iROCKER Sport 11’ iSUP Review
iROCKER produce a variety of inflatable paddle boards across three different ranges – the original iROCKER, their BLACKFIN premium offering as well as the entry-level NAUTICAL range.
The most responsive board within the iROCKER range is their Sport 11’. As the names implies, this is a sleeker slightly more aggressive inflatable SUP that takes on a sporty feel well suited for paddlers who are looking for a little more out of their time on the water.
In this review we take a deeper look at the iROCKER Sport 11’ iSUP to see what it has to offer.
Length: 11′ (335 cm)
Width: 31″ (78 cm)
Thickness/Depth: 6″ (15 cm)
Construction: Drop-stitch Core / Triple-Layer PVC
Weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kg)
User Weight: 385 lbs (175 kg)
Volume: 231 litres
Inflation PSI: 15 psi
D-rings: 17 + 4 Action Mounts
Paddle: 3-Piece Carbon Blend / Nylon Blade
Fin: Tri-Fin (3 x Flip Lock Detachable)
Pump: Dual Chamber Triple Action
Leash: 10′ Coiled Ankle + Key Pocket
Warranty: 24 Months
Why Paddle Board
As a recreational activity, paddle boarding offers some tremendous health and fitness benefits ranging from a full body workout engaging many of the core muscles albeit in a low impact way through to improved balance, improvements in endurance and stamina, injury rehabilitation, weight loss and improving our cardiovascular health. Its an exciting way to unwind and decompress whilst at the same time engaging with nature. As one of the fastest growing water sports globally, if you have access to water then its definitely worth giving it a go.
Based in Florida and founded in 2013 by Steve Elder and David Erwin, iROCKER are an inflatable paddle board and accessories manufacturer who have nicely positioned themselves in a growing and crowded water sports market.
The initially introduced iROCKER branded board has 3 models that cater for sports, all-round and cruise paddling. The BLACKFIN premium offering steps it up further again with fully loaded boards that feature high end external features and accessories. The latest addition to the range is the NAUTICAL which they have well positioned to take advantage of the ever growing beginners market. A clean lined well-built board albeit with a more affordable price point. iROCKER are a well reputed quality SUP manufacturer that has a little of something for paddlers of all levels.
At a Glance
✔️ Triple layer PVC / drop-stitch construction
✔️ Significant rider weight capacity
✔️ Quality detachable tri-fin configuration
✔️ Two separate EVA deck traction pads
✔️ Rear tail / kick pad
✔️ Multiple grab / carry handles
✔️ 4 multi-use action mounts
✔️ 17 well spaced D-rings
✔️ Available in 3 colour schemes
✔️ Adjustable ultralight carbon shaft paddle
✔️ 6-point bungee system for greater storage
✔️ Redesigned travel roller backpack
✔️ Dual chamber triple action pump
✔️ 24 month manufacturers warranty
▪️No obvious downsides from our perspective
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The Sport 11’ offers the versatility of an all round iSUP albeit with a slightly sleeker design for enhanced paddling efficiency and performance.
Construction – all of the iROCKER branded iSUPs are now constructed using a lightweight triple-layer PVC composite material making them lighter than previous models without any compromise on durability and rigidity.
At the core of the board is a dense drop-stitch which is a method of construction that uses thousands of polyester threads that are woven together and connected to the outer layers of fabric which enables the board to maintain its shape once inflated. Overlaying the core are the layers of composite PVC material. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a synthetic thermoplastic material that has been used for many years and has a whole host of different applications across many industries.
The combination of a highly dense core coupled with layers of military-grade PVC make paddle boards particularly rigid and durable so they can withstand impacts with rocks and other floating debris or if accidentally dropped. Most quality paddle board or performance inflatable manufacturers use their own variation of drop-stitch and PVC construction methodology, although with 3 layers of highly durable ‘skin’ enveloping iROCKER boards, their overall rigidity and durability does help them stand apart from their peers.
External Board Features
The Sport 11’ iSUP is very much the complete board from a features perspective so you’re definitely not left wanting.
▪️Deck Padding – the split EVA foam deck traction padding is a really nice feature on this board as it gives you a slightly different feel depending on how you position yourself.
At the rear you have comfortable neutral padding with a raised heel or kick pad which helps you find the back of your board without looking down. This acts as a handy anchor point to traverse weight backwards when performing more agile turns. The centre board traction area is grooved for better grip and traction so makes for a very comfortable paddling surface to help reduce fatigue when paddling over longer distances.
▪️Bungee – the 6-point forward bungee provides ample space to store your dry bag, water bottle, towel or other accessories and personal items. The board also has D-rings at its rear so if you’re touring or camping for instance, it can be easily rigged with an additional bungee cord to create additional storage space.
▪️Action Mounts – there are 4 mounts in total so plenty of space to attach the GoPro camera, cup holder, fishing rod mounts etc.
▪️Safety Handles – built within the forward bungee and great for when you fall off or if the kids are paddling around in the water.
▪️D-rings – you’ll never use them all but with 17 in total, you can configure your accessories to suit.
▪️Handles – the centre, rear and forward carry handles are made from a heavy-duty nylon with neoprene grip for added comfort making the board easier to carry by a single paddler or two people if preferred.
▪️Fins – the board comes with a typical tri-fin (thruster) fin set-up and operates via a quick flip lock mechanism. They attach and detach within seconds so depending on your paddling preferences, you can alter the configuration to suit.
▪️Valve – neatly tucked away to the rear is the boards all important inflation valve. The valve can lock in both the open and closed position to be used in conjunction with the supplied iROCKER manual pump or an electric pump if desisted.
Performance / Suitability
As a comparative to the other iROCKER boards, the Sport 11’ is 31” wide, the All Around is 32” wide and the Cruiser is 33” wide. Subtle differences only, but this does play a part in the overall dynamics of how the board feels and performs on the water.
Stability – the Sport 11’ is on the thinner side for an all-rounder iSUP (32” to 33” boards are more common) but it is still quite stable and has a significant weight carrying capacity. Wider boards are better for beginners as they offer a broader paddling surface but the Sport is also 11’ long so there is plenty of board space and buoyancy so stability isn’t really a challenge once you settle into your stroke.
Tracking / Glide – the board has a slight front rocker (upward turned nose) which helps stop it from catching water to create better glide and forward paddling momentum. It’s less bulky through the mid section with a tapered nose design and narrower tail to reduce drag which again better supports tracking and drive while paddling. The Sport is really well constructed as well with very little flex so from a rigidity stand-point, you can really dig in through each stroke which again promotes greater drive and speed for increased paddling efficiency.
Manoeuvrability – influenced by its design, the Sport is the most manoeuvrable board out of the iROCKER range. Not too bulky through the belly of the board and with a slightly drawn in tail at only 12”, it has a bit of a loose feel which adds to its responsiveness. While a pulled in tail can decrease the rear board stability, its not too dramatic but still helps create less resistance when stepping back for more agile turns. In tandem with the flat bottom deck, the fins interact nicely as you gain speed and transfer water down the board through to the side fins which again makes for a more responsive and efficient ride.
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The iROCKER Sport 11’ iSUP comes complete with all of the key essentials needed to get you out on the water at no additional expense.
☑️ Backpack: yet another upgrade on prior years, the backpack is made from durable material and can comfortably fit the deflated board and accessories. The large centre compartment opens via a full perimeter u-shape zip and includes two internal ties to secure the board. The well padded shoulder and waist straps are fully adjustable enabling it to be securely and comfortably carried over longer distances.
Externally the bag has an I.D window and top grab handle as well as ample additional storage compartments including two mesh side pockets for water bottles plus a further two front and two small side zipper pouches for accessories or personal belongings. The front and side adjustment straps help secure the accessories while the 6-point adjustable bungee cargo area is great for bulkier or wet items. Best of all, the current generation bag now includes heavy-duty wheels ideal for carrying on flat surfaces or on a flight.
☑️ Pump: the dual-chamber triple-action hand pump is one of the better manual iSUP pumps on the market. Complete with an integrated high pressure gauge and inflation hose, the board can be inflated with a nice 6-8 minute pre-paddling workout.
For paddlers that are looking to take to the water on a more regular basis and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, we would always recommend investing in a portable electric pump. Well worth the spend and more often than not can be compatible with other inflatables. iROCKER have their own electric pump which is well worth considering, but for a more detailed look at what’s available on the market, our Top 5 Electric Pump Picks covers the top rated pumps as well as a run down on what to look for in a quality product.
☑️ Paddle: an upgrade on the previous fibreglass paddle, the board now comes with a 3-piece carbon matte shaft and nylon blade paddle. Both the shaft and blade are considerably lighter making for easier and less strenuous paddling particularly over longer distances. The carbon shaft is also stronger and stiffer relative to aluminium and fibreglass shafts enabling more efficient strokes. Fully adjustable, the paddle can be altered to suit paddlers of all heights.
☑️ Leash: a 10′ coiled ankle leash. The multi-layered neoprene cuff provides greater comfort and security ensuring that you and your board do not become separated. The dual swivels ensure that the leash does not become tangled around your ankle whilst the coil assists in keeping it out of the water thus reducing drag. The leash also contains a small hidden Velcro key pocket as is becoming quite popular these days.
☑️ Repair Kit: similar to most iSUP packages, comes complete with colour coded patches and a wrench tool to tighten the boards inflation value in the event it becomes loose (glue sold separately).
As all of the iROCKER SUP range are now well complimented with ample D-rings and action mounts, you can also easily accessorise your board with any of the many iROCKER optional SUP Accessories.
- iROCKER Cooler Deck Bag
- iROCKER Carry Strap
- iROCKER SUP Anchor
- Kayak Conversion Kit
- GoPro Compatible Mount
- Fishing Rod Holder
- Vibe Waterproof Speaker
- Cup Holder
- Bluetooth Speaker
- iROCKER 25L Roto-Molded Cooler w/ Drink Holder
All-in-all, the iROCKER Sport 11’ iSUP is a really nicely balanced board that offers more than your typical all-rounder. Best suited to experienced or intermediate paddlers, the board checks all of the performance metric boxes and is at its best on flat waters although still handles nicely in choppier waters or mild surf.
The build quality of iROCKER’s range of paddle boards can be attested to by in excess of 10,000 genuine customer reviews. This alone should give you a great deal of comfort, so if you’re in the market for a high quality inflatable with that bit more of an edge, then the iROCKER Sport 11’ is definitely one for the shortlist.
Are you new to paddle boarding or simply in the market for an upgraded ride? We’d love to get your feedback so please feel free to start a conversation and leave a comment below.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.