I was shocked. Honestly. My first experience on SICs 2 years ago was that they nailed the downwind. BUT, the boards were big, sometimes heavy. This next generation laughs in the face of their elder predecessors.
I took the SIC X PRO LITE 12.6 for a 3.5-mile flatwater paddle in some pretty fast, lunar tidal currents, wind and boat wakes. The first things I noticed were how easy it was to get up on plane, how slippery it felt in the water, and how I seemed to rise above the oncoming current.
I also noticed that the first mile was sketchy. I didn’t want to fall in. I thought about it. I never had to low brace or go all bath kitty on it, but I was wary of the primary stability. However, it was something that I definitely got used to and was able to convert into an advantage in the bumps, sliding over them and accelerating down the back side.
I thought I was moving pretty well despite the conditions, but was genuinely surprised at my time. This is a route that I take all the time. And the SIC X PRO LITE12.6 was right up there with the times I’ve had on some of the 14s I’ve taken around the loop. Granted, I was pushing it and I’ve been training (a little). But still, it moved. I really liked it.
The SIC X PRO LITE 12.6 is probably better for the smaller and more advanced paddler. It’s aggressive, but not out of sight. The tradeoff: speed for stability. But this is not billed as an all-around board.
The SIC X PRO LITE 12.6 is an advanced board, built for speed in flat water and it nails it.
The only thing I wonder is how the low profile does into bigger chop and wind. Normally, low-profile boards lose contact with the water when the nose breaches the troth, causing a hull slap and subsequently, a loss of speed. I couldn’t tell what the bottom design would do in this type of condition. In general, a board with a longer canoe-type nose can be more to your advantage in those head-on chop situations because the nose never loses contact with the water surface, but again, that’s not scientific, just a theory. Again, this is built for flatwater speed.
I also don’t think I’d be initially comfortable going and out of the surf on this, but that mostly because of my skill level and weight. If I was younger, had more core strength and balance, it might shoot out like a rocket. The people I know who have this board, love it and are sort of killing it in races. And Again, this is not a surf SUP or built for crazy ocean conditions. I’m just sayin’.
The SIC X PRO LITE is 24.6″ wide is an elite board vs the SIC X PRO 12’6″ which is 26″ wide and more stable, a better flatwater board for average to advanced racers.
Some other things I love are the deck pad. It’s super low profile, but grippy. Water flows right off it. The handles are also just about the easiest on the market. Well balanced and wide, so they are easy to carry.
12’6″ x 24.6″ x 208L
Description from the SIC Site:
With feedback from some of the most elite flat-water paddlers, SIC built the X-12 and X-14 Pro series boards. If you paddle in glassy lakes or enclosed bays, then this board will be stable enough for most, however, rarely are conditions flat, smooth or glassy, especially in a race or if you are trailing the pack. With that said, Elite paddlers have exceptional balance.
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SIC Website: http://www.sicmaui.com