Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board Review
Active Gear Review is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
BŌTE started as a stand up paddle board company in 2009 and has gained a reputation within the inflatable watersports industry for producing aesthetically styled SUPs, kayaks, and leisure lake inflatables, their SUP line covers the spectrum from beginner to avid paddler and are loaded with beneficial features with a variety of options to choose from.
We wanted to check out a “do it all” board and landed on the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board. Let’s paddle through the details.
Construction of the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
When you hear the word “inflatable”, the first thing that comes to mind is; “just how durable and solid can an inflatable SUP really be?” But moments after inflating the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Paddle Board that quickly becomes an after thought. The HD Aero contains a core of composite drop-stitch fibers connected to the top and bottom layers of it’s nearly indestructible outer layers of military-grade PVC that turn the HD into a rock solid rigid platform. When you inflate the paddle board to the recommended 10-15 PSI with the included manual pump, these tens of thousands of composite fibers create a stout board rigidity and stable surface that could almost be mistaken as a solid board.
Thanks to the military-grade PVC skin on the HD Aero there is no need to worry scratches and dings as this SUP has withstood being tossed in the back of an ORV, dropped out of the back of it, banged around and scraped with no permanent blemishes.
Features of the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board features an array of innovative components not found on many other boards on the market. The full length deck pad offers first rate traction and comfort along the entire board, even giving cushion and grip for an extra passenger, man’s best friend or adventure gear. Three neoprene cushioned carry/grab handles on the front, rear and middle allow for easy transportation, whether you are alone or carrying with a companion. Two sets of adjustable bungee tie downs on the fore and aft of the HD Aero provide quick and easy secure storage of gear.
Seven D-ring attachment points, one in the front, two on the deck and four on the side rails are perfect for lashing down essentials. The two deck D-rings are perfectly positioned for a cooler tie down point and with the right cooler it makes the perfect seat for taking a break or even having an easy sit down paddle session. Integrated Velcro paddle straps along the right side rail allows for quick and easy carrying or storage of the paddle when not in use.
Located at the bow, is the Aero Paddle Sheath slot that conveniently holds the paddle by the blade, freeing up your hands for other activities while out on the board, or just for on deck storage when you are taking a break.
And last but certainly not least on the topside, is the Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers which allows for the use of Bote’s Rac Systems. These simply slide into the receiver plates on the deck of the SUP and can accommodate a multitude of different Rac systems.
While we didn’t get to test any of the systems out, the concept seems extremely useful and certainly offers some advantages over other SUP brands, especially if you enjoy or want to try fishing from a SUP. You can outfit the HD Aero the way you want, for the things you like to do. If you want to learn more about the Rac Systems or see what is available, you can check them out here.
The Underside of the HD Aero has the smooth but durable PVC construction with three fins, the main 10″ removeable center fin and two permanently attached side fins.
Portability of the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
Transporting a solid SUP can be a pain, but when it comes to an inflatable paddle board, it removes countless obstacles and restrictions you may encounter versus carting around a solid board. The inflatable HD Aero can be tossed in a trunk or backseat, checked as luggage on a flight, or easily backpacked to a secluded waterway. Basically anywhere you can take a backpack you can take the HD Aero.
The HD Aero comes with a high quality ripstop nylon waterproof backpack and meets the requirements for checked luggage on almost all airlines, which means you are free to paddle almost anywhere you travel to. The pack conveniently carries the deflated board, pump and paddle. It also makes it super convenient to travel locally by car. Whether it’s a family camping trip to the lake or quick weekender to the beach, you can pack the HD Aero and save time and money by not having to rent once you’re there.
The steps it takes to get the HD Aero on the water and then back and ready to travel can be summed up in just a few simple actions: remove the rolled up board from the travel bag, unroll, attach the pump, fill until the pressure reaches between 12 and 15 PSI. When you are ready to pack it up, open the valve and wait 30 seconds and the board can be rolled up and packed away in it’s bag for easy transport and storage. Pro tip – Rolling an inflatable paddle board up bone dry is the key to preventing mildew and avoid rolling the board to tightly as a loosely rolled board allows for less stress points and is best for increasing the boards life span.
On the note of storage, the smaller footprint of a packed up inflatable SUP has to be one of the biggest selling points as it easily fits in a small closet. And while it’s designed to be stored in its bag, people who have the room should keep the Aero stored flat and slightly inflated as this will add to the longevity of the board by keeping the creases and the folds from becoming a potentially weak / worn spot on the board.
Ride of the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board measures 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″, this length and width make for an extremely stable ride. With thick rails and an entry rocker nose this board’s build offers excellent stability and it’s long water line allows for a nice glide across the water. The three fin setup helps in guiding the board in a straight line for about two full strokes per side (when the paddle is perpendicular to the board and using a straight forward to back pull) before having to switch sides to keep the HD Aero moving straightforward. The full length traction pad offers plenty of grip and supreme comfort even on those long rides. For an all around board it is comparatively fast, provides agile maneuvering and would inspire confidence in those new to paddle boarding.
Specs on the Bote HD Aero Inflatable Paddle Board
- Dimensions: 11′6″ L × 34″ W × 6″ D
- Capacity: 315 LBS
- Avg. Weight: 30 LBS
- Construction: Inflatable AeroBOTE Technology
- Optimal Inflation: 10-15 PSI
- Travel Bag Dimensions: 36″ L × 17″ W × 13″ D
- Loaded Bag Weight: 48 LBS
Included Items with Bote HD Aero Inflatable Paddle Board Package
- HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
- 3 Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle
- 10″ Removable Aero Center Fin
- Pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers
- Removable Aero Paddle Sheath
- Aero Repair Kit
- Hand Pump
- Travel Bag
3 Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle
The included 3 piece adjustable SUP paddle is made with an ABS edge blade and consists of a 3 piece fiberglass shaft, this lightweight and portable SUP paddle can be connected and adjusted to the riders height within seconds. The paddle is highly durable and while it is more on the entry level side of SUP paddles, it is a decent paddle for this kit.
The included hand pump is nothing particularly remarkable when it comes to inflatable SUP pumps, but an adequate option for this kit. It is a single chamber pump that gets the job done and does have a PSI gauge that lets you know when the paddle board is at the correct PSI. Of note, the gauge does not move until it hits ~ 5 PSI, where the board might seem like it is getting close to full, but keep pumping away until you reach the recommended PSI level.
The Travel Bag included in this kit is very well made with high quality materials and does a fantastic job of storing all of the equipment and feels just about as comfortable as one can expect a 48 lb. load to feel when toting it around on your back.
Recommended Accessories for the Bote HD Aero Inflatable Paddle Board
- Electric Pump – With any inflatable SUP, I would recommend upgrading to an electric pump, it makes filling boards so much easier and cuts down on inflation time. Our current favorite is this one with the portable battery.
- A Coiled Leash – Strangely this kit does not come with a leash. But if you are planning on taking the HD Aero on large lakes, oceans, or rivers a leash is invaluable. Using a leash keeps you connected to your investment and keeps you within arms length of your board should you happen to fall off, it can also be used to tow others should the need ever arise.
- A Waterproof Pack / Bag – If you plan on doing anything beyond a quick lake session, a waterproof pack is a must as it keeps gear and all other essentials clean and dry from the elements. We are a fan of Bote’s Highwater Pack as it can hold things like a change of clothes, camera equipment, and just about anything else you’re looking to keep dry.
Final Thoughts on the Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board
The Bote HD Aero 11′6″ Inflatable Paddle Board is fantastic all around SUP that can go just about anywhere. It’s a great option for those looking to jump into the inflatable SUP family, as it strikes the ideal balance of comfort, stability, and durability. If you’re looking for a board that can “do it all” and want the convenience and portability to take your board just about anywhere the HD Aero is a superb option that will deliver an enjoyable experience on the water wherever you bring it.
MSRP $999 To learn more about the HD Aero or other Bote products visit boteboard.com.