Nautical 11’6’’ Inflatable SUP Board
- Stable, very beginner friendly entry-level SUP. Surprising overall performance given the price.
- Solid, durable dual-layer fusion build. Easy to carry as well at just 22 lbs, while providing a solid 265 lbs weight capacity. Great entry-level board for 6’ and taller paddlers.
- Tri-fin setup with snap-lock fins. Easy to install, but also provides a level of fin customization not seen in many entry-level boards.
- Comfortable, smooth EVA foam deck pad. Grooves provide additional grip and traction support.
- Includes a fiberglass paddle, single-chamber pump, and other accessories in a roomy travel bag. Everything you need for the water out of the box.
- High quality construction and materials as you would expect from a board in the iRocker family.
- An action mount would make the Nautical fully compatible with all of iROCKER’s accessories.
- The 11’6’’ length provides great tracking, but it does make maneuverability a bit tricky as well. The 10’6’’ long Nautical is better for those who are shorter, especially for those less than 5’6’’.
Last Updated: April 2, 2021
*Note – iRocker just launched their new 2021 version of the Nautical 11’6. Click here to check out that board but keep in mind that you can also still purchase the 2020 version at a discounted price right now. We will also be updating this review very soon to tell you more about the 2021 Nautical 11’6.
Nautical Inflatable 11’6’’ SUP Overview
Earlier this year, iROCKER debuted their new Nautical line, consisting of entry-level paddleboards that are very affordably priced and creating a great option for beginners to get into the sport of paddle boarding. We loved the first version released at the start of 2020, the 10’6’’ Nautical SUP, and are now very excited to share that we love the Nautical 11’6’’ iSUP just as much and more in some ways! The brand new 2020 Nautical 11’6’’ inflatable paddleboard is among our absolute favorite beginner boards on the market!
So what makes this board so great? The overall performance is quite satisfying for a sub $600 dollar board, with a level of stability, tracking, and maneuverability that provides beginners a great taste of what SUP water sports have to offer. The board is lightweight, making it easy to carry for adults and teenagers alike, while also having a solid overall build and weight capacity to support thin and heavy adult paddlers alike. The snap-lock tri-fin system is very easy to install and provides some noticeable performance enhancements, and is complimented by a roomy backpack, fiberglass paddle, and all the other gear you need to get on the water out of the box. So, if you are new or inexperienced in the world of paddle boarding and want something that will help you learn quickly, making every trip to the water a blast, we suggest considering the 2020 Nautical 11’6’’ inflatable SUP!
SUP Board Specs
|Rider Capacity (lbs)||265 lbs|
|Recommended Inflation||14 to 18 psi|
|Fins||Nylon, Tri-fin, Removable Quick-Lock|
|Paddle Type||Fiberglass shaft, Nylon Blade|
|Construction||Dual-Layer Military-Grade PVC Drop Stitch Core|
Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:
The Nautical 11’6’’ is an all-around shaped paddleboard designed with beginners in mind, but due to its performance, even advanced paddlers can enjoy it as a secondary board. Consider going with the Nautical 11’6’’ SUP if you are one of the following:
- Those who want a less expensive, entry-level board that still offers good, solid overall performance.
- Paddleboarders who want a lightweight, all-around SUP they can hike or travel with.
- Beginner paddlers who want a great first board to get into the sport with, without breaking the bank.
- Heavier, taller paddleboarders. We definitely recommend those who are 6’ and taller go with the 11’6’’ Nautical over the 10’6’’ variant.
- Those who want to bring out accessories and extra gear with them. This 11’6’’ has 13 D-rings for attaching add-ons to!
- Those who are interested in paddleboards made by trusted, reputable manufacturers. iROCKER is one of our favorite SUP companies in the business!
You can also take out the Nautical 11’6’’ to many different water environments. This includes the following:
- Calm lakes, bays, and marinas for the best overall performance and friendliest learning environment.
- Water areas with some chop and wind. The more experience you have, the more chop you’ll be able to handle.
- Slower, easier to navigate rivers. Make sure you are using the right fin setup, and consider getting the 4.6’’ Nautical river fin (sold separately).
- Ocean paddling! If you want a true challenge and feel pretty steady on the Nautical, try surfing some longboard style waves as well.
If you are new to paddleboarding, stability is going to be one of the most important factors for you to consider. The more stable a paddleboard is, the easier it is to maintain your balance and get used to paddling in the water. That’s why we’re happy to report that we’ve quite enjoyed the stability of the Nautical 11’6’’, especially in calm water. This board is also surprisingly stable once the wind and chop start to pick up, though due to its light 22 lbs build we would recommend avoiding heavy swells and wind.
The Nautical 11’6’’ has a recommended weight capacity of 265 lbs, which is more than enough to support most traditional sized adults. While very similarly shaped to the Nautical 10’6’’, we found that the extra foot provided enough additional weight support that even the larger, heavier adults on our team felt comfortable standing on this SUP. So, if you are a taller person and are looking for an entry-level SUP capable of supporting you, we definitely feel that the Nautical 11’6’’ SUP is built to help you quickly find your water legs.
The one performance factor we aren’t totally wowed by is the maneuverability. This board is easy to turn, and offers pretty good maneuverability for a 11’6’’ long paddleboard. We found it quite easy to navigate the water with the 11’6’’ Nautical, and had no trouble dodging rocks, trees, and other paddlers that we encountered. It takes a few strokes to make a 90 or 180 degree turn, but with just a bit of practice you’ll have a fun time navigating even into tight nooks and crannies with this SUP.
However, we will note that it is rather tricky to perform a step-back turn with the Nautical 11’6’’. A step-back turn is where you move a foot to the tail of the board to raise the nose out of the water, allowing you to pivot on the spot. While longer SUPs are typically better for performing the step-back turn, the very lightweight nature of this board makes it hard to do in calm water and very difficult with even light chop for brand new paddlers. Still, with some practice, and the occasional fall or two into the water, you’ll pick up the trick quickly and unlock the full maneuverability potential of this paddleboard.
Something we absolutely love about the 11’6’’ Nautical is how it feels to paddle on in the water. The overall feel of a SUP typically consists of a combination of the speed, glide, and tracking of the SUP. With the 11’6’’ Nautical, it is quite nimble and very easy to maintain a steady course due to its 11’6’’ length, the all-around board offers a level of performance that is on the verge of approaching a touring board type of performance. Due to its overall tracking, even beginners will find it easy to just pick a destination and head there, hardly having to switch which side they’re paddling on and relying only on minor corrections to maintain a straight course. Finally, this paddleboard glides smoothly over the water in lakes and bays, and handles itself pretty well as it goes over waves once the wind picks up or you head into the ocean.
We also appreciate the included tri-fin setup. You can read more about the build and installation of the three fins in a section below, but in terms of performance they make this board even better. You can quickly snap in the side fins for a tighter turn radius, and install the center 9’’ fin for improved tracking, allowing you to maintain an even tighter line in the water. If you use all three fins together, you will also find your paddleboard a bit more stable as well. For our part, we typically prefer to go out with all three fins together for the best tracking and overall SUP performance, but make sure you take the center 9’’ fin out if you’re going in a shallow river!
The Nautical 11’6’’ inflatable SUP is built with a dual-layer military grade PVC construction that protects a tight drop-stitch core. If that sounds like a ton of technical gibberish to you, no worries; we’re here to break it down for you below.
The tight drop-stitch core is made up of sheets of fabric that are bound together by thousands of strings that can be inflated with air. When the core inflates though, the strings go taught, giving you the paddleboard shape you see above instead of something more rounded like a balloon. The drop-stitch core is also the main overall performance component of the SUP, but is vulnerable to punctures and other forms of board damage.
So, to protect the drop-stitch core and further improve performance, the core is covered with layers of military grade PVC composite coatings, along with additional polyester sheets. iROCKER uses a dual-layer construction that is very tough, ensuring that drops, dings, and other common SUP injuries and accidents will do no structural damage to the Nautical 11’6’’. Furthermore, the coatings of PVC also provide additional weight support and make the SUP comfortable to stand on, with the dual-layer system also keeping the board light and easy to carry. Overall, we love the construction of the 2020 11’6’’ Nautical and think the board can last for years to come with just a little care. The dual-layer construction feels great to paddle on, though we do hope that iROCKER may consider adding carbon fiber rails for additional rigidity and performance in a future model.
The Nautical is designed to be an all-around board, but the length does cause it to have some qualities similar to touring boards as well. The stand out characteristic of this SUP is the 11’6’’ length, which gives the board impressive tracking and allows even new paddlers to maintain a steady course. The 32’’ wide deck is supported by a 6’’ thickness that gives the board sufficient space to support any adult sized paddler while staying fast, nimble, and maneuverable in the water. The 22 lbs weight makes this board among the lighter options on the market, a great solution for teenage paddlers or those who need something lightweight but offering solid performance.
While a beginner oriented board, there are still plenty of things you can do with the Nautical 11’6’’ that will make it attractive as a secondary option for more skilled paddlers. The shape and length makes this a great option for those who want to engage in light touring adventures, and is a pretty fun option as well for those who want to race with friends. The D-ring lineup and overall comfortable feel of the board make it suitable for lazily enjoying the water, bringing out coolers and other fun items to pass the time at the lake. From exploring to just soaking in the sun, you can sample everything SUP water sports have to offer with the Nautical 11’6’’ inflatable SUP!
The performance itself makes the Nautical 11’6’’ paddleboard worth considering, but it’s an even better value once you consider the numerous features thrown into it. Some of the features we think are worth highlighting include the following:
- Dual-Layer PVC Construction: Entry level paddleboards don’t often get this level of protection and durability. The dual-layer PVC construction is built to last, so the occasional drop as you unload it or crash when you’re in the water will almost never damage the board. We’re also impressed at how light the board is at just 22 lbs despite the great durability and protection it has as well.
- Soft, Comfortable, Grooved Deck Pad: Deck pads are especially important for beginners, as you won’t fall in love with paddleboarding if it’s uncomfortable to stand on the SUP. Fortunately, the Nautical 11’6’’ has a great deckpad that prioritizes comfort, with a soft, fuzzy feel that also protects your feet against blisters and skin irritation. The addition of grooves also makes it easier to maintain your grip, further helping beginners maintain their balance while out on the water.
- Front, Middle, and Rear Carry Handles for Easy Transport:We love paddleboards that have three carry handles, and the Nautical 11’6’’ is no exception. Use the center carry handle to lift the board by yourself, or have a friend help you with the nose and tail carry handles. We also enjoy the premium, neoprene covers as well!
- 13 D-rings:We wish the paddleboard had an action mount, but you’re still getting plenty of accessory coverage with 13 D-rings. Attach a phone case, your leash, or a number of other popular SUP accessories to these D-rings for a safe and secure attachment point.
- Oversized Front Cargo area:Have a cooler, a lunch box, or some other container that doesn’t clip onto one of the D-rings? Use the removable front cargo area instead! You can strap things down by relying on the bungee cords to secure small to medium sized containers you want to bring with you. Alternatively, if you want a cleaner board, you can remove these cords too!
The Nautical 11’6’’ SUP relies on three removable snap-lock fins. Snap-lock fins don’t offer the same versatility as US fin boxes, but beginners enjoy them more as they offer solid performance and are easy to install. Lift the back tab up, insert the fin, and press down on the tab to lock it in place; it’s that simple and can be put in less than ten seconds.
Another quick highlight is that we love the look of these fins as well. You won’t see them often, but it’s great that Nautical has opted to stand out from the crowd with these white fins instead of the more dull and common black fins. It’s definitely very hard to misplace these fins given how bright they are!
Overall, we think that the deck pad on the Nautical will be satisfying for most beginners. The deck pad is made out of EVA foam, the same material used in many yoga mats, in order to be soft, comfortable, and able to withstand the water. The extra fuzzy touch added to the deck pad ensures that you can paddle all day long with your feet feeling comfortable, the deck pad protecting against blisters and other common feet irritations. For added grip support, several grooves have been added that not only improve your traction, but allow you to figure out your feet placement without looking down. The deck pad is definitely good for paddling on, though we would like to eventually see iROCKER incorporate the stamped logo pattern used in their other boards for the Nautical for even more grip support.
The three handle setup makes carrying the Nautical 11’6’’ very easy. If you are lifting the board alone, use the center handle, or use the nose and tail handles if you have a friend that is willing to help you out. Something else worth highlighting beyond the number of handles though are the neoprene covers. Neoprene is used on handles as it protects against skin irritation when gripped by soaking wet or freezing cold hands, a great feature for ocean paddlers. Top to bottom, these handles are great, and another fine addition for an entry-level board.
With 13 D-rings, you’ll probably feel a little overwhelmed by your overall accessory options. If you have a dry bag, a phone case, or some other accessory you want to clip on, you have a ton of places to choose from. Proper D-ring spacing also means that not only do you never have to worry about your clip on cords from getting tangled up, but you also can use accessories like the iROCKER kayak conversion kit. Finally, we also appreciate the oversized front bungee cargo area, which is great for storing coolers, lunch boxes, and other containers that you can’t attach to the D-rings.
The one major improvement we would like to see in a future model of the Nautical is the addition of an action mount. iROCKER has a great lineup of accessories and add-ons for their paddleboards, but a few of them are compatible only with action mounts. GoPro cameras, cell phones, speakers, and other electronic devices are safest when screwed into an action mount. So, to make this an even better board for casual trips to the water, we hope to see an action mount in the next variant of the Nautical SUP.
The Nautical fiberglass paddle is a solid paddle option for those just starting to learn how to paddleboard. The paddle is lighter than many aluminum paddles included with entry-level boards, but it isn’t as light as you want in a paddle you’ll lose for the long term. If you have the money, and want to make the changer sooner rather than later, we would recommend upgrading to the iRocker carbon blend paddle for an improved paddling experience.
Still, the included Nautical paddle is quite nifty, coming in three parts that are easy to assemble. This paddle is adjustable, ensuring that it can match the height of most adult paddlers, and also making it easy to pass along to friends. It’s very quick to adjust the length of the shaft as well, so you can make micro adjustments even when you’re out in the water. The paddle will float in the water if dropped as well, but grab it quickly as it has the tendency to float away from the board quickly, especially in choppier environments.
The Nautical inflatable SUP comes with a single-chamber, dual-action pump that makes inflating your paddleboard real easy. If you’ve never inflated a SUP before, don’t worry, as the instructions are printed on the pump itself and are easy to follow. By correctly using the two action modes, you’ll be able to inflate the Nautical in less than fifteen minutes, and less than ten with practice! We typically prefer dual-chamber pumps for SUPs, but due to the Nautical’s smaller size and the importance of a lightweight kit, we think the single-chamber pump is a good fit.
Alternatively, we also recommend checking out iROCKER’s electric pump. Electric pumps are our favorite and top recommended add-on for all paddleboards as they do the hard work of inflating your SUP for you in about the same amount of time. Furthermore, electric pumps can help deflate your paddleboard, ensuring that you get the last bits of air out so you only have to roll up your paddleboard once. Electric pumps weigh less than dual-chamber pumps, and are more compact in size compared to single and dual-chamber pumps. With the iROCKER electric pump being voted as our favorite electric pump of the year, make your next paddleboarding trip even better with the addition of an electric pump!
While the backpack is rather basic, it is still made well and will keep your gear protected as you head for the water. The thick outer shell will guard against sand, wind, and water alike, ensuring that your gear won’t get damaged wherever you take it. Once you move into the interior, you’ll find more than enough space to store your SUP, paddle, leash, repair kit, fins, and other SUP accessories. Lastly, we also like the clam shell, U shaped opening that the bag has, making it real easy to insert your equipment without having to fight your board like with a tent bag. The included backpack gets the job done, though we do wish it had a pocket or two to keep things a bit more organized.
Included with a 11’6’’ Nautical is a 10’ leash, which you can quickly slide over your ankle or calf and attach to one of the D-rings for easy wearing. The leash is important to have when in choppy or fast moving water, as it will keep your board close if you ever take a swim or accidentally fall off your paddleboard. However, what a leash won’t do is help you float if you take a tumble into the water. Make sure to always wear a PFD when you go out paddleboarding!
There are two items which can help you address minor performance issues with the Nautical 11’6’’. The first are adhesive patches which you can apply to small holes and tears that do not occur on the seams of the paddleboard. Alternatively, you also have a wrench which you can use to tighten up the Halkey-Roberts inflation valve on your SUP if it ever comes loose.
For other problems or additional help, be sure to contact iROCKER for support. More information about their warranty policies can be found below.
iROCKER has a great assortment of SUP accessories that work well with the D-rings and other accessory mounts on the Nautical 11’6’’. Some of our favorite accessories we recommend adding to your paddleboard include the following:
- Kayak kit (seat and kayak blade)
- Kayak Seat Cushion
- Shoulder Carry Strap
- Cup Holder
- Cell Phone Holder
- Electric Pump
- Selfie Stick
- Cooler Deck Pad
Company Review – iROCKER
The Nautical 11’6’’ is a new paddleboard released by iROCKER, one of our favorite paddleboard manufacturers in the industry. Founded in 2013 by Steve Elder and David Erwin, iROCKER is a Florida based company that started with their initial iRocker lineup of quality, enjoyable inflatable boards. Out of the success of iRocker came the premium, high-quality performance boards known as BLACKFIN, and now in 2020 we have the great Nautical SUPs as well. iROCKER has a board available for every type of paddleboarder, so if you love the Nautical 11’6’’ be sure to check out their other SUPs as well!
In terms of company coverage and protection, the Nautical 11’6’’ does have a shorter protection window compared to other iROCKER boards with just a 1-year warranty, though it does have a 60-day guarantee as well. iROCKER does offer zero percent finance options for up to eighteen months, making this already affordable entry-level board even easier to pay off. iROCKER has been consistently great to work with as well, consistently responding quickly to our questions and concerns. With the Nautical 10’6’’ having received over 200 5-star reviews in 2020 alone, the Nautical lineup is definitely a paddleboard you can trust from a great company, though we would still feel more comfortable with a longer overall warranty.
The 2020 Nautical 11’6’’ SUP is a great entry-level board for those who want to get into paddleboarding without breaking the bank. The 11’6’’ length provides excellent tracking, helping new paddlers to maintain their course even without perfect form, while also providing enough weight support so that almost any adult paddler can feel comfortable on this SUP. Not only is the performance itself satisfying, but the soft, comfortable deck pad is very comfortable to stand on, and you can turn your SUP into a party board with the aid of the 13 D-rings and bungee cargo area. A number of other helpful accessories and gear are included as well, from the nice looking snap-lock fins to the fiberglass paddle and well made travel backpack. With everything you need for the water for less than $550 dollars, the 2020 Nautical 11’6’’ by iROCKER is one of our favorite beginner all-around SUPs. That Nautical 11’6’’ is a great way to experience what the world of paddleboard sports has to offer!
Thank you so much for reading our review, and let us know if there is anything else you want us to discuss when it comes to the Nautical 11’6’’, from performance to gear. Feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email with your questions and thoughts. We update our reviews not only based upon the feedback our readers have for us, but also as we hear from our readers about their own experiences with their paddleboards. So, be sure to let us know what you think of the 2020 Nautical 11’6’’ inflatable SUP.
And remember to stay safe and have fun SUPing!
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