One of the primary reasons Baron Bich founded BIC Sport was to make watersports activities affordable and accessible for everyone. In fact, he often talked of the windsurfer as the ‘bicycle of the sea’. To this end, BIC Sport put resources and energy into the development of ‘One Design’ competitions. These fun, friendly formats level the playing field for all participants since everyone uses the same equipment, and eliminates the ‘arms race’ that pushes competitive sports towards exotic, ever more expensive equipment. The appeal of One Design formats first gained traction in 2005 among youth windsurfers with the development of the Techno 293 One Design class, which has gone on to become THE worldwide recognized board for youth Under 17 competitions. Affordable, easy to ride and with great performance, the Techno 293 OD has, in the space a few short years, become the most dynamic sailing class in windsurfing with more than 9000 young racers now competing.
Expanding upon this success BIC Sport launched the O’pen BIC junior sailboat in 2006, which quickly became an ISAF International Class. The international body had clearly recognized the new dinghy as a way of attracting more youngsters to sailing, and today there are 7000 O’pen BICs sailing in over 30 countries, with several national sailing associations also approving the Class and it’s fun sailing format at a national level.
The newest arrival in the BIC Sport family, SUP, has embraced the One Design concept with the launch in 2013 of the ‘BIC SUP One Design Challenge’. The objective of this latest addition to the BIC Sport One Design family is for paddlers of all skill levels to race together on one single model : the award-winning Wing 12’6. As with the Techno 293 OD and the O’pen BIC, there’s no equipment advantage, which places the focus clearly on the performance of each individual. 2013 was the first year for this latest series, and over 300 successful SUP One Design contests were held worldwide!
Carine, Manu and Lou Stand Up Paddling, Paddleboarding, Paddlesurfing, SUP - Whatever you choose to call it, there’s something magical about the simple act of walking on water. And unlike other board sports that demand hours and hours of practice to become proficient, SUP is easy to learn, simple to do and incredibly FUN. It appeals equally to men and women, young and old, families, fitness freaks, thrill seekers, yogis, or anyone curious enough to give it a try. Once ‘on board’, SUP offers a uniquely elevated perspective on the water and is a perfect way to explore secluded, hidden coves and coastlines. With unrivaled ease of use and versatility, SUP is a sport and a lifestyle that keeps you one paddle stroke away from adventures big and small.
BIC SUP ambassadors Carine, Manu and their daughters Lou & Shade (pictured left), were early converts to SUP. They spend their days traveling the planet with boards and paddles, seeking out beautiful islands, stunning waves and native cultures: Tuamotu, Marquises, Palau, India, just a few of the destinations logged in their SUP travel diary. Then there are the elite sportsmen and women, including BIC SUPs own Celine Guesdon, Eric Terrien, Chase Kosterlitz. They push themselves to the very limits over long distances in open ocean swells and sprint through marker buoys in the surf zone, attempting to discover their own personal limits and find out just how fast they really are. Followers of a more Zen approach prefer paddling away from the crowds, using their board as a mobile Yoga mat or personal gym in the search for physical and spiritual balance. Julie Roach and Jodelle Fitzwater are a few BIC SUP ambassadors who helped pioneer this exciting new discipline. Other enthusiasts appreciate the benefits of compact, portable inflatable boards for sailing and boating adventures as well as convenient air travel. And of course there are the wave riders, constantly searching for the indescribable glide unique to surfing. Surfing on a SUP offers the advantage, and unique challenge, of remaining upright both on the waves and off.
Whether you’re a total beginner, top level pro, zen master or surf seeker, BIC SUP has a full range of boards to suit all skills and all styles. Best of all, the vast majority of our boards are built in France, using environmentally-friendly, non-polluting manufacturing techniques. In the pages that follow you’ll find the new 2016 collection. We’re confident you’ll find a board, and a paddle, that will take you where you’re looking to go.
See you on the water!