Author Topic: Need Paddleboard Advice  (Read 24644 times)


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Need Paddleboard Advice
« on: August 16, 2019, 05:20:53 AM »
Hello all, new to the forum. My wife and I just recently got into paddleboarding. I'm in the military stationed in Panama City, FL and the marina here on base rents them out for a reasonable $10 for the day. Can't really beat that price. That said, being brand new to it, we've gotten the hang of it pretty decently. No falls yet anyway...The boards that the base rents are clearly well used and must be of foam core because they're awfully heavy and feel pretty water logged. Do they float and work? Yes. Long story short, we're looking to purchse our own boards as this is a sport/hobby that we can take anywhere and is something to relax and enjoy wherever life takes us.

My wife and I stopped in a Yolo board store in Destin, FL, and though they had many varieties and really neat styles, I think we've got our hearts set on Bote. We walked into the Bote store in Grayton Beach, FL and instantly fell in love with the many boards they have, but primarily it looks like Bote put a lot of thought into quality of life things such as tie down hooks for a cooler, or or a place to store keys in a small cupholder type cubby.

I've tried reading through some of this forum, and through all the research I've done, we don't want inflatable. So that's instantly out of the equation. I know the pros of being able to roll them up and throw them into a bag, but we're just not interested. We definitely want a rigid board. The boards we are looking at is the Bote HD 12' or the Bote Traveller 12.5'. Honestly, what is the difference? One is a little longer obviously, and the Traveller is a little more narrow. What do you all recommend? My wife and I will be primarily riding in the ocean, with some bay riding too. We're not necessarily "hardcore" about it, but if the weather isn't bad, we plan to go for several hours. St. Andrews Bay has some light chop in the afternoons when the wind picks up and the Gulf can be sporadic, but mostly pretty calm (2-3' swells at most if not storming, usually calmer).

We are a little skeptical by the sticker shock of the prices on nice rigid boards, but have the funds to do so. I just want to make sure that when we spend upwards of $4,000 out the door at Bote (Or wherever we buy) that a year or two down the road, our boards won't end up like the boards we rent or break on us. As in most hobbies, we completely understand and respect that they can get expensive, but willing to pay for it as long as it isn't something that we need to keep reinvesting in.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I suppose just looking for either validation on the boards before we buy them, or what you all recommend first. Thank you!


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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2019, 05:45:14 AM »
Welcome to the zone RathKC!

You think your post is long? Read this one https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,35140.0.html

Should give you enough food for thoughts before buying. Dealing exactly with the brand you're looking to buy.

BTW, the poster of this thread just bought the  SIC Okeanos. You should be able to spend well under 4k for 2 boards for your use case.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 05:48:28 AM by burchas »
in progress...

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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 05:57:05 AM »
The SUP industry is slowing, so find a shop that demos and support them. Youíre going to a huge financial hit if you get it wrong. Resale is poor with the industry slowing.


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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 06:53:37 AM »
$4k... Dude!  "Keep your hands out of your pockets."   $4k would buy you some of the most luscious c'hit from the best brands ...great paddles (important) and great racks.  You are actually entering at a probably a great time ...with the market contracting.  The early impulse movers have moved on.

I just scanned your local Craigslist ...and there were only two brands when you enter 'paddle', for a search, that I would walk across the street to look at: Infinity and KeNalu. (the KeNalu paddles are new...)  The rest is -from my perspective- is a bunch of cheap, Chinese product made to maximize profit for a retailer.  Just from that scan: there's a lotta crapus in FL.*

And don't let gimmicks; "tie down hooks for a cooler, or a place to store keys in a small cupholder type cubby." distract you.  (unless you are camping - a loaded cooler will upset your balance. ...plus, you really want to lose weight, not gain it.)

There are plenty of great brands that are fully developed and evolved that are made in the best factories in Asia. Look in the classifieds here - you are likely to find better choices.  Also, https://www.distressedmullet.com/classifieds/.  ...because the people here and over at the mullet have more time invested and a specific interest in this sport that goes beyond a casual paddle. 

Use those rental, water-logs to develop some good paddle skills**. ..they'll be like pre-season, training sleds for the NFL when you get some good foam underneath you.  And don't let this first response deter you from coming back to ask; "What about...?"  Good hunting - it's a great sport.


*one brand, Bic, is not known for podium-performance but is very sturdy kit compared to most of that other stuff I saw.

**You may even want to find a good paddle first (no cheapos!) - they are very important.
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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 07:59:13 AM »
I would look at the dimensions of the boards that you have been riding(renting), and try to stay close to that.
Bote HD 12' x 32" x 5" =45#
Bote Traveller 12'6" x 28" x 6" = 34#
Both boards are on the heavy side in my opinion. 
My first SUP board was a beater water logged 12' x 24" windsurf board.  It was a back breaker carrying it to the beach.  I could ride it in glassy conditions, but any sort of chop was a challenge.  My next board was a 11' x 31.5" board.  I've tried many boards since.  In calm conditons 29-30" wide boards are fine.  But when the winds pick up and it gets choppy, 32" width is super nice.  I would try to keep the board over 10' for glide.  The lighter the better, if you are carrying the board over long distances.  I would shop around before pulling the trigger.
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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 10:25:00 AM »
Welcome to the zone.

I can see how you could get close to 4k in a retail store easy getting setup for 2 people. Couple boards at 13 or 14 hundred, 2 good paddles, couple of PFDs, 2 leashes, throw in 2 whistles, tax and bam you are right up against it. You can do it for less if you shop around. It's nice to be able to put hands on the inventory, especially when starting out but take your time and look for alternate outlets/options. I know the used board market in Florida isn't spectacular, I look at the whole state every day just for fun. You can get new/old inventory for good deals in a retail setting if you look around and with good guidance internet order can be the way to go.

Just some general guidance.

If you stick with it, it's very unlikely these are the only 2 boards you will ever buy, accept it and enjoy the ride.

Spend real money on your paddles. You might not appreciate it now but you will eventually. Get guidance here and spend some dough, it's worth it.

If you're not into surfing at all you are on the right track with displacement touring boards as the direction over planing boards

Weight sucks and boards feel heavier after a long paddle. Typically you pay a premium for lower weight.

In general longer boards glide better than short ones, wider boards are more stable but glide less than narrow ones. Get a length/width that's easy to handle and suits the need.

Nice paddle area there, enjoy.

Good luck, there's alot of knowledge on here.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 10:46:07 AM by Scallop »
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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 11:59:14 AM »
Itís a good time to buy this time of the year so check out as many shops as you can and check out online prospects for sale and clearance pricing. Paddleboard specialists, Big Winds, Gorge performance  and Jimmy Lewis had a great sale going on his website too.

You can definitely get new boards that are much lighter than a 45lb and still lighter than the 34 pound Bote, for the same price and cheaper.

Many boards offer great stability for novice paddlers that are 30Ē wide and narrower as well. I had new paddlers on a 14 x 29 Naish Glide and the Sunova Expedition at 28.5Ē wide is very stable in all conditions. It has to do with the design of the board too. You can go under 30Ē wide with Brands like the Sunova Expediton and SIC Okeanosand still have a high degree of relative stability. Itís subjective to body size and ability but you donít typically have to go super wide with the amount of choices available out there.


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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 12:04:57 PM »
4k for two bote boards - donít do it! If I were you I would pick up two SIC 12.6 bullets I think those boards are great in the flats and downright amazing in the bumps and surf. I would not invest my money in the displacement hull boards unless you will paddle 100% flat water all the time. I almost certainly guarantee that you will wanna try some surf sooner or later and those bote boards will suck. Pick up great paddles- donít cheap out.
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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 01:35:15 PM »
              Bote boards have had some poor reviews on this forum. I've never even seen one, but it seems they are well styles, but, perhaps not premium quality. If you like the features of the Bote boards, but want good durable boards that will last, have a look at the JP Outback series. They have several sizes and they are very good quality. I'm no longer associated with JP, but a couple of years ago I was and had one of those Outbacks in a demo fleet. It was an excellent board to paddle. It was faster than it should had a right to be, the most stable board I've ever been on, and I should have kept one.
               Have a look, nice boards, very high quality.

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Re: Need Paddleboard Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 04:04:17 PM »
Bote boards imho fill a market niche, as you've described, involving lots of attachments for what I guess would be fishing the flats in Florida. Companies SHOULD find a niche, but I'd hesitate if I were to you to commit your own selves to that. And the weight you cite is crazy heavy.

Previous posts have mentioned the SIC Okeanos. That is an excellent choice. And I know that Big Winds in Hood River has them on sale this weekend (maybe longer) at around $1100, with shipping anywhere at 200.   They are of the more durable construction type that SIC offers, they look good, are stable and fast enough.   And I'm sure there's a closer dealer to you. 

You're right that these are a blast, that's awesome that you guys like it. You'll like it more with a light-ish weight all water board  : )       
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