ROC 10’ Explorer Stand Up Paddle Board
- Light iSUP that offers good performance, especially for beginners.
- Stable for small and large paddlers, able to support up to 300 lbs with experience.
- Full paddle kit, includes a waterproof bag for keys, wallet, phone.
- 4 different color options.
- The inflation valve may need to be tightened with use.
- Basic, simple backpack that isn’t very durable.
- 1-year warranty, limited customer service help.
ROC SUP produces some of the most popular inflatable paddle boards available on Amazon and the Explorer is part of the reason why they stay popular. This entry-level board comes in at less than $400 dollars brand new, while offering sufficient performance to get a good taste of what SUPboarding entails. Steady in flat water and light chop, this all-around board is well suited for exploring, yoga, and a host of other SUP water sports. Whether it be a first time board or a secondary option for the experienced paddler, you’ll be satisfied with what the 10’ Explorer provides.
SUP Board Specs
|Max Capacity||300 lbs (We’d recommend staying under 250)|
|Recommended Inflation||12-15 PSI|
|Fins||Removable center fin, permanent side fins|
|Paddle Type||Aluminum shaft, nylon blade|
Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:
The following types of paddlers will benefit the most from the ROC 10’ Explorer:
- Those who want a stable board at an entry-level price.
- Younger riders who want to go for something light and easy to carry.
- Experienced paddlers who want a good backup or secondary board.
- A soft, comfortable, and clean board that looks about as good as it performs.
If you want to experience peak performance on the 10’ Explorer, try paddling in:
- Friendly and flat water spots, such as bays, marinas, and lakes.
- The occasional river that is slow and easy to navigate.
- Calm, smooth ocean water.
As this is a less expensive, entry level SUP, most people considering the Explorer 10’ are going to be beginner paddlers and those looking for a secondary board. For beginners, the most important factor you’ll want to consider is stability. The more stable the board, the easier time you’ll have learning how to SUP, along with overall weight capacity and cargo support.
The 10’ Explorer offers sufficient stability that even first time paddlers will have an easy time learning how to SUP with it. Entry-level iSUPs can be a little iffy to their weight capacity, but the Explorer supports adult single riders pretty well, and with a 32’’ wide deck you’ll have room enough to plant your feet. You’ll want to get a little practice before you load up your gear and come close to that 300 lbs weight limit, and be aware that some adults even around 250 lbs can have some issues with the stability.
If you want something that can dodge objects on a lake without causing you a hassle, then the Explorer will suffice. Zip and twist around the water with ease, and even show off to your friends by doing a step-back turn from the back of the Explorer. While it isn’t well suited for fast-moving rivers or other difficult waters, the ROC Explorer will be just fine for recreation and paddling around the lake or other flat waters, even letting you explore areas inaccessible by boat.
The flat nose, 6’’ thickness, and 32’’ width keep things stable as you paddle, and you’ll glide over still water silently and smoothly. The Explorer comes with two permanently attached side fins and a center fin that, when used together, will provide additional stability and improved tracking.While turning is easy enough to correct your path if you drift off course, the 10’ Explorer shouldn’t force you to correct much if you find a spot and want to head directly there.
You’ll definitely want to stick to paddling in calm water environments though. While the Explorer does well in flat water and can handle some light chop, moderate to heavy winds aren’t enjoyable with this iSUP. The lightweight will cause you to get blown all over the water, and make paddling to shore a difficult experience. Be sure to check the weather conditions before you head out with the 10’ Explorer.
Like other inflatable SUPs, the ROC 10’ Explorer is made with a tight drop stitch core protected by layers of military-grade PVC. To go more in-depth, ROC starts with several layers of fabric that are connected to each other by thousands of tiny strings. As air is pumped between the layers, they expand outward until the short strings go taught, which gives the Explorer a board shape rather than a round balloon one despite being an inflatable. While this drop stitch core is plenty durable on its own, ROC applies military-grade PVC via DuraWeld technologies to form an outer shell. The end result is a SUP that is lightweight, durable, and stable in flatwater conditions.
The ROC 10’ Explorer is an all-around board, and is built to perform most typical SUP water sports well, be it from yoga to some light touring. Measuring 10’ long, you’ll find the board nimble and maneuverable, especially in calm water settings. 32’’ wide makes it thinner than the ROC Scout, but in exchange for the thinner deck space you’ll have a board that’s a little faster. As for overall stability, a 6’’ thickness helps ensure that the board can support around 250 to 300 lbs, and will be a fun ride for small and large paddlers alike. While it won’t be the best in any singular SUP activity, the Explorer will still perform well enough to thoroughly enjoy your typical SUP water sports.
When you buy an entry-level board, you tend to get the bare bones of what you need to get on the water. The ROC 10’ Explorer isn’t an exception, but it does come with some neat additions that makes it a good sub $400 dollar board. These include:
- DuraWeld Military Grade PVC Drop Stitch Construction: Eventually, you’re going to accidentally drop your iSUP or have a crash when you’re on the water. Fortunately, iSUPs are built with great durability in mind. The common accidents that happen on the water shouldn’t even put a scratch on the ROC 10’ Explorer.
- Forward Cargo Area: Once you’ve gotten used to paddling, bring along a cooler or some other fun gear with you on your Explorer. Secure everything down with the front cargo area, or attach it to one of the forward 4 D-rings. The explorer even comes with a waterproof bag for important small valuables like your phone, wallet, or keys.
- 3-Piece Adjustable Aluminum Paddle: Adjustable paddles are great, because not only can you put them together in seconds, but you can alter the height and trade them with your friends even on the water. Aluminum paddles are on the heavier side of paddles, but they also keep the kit price down as well.
- Center Carry Handle: The center carry handle will get you in and out of the water securely and comfortably!
- Dual-Layer, Diamond Grooved Eva Deck Pad: There are not many sub $400 boards that have a diamond grooved EVA deck pad. Comfortable because of the eva foam, the diamond grooves will improve your feet grip and keep you stable even in light chop.
- 4 Unique Color Options: Available in Black, Green, Blue, and Pink.
The majority of paddlers don’t want to worry about their fins, which is why the ROC 10’ Explorer tri-fin setup is mostly a satisfying setup. The two side fins enhance stability and are permanent, made to flex and resist most typical forms of board damage. If they should ever lose their shape though, pour some hot water over the side fins and let them dry for ten to fifteen minutes. Your side fins should look better than ever once they’ve dried out!
The center fin is pretty easy to install, using a slide in system that helps you install or remove your fin in seconds. While the average paddler will find these fins work well enough, this is also an area we would like to see improved in the future. While we don’t necessarily expect for a future Explorer to have three interchangeable fins, to have the center fin box replaced with a more secure snap lock common in many newer SUPs would be a nice upgrade to have.
Thanks in part to the diamond grooves, the 10’ Explorer certainly has a nice deck pad. The diamond grooves provide better grip to your feet, ensuring that you stay firm and avoid sliding even when it’s soaking wet. Made from EVA foam, the deck pad will also be kind to your feet even after a long day of paddling. You won’t have to worry about blisters or calluses with the 10’ Explorer deck pad.
We do tend to favor inflatable SUPs that have more handle options, but because of how light it is we can’t find much fault with the 10’ Explorer. You won’t have any problem carrying the Explorer from the shore to the water, or lifting it back out once you’re done for the day. However, if ROC is looking to upgrade the Explorer in the future, additional handles on the nose and tail would be greatly appreciated.
If you have a cooler or some other sort of small to medium-sized container, you’ll be able to fit it under the forward cargo area bungees. Bags and other common inflatable SUP accessories will connect to the four forward D-rings. As for your ankle leash, the fifth D-ring on the tail of the inflatable SUP is a great place to hook it onto. The 10’ Explorer also comes with a waterproof bag perfect for small items that you can latch onto the tail ring as well for quick access.
The 3-piece aluminum paddle comes in three pieces that you can easily break down to store or put together to use for the day in seconds. The paddle can adjust for almost any paddler height, making it easy to lend your paddle to a friend as you switch boards, even on the water. Overall, the Explorer’s paddle is good enough, especially for a beginner paddler, and by going with aluminum the kit can stay under the $400 dollar price tag. Even so, we would at least like to see an option to upgrade to a fiberglass paddle at purchase in the future.
Keeping the kit light and affordable, the ROC 10’ Explorer comes with an easy to use, single chamber, dual-action manual pump. By following the instructions below, get your board inflated in ten minutes or less.
Secure the hose from the pump to the board. Begin pumping in the first action mode until you reach about 7 PSI. The first action mode pumps on both the rise and fall of the handle, allowing you to pump air quicker until you encounter heavy resistance. Once you do, switch over to the second action mode so you’re only pumping on the fall, making pulling the handle up easier. Anywhere within the 12-15 PSI range is a good place to finish, though we recommend going for 15 PSI for maximum iSUP stability and firmness.
Some reviewers of the ROC 10’ Explorer have reported that their Halkey-Roberts inflation valves have come loose after a few months of usage. If you have an inflation wrench around, it’s pretty easy to tighten. Unfortunately, the Explorer does not come with a repair kit common to many other inflatable SUPs, meaning that first time SUP buyers might be stuck. Should this happen to you, we’d recommend either contacting ROC right away or buying one off of Amazon to resolve the issue.
The backpack resembles your traditional travel bag, and weighs 23 lbs when fully packed. The bag also offers plenty of room, making packing everything a breeze, and the adjustable shoulder straps will make it a comfortable carry for the typical paddler. We do recommend caution with your backpack though, because it’s not as resilient as your typical SUP bag. With proper care, it will do just fine, but it can tear easily if you’re not careful.
The ROC 10’ Explorer comes with a traditional safety leash that will keep your board from floating away or hitting you in the head should you fall off. Given how light the Explorer is, it can drift several feet away in seconds if you fall, especially in moderate to severe wind conditions. However, while a leash will keep your SUP close if you take a tumble, it will not keep you afloat. For maximum safety, always head out with a personal flotation device, even if your local authorities don’t require one.
Company Review – ROC SUP Co.
On their front page, you’ll be greeted by the impressive proclamation of over 120,000 boards sold and 1,260 five star reviews. Over the years, ROC SUP CO. has developed a mostly stellar reputation as a paddleboard manufacturer, and is a family-owned and operated business out of the United States.
While it’s likely you won’t have a problem with their boards, you are somewhat limited if something does go wrong. The ROC 10’ Explorer SUP has a thirty-day guarantee and a 1-year warranty window. We like the free shipping offered, but overall their protection policies are shorter compared to many of their competitors. Additionally, there are a noticeable number of complaints about how difficult it is to work with the ROC SUP Co. customer service team when something goes wrong. This is pretty typical when purchasing a sup board through Amazon, which is why we typically recommend those looking for a cheaper iSUP to look at the Nautical, made by iRocker, or the Gili Air as you can purchase directly through the manufacturer and their customer service is great.
For less than $400, the ROC 10’ Explorer SUP offers good stability, maneuverability, tracking, glide, and overall performance that makes it well suited for beginner, recreational paddle boarders. The diamond groove deck pad helps set the entry-level board apart, as does a fully-featured kit that is ready for the water right out of the box. The issues with the inflation valve, less than stellar backpack, and short warranty window do bring down the 10’ Explorer a couple of notches. Even so, we still believe the 10’ Explorer to be a good entry-level all-around board. If you’re looking for a SUP well suited for beginners, teenagers, or as a secondary board, the Explorer is a good choice, though we would invite you to consider reading through our list of best cheap stand up paddle boards to see which boards we recommend the most.
Is there something you’d like to know about the ROC 10’ Explorer SUP that we didn’t touch on? Or do you have your own paddling experience you’d like to share? Then we’d encourage you to leave a comment below or to reach out to us by email. We’ll try to respond as quickly as we can to any comments you have. Otherwise, we hope to see you on the water with your own iSUP!