The affordable iRocker Nautical 11’6” SUP will attract many beginner and pro paddlers with a price tag that can’t help but bring a smile to your face. And after testing it out, most end up loving its practicality and versatility as well.

It’s the budget option in the iRocker family. Reaping the benefits of some of the higher specs found in the more expensive iRocker and Blackfin boards. The quality of iRocker board build and performance has a trickle-down effect you’ll see and feel once you have the Nautical 11’6” under your feet.

This iSUP is a dual-layer model with military-grade PVC sheets and a drop-stitch core. You can tweak the clip-on 2+1 fin system to suit your preference and needs. Its long profile glides smoothly, it is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

While there is a lot to love about the Nautical’s price and construction, there are a few points that remind you it is a budget board. You’ll need to take extra caution when installing the fins so you don’t lose them. The 3-piece fiberglass paddle tends to flex when you’re maxing out your power for speed, and the board itself is also not as rigid as higher-end iSUPs. 

Nautical SUPs don’t match the durability and performance of the higher range iRocker and Blackfin boards, but the Nautical is one of the best for those on a limited budget who want to start and develop their skills.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Tracks well
  • check-mark
    Very maneuverable
  • check-mark
    Speed is pretty decent
  • check-mark
    Durable construction for a budget-friendly board
  • check-mark
    Comfortable backpack with lots of pockets
  • check-mark
    Lightweight and easy to transfer to/from the water using the lay-flat handles
  • check-mark
    Removable bungees at the front and back for your cargo
  • check-mark
    You can attach a kayak seat using the mid-way D-rings
  • check-mark
    Flip-lock 2+1 fin system is a time-saver and versatile
  • check-mark
    There’s a secret key pocket on the leash
  • check-mark
    Reliable stability, especially for beginners
  • check-mark
    Easy to set up and pack up
  • check-mark
    There's a D-ring under the nose. You can tow it behind your boat
  • check-mark
    One of the best SUPs within its price point

Things we don't like:

  • check-markAdditional action mounts would be nice
  • check-markThe fin connections can sometimes not connect properly and you can drop a fin
  • check-markFiberglass paddle flexes
  • check-markThe repair kit doesn't include adhesive

Where to buy:

Nautical Paddleboard 11 6 Product Image

Nautical Paddleboard 11’6”

See the complete list of the best iRocker SUP Boards here!

The Nautical paddleboard product line proves that budget options can be made well. It’s the affordable version in the iRocker iSUP family that includes the premium Blackfin and the mid-range iRocker.

The Nautical 11’6″ is a dual-layer all-arounder inflatable paddle board. This iSUP has a military-grade PVC dual-layer drop-stitch core and best suits tall paddlers over 5’8″. It can surprisingly carry more weight beyond its 265 lbs. capacity. Its construction is not the most rigid and does have a bit of flex. Still, its durability is one of the best for its price.

Nautical 11’6” in sky blue.
Nautical 11’6” in sky blue.

Once you get it under your feet, there is the noticeable feel of iRocker/Blackfin bones in its build and performance. Not the fastest, but its good tracking allows this Nautical paddleboard to cruise at a decent speed. It’s also lightweight, so maneuvering isn’t tricky.

We like the 2+1 dolphin fin setup, and its clip-on fin box is a time-saver. However, you must ensure you rig it properly, or they can fall off. A big selling point for us is how you can play around with their arrangement- have just the center fin, or just the side bites, or have them all installed. It allows the Nautical 11’6” to adapt to various environments and purposes.

On the board, there are bungees at the front and back, seven handles, an action mount, and 18 D-rings, one of which hides under the nose so you can tow it. The EVA pad has lined grooves at the center of the deck, but as you move towards the tail the padding transitions to flat with less traction. So nope, this Nautical paddleboard is not the best for yoga, but it offers enough grip to keep you from slipping.

Inflating and packing away this iRocker Nautical is a walk in the park. It will only require at least seven minutes using the single chamber dual-action hand pump to blow it up to 14-18 PSI. Though those last few PSI will give you a workout. The backpack is also lightweight even with all accessories inside and is comfortable to carry.

Your purchase also includes a 3-piece fiberglass paddle that extends from 72″ to 86″ and has a nylon blade. It is a sturdy paddle that will give you efficient strokes but if you power up and try to paddle faster the shaft does flex, though not to breaking point. This Nautical paddleboard also comes with a 10-foot leash with a key pocket, a repair kit with patch pads, and a valve wrench, but unfortunately no glue.

Nautical 11’6″ might not be the most badass all-arounder out there, but it certainly delivers the best value for its price. A versatile all-arounder with all accessories needed for an enjoyable paddling experience.

Construction and Design

This Nautical paddleboard is made from dual-layer military-grade PVC. It stands 11’6”-tall, has a 32″-wide deck, a 16″-wide tail, and is 6″ thick. It’s best suited for tall paddlers over 5’8″ and comes in four colors: sky blue, blue, teal, and gray.

Nautical 11’6” is an iSUP for tall paddlers.
Nautical 11’6” is an iSUP for tall paddlers.

We mentioned its dual-layer military grade PVC dropstitch construction which is rarely seen in budget boards and frankly quite impressive to have in the Nautical. It makes it durable and stable, and is more reliable than single-layer construction.

Compared to a dual-layer fusion build found in pricier models like the NIXY Newport G4 10’6”, the Nautical 11’6” is not as lightweight and rigid. iSUPs with fusion tech have the layers laminated together, so there is no glue to wear out over time and cause wrinkles and bubbling.

This Nautical paddleboard is not the most solid inflatable SUP out there. But for an entry-level option, its durability makes it one of the best at its price point.

Features

Let’s take a closer look at Nautical 11’6”.

Bungees and D-Rings

There are 6-point bungees for your drybags at the front and back, a total of 18 D-rings, and an action mount. You can install a kayak seat or a cooler if you want to. There’s also a D-ring under the nose.

A single action mount might not feel like enough. iRocker does offer additional action mounts you can buy separately, which you can easily install yourself. This customization option is handy if you need to have your fishing rod, action cam, and cup holder rigged onto your Nautical paddleboard. It’s better than cruising without any bungees or D-rings as we did with the Tower Yachtsman 10’4”. We had to carry our drybag on our back to bring our essentials during our journey.

Handles

The tail, nose, and center lay flat handles of this Nautical paddleboard have iRocker branding on them, while the ones at the bungee areas don’t. You get seven grips in all, making transport effortless. Whether you’re solo or have a helping hand, you won’t have to stress how you’ll get the Nautical to/from the water like we had to with the Roc Scout 10’.

Deck Pad

The deck pad has lined grooves at the center for good traction. However, it would’ve been better if it covered more area, especially towards the tail. There’s less grip as the deck padding smooths as you move towards the tail, so using the iRocker Nautical for yoga might not be the best idea. If you want a non-slip yoga iSUP, the nose-to-tail EVA deck pad of Gili paddle boards is better.

The Nautical 11’6″ is a budget inflatable paddle board. The deck pad is more focused on soft texture than traction. And for its price, the deck pad gives your feet enough grip so that you won’t slip into the water.

2+1 Fin System

The iRocker Nautical model has a clip-on 2+1 dolphin fin setup. This configuration works best for all-arounders with balanced performance. The center fin has a medium base and moderate rake, giving good maneuverability and tracking. It’s also nice that you can tweak the configuration to fit your purpose and environment. For example, if you know you are paddling somewhere shallow, you can remove the longer center fin.

Versatile flip-lock 2+1 fin setup.
Versatile flip-lock 2+1 fin setup.

These kinds of clip-on fins are easy to install but prone to falling off if not clipped in place properly, so take notice when attaching. You can remove them when not in use to pack your boards more compactly, and you don’t risk damaging them like the built-in sidebites of the Isle Explorer 11’6”.

Offset Valve

Nautical 11’6″ has a typical Halkey-Robert valve you’ll see in most iSUPs. Super easy to use with a label of 14-18 PSI recommended inflation. Remember to keep the pin up when inflating and down when deflating.

Typical Halkey-Robert valve.
Typical Halkey-Robert valve.

Accessories

What extras do you get?

Pump

This Nautical paddleboard comes with a single chamber dual-action hand pump. It’ll take roughly seven to ten minutes to inflate your iSUP fully, but with only a single chamber you will have to work a bit to get those last PSI in. Count it as your warm-up or an extra arm day. If you want to skip the extra labor, you can get an iRocker electric pump for an additional cost.

It takes roughly 7-10 mins to inflate Nautical 11'6
It takes roughly 7-10 mins to inflate Nautical 11'6".

Paddle

Assembling the 3-piece fiberglass paddle is simple. It extends from 72″ to 86″. We noticed some flexing in the shaft when paddling at full power. Not a deal-breaker. It won’t give up as aluminum ones would, but its durability and feel are no match to complete carbon alternatives like the Blackfin V 12”.

The shaft flexes, but no, it won’t break.
The shaft flexes, but no, it won’t break.

Leash

The 10-foot leash has a key pocket at the ankle cuff. The neoprene material is lightweight and comfortable. It doesn’t irritate the skin, and the Velcro securely closes. No problem with the swivels- no tangling your feet.

Repair Kit

There’s also a repair kit included. Inside, there are PVC patch pads and a valve wrench, but it’s missing adhesive. You’ll have to buy it separately.

Performance

How well does the Nautical 11’6” perform?

Stability

The Nautical 11’6” paddleboard has a maximum weight capacity of 265 lbs. and 232-liter volume. It’s pretty stable and can surprisingly handle more load than expected.
The construction isn’t as rigid as its cousins from iRocker the iRocker and Blackfin, so expect some flexing.

But it stays afloat even if there’s an extra passenger aboard. Of course, we don’t recommend that setup as really the board isn’t built for it.
Hefty iSUPs like Gili Manta Ray 15’ would be more practical for multi-passengers.

To test its stability, we loaded Nautical 11’6” with two passengers, one paddling and one sitting and it stayed afloat.
Not the most rigid, but still pretty stable:

Its all-arounder profile with 32”-wide deck also makes it an ideal option for beginners who prioritize stability and getting comfortable in the water. The Nautical 11’6” has almost the same stability you’ll find in the more expensive iRocker SUP, thought its construction is less stiff and has more flex. Rigging all three fins ensures you’ll track straight and won’t go around in circles with every stroke you make.

But if you’re concerned about rigidity, forking out a bit more for models with reinforced rails like the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12’ might interest you.

Speed

Not the fastest, but this Nautical paddleboard can cruise through flatwater and ocean at a decent speed for an all-arounder budget iSUP.

Decent speed for a budget all-rounder.
Decent speed for a budget all-rounder.

We clocked a hundred-meter dash against the 11-foot iRocker Sport, paddling at the same pace.  It didn’t win but trailed the higher spec board by only a couple of seconds. That’s an impressive speed when compared to the performance of other iSUPs within the same price- and size- category.

And if you want to decrease pressure drag under your Nautical paddleboard, stick to a single fin setup, especially if you’re out on flatwater paddling. It’ll improve your speed dramatically. It’s easy to customize the fin configuration.

Tracking

It doesn’t pivot sideways with every paddle, no zig-zag nuisance. The Nautical 11’6″ tracks well, and we didn’t have to change paddling sides often. Its slender shape also allows it to cruise in a straight line over long distances.

Nautical 11’6 tracks well.
Nautical 11’6 tracks well.

You don’t have to exert too much paddling power to go straight ahead. This Nautical paddleboard won’t fight against your strokes. The tapered nose and rocker also rides waves and cuts through them, helping you track without hassle.

You can play with its 2+1 fin system and see which setup works well for you. But generally, iSUPs with a center fin work best for speed and tracking.

Maneuverability

Since this Nautical paddleboard is relatively lightweight with good stiffness, it responds well to your paddling direction. When all the fins are installed, it will amp up its tail stability, making step-back turns more fun and accessible. There’s usually a problem with longer inflatable paddle boards being harder to maneuver, but the Nautical 11’6” did a good job compared to the alternative Isle Explorer 11’6”.

If you’re cruising a windy river or need to steer your way to a dock, this Nautical paddleboard won’t let you bump into turns. It will require some practice if it’s your first time, but you’ll enjoy its maneuverability as soon as you get used to it (especially the step-back turns!).

We like leaving the sidebites when riding waves. It magnifies your side pivots, accentuating turns. It’s also a practical solution to shallow waters, saving your center fin from scraping damage from underwater debris.

The overall performance of the Nautical 11’6” is one of the best for a budget-friendly all-rounder. iRocker did not skimp on its development, it has a lot of the higher specs found in the more expensive Blackfin and iRocker models. Of the three, Nautical paddle boards are the simplest and cheapest, but it’s an excellent option for paddlers looking for a reliable iSUP without digging too deep into their savings.

Portability

At 22 lbs., the Nautical 11’6 is a lightweight inflatable paddle board for its size, making it easy to transfer. You can load it into its backpack with other accessories, and you’ll only be carrying 29 lbs. At first sight, the bag is massive, but don’t let the looks fool you. Although it’s not as compact as iRocker Ultra’s, it’s not heavy, and the harnessing is good enough for a comfortable carrying experience. The quality is not as premium as the ones we saw in Gili SUPs, but its construction is robust enough to get the job done. It’s got tough stitching, and it won’t break by the seams, no worries.

Not the best, but the quality can keep up with the task.
Not the best, but the quality can keep up with the task.

The clamshell opening makes it stress-free to unload and pack up your Nautical paddleboard. There are mesh side pockets for your water bottles and bungees at the front so you can have extras without eating up space inside the bag.

If you decide to pack up some clothes inside for your travels like we usually do, you can opt to buy the roller tray. The wheels will be helpful once the weight gets heavy, so you’re back doesn’t have to suffer.

But as for the iSUP with the accessories inside the bag alone, Nautical 11’6” is a lightweight and portable model you can carry anywhere you want to.

Price/Quality Ratio

You can get the Nautical 11’6″ iSUP for under $500. The package includes the Nautical paddleboard, a manual pump, a center fin and sidebites, a repair kit, and a 3-piece paddle with a fiberglass shaft and nylon blade.

Nautical 11’6” package.
Nautical 11’6” package.

It’s a watered-down investment compared to its pricier ancestors under the iRocker umbrella, the premium Blackfin and the mid-range iRocker paddle boards. This affordable product line still has the same quality and performance. It reaps the benefits of prior research made by its predecessors.

Although the construction of this Nautical paddleboard is not that rigid or robust, it can still withstand repeated use for years. The PVC layers are military-grade and can handle some abuse.

The 2+1 clip-on fin system is super easy to use- no need for a tool to install and remove them. Although, it’s a bitter-sweet deal since it also means there’s more chance they are not on properly or tightly and can fall off. Its fiberglass paddle is sturdy enough, but there’s a bit of flexing if you decide to give your stroke full power.

You can’t win any racing events with the Nautical 11’6”- but its long and lightweight profile can let you paddle comfortably for long distances. It’s easy to maneuver and tracks well making your time on the water effortless and fun. And if you’re unsure if having all the fins rigged is the best for you, you can play with the configuration effortlessly.

Setting it up and packing it away is also easy.

This Nautical paddleboard is not the best within its size category. But price-wise, it is on top of all other under-$500 iSUPs out there.

Do we recommend it?

Definitely.

The Nautical 11’6” is for novice paddlers over 5’8” and those who want to grow in the sport but can’t afford to invest in expensive inflatable paddle boards. It’s the budget-friendly counterpart of the iRocker and the Blackfin, both iSUPs we love. Although there are some trade-offs with quality and performance, it is the best in its price range.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Tracks well
  • check-mark
    Very maneuverable
  • check-mark
    Speed is pretty decent
  • check-mark
    Durable construction for a budget-friendly board
  • check-mark
    Comfortable backpack with lots of pockets
  • check-mark
    Lightweight and easy to transfer to/from the water using the lay-flat handles
  • check-mark
    Removable bungees at the front and back for your cargo
  • check-mark
    You can attach a kayak seat using the mid-way D-rings
  • check-mark
    Flip-lock 2+1 fin system is a time-saver and versatile
  • check-mark
    There’s a secret key pocket on the leash
  • check-mark
    Reliable stability, especially for beginners
  • check-mark
    Easy to set up and pack up
  • check-mark
    There's a D-ring under the nose. You can tow it behind your boat
  • check-mark
    One of the best SUPs within its price point

Things we don't like:

  • check-markAdditional action mounts would be nice
  • check-markThe fin connections can sometimes not connect properly and you can drop a fin
  • check-markFiberglass paddle flexes
  • check-markThe repair kit doesn't include adhesive
FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Nautical Paddleboard

Is Nautical made by iRocker?

Yes.

Nautical paddle boards are iRocker’s affordable lineup, with Blackfin as premium and iRocker itself as mid-range. It was introduced to the market in 2020 for novice paddlers and SUP lovers tight on budget but looking for a quality inflatable paddle board.

How to inflate the iRocker Nautical SUP?

After taking your Nautical 11’6″ out of the bag and unrolling it on the ground, open the valve. Ensure that the pin inside is up. Grab the hand pump and connect the hose to the valve. Secure it with a little twist clockwise. Start pumping and use the built-in pressure gauge to guide you until you reach between 14-18 PSI. Then untwist the hose and close up the valve.

Is iRocker an American company?

Yep.

iRocker was the brainchild of Steve Elder and Dave Erwin and was started in 2013. The head office is in Knoxville, Tennessee, and all the manufacturing happens in China.

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