iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra Compact Inflatable Paddleboard
- ULTRA portable, packs down into a very small, easy-to-carry backpack
- Comes with iRockers electric pump included in the kit, which is a fantastic value
- Lightweight and easy to carry at just 21.4 lbs; a full 4.6 lbs lighter than the old iROCKER 11’ All-Around
- Rigid construction = almost no noticeable flex on the water and improved speed, glide, and feel
- Great tracking capabilities with dual fin setup
- Stable board for beginners, but also good performance for intermediate paddlers, and extreme portability for advanced paddlers who want to travel with an inflatable SUP
- Nice little bag included for the electric pump and fins
- While we love the fins that come with the board, we'd like to see more fin options from iRocker given the unique fin box
When iROCKER first informed us that they would be sending us a new compact/ultra-light series of SUPs to review, we were absolutely stoked.
Compact boards, in general, are among our favorites to test and review because they walk such a delicate line to balance convenience and lightweight with overall performance in the water. Combine this with the quality that we’ve come to expect and love from iROCKER SUPs, and we were fully prepared for a seamless technological marriage that would manifest into just a flat-out cool line-up of boards.
Luckily, we prepared accordingly, as the iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra compact iSUP easily fits that bill. Being just 21.4 lbs, surprisingly stiff, and able to fold up to the size of a slightly larger backpack, 11’ All-Around Ultra meets the mark in terms of convenience and portability without sacrificing quality construction.
More than that, the 11’ x 32” iSUP nearly mimics the beginner friendly stability of iROCKER’s original 11’ All-around, while being slightly faster to paddle. It also tracks exceedingly well in the all-around category, sports a versatile array of features, and is shipped with an upgraded kit that includes their 12V iROCKER Electric pump, a long time favorite of ours.
In short, we think the iROCKER All Around 11’ Ultra is one of the best all around inflatable paddle boards for 2023.
We think the iROCKER All-Around 11′ Ultra would be great for paddlers who
- Want a light and compact SUP that they can easily take with them on a plane, on a hike, or stow in the back seat of a car.
- Need an all-around SUP that is stable enough for beginners but is also quick on the water
- Want the versatility of an all-around SUP, but also some of the tracking capabilities of a touring SUP
- Frequently paddle in a variety of environments such as flat water, chop, waves, and wide, slow-moving rivers
iROCKER All-Around 11′ Ultra: Spec Sheet
- Main Category: All-Around, Inflatable, Compact
- Board Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6”
- Listed Board Weight: 21.4 lbs
- Listed Max Capacity: 290 lbs
- Recommended PSI: 14-16 PSI
- Fins: Twin fin; 9” dolphin style w/ lockable snap-lock mechanism
- Paddle: 5-piece carbon hybrid paddle
- Materials: Triple layer ‘composite’ PVC (as per iROCKER’s specification)
- Price Range: high
- Warranty: 3 years
Performance Review of the iROCKER All-Around 11′ Ultra Stand Up Paddle Board
Overall Score: [9.6/10]
- Stability: 9.0/10
- Speed: 9.1/10
- Tracking: 9.1/10
- Maneuverability: 8.9/10
- Construction Quality: 9.8/10
- Features/Accessories: 9.8/10
Stability Rating: [9.0/10]
Compared to the original All Around 11’ Ultra, the 2.0 version is an extra 1-1.5” wide, and as such is more stable than the original version. This was something we pushed iRocker pretty hard on last year, and are very glad to report that the 2023 2.0 models are right on point – which makes the 11’ All Around ultra a very comfortable, stable SUP for most any paddlers.
At 11’x32”x6”, and with a total volume of 327.5 liters, we think this is a fantastic board for beginners up to 6’3 and under 230 lbs. More experienced paddlers will be able to push that further thanks to the rigid x-woven drop stitch construction that makes this a very rigid board and keeps it from becoming a ‘taco’ and losing stability.
Compared to the rest of the Ultra series, the 11’ Ultra is about tied with 10’ Ultra depending on the paddler. Smaller/shorter paddlers will be completely fine one any of the Ultra series boards. Larger paddlers who are worried about stability can first consider the new Blackfin XL Ultra, or even the Cruiser Ultra as they are both wider than the 11’ version.
Speed Test: 9.6/10
|Top Sprint Speed:||5.4 MPH|
|Average Cruising Speed:||4.3 MPH|
The 11’ Ultra’s lighter build has improved its speed when pinned against the original version, and its natural ability to track makes it the fastest of the Ultra boards, and a surprisingly fast all-around iSUP.
Being just 21.4 lbs, the 11’ Ultra feels very light both when you’re carrying it to the water and also once you start paddling on the water. It did very well in our ‘cruising’ speed test, clocking in around 4.3 mph – again we attribute that good score to how lightweight the board is.
On the sprint test, we could feel the extra rigidity of the woven drop stitch, and found the board to have a very nice glide across the water. Averaging around 5.4 mph for the sprint, the 11’ Ultra is a fast board that is a great option for someone who wants an all-around SUP that won’t hold you back on longer fitness paddles or adventures. No, it’s not a full-fledged touring iSUP, but it isn’t a slouch when it comes to speed by any means.
Here’s the thing, the iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra tracks exceptionally well for an all-around SUP. It excels well above the original 11’ All-Around in this area, and beats out the other Ultra boards as well by a small margin.
At the same time though, it does require a bit more effort to to turn and maneuver. We’ll dive deeper into maneuverability in the next section, but the touring-SUP-level tracking capabilities of the 11’ Ultra kind of force a trade-off in that area.
That being said, it ultimately does come down to personal preference. If you’re a paddler that really values tracking capability, but also loves the stability that all-around SUPs offer, the 11’ Ultra from iROCKER would likely be your match-made-in-heaven.
We also want to note that the reason the 11’ Ultra tracks so well is because of its included 9” fins that attach to the SUP in a twin fin setup. We’ve found that in every Ultra board, the 11’ Ultra in particular, the twin fins just seem to grip your path in the water really well and are super forgiving even if your form isn’t 100% honed in.
As I alluded to in the previous section, the iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra isn’t quite as maneuverable as the original 11’ All-Around and is the least maneuverable of the iRocker Ultra series.
It is noticeably slower on both forward sweeping and backstroke turns, compared to the original and the other Ultra SUP, though stepback turns still feel fairly easy. With that said, we want to make clear that the lack of maneuverability is less noticeable if you’re going for a longer paddle in more open water and only need to make slight steering adjustments.
Ultimately we think trade-offs like tracking vs. maneuverability come down to paddler preferences. Personally, if I’m going for a longer paddle in flat water, which doesn’t require quick turns, I’d rather my board be able to track well and limit the amount of times I need to switch sides. On the other hand, if I’m paddling in the ocean and need to be able to quickly turn my nose into waves, I’d prefer a little more maneuverability than the 11’ could offer. In these cases, I’d prefer the 10’ Ultra, or the Blackfin CX Ultra and Cruiser Ultra depending on stability needs.
Construction Quality: 9.8/10
Given the fact that the iROCKER All-Around 11’ is around ⅓ of the cost of its higher end counterpart, the Red Paddle Co. 11’ Compact, we’re extremely impressed with the construction.
Working from the inside out, the 11’ Ultra is constructed with a cross or ‘woven’ dropstitch core that anchors into the fabric layer, ultimately resulting in a surprisingly stiff iSUP using less raw material (essentially decreasing the overall board weight). To encase the inner fabric-based core, iROCKER applies 3 composite layers of PVC to add rigidity and durability without adding an exorbitant amount of weight. Lastly, the 11’ Ultra’s seams are reinforced with tape to enhance the lifetime of this SUP and limit the potential for a (very unlikely) critical failure.
This type of construction is the reason the 11’ Ultra is stiffer than the aforementioned RPC 11’ Compact, yet only 1 lb heavier (as per each SUPs specifications). Its general light-ness is also the reason the Ultra SUPs work so well as compact SUPs. It is super manageable to carry both fully inflated and when it’s packed up into its bag, and I’d have no problem bringing it along with me on a flight or a shorter hike. It elevates the level of portability that we’ve already come to love from inflatable SUPs.
Stiffness Test: 1.00” of Bend
As usual, the SUPBoardGuide bend test is performed by placing the SUP on top of two sawhorses set 7’ apart. We then load the SUP with 150 lbs at its midpoint and measure how much it bends under the weight. Obviously, this is not replicative of how the board performs in the water, but it does help us differentiate between how different construction processes contribute to overall stiffness.
The 11’ Ultra performed really well in our bend test with only one inch of bend. This is not just on par with iROCKER’s non-compact all-around line, but actually a little bit better, despite being 4.6 lbs lighter than their standard 11’ all-around.
This stands as a testament to the efficacy of cross-drop stitch technology and its ability to achieve the same, and better, stiffness as linear drop stitch while using less material. While this technology isn’t exactly new, we’ve typically only seen it in higher-budget SUPs, and I’m excited to see it become more accessible in the mid-range market as the industry progresses.
Features/Accessory Review: [9.8/10]
As with the standard 11’ All-Around from iROCKER, the 11’ Ultra’s features are versatile, but functional for a compact SUP.
The All-Around 11’ Ultra has front and rear cargo areas, as well as 3 action mounts (2 integrated into the front D-rings and one at the tail), and kayak seat compatibility.
Keeping this newer line classic, iROCKER still incorporated 3 carry handles at the nose, tail, and center of this SUP, with the center handle just shifted off to one side. Though the shifted center handle does make folding up much easier, it can get in the way slightly if you have a more narrow paddling stance.
Lastly, I love the brand stamped deckpad on the 11’ Ultra just as much as I love it on their standard all-around 11’. It’s the perfect balance of comfort and traction. The key difference here is that the Ultra’s deck pad is split up the middle to allow you to fold the SUP in half before rolling it up, therefore making it ‘compact’.
The Ultra series is shipped with their own list of included accessories, which includes the following:
- 5 piece carbon hybrid paddle
- iROCKER’s 12V Electric Pump
- 10’ Coiled leash (w/ key pocket)
- Pair of 9” fins
- Repair kit
- Accessory Pouch
- Compact SUP bag
This kit could easily become one of my personal favorites with just a few quick tweaks.
Starting with the SUP bag, I really love its compact design despite it being insanely easy to pack the board into. The entire front panel can be unzipped to simply place the rolled/folded up board in, and then once zipped, the top of the bag is a velcro/roll top mechanism. This style makes it extremely easy to access the accessory pouch if placed on top or stash in some of your own gear in an easy-to-reach spot.
Coming back to the accessory pouch, it is hands down my favorite part of this kit. I always harp on SUP bags having organizational pockets to store small accessories, and iROCKER has answered a prayer I didn’t even know I sent out. By including this convenient little pouch to carry all of the small pieces I can happily store all of the items I would otherwise lose track of like my leash, fins, or spare flip-locks.
Another piece of this kit that fits nicely in the accessory pouch is iROCKER’s 12V Electric pump. We’ve liked this pump on its own over the past few years (it even holds a spot on our list of Best Electric Pumps for 2022), and we like it even more as ‘kit-included’. It adds a significant amount to the overall value of the compact series, and is one of the only SUPs on the market to come with an electric pump (and a reliable one, at that).
The only real changes I’d make to this kit are: 1) to add a shorter fin in addition to the current 9” fins to give paddlers the ability to choose between tracking and maneuverability, and 2) to include a portable battery to go with the electric pump. Of course, the inclusion of a portable battery would, understandably, increase the overall price of the Ultra series, but I think it makes a lot of sense considering the portability focus for compact SUPs. The 11’ Ultra is only 21.4 lbs, and it’d be a prime option to hike into more remote or alpine lakes, but because there’s no included hand pump, you’d need to purchase the battery separately to be able to accomplish this.
An alternative to including a portable battery as a standard piece of the Ultra line’s kit would be to offer it for discounted purchase when bundled with an Ultra SUP. That way, the choice is left to the consumer, rather than needing to raise the price for the entire line if the battery was included from the get-go.
Summary Review of the iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra
We’ll wrap up our review of the new 11’ Ultra from iROCKER with this: They have set an incredibly high bar for other compact SUPs – especially at this price range.
The iROCKER 11’ Ultra is stable, quick, and impressively rigid, despite being just 21.4 lbs. We also love the included accessories and think it sets this compact series apart from the rest in terms of a great overall value.
As always, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our review of the iROCKER All-Around 11’ Ultra. If you have any questions/concerns, or feel that there’s something we’ve missed, please reach out to us in the comments below.
Stay safe and enjoy the warmer weather!