There's something about summer that begs for reuniting with your crew from all over the country, taking long road trips with your family and dogs in tow, and cashing in your hard-earned frequent flyer miles to go somewhere new and exciting. But here's the deal: this summer is going to be different from all the other ones and for a litany of reasons we won't list out here, but can be chalked up to living during a worldwide pandemic.
For example, you're going to think twice before planning your family vacation or inviting the entire neighborhood over for a backyard barbeque. Instead, you might be contemplating things like changing up your quarantine crew, because do you really want to spend the entire summer with them? We get it, times are weird. But there's something about what's ahead, the 100 days of summer, that makes us truly psyched to get outside and have some fun. Responsibly, of course.
HERE'S THE DEAL: THIS SUMMER IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER ONES AND FOR A LITANY OF REASONS WE WON'T LIST OUT HERE, BUT CAN BE CHALKED UP TO LIVING DURING A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC.
TOP 5 THINGS WE CAN’T-WAIT TO DO THIS SUMMER.
We cruised the BOTE HQ to see what everyone's looking forward to most about summer, then decided to put together a collection with ideas to help support the dream of having the best summer ever. From lake weekends centered around the simplicity of an aero dock to taking an inflatable kayak through white water rapids on repeat, there are plenty of ways to have fun in this summer of social distancing.
WEEKENDS AT THE LAKE
One of our favorite summer getaways is a few hours away at Lake Martin in Alabama. If you plan to social distance with family at the nearest lake, here's a hot tip for you: skip the hassle of renting a boat and inflate your aero dock instead. An inflatable dock takes a few minutes to inflate so you can spend more time on the lake versus looking at it from inside the house, wondering why it takes so much time to get everything together for a simple boat day.
There's nothing like standing in the blazing sun, drinking a lukewarm beer and poking at a big hunk of meat while the smoke hits you in the face for hours, amiright? COVID19 can't take away your right to grill and chill in your own backyard or on your patio, so why not lean into America's greatest pastime: eating too much meat and drinking one too many beers.
This summer, we're taking the pot luck approach to hosting a barbeque for our quarantine crew, making the whole process less stressful overall and (bonus!) requires fewer trips to the grocery store. Plus, since we're all spending a lot more time at home these days, it's no sweat to tap into friends and family for side dishes or appetizers made from whatever they have in the refrigerator.
You don't technically need anything other than a barbeque pit or a hole in the ground to make this dream a reality, but we recommend churching it up with a KULA 5 to keep your beer and juice boxes ice cold for hours next to the barbeque pit.
Even though the BOTE HQ is located near the beach, the consensus here is that living at the beach doesn't really get old. Especially in Destin, Florida, where you're surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, the Choctawhatchee Bay, and the Destin Harbor, offering an unlimited supply of options to get on the water during and beyond the 100 days of summer.
Beach time is synonymous with R&R, but if you're anything like us, the allure of chilling on the beach and reading a good book wears off after a few hours (or minutes, depending on the day). For this trip, bring a 10' 6" Flood for maximum flexibility. It works well as a kids paddle board in the flat, calm water in the Harbor, acts as a surf-style board for catching small waves at the beach, and provides excellent stability for paddle board fishing in the Bay.
Chances are, your beach vacation will include a couple of little ones and at least one novice paddleboarder, so here's what we suggest: 10′6″ Flood, Coiled Leash, Travelink™ Sling, Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket, KULA 5 in white, Bucket Rac in black, Board Bag, and a logo towel.
SO MUCH FISHING
Summer is the time of year when a full day of paddle board fishing sounds like the outdoorsman's equivalent of running a marathon, painful yet rewarding. It's not something we want to do every weekend, but when the weather is just right and we're in the market for a little alone time (like after another week of juggling homeschooling and WFH conference calls), this is the best way to do it.
Whether paddle board bass fishing is your game or you're into fishing along the coast, we've put together the quintessential list for 8+ hours of ripping lips. The 11′6″ HD Aero, Coiled Leash, Travelink™ Sling, Onyx Inflatable Life Jacket, KULA 5 in white, Tackle Web, Tackle Rac in Black, Board Bag, and a logo towel.
SUMMERS ON THE WATER ARE KIND OF OUR THING. WE'VE BUILT EVERY PRODUCT WE CAN THINK OF TO MAKE USE OF THE VARIOUS WATERWAYS AVAILABLE TO US, AND SUMMERTIME IS THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GET OUTSIDE AND HAVE SOME FUN; GEAR OR NO GEAR.
LONG DAYS ON THE RIVER
Our Tennessee based crew loves nothing more than spending a full day (or two) white water rafting on the Hiwassee River. The Hiwassee rapids are mostly class I and class II, making for a leisurely afternoon mix of floating, paddling, and stopping off next to boulders to relax in the sun. We like to get there on a Friday night after work and set up camp so we can be the first ones on the river Saturday morning after the dam is released.
Most people will rent a raft from the local outfitter and go through the rapids once, but if you pack an inflatable kayak you can really have some fun. We like to take the BOTE Aero Inflatable Kayak down the Hiwassee on repeat, with nothing but our life jacket, paddle, and a cooler full of beer in tow. Make a weekend of it by going down the rapids one day and fishing in one of the nearby lakes on day two.
Take your river days to the next level with our Lono Aero Inflatable Kayak, leash, kayak paddle, and electric pump, plus a SUP Paddle 3 Piece, life jacket, KULA 5 in graphite, Cooler Kit, Rocket Rac, and a free BOTE logo towel. Literally the only things not included are beer and snacks.
Summers on the water are kind of our thing. We've built every product we can think of to make use of the various waterways available to us, and summertime is the best time of year to get outside and have some fun; gear or no gear.
Getting ready for summer can be as simple as loading up on sunscreen and running last year's beach towels through the washing machine. But if you want to kick things up a notch during our first (and hopefully, only) summer of social distancing, level up your summer gear with one of our BOTE Memorial Day Collection.