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BOTE HD Aero Full Trax Inflatable Paddleboard – Test and Review

Updated April 9th, 2024

BOTE HD Aero Full Trax Review

Manufacturer and Model: BOTE HD Aero 11’6″ Full Trax
List Price: $1099


Summary

The BOTE HD Aero Full Trax is a large stable inflatable paddleboard built to handle any adventure. At 11’6″ x 34″
is very stable with stiff durable construction. It has lots of D-Rings and mounts for creating the perfect SUP fishing setup. The full length deck pad makes it perfect for use with large dogs or other passengers. It can handle the weight of heavy paddlers or carry a lot of gear with a 315 lb capacity. This makes it one of the best inflatable paddle boards for dogs or large paddlers.

What we liked:

  • Very stable board that anyone can stand on
  • Heavy feeling stiff construction
  • Many accessory mounts and D-Rings
  • Included paddle holder and fishing rack mounts
  • Good looking board with wood deck appearance
  • Full length deck pad that is good for dogs or other passengers

What we didn’t like:

  • No wheels or third handle on the bag
  • No leash included
  • Side bite fins are not removable
  • Board feels a little bouncy on the water

BOTE HD Aero Full Trax Product Image

Specifications

  • Size – 11′ 6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 315 lbs
  • Board Weight – 30 lbs
  • Construction – 2 Layer
  • D-Rings – 17
  • Paddle – Carbon and Aluminum with Nylon Blade
  • Pump – Double Action

BOTE HD Aero Full Trax Review and Test

The BOTE HD Aero 11’6″ Full Trax is a version of their popular HD Aero board that has a full length deck pad. Full length deck pads are great for taking dogs and passengers out on the board. It gives you more traction than the bare deck. It protects the deck from claws, shoes, and other things that could damage it. The HD Aero 11’6″ is a big, wide board with lots of stability. It works well as a fishing, yoga or adventure touring SUP. You can put a lot of gear on the board and still have plenty of room to sit or stand. It makes a great all around board for larger paddlers who need a bigger board.

BOTE HD Aero top
BOTE HD Aero bottom

1 – Board Construction

The BOTE HD Aero uses BOTE’s Aero Tech Construction. This is some form of fusion drop stitch which means the PVC layer is fusion welded to the PVC drop stitch core rather than being glued to it with adhesive. This creates a stronger and lighter board. The HD Aero Full Trax is a really large board at 11’6″ x 34″. It still only weighs in at 30 lbs

2 – Full Length Deck Pad

One of the best features of the HD Aero Full Trax is the full length deck pad. The board uses a logo embossed and grooved deckpad that runs from the nose to the rear of the board. The tail of the board has a diamond grooved deck pad that is better for doing step turns. Both bungee cords are tied on so you could remove them to have a very large clear padded deck. Dogs and passengers will appreciate the extra traction from the deck pad on the nose and you won’t have to worry about claws scratching the PVC hull.

3 – Magnepod

BOTE boards and kayaks have a neat feature called the Magnepod. This is a magnet placed on the board that you can attach accessories to. BOTE sells many attachments for the Magnepod such as speakers and coolers.

Aero HD Magnepod

4 – Stiffness (9/10)

We did our standard stiffness test on the BOTE Aero HD. We inflate the board to the maximum recommended pressure. We put the board on a set of stands placed 8 feet apart. We put 120 lbs of weight onto the middle of the board and measure how much it deflects.

The HD Aero deflected just 1.1 inches. The best boards we have tested deflected just 1 inch. The worst boards deflected 3 to 4 inches or more. 1.1 inches puts it among the stiff boards.

On the water, the board felt like it had more bounce to it than other boards. It did not feel as rigid in small chop as another similar sized large board we were testing at the same time. The board measured very stiff on our workbench test. We were a little surprised by this.

BOTE HD Aero Stiffness test
SUP Board Board Size Construction Deflection (inches)
Blackfin Model X (15 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.0
Blackfin Model V (15 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Blackfin Ultra CX (15 psi) 10'6" x 32.5" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
BOTE HD Aero (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Coolwave (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.3
Chasing Blue Orion (14.5 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.6
Chasing Blue Infinite (14.5 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
DAMA (15 psi) 11' x 33" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.0
Freein Overall 11 (15 psi) 11'' x 33" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
iRocker Nautical (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
iRocker All Around 11 (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.3
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
iRocker Cruiser Ultra (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nice C (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 2.6
Nixy Newport G4 (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nixy Monterey G4 (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Outdoor Master Swordfish (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
Red 12'6" Sport w/RSS (20 psi) 12'6" x 30" x 5.9" MSL with Battens 1.2
Thurso Expedition 150 (15 psi) 12'6" x 31" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.4
Thurso Max (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.2

5 – Stability (10/10)

The BOTE HD Aero is a really big wide stable inflatable paddle board. It is 34 inches wide and is very easy to stand up on or do anything else on like casting or yoga. It’s got enough extra stability that your dog and move around a bit without throwing you in the water. It’s just a really big stable platform.

6 – Speed (7/10)

The HD Aero was not designed to be a really fast paddle board. It has good glide on flat water. It has enough size to create a decent amount of drag. You won’t mistake it for a touring SUP. It has better glide than a short 10 foot board. The HD Aero takes some effort to paddle into wind and chop. It will carry a lot of gear and big paddlers much better than most smaller boards which is the point.

BOTE HD Aero Full Trax on lake

7 – Tracking (9)

The center fin on the HD Aero is large. The board has good tracking once you get water moving over that big center fin. The board is very easy to turn at slower speeds when the fin doesn’t have good water flow.

8 – Large & heavy paddlers

We let our 6’5″ over 300 lb friend try out the BOTE Aero HD Full Trax. The board had good stability thanks to its size and width. The board did feel more bouncy and flexed more than other similar sized large boards. His feet sunk into it a noticeable amount. The paddle with its aluminum lower shaft had more flex than a paddle with a carbon lower shaft.

HD Aero with large paddler

9 – Accessories (7/10)

The BOTE HD Aero comes with a bag, paddle, hand pump, and repair kit. It does not include an ankle leash in the basic package. They also sell it in a fishing package that includes a fishing rack, cooler, and ankle leash. We just got the basic board for our review.

HD Aero Accessories

Backpack bag

The HD Aero bag is made of a plastic vinyl material that is very heavy duty feeling. It has one large zipper pocket on front and some compression straps on the side. There is a bungee on one side for attaching the pump outside the bag. The bag has padded straps on the back to carry it as a backpack. It does not have wheels. Almost every inflatable SUP package above $500 has a bag with wheels. I’m not sure why BOTE chose to leave wheels off the bag. It’s 48 lbs when loaded up. It really should have wheels.

There is only a carry handle on the top and one side. You can use a compression strap as a handle on the other side. For $1000 inflatable SUP package, I want a handle on both sides and wheels. Overall the BOTE bag is a bit of a disappointment compared to the rest of the package.

BOTE HD Aero Bag
BOTE HD Aero Bag
BOTE HD Aero Bag
BOTE HD Aero Bag

3 piece carbon and aluminum paddle

The BOTE paddle has a carbon shaft with carbon handle and lower aluminum shaft with nylon blade. The blade hooks into the carbon shaft with a spring loaded pin and also has a quick release clamp. This helps get rid of some of the slop that you find in 3 piece paddles with just a spring loaded pin attachment. The handle shaft slides into the carbon shaft. It uses a quick release clamp to tighten it and keep it from sliding around. We needed to put a few turns on both quick release clamps before using the paddle.

Overall the paddle has a good feel. It’s a little heavier at 30 ounces than other paddles that have a full carbon shaft and carbon handle. The extra flexibility of the aluminum shaft with the blade is noticeable when paddling really hard.

BOTE HD Aero Paddle
BOTE HD Aero Paddle

Double Action Hand Pump

The HD Aero comes with a double action pump. I’m not disappointed that there isn’t a double barrel triple action pump included at this price. Double chamber, triple action pumps only slightly decrease the inflation speed and take up a lot more room in the bag, and are heavier.

BOTE HD Aero pump
BOTE HD Aero pump

No Ankle Leash

The basic HD Aero package does not include an ankle leash. Almost every inflatable SUP package out there that includes a paddle and pump also includes a leash. For the price, it really should have a leash.

10 – Portability (7/10)

The bag does not have wheels and doesn’t have an abundance of extra handles to make it easy to carry. It weighs over 45 lbs. Wheels would make it a lot easier to move around an airport. The backpack straps are padded. It’s still a really big heavy bag to carry around.

11 – Removable fin

The HD Aero has one removable center fin and 2 fixed smaller side bite fins. The center fin uses a slider and tab to hold it in place. It’s a basic system but it works well. BOTE is one of the few higher end inflatable SUP makers that use this fin attachment style. We would prefer the 2 smaller fins to be removable. We like to experiment and find that a lot of boards are faster and track just as well without the side bite fins in most situations.

HD Aero fin
HD Aero fin

12 – D-Rings and Accessory Mounts

The board has a ton of mounts on it and D-Rings. I count 17 D-Rings around the board. There are 4 action mounts in the front. There are 2 slide in mounts in the rear. There are 2 velcro paddle holders on the right side.

The BOTE board does not have as many threaded action mounts on it as say a Blackfin board. A set in the rear would be nice and a set in the front that could be used when the paddle holder is installed. This would make the setup a little more versatile. BOTE seems to design their boards to use their accessories. They offer a very complete package for outfitting the board. They aren’t quite as flexible to go full custom with accessories from other suppliers.

HD Aero Deck
HD Aero Deck
HD Aero Deck

13 – Paddle holder and rack mounts

The HD Aero includes a slot paddle holder and a set of slide in rack mounts.

Removable Aero Paddle Sheath

The slot paddle holder bolts to the 4 action mounts near the nose. It is a slot you can stick the paddle blade into while fishing or doing other standing activities.

The slot works well for holding the paddle while you are standing and need to do something like cast a fishing rod. The only downside to it is you need to use a screwdriver to install it and take it off. You can’t roll the board up to put it away without rolling this big plastic mount into it. You could leave it attached but it will make the board bigger inside the bag. I’m concerned the hard plastic will scratch the deck pad and PVC material as well.

HD Aero Paddle Sheath
HD Aero Paddle Sheath

Pair of Slide-In Aero Rac Receivers

A pair of rack receivers are included for mounting a fishing rack. They go in the slide mounts on the rear of the board. We don’t have a fishing rack ourselves so we couldn’t try this feature out other than sliding them onto the board.

HD Aero Rac Recievers

14 – Kayak Conversion

The HD Aero Full Trax has plenty of D-Rings to use to mount a kayak seat. Bote sells a kayak conversion kit that uses its inflatable seat. This seat is really comfortable and works well on big wide boards such as the HD Aero. The new style kit from BOTE includes some tie down straps that work well with D-Rings on the board. It also includes a full kayak paddle, not just a conversion blade.

BOTE Kayak Kit

BOTE kayak conversion kit

15 – Available Accessories

One of the great things about BOTE is all the optional accessories they sell to go with their boards. They sell everything from optional fins to coolers and fishing rod holders. There is a package available for the HD Aero Full Trax that includes a fishing rack, cooler, leash, and inflatable SUP for those who want truly one stop shopping.

16 – Setup and take down

The BOTE Aero HD is easy to put together and take down. Everything is straight forward. It takes me about 10 minutes to inflate it with the included hand pump or 12 minutes with an electric pump. The fin takes some effort to slide into the fin box. Don’t try to slide it in without inflating the board first. Inflating the board flattens out the board making the fin easier to slide in.

The HD Aero has 2 non-removable fins on it so you can’t fold it fin box end first which is the most size efficient way to fold most inflatable SUP boards. The bag has enough extra space to fit the rolled board, paddle and pump with room to spare.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

We recommend the BOTE HD Aero for anyone who wants to paddleboard to go SUP fishing or paddle with a large dog. If you are a bigger 250 lb and up person than the HD Aero makes a good stable easy to paddle board. It’s not as stiff feeling on the water as other similar sized boards. It has BOTE styling, accessories, and durability to make up for it.

BOTE HD Aero Full Trax Product Image

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Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

doug@adventuregearinsider.com