bote rackham aero convertible SUP kayak
(Photos/BOTE)

‘Swiss Army SUP’ Transforms Into Kayak: BOTE Launches Its Rackham Aero

Sometimes you only need a regular ol’ paddleboard. Other times, a SUP that can transform into a sit-down kayak complete with a pedal drive and rudder system is the thing for the job.

For just such situations, BOTE introduces the redesigned Rackham Aero, an inflatable standup paddleboard that can shapeshift into a kayak in minutes. The 12’4″ paddleboard turns the trick with an APEX Pedal Drive and (included with purchase) Aero SUP Paddle Seat.

Now, plenty of paddleboards have attachment points for kayak seats and pairing seat accessories. And several other paddle brands (like Hobie) also make pedal-drive/hands-free kayaks. But the BOTE Rackham Aero differs with its redesign, as it’s an inflatable paddleboard (or kayak) that also works with pedal drive.

Rackham Aero Convertible SUP & Kayak

bote rackham aero convertible SUP kayak

The original Rackham Aero platform served as BOTE’s all-around option. It uses two-chamber construction for added buoyancy, thick rails for stability, plus center and side fins for mobility and enhanced tracking. The two-chamber design provides a broad base and recessed deck for a lower center of gravity to keep paddlers and their gear high and dry.

The full-size craft has a 400-pound carrying capacity (again, impressive considering this is an inflatable board), giving paddlers the flexibility to take on a variety of outings. Compatibility with a wide array of accessories and numerous add-on features let anglers kit out.

With the redesigned SUP-yak, BOTE gives the entire range of Rackham Aero users another option for configuration.

“The new Rackham is one of the coolest things we make,” said BOTE CEO and co-founder Corey Cooper. “Now with the APEX Pedal Drive integration port and seat tie-downs, the Rackham evolves into a badass crossover between a hybrid kayak pedal drive and a SUP.”

BOTE’s Paddleboard Redesign, With Kayak Pedal Power

bote rackham aero convertible SUP kayak

BOTE sells its Rackham-compatible APEX Pedal Drive separately. The hands-free, pedal-powered system aims for smooth, efficient pedaling with a 10:1 gear ratio.

A wide pedal surface and touchless interchange between forward and reverse add to the board’s ease of use. Cleverly, a spring-loaded, kick-up rudder and pivoting pedal release should help smooth any transitions between pedaling and paddling.

The included Aero SUP Paddle Seat attaches and adjusts for height and preference at four attachment points. Find lash-downs on each side of the board to store paddles for both kayaking and SUPing. The pedal-driven rudder control system can mount on the seat’s right or left side for ambidextrous steering.

The Rackham Aero’s solid list of stock and add-on features help make the redesign just as widely capable as the original. Front and back bungees, grab handles and gear straps, accessory mounting points, and a magnetic cup holder all come stock.

Add-ons include BOTE’s removable Sandspear anchor setup, Travelink shoulder strap, and mounting points for a Power-Pole micro anchor.

bote rackham aero convertible SUP kayak

You can also add BOTE’s Rac attachments, which help store fishing rods and a board-specific cooler.

Price & Availability

Don’t have enough garage space for a kayak and a SUP? BOTE wants to give you the answer. The new Rackham Aero 12’4″ ($1,450) and APEX Pedal Drive ($900) are now available directly through BOTE’s online store and through its brick-and-mortar dealers.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam Anderson is a staff writer at GearJunkie, and several other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about climbing, cycling, running, wildlife, outdoor policy, the outdoor industry, vehicles, and more for 2 years. Prior to GearJunkie, he owned and operated his own business before freelancing at GearHungry. Based in Austin, Texas, Anderson loves to climb, boulder, road bike, trail run, and frequent local watering holes (of both varieties).