Properly maintaining and caring for your product is the key to maximizing your experience and promoting longevity. Our products are made for outdoor use so will be exposed to rough terrain, outdoor elements and tons of good times. With the outdoors comes the need for upkeep and care, below are tips, guidelines and methods for maintaining your item's performance.
MAINTENANCE & CARE
If your product isn't working quite as expected there is a good chance there is a very quick and easy fix to remedy the issue.
AeroBOTE losing air
If your Aero is losing air, but not obvious where, it is most likely a loose valve. Do use the plastic valve wrench included in your repair kit to tighten the valve. 1/4 turn to the right should do the trick.
Hand pump gauge not reading
Your hand pump will not begin to read pressure until the pressure reaches 7 PSI or so. Aeros will begin to feel fully inflated to the touch around 4 PSI, but do keep pumping and the pump will read at the higher PSI.
Adjustable paddle shaft slipping
The clamps simply need to be tightened using the built-in lever using either a screw driver or an alan key.
ROVER not turning
If your Rover is not turning while under power, the side fins are most likely installed. While using a motor the side fins are not needed.
KULA Cooler not holding ice
Coolers are meant to be insulators. Be sure that you cool down your KULA to at least room temperature prior to filling with ice. Also, make sure to only use cold drinks/snacks as well. If you use warm snacks and drinks, they will melt the ice.
Fin not fitting in Gatorshell Fin Box
When your board is first used, it is possible for the fin box to be very tight. This will loosen overtime as the board becomes acclimated. Simply take fine grit sandpaper and run it through the fin box. The fin will then slide right in. It is possible for a small amount of resin to get into the fin box during production as well, and just needs to be sanded down. The tighter the fin box, the smoother the board will ride.
Bubbles under your deck pad
If you are having bubbles under your deck pad it is due to a small air molecule being trapped between the deck and the deck pad. Overtime, the air will expand causing a bubble to form. This a very easy and simple fix by taking a needle to the bubble and allowing the air to escape. The adhesive will still be tacky and will reattach to the deck.
Deck pad peeling up
The deck pad will commonly have the adhesive come loose from time to time. This is normal and to be expected on any product using this material. The best remedy is to use Super 77 Multipurpose Adhesive Spray by 3M to re-adhere the deck pad.
Aeropump operating loudly and shaking
Your Aeropump has two stages. The second is much louder than the first due to it kicking into a second mode to avoid overinflation. This is completely normal and will shut off automatically once it reaches the pre-set PSI.
Gatorshell and AEROBOTE DOs and DON'Ts
- RINSE WITH FRESHWATER AFTER USE. This will remove any saltwater, dirt and debris. This step is vital if using any products in saltwater.
- ALLOW TO DRY PRIOR TO STORING. Although we prefer to be on the water daily, long term storage of Aero products, if not dried before storing, increases the risk of musty odors and mold developing. When rigid boards are stored wet, the water will become trapped between the board and any surfaces and can evaporate into the paint, leading to osmotic blistering. This is a very easy fix, but never fun to begin your next paddling trip with some cosmetic blemishes.
- PARTIALLY DEFLATE AEROS WHEN NOT ON THE WATER. Science will force the air inside of your board to expand with heat. This will put stress on the seams which can cause issues overtime. When in use the cool water will prevent any expansion.
- TREAT YOUR BOTE AS YOU WOULD TREAT ANY BOAT. You wouldn't drive your boat over oyster beds, into docks, over downed trees or drag it across the parking lot. Treat your products just as you would your boat. This is the golden rule.
- STORE IN DRY, COOL PLACES OUT OF THE SUN. Longer term heat and UV exposure will harm the graphics of your board and can lead to delamination.
- ONLY STAND IN AREAS COVERED BY THE DECK PAD
- DOUBLE CHECK PROPER INFLATION LEVELS PRIOR TO INFLATING
- WEAR A PFD AND USE A LEASH
- USE A TRAVELINK OR WHEEL RAC TO TRANSPORT YOUR BOARD.
- STORE PRODUCTS IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT
- USE RATCHET STRAPS WHEN TRANSPORTING ON YOUR ROOF RACK. Using ratchet straps will put unnecessary force on the rails of your board and can lead to pressure dings.
- REMOVE OR LOOSEN YOUR BOARD'S VENT PLUG
- ALLOW YOUR BOARD TO FORCIBLY CONTACT WITH ANYTHING OTHER WATER. Our paddle boards and Kayaks are meant to be on the water. Although our products are the most durable on the market, dropping your board, dragging across gravel or asphalt can cause damage.
- USE A MOTOR OF ANY KIND (EXCEPT FOR THE ROVER). Putting any vessel, other than the Rovers, under power is not condoned and will void your warranty.
- TOW BEHIND A MOTORIZED VESSEL. These are paddle boards, not extreme watersports items.
- SURPASS YOUR VESSELS' MAX WEIGHT CAPACITY. The weight capacity is there as a limit to the weight at which performance will be lessened. Suprassing the weight capacity will lead to instability and ineffecient paddling.
- OVERINFLATE YOUR AERO PRODUCT
- PADDLE WITH THE FOAM CORE EXPOSED. If you have any cracks in your board, paddling will expose the core to water damage. Water damage can be remedied by allowing the core to dry, but can take quite some time.
- LEAVE DOCKS IN THE WATER LONG TERM. Leaving Docks in the water for extended times can cause sun fading, algae build-up and barnacle growth. The longevity of the product will also be lessened.
KULA COOLER DOs and DON'Ts
The best way to think of your KULA is that it is meant to keep hot things hot and cold things cold. Coolers are insulators, not refrigerators.
- ALLOW KULA TO CHILL. Allow the KULA to come to at least room temperature prior to filling with ice. If the KULA is hot (stored on the front porch, shed ect.) it will trap in heat and melt ice must faster.
- CHILL DRINKS AND FOOD BEFORE LOADING. Coolers are insulators. If you put in cold items they will stay cold. If you put in room temperature items they will quickly melt ice and stay very close to the same temperature.
- FULLY EMPTY AND DRY PRIOR TO STORING. No one enjoys opening up a ripe cooler that was never cleaned out after being used last.
- OPEN LID WHILE DRAINING. This will allow the KULA to vent and drain must faster once the drain plug is removed.
- USE AS A SEAT. The KULA doubles as a seat around the campfire or on your paddle board.
- CLEAN DRAIN PLUG WITH SOAP AND WATER. Be sure to remove and clean your drain plug after every few uses.
- STORE WET WITH LID CLOSED.
- PUT CLOSE TO CAMPFIRES OR HEAT SOURCES
- AVOID LUBRICATING ZIPPER ON SOFTY KULAS
- FEED TO ALIGATORS
APEX PD MAINTENANCE
The APEX PD is a great way to get out on the water via pedal driven vessel. The product will need to be greased regularly. Below are how-tos on more advanced maintenance, but greasing the mechanism is the biggest key to remember.
How to unbox your Apex PD
How to use your APEX PD Travel Bag
Inspecting the upper housing
How to install the propeller pin
How to adjust the steering
How to tighten the gear covers
How to install and remove the pedals
How to install and remove the cranks
How to grease the ports
How to rebuild the upper gear
How to rebuild the hole flange
How to rebuild the lower gear
How to rebuild the rudder system
How to rebuild the steering cord
How to rebuild the transmission
INFLATING AND DEFLATING AEROBOTES
AeroBOTE boards are designed to be inflated between 10 and 15 PSI.
BOTE Docks are designed to be inflated no greater than 10 PSI.
WARNING: Misprint on Dock valves. Do not inflate above 10 PSI.
Manual pump: Using the included manual pump, the gauge will not register pressure until around 7 PSI. For maximum stability, keep inflating the board until you reach 15 PSI for boards and 10 PSI for Docks.
Electric AeroPump: Set the AeroPump's dial to 15 PSI for boards and 10 PSI for Docks and start inflating. The low-pressure pump will run until about 7 PSI, and then will audibly switch to the high-pressure pump. This pump will run until it reaches the PSI marked with the dial, and will automatically shut off.
The electric AeroPump includes a deflate port, which may be connected to the board and run until the board appears fully flat. Do not leave the pump unattended during deflation as it can overheat when it can no longer extract air. Use the thumbscrew to lock the valve open for final deflation while rolling up the board.
Do not store your board in a sunny location while not in use!
The sun is the most damaging force on the planet, especially for your new BOTE board. Try to keep your board out of the sun as much as possible when not in use.
Solid Board De-lamination - The inside of your BOTE board is foam, which consists mostly of air and other gasses. When these gasses are heated by the sun they expand. As they expand they take up more space and can cause pressure to build on the inside of your BOTE board. If they expand too much, the pressure will push on the hard shell of the BOTE board and may cause the fiberglass shell to detach from the foam core. This is called de-lamination, and can result in air bubbles being trapped between the foam core and fiberglass shell.
To avoid de-lamination:
Follow these simple steps to ensure a long life for your BOTE board:
- The Gore-Tex® Vent Plug: The plastic Gore-Tex® vent plug is used to keep the inside of the board (the core) an air/water tight environment. It vents the board automatically, please do not loosen or remove to prevent damage to the plug.
- Always store your BOTE board in a cool dry place or shady area when not in use.
- You may also store your board in a well ventilated board bag to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Inflatable Board Bursting - When an AeroBOTE inflatable is fully inflated to the recommended 15PSI for use, it can burst when left in the sun to expand and contract. This is because the sun both weakens the material and seams, and because the sun's heat increases the pressure inside the board beyond its designed limits. AeroBOTEs that burst from sitting under pressure in the sun are not covered under warranty as this is not a manufacturing defect.
To avoid bursting:
Follow these simple steps to ensure a long life for your BOTE board:
- Depressurize the board: If you must leave your AeroBOTE out of the water and in direct sunlight, reduce the pressure in the board to 7PSI or lower.
- Always store your BOTE board in a cool dry place or shady area when not in use.
Fading - While your BOTE board is constructed of UV resistant materials, over exposure to the sun can cause the colors to fade. While this will not affect the performance of your BOTE board, it will tarnish the brilliant color finish of your board detracting from its beauty.
To avoid fading…
Always store your BOTE board in a cool dry place or shady area out of reach of direct sunlight.
A ding is a depression or crack in the fiberglass shell. Just like with your automobile, some dings in your board's fiberglass shell are bound to happen with regular use.
Depression Ding - This is typically just a cosmetic problem, unless the ding is located on the bottom of the board in an area that could affect the flow of water across the surface of the board. They are typically caused by rough handling of the board and there isn't really anything you can do about it.
What to do… To avoid dings on the top of your BOTE board, only stand on the board in areas where the deck pad covers the surface. To avoid dings elsewhere, handle your board with care and don't allow it to come into contact with hard surfaces at a high rate of speed.
Crack Ding - A crack ding is a more serious problem. Usually caused when the board comes in contact with a hard surface at a rapid speed. A crack ding may breach the seal between the fiberglass shell and foam core allowing water to enter the foam core. Over time, the water that enters the foam core will damage the foam causing the water-damaged area of the foam to get heavier and softer. This can result in poor performance of your board and may allow the ding to grow in size.
What to do... In the event of a crack ding on your board, remove your board from the water as soon as possible and have it repaired by a fiberglass specialist. You can also attempt to repair the board using a fiberglass repair kit available at some hardware stores or online. Since your BOTE board is made using an EPS foam core, be sure you only use an epoxy resin based repair kit.
If your BOTE board appears to be suffering from water damage to the foam core, inspect the surface of your board for dings or cracks in the fiberglass shell. If you discover a crack or ding in the fiberglass, take appropriate action described in the 'Dings' section above.
If water has already damaged the board, remove/unscrew the vent plug and store the board in a dry place so that the water has a chance to evaporate. Discoloration may occur to waterlogged foam core, but the board will remain functional if the core is allowed to dry sufficiently.
Many types of roof racks are available for transporting your BOTE SUP. Some roof rack attachments are made specifically for carrying Paddle Boards. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using SUP specific roof racks.
Other roof racks may be used to transport your BOTE board. Follow these simple steps to help ensure your board is not damaged during transportation.
- Secure the board to roof racks using high-quality straps
- Do not over-tighten the straps, as this can damage the board
- Place the board on the racks with the fin or fin box facing the sky
- Place the board on the racks with the fin or fin box located towards the front of the vehicle
- Use a cushion on the racks to reduce wear and tear on the board
- Use a cushion on the straps to reduce wear and tear on the board
- If transporting multiple boards, place a cushion between the boards to prevent wear and tear on the board
- Always ensure that there is sufficient distance between the two racks to securely support the board at high speeds
- Avoid driving too fast. The boards have a large surface area and driving at high speeds can cause damage to the board or your vehicle.
Do not use ratchet tie downs to secure your board to your vehicle. The foam/fiberglass construction of the board can only handle so much pressure!
The plastic Gore-Tex® vent plug is used to keep the inside of the board (the core) an air/water-tight environment. It vents the board automatically, please do not loosen or remove to prevent damage to the plug.
FINS AND FIN BOX
Your BOTE board comes equipped with a standard 10’ fin box. The fin box is designed to accept the standard BOTE fin as well as most aftermarket fins. Your fin should fit tightly into the fin box.
To install the fin, remove the aluminum plate and screw from the fin and slide the aluminum plate down into the fin box and into the recessed track. Position the aluminum plate as far forward as possible (for access later). Set the fin into the fin box by sliding the brass pin into the opening until it bottoms out, then slide the fin as far backwards as you would like. Next, push the front of the fin into the box and attach the fin to the aluminum plate with the provided Phillips head screw.
Your fin may be difficult to install the first few times, but don’t worry, this is a good thing. The tighter the fin is in the fin box, the better the board will ride. Your fin box will “open” up over time to allow the fin to slide in and out easier. If the fin is too tight, use light sand paper to sand the inside of the fin box to remove any excess plastic chips or resin that may be present.