There are companies that sell paddleboards and then there are companies that create and build the coolest designs, put them to the test themselves to find ways to make them better, and continuously re-engineer and improve to offer customers the latest innovations. BOTE belongs firmly in the latter group.
Founded by husband and wife duo Corey and Magda Cooper in Florida in 2009, the BOTE brand was born out of a love for water and the desire to develop paddleboards that contributed to an adventurous lifestyle. BOTE began with one board—a previous version of the Flood model—and has expanded to 12 styles of solid and inflatable standup paddleboards as well as inflatable kayaks, skiffs, floating dock systems and accessories.
In January of 2022 it was announced that BOTE was acquired by Kent Outdoors, strengthening the support and resources available to the brand.
As a paddleboarding enthusiast and instructor, would I paddle BOTE boards myself and recommend them to others? Yes. In fact, that’s exactly what I do. Let me share a little more about the BOTE line of paddleboards so you can start to think about if they might be a fit for you or if you’d like to check out our other brands in our Best Paddleboards for 2023 article.
Great for novice to expert paddlers, BOTE standup paddleboards are ideal for fishing, camping trips, touring adventures, fitness, exploring, SUP surfing, expeditions, family fun and recreation. BOTE boards excel in going the distance and their capabilities are fully realized the more you accessorize with gear, load the board down and explore new environments. Make sure to bring sunscreen and pack your lunch because you aren’t going to want to cut a paddle on a BOTE SUP short.
BOTE standup paddleboards are designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind and are meant to maximize fun and potential with built-in features that allow you to add on practical accessories to suit your paddling style. Their stable SUP fishing platform attachments include fishing rod racks, coolers and a power supply. The everyday explorer can add on a cup holder, gear bucket and even an inflatable SUP paddle seat.
BOTE sales and service manager Shelby Wagner explains that BOTE’s reputation for innovation comes from first-hand experience. “We make cool stuff for us, work hard, and produce a badass product. We use the gear and find ways to make it better. Products are designed and engineered based on experiences and we collaborate on spreading ideas.”
Considering the high-quality design and manufacturing, cool graphics, innovative product integration and rugged and impact-resistant materials, think of the higher price of BOTE standup paddleboards as an investment in adventure.
BOTE boards will certainly cost you a bit more than the lackluster boards with low price tags at major department stores. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective paddleboard for basic flatwater paddling then BOTE boards might in fact be too innovative for your needs.
If you’re intrigued by BOTE SUPs, read on for buying advice and click through the shopping section below to explore some of the BOTE standup paddleboard models to see why they are some of the best boards in the business.
Top picks: Best BOTE paddleboards for 2023
Best BOTE Paddleboards
12' HD Core
Rackham Aero 12'4"
Traveller Aero 12'6"
12' Rackham Native
12'6" Traveller Classic
Flood Aero 11'
12' HD Realtree
12' HD Bug Slinger
12' HD Classic
14' Rackham Classic
Shop BOTE paddleboards
Let’s have some fun shopping for BOTE paddleboards. The paddleboard models are set up into categories below to help guide you with a starting point that will lead you into our Paddling Buyer’s Guide. While you browse the specs, prices, reviews and retailers of every BOTE paddleboard on the market, keep in mind that the purchase of a BOTE paddleboard will very likely turn you into a passionate paddler.
Spoiler alert: All of these innovative boards are well-designed and look badass.
Shopping for a used BOTE paddleboard?
Before you start searching for a used BOTE paddleboard on Craigslist, there are a few things that are good to keep in mind during your search for the perfect BOTE SUP.
If you are specifically looking for a hard board and want the tough, impact-resistant Gatorshell technology, you’ll need to look for a paddleboard that is no older than 2019. The only exception is the 12-foot HD Classic which was created in Gatorshell for the first time in 2017. The solid line-up of BOTE paddleboards were manufactured as epoxy boards prior to 2019, which are not as tough as Gatorshell.
Your chances of finding a used HD Aero or HD Gatorshell are higher as they are the BOTE paddleboard models that have the most in circulation.
The Aero model used to be called the Drift and changed names in 2018. If you are searching for a used Aero model be on the lookout for the old name.
There have been many innovations with BOTE SUPs over the years. As a general rule of thumb, the newer the model, the more features or compatibility for attaching accessories. If you want to add specific accessories onto the board be sure to check the compatibility first before buying.
While BOTE does not currently have any race boards in their line up, they did in the past. There are some used Valhalla and Wraith models floating around for folks who want a BOTE to race, use for fitness, or simply to go further faster.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used paddleboard, read our article How To Buy A Used Paddleboard.
BOTE paddleboard buying advice
In the buying advice section we take a deeper dive into the different BOTE paddleboard models and how to decide between them. Once you read this over and feel confident that you know what you’re looking for, head back up to shop BOTE paddleboards.
BOTE paddleboards come with some pretty epic graphic design options including classic teak, camo, whale shark, floral jaws, citron and patchwork so that you can be sure to find a design that catches your eye. BOTE sales and service manager Shelby Wagner shares that BOTE prides themselves on the creativity of a team that tries to craft graphic options to fit a paddler’s sense of aesthetics.
The BOTE paddleboard line-up can be divided into a few different categories. Let’s explore the options by looking at inflatable vs solid boards and by paddleboarding activity type.
Inflatable BOTE paddleboards vs solid BOTE paddleboards
Whether you’re looking for an all-around, fitness, fishing or expedition paddleboard, BOTE has options with five core designs in both inflatable and solid board models.
First up, the inflatable BOTE paddleboards. The line-up of inflatable BOTE SUPs includes the Kids Drift, Kids Flow Aero, Breeze Aero, Flood Aero, HD Aero, Rackham Aero and Traveller Aero. Inflatables are a great option for spending less money on a board that needs less storage space, as well as for ease of transportation and the option to bring your board with you when you travel by air or train.
Inflatables come with a three-piece adjustable paddle, center fin, repair kit, hand pump and travel bag, with the option to add on a leash, carry-sling or electric pump. The BOTE inflatables which use AeroULTRA construction are lighter weight than the AeroBOTE models.
The solid BOTE paddleboard lineup is similar to the inflatable line, though there are no kids models. The Breeze, Flood, HD and Rackham all come in the Gatorshell technology while the Traveller is the only model still available in the epoxy material. While the Gatorshell boards weigh more than the inflatables, they come with insane impact- and abrasion-resistance for hard boards, making them highly durable for adventures and the unexpected bumps and bruises along the way.
Keep in mind that the epoxy Traveller won’t have quite the strength and toughness of the Gatorshell boards and will be more susceptible to scratches. If durability is most important, opt for Gatorshell. Solid BOTE paddleboards come with a two-piece adjustable paddle.
Both the inflatables and solid BOTE paddleboards have features that make them compatible with certain additional accessories listed on their website.
Learn more about the solid and inflatable material technologies here.
From short family-friendly paddles to covering serious distance on the water, BOTE has options for your paddleboarding adventures.
If you’re looking for one board for many purposes and all-around paddling then the Breeze, Flood, or HD models in a solid or inflatable board is for you. These are the best options which offer the stability and versatility to go from leisure paddling with dogs and kids to longer tours, fitness, camping and fishing.
Wagner shares that the Breeze is the most popular model and her favorite BOTE board is the HD Aero. “It’s the board you can’t go wrong with, meant for anyone or anything”. For kid-specific boards check out the Drift or the Flow Aero.
For SUP surfers and beach lovers, the Breeze Gatorshell is a wonderful beginner and intermediate board with a sleek style that will be smooth on the waves with its surf-style shape.
For the explorers who seek longer paddles through camping and expeditions, the BOTE Traveller and the Rackham are top picks for taking you wherever your adventurous heart desires. Both of these BOTE SUPs are designed to be outfitted for whatever gear will help you go the distance.
For fitness and yoga enthusiasts the Flood, HD, and Traveller are your best bets. The HD and Flood can be purchased with full-length deckpads offering a floating yoga platform on the water. The Traveller is made to move if you want to head out for speedy paddles.
Fishing is where the innovation of BOTE boards really shines. The best BOTE fishing standup paddleboards are the Rackham and HD and can be outfitted with accessories to hold tackle boxes, fishing rods, power sources for your fish finder, and even coolers to keep your catch fresh on ice. BOTE’s Rover and Rover AERO micro skiffs are essentially paddleboards designed to be outfitted with motors to let anglers go farther, faster.
There you have it, the best BOTE SUP models for wherever your paddling dreams might take you. BOTE really has thought of everything and has an exceptional accessory line-up, including tailgate pads to protect your paddleboard on a truck, an inflatable SUP seat that can be packed away and carried on board, a magnetic system to hold your drink on board, a shoulder carry strap and paddle sheaths that can hold your paddle at the nose of the board.
For further guidance on choosing the BOTE that’s right for you use BOTE’s paddleboard finder.
Are BOTE paddleboards good?
BOTE paddleboards are well-designed and innovative, high-quality paddleboards for the outdoor adventure lifestyle. BOTE SUPs are durable and very good options for fishing, touring, camping, fitness, family fun and expeditions.
BOTE paddleboards come in inflatable or solid board options with good impact resistance and customizable accessory attachments. As demonstrated on their website, you can literally run a truck over a BOTE inflatable paddleboard and it will hold up.
How are BOTE paddleboards made?
Solid BOTE standup paddleboards are made with proprietary Gatorshell technology through thermoforming with composite fiberglass materials. Advanced plastics are surrounded by ballistics-grade composites, making these boards lightweight and exceptionally strong. The graphics are inlaid directly into the plastics resulting in a beautiful impact- and abrasion-resistant design.
Gatorsheel technology uses partially reclaimed material and excess material is repurposed. Inflatable BOTE SUPs are exceptionally rigid and made with composite drop stitch fibers connecting to military-grade PVC. BOTE offers a lightweight inflatable AeroULTRA technology as well as a more durable AeroBOTE technology which has an added outer composite layer.
BOTE paddleboard prices
BOTE solid Gatorshell paddleboards range from around $1,079 to $2,000 USD. BOTE inflatables for kids are between $389 and $449 USD while the BOTE inflatable standup paddleboards retail for around $600 to $1,300 USD.
BOTE paddleboard dealers
BOTE standup paddleboards are sold in Canada, the United States and Australia. Canadian dealers include Liv Outside and Valhalla Pure Outfitters. American dealers are located within driving distance to most places within the United States, there are four flagship store locations in Florida, or paddleboards can be ordered online and shipped directly to consumers.
Refer to the BOTE dealer locator map to find the closest retail location near you. REI carries some models of BOTE paddleboards. BOTE SUPs are available in Australia through e-commerce at https://boteboard.com.au.
Where are BOTE paddleboards made?
BOTE paddleboards are made in China but are engineered, designed and tested in a BOTE facility in Florida.
Are BOTE paddleboards made in the U.S.?
BOTE paddleboards are not made in the USA, however they are engineered, designed, and tested in the U.S. BOTE is an American company based out of Florida however their paddleboards are manufactured in Asia.
Are BOTE paddleboards made in China?
Like the majority of paddleboards, BOTE paddleboards, including their inflatable and solid paddleboards, are manufactured in China.
Does BOTE do a military discount?
BOTE does offer a military discount. To learn more about the discount and eligibility contact BOTE by calling 888-855-4450, via their contact form on the Contact Us page of their website, or through the customer service chat feature on their website.
Who owns BOTE Boards?
BOTE Boards was founded by husband and wife Corey and Magda Cooper and an acquisition by Kent Outdoors was announced in January of 2022.
How long has BOTE been in business?
BOTE has been in business since 2009 and has over a decade of experience in engineering and developing innovative paddleboard design.
Compare BOTE paddleboards
BOTE vs Isle paddleboards
Isle offers all-around and touring epoxy and inflatable stand up paddleboards in what would be considered fairly base-model designs without any fancy extras. Isle paddleboards are good for leisure paddling, SUP surf, yoga and touring and are geared toward getting novice and intermediate recreational paddlers out enjoying the water without any additional excitement. BOTE paddleboards are like upgrading to the high-quality innovative edge of paddleboarding and are more specialized and customizable to take your on-water experience up a few notches.
If you want a paddleboard that you can outfit with accessories to take your paddle adventures, SUP fishing or camping trips to the next level, get a BOTE. If you want a more classic paddleboard in a simple design without the added bells and whistles and at a lower price or a multi-person standup paddleboard, get an Isle.
BOTE vs ROC paddleboards
ROC has limited paddleboard options, with three designs of all-around inflatable paddleboards all at 10 feet in length. ROC is the better option for low-cost access to the sport of paddleboarding and for getting a few paddleboards to be left at the cottage just to be used once in a while.
If you’re looking for an affordable, family-friendly standup paddleboard option for basic flatwater paddling, get a ROC. For anything beyond the bare minimum, BOTE will have plenty more options for you to explore in both inflatable and solid boards. If you want a high-quality and rugged paddleboard to venture further from shore for fitness or expeditions, get a BOTE.
BOTE paddleboard reviews
Are you wondering if BOTE boards are worth the hype or if the inflatables are really as tough as they are made out to be? Just because I love them doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choice for your particular paddling hopes and dreams or for your pocketbook.
It helps to hear what other paddlers have to say about their experiences with BOTE boards to gain those last bits of insight to decide if a BOTE paddleboard should be on your wish list or not. Here you’ll find BOTE paddleboard reviews that should help you feel confident one way or another.