Bote Breeze Aero
For better or worse, one the most innovative names in the game of iSUPs is Bote. While most SUP brands have a cool SoCal vibe to them, Bote leans in hard to a rough and tumble, tattooed outdoorsman feel…well, that is except for the Breeze Aero.
- Strong construction
- Extra Wide
- Beautiful design choices
- Single-layer PVC
- No back bungee storage area
- Fiberglass paddle
[ez-toc]If you look over their lineup, the Breeze Aero is what you would consider the most “normal” SUP in the sense that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Bote is known for. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have any of the features that are specific to Bote. For example, this iSUP uses the same construction style and process that the other boards use and benefits from a choice of some truly gorgeous color schemes.
|10′ 8″||33″||6||250 lbs||20 lbs|
Something to remember when riding an iSUP is that the more weight you have to move, the slower you’ll end up going. At just 20 pounds, the Breeze Aero is one of the lightest boards in its class, so it moves faster with less effort.
For the most part, boards that are under 11 feet are generally pretty maneuverable and this board is no exception. One of the reasons for this is also the 3-fin setup. Having a single fin means maximum tracking at the cost being able to turn easily, but with 3, you have a fin compromise between straight tracking and still having the ability to turn quickly and without much effort.
This SUP handles choppy water like a champ, though it really excels in calmer water. That being said, it can handle some surf as long as it’s wave after wave and not just nasty conditions in general. Either way, it’s still a noticeably stable ride, even under choppier conditions.
Getting the Breeze Aero up and running is about what you’d expect of an iSUP. It has a maximum PSI of 15 but it’s recommended to use the board at between 12-14 PSI. With the included pump, you can be ready to go in about 10 minutes, though the optional electric pump will get you out on the water faster. It doesn’t use a standard attachment like most other iSUPs use, so you can’t use hoses from other boards you may have.
One the bottom of the board, the 3-fin setup has as removable center fin with the 2 side fins angled inward. This goes to show you that the focus on the SUP is on speed and this is a configuration that helps to create additional speed once it’s already in motion.
The Breeze Aero comes with a grab handle on the center of the board to help move it along once it’s inflated and a handle on the nose to make moving it and and out of the water easier. The back grab handle isn’t located on the deck itself, so it might be hard to catch. Along the rails, there are two D-rings that can be used for the optional Travelink sling which will help you move the board over long distances.
On the deck, you have the customary pad that allows you to stay on for hours at a time without your dogs barking. It’s also comfortable enough to use if you want to take this SUP out for yoga or other fitness activites. Of note is that the deck is made out of BVA instead of the more traditional EVA foam. However, it doesn’t make that much a difference compared to comparable boards of the same thickness.
Speaking of thickness, this board offers side rails that play a role in keeping it nice and sold feeling.
If nothing else, you have to give Bote props for making a beautiful SUP. Simple yet elegant, the Classic version has a partially metallic looking sides and a faux-wood design for most of the board. Another option — Native Floral — sports a lighter color scheme and a tropical flower design on the nose. The texture of the board itself feels like a honeycomb material that gives you the impression of super strength.
The nose has a generous 6-point bungee storage area, though there is nothing at the tail. Bote SUPs are known for massive amounts of storage and attachment features, so that may be this board’s way of separating itself from the pack. Although they’re deigned for the Travelink sling, there are 4 D-rings in the center of the board that you can use for attaching coolers or other items that have a clip.
This is perhaps one of the biggest ways that Bote differentiates itself from other iSUPs. In genteral, you can tell the quality of an iSUP by how many layers of PVC it uses. Nearly everyone uses military-grade material that is drop-stitched these days, although a lot of companies use that as a selling point for some reason. Cheaper boards generally have 2 layers of material while premium boards have 3 or 4. Do you know how many layers this SUP has? 1 — 1 layer of PVC.
As a rule, only the cheapest, bottom of the barrel iSUPs have one layer of PVC. So how is it possible that a board like this only has 1 layer with the price they’re asking? Unlike other boards, the strength of these SUPs don’t come from multiple layers of sheeting, but rather a lattice structure of composite supports inside that becomes stronger as the board is inflated. Bote calls this their AreoUltra technology. The benefit of using this system is that it allows the SUP to be as strong as you need it to be while still keeping the weight down.
Breeze Aero Bag: a backpack that allows you to be able to easily store and transport the SUP when not inflated. Unlike some similar brands, this bag doesn’t have wheels. Also, it doesn’t seem like it’s comfortable enough to carry round for a while, mostly just for putting it into the back of your car.
3-Piece Fiberglass Paddle: this paddle is made of one of the lightest yet strong materials that we see in SUP paddles of this level. Quick to adjust and easy to break apart and put back together. Bote makes a point to let their customers know that this paddle does not float in the water.
Detachable Center Fin: Having the ability to take the fin off makes for easier storage and gives you the option to not use the fin in shallower waters. This uses its own specific type of fin box which makes it non-compatible with third-party US fin box fins.
Hand pump: A basic hand pump is included to allow you to inflate the board on site. We would have liked to have seen a double chamber pump.
Repair Kit: This includes everything you need to make minor repairs to the board if there are tears or rips. We’re happy to see that this kit includes glue and not just patches like we see from other comparable brands’ repair kits. The glue isn’t expensive, but this detail means that the company cares.
If you’re looking to add the ISLE Scout to your arsenal, there are two ways to do that online. You can either going through their own page[i] or through Amazon[ii]. As of now, is no difference in price between the two options, but ISLE give you the option to pay in installments through Affirm.
Travelink Sling: This attaches to 2 D-rings on either sides of the board and lets you travel over long distances than simply holding the center handle.
Onyx Inflatable Lifejacket: This compact lifejacket contains a CO2 cartridge that gives you the same amount of buoyancy as a jacket many times its size. This helps it to stay out of the way.
Aeropump: This high-quality electric pump gives you the option to use your car’s cigarette lighter or battery as a power source. Probably one of the best electric iSUP air pumps on the market.
Highwater Slingbag: A stylish drybag for carrying your gear with a Bote logo on the back.
Note that many of the features that are commonly used on some of the other Bote boards are not available for this model since there are no attachment points for them.
Bote offers a wide range of ways to purchase. While you can purchase at one of hundreds of dealers throughout North America, they aren’t sold in larger sports supply stores. For most of us, buying online might just be the best bet. You can purchase through Amazon or via their own webstore[i]. Regardless of how it’s purchased online, there is always free shipping in the lower 48 states.
Something we love to see in a SUP is a generous return policy. Bote offers a 60-return policy if you don’t like it for any reason. Above and beyond that, you have a 2-year limited warranty for any defects on the board itself.
If you purchase from Bote directly, you have the option purchasing via Affirm. This option, although not unique to Bote, gives you the option to finance the board interest free for up to 12 months. Remember that this is not a program via Bote, so any questions you have about the process needs to go to Affirm directly.
Without question, this is a great board that anyone would enjoy having on the water. It’s extra wide, stable and is great for a wide range of paddlers. However, there’s still a question of whether or not to purchase. Sadly, Bote’s own reputation creates an issue here since they are known for having so many optional attachments, such as paddle holders, Scotty mounts and the like. It seems like they were tasked with making a “normal” SUP and did a fine job, just nothing special.
The other issue at hand is the price. Considering what you’d be spending on this SUP, the paddle and hand pump are sub-par. Plus, there’s no ankle leash option which is something we highly recommend when purchasing an iSUP like this so that you don’t lose your board if you fall off. You can easily get a similar quality iSUP with better accessories for less than what they’re asking for this board. If you’re going to get a Bote iSUP, we recommend looking at one of their other boards that while costing a little more, offer a lot more in the way of features and add-ons. If you’re looking for a similar board in this price range, we would probably recommend a board from iRocker or THURSO.
If you are given this board as a gift, then you know the right people! But if you’re the one doing the purchasing, we just can’t justify the price for this board considering the other options out there, both within their own brand and the competition.