Nautical Inflatable SUP
- Fantastic entry-level board
- Lightweight at just 20 lbs
- 13 D-rings, 3 handles
- Quality EVA deck pad that covers most of the board
- 1 year warranty + 60 day return period
- Great price at under $500 - finally a decent board to compete with all the cheap Amazon knockoffs
- We’d love to see an action mount for GoPro’s and iRocker’s other accessories
- For a sub $500 board we don’t have many complaints. No, it’s not as good as the iRocker models, but it’s a quality board at that price point
Last Updated: April 2, 2021
*Note – iRocker just launched their new 2021 version of the Nautical 10’6. 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 10’6.
Nautical Inflatable SUP Overview
iRocker has developed their first entry-level, sub $500 dollar Inflatable SUP, and to our delight it more than delivers. Lightweight, sturdy, and well designed as an ‘all-around’, the Nautical is a fantastic model for those who want to get their feet wet with an inflatable SUP. Young and smaller paddlers will especially appreciate how easy it is to handle.
There are few entry-level inflatable SUPs of a higher quality than the Nautical Inflatable SUP. With the backing of iROCKER and their renowned customer service, the Nautical is a great board for those looking for a less expensive option.
There’s plenty to love about the features of the Nautical Inflatable SUP, which offers much more than expected at its entry-level price point. On the board, there are 13 D-rings, a soft traction pad that extends from the tail to the cargo area, and three handles that make carrying the board very easy. It would have been nice if the Nautical had at least one action mount to make the Nautical compatible with iROCKERs long line of optional accessories. However, SUPers looking for a less expensive inflatable SUP will be more than satisfied with the features included on this board.
Out of the box, the Nautical includes everything someone getting into the sport would need. The fiberglass paddle inclusion is especially impressive, as we expected an aluminum paddle given the board’s super low price point. The board kit is easy to put away in the large backpack, which we found to fit our tallest and smallest riders alike comfortably.
For those who are looking to purchase a low-cost, entry-level Inflatable SUP without sacrificing significant performance, the Nautical Inflatable SUP is an easy recommendation.
Note: As you can tell, we aren’t huge fans of companies that sell only on Amazon. Most of these SUPs are just simple boards that get made in China without a ton of industry experience. In addition, customer service post sale is almost non-existent. The Nautical is a potential game changer for this price range, given that it’s backed by a very experienced company who cares a ton about their customers – which is why you see us recommending this board so highly.
SUP Board Specs
|Max Capacity||240 lbs|
|Recommended Inflation||15-18 psi|
|Fins||Nylon, Quick-lock, removable|
|Drop-stitch Density||Dual-Layer Military-Grade PVC Drop Stitch Core|
|Paddle Type||Fiberglass shaft, nylon blade|
|Materials||Dual Layer Composite PVC|
Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:
iRocker’s Nautical Inflatable SUP performs surprisingly well, especially given its low price point. While most beginner boarders or those looking for an entry-level board will do well with it, the Nautical Inflatable is best suited for:
- Those who are looking for a board that’s less than $500, but still want a higher quality board.
- Boarders who are mostly wanting an all-around board, especially for activities like paddling around the lake or doing some SUP yoga.
- Those who would like to go out with either a pet or a child, and will have a total weight less than the Nautical’s recommended weight limit of 240 pounds.
- Beginner paddlers, especially those who might be trying paddle boarding for the first time.
- Kids, hikers, and other boarders who prefer to use lighter inflatable SUP boards.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP is best suited for the following conditions:
- Flatwater, easy streams, rivers, and other calm waters.
- Open ocean waters, though dealing with medium or large waves and swells is not recommended for the Nautical.
For beginners, stability is the greatest factor to consider in purchasing a SUP board, and will largely determine whether you enjoy the sport or not. Falling in the water every ten seconds gets old fast, especially in cold water environments. That’s why we always evaluate stability first, and we did so with some trepidation for the Nautical. Most other lightweight, entry-level, sub $500 dollar boards don’t perform well when it comes to stability, especially for beginners.
We were surprised to find that the overall stability of the board was more than great. Beginner SUPers will be able to learn how to SUP with ease, and it’s the perfect size for younger paddlers who are trying to get involved in SUP water sports. Weighing just 20 lbs when inflated, no one will have trouble carrying the board. It’s truly impressive that an inexpensive board can be this light and float so well in the water.
The Nautical Inflatable has a similar shape to most other all-around boards, with a length of 10’6’’. The Nautical has a width of 32’’, which gives riders some extra space to spread out, stretch, and do some yoga if they’re so inclined. Most beginners will find the Nautical pretty stable in calm waters, especially boarders who are on the lighter side. However, because the board is a lighter, 6” thick board, it will get blown around a little bit in windy conditions and become a little less stable. This is not an issue for intermediate paddlers, but can be for beginners.
Those who approach the recommended 240 lbs weight limit may have a harder time learning the sport using this board. One of our taller testers found the board a little more squirrely than me and other sub 6’, sub 200 lb testers did. Basically, if you are over 210 lbs, we’d recommend looking at the iRocker 10’ or 11’ All-Arounds if you are an inexperienced paddler.
Side note: at 170 lbs, I did great paddling around with my 50 lb son. Given that he was sitting down and not moving much I had no problem as I approached that 240 lb weight limit. Those with more paddling experience won’t have issues either.
For an entry-level, sub $500 dollar board, the Nautical Inflatable SUP is among the most stable boards we’ve tested at this price range. This board will be perfect for the average paddler, and will be great for young and beginner SUPers looking for something light that will keep them afloat in the water.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP is definitely a fun board to play around with. Though most beginner SUPers won’t be trying too many tricks with the Nautical, the board can perform them just fine. Turning on the Nautical Inflatable SUP is a breeze, which was expected given it’s light weight, 32” width, and 10’6” length.
For beginners, step back turns can be a little challenging as the board is less stable than the other iRocker/BLACKFIN models. However, I found it a ton of fun maneuvering the board around.
The Nautical Inflatable has good tracking, and can glide across most flat waters rather well. We really liked how iRocker brough the same fin system from it’s iRocker and BLACKFIN lines to the Nautical boards. With the Nautical SUP you get the same 3 removable fins, which greatly helps tracking. This is not something we were expecting from a cheaper SUP and improves the tracking.
Does the Nautical track as well as the iRocker or BLACKFIN models? Not quite, given it’s lighter than either, so if your paddling is off a little bit you are going to swerve around a little bit more. For those who are just getting into inflatable SUPs though, they’ll still find that the Nautical Inflatable SUPs track and glides well for recreational use. The raised rocker and pointed nose helps cut through flat water and even light chop fairly easily.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP is made with a double-layer composite PVC surrounding its drop stitch core. This pattern of thousands of interlinked threads attached to the outside coatings retain the board shape despite the Nautical being an inflatable SUP. The dual layer composite PVC also gives the board a degree of protection that exceeds most other boards within the sub-$500 price range. While not quite as durable or rigid as the iRocker line, the Nautical will be durable against most rocks, sticks, and other objects you might encounter during your time on the water. As with any inflatable SUP, do be careful to not drag the board on asphalt, as that will scratch and possibly tear through the PVC outer layer.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP also has a 1year warranty, and 60-day guarantee that is backed 100% by iROCKER. It is a little disappointing that the Nautical doesn’t come with the 2 year warranty offered on the iRocker and BLACKFIN board lines. However, in our experience, iROCKER is one of the most committed, pleasant, and excellent companies to deal with in the paddleboard industry. Their designs and products have consistently been some of the best within the inflatable SUP industry. Their customer support has always been quick to respond to our questions, even when we hide our identities to test them. We’re confident that iROCKER will try to help all of their Nautical customers, even those outside of the warranty range.
It might be an entry-level board built for beginners, but the Nautical Inflatable SUP still has a quality feel to it that has been the mark of every iROCKER since their inception – and really blows the other sub-$500 Amazon-only boards out of the water.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP is largely the same classic shape used with most all-around inflatable SUPs. It’s a 10’6” iSUP, with a 32” width, 6” thickness, and a slight taper in the front and rear. The shape is very similar to the 10’ and 11’ iRockers, but does support less weight (240 lbs).
Given that shape, the Nautical will be a good all-around SUP. It will maneuver well and perform well in flat water conditions. With a slight rocker up front, you will also be able to paddle through small chop, but will struggle a little bit with cross-winds given the light weight and 6” thickness.
Despite being a sub $500 dollar board, the Nautical Inflatable SUP packs a list of features that makes it a quality, well suited board for beginner paddlers and those looking to have fun at the lake right out of the box – and has a lot of features not found on the sub-$500 Amazon boards.
Out of the box, the Nautical Inflatable SUP comes with the following features:
- Dual Layer PVC Construction:The Nautical Inflatable SUP features a double military-grade PVC drop-stitch construction. The double-layer PVC is more protection than almost every other entry-level, sub $500 board. While the construction won’t protect against everything and some caution should be taken, the board is very durable. The Nautical Inflatable SUP will hold up well to the traditional wear and tear and day to day abuse that comes with using an iSUP.
- Soft, Comfortable, Grooved Deck Pad:While the deck pad of the Nautical Inflatable SUP is more simple in design compared to other iROCKER boards, it is still a good deck pad. The Nautical deck pad is well suited for yoga, paddling around, and any activity that involves relaxing on your board. The Nautical SUP features 11 grooves to help with feet placement and improve board grip, a feature missing from many sub $500 dollar boards. The pad runs from the front cargo space all the way to the back fin, others in this iSUP category that tend to cut off a foot or so early from the back end of the board. While your appreciation of the material choice will depend on your preference, I liked the softer, more fuzzy feel of the Nautical Inflatable SUP pad.
- Front, Middle, and Rear Carry Handles for Easy Transport:The lightweight board can be carried by almost anyone due to the three handles spaced across the board. The sturdy handles are resilient, so don’t worry about your kids tearing them off as they learn how to paddleboard.
- 13 D-rings:While not quite as many as the astounding 21 D-rings featured on the iRocker series SUPs’, the 13 D-rings will be more than sufficient for most paddlers. Further, it’s hard to find a paddle board with more D-rings in this price range.
- Oversized Front Cargo area (6 D-rings): Between the bungees and the D-Rings, you’ll have no problem securing a cooler, dry-bag, and other container on the front of your SUP. You shouldn’t have an issue adding a decent amount of cargo to the front of the board as long as you’re not nearing the 240lb weight limit.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP features 3 removable ‘snap-in’ fins that are found on the other iRocker models. These are great fins – they are durable, sturdy, and very easy to install and take out when done paddling.
The Nautical iSUP comes with a very comfortable, quality EVA deck pad. While we would have loved iRocker to put the Nautical logo stamp on the pad (like they do with there other models), at this price point we can’t be too picky!
We also really like how the deck pad covers the majority of the board and has nice grooves for traction. The grooves are helpful for feet placement and water displacement if you encounter some small chop, and also provide some extra grip if you plan on doing some yoga on the board.
The three handle set up makes carrying the Nautical simple. The center handle is great for carrying the Nautical around, and young paddlers can even work together with the front and back handle to safely carry the board. We also appreciated the neoprene handle material, which lets you maintain a good and comfortable grip even when your hands are cold or wet.
The 13 D-rings that come with the Nautical Inflatable SUP will be more than enough for most paddlers. Spaced out in such a way as to be functional without tripping up the rider, the d-rings and bungee cords are perfect for storing items or clipping in phone holders, cameras, and other items or bags. iROCKER has also made sure that their official kayak conversion kit works with the Nautical Inflatable SUP.
The Nautical fiberglass paddle is a quality fiberglass paddle with light-weight nylon blade and is a great addition for a less expensive SUP kit. It’s essentially the same paddle that was included with last year’s iRocker SUPs, but with a better blade.
The three-piece assembly system is designed to put the paddle together in seconds, and is easily adjustable on the water. For those buying this board for young riders, the paddle is both simple and sturdy enough to use that you won’t have to worry about your kids breaking it.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP comes with a quality single chamber, dual-action hand pump that is easy and simple to use. Using the pump, it took us about 7-10 minutes to inflate the board.
As for the pump itself, it offers two stages that will help to pump up the board quicker.The starting stage helps pump air into the board on both the rise and fall of the pump. When the board is about halfway filled, or about 7 psi, users can switch to the second action stage that pumps air only on the downward pump. Switching to the second mode is easy, as you just have to remove a plug on the pump. The included single chamber, dual-action hand pump is the traditional hand pump within the inflatable SUP industry, so better learn how to use it!
The Nautical Inflatable SUP also comes with iROCKER’s new pump hose, packed in with all of this year’s board models. The new hose is easier to handle while being more durable than previous hoses.
Of course, when it comes to accessories and upgrades for an inflatable SUP, electrical pumps are our most recommended upgrade. Electrical pumps are easy to use, and save you from the strain of having to inflate the board yourself. An electrical pump will also help deflate your board as well, making it even easier to pack things away when you’re done for the day. If you want your SUP trip to be a relaxing one from start to finish, an electric pump will keep you from tiring yourself out.
Like the board itself, the backpack that comes with the Nautical Inflatable SUP is impressive given the kit’s entry-level price. The backpack has everything a paddler would need to get out on the water. The bag is roomy, with enough space to pack their equipment away once they’re done paddling. The backpack is comfortable to wear, but feels sturdy enough that you won’t worry about tearing the bag or having everything fall out while you’re hiking to your local water spot. If it does get wet, fear not; it will survive just fine, and you can expect your backpack to last just as long as your board.
There is one main storage compartment that easily holds the entire paddleboard kit, and a mesh holder on the side of the bag to store a small bottle or bag. The clamshell shape of the bag also makes just putting everything inside the bag an easy experience.
The same high-quality, coiled leash that comes with all other iRocker inflatable SUPs is included with the Nautical inflatable SUP. Easy to attach to your paddleboard, it’ll make sure your board doesn’t float away should you take a fall.
Note: Always make sure you take a personal floatation device out with you when you’re paddling. The ankle leash will keep your board from floating away, but it won’t necessarily help you float should you fall in.
The repair kit comes with the standard materials for most paddleboard kits – several patches, and a hand tool to help tighten the air valve used to inflate the Nautical SUP should it ever come loose.
The Nautical Inflatable SUP won’t work with a lot of the iRocker accessories that require action mounts. However, you can still use the following great accessories from iRocker:
- 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 Inflatable SUP is a new brand under the larger iROCKER family. The Nautical possesses the same feature heavy, durable, and performance-focused qualities that have made iROCKER one of the key figures in the SUP world.
Whereas many companies start off with entry-level products and build up more specialized alternatives over time, iROCKER opted for a different path. iROCKER started off with some of the best boards on the market, and worked hard to develop a less expensive solution without sacrificing quality. With the Nautical Inflatable SUP, iROCKER has the privilege of saying that they offer a great board to entry level shoppers wanting to get their feet wet with paddleboards for the first time.
iROCKER has gained its fame not just for their quality products, but with their superb service as well. All of their Nautical boards come with a 1 year warranty, a 60 day guarantee, and free shipping to the continental US.
iROCKER was founded by paddleboarders, and you can tell you’re getting help from those who enjoy the sport when you contact customer service. iROCKER is fast to respond, pleasant to work with, and always works hard to deliver the best solution for any problem you might have with your board. There might be cheaper board options on Amazon, but buying a board from iROCKER comes with a guarantee of a quality board and service.
Conclusion/Bottom Line Review
The Nautical Inflatable SUP is an entry-level board for those who are just getting into inflatable SUPs and are unwilling to spend more than a few hundred dollars for a board. We were surprised by its stability, its maneuverability, and just how well put together it is for a sub $500 dollar iSUP. With 13 d-rings, sturdy handles, and a full accessory kit, the Nautical comes more feature-packed than many of its competitors. The Nautical is a good all-around SUP, and will be a perfect introduction to those trying out paddleboarding for the first time. There are better boards for those who are willing to spend more than just the entry-level range, but for under $500 the Nautical is well worth the investment.
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