The New iRocker All-Around 11' vs. the Old Inflatable 11'
iRocker gave this board a new name and a few new features this year. It is now called the All-Around 11' and features new quad-layer construction, a redesigned deck pad, added safety handles, and a new pump. See the new All-Around 11' below on the left followed by its predecessor, the Inflatable 11', on the right.
- Quad Layer Construction — iRocker developed a Quad-Layer PVC material for this SUP, which is designed to maximize durability and rigidity.
- Safety Handles — The new board features 2 safety handles by the cargo area, which are visible in the comparison photo above (left).
- Redesigned Deck Pad — The deck pad's shape had changed slightly.
- Updated Pump — The pump included with the All-Around 11' is dual chamber for speedier inflation, and now includes a pressure gauge.
The new board retails for $749, around $200 cheaper than the old version! We're very happy to see that SUPs are becoming more affordable. We haven't actually hit the water with the latest incarnation of the iRocker though, so all the text from here on out pertains to the old version from our initial review.
Hands-On Review of the iRocker Inflatable 11'
The iRocker model's quality is apparent in its construction, with a well-designed deck and admirable performance across the board. Although this model lacked some features, like a dual cargo system, that other favorite boards boasted, its materials and silhouette made up for it.
Calm seas while paddling with KIALOA Insanity on the iRocker Inflatable.
The iRocker performed well in this metric but was beaten out by the Isle Explorer and NRS Mayra. With dimensions of 11' x 32" x 6", this model actually has the exact same measurements as the Isle Explorer, but its slightly bulkier weight and slightly different profile made it a bit more unwieldy. However, testers were thoroughly satisfied with this model in open water and chop from boat wakes. It also handled furry passengers well, and its fin configuration added stability. If you are looking for a model with a bit more stability, consider the lighter Isle Explorer. And if you're anticipating activities that require a high level of stability from your board, like SUP yoga, try the NRS Mayra, which is specifically built for this.
This model performed as well as our Best High Performance Buy award-winning Isle Explorer in glide, moving along nicely on flat water but not moving nearly as fast as a non-inflatable model, which is to be expected. With a weight capacity of 385 pounds, which was on the upper end of the spectrum in this test, the iRocker still performed even with two riders. For a higher-performing model at a higher price, consider the Red Paddle Co Voyager.
This board features two small, hard fins, with a larger removable center fin. Testers felt that this was an optimal design, as it allowed for increased glide and stability in open water, and it could be customized in shallower water when the center fin needed to be removed while the two hard fins maintained some glide and stability. However, this arrangement does hinder a tight roll (although this model still has excellent packability).
The iRocker, runner up for our Best Buy award, was one of the easiest contenders to inflate.
Ease of Transport
The iRocker performed well in packability, with a well-designed backpack included. The board and all of the needed accessories easily fit inside, with room to spare and comfortable straps. However, this model does lack a front handle, which makes carrying with two people more difficult. It does, however, have an excellent middle handle. For a board that is easier to carry and a bit lighter, consider the Isle Explorer.
Ease of Inflation
As with many of the boards in this review, the iRocker's inflation was nothing to write home about, in either a good or bad way. The pump gets the job done well and is both easy and relatively quick to use. The nozzle is universal, which means that it fits any board with this same universal nozzle. If you really care about how quickly your board inflates, consider buying an electric pump (or purchasing the Red Paddle Co Voyager's pump from their website).
Although not quite as bomber as the Best High-Performance Buy award-winning Isle Explorer (mostly because of a lacking rear handle, which sets the board up to see more abuse when dragged across rocks) the iRocker board still brings solid construction and materials to the table. This model is well-designed, with low-profile seams and solid materials that handled multiple creek descents with shallow sections and mandatory portages.
Pictured here is the iRocker, along with a slew of other contenders in our fleet.
The iRocker was a bit more expensive than our Best High-Performance Buy Isle Explorer. The differences between the two boards are largely subject to personal preference, but we recommend this board for beginning and intermediate users or those who are looking for a versatile SUP. However, this SUP is much more affordable than some of the top-end models in our lineup.
The iRocker continually impressed testers, with a solid performance across the board. This model came with us on open water, longer missions, and down rowdy creeks and rivers. It's a solid model that can go nearly anywhere with you.