Bote Flowrider: a SUP for the kids

Earlier this year, we brought you word about a new type of inflatable standup paddleboard (SUP) from the crew over at Bote (you can see that here). The key takeaway here is that it’s not just a SUP. It also comes with a inflatable seat – and a convertible paddle – that allows you to turn it into a sit-down paddle platform, sort of like a kayak. Since then, we’ve had a smaller one (kid-sized) come in, and we’ve put it to the test.

  • Bote Flowrider

What makes this Bote Flowrider kid-friendly?

Now, we should note – the Bote Flowrider is not inherently a kids paddleboard. Across their range, you can see that there are a range of lengths that they make. So, this specific Bote Flowrider is, simply, an 8′ length. What this means is that it’s more appropriately sized to a smaller person, and easier for them to maneuver in the water. This also means that that paddle it comes with is sized to fit, and again, fits a smaller frame. Given that it holds less air, this means that it’s best fit to riders under 125 lbs, with a max recommended weight of 150 lbs.

  • Bote Flowrider
  • Bote Flowrider
  • Bote Flowrider

How do you get it to the water?

That’s the genius of inflatable SUPs – they can get into relatively compact sizes. For this one, it fits into a backpack that’s a touch over 3′ tall, and something even the kids can carry for some distance. The bag itself has plenty of cinch straps to tighten things up, decently comfortable straps, a hip belt if you need it, and some external storage pockets to carry extra things. It is by no means a small backpack, but when you compare it to a hardshell paddleboard, it takes a lot less space.

  • Bote Flowrider
  • Bote Flowrider
  • Bote Flowrider

What about the setup?

I’ve worked with a few different inflatables, and I can say that the Bote Flowrider was definitely the easiest to get going. With the included pump, the board was filled in a few minutes. We did note that the inflation gage never quite read like it was supposed to (see it in the third photo in the slideshow above), so we were going by feel of how firm the board was. Once it was inflated, it was just attaching the leash, putting the stabilization fin in, and setting up the paddle. Then it was time to put it in the water, and let the kids put it to the test.

What did the kids think?

It was an instant hit. We were camping with a bunch of friends, so there were a number of kids, from preteens to teens. Once the board was in the water, it did not come back out until it was time for us to leave the beach in the early evening. There was always someone paddling on it, floating, and generally moving around. In other words, it was a hit. Even kids who had never been on a SUP before figured it out quickly, and had fun out on the water with it. In fact, they kept it out there so much, we never even got around to trying out the inflatable seat!

The Bote Flowrider was also pretty robust. Kids and teens can sometimes be rough on things, especially when they’re playing around, but the board handled it all very well. The only casualty was a bungee cord (see below) that somehow snapped. Everything else came back, looking like it did when it came out of the box.

Wrapping things up

While we had taken a look at some other accessories from Bote, this is the first time we went hands-on with one of their core products. Obviously, the kids loved the 8′ Bote Flowrider that we went hands-on with. For my part, I was impressed with how well it held up to their use. I also really liked how easy it was to setup, and then, at the end of the day, to break down and pack back up.

Often with an inflatable, you’re wondering just how you are going to get the thing back into its bag. With the included pump (you just move the hose to a different port on the pump), it’s a cinch to easily suck all of the air out of the board. Then you just wipe it down, roll it up, and into the bag it goes. Everything went back in, and then if you need to attach stuff on the outside of the bag to dry out (like the ankle leash), it’s easy to do.

Overall, if you spend time at the water, and have kids that like being active out there, the 8′ Bote Flowrider is an easy recommendation. At $500, it’s going to be similar pricing to what you’d drop for a good bike that last the kids for years. And based on the experience we had with this board, we feel it’s going to last for years as well, and will continue to be a hit on the water. If you want to get yours, you can do just that over at

Bote Flowrider 8′ Specs

  • Dimensions: 8′ L × 32″ W × 6″ D
  • Capacity: 150 LBS
  • Board Weight: 15 LBS
  • Seat Weight: 5.6 LBS
  • Construction: AeroULTRA Technology
  • Hull Design: Flat Bottom with Entry Rocker
  • Optimal Board Inflation: 10-15 PSI
  • Optimal Seat Inflation: 7-10 PSI
  • Travel Bag Dimensions: 37.5″ H × 16.5″ W × 10″ D
  • Loaded Bag Weight: 28.5 LBS

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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