BOTE HD Aero Review

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In this Bote HD Aero review, we go through all the reasons why this should be strongly considered to be a highly versatile fishing SUP. 

But that’s not all the BOTE HD Aero can be used for. It also makes a very underrated vessel for those who want a casual recreational vessel that they can take the family on. 

Below we comb through all the details of this board including what it can be used for, who it’s for, and what you can do with it! 

Let’s get into the review!

For a full list of Bote Paddle Boards click here!

What Did we think about the bote hD Aero Native Abalone SUP?

In my testing I found this board to be a very sturdy and stable SUP which is well constructed. While we have not put this board through the fishing ringer just yet, we can totally see why fishermen love using BOTE boards. They are STABLE vessels. Although paddling through the tides did uncover some of the boards weaknesses. More on this in the below on-water section.

I liked the on-board features and innovation that BOTE has put into their boards. Things like extra D rings, lots of bungee deck webbing and Scotty mounts makes this a solid fish stalker that has the capability of loading the board with all of your fishing accessories. I also really liked the magnapod mount which, if you purchase a magnepod drink cooler can help keep your cold one in place while casting off.

Read on as we dissect our findings of the board and how it felt to paddle in the water.

Bote HD Aero Paddle Board Review Rankings

This is the Bote HD Aero with Native Abalone Design

Below is how I rate the BOTE HD Aero. (Click the links to jump to each section!)

Total Rating 8.25/ 10 (Averages of Below Scores)


  • The board is supremely stable on the water
  • A great pick for Anglers including possibilities for Add-Ons
  • Has a good amount of add-ons included in the package
  • Has a good-sized deck pad
  • One of the more beautiful paddle boards out there. 
  • Features a good blend of tracking and maneuverability
  • A lot of bungee deck storage is located at the front of the board
  • Magnepod capability is a good compliment to this board
  • A great pick for families 
  • A Good board for bigger/ taller paddlers who are new


  • The board is heavy and so is the package weight
  • Can be tiring to paddle, especially against winds
  • The bag is heavier and should include wheels
  • No leash included or leash mounting point

Who Should Be Using the BOTE HD Aero?

The Bote HD Aero can be used for a wide range of paddlers from brand-new to advanced skill sets. People who purchase the BOTE HD Aero are mainly looking for a very stable board.

The main purpose of the HD Aero’s existence is to be a well-tuned fishing craft that can creep up on catch and give you the option of adding fishing-related accessories to make your life easier. Things like Fishing Racks, the Kula cooler, Kula cooler rack, or even a simple magnepod drink all aid in making that fishing trip all the more manageable. 

It’s not just all about fishing though. The BOTE HD Aero is also a great contender for those who are a bit bigger and are starting their SUP journey. It’s also a good pick for those who want to bring some company for the ride. 

Either two adults can be seated on the board or you can have a standing adult with a small to large sized dog, or older kid perched at the front. 

I personally would not recommend this board for smaller paddlers who are inexperienced. It’s a much heavier all-around board than average and the package does not come with wheels. 

The bigger board size can also get in the way of you doing an ideal SUP stroke which can further hamper your learning curve as a new paddler. 

So if you are a smaller paddler I’d advise that you have someone help you set this up before going out. 

What SUP Activities can the Bote HD Aero Be Used For? 

Well, lets get the most obvious one out of the way first!

SUP Fishing

The BOTE HD Aero is an ideal platform to be used as an all-around fishing rig. Although I will add that I think this board is best suited for lakes and or calm water conditions. Unless you’ve built an on-board motor for this board I would stay away from coastal conditions due to its heavier size. 

The board’s 34” width and 11’6” length are big factors in making the board feel like a mini fishing boat. The deck pad is big enough to move around on with confidence without having to worry about making a wrong step. 

Slide-in rack mounts and a paddle sheath are included which means you can get started on making your fishing that much easier front the get-go

Recreational Paddling

As I stated in the BOTE HD Aero On-Water performance video this would not be my number 1 choice for a purely recreational board due to its weight. Having said that it has potential for those who are a bit taller/ heavier. This allows it to be a good stable recreational board that they can spend some time on during a nice summer day. 

For medium/small-sized paddlers who want a board to hang out on this could be a good pick. But as mentioned above you have to be wary of how to transport this bigger package since the board does not have wheels! The board is also noticeably heavier than many of the light all around brands these days. Knowing the distance to the shoreline is more important now with a heavier model like the HD Aero/

The board’s graphics are eye-popping as well across all of their models so you are sure to get some compliments from on-lookers. 

Paddle Board Hybrid

The BOTE HD Aero 11’6” does have the capability of becoming a kayak hybrid thanks to the 4 free D rings on the side. You can purchase the Aero SUP Paddle kit separately which is an inflatable seating system that keeps your butt uplifted which is good for better kayaking form as you can engage your core while padding. 

SUP Excursions

Now, stay with me for this one. I don’t necessarily recommend the HD Aero for performance touring paddling. However, I do recommend it for multi-day paddling adventures, especially of the fishing variety

One of the underrated features that don’t get talked about enough about this board is the fact that it has a large bungee deck area. This is great for things such as camping gear, big dry bags, and small-medium-sized roto-molded coolers. But I’ll let your imagination wander further on that one ;). 

Tandem Paddle Boarding

Now this isn’t the sole purpose of this board but after some on-water testing, I believe it can be done.  As long as the loaded capacity does not go over the 350 lb mark. Ideally, two adults can be seated thanks to the spacious deck pad. Or you can even have a kayak seat set-up while you have the heavier person on the back of the board. 

The best set-up for this board will be an adult and a kid/ dog though as the board will be plenty stable for smaller passengers to move around on-board. 

On-Water Performance

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
Total On-Water Score8.18.0
Stability Score9.5 /108.3
Tracking Score8 /107.8
Speed Score7 /107.7
Manueverability Score8 /108.1
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

Having paddled the Bote HD Aero in tidal/ river conditions here are some of my thoughts on it.  I will update this section as I paddle the board in more environments. 


As you first jump onto this board you can tell that it is made for stability. Even when you are kneeling/ sitting. 

Upon standing up on the board I felt a good amount of primary stability (When the board is laying flat on calm water).  This primary stability is good because it gave me the confidence to move around the deck of the board. As such what you would do when fishing! 

Trying out some edging you were able to put a good amount of weight on one side without worrying about losing the board. Which was good in this case as the oyster beds were just a few feet underneath me!

This is one of the more stable all-around boards I’ve paddled thanks to the 11’6” length and 34” width. To me, it was about on par with the Nixy Monterey in terms or stability but it felt a bit more sturdy due to its extra weight. 


Tracking FactorPaddle StrokesAverage Paddle Strokes (All Around)
Paddle Strokes
To Keep Straight Course
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

The tracking on this board was pretty decent for a 34” board. From a casual paddling standpoint I counted about 5 strokes per side which is about what the average is I find for paddle boards that don’t have 5” side fins. 

As I picked up speed and did some more “intentional strokes” I noticed that the tracking was about 8 strokes per side before I had to correct. Which is a good result for a board that is 34” wide! 


I’ll just cut to it. If you are buying this board, speed will not be your primary objective. It’s the stability that anglers are really looking for. 

Their board is definitely more on the heavy side meaning it will take a bit more effort per stroke on your part to make the board move compared to a lot of these lightweight SUPs that are coming into the market now. 

You can go an okay clip but if speed is your primary focus we’d recommend looking at the Bote Traveller Aero for long distances or the lighter-weight and thinner all around Breeze Flood Aero.


Upon trying out some maneuverability tests I found this board to be surprisingly maneuverable! It did 4 reverse sweep strokes to get to a 360 which is a very good score for a longer board. The key to this is that the board has one center fin and 2.5-inch glued on side fins which makes maneuvering the board a lot easier for the paddler. 

Paddle StrokesAverage Paddle Strokes (All Around SUP’s)
Paddle Strokes for Reverse Sweep Stroke44.2
Paddle Strokes for Reverse Side Paddles1313.3
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

When doing smaller side paddles it took the board 13 strokes to complete a 360 which is about a pretty average score for an 11’6” board. For comparison sake, my Nixy Manhattan G4 Plus touring board needed about 16 -17 side paddles to a 360.

BOTE HD Aero Stats Deconstructed

  • Type of Board: Recreational / Fishing
  • Length: 11’6″
  • Width: 34″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Volume:  ? L
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs
Rating FactorScoreAverage Score (All Around)
Construction Score9 /108.3
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

The HD Aero is made of AeroBote technology. This comprises of two fusion composite layers that sandwich a composite drop stitch material surrounded on the sides by heat-pressed seams and rail tape. This technology is actually some of the tougher materials in the ISUP industry. 

Because of the extra layers, BOTE boards with AeroBOTE technology tend to be on the heavier side of the all-around paddle board spectrum. But durable nonetheless. The extra weight actually bodes well for anglers as the heavier boards will be less affected by outer elements like the wind. Which in turn helps them cast without having to pick up their paddle every 5 seconds to correct course. 

Bote HD Aero Board Profile

The BOTE HD Aero is a wider board that has a slightly pointed nose with a squared-off tail which gives it at least somewhat of a hydrodynamic profile. Mind you this SUP won’t win you any races due to its sheer width and weight but we will get more into that on our on-water testing section where the HD Aero tackled some of the tidal river systems that we have in B.C.

The HD Aero is not the widest-profiled ISUP in the BOTE line up though. That goes to the Rackham Aero which is 36” in width which makes it a more fishing-specialized board to paddle. 

What’s On Deck

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
Board Features Score8.58.1
Deck Pad Score8.5 /108.3
D-Rings Score9 /108
Deck Webbing Score8.5 /108.1
Action Mounts Score8 /107.8
Handle Score8.5 /108.2
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

The 11’6” Bote HD Aero has a few things up its sleeve that make this a great all around fishing SUP. 

While most board manufacturers focus on the action mounts and extra D rings Bote approaches things a bit differently. They have come up with innovations that are true to their angling persona. Things such as paddle sheaths (to hold the board when you stop paddling), Magnepod holders as well as slide-in rack systems all help make the HD Aero a truly versatile fishing SUP

Bote HD Aero Deck Pad

The HD Aero has a rather expansive deck pad that takes up about 2/3rds of the deck. This gives the paddler or angler a good amount of clean room to operate the board all the while having room to store onboard accessories like the aforementioned Kula cooler or BOTE kayak seat. 

The deck pad itself is striped which gives you a good amount of comfort and traction for your feet. Without having too many obstacles to worry about on deck. I do also like how the deck pad includes the read bungee storage area. This provides more traction for those smaller bags or coolers that you want to stash at the back. It’s also a good spot to stash water bottles to ensure they don’t move around as much. 

Bote HD Aero D Rings

In my opinion, BOTE’s D ring placement is on point for fishing enthusiasts. They are made specifically with the angler in mind. You have the 4 free D rings on the sides of the board for the shoulder carry stray (definitely recommend this one for smaller paddlers) as well as the Bote kayak seat kit

“Anglers are a particularly creative and nifty bunch so I’m sure you can think of a bunch of more things for those middle D rings!”

– Editors Notes

After that, there are D rings that are just below the main middle ones which act as a good spot to strap on a cooler (Kula or otherwise). With those spare D rings placed in that location, it gives you the ability to paddle while sitting on your cooler or to stand up and paddle. No shuffling is necessary. 

One important D ring I wish BOTE did include was one at the rear for the leash. Almost all ISUP manufacturers do this and it is an important safety feature to have.  You can tie the leash to the handle or rear bungee deck D ring though. 

Bote Bungee Deck Storage

The HD Aero features 3 rather spacious rows of bungee deck webbing at the front on the board and 2 rows in the back. 

The top 3 rows are great for storing those larger items which as mentioned above makes this board a solid pick for overnight trips due to its higher capacity and large storage area. It’s not out of the question to stow a medium-sized cooler at the front!

One of the things I liked is the fact the rear bungees have the deck padding underneath it. In my experience, boards with deck padding underneath provide more grip. Especially for items like water bottles etc. The rear could also be a good place to stash a tackle box should you want to change your lure on the fly. 

Bote Rack Mounts

It wouldn’t be a fishing SUP without rack mounts! But unlike most other board manufacturers that features them. These are not Scotty mounts. Instead, Bote uses their own slide-in rack mount system

This slide in system is easier to set-up as it does not require screws. Simply choose the slide-in rack you want and you are off!

Racks Bote offers include:

  • Tackle Racs
  • Bucket Racs
  • Rocket Racs
  • Mini Rocket Racs
  • Grab Racs
  • Power Racs
  • Wheel Racs

All of these fishing racks have 2 to 4 rod holders to make your fishing adventure that much more convenient. Plus the bigger racks give you something to hold onto for extra support as you are casting out to the water. 

Bote Handles

The Bote Aero features 3 different handles at the front, middle, and rear. All of them are covered in neoprene which is good! Because the board can get heavy as you walk with it for longer distances!

If you feel the board is too big to carry you can always use the Wheel Rac to attach wheels to the board and roll it from the front of the board when its inflated. 

Otherwise most of the time, you will be using the middle handle to carry the board. 

Bote Paddle Sheath

The paddle sheath is an interesting innovation that I had mixed feelings about as a recreational paddler. I like the idea of just being able to shove your paddle into the sheath and not having to bend down to strap it to the bungees or the side of the board. Which is an especially handy feature for fishermen who want to do a cast. 

The thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the fact that it has some screw assembly you need beforehand. Meaning don’t forget your screwdriver before going out! Not the biggest issue for fishermen but more of a bigger issue for recreational paddlers who don’t always have that on hand. 

I also felt that it kind of awkwardly gets in the way. If you are sitting on your cooler further back this isn’t as much of an issue but if you are standing close to where the middle handle is the paddle can feel like it’s in the way. 

Having said that, you have to applaud Bote for coming up with a new innovation!

Bote HD Aero Accessories Explained

Overall BOTE provides a good amount of value with their accessories. The board comes with the bag, pump, paddle, paddle sheath, rack mounts, 10” center fin, and the repair kit. 

Rating FactorScoreAverage SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
Accessories Score7.67.9
Backpack Score7.5 /108.1
Paddle Score8 /107.8
Pump Score7.5 /107.6
Fin Score7.5 /108.1
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

Bote HD Aero Bag

I’m not going to lie, I had some mixed feelings about the bag. Again..

I applaud Bote for doing something different from other SUP manufacturers by making the bag made of heavy-duty water-resistant vinyl.  But is it necessary? I found it added weight to the bag and that if you have a full trunk the bag is harder to get out due to its vinyl outer material. 

I do also feel that the bag should come with wheels or have an attachable trolly system of some sort that comes with the package as it’s not a light package at 48 Lbs!

Editors Notes

Putting the backpack onto your shoulder can also be a bit awkward as I feel there was not enough padding in that area. It’s fine for a quick walk down to the shore but I would never go hiking with this bag. If you do have a way to walk, be sure to use the inside strap in the bag to secure the board. Otherwise, it feels awkward to carry. 

Now that I have all the negative Nelly stuff out of the way I did like that the bag is baggy and can fit all the items inside, even with a less-than-perfect fold with the board. The front pocket is also big and expansive which is something I like to see from SUP Bags. It is also a pretty heavy-duty bag that should last a good amount of time. 

So while I feel the bag may be heavy, bulky, and a bit awkward to carry, I’ll take that any day over a crappy bag made of poor-quality materials that tears after 3 months of use

Bote Paddle

The Bote paddle is made of fiberglass and features a polyurethane blade. This is a step up from many of the cheaper brands that include aluminum paddles that add extra weight to the package. 

Fiberglass keeps the strength of aluminum all the while being lightweight. Fiberglass paddle shafts may not be as light as carbon but it is more durable. So when you look at the use of the board it does make sense that Bote opted for a more durable paddle rather than a lighterweight one. 

One of the things I did like about the paddle is the fact that it has a lock on the blade attachment. I experimented a bit with it off and I definitely felt there was more play without the lock. The paddle weighs around 1.8 lbs which is more on the lightweight side of things when it comes to ISUP paddles that come with boards

Its tear-drop shape gives you a good amount of power which is a good pairing with a heavier board like the HD Aero. 

Bote Pump

The pump that comes with the BOTE is a single chamber dual action pump that has a lever that you can use to switch between dual action and single action. What does that mean? 

When you are in the beginning of pumping up your board you want as much air to go into it as possible to help fill it up quicker. As you get to the 5-7 PSI range you will find that it gets harder to pump. Thats when you can switch to single action which makes pumping up the board easier. 

The pump has the same design as the Nixy and Thursosurf pumps except that it’s single chamber instead of double chamber which leads me to believe that they got it from the same factory. 

I should put a disclaimer in here that I did not use the Bote pump to pump up this board but rather an electric pump. Honestly, if you can afford this board, just get the electric pump to go with it.”

Editors Notes

This board has some “Assembly required” specifically with the fin, rack holders and paddle sheath. Not to mention any other fishing accessories you want to bring with you. So having and electric pump pump up your board while you are setting it up will save you time. 

Bote Fins

The Bote HD Aero comes with a 10” slide in racing-style hybrid fin. I personally thought it brought a good amount of stability and tracking to the board but I’ll get into that more in the On-Water performance section. 

The board has a 2 + 1 fin setup that consists of the aforementioned center fin followed by two 2.5” side bite fins. In my opinion, the side bite fins they don’t do very much to aid the board with tracking. 

Don’t believe me? Try going out with the board without a center fin. The board will massively fishtail making it hard to make any sort of headway while padding. 

Now I do wish that Bote included a US fin box for this board as it opens up the amount of choices you have in terms of fin customization because you can buy from other surf/ paddle board companies that have the same designation. The Bote HD Aero is considered to be a premier board. I always associate boards with slide-in fins as “budget boards”. 

Having said that I know Bote does this to save money as getting a US fin box designation is expensive for paddle board manufacturers. 

Bote HD Aero Set-Up / Take Down

Rating FactorScoreAverage Score (All Around)
Set-Up/ Take-Down Score8 /108.2
Average Score is based on data base of SUP’s we’ve Tested

The Bote HD Aero is a package that will take more assembly compared to other all around boards primarily due to the paddle sheath which requires 4 screws, washers, and a screwdriver to install. But you don’t have to have it on there. 

One of the things I noticed was the sheer weight of the board. I hope you had your wheaties before lifting the board out of the trunk because it does take some effort! Smaller folks should definitely ask for help when carrying the board. 

Once the board is ready for set-up it’s pretty hassle-free. Take the board out of the bag unravel it and inflate!  I used an electric pump (Outdoor Master Shark II pump) but Bote also has its own electric pump. I usually fill my boards to 15 PSI unless the board states otherwise on the valve. 

I told you I used an electric pump! 😉

I did find that I did have a bit of difficulty fitting the fin onto the board as you may need to put a bit of oomph to install it but once it is on you can clip it in. 

Taking down the board you have to remember to take off the rack mounts as well as paddle sheath. Otherwise, it will just take up extra room in the folding process. Once your board is all rinsed and clean you can deflate it and fold it back into the bag. 

Pro tip: Boards are usually easiest to fold when they have some sun on them as it makes the material easier to roll. 

When rolling the board up you start from the nose and work your way to the fins. Make sure there is not too much pressure points on things such as the fins so try to time your fold where they meet in the middle. This may take a bit of adjusting but it’s not too bad.

Once the board if folded up, throw it in the bag (the bag is usually baggy enough to support a less-than-ideal fold while still allowing items to fit in the bag). Grab your paddle, pump throw it in the bag as well and you are ready to go home to a nice cold one. 

About Bote Boards

The main purpose of Bote boards is to make stable paddle boards that can support a wide range of activities. But their primary focus is stability and fishing. 

Bote is founded by Magna and Corey Cooper after trying stand-up paddle boarding and being less than satisfied with what was being offered to the public. Which started the idea of Bote boards. 

Bote Warranty and Returns 

The Bote HD Aero has a 2-year limited return period and a 30-day money-back guarantee

Unfortunately, Bote charges a 20% restocking fee on all returns which is a bit unfortunate and something to keep in mind.  Refunds typically take 10 calendar days to process once the product has been received. 

Bote also does not offer any exchanges on any of its products. You can find out more about Bote’s warranty here. 

What Customers Think

Bote currently has a 4/5 star customer review score on their Facebook page with almost 420 reviews.  It should be noted that there is a bunch of spam to go through though so the accuracy of these ratings can start to be questioned. 

In terms of the Bote HD Aero some things I have came across include:

I’ve tried numerous SUP boards, none of which amount to the comfort, stability, durability, and customizable options that Bote provides. I love my board and am extremely satisfied with the customer service I received during the purchasing process.

– Ebony G.

Has been amazing so far. Worth the money. I ride mostly with dog. She is 55lbs and we have no issues staying stable. Rides great on the water. Easy to inflate and defllate. Have had zero issues so far Haven’t set up the RAC or cooler yet but will be doing that shortly. Cant imagine it will be difficult as this whole package has been user friendly!Read more about review stating 5 STARS Glad I invested in BOTE boards instead of other brands!” 

– Jake B.

Having looked through some Reddit threads, most of the issues on the Bote HD Aero were about the 20% restocking fee. A few other more experienced reviewers were not very stoked that the Bote did not come with a leash. 

Where to Buy The Bote HD Aero Boards

The main places you can buy the Bote HD Aero is on the Bote website . It should be noted that you can also buy Bote boards from specific dealers. 

You can check this map to find a Bote dealer nearest you!

Comparable Boards

Bote is probably the most angler-specific type of board out there but there are some comparables that come to mind for me. 

Nixy Monterey G4 Paddle Board

The Monterey has similar board dimensions as the BOTE HD Aero but is 5 lbs lighter. Something to keep in mind for smaller SUP fishermen or gals who want a lighter board. The Monterey features 3 rows of bungee deck webbing at the front and rear and has a dual chamber system that makes it one of the stiffest boards we’ve tested. 

See the Detailed Nixy Monterey G4 Review here.

iRocker Blackfin XL Paddle Board

Much like the Bote HD Aero, the Blackfin Ultra also has similar dimensions and is about 2 lbs lighter compared to the HD Aero. It also has add-on capabilities that come in the form of action mounts, and rack mounts as well as having 3 rows of bungee deck rigging in the front and the rear. 

Should You Get the Bote HD Aero? 

If you crave that extra stability then yes I believe it’s a great pick. 

The Bote HD Aero is great for:

  • SUP Fishermen who want some add-on features
  • A sturdy board that is not bullied easily by wind/ waves
  • Bigger/ Taller folks who crave more stability than 32” boards have to offer
  • Multi-Day camping/ fishing excursions
  • Great for small to medium-sized lakes or calmer waters

Overall the BOTE Aero HD is made more so for folks who want some capabilities that can make a fisherman’s life easier but can also be used as a causal recreational board. 

Have you got a Bote HD Aero? What do you think of it? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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Photo of author
Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.