Updated June 28th, 2023
The iRocker Cruiser is the most popular SUP board from the paddleboard brand iRocker. The new iRocker Cruiser Ultra takes the same stable board shape and puts it into a much easier to store and transport package. It fits into a bag half the size of normal and includes an electric pump for convenience. We picked up a Cruiser Ultra to try out and it’s quickly become one of our favorite boards. Keep reading to get all the details of the iRocker Cruiser Ultra.
- Video Review
- Features of the iRocker Cruiser Ultra paddle board
- SUP Accessories
- Setup and Inflation
- On water performance
- Heavy weight paddlers
- Kayak conversion
- Deflation and packing
- Similar SUP Boards
- The Verdict
- You might also like:
What we liked:
- Fun, stable, and relaxed paddling performance
- Very compact package half the size of a normal SUP backpack
- Electric pump included instead of a bulky big hand pump
- High quality 5 piece carbon paddle
- Fin tethers to prevent you from losing fins that unlock while paddling
What we didn’t like:
- Board is slower than 32″ wide boards.
- Double fins need a couple more inches of water depth
- Not as stable as the original iRocker Cruiser
Features of the iRocker Cruiser Ultra paddle board
We previously got a Blackfin Ultra CX to test out. We loved the compact bag and package. It is a sporty board that performs great for paddlers with some experience. We wanted something with the compact package of the Ultra CX but in a more beginner friendly board. We picked up an iRocker Cruiser Ultra.
We host group paddleboarding Meetups and have a lot of beginners show up who are trying it for the first time. We wanted a board that we could easily toss into the car that any paddler could use. The iRocker Cruiser Ultra fits that need perfectly.
This board was not provided by iRocker. As with all our reviews, we will give you the good and bad.
The iRocker Cruiser Ultra has the same board shape as the original iRocker Cruiser. It has some changes to allow it to fold up smaller. This includes:
- Woven 2 layer construction
- A split deck pad
- Offset handles and air valve
- A 5 piece carbon paddle
- Twin fins with tethers
- An electric pump
- New bag design
The highlight of the iRocker Ultra SUP boards is how portable and easy to take places they are. The bags are about half the size of the original iRocker bags. The boards weigh 3-5 lbs less. They include an electric pump which takes up a lot less space in the bag than the double chamber hand pump.
The new iRocker Ultra Cruiser bag is 10″ x 16″ x 21″. For reference the original iRocker Cruiser bag is 36″ x 16″ x 12″. The photo below shows them sitting next to each other. You can clearly see how much smaller the new Ultra Cruiser bag is than a regular iRocker paddleboard bag.
The Ultra bag has a much lower center of gravity and is a lot less awkward to wear as a backpack. It’s a lot more comfortable. You can take it on a much longer hike than the old bag.
You might be tempted to take the new Cruiser Ultra as a carry on bag. It almost fits the dimensions. It probably would if you removed the electric pump and put that into your “personal item”. The TSA does not allow paddles as carry on items. Even if it would fit in the overhead, you still need to check it.
See our article on tips for flying with an inflatable paddleboard to learn more.
The iRocker Cruiser Ultra is 10’6″ x 33″ x 6″. It weighs 21 lbs. This is 4 lbs less than the original iRocker Cruiser. It has the same wide tail design that gives it extra stability.
The Cruiser Ultra has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The original iRocker Cruiser had a weight limit of 400 lbs. I believe the 300 lb number is conservative.
The overall package weighs 33 lbs in its bag. This is 11 lbs lighter than an original iRocker Cruiser in its bag which weighed 44 lbs.
50% Less packaging waste
The Ultra series boards from iRocker come in a box that is half the size of what their other boards come in. They are packed in a way that uses less plastic wrapping as well. They use less than half the cardboard and plastic packaging materials. That is a bonus because inflatable paddleboards tend to come with an excessive amount of throw away materials. I hope more board manufacturers start to address this.
The iRocker Cruiser Ultra retails for $649.99. It is available directly from iRocker or on Amazon There is usually a $25 off coupon available for first time shoppers at iRocker that will help a little.
The iRocker Cruiser Ultra uses 2 layer woven construction. Woven construction produces light and stiff inflatable paddleboards. It has shown in our stiffness test every time we have tested one.
One of the ways to measure how well an inflatable board is made and how well it will perform is how stiff it is. To measure this we set the board up on 2 stands 8 feet apart. We loaded the board up with 120 lbs of weight and measured how much the board deflected under load.
The iRocker Cruiser Ultra deflected just 1.1 inches. This is just slightly more than the 1.0 inches of the Blackfin Ultra CX with carbon rails. It is better than our iRocker All Around which deflected 1.3 inches. We don’t have an original iRocker Cruiser to test. I would expect it to bend 1.3 inches like the All Around with similar construction and features. This is a very good number for the iRocker Cruiser Ultra. Any test result less than 1.5 inches is really good. Cheap 1 layer boards will deflect 3 inches or more. See the below chart for more information.
|SUP Board||Board Size||Construction||Deflection (inches)|
|Blackfin Model X (15 psi)||10'6" x 34" x 6"||3 Ply PVC||1.0|
|Blackfin Model V (15 psi)||12'6" x 32" x 6"||3 Ply PVC||1.1|
|Blackfin Ultra CX (15 psi)||10'6" x 32.5" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.0|
|BOTE HD Aero (15 psi)||11'6" x 34" x 6"||3 Ply PVC||1.1|
|Coolwave (15 psi)||10'6" x 32" x 6"||1 Ply PVC||3.3|
|Chasing Blue Orion (14.5 psi)||12'6" x 32" x 6"||2 Ply PVC||1.6|
|Chasing Blue Infinite (14.5 psi)||10'6" x 34" x 6"||2 Ply PVC||1.4|
|DAMA (15 psi)||11' x 33" x 6"||1 Ply PVC||3.0|
|Freein Overall 11 (15 psi)||11'' x 33" x 6"||2 Ply PVC||1.4|
|iRocker Nautical (15 psi)||10'6" x 32" x 6"||2 Ply PVC||2.8|
|iRocker All Around 11 (15 psi)||11' x 32" x 6"||3 Ply PVC||1.3|
|iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (15 psi)||11' x 32" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.1|
|iRocker Cruiser Ultra (15 psi)||10'6" x 33" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.1|
|Nice C (15 psi)||10'6" x 32" x 6"||1 Ply PVC||2.6|
|Nixy Newport G4 (15 psi)||10'6" x 33" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.1|
|Nixy Monterey G4 (15 psi)||11'6" x 34" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.0|
|Outdoor Master Swordfish (15 psi)||10'6" x 32" x 6"||2 Ply PVC||2.8|
|Red 12'6" Sport w/RSS (20 psi)||12'6" x 30" x 5.9"||MSL with Battens||1.2|
|Thurso Expedition 150 (15 psi)||12'6" x 31" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.4|
|Thurso Max (15 psi)||11'6" x 34" x 6"||2 Ply Woven PVC||1.2|
One of the unique features of the Cruiser Ultra is the split deck pad. The deck pad is split down the middle of the board so that the board can fold in half. The deck pad does not extend under either the front or rear bungees. This is the most visible difference between the original Cruiser and Cruiser Ultra. It’s the one users will notice the most if they liked a deck pad that extends to the rear of the board. If you want a board for SUP Yoga this may be a concern for you.
The deckpad uses a grooved pattern with embossing. It’s comfortable to stand on and sheds water well.
Handles, D-Rings, and bungee cord
It has 15 D-Rings, 7 handles, 2 bungees, and 3 action mounts. It is a few less than the original board had. It is still more than a lot of other boards have. There are enough D-Rings in the right places to mount a kayak seat. There are 2 M8 threaded action mounts in the front bungee and 1 at the rear of the board.
Double tethered fins
This board has a 2 fin setup as opposed to the normal 3 fin setup on almost every all around board out there. Using 2 fins means there isn’t a fin down the centerline of the board allowing it to fold. There are several touring boards that use 2 fins for performance. 2 fins will have less drag than a 3 fin setup. It will provide good tracking. It won’t track as good as a 3 fin setup while going slow. It will provide less drag and good tracking once you get the board up to speed.
The only downside to the 2 fin setup is that each of the fins is about 3 inches deeper than the large fin on a 3 fin setup. You need a few more inches of water for this board to float.
Each fin has a small tether that snaps in place to make sure the fin doesn’t fall out and get lost while in use.
The iRocker Ultra series boards come with new accessories that are designed to work with their compact bag. The board includes a compact, half size carry backpack. A 5 piece carbon paddle. The excellent iRocker electric pump. An ankle leash. A repair kit. You also get a small zipper bag that will fit the pump, fins, leash, and repair kit.
5 Piece Carbon Adjustable Paddle
The Cruiser Ultra comes with a 5 piece carbon paddle. The shaft comes apart into 4 pieces with a pin adjuster for setting the size. This allows the paddle to fit into the half size bag. The paddle is compatible with the iRocker kayak conversion kit blade.
iRocker supplied this SUP board with their electric pump instead of a giant double barrel hand pump. I love this change. I rarely ever use hand pumps for inflating my boards. I don’t miss not getting one at all. The pump can inflate this board in 8 minutes and 33 seconds.
The iRocker pump is one of our favorite electric pumps. It’s been consistently the fastest pump inflating any board we have tried with it. It’s simple and straight forward to use. It can inflate and deflate. It can inflate boards up to 20 psi.
The electric pump comes in a small zipper bag that also fits the leash and fins. It fits into the carrying backpack above the paddleboard.
See our review of the iRocker electric pump to learn more about the pump.
iRocker has an available battery pack to go with the pump. One isn’t included with the Ultra CX but it’s a great option to have. It lets you use the electric pump anywhere without a car or SUV to power it. It can inflate at least 3 boards on a charge. I recommend getting this when you get your board. It’s small and easily fits in your Blackfin Ultra CX carry bag.
IROCKER ELECTRIC PUMP BATTERY
The Ultra series SUP boards come with a redesigned and rethought carry bag. It is half the size of a normal carry bag. It has a velcro closure at the top that rolls over to keep the board closed and dry. The front flap opens with 2 full length zippers. The board has pockets on the inner sides for holding the paddle.
The bag has a zipper pocket on the front as well as a bungee cord. There is plenty of excess room on the top of the bag for a battery pack and other small items.
The shoulder straps have a nice amount of padding. There is some back padding also. There is no waist strap. The bag isn’t top heavy like other full size paddleboard bags. It doesn’t feel like you need it while carrying it around.
One miss we still wish this bag had is wheels. It’s small but it still does weigh 33 lbs. An attachment with wheels and a roller handle would be great. A small luggage dolly will work as a DIY solution.
An ankle leash is included. It is a 10′ long coiled design. The neoprene ankle wrap is comfortable to use.
A small repair kit is included. There are also extra clips for the fins and an extra fuse for the pump.
Setup and Inflation
It takes me about 12 minutes to get the iRocker Cruiser Ultra ready to go in the water including inflation time. It’s an easy and straight forward board to set up.
Find a smooth spot free of rocks, sticks, and other debris that could scratch and damage the board. We use and recommend an iRocker Board Mat to protect your board during setup and put away.
IROCKER BOARD MAT
The Cruiser SUP board has a pressure range of 12-16 psi written on the valve. We usually set the pump to 15 psi for this board and find it works fine even for heavier paddlers.
Check to make sure the air valve is in the closed position before hooking up the pump. The button should be in the out position. If the valve is in the open position, you can inflate it and immediately lose all the air when you take the hose off. Always give it a check.
Twist the pump air valve into the board. We find it helps to twist the hose back first so that the tension in the air hose is holding the valve closed in the board. This helps make sure that the hose won’t slip out during inflation.
Start the pump. Check for air leaks around both ends of the hose. If something is loose at either end the pump will probably not go past 2-3psi. Give it a quick feel for air coming out of either fitting.
The air pressure should keep increasing at a steady rate all the way from 1psi up to 15psi. If it stops making progress something is wrong. Feel for air leaks again.
While the board is inflating you can put the paddle together. Attach the 5 pieces. The correct length is 6 inches to 1 foot above your head.
After the board is inflated. Attach the 2 fins. Open the nylon flip locks. Slide the fins into place. Close the flip locks. Attach the 2 tethers.
Attach the ankle leash and you are ready to go.
On water performance
The iRocker Cruiser shape has a wide tail that gives it extra stability. It is a board that is meant for relaxed paddling. It does have a more pointed nose than other all around shaped boards. This helps it go into chop and waves a little better.
It’s not a board that is meant to get you places fast. It’s a sit back and check out the scenery kind of board. It’s very stable and a great board for first time paddlers. As the name cruiser implies, it’s a great board to paddle around the lake and hang out with friends on the water.
We have let a few paddlers try this board out for their first paddleboarding experience. They were all able to stand up and balance on it and get going. It’s a very stable board that tracks well at slow speeds.
The board carries weight very well. You can load it up with some gear or a large dog and be good to go.
The 5 piece paddle has good stiffness and feel. My lower hand falls right on one of the joints. I do feel some slight play or clunk because my hand is right there. It’s not a big deal. It is noticeable compared to a 3 piece or 1 piece paddle.
The Cruiser is a large wider SUP board. It’s going to be happiest on flat water. It will take a little more effort to move it through choppy water than a narrower board. This isn’t a touring board meant to cover large distances. That’s not the point of a Cruiser.
Heavy weight paddlers
As a heavier paddler myself, I find the Cruiser Ultra to be one of the easier boards I have. The wider tail makes it more tolerant for standing position. It easily floats 250 lb paddlers without feeling like it’s bending or flexing a lot. I don’t really notice any board flex. It doesn’t feel bouncy like a cheap 1 layer board would. I can recommend this board for paddlers, including beginners, up to 250 lbs, or a little more.
Sitting down and kayaking is fun too. You can use the iRocker kayak conversion kit to turn the iRocker Cruiser Ultra into a fun sit on top kayak. You can use the 4 D-Rings around the middle of the board to mount the seat. The kayak blade from iRocker works with the Ultra paddle.
If you find standing up difficult, a seat and kayak paddle can be easier and more relaxing. It’s easier to paddle from a seated position on windier days as well. Kayaking with your stand up paddle board is another way to have fun with it.
IROCKER SUP TO KAYAK CONVERSION KIT
See our article on SUP kayak conversions for more information.
See our guide to the best SUP kayak hybrids for other good inflatable SUP Kayak combo options.
Deflation and packing
The Cruiser Ultra goes away as easy as it assembled. Find your smooth spot or use a mat for deflating it.
Take the fins off of the board.
Deflate the board by pushing in the valve button and twisting it so it stays open.
I recommend using the electric pump to fully deflate the board. Hook the hose up to the deflate nozzle. Hook it up to the board and power it on. Let it deflate the board for you. The sound of the pump will change pitch when it starts sucking against a vacuum. That is when it’s done.
EXPERT TIP: You can deflate using the electric pump with the valve in the closed position so you don’t let any air back in when you unhook the hose.
Start by folding the board in half lengthwise. Make sure the nose and tail are folded along the centerline.
Fold the board by starting with about a 1 foot chunk. Fold it from tail to nose to get the tightest fold. This is how it came folded from the factory. It only works if you completely suck all the air out first.
Use the strap to hold the board in a tight fold.
I like to put the paddle away in the bag first before the board. It’s easier than sliding the pieces in after zipping the bag. If you folded the board tight enough the zippers will close easily. If you are struggling to get the zippers around the board, it’s not rolled tight enough. I found it a bit tricky the first few tries. After that, I figured out the size of the first fold and how to roll it tightly.
Put the pump and accessory bag on top and fold it shut and you’re done.
Similar SUP Boards
The Red Paddle Co 11′ x 32″ Compact Package is the next closest available board to the Cruiser Ultra. It comes in a similar sized compact bag. The board has a similar volume. It’s narrower and a little less stable. It won’t work as well for beginners. It comes with a Red Titan 2 hand pump which is very large and bulky. I’m impressed they can get that pump into a compact bag. I’d rather have the electric pump. The Red Compact package retails for $2099. You can get a couple of iRocker Cruser Ultra’s for the same price with money left over.
See our guide to the best portable paddleboards to learn more about the other choices.
If you are looking for an easy to paddle and easy to transport paddleboard, check out the iRocker Cruiser Ultra. It’s a very beginner friendly board. You can store it almost anywhere. It makes a great travel board that doesn’t take up much space.
You might also like:
- 5 Helpful Tips For Flying with an Inflatable Paddle Board
- The Best Inflatable Paddle Board Accessories You Need Now
- Best Inflatable Paddle Boards – Reviews, Tests, and Ratings
Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.