Tester: Joel Yang Ability: Experienced Size: 200 lbs.
Test Locations: Viento (8 miles, 4 runs); Celilio (6 miles, 2 runs) Wind/Chop Conditions: 18-30 mph/2-4' chop
SIC's Bullet models have set the Viento standard for how downwind boards should perform and feel. I have paddled many miles on the Bullet V1 and V2 over the last decade. They are my go to downwind boards, and explain why I was more than a little excited to be one of the first to give the Bayonet a test ride. SIC positions the Bayonet as the next step for V2 fans, and that's me.
ON THE WATER IMPRESSIONS
The Bayonet had a very loose feel, accommodating most any conditions Mother Nature threw my way. I was impressed by how it handled mushy, indecisive conditions. It had a knack for fitting in to tight swells, while also playing well in wide, long, powerful troughs.
Often, it crawled up and over bumps that I was sure I'd miss. I could also scout bumps from far out and catch them with such success, it almost felt like I was cheating. The double concave bottom shape offered a very familiar feel to the V1 as it tracked well and allowed me to go where I wanted to go without feeling overly locked in.
The square block tail encouraged me to step back. As in, way back. It felt exceptionally stable dropping into steep troughs and had me pulling manuals (wheelies) for days and grinning like a fool.
As much as I enjoyed this board, I don't think it's appropriate for beginner downwinders or a first downwind board purchase. It is a step-up board, one that demands time spent honing skills on a V1 or V2. It's perfect board for those looking to advance their skills and start playing more while downwinding. It made the river feel like I was riding a huge skatepark.
- Loose and surfy
- An advanced level board that pushes riders to keep progressing
- Awesome rocker line to handle multitude of conditons
- Awesome price and quality
- Comes in one size only
- Not for beginners
This Board Best Suits the advanced downwinder looking to progress their skills without having to order a custom ride.
Joel Yang is the founder and lead guide for Stoke on the Water, which provides downwind tours and clinics here in the Columbia River Gorge and beyond. 425-281-4216.