It's been more than 'a few days', but I'm finally getting to the 'review' I promised you....between the BOTE HD10'6", BOTE HD12’ and the LiveWaterSports L2Utility.
From Carla's perspective, of the 3 boards she tried, it was nearly a toss up between the BOTE HD12' and L2Utility. It was really good for Carla to be on the HD10'6" before the Lorelei 2 hr Eco Tour because she was sure that was the one she wanted to eventually purchase. After a short test drive, it was clear she preferred a 12' board. Both of the 12' boards provided the extra stability, length and movement through the water she was looking for. I'll focus the review on both 12' boards.
Mark and Carla's first thought: The HD 12' and the L2U 12' being equal in length were quite different in and out of the water. We were surprised at what a difference there was between these two boards!
Starting with positives on the L2U. Light!....Wow that board is easy to carry and move around using the flexible raised carry handle. We are amazed at how light LiveWaterSports built this board. Stable! The L2U provided great stability and buoyancy while paddling open water and maneuvering around the mangroves. It is definitely agile and quick turning while standing in the basic paddle board stance. The L2U sits a little higher in the water having a little more board exposed above the water surface. This extra 'freeboard' above the water surface did seem to be influenced by wind when paddling crosswind. It is completely manageable, but with the board being physically lighter, and with more board above the water surface, the wind did influence it slightly more than the competition. For hunting and fishing reasons, I like to be stealthy. Sneak up on 'em and whack 'em type of guy. (or sneak up and take pictures) The L2U's unique hydro-v style hull did trap some air when padding in choppy waters. That did produce a little 'clop, clop, clop' in wavy conditions. Most folks won't notice or care, so it's not a negative for the vast majority of folks. Quality Fit and Finish! F&F on the L2U is VERY GOOD. We can see why many of your Customers choose the L2U. It is an excellent SUP. Definitely the right board for many of your Customers.
Mark and Carla's thoughts on the BOTE 12’ HD: We both enjoyed this board too. At one point during the Eco tour, I asked Carla if we could switch so I could have the BOTE HD12'. (We were about to cross another open area with a fairly stiff wind and I wanted to compare it against the L2U I was on) She wasn't too quick to give it up...I had to ask twice! Positives on the BOTE HD12': Solid Build! This board has a solid, high quality feel and is physically heavier than the L2U. Heavier can be negative to some, but a positive to others. Moving about land while using the integrated grab handle was not an issue for either of us. Physically, I (Mark) could put it up on a car or rack without issue, so the extra weight became a positive for me after we entered the water. Stable! This board, like the L2U is very stable and tracked very well while paddling. When in a basic paddle board stance, it did take slightly more time/effort to turn/maneuver it compared to the competition. However, neither of us had any issue maneuvering the HD12' through the narrow mangrove channels so it was not a 'show-stopper' for either of us. Stealthy! Due to its physical weight and thinner profile, it seems to sit a little deeper in the water. The Hybrid Displacement hull is stealthy, sliced through water and tracked very well. Quality Fit and Finish...VERY GOOD. The BOTE 12'HD is a fantastic SUP, has great F&F and will provide many of your Customers desirable advantages over other manufacturers offerings.
Wrapping it up: These manufacturers seem to be leaders in the industry and anyone interested in SUP's should consider what accessories and value added options these Manufacturers offer prior to purchasing. Both the L2U and the HD12' are exceptional SUP's. Very different from one another in some aspects, yet both producing a wonderful experience on the water.