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Bote HD Aero 11’6 Inflatable Paddle Board Review (2023)

bote hd aero wide stable paddle board
Bote HD Aero


  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Tracking
  • Maneuverability
  • Construction and Durability
  • Features and Accessories

As the market becomes saturated with paddle board options, it can be challenging to find the one that meets your specific needs. However, the Bote HD Aero paddle board promises to be a solid choice for both beginner and more advanced paddlers; I can say this with confidence, having paddled the board extensively to compile my findings in this review.

I will explore the key features that set the Bote HD Aero paddle board apart from its competitors. From its innovative construction materials to its exceptional stability and maneuverability, this paddle board has been designed with versatility and stability in mind.

I paddled the Bote Aero HD in various water conditions to get a feel for its durability, stability, tracking, speed, and the general feeling of how the Bote handles. I share my thoughts and my findings in this review, as well as sharing important feedback from our readers to give you a greater understanding of whether this quality board might be right for you. 

So, grab your paddle and get ready to embark on a journey through the enchanting realm of the Both HD Aero paddle board. Let’s delve into its features, examine its performance, and unveil the reasons why it stands out as a true game-changer in the world of paddle boarding.

Compare the Bote HD Aero to Similar Boards

Bote HD Aero Isle Switch Gili Meno 11'6 Blackfin XL
Bote HD AeroIsle SwitchGili Meno 11’6Blackfin XL
Overall rating
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Sizes11’6 x 34″ x 6″11’6 x 35.5″ x 6″11’6 x 35″ x 6″11’6 x 34″ x 6″
Weight30 lbs19 lbs24 lbs28 lbs
Capacity315 lbs425 lbs485 lbs485 lbs
Construction and durability9.
Features and accessories8.
Bote HD AeroIsle SwitchGili Meno 11’6Blackfin XL
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Pros and Cons of the Bote HD Aero  

What I Like
  • Large stable platform, good for beginners, fishing, yoga
  • Enough attachment points, compatible with lots of accessories
  • Remarkable construction, durable, two-year warranty
  • Four color options, all beautiful
  • Versatile board, great for most SUP adventures
What I Don’t Like
  • SUP package doesn’t include a leash

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Ready for my detailed review of the Bote HD Aero? Let’s dive in.

bote hd aero inflatable paddle board Pin

Stability of the Bote HD Aero Inflatable Paddle Board (9 / 10)

When it comes to stand up paddle boarding, even complete beginners will understand how important it is to find a stable board, especially for beginners, families, or those who want to fish or practice yoga on the water. That’s why I was eager to put the stability of the Bote HD Aero to the test; a board that boasts stability as one of its main features. 

The Bote HD Aero measures 11’6″ long and 34″ wide, which is a pretty generous width for a paddle board – and a wider board typically translates to better stability and balance. I had the chance to take the HD Aero inflatable paddle board out for a spin in various conditions, and my experience supports this claim.

When testing the Bote HD Aero out for the first time, I actually found myself in 12 knots of wind, which can be a bit of a challenge for some boards. However, the HD Aero remained impressively stable as I paddled into the wind and even when small waves coming from the side were thrown into the mix. It definitely passed the wind test with flying colors.

Now, I’m not exactly a featherweight at 220 lbs, and the HD Aero’s listed weight capacity is 315 lbs, which is lower than other boards of similar size, like the Blackfin XL, which has a capacity of 485 lbs. Despite this, the HD Aero held up without a problem, supporting my weight and remaining stable throughout my paddling sessions.

Our Readers Love How Stable It Is

One of our readers shared their experience with the Bote HD Aero inflatable SUP: “I bought the Bote HD Aero paddle board last year and I have been using it almost every weekend. I love how easy it is to inflate and deflate, and how it fits in my car trunk. It is very stable and versatile, and I can use it for fishing, yoga, or just cruising around. I also like to bring my dog with me sometimes, and he enjoys sitting on the front of the board.” Talk about a versatile board!

But how does the HD Aero compare to other paddle boards in terms of stability? Well, I’ve had the chance to test the Isle Switch, Blackfin XL (which has the same width as the Bote HD Aero), and the Gili Meno 11’6

While the HD Aero is indeed super stable, I found these other paddle boards to be more stable in comparison. But hey, that’s not to say the HD Aero isn’t a solid option for those seeking a stable and versatile paddle board.

Overall, the Bote HD Aero inflatable paddle board offers a great combination of stability and versatility, making it an excellent option for beginners, families, and those looking to fish or practice yoga on the water. Its dimensions and performance in various conditions make it a reliable choice for a wide range of paddle board enthusiasts. 

Sure, there may be other boards out there that offer more stability, but this doesn’t mean that the HD Aero doesn’t offer excellent stability in its own right.

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bote hd aero speed Pin

Speed of the Bote HD Aero Inflatable SUP (7.7 / 10)

The Bote Aero HD is not a small board by any means. And as someone who’s spent many hours on this big board, I can tell you that its size definitely plays a role in various factors such as speed. You see, the HD Aero leans more towards the stability side of the coin than the speed side – but that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch.

As a 220-pound paddler, I’ve had the chance to test the HD Aero on flat water, and for a board of this size and shape, I found it to be fairly fast. It glides well and is easy to paddle – a pleasant surprise, considering its focus on stability. Smaller paddlers who are lighter than I am can obviously expect the HD Aero to be even faster.

But what about when the wind picks up? As I already mentioned, I had the opportunity to paddle the board in 12 knots of wind, and let me tell you, I still found the board to be pretty speedy. Sure, paddling it into the wind took quite a bit of effort, but that’s to be expected with a board of this size.

Now, let’s be clear: the Bote HD Aero is a board that you purchase for the stability and ability to bring lots of gear, like when you’re SUP fishing. It’s not necessarily built for speed, but it doesn’t disappoint in that department either.

How Does it Compare to Similar Boards?

So, how does it compare to other boards? I’ve tested the stability of the Bote HD Aero against other boards of the same length, and here’s what I found: this inflatable paddle board is a tad faster than the Blackfin XL (perhaps due to the more pointed nose of the HD Aero). However, the Gili Meno 11’6 and especially the Isle Switch outperformed the HD Aero in terms of speed.

What does all this mean for you, the beginner paddleboarder considering the Bote HD Aero? Well, if you’re looking for a board with a focus on stability that can still hold its own when it comes to speed, the HD Aero is a solid choice. Just keep in mind that there are faster boards out there if speed is a top priority for you.

But hey, we’re all about practical advice here at Stand Up Paddle Boards Review, and in my experience, the Bote HD Aero strikes a nice balance between stability and speed.

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Tracking of the Bote HD Aero Inflatable SUP (9.0 / 10)

So, you’re considering the Bote HD Aero for your stand-up paddle boarding adventures, and you’re wondering how well it tracks, right? Well, let me tell you about my personal experience with this board and some tips to help you improve its tracking.

First off, let’s talk about what tracking is. Simply put, tracking is the ability of a paddle board to maintain a straight course in the water. Good tracking affects the speed, efficiency, and maneuverability of a paddle board, helping you stay in a straight line and avoid zigzagging and wasting energy while constantly correcting your direction.

I found the Bote HD Aero tracked pretty well when I tested it out on the water. Compared to boards of similar length, like the Blackfin XL and Gili Meno 11’6, the Aero HD performs just as well, and even better than the Isle Switch.

One of the reasons why the Bote HD Aero excels in tracking is its three-fin setup; having three fins definitely aids in maintaining a straight line. 

The large, removable center fin makes a big difference in guiding the board. However, fixed side fins are angled steeply, which creates some drag and reduces tracking (and since they are fixed fins there’s no getting around this). But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for you to improve tracking on your Bote HD Aero paddleboard.

Bote HD Aero fin setup Pin

How to Improve Tracking when Paddling the HD Aero

First, always use the center fin when paddling on flat water or in mild conditions. The center fin helps keep the board on a straight course. If you’re paddling in shallow water or rough conditions, you can remove the center fin to prevent any damage (unlike the fixed side fins) 

Another tip to improve tracking is to use a vertical paddle stroke. This will help you avoid pushing the board sideways, causing it to veer off course. Remember, the key to maintaining a straight path with your paddle board is mastering proper paddling technique.

I can confidently say that, with the right paddling technique, this SUP paddles just as well as other paddle boards of a similar length, thanks in large part to the three fin setup with removable center fin.

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boto hd aero 116 paddle board review Pin

Maneuverability of the Bote HD Aero Inflatable Paddle Board (7.0 / 10)

Simply put, maneuverability refers to how easily you can control and change the direction of your board while paddling. It’s important because it affects how you’ll be able to navigate through tight spots, make quick turns, and even catch a few waves if that’s your thing.

Maneuverability of a paddle board depends on factors like its shape, size, weight, fin setup, and, of course, your paddle technique. Now, let’s dive into the Bote HD Aero and see how it measures up.

The Bote HD Aero is a big board, with dimensions of 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″. It’s long, wide, and comes with fixed side fins. And let me tell you, maneuverability is not its strongest suit. Don’t get me wrong, you can still turn it, but compared to smaller all-around paddle boards, the Bote HD Aero isn’t the most nimble of the bunch.

I’ve taken this board out to test and to enjoy on the water many times, and I’ve had my fair share of experiences with it in various conditions, from calm lakes to choppy seas. I can confidently say that the reason you buy a Bote HD Aero is for its stability and ability to carry lots of gear, not for its maneuverability. I mean, it’s not a total slug, but it does require some effort to get it turning on a dime.

How Does the Bote’s Maneuverability Compare to Similar Boards?

When comparing the Bote HD Aero’s maneuverability to other paddle boards of similar length, I found that it’s on par with the Blackfin XL, but the Gili Meno 11’6 and especially the Isle Switch are more maneuverable. I remember gliding through the water on the Isle Switch and thinking, “Now, this is one nimble board!”

To sum it up, the Bote HD Aero’s large size means it won’t be as maneuverable as a shorter, narrower board. With the right paddling technique, you can still make turns well enough, but if maneuverability is a top priority for you, there are other boards of this length that will serve you better, like the Isle Switch. 

Don’t worry, though, the Bote HD Aero’s stability and gear-carrying capacity more than make up for its lack of agility. And who knows, maybe you’ll come to appreciate the extra challenge it provides!

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Construction & Durability of the HD Aero (9.0 / 10)

Let’s dive into what makes the Bote HD Aero stand out in terms of construction and durability.

First things first, the Bote HD Aero is built with a composite drop-stitch core and wrapped in ‘military-grade’ PVC layers. This means you get a paddleboard that can take a beating and still perform at its best. And trust me, as someone who’s accidentally scraped boards against rocks in the past, I can appreciate this added protection.

Speaking of protection, Bote took it a step further by including extra PVC layers on the nose and tail. This is perfect for those tricky situations where you might encounter rocks or other obstacles. In fact, the paddle board company themselves even state on their website that 

“The military-grade PVC skin means AeroBOTEs can withstand being tossed around, banged, bumped, and scraped with low risk of damage or permanent blemish.” 

It’s a bold claim, and I’m happy to say that it holds up in real-life situations.

The Bend Test

But what about rigidity? No one wants a wobbly board under their feet. I’m happy to report that the Bote HD Aero offers remarkable rigidity with very little flex

To give you some context, I conducted a bent test: I rested the paddle board on two sawhorses a set distance apart, placed a 150 lbs weight near the center, and measured how far the board bent. While this isn’t a perfect simulation of on-water performance, it’s a useful way to quantify rigidity and compare boards.

The HD Aero bent 3/4″, making it more rigid than comparable boards.

The result? The Bote HD Aero bent a mere 3/4″, making it more rigid than comparable boards like the Blackfin XL and the Gili Meno 11’6. That’s pretty impressive, and it definitely adds to the overall paddling experience.

One of our readers, who recently purchased the HD Aero in the Native Abalone style, shared their thoughts with us about how well-made the paddle board is. They raved about the board’s construction, sturdiness, and eye-catching design. Plus, they mentioned how easy it was to set up, pack up, and transport in their car trunk. 

Honestly, it’s always great to hear from fellow paddle boarders who share my enthusiasm for quality gear.

HD Aero Features & Accessories (8.0 / 10)

Now let’s dive into the features and accessories that make the Bote HD Aero stand out from the rest.

As I’ve already mentioned, Bote HD Aero comes with three fins; a large center fin and two fixed side fins. The center fin has a lot of surface area, which is great for tracking, but I noticed that the side fixed fins bend easily. I was able to bend them back, but one of mine stayed bent – which isn’t ideal. 


And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the finbox Bote uses. You have to slide the fin in, which can be a bit of a pain (literally – it hurt my hand). I’d love to see Bote switch to the snap-in finboxes that brands like iRocker and Gili use, as they’re much easier to handle.

But let’s not get too caught up in the fins, because one of the main selling points of the HD Aero is its stunning design. Bote paddle boards are known for their cool aesthetics, and the HD Aero is no exception. With options like Native Abalone, Classic Cypress, Bug Slinger Bonefish or Full Trax Seafoam, it’s hard not to fall in love with these boards.

Moving on to the deckpad, it’s color-matched with the rest of the board and features Bote’s logo. It feels comfortable under your feet and offers sufficient grip when wet. However, I did notice some glue residue on my deck pad, but I haven’t heard about this issue from other users, so it could be an isolated incident.

Plenty of Room for Extra Gear

The HD Aero is also great for carrying gear, with a 6 D-ring front bungee and a 4 D-ring rear bungee. Plus, it has three grab handles on the nose, center, and tail, as well as a removable Aero Paddle Sheath for temporarily storing your paddle. 

And for my fellow SUP fishing enthusiasts, the deck has one pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers for fishing attachments like Bote’s optional Tackle Rac to hold your fishing gear.

The board also features two D-rings for attaching Bote’s optional cooler: the Bote Kula, and a MAGNEPOD magnetic base for using Bote’s Magnepod accessories like a water bottle, tumbler, or waterproof speaker.

Now, let’s talk about some things the HD Aero could improve upon. First, it doesn’t come with a leash, nor does it have a D-ring on the tail for attaching one. I consider a leash to be an important safety feature, and most inflatable SUP packages include a coiled leash these days, so I hope Bote addresses this in the future.

As for the included adjustable fiberglass paddle, it has a nice wide ABS plastic blade, but I had to use a small screwdriver to tighten the screws in the paddle shaft to prevent the top piece from rotating. And honestly, given the premium price of the HD Aero, I wish Bote would upgrade the paddle to a carbon fiber version.

Lastly, the HD Aero also comes with a manual pump, repair kit, and travel bag backpack, which are nice additions to the package, though I always say that it’s worth purchasing an electric pump to make your life a little easier. 

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Versatility of the Bote HD Aero

I’ve tried my fair share of SUP boards, and the Bote HD Aero continues to impress me with its versatility. This board is truly designed to be a “one board for everything” kind of deal, catering to both beginners and intermediate paddlers who want a little bit of everything from their paddle boarding experience.

Whether you’re just hanging out with friends or family, or you’re gearing up for a fishing adventure, this board’s got you covered. With a generous length and width, this board provides an incredibly stable platform that can handle up to 315 lbs of weight capacity – which means it can be used in plenty of different ways. Plus, the carrying bag means it packs away easily to be taken along for various excursions, like camping and fishing trips. 

Load it up with fishing gear for a day of SUP angling, bring along a cooler, a passenger or even a pet for a fun picnic on the water, or simply use the grippy deck pad for some SUP yoga.

In my opinion, the Bote HD Aero is a fantastic choice for both beginners and intermediate paddlers who want a beautifully designed, quality-made inflatable SUP board.

What Users Are Saying About the Bote Aero

I think that the Bote HD Aero is awesome. But do other paddlers agree? 

Here is what I found. 

Is Bote overrated? This is what one paddler wanted to know. The Bote HD Aero caught his eye but he wanted to make sure it is a quality board before spending his money. And so he decided to ask fellow Redditors. 

People responded, talking about their love for Bote paddle boards. 

InshoreCommander says he owns four Bote paddle boards. Two of them are Bote HD Aeros. He says they make good all-around boards, even though they are marketed as fishing SUPs. 


MylifeasAllison says that she loves her Bote HD Aero inflatable because it folds into a small package. She had a problem with the paddle board but Bote took care of it. She says the paddle board is worth it. 


John, another Bote customer, wanted to make sure he got the best inflatable board. He researched extensively and kept coming back to the HD Aero inflatable SUP. He decided to go for it and he says he couldn’t be happier. 

Laura is having so much fun with her new Bote Aero stand up paddle board. She says it’s amazing how stable the board is, even with waves. 

Stephanie says the Bote iSUP is easy to inflate and super sturdy. She is happy that she bought it. 

Cost and Value

But what about the cost and value of this board?

While the Bote HD Aero is definitely a well-made and versatile board, it does come with a somewhat hefty price tag at $1,099 (MRSP). Some comparable paddle boards, such as the Blackfin XL, Gili Meno 11’6, and the Isle Switch, are offered at a lower price and in many cases, are faster, more maneuverable, and just as stable as the Bote HD Aero.

However, the true standout feature of the Bote HD Aero, in my humble opinion, is its design. Bote boards have a certain aesthetic that not only exudes quality and craftsmanship but also turns heads on the water. When you own a Bote board, you’re not just getting a functional paddle board; you’re making a statement.

So, is the Bote HD Aero worth it? I’d say yes, especially if you’re looking for a versatile, stable, and beautifully designed board for a wide range of activities, such as fishing, yoga, touring, or just having family fun.

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Warranty and Customer Service

When it comes to investing in a quality stand up paddle board, you can’t overlook the importance of a good warranty and reliable customer service. Trust me, I’ve been there! That’s why I’m excited to share my experience with Bote paddle boards and their two-year limited warranty.

Bote offers a two-year limited warranty from the date of purchase against material or manufacturing defects in the hull and deck for registered products. This is pretty standard among manufacturers of high-quality paddle boards, but it’s a crucial detail to consider when making your decision.

I know how important it is for a company to stand behind their product, and Bote does just that – they’ll repair, replace, or provide replacement parts at their discretion for any part or component deemed defective. That’s the kind of assurance you need when investing in a paddle board.

Bote’s customer service is also top-notch. I’ve heard from readers who’ve had great experiences with their support team. One reader shared that she hadn’t even made her decision yet but appreciated how a real live person answered her call and patiently answered her questions. That’s the kind of customer service that makes a difference!

Another reader had a warranty issue with their first HD Aero and reported that Bote exchanged it with no questions asked. Talk about standing behind their product!

So, what does all this mean for you? Well, if you’re a beginner paddle boarder looking to make a smart investment in a quality paddle board, you can feel confident that Bote has your back with their two-year limited warranty and stellar customer service.

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Unboxing of the Bote HD Aero

Watch our unboxing video of the Bote HD Aero inflatable paddle board. We’ll show you what to expect in the box when you unbox the Bote HD Aero yourself.

Final Thoughts 

So, what’s the verdict on the Bote HD Aero inflatable paddle board? I love it!

The paddle board is large, stable, and durable. It is great for fishing, beginners, recreational SUP, paddling with kids, and even yoga. 

The big platform, weight capacity, and attachment points allow you to bring all the gear you need. This would be nice for people who are into SUP fishing, long-distance touring, and other activities that involve carrying lots of stuff. 

So check it out. It may be exactly what you need. 

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