In this review, we will be looking at the iRocker Nautical Kids board.
We go through the real-life pros and cons all the while telling you what they’ve done well and what the board can improve on.
In our ratings, the Nautical Kids was rated as the 5th Best kids SUP. Don’t let the rating fool you though. This is a pretty underrated pick that was only slightly ousted from the top spots.
Below we will deep dive into that and point out all the ins and outs as well as how the board handles, and who it’s ideally for.
Let’s get into it!
Nautical Kids Review Ratings
Below is how I rate the Nautical Kids SUP. Click the links below to skip to each section.
Total Score 7.6/10 (Accumulated Averages of Below Scores)
- On-Water Performance – 7.4
- Stability 8
- Tracking 7
- Speed 6.5
- 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
- Backpack 7
- Paddle 7
- Pump 6
- Fins 8
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 8
- Stable for most sized kids under 5’10
- Lots of Bungee Storage area
- High Maximum capacity
- Can be used for smaller adults
- Covered with a 2-year warranty
- Much like other Nautical series has one action mount
- Lighter Than many Kids SUPs
- Tracking will be limited based on size
- Higher probability of losing the fins due to snap on nature
- Deck webbing can present more tripping possibilities if your kid likes to wander around the board
Who Should Be Using the Nautical Kids SUP
I think we know what the obvious answer here would be. However, due to the Nauticals 220 lb maximum capacity, you could fit a smaller adult that’s under 5’10 on this board. It won’t feel like the Nautical 10’6 or Nautical 11’6” but it will have some advantages. Click the two links above to see the reviews.
Due to the dimensions of this board, it’s a good pick for areas that need more maneuverability. Places like coastal areas, mangroves, or slow-moving rivers would all be good spots
You can definitely use this board on lakes and beaches as well. Although if you have an adult SUP you will probably have to slow down a bit to let your child catch up. Their newfound paddling skills coupled with the board’s shorter length will make it zig-zag a bit more compared to your adult SUP.
What SUP Activities Can the Nautical Kids be Used For?
Being a kid’s SUP the activities will be a little bit limited, but there are a few child-friendly set-ups that you can do with this board,-.
Starter/ Learning Board
The primary stability of this board (stability of the board sitting on flat water) is one of its best features for a 9’ board. But this goes for the Nautical Series as a whole.
The board is on the higher end lengthwise compared to other kids’ SUPs we reviewed. That coupled with the 32” width makes it a decent board for the young ones to get their paddling feet.
Once your kid (or smaller adult in some cases!) gets to learn some paddle boarding techniques they can paddle right along with you. Always make sure elements are favorable for kids. Look for low wind, calm waters, and mostly clear days for optimal paddling.
Yup, this SUP can be used as a kayak hybrid! This board features 4 free d rings in the middle of the paddle board that can be used with iRockers kayak conversion kit.
This may be a handy little accessory for kids starting out when their feet get tired of standing.
Nautical Kids Stats Deconstructed
- Length: 9’
- Width: 32”
- Thickness: 6”
- Volume: 276 L
- Weight: 17.2 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 220 Lbs
The Nautical Kids, much like the nautical series, is made of a dual layers of PVC with a military drop stitch core. We think the threading of the drop stitch is a single layer.
This is an overall improvement over some kid’s SUPs that are made of a single-layer PVC construction. Single layer typically does not last as long and often has a warranty period of one year or less.
In the Nautical Kids case, the warranty is 2 years.
Nautical Kids Board Profile
The shortest length in the iRocker lineup, the Nautical kids is designed to try to keep pace with the grown-ups. Something that greatly helps this SUP is its 2+1 fin setup which would help an otherwise loose board track at a decent rate.
Most Kid’s SUPs only have a middle fin and sometimes 2 smaller side bite fins which admittedly don’t do much.
The board’s shape is more rounded, mostly due to the fact that the Nautical kid’s SUP maintains the 32” width that its Nautical brothers have. This makes it a very stable board for your child to take their first standing lessons on. Although the wider width may hinder the tracking ability abit.
What’s On Deck
The following is what the Nautical Kids SUP has available onboard.
Nautical Kids Deck Pad
The Nautical kids has a deck pad that covers about 2/3rds of the SUP. If you remove the bungees in the back there is even more space for your kid to move and play on the board.
“The thing we were not as big of a fan of is the striped deck padding. It does not seem like the grooves are as deep as something like the iRocker series. This will make the surface a tad bit less grippy, although it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. “– Editors Notes
The deck padding is also thinner overall which may make your child’s feet a bit more numb (common for everyone in paddle boarding) quickly compared to boards with thicker deck padding.
Nautical Kids D Rings
Much like the adult Nautical series, the Nautical kids features 18 D rings
- 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
One thing I really appreciated was the fact that this board is compatible with iRockers kayak conversion seat. I think this is a good feature, especially if your child is not feel confident standing up just yet. It allows for a comfortable environment to paddle and feel secure in.
Nautical Kids Deck Bungees
The Nautical kids feature 6 rows of bungee deck webbing.
- 3 Rows in the front
- 3 Rows in the back
“I feel that this kind of setup is both a blessing and a bit of a curse for a kid’s paddle board. On one hand, you have a board with a lot of storage, which in a way makes your child feel important because they are carrying things that your boards would be carrying.
On the other hand, if your kid likes to walk around the board and test the limits the bungees could get in the way. We would like to see the Nautical kids adopt the same easy-release bungee system as the Ultra boards iRocker has.“– Editors Notes
Nautical Kids Action Mounts
One thing we will give iRocker a lot of credit for is the fact that they decided to include an action mount, the same as the adult boards. A few things that you can attach include:
I feel the drink holder and the action camera holder would be the best to include as your child can have a place to put their drink, or put that away and put in the action camera to detail their adventures!
Although as I said with the other Nautical series I’m not entirely sure why they could not have included one more on the opposite side of the deck bungee system.
iRocker Nautical Handles
The Nautical kids, like other iRocker boards, features 7 handles. One on the nose, rear, and finally the middle carry handle. The middle one will be the one that gets the most use. The handle has a neoprene cover which keeps the material from digging into your child’s hands.
The board also weighs 17.2 lbs so depending on the size of your child, more times than not they can carry the board to shore. Especially as they start getting older and stronger.
iRocker Nautical Kids Accessories
Below are some of the accessories that come with the Nautical Kids board.
Nautical Kids Bag
The bag is designed much like the other nautical SUPs although when first looking at the Nautical Kids product page. You would be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t a bag that came with this SUP. But there is indeed a bag!
The bag is the same that comes with the Nautical 11’6” and 10”6 paddle boards. It features a padded pack part and shoulder straps which help with carrying the backpack. Depending on how big your child is, you may have to carry it for them as the bag with everything weighs in at 38 lbs.
One solution to the weight issue is getting the iRocker roller tray designed specifically for Nautical backpacks.
The bag features a front pocket that can fit smaller accessories so you can keep everything together before heading out.
Nautical Kids Paddle
The Nautical paddle is made of a fiberglass shaft and a nylon blade, similar to other Nautical boards. I appreciate that iRocker included the fiberglass paddle with their board. Fiberglass is a lighterweight construction than aluminum which is what a lot of kids’ SUPs come with.
The paddle weighs about 1.9 pounds. A lighter paddle means your child can paddle for longer and won’t tire as easily. Meaning fewer breaks and hopefully less crankiness on the journey.
The Nautical paddle goes up to 67.3” long, which will fit most kids 5’2” and under. Although for adults who prefer shorter boards this will be a bit of a problem. So you may have to purchase an extra paddle.
The Nautical comes with a single chamber pump which will do the job. The pump has 2 stages, one where the pump releases air on the up and down pump. The other stage is when you get to about 7 PSI and it becomes harder to pump. In this case, you want the air to come in at the down pump to make it easier.
Your child may need assistance going past the 5 PSI mark as this is when the pumping becomes harder.
“I personally use electric pumps exclusively now. Yes, they will cost you around $130 dollars or so but if you plan on going paddle boarding a lot it’s a game changer. Especially for people like me who have had back injuries in the past.
Not only do you save effort but you can also use that time to set-up your board or put away items you don’t need back in the trunk. Or if you are like us you can pop open a nice refreshing beverage while you wait!”– Editors Notes
Nautical Kids Fins
From an on-water performance perspective, the Nautical fins are a great inclusion in the Nautical package as they will allow the board to perform more like a true iRocker SUP.
The side fins help keep the boards tracking. Although being a 9” board there still will be some fishtailing compared to the bigger Nautical SUPs.
From a parental perspective the clip-on fins may be a bit of a hindrance because as we all know, kids are notorious for losing things. So try teaching them a system that makes them remember to take all 3 fins off and put them in the front pocket of the bag.
Nautical Kids Leash
The leash is 10’ in length and coiled. It also has a key stash pocket on it to keep very small valuables that you can afford to get wet.
Below we will be going over how the Nautical Kids performs in the water.
If you are 5’5” and under the board will feel pretty stable thanks to its 32” width. Many Kid’s SUPs have a shorter width which will feel a bit more unstable for your child. But this is not the case with the Nautical Kids paddle board.
I find 9’ SUPs are a good size for kids as it allows you to have them for a few years without them outgrowing the board. So kids between 7-14 should be able to comfortably paddle this board. If they are smaller in stature then they can have the board for longer thanks to the 220 maximum capacity.
The Nautical 9’ Kids SUP is the lightest iRocker model available. But it won’t be winning any races due to its shorter length. And that’s okay because this is a Kids SUP. A vessel primarily catered to getting your child to learn the sport of paddle boarding.
Compared to most kids’ SUPs the Nautical kids will do pretty well in this category thanks to the iRocker snap-on fins.
“The behavior of a 9’ SUP is usually one of the board zig zagging left to right. I had a friend who bought a 9’4” SUP and he had a heck of a time keeping up with the 10’6 and 11’ boards on a 3-hour paddle. A big part of it was that the SUP only had a center fin which made the board fishtail more in the water.”– Editors Notes
The two 5” side fins will help this board keep the course a lot better. Although still no matter what fin setup you put on this board, its tracking will most likely not be as good as your adult SUPs due to the 9’ length.
This is a part where this SUP did pretty well. The 9’ length will help make this board more maneuverable compared to most adult SUPs. Which makes learning maneuverability techniques a lot easier to learn for your child.
It won’t be the most maneuverable Kids SUP though. As there are Kids SUPs on the market that are 7’4” to 8’. But just keep in mind if you choose a shorter SUP over a 9’ paddle board. The time your child will outgrow the board will be faster.
About the iRocker Nautical Series
The Nautical Kids series is a new series for 2022 that fills the paddling void for children. The Nautical series itself is a sub-brand from iRocker which was started in 2013 by Steve Elder. iRocker has since taken over as one of the biggest SUP brands by having distribution centers in Canada, the United States, Europe, the UK, and now Australia.
Nautical Kids Warranty
The Nautical kids falls under the Nautical series warranty period of 2 years. Which is above average of what most Kids SUPs have as a warranty period.
The return policy for 2022/ 2023 is tiered and goes as follows:
- 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.
- iRocker Return Policy
What Customers Think of the Nautical Kids Line
Since this is a new paddle board line finding customer reviews can be a bit tricky for the first year or two. As of now I could only find 1 review on the iRocker website. We will update this as more time passes and more reviews are accumulated not just on the iRocker site but other sources like Facebook, Reddit, Quora etc.
“My 7 and 11 year old kids love this board and have the best life on the water!”– Veronika (Verified Nautical Kids Customer)
Where to Buy the Nautical Kids Stand-Up Paddle Board
The best place to buy the Nautical kids inflatable paddle board is through the iRocker website. Click the link here and it will direct you to the nearest iRocker distribution center near you. As stated above, iRocker has distribution centers in:
- United States
- Europe (Germany)
Below are some brands that have similar specs and features to the Nautical Kids series.
Atoll Youth SUP
Atoll, like iRocker, has gotten into the kid’s SUP game for 2022 with their Youth SUP. The YouthSUP is 9 feet, much like the Nautical but its width is 2 inches shorter at 30” wide. That coupled with the slightly more pointed nose and tail, make the Atoll Youth a decent board for tracking.
The only thing that would hinder this is the 2” side bite fins that Atoll has. But the fin is FCS meaning you can buy different types of fins from different locations to further customize this SUP to your child’s liking.
Bluefin Cruise Jr
If added accessories and value is your thing, the Bluefin Cruise Jr features a good value for its price tag. The board features a kayak seat and kayak conversion paddle as well as the regular bag, pump, center fin, and leash. The Bluefin Cruise is a foot shorter and will weigh more than the Nautical Series.
Should You Get the Nautical Kids Paddle Board?
Despite its 5th place rating in our Best Kids SUPs list the Nautical is a pretty underrated pick. It is one of the best value SUPs on the market that comes from a big SUP manufacturer that has attached a 2 year warranty to the board.
You should get the Nautical Kids Paddle Board if:
- Your Child is 5’5” and below
- You want a board that can keep up with their growth spurts
- You are a smaller paddler and you want a board with some maneuverability
- You want to bring some things with you for a day paddle like coolers, dry bags, etc.
- You want a board that will be stable on flat water
- You want your kid to learn the art of paddle boarding on a steady board
Have you got a Nautical Paddle Board? Let us know what you think! Tell us on our Facebook page!