Bote Breeze Aero Review
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Bote Breeze Aero
|Price||$415.00 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Affordable, lightweight, stable, maneuverable, easy to transport||Solid all-around performance, includes a good paddle, appropriate price point||Lightweight, affordable, playful design, includes a capable paddle||Lightweight, good all-around performance, excellent value||Inexpensive, easier to inflate than larger options|
|Cons||Attached side fins, leash sold separately, limited accessories||Lacks rear bungee system, lacks a front handle||Not very fast, unstable in rougher water||Limited maneuverability, no dual cargo system||Slower and less stable, minimal cargo space, no front or back handles|
|Bottom Line||One of the best boards at a great price for paddlers who want to feel confident on flat water, chop or waves||A simple, good-looking, well-priced board with solid all-around performance ideal for most paddlers||A fun, lightweight board that provides an affordable way to get on the water||An affordable price tag and respectable performance highlight this fun and lightweight board||An affordable entry level board for families or lighter folks who are unsure of their commitment to the sport|
|Rating Categories||Bote Breeze Aero||Atoll 11'||ROC Inflatable SUP||FunWater 11||SereneLife Inflatable|
|Glide Performance (25%)|
|Ease of Transport (10%)|
|Ease of inflation (10%)|
|Specs||Bote Breeze Aero||Atoll 11'||ROC Inflatable SUP||FunWater 11||SereneLife Inflatable|
|Inflated Dimensions||10'8" x 33" x 6"||11' x 32" x 6"||10' x 32" x 6"||11' x 33" x 6"||10' x 30" x 6"|
|Weight (lbs)||20 lbs||22.5 lbs||17.8 lbs||18.9 lbs||25 lbs|
|Fin Configuration||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin|
|Folded Dimensions (inches)||38" 18" x 12"||34" x 14" x 8"||34" x 12" x 14"||34" x 16" x 7"||33" x 12" x 12"|
|Weight Capacity (lbs)||250 lbs||400 lbs||300 lbs||330 lbs||275 lbs|
|Bungee Cargo System||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bote Breeze Aero measures 10 feet, 8 inches in length, is 33 inches wide, and 6 inches thick. It is manufactured with carbon drop-stitch technology making it lighter, stronger, stiffer, and more responsive in a variety of conditions. The military-grade PVC increases durability. It features front cargo space, multiple grab handles, and side-mounted D-rings. The three-quarter length deck pad provides a soft and grippy surface for paddling, sitting, or Yoga posturing. The board weighs in at just 20 pounds when inflated and it is rated to support up to 250 pounds. When packed away with all its accessories, the bag is comfortable to carry for most adults. Along with a great price, all of these aspects contribute to creating a board that is easy to transport, fun to ride, and a great all-around value.
We took the Bote Breeze Aero out in calm conditions as well as 10 to 15 mile winds and boat chop. Our paddling testers ranged from those with experience on both inflatable and foam core boards to total beginners. All agreed that this board is, comparatively, a favorite regardless of conditions. The Breeze Aero is designed to sit in the perfect position on the water which allows it to roll smoothly over waves with minimal rocking or bouncing. It absorbed the movement of waves and chop enough to allow paddlers to have a consistent sense of steadiness regardless of conditions. Dogs wandering the deck had little effect on the stability of the board and were willing to ride with us in wavy conditions.
This board comes in two lengths: 10 feet, 8 inches, and 11 feet, 6 inches (we tested the 10-foot, 8-inch length). Our testers were of small to average size paddlers and all felt confident on the smaller board. They were able to stand with ease on wind-created waves and among rolling boat waves. Our resident Yogini even felt confident balancing in a crow pose upon this board.
While not as fast as other boards on flat water, we found that the Bote floated along steadily with a rhythmic paddle stroke. It has a tapered nose and a longer center fin, both of which contribute to an overall feeling of steadiness.
In calm conditions, with a consistent paddle stroke, we were able to retain an easy pace. In calm conditions, and with a stronger stroke, our testers were able to go about 100 feet in 30 seconds. It's not going to win any races, but it feels sturdy and manageable. When we took it out in 10 to 15 mph winds and boat chop, our beginner paddlers felt comfortable both on their knees and standing. The Bote managed easily when facing into the waves and surfed smoothly into shore.
The longer center fin and tapered nose give the Breeze Aero all it needs to turn relatively quickly. A composite paddle is included in the package. Although the paddle is heavy, the ABS edge blade indicates that it is durable, aligning with the rest of the design of the board. The weight of the paddle did not hinder our paddling or turning. One of our testers joked that, for its size, it turns on a dime. We found that choppy water and winds had a minimal effect on maneuverability. When testing in calm conditions, we found that turning around a buoy while standing in the center of the board was a little slower than when doing a step-back turn which is common.
Testers noted that the padding on the back provides a good grip when stepping back for turns. Even when broadside to the waves, we were able to easily redirect ourselves. Once again, in this metric, the Breeze Aero is not the fastest, but it scored high with paddlers due to how easily it maneuvered in all conditions.
Ease of Transport
We appreciated the quality of the bag and the fact that the zipper allows it to fully open. The board folds up relatively easily with all the components. There was some room remaining to stash some personal gear inside.
The bag has multiple adjustments including side and back straps which help to bind everything in place or attach items to the outside. It features a rear back pad and padded straps for comfort. Inside there is a small pocket for tucking away loose items. We were impressed that Bote has included a chest strap which makes it more comfortable for longer travels. The fabric is of good quality and appears durable. It was comfortable even for paddlers of smaller stature.
Once inflated, the board itself is easy to carry to and from the water. The front, back, and center handles are useful for pulling it into and out of the water. The additional D-rings on the sides are useful for attaching a shoulder strap. At just 20 pounds, it is an incredibly lightweight board considering the focus on durability and stability in the build.
Ease of Inflation
It is our duty to test out every component of each board including manually pumping every one. The Breeze Aero comes with a single chamber dual stage pump. A switch on the side can be adjusted to make it easier to add the last few pounds of air. As with most hand pumps, the last few pounds of air are the most difficult part of what we've come to refer to as "the warm-up." The dual stage makes this effort a little bit easier.
One aspect of the pump that is incredibly helpful is that the hose can be plugged into the opposite side of the pump to deflate the board. Pumping all the air out before rolling it up makes a significant difference when packing it up. It took about 8 minutes to pump up this board. The initial deflation took 30 seconds and an additional 2 minutes and 30 seconds to empty completely using the pump.
Bote has created a comparatively affordable board with a basic setup that performs well for beginner and intermediate paddlers who want to improve their skills. With a tapered nose and 6-inch height, the Breeze Aero cuts through waves making it manageable for beginners as they build their confidence in chop and wind. The front-end bungee provides cargo space for basic items. Handles in the front, back, and center can be used for carrying, lifting, and loading.
This well-constructed board does not sacrifice durability for weight or attractiveness. It boasts military-grade PVC and carbon drop-stitch technology matched with a padded deck pad for a board that looks good and performs well. It is a good all-around board for beginner and intermediate paddlers wishing to get out in flat water and chop, and comes at a great price, earning one of our Best Buy Awards.
The Bote Breeze Aero is a favorite among beginner and intermediate paddlers. What it lacks in frills it makes up for in quality design and materials. It's a durable board that handles mixed conditions well and is a great choice for those seeking a basic board for getting out on the water. We give it our Best Buy Award.
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