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Board Review: Comparing Bullets

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Board: SIC Bullet Series

Our Man in The PNW – Joel Yang – loves to geek out on boards and gear as much as we do.  The Stoke on the Water Gorge Guide put this comparison of the classic SIC Bullet series, on which he has extensive experience.

Reviewer: Joel Yang

Size: 200lbs, 5’10

Date: 3/6/2018

SIC created a platform with its Bullet collection that has become an industry standard on how a downwind board should feel. I have spent many miles on both Bullet V1 & V2’s and the Bullets are still my Go-to DW boards today.

First Impressions:

What is it about the Bullets that makes them a flagship DW board?

At first glance you will recognize immediately that the shape is very distinct. It isn’t a flatwater race board, nor is it an all-around board. The Bullet’s iconic shape is derived from a long history of open ocean paddling and channel crossings and has been deliberately designed to handle whatever Mother Nature throws her way.

How it rides:

The Bullet has a very unique feel when you step aboard. The flat bottom makes this board very stable and full / rounded rails with under-tuck makes the board loose and forgiving on a downwind run, rough waters and even on surf. It provides a feeling of reassurance at speed and is the perfect tool to help you build your confidence in downwinding due to its predictability in stability and glide.

There is a reason that the flagship Bullet 14 is at a width of 27.25” wide and much of it has to do with finding the best width to accommodate paddlers to be able to combat all of the mutant forces from wind to water turbulence when you’re downwinding. We can ride the Bullets everywhere in the Gorge without even letting the conditions concern us whatsoever and never once have we ever felt like we were “scrubbing speed” due to the width of the board.

The width provides the perfect amount of stability and allows you to walk the board without feeling insecure about your decisions. The cockpit also has a slight drop to it that gives it a very distinct foot map. It allows you to know where the rails end without ever having to look down which is a feature that we absolutely love about this design.

The continuous volume throughout the board gives you the opportunity to progress on your footwork skills without the feeling of “Teeter Tottering.” You will be able to step back on the board as you ride down the face of the bump and then step forward as you recover and approach the next series of glides with ease and deliberation.

Never judge a board by its specs: “board width is not a crime” ~ Coli

Very often we see pics of perfectly lined up downwind swells, but as we all know – DW conditions can change in moments and Mother Nature can throw just about anything at you while you’re out on the water. More often than not – you have to deal with side winds, cross chop, current, and reverb or what we call “wall bump” that can send you vaulting off your board – so at the end of the day – if you’re catching bumps and linking rides – it’s a win. You want to be able to ride it all without feeling like you “wished you had another board”

Can you paddle it in non-downwind conditions? Sure you can – The Bullet works very well as an all waters board. Although it isn’t a flatwater race board –It loves to play in all conditions, the rougher it gets the more fun you will have.

We highly recommend getting to know every inch of this board in flatwater so that you can unlock all it has to offer while you’re downwinding.

Maneuverability & Readiness to Play:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just because we mentioned that the Bullet is stable, it does not mean that it is slow. The Bullet is predictable at speed – so you can focus on reading the water and planning where you want to be, instead of death gripping the board with your feet and getting your arches totally sore from the board twitching out. Once you start linking glides – you will understand that the Bullet can play at any speed you throw at it, and maneuvering the board and navigation will come naturally the more you get to know the board.

On the Bullet – you are the pilot controlling where the board needs to go. This will be most apparent when you experience navigating through cross chop where the winds aren’t lined up. Rail steering will become second nature and you will be zig zagging down bumps and never feel like you’re “hanging on till it’s over”

Conclusion:

The Bullet will allow you to progress and truly build that relationship with the water where you’ll be seeing bumps every single time the conditions change and it’ll make you itch for bumps.

Not only is this a perfect first DW board – but it is a board that you will keep in your quiver and ride over and over again. It is timeless – and we can take this board out on a DW run in the Gorge any day no matter what the conditions and know that we’ll have a blast.

It is the ultimate progression builder of boards for anyone that wants to get immersed in downwinding.

The Bullet has been the foundation of why I have the downwinding skills I have and I am very thankful for this particular design. I still ride the Bullet today.

Pros:

  • This is the perfect first DW board that will grow with you and will never leave your quiver
  • It is a board that will push you to keep unlocking your skills
  • This board works for riders of all different experience levels
  • The design is super versatile and can handle multitudes of conditions (it rides everywhere)
  • Awesome price and quality

Cons:

  • 1 board size and volume only (14 x 27.25”)
  • You won’t want to share it

Who is this for:

  • This is perfect first DW board for anyone wanting to get immersed in downwinding and looking to progress their skills.

 

 

 

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Lisa
Lisa is managing editor of PaddleMonster.com and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.

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