BOTE is a brand known for crafting the highest quality and most innovative stand up paddle boards on the planet and exemplifies the everyday Florida lifestyle—flat water, fishing, and adventure. Replace stand-up paddle boards with Flat Water Skiffs, and you’ve got Hells Bay Boatworks. Both brands share the same core values and lifestyle, which is why these two powerhouse companies have decided to team up to make a board that is great for both the boat and BOTE customer.
Much like BOTE , Hells Bay’s bay was founded with one goal in mind—to build something better than what was already out on the market. Merely improving conventional designs was not good enough. Both of these visionaries companies sought to make sweeping changes in design and construction of their respective watercraft that would revolutionize the shallow water fishing industry. Mission accomplished.
Mutual respect and admiration has brought these two companies together and a collaboration between BOTE and Hell’s Bay has been in the works for three years now. Starting back in 2014, BOTE Creative Director, Rob McAbee, was visiting Tampa for a fishing tournament where he met Hells Bay Marketing Director, Todd Fuller. “We knew who each other worked for and Todd said, ‘Listen, if you guys are ever interested in working with us, I think both our companies have a lot in common. I’m not sure what we could do, but I think we can figure out something awesome,’” says McAbee.
It wasn’t until ICAST 2015, a fishing industry trade show, that the ball actually started rolling. “The goal was, ‘Let’s bring these two lifestyles together. A core brand based on the flats fishing lifestyle with innovative designs between two leaders in their respective industries,” says Cooper. Two cool brands, two cool purposes for existing, and a lot of similarities between the two. Just like that, the Hells Bay HD board was born.
“We knew this would be a killer collaboration, so we wanted to custom develop every aspect of this board through our in-house creative process, which began with Rob’s designs,” says Cooper. The Hells Bay Limited Edition HD board design is a take on BOTE’s classic style boards that features a unique wood inlay and prominently displays the Hell’s Bay branding in classic Florida colors. “This standup paddle board was designed to complement the line of Hell’s Bay boats to provide another way to get out and enjoy the water lifestyle. Whether it’s accessing skinnier water or as a floating party platform at your favorite sandbar, the HD is the perfect companion to the Hell’s Bay Skiff,” says McAbee.
After a couple of months working together and putting together designs, the boards and collaboration really began to take shape. The boards are 12’ long and can hold up to 375 lbs. The boards include stakeout holes for some serious shallow water fishing and are compatible with BOTE’s newest innovation, the Travelink SUP Carry system.
According to both companies, boats and paddle boards are not competitors, rather they are collaborators. “Boats and paddle boards are complementary aspects of each other. Being able to go on a flat skiff out to shallow water, then get off of your boat and use your board to get in even shallower is an insane element that has not been utilized yet. If you’re traveling a long distance, paddle boarding is not a likely option unless you are wanting to camp along the way. The boat can cover a lot of distance while the board can be used for stealth or a good time,” says Cooper. Both scenarios perfectly describe the goal behind this collaboration in offering more options to the customer. By providing accessibility to more locations and environments, a boat and board owner can now lead the ultimate water lifestyle.
Corey Cooper states, "We are both Florida based companies with Florida based missions and completely Florida derived. We wanted to portray a board that embodied both of our brands, and I believe we have done that."