BIC ACE-TEC 11’6
- Board shape allows for flatwater and surf flexibility.
- Board width and thickness make a stable board for beginners, as well as a great fishing or yoga platform.
- Lightweight material makes for easier transport to and from the water.
Bic hits the sweet spot with the ACE-TEC 11’6, producing a board that is a true generalist, allowing paddle stability and surfing turns in one package. While it lacks the drive of a touring board or the looseness of a surf specific craft, the BIC allowed for a consistent feel across multiple conditions and produced one feeling on every outing: Fun.
Although BIC has long been known in the windsurf market, it’s surfboards were often been cast off as “pop-out” boards you could rent, but not the performance sled you would look to own. As with many assumptions, it took some extended real world research to realize BIC has more design chops than many other brands. What won me over to the ACETEC is how much fun it was in any condition.
The size range of the ACE-TEC allows you to get an optimal capacity for your weight, which is critical to getting a board that works in the waves. On the proper size, the BIC catches anything that moves, with the flip nose preventing trips over the front of the board on all but the steepest waves. The padded deck of the ACE-TEC is divided into a front and rear pad—which I found to be a good foot placement guide.
Standing on the front pad, the ACE-TEC was a tank, and turning was close to impossible. Walking back to the rear pad allowed you to lift the nose and make small turns. You will not rip like Slater on this (or most) SUP boards, but it was easy to rack up a big wave and smile count on this board.
The shape, width and flipped nose on the BIC help the board maintain stability in most situations. This attribute is great for new users and in rough conditions, but it can hinder the board in some performance situations. Lower volume boards will react faster in the surf, and a sleeker shape will push less water and glide better on touring treks.
The Epoxy construction of the ACE-TEC makes for a lighter than expected board that will last—I could see people progressing on to more specific boards, but keeping the BIC around for kids or friends to use.
The Big Picture
Taking the ACE-TEC out in almost any condition ended in a fun time. While the BIC lacked some performance characteristics of higher end boards, the ease of a one-board quiver has advantages. The board could hang in small surf, cruise on flatwater and would be a good fish platform. While not perfect at any task, this all-around board would be a great one to learn on. Or, it might be that this design, shape and value is everything you need in a SUP.
How We Tested It
Weekend training around the Hampton Beach, NH and Narragansett, RI in June-July, 2012.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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