iRocker 10’6” Cruiser 2021
We’ve been in the iSUP review game for some years now. In that time, we’ve spent a lot of time in the water and seen a lot of brands come across our air pump hoses. But one of the main constants that we have is our love for the iRocker brand. These guys know what they’re doing and have always been very responsive to their clients.
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The 2021 iRocker Cruiser has always been one of our top recommendations for people who wants to get the most of their time on the water. It’s stable, strong, and able to stand up to even some of the most demanding hardboards.
But what if you’re looking to upgrade from a previous model or are looking to get your feet wet for the first time in the paddleboard game? Is it worth it to spend your hard-earned money on the 2021 iRocker Cruiser? That’s exactly what we’re going to find out for you today in this review of that iSUP!
We obviously love paddleboards and love to go out on the water — otherwise, we’d be in the wrong business! That being the case, this is the area where we are the most critical since we arguably care more about this category than any other. Even so, the Cruiser does exactly what it sets out to do.
This isn’t a touring board per se, but it does bridge the gap somewhat between all-around and touring boards for smaller riders. We say that because it’s able to comfortably move quickly on the water while still having superior stability. That stability makes keeping your balance less tiresome and if you wanted to sit or do any sort of SUP exercise like yoga, you wouldn’t have to worry about falling in the water every second.
If you’re reading this and have never been on a paddleboard before or are unfamiliar with different types of paddleboards, having just a one-inch difference and the width of the deck can make a huge difference in what it feels like to take it on the water. That being the case, the Cruiser is a little bit slower than a standard 10 foot 6 board that usually comes in at around 32 inches wide. That’s not the fault of the designers of this board but just a fact of life when you talk about drag. Don’t worry — we’re not going to give a lecture on fluid dynamics!
Since this board is a bit wider in its profile, it also makes for turning to be easier. The more round the board, the easier we find it to make turns. This is especially true at lower speeds but also applies to when you’re going at full speed. Theoretically, the perfect turning board would be a perfect circle, but that would obviously be a horrible paddleboard overall!
If you were to take this board out in some rougher waters, that extra stability is going to help you stay above water. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend this board specifically for surfing, but if you catch a few waves, you should be able to handle yourself well if you have a little bit of experience under your belt.
If you’re new to the iRocker paddleboards, one thing you should know is that they pride themselves on the vast amount of features found all over the board. This is one of the reasons that we like them so much and that we know that they listen because a lot of what they have are not only rare to find in the industry but are the types of things that somebody who actually uses these products would want.
For example, both the front and back have 6-point bungee storage areas where you can put loose bags and equipment plus D-rings where you can clip on gear like dry bags or coolers. The kind of people that use paddleboards on a regular basis typically enjoys having more storage space because they can stay out on the water longer and take their trip even farther.
On the topic of D-rings, there are20 on this iSUP.These rings act as attachment points for both the optional kayak seat as well as for any sort of docking.
A nice touch that we enjoy is how they put a single D-ring underneath the nose of the board. Why under the nose, you may ask? It’s to act as a connection point for a tow line. When we think of paddleboards, getting towed in the water isn’t usually what comes to mind but is extremely helpful when wanting to be pulled behind a boat or even to be pulled into shore by a friend. That D-ring being located where it allows you to be pulled in without worry of but knows going into the water and launching you up into space!
As with most boards that we love, iRocker was sure to add three grab handles: at the front, rear in the center of the board. You could also argue that there are four more attached to the bungee cords. To be perfectly honest, we’ve never heard an exact reason why there is sheathing on those sections of the bungees, so we’ve always just assumed that they were meant as auxiliary grab points. For most people, these were jests be an extra feature that wouldn’t really serve a purpose, but some of the paddlings we did in more extreme waters where we would often fall off and have to drag ourselves back on deck saw is using those as grab handles whether they were designed for that purpose or not.
Towards the rear of the deck just in front of the bungee cord area, two action mounts sit there waiting to be used. Their purposes are as attachment points for either a camera, GPS, or even equipment such as optional fishing attachments that you can purchase separately. The name of the game in recent years for this industry has been to make paddleboards as multipurpose as possible. With these attachment points, the possibilities can really be endless especially as more people get into the accessory market.
As a general rule, cheaper and lower production iSUPs are going to have fewer options when it comes to colors since it costs money to change colors in the production line. If you want to really know if iRocker is as good as a seller as they say they are, look no further than their options for colors. For the 2021 Cruiser, you have no fewer than seven options for color schemes for your inflatable paddle board. We probably should do some more research into this, but we can’t remember seeing another company offer more colors than this.
The rocker on the front of this board is perfectly balanced to handle just about every type of water. This is typically the reason why we don’t recommend it for any kind of planned surfing since it’s not high enough to keep your nose out of the water on any sort of substantial waves and won’t get you very far. But for any other sort of general-purpose paddling, that nose is going to give you the flexibility you need to feel confident on most types of water.
The texture deck pad is great for keeping you on the paddleboard and out of the water. It’s comfortable enough to sit on or even do yoga routines for long periods of time but is designed to make sure that your dogs aren’t barking after too much time standing on the board. One thing that we appreciate is having a dedicated area towards the back of the deck pad to stand if you want to have a little bit of extra texture and find the perfect center of gravity for the board while going at full speed. The only complaint we have about that is that you have to stand on top of the bungees to do it.
Finally, we can’t forget the fin setup. A 3-fin thruster setup with all three fins The fastest way to take it into our hearts. While we obviously love paddleboards more than most people, even we have to admit that the setup and storage of paddleboards can often be the worst part of the sport altogether. These three fins not only make for a better riding experience, but the fact that you can remove all three of them makes life so much easier when storing your paddleboard fully inflated or when having to roll up the board and put it into a backpack. We’ve probably said this 1000 times over the years, but we just don’t understand why more paddleboard companies don’t do this!
In the past, quality in iSUPs was defined in how many layers of PVC a board had, and iRocker was always on the higher end with four layers. The downside to this is added weight. Over the past few years, more and more companies have been manufacturing boards with a tougher inside which lets them use fewer layers of PVC and theoretically a lighter iSUP. While that may be true in making a stronger board, the problem is that this doesn’t help with outside damage like punctures. And the last thing you need on a multi-day trip is a damaged board.
iRocker’s new construction this year combines the best of both worlds by using a stronger drop stitch core while still having three layers of military-grade PVC on the outside to protect the board. This creates a strong board that can withstand the elements while still finding a way to keep the weight down. This isn’t the lightest 10’6” iSUP on the market but probably the strongest, pound for pound.
When purchasing the 2021 iRocker Cruiser, this is what you can expect out of the box besides the board itself:
- 3-piece travel paddle carbon matte shaft with nylon blade
- Dual chamber, triple action hand pump
- 10’ leash with key stash spot
- Premium travel roller bag
- Removable nylon sup fins (1 center fin and 2 side fins)
- Repair kit (Patches and valve wrench — Does not include glue)
iRocker also includes a wide range of optional accessories including their kayak seat and fishing attachments. If you wanted to also get their electric air pump, you wouldn’t get any shade from us. Trust us when we say we know exactly how difficult these inflatable paddleboards can be to get up to pressure. If you don’t want to spend the time doing that with the included pump or (like us) have to inflate multiple paddleboards at a time, the optional electric air pump can do a world of good.
You’d have to catch us on a pretty bad day to hear anything bad about iRocker paddleboards in general. These are now the top-selling inflatable paddleboards in the world and as far as we’re concerned, there’s no question why. There are paddleboards on the market that may offer a few additional features or that might have small tweaks here and there that we appreciate, but we know that whenever we take an iRocker paddleboard out of the box that we’re not going to be disappointed.
The Cruiser is a wonderful option for somebody who is fairly new into the paddleboard world or is more concerned with stability than they are with speed. With an over 400-pound weight capacity, you can easily take on heavier riders as well as additional riders and pets. Is there a huge difference between the 2020 model compared to the 2021 model? Aesthetically yes, but not in the structure or features of the board. If you are looking to give a gift that you know is going to be appreciated and used or are looking to get into paddleboarding yourself, the 2021 iRocker Cruiser 10 foot 6 inch is one of the best bets on the market!