Is the iRocker Cruiser Stand up paddle board the best SUP for a beginner?
I had been thinking about trying the new paddleboarding craze for a while and after doing some research and watching a few videos on YouTube I decided to invest and buy my first board. There were so many different models on the market that it was difficult to know which board to choose from. I thought the most straightforward way was to narrow down my requirements of what I wanted to use it for and then read as many reviews as possible. I borrowed my search down to a company called iRocker and contacted their customer service team to talk about one of the boards that I was interested in. as a total beginner I wanted a stable paddle board, it had to be inflatable and one that also would easily fit away in a backpack. My weight is approx 88KG and I also wanted to be able to take my German Sheperd puppy, Wolfie, who is approx 35KG out on the SUP board with me but I wasn’t sure if the material of an inflatable stand-up paddle board would be ok with her claws, she is young and excitable and this was a concern that she may damage or puncture the board. The guys at iRocker assured me that the material on the board is far superior to others and will be more durable against rough surfaces and Wolfie’s claws, they also suggested that I purchased the Cruiser 10.6 board which would be better suited to my weight as its rating is 181KG so more than adequate, it would also be more stable and so I decided to go for it and buy my first Stand Up Paddle Board.
I contacted my friend who owns Ouse Bridge Guest House in the lake district, we had stayed there 6 months prior and it was a perfect location for my first venture into paddle boarding, the hotel is situated only a stone’s throw away from Bassenthwaite Lake, so I could blow up my board and walk from their car park and straight into the lake. My board arrived and I had also purchased an electric pump add on, which I was told was well worth the extra money as pumping up a board to around 15PSI is quite some work. We took a trip for a long weekend and when we got to the hotel on Thursday we saw that Saturday was going to be a very sunny day, with little wind so it should make for good conditions to try out my new board.
How easy is the iRocker Cruiser 10.6 SUP to inflate and assemble?
The paddle board had come extremely well packaged and to now I hadn’t taken it out of the protective packaging, but now as I laid out all of the components I could see exactly how good the quality of this board and its accessories really were. My friend had his paddle board next to mine and the build quality of the iRocker was incredible, the detail and reinforcement that has gone into the construction show why iRocker is so highly rated on sales platforms such as Amazon. The electric pump can be connected to a car battery or to a 12-volt internal auxiliary port, which was originally the cigarette lighter port, there are several controls on the pump and one of them is the auto button, which if you press will increase the pressure in increments of ½ PSI all the way to 20 and then back to zero, the cruiser board requires a pressure of 14-15PSI and so I set it to 14 and once it reached the desired pressure the pump turned its self off. I removed the pump fitting from the board and pushed in the plug to stop any debris or water from entering and causing the board to deflate on the lake, with a few clicks of the paddle I was ready to go and give my new board a lake test.
The board has 2 screw fittings for either a cup holder or a go-pro camera, I hadn’t taken any extra screw fittings for my go-pro so I just used I had an adapter to record mine and Wolfie’s progress. Wolfie stayed paddling around whilst I clipped in the 3 fins and walked my board out into the water to around knee height, I put my knees on either side of the handle and began to paddle, I have been on the water most of my life, and having spent some time kayaking I was comfortable using a paddle and understanding how to control direction, within a few minutes of paddling around on my knees I took my first brave to go at standing up, I kept my feet evenly spaced either side of the handle and stood up slowly and looked at the horizon, looking down would be fatal I knew I would be in off the board quicker than I had stood up. The lake was a little choppy but nothing too bad, the wind had just picked up a little and all the sailing boats were out on the lake racing, but I was determined to stay stood up, I truly believe I hadn’t purchased this board I would not have stood up as long as I did, it is incredibly stable, the 3 fins made the board feel solid in the water and heading straight on into the swell felt effortless, the board guided around and was easy to control. I looked back at the shoreline to see that my crazy German Sheperd Puppy Wolfie had decided to come and pay me a visit as was almost at the board. Knowing that Wolfie would be soon trying to climb on I dropped to my knees to help her up, she put her two front feet on the board and I picked her up via her harness and she was on.
Wolfie was happily wagging her tail, she just loves any type of adventure and this new board was right up her street, I hadn’t had to show her how to get on or encourage her, she just looked at me and gave me a massive shake, I was soaked. I wouldn’t have minded but I hadn’t fallen in yet and now I was soaking wet,” thank you, Wolfie”, I said! I called Viv my wife who was filming my exploits and I called Shepherd on board, as we cruises past, I was feeling very proud, however, what I hadn’t noticed was that Wolfie was watching her best mate Rocky, my friend’s 6-month-old german shepherd, running in and out of the water chasing sticks, just as I saw Wolfie take a double take I knew she was going to jump and before I could do anything Wolfie launched herself off the board into the lake to swim after Rocky, the dog went to the left and I went to the right and we were both in! I called Viv to see if she was still recording as this could be one of those TV moments that you can get £250 for, and she replied yes, and Shepherd was off-board, laughing!
Later that day we packed a picnic taking full advantage of the lovely jubilee bank holiday weather and headed back again to the Lake again, with our friend’s daughters and their paddle boards, we spent the rest of the day messing about on the lake, all on the boards and my wife Viv had a go too, the only issue now is that Wolfie now wants to get on our paddle board every time, she definitely thinks this is a new activity designed just for her.
In conclusion, if you like many are thinking about buying a paddle board then definitely get yourself one of the iRocker boards, they have a huge range of products for people of all abilities and also they have a selection of stand up paddle boards for childer too. They are in my very limited experience of paddleboarding are extremely well constructed, and have a convenient backpack with a wheel trolley base for transporting the board to your launch point, they also have fittings for camera accessories or a drinks holder. I am converted and can not wait to go boarding again very soon. Somethings to consider also, although I live in Oxford on the River Thames I wanted to try somewhere that wasn’t the sea or the river and so lake district was ideal, it was shallow and I knew if I fell off to start with I wouldn’t be in deep water. I am now planning my next drive down to Spain and will be taking my new iRocker SUP board with me and I will let you know in my next Blog how it performs in the Sea.
The iRocker Cruiser is a Beginner border Equipped with an extra-wide 84cm base, broad tail, and stability features – making this board the steadiest iSUP on the market. With a maximum weight capacity of 181kg, it’s built to handle any rider, Wolfie and I was no problem. The stability of the board means it’s easier to stand up and if you want to try some onboard yoga and feel safe and stable then the cruiser is perfect to keep you above water. This SUP is a smooth introduction to paddleboarding that will make you believe in yourself!