- 6 D rings for front bungees
- 6 D rings for rear bungees
- 1 D ring for towing at the bottom nose for towing
- 1 D ring at the tail for Ankle Leash
- 4 D rings for Kayak Conversion Kit or Shoulder strap
I do like that this SUP has a towing D ring. I actually think it’s a pretty underrated feature that hardly ever gets talked about. It’s great for getting towed by boat for both pleasure and emergency reasons.
I’ve actually tried being towed off a paddle board before while standing (at low speeds) and it’s quite a bit of fun!
Nautical Deck Bungees
Having 6 rows of deck bungees on a budget SUP is such an underrated feature I can’t even tell you! These extra bungees allow you to bring things like coolers, dry bags, snacks, or even a place to strap in wet clothes, water bottles, etc.
“My Friend got a Tower Yachtsman which has no deck bungees. He has to tie a drybag to the front D ring of the SUP, which sort of works but you have to be so much more careful of your movements to keep the drybag from falling off the side of the board.”– Editors Notes
In my mind having 6 rows of bungee deck webbing is perfect for not only stowing gear but also keeping it in place, especially for those days when the water may not be picture-perfect.
Another thing I appreciate is the fact that this SUP has passenger handles not only on the front of the board but on the rear as well! So you can put a small kid at the front and allow them to hang on.
I also have found that these handles are pretty handy in keeping the board steady while carrying it from the mid-handle. Especially if you have gear stowed on the front that kilters the SUP off balance as you are walking to shore.
iRocker Mounting Points
iRocker could have very easily just gone with the above on-board features and had been done with it. And the board would have still been considered a crazy value pick. But they also decided to give you one action mount located on the right side the last row of the front bungee deck webbing.
You can mount things such as:
- Cup Holders
- Rod Holders
- iRocker Bluetooth Speaker
- Action Camera Mount
- Cell Phone Holder
- Camera Mount
Choose wisely though! As you can only mount one at a time! If you want more mount options check out the All Around 10 or All Around 10 Ultra SUPs.
Customers describe the Nautical as a rather lightweight board to carry, in fact I’ve combed through a few reviews where they mentioned that even their kids could carry the board to shore.
The main handle you will be using is the middle carry handle. But the handles at the font and rear are handy for grabbing or guiding the board when it’s in the water. Sometimes I just hold the leash and guide it through the water like I’m walking a dog.
iRocker Nautical Accessories
|Rating Factor||Score||Average SUP Score|
(All Around Boards)
|Backpack Score||7.5 /10||8.1|
|Paddle Score||8 /10||7.8|
|Pump Score||6 /10||7.6|
|Fin Score||8 /10||8.1|
On top of having a good array of features mounted onto the board. The Nautical 10’6” also has a lot of good accessories to talk about as well! There is only one I was slightly disappointed with but I’ll dig into that a bit more below.
One of the things that make my blood boil with budget SUPs is the bags they come in.
Oftentimes budget SUPs come with a cheap bag that has barely any padding on it. The ones on Amazon are notorious for this! This results in you often getting a sore shoulder or back from a part of the SUP digging into your back while having a thing nylon strap draped over your shoulder in some sort of awkward carry bag.
Well, you don’t have to experience the above horrors with this bag. The Nautical comes with a pretty good quality bag. For one, there is actually sufficient padding on the shoulders and back area! This makes it a pretty decent bag to go on longer excursions without feeling SUP parts digging into your back.
The bag features a front pocket area where you can store the pump, a smaller PFD, or even SUP attachments for the action mount. If you have something you want to attach to the outside of the bag, there are bungee webbing points at the front that you can clip things onto.
There are mesh side pockets that you can use for water bottles or even the kayak conversion attachment paddle.
The main compartment of the bag opens up the entire way, which is something that I look for in bags. There is nothing worse then having to fit a deflated SUP into a bag that opens half way!
Most importantly it can roll into the bag with little resistance compared to other budget SUP bags (look at you Serenelife!).
There are a few differences compared to this SUP bag compared to the iRocker compact bags. For one, this is a decent-sized bag that’s about the size of a hockey gear bag. While the compact Ultra bags are wider, and thicker but take up less room lengthwise. If the size is of the utmost importance take a look at the Ultra series SUPs.
Another thing comparing the classic iRocker bags with this one is that the classic iRocker and Blackfin bags feature handles on the sides while the Nautical bags don’t have such a thing.
While this does not sound like a big deal, getting the bag out of an area lengthwise is a lot easier when there’s a handle on the side, otherwise, you have to kinda dig it out of the trunk with both hands.
One of the best things about this package is the paddle it comes with. Is it the best I’ve ever seen come with a SUP? No. Is it the best that I have seen come with a budget paddle board? In one word, Yes.
Even comparing it to other competitors like the Gili Air, the vast majority of budget paddle boards insist to include a heavier, more tiresome aluminum paddle. This is fine for like an hour on the water but if you are starting to put a few miles in you will instantly start feeling the difference.
The blade, like most iRocker boards, is made of nylon material while the shaft is made of fiberglass, which is a lighter material than aluminum.
Another good thing about the Nautical paddle is that it adjusts from 72” to 86” and just about everywhere in between. This I find a pretty good range for the majority of paddle boarders.
On top of all this, the paddle floats in the water to boot! iRocker has included a foam layer inside that allows the paddle to float on the surface in case you happen to drop it or it rolls off the board.
iRocker Single Chamber Pump
If I can pinpoint an area where iRocker may have cheaped out on their package it would probably be the pump. It works fine and will get the job done but I’m over manual pumps, especially those that are single-chamber.
“I made a vow to myself last year after injuring my back, that I would never pick up another manual pump again. Instead, I use electric pumps. I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want to spend the extra $130 on a pump. But let me just say this. Of all the ISUP owners that have an electric pump, I have heard very few complain and yearn for the days of manually pumping their SUPs.“– Editors Notes
Plus pumping up the SUP via an electric pump gives you time to grab a drink, set up your board or even pack stuff back into your car. They also make packing up the boards easier as well as they have a deflation valve that allows you to suck excess air out of you board and fold it a heck of a lot easier.
Click Here to take a look at the iRocker Electric Pump.
Okay sorry got off track in the above rant here.
The pump is 24” long and is a dual action, meaning you have 2 settings where you get air from the up and down pump to switching air to the down pump. This is handy when the pumping gets tougher as the PSI gets into the 7 range.
This is where I would give the Nautical series another standing ovation in terms of pure value. iRocker has now included its proprietary snap lock fin system on all Nautical boards. You get 3 clip-on fins. One 9” center fin and two 5” support fins that help the board’s tracking get on another level.
“Using a center fin allows the board to track well and be useful in the water. Adding the two 5” side fins hones the tracking even more (the board going in a straight line) which allows you to do more strokes on one side to get momentum rather than having to change every 1-2 strokes.”– Editors Notes
One thing I do hope to see on the Nautical series is the safety cords that attach to the fins of the Ultra series. There have been some past complaints about fins snapping off or being lost while paddling so this quick fix would solve the majority of those problems.
The leash that comes with the Nautical is 10 feet long and has two swivel bases on the ankle and attachment. The leash is coiled, so if you take a tumble into the water the board will gently spring back to you.
About iRocker Nautical Series
The Nautical series is a budget brand from iRocker that is meant to get people into the water without paying anything more than $600 to do so. iRocker has quickly become one of the leaders in Inflatable paddle boards have distribution centers in the UK, Canada, United States, Europe, and Australia.
“*Quick hint, towards the end of the year Nautical boards can be found at a good discount. As of fall 2022 the 10’6” Nautical can be found for $274.99 on their 2022 models.”– Editors Notes
The Nautical Series features a 2-year warranty on SUPs that are made from 2021 onwards. The Nautical has one year less compared to iRocker and Blackfin boards because of the way the board is constructed. 2 layers of PVC will not last as long as a triple layer or fusion layering.
iRocker has a bit of an interesting return system in place for 2022 and beyond. Take a look to see where your order would fit in this depending on when you see this article.
- *Orders placed between 10/01/2022 and 01/31/2023 may be returned within 120 days of the original purchase date.
- *Orders placed between 02/01/2023 and 09/30/2023 may be returned within 60 days of their original purchase date.
- *Orders placed prior to 10/01/2022 are eligible for a return within 90 days of the original purchase date.
What Customers Think
Below is a summary of what some customers think of the Nautical 10’6” SUP board.
We will start off with some of the likes that can be found in the iRocker product page.
“The iRocker Nautical SUP is made from super lightweight, but durable, material so it’s easy to carry, both inflated and deflated. It inflates super quickly with the electric pump and is pretty easy to inflate with the hand pump too. The fins attach really securely and are solid construction so no worries about losing or breaking them. a great SUP choice!! Lots of D rings to attach other accessories and bungies to carry extra stuff on the board. The board is nice and wide so stays level in the water really well which makes it stable and super fun to use! It comes in great colours and the paddle is really good too. All around a great SUP!”– Kate B (Verified Nautical 10’6” Customer)
As touched upon earlier the Nautical is also a hit for kids that are a bit too big for Kids’ SUPs.
“This was our second iRocker board and we love them both.My 10 year old daughter has no trouble handling the size of the board.Also highly recommend the 12v electric pump…took us only 7 mins to inflate the board..”– Mark D (Verified Nautical 10’6″ Customer)
And now we will go to some of the reviews that have some constructive criticisms. Probably one of the biggest criticisms I see on iRocker boards has to do with their fin system. Either the fin breaking off or coming loose while paddling.
“Biggest knock I hear about iRocker is their fins, its their own design so a standard fin cant be subbed in if you need a fin quick due to a break or loss. That being said I have 2 boards and had a faulty fin, they delivered me a new one in 2 days, free. So customer service was great.”– Redditor in Response to “iRocker Nautical 10’6”… Worth it?”
There has also been some confusion as to if the board is too small for them. One redditor said..
“It should be plenty. I’m about the same size and use a 10’6″ no problem. Quick edit: I paddle with a few people who are taller than me who use that exact board and love it.“– Redditor in Response to “Is the iRocker nautical 10’6” Big Enough for a 5’8 170 Lb Rider?”
Where to Buy the Nautical 10’6” Inflatable Paddle Board
You can purchase the iRocker Nautical from the iRocker website. Irocker has distribution in the following areas. Click the above link and it should take you to the distribution channel closest to your location.
- iRocker Canada
- iRocker Australia
- iRocker UK
- iRocker Europe
- iRocker USA
iRocker Nautical 10’6” FAQ’s
Below are some common FAQs we get asked about with the Nautical 10’6” SUP.
Is The Nautical 10’6” SUP Worth It?
The Nautical 10’6” is a great starter board for anybody who wants to save some money and still get a good-quality paddle board with decent-quality accessories. The board features a 2-year warranty against manufacturing defects as well. Which is higher than most budget inflatable paddle boards.
Is The Nautical 10’6” A Good Board For A Beginner To Use?
The Nautical is 32” wide with a rounder frame which makes it a good stable platform for beginners under 6’0, 180 lbs to stand on. For those who are taller the Nautical 11’6” is a better choice.
How Long Do Nautical Paddle Boards Last?
Nautical Paddle Boards can last anywhere between 4-6 years with proper care. Nautical paddle boards feature a 2-year warranty on manufacturing defects not covered by external damage.
We’ve done a good amount of comparison between the Nautical series and the bigger Nautical 11’6” as well as the sister iRocker boards. But what about other brands? Below is what we believe to be the best comparables to the Nautical 10’6” SUP.
Gili Air 10’6” SUP
The Gili Air 10’6” features very similar dimensions and included accessories to the iRocker series. The main difference between the two is the fact that the Gili air features a heavier aluminum paddle and features one less row of bungee deck webbing at the back.
The Gili Air 10’6” is a pound lighter and has a 40 lb higher maximum capacity compared to the Nautical 10’6” SUP.
Bluefin Cruise 10’8” SUP
The Bluefin Cruise is a bit more expensive compared to the Nautical 10’6” but it does have more features like a kayak conversion paddle and seat. The Cruise is a bit more of a heavy-duty SUP at about 33 lbs and the maximum capacity of the Cruise is heavier at 330 lbs. The extra 13 lbs will make quite a bit of difference carrying from the car to the shore and back.
The Cruise also features a kick pad which makes that pivot turns easier to learn if that’s something that may be of interest to you.
Should You Get the Nautical 10’6” SUP?
Overall the Nautical pleasantly surprised us with the amount of value they added to the SUP’s price point. We were impressed with the quality of accessories and the performance of the board. Particularly its stability.
You Should get the Nautical 10’6” SUP if:
- You are on a budget
- You are under 6 feet 180 lbs
- You are looking for a board with good maneuverability
- You want a board that your older child can comfortably paddle
- You want a board that comes with decent quality accessories at a cheap price point
What are your thoughts on the iRocker Nautical 10’6” SUP? Let us know on our Facebook page!