Are iRocker Paddle Boards any Good? – The Full Breakdown

I must say, I am the very happy owner of a black and white iRocker Paddle board, and promise to try and give an unbiased and fair view of the iRocker brand in this article. With that out the way, let’s get started.

iRocker is a top of the line inflatable paddle board producer. This leads to consistently higher pricetag but definitely worth it. iRocker does, however, overstate the carrying capacity, but this is of little consequence as the boards are huge.

iRocker is a well-known brand of inflatable paddleboards. They exclusively produce inflatable boards, with one exception, and target the paddleboard activities that favour the inflatable market. The company boldly claims that

“You can buy a cheaper paddle board but not a better one.”

So is this marketing hype, or is there some truth to it?

Before reading further, US residents should note that boards listed as pre-order or shipping later are actually being fulfilled within a few days. For readers from all countries, you can change your iRocker page to your country and currency in top right menu.

iRocker Nautical option

Since iRocker makes almost exclusively inflatables, they have the opportunity to target this market, the type of paddle boarders, and activities that match these criteria. Their range of SUP’s may not seem widely varied, but there is much more under the hood than meets the eye. They do offer a great option in the lower price tier to compete with other lesser known but cheaper brands.

If you like the idea of buying a top quality brand board but don’t want to pay a premium for your first board, iRocker offers their Nautical line. The Nautical boards are available in 10’ 6” and 11’ 6” lengths. They offer a great way to get involved in paddle boarding with an established brand without breaking the bank. They are rated for up to 265 lbs and designed to cover a wide range general purpose boarding.

For the rest of iRocker’s premium boards, read on.

iRocker Paddle Boards

The iRocker lineup consists of 4 distinct boards under the brand iRocker and a further 4 under their luxury brand Blackfin. These boards are reasonably close in size, and all except one in the luxury line are inflatable.

The company motto that you can find cheaper, but not better boards is pretty bold. To clear up any confusion on this point, iRocker and both its lines of paddleboards are top-end boards. There is no question about this.

Crocodile Textured Deskpad

Being a top-end board producer leads naturally to top demands on quality. There is no room for cheating on the carrying capacity of boards like many budget brands do, and there is even less room for material malfunctions and similar problems.

The unfortunately big downside to the iRocker boards, by far the biggest, is that they, in fact, consistently overstate the carrying capacity. Now for cheap boards, this is common, but for a mid to high market manufacturer, not so much. What is going on with this?

The carrying capacities that iRocker lists are literally the amount of weight you can put on the board before it sinks. This has, of course, very little to do with how the board performs as you will want a stable platform to paddle on and not something that almost sinks. Quite frankly, it is an unnecessary marketing strategy for an otherwise excellent collection of paddleboards. Now, this might sound very ominous, but do not fear as in iRockers case, this overstatement matters is quite a bit less than for cheaper boards.

This is simply because iRocker makes very huge and voluminous boards. They are, in fact, so big that the overstated capacity will only be a problem for people on the really really heavy side.

The iRocker Cruiser (My Board), for example, has a stated capacity of 400lbs. The volume of the board is only 240 litres, which means the actual carrying capacity for a beginner is 240lbs. Not that many people weigh more than 240lbs, and those that do and paddleboard rarely weigh upwards of 400lbs.

Well, I do weigh 20lbs over the 240lbs at 260lbs and can tell you this iRocker Paddleboard is not sinking under me. These boards are so big that problems only really occur when people try to bring a few hundred pounds of camping and fishing gear, 4 kids, and a dog and the pregnant girlfriend onboard with them. They are solid and a whole lot of fun.

It will be an excellent ride and a good beginner board for a paddleboarder of any size. Only when added gear or partners come into the picture may there ever be a problem. All in all, iRocker gets away with this overstatement.

You can also say it just does not matter, depending on your point of view. The high quality of the construction and other features will make up for this, and iRocker shines in many areas.

The construction is, again quite frankly, over the top. The inflatables produced by iRocker has a four-layer PVC shell. Typically there are only two layers in an inflatable paddleboard. Some cheaper inflatables have only one layer.

On top of this, iRocker boards use a drop-stitch method that has about twice as high a number of threads per area. This leads to a very durable board that holds its shape exceptionally well. This alone would merit the price tag, twice as much PVC, and twice as many threads for less than twice the price. Not bad at all.

We will go over the three lines (Nautical covered above) produced by iRocker and each board in them to see how well they stack up in the mid to higher price range of paddleboards.

The iRocker Brand

The brand iRocker itself contains boards aimed at the medium to high range market of inflatable paddleboards. There is also a “big board” for more than one person in this lineup, but we will not cover that one as it is still a novelty paddleboard.

In the iRocker lineup, we find two all-round boards, one 10 feet long and one 11 feet long. The line also has a sport board which, while still aimed at beginners, has a bit more performance features. Bringing up the rear is the iRocker Cruiser, a wide high-volume board designed for stability. It is aimed at heavier and taller paddleboarders, in itself a niche in paddleboarding.

All iRocker boards come with a high-performance hand pump, a carrying backpack, a leash, a repair kit, and a fiberglass paddle. The latter is really a great feature and fits well in mid to upper market targeted. Somewhat of a bummer on these boards is that quite a few accessories that you would associate with this price range are extra. That is, they are options and are not included in the original board offering. Things like go-pro mount and carry-strap as well as water-tight pocket are not included and have to be purchased separately. Also, if you want a cupholder that is extra too. There is a mount built into the board for, well, the cupholder.

iROCKER All Around 10′ x 32″ Wide Inflatable SUP Package

The All-Around 10’ shown in Seafoam. Red and teal options have different prints
Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
10′ 32″ 6″ 16″ 24 30 370 221

The 10-foot iRocker all-round is the smallest board that iRocker makes. The fact that the board has a volume of 221 L says a lot about the iRocker line. The smallest board can easily carry a beginner of 221 lbs. The company states that the board is limited to riders under 5’10”. This is a bit of an understatement for a board 32” wide. Nice offset to the carrying capacity overstatement.

This board does work well for most activities done by most paddleboarders. 32” is wide enough for yoga and fishing. Remember the durable construction and 221 lbs carrying capacity, for beginners, makes this an awesome beginner board for most users.

iROCKER All-Around 11′ x 32″ Wide Inflatable SUP Package

Shown here in orange, the 11’ All-Around comes in 6 different colors
Length Width Thickness Tail
Width
Weight
(lbs)
Weight in
Bag
(lbs)
Weight
Capacity
(lbs)
Volume
11′ 32″ 6″ 16″ 27 33 435 246

The 11-foot long iRocker all-round board is basically a slightly longer and slightly more voluminous version of the 10-foot board. iRocker states that this board will perform well with more than one rider. Again, this is practically true for most users. Practically true unless one of the passengers is on the heavy side. If you have this board and are used to it in most cases, this will not be a problem.

Available in 6 different color schemes, this board features the increased rocker that, presumably, is the source of the name iRocker. For a board this long, it’s quite a feature, and the construction method makes it an excellent board for heavy-duty paddleboarding, like rapids.

iROCKER Sport 11′ x 31″ Wide Inflatable SUP Package

Shown here in “Sport White” scheme, a subtle grey option also exists
Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
11′ 31″ 6″ 12″ 26 31 385 231

The iRocker sport 11 footer is an inflatable not aimed at beginners, or as the company puts it, intermediate users or fast learners. The sport board has a different tail profile than the all-round boards aiming at activities like surfing. It’s also the most narrow of all iRocker boards but still measuring in at 31″.

The volume is still in the 200s, so whatever iRocker says, it will do well for most beginners even if they are not fast learners.

You will not carve through waves with it, but it does well in surf due to the narrower tail. Overall it deserves its name as it is a more sporty board. The 11-foot length does well for speed and endurance on top wave performance.

iROCKER CRUISER 10’6″ x 33″ Wide Inflatable SUP Package

iRocker Cruise 10’ 6” shown in red, available in 6 color schemes
Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
10’6″ 33″ 6″ 22″ 26 32 400 234

The Cruiser (This is the board I own, check out my review on it) is a huge board, wide and slightly shorter at 10 and a half feet. It is the all-round beginner board of choice for heavy set paddleboarders like me. The extra width allows for more stability demanding activities like yoga and fishing.

You can do most things with this board. It is a bit amusing, though, that the most all-round board that iRocker sells is not called all-round. It’s a good indication of how well niched the iRocker boards are. That is in the big, durable, and works for pretty much anything niche.

Blackfin – iRockers Premium Range

The Blackfin line is aimed solely at the high-end market. It has one layer of PVC less than the iRocker line but comes with a carbon fiber rail protection system. The carbon fiber makes the rails black, hence the name.

In the Blackfin range, is some of the biggest and most voluminous inflatable boards on the market. These boards do very well in filling out the upper end of iRocker’s niche of big and stable boards.

The lineup is also home to iRocker’s only hard-shelled board. The board is sized like an inflatable but is a hard shell. So it bridges the gap a bit between the two construction methods.

They come with a higher price tag than the iRocker line, but come with at least one feature, this being the extra size!

BLACKFIN Model X 10’6″ x 35″ Wide

Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
10’6″ 35″ 6″ 19″ 25 38 450 237

The shortest board in the Blackfin inflatable line is the Model X. This model is a whopping 35 inches wide. With a volume of 237l, this board is one of the most stable inflatables available on the market. This is a perfect choice for fishermen and yoga enthusiasts who want that extra stability.

I would say that if paddleboard gymnastics became a sport, this is the board for it.

BLACKFIN Model XL 11’6″ x 34″ Wide

Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
11’6″ 34″ 6″ 18″ 27 40 485 259
The XL is available in white, blue and teal color schemes

The slightly narrower model XL is “only” 34 inches wide.

Ok, that was a joke.

The model XL shares the title most voluminous of all the iRocker paddleboards with the model V. This board can carry about as much as is possible. The XL is where the high-density drop stitch method comes into play. The board is just so big that the technology is needed to keep the board, well, a board.

This is indeed a multiple rider board and does well in all activities except racing and touring. For the latter, it is just a bit too big. Hauling that board along in the water will require both some muscle and some technique in the paddling. the thin tail makes pivot turning a little challenging for the beginner also.

BLACKFIN Model V 12’6” x 32″ Wide

The white version is shown above. There is a darker steel blue option as well.
Length Width Thickness Tail Width Weight (lbs) Weight in Bag (lbs) Weight Capacity (lbs) Volume
12’6″ 32″ 6″ 19″ 27 40 485 259

The lacking point in the X and XL boards would as stated, be for touring. That is what the model V board in the Blackfin line is targeted at. Sold as a touring board, it’s extra-long measuring in at 12 and a half feet. It is still 32″ wide, which might be a bit on the wide side. It can, however, haul a lot of gear for the long outings and is still stable.

Because of this width, it is easy to paddle even for tall paddlers but still quite cumbersome to paddle with the 32″ width. This slots the board in with the family-oriented long paddle adventure boards.

This is probably the only iRocker board that is not really entirely made for its purpose. Even for a family targeted board, taking the width down to 30″ or 28″ would really do a lot for the endurance of the paddler. Maybe a beginner family-oriented touring board is a better fit for the board.

In Conclusion

Make no mistake, the iRocker inflatables and their cousin the Model XL are top-notch quality, with remarkable durability and performance. It is evident that iRocker knows what they are doing, and their boards are well thought through. After all, it’s the brand I bought and partially reviewed here.

Several of the iRocker paddle boards come with the option of a paddleboard-to-kayak conversion kit. This kit turns the paddleboard into a sit-on kayak with a chair and a double-bladed paddle. This is really a beautiful kit as it opens up more activities with the board. Sweet not only for fishing but also for paddle cruises in wind and water conditions that are not so nice standing up.

A thing that will always cause a question for a European is the cupholder. What is it with things made in the USA and cupholders? Soon there will be cupholders on surfboards! Also, I can’t imagine reaching right up to the tip of your board to get your drink would be a very easy or pleasant experience either. But, each to there own.

I don’t think anyone will be disappointed with an iRocker board. They do their niche of big, stable, and durable boards very well. They are all big, stable, and durable, after all. The size and stability of the boards open up the hobby to more people, a great thing.

Whether you have an iRocker, will get one or paddle your grandfather’s old longboard, have fun paddling!


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Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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