Tag Archives: BIC SUP

GEAR REVIEW: SUP Wheels EVOLUTION

Transporting your paddleboard is and important part of paddling. It’s not just strapping into your car and driving to a local river or surf spot but also how you carry it once you get there. SUP Wheels has a great solution for moving your board on location  once it’s off the car. The SUP Wheels EVOLUTION allows you to pull your paddleboard as you walk or bike to your desired secret spot. It makes it easy to move a big bulky paddleboard without having to be physically strong to muscle it to the beach or river.

It’s large heavy duty plastic wheels and sturdy cross axle makes it strong and easy to roll over bumps, curbs for maybe your best friend taking a nap on the side of the trail.

Vermont SUP Gear Review SUP Wheels

You simply slide the tale of your board into the sup wheels and secure the rubber bungee cord around the fin. The opening is large enough for even the biggest SUP and surfboards. Then attach the included handle at the nose and run the thick strapping down the board and around the fin. This gives you a nice solid handle to carry and drag your board to the desired spot.

This is a perfect item to keep in your car and use as needed depending on the paddling location. It folds down to store relatively flat in your trunk or closet.

Sun shines on Bolton Dam
Sun shines on Bolton Dam

I wish I would’ve had this sup wheels on my Winooski river trip two years ago. We paddled 65 miles in five days but had to portage nine dams. The worst was 4 damn in one day through the Vermont State Capital, Montpelier. The longest of the portages was at the Bolton Dam where it would have been nice to use the SUP Wheels on the 1/4 mile hike.

What I like about these SUP Wheels are that it’s lightweight yet strong plastic. It could take some abuse on the trail or river and still work no problem. Its large diameter wheels makes it easy to roll over bigger objects like rocks or logs. I also really like the strap and handle that comes with it. Much better design than some of the suction cup models on the market today.

CLICK HERE to view the full specs from their website.

SUP NEWS: BIC Sport announces launch of EARTH SUP Deep into Nature

BIC Sport is pleased to announce the launch of EARTH SUP – Deep into Nature, a new range of paddleboards featuring bio-sourced materials with ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability of the product and process. Not only are the boards beautiful, functional and unique, they also extend BIC Sport’s 30 year commitment to environmentally responsible manufacturing. To learn more please see the Press Release and visit the website, www.supearth.com

Founded in 1979 by the Bich family, of BIC Pen fame, BIC Sport grew from the family’s passion for watersports and expertise in manufacturing. With the family’s dedication to human powered watersports came a desire to implement sustainable manufacturing processes in order to preserve the environment in which these products are used. These efforts include minimizing energy use wherever possible, zero gas emissions or pollutants from our factory and recycling of manufacturing by-products wherever possible. We have received numerous awards over the years for our efforts to implement a systemwide sustainable manufacturing process.

While we are proud of these accomplishments in process, we also recognize that similar investigations need to be made on the materials with which some boards are made in order to further reduce our impact on the environment. The result is a new range of products: EARTH – Deep into Nature. Featuring bio-sourced, renewable and/or recyclable materials, EARTH – Deep into Nature is our commitment to stay true to our ethos and continually strive to do better.

Production of EARTH – Deep into Nature products feature the following materials, replacing materials traditionally used while retaining or enhancing technical qualities:

· Flax Fiber Sheets – rail reinforcement/strength (replaces Fiberglass sheets)

· Paulownia Wood – the primary material used in the boards sandwich construction (replaces PVC foam) · Cork – non-slip deck pad material (replaces EVA foam)

But let’s be clear: The materials and processes used to build EARTH boards are not fully sustainable. We still use polystyrene as the foam core material, which is the industry standard and may well be fully recyclable, but it is not perfect. We also continue to use epoxy resins because our efforts to test and source bio-resins has yet to achieve the quality and performance characteristics that would allow us to use them. Our team continually monitors the progress made with these and other bio-sourced materials so that we can incorporate them into our manufacturing process as soon as feasible. The search for a more sustainably sourced and produced range of watersports products is a journey, not a destination. We are fully committed to the path and hope you’ll join us.

BIC SUP Earth SUP Deep into Nature

More details and product specs: Earth Sup Details

BIC Sports Receives Men’s Journal Gear of the Year Award.

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12’6 SUP AIR INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARD NOTED FOR PERFORMANCE AND INNOVATIVE FEATURES

BIC Sport is excited to announce and honored to receive the 2014 Men’s Journal GEAR OF THE YEAR award for the 12’6 SUP AIR inflatable paddleboard. The board was tested by Men’s Journal gear test team and chosen as one of the “best tools, toys and tech” for 2014 for its innovative features and performance.

Shaper Patrice Remoiville, working closely with the BIC SUP team in Europe and North America, designed the 12’6 SUP AIR (together with the rest of the SUP AIR range) to perform more like traditional rigid boards than typical inflatables.

Dubbed by Men’s Journal as the “Go anywhere SUP”, the 12’6 was lauded for its exceptional rigidity and a “smooth, stable and relatively fast ride”. They also noted the innovative use of a “high-performance removable fin like the one found on regular SUPs” which is universally compatible with other fins for easy replacement or customization.

GEAR REVIEW: EyeShaka Apparel

EyeShaka Thank You T-Shirts Hats

 

Our friends over at EyeShaka Apparel sent us some sick new gear to sport and show off to the paddling community in Vermont.

We love the T-shirts and Trucker Hats!!!

They also sent us some really cool Shaka stickers which we placed in a few paddling spots around the Stowe area. Find one of them, snap a photo, send it to us and you may just win something for your participation.

Erin Winooski River Vermont EyeShaka

“The shaka symbolizes a lifestyle and way of thinking that we as owners embrace everyday. The sign of the shaka originated from Hawaii and is universally known in the action sports world, in particular those based around the ocean. It signifies a carefree attitude, an ecstatic feeling, and a unique perspective on life.”
-Eyeshaka Website

Erin Waterbury Reservoir EyeShaka Oblio BIC SUP
Erin paddling the BIC SUP Wing with the NEW Oblio Paddle

“But I think deep, deep down inside ingrained in everyone, the real reason we started surfing is the fun, the stoke of walking down the beach with your three bros and you come down the stairs and there’s a killer little peak down the beach and there’s no one out and you’re coming down the beach like, “Dude we’re going to score!” You surf for two hours, getting little tubes and having the best session ever and come home all sunburned and don’t have a care in the world. That’s what it’s about. That stoke.”
-Rob Machado

GEAR REVIEW: NRS 3.8L Heavy-Duty Bill’s Bag

One of the most important things you need to think about when planning a paddling trip is how you’re going to keep everything dry. It doesn’t matter if you’re going out for a few hours on a sunny day or planning a multi-day river trip in the middle of April… you need to keep things dry!

Photo Apr 26, 12 36 21 PM (1)

I best item I have purchased in the past few years is the NRS 3.8L Heavy-Duty Bill’s Dry Bag. It’s everything you know and expect from NRS including quality materials, solid construction and an amazing warranty. The entire bag is made up of a strong 21 oz. PVC/Polyester material with a 34 oz. PVC/Polyester on the bottom 6 inches for increased durability. The massive 3.8L (6500 cubic inches) of space allows you to carry all of your gear safe and dry. The 4 heavy duty compression straps allow you to compact and stabilize your gear on your board or boat. Its built-in backpack straps allow for easy carrying when portaging around dams and rapids.

Photo Apr 23, 12 46 21 PM

I purchased this bag in the spring of 2014 right before I took off for a 2 week river trip in Western Pennsylvania. I wanted something to carry the majority of my big and important things like: sleeping bag, tent, clothes, sleeping pad and cooking items. It held all of these items with room for more. I didn’t want to pack it too much because I was strapping it to my BIC SUP Ace-Tec Wing 12’6” and there is only so much space on the top. I also included two 20L Dry bags from SealLine and a 6L Dromedary from MSR on the front of my board to even out the weight.

Photo Apr 23, 3 29 14 PM

I don’t know if there’s anything bad about this bag. One thing I would say is, you want to be careful not to pack it too full because of its size it’s easy to pack more in the bag than you can carry on your back. Awesome bag and is one of my  essentials when planning trips anywhere winter or summer.

Check out this great video from our friends at NRS

Juniata River SUP Trip – April 23rd-27th 2014

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After two days of being overfed by my grandparents, doing laundry, and drying our gear we headed off in search of the Juniata River. As if our 107 miles on the Allegheny river wasn’t enough, we were in search of another 126 miles. This river attracted our attention because of its location (near my grandmother) and its size. The Allegheny River was great because it had a constant current and went through some beautiful areas, but we were looking for something a little smaller, that still held enough water for our SUPs. We originally planned to start on the Frankstown branch putting in near Canoe Creek State Park, but as we arrived we decided the water was just too low. We didn’t want to risk damaging our SUPs, so we decided to cut out 28 miles and put in below the only dam on the river. Just above this dam the Little Juniata and the Frankstown Branch join together almost doubling the amount of water giving the river plenty of volume to paddle.

Photo Apr 23, 12 46 21 PM

We put in around 1pm on the first day at mile 98 on the Pennsylvania Water Trail Map. The first day flew by as we had a tailwind and a decent current carrying us downriver. Photo Apr 23, 4 36 42 PM-2 We enjoyed a lot of train bridges that crisscrossed back and forth across the river and were entertained by the trains passing by all day. We paddled through Jack’s Narrows which we found slightly disappointing; with one of our home rivers being the Winooski River with it’s intense rock gorges in the Middlesex to Waterbury stretch, this “narrow” pass was a let down. IMG_4471 It squished the railroad track and the highway into our little valley and made for a very noisy few miles. We made camp just across from the boat launch at mile 76 at the end of a corn field. The first 22 miles of this trip passed so quickly we could hardly believe we paddled that far. Our 126 miles in 6 days could turn into 98 miles in 4 days if we didn’t slow down.

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Fortunately we didn’t have to slow down our paddling, as more water came into the Juniata, the current began to slow down and we weren’t moving quite as fast as day one. Photo Apr 26, 12 43 05 PM For the next three days we paddled through farm land interspersed with seasonal camps and trailer parks. Some areas were much nicer than others, but most were unoccupied and trashy. It seemed like most of the river was lined with summer camps that are not well kept because no one is there full time. This was definitely not something we are used to seeing. Generally the river banks in Vermont are clear of trash and its not accepted to dump furniture, tires or vehicles into the river.

We chose a little island that was a designated camp site on our map as an end point for the day. After 23 miles we pulled up to the island and found that we had to climb up a 5 foot bank to get to the site. We started throwing our gear up onto the island. Once the gear was up, I climbed up to help haul the SUPs out of the water. Photo Apr 24, 4 55 54 PM The instant I reached the top, a goose started making a ruckus and waddling away from its nest. The goose had decided this was the perfect place to lay its eggs. We weren’t willing to camp 5 feet away from the nest so we loaded our gear back up and continued down river. We found another suitable spot just 500 feet downriver near mile 52; but we had to listen to the geese honking all night long.

Photo Apr 24, 7 58 24 PM

IMG_4463 We had planned another 20 miles for day 3, but as we rounded the first bend and the river opened up into a 6 mile straight away, the wind picked up. We were expecting some wind, and a storm front to blow in at some point in the afternoon, but we were hoping we would get tailwind from the front. No such luck. By 2:30pm we were so frustrated with battling the wind, we decided 17 miles was plenty for the day. With the rain getting closer, we called it quits and set up camp near Mifflin, PA at mile 35. IMG_4554 Shortly after the tent was set up the first band of rain hit us, and we ducked inside to stay dry and warm. We started watching Avatar on my iPhone. It worked perfectly to put the phone in the net pocket at the top of the tent. We enjoyed our own private “paddle-in” movie theater! Once the first band of rain passed through, we quickly made ourselves dinner and cleaned up before the rain started up again and kept going for the evening. Our tent kept us warm and dry through the substantial rain and we were able to use our solar charger to recharge my iphone.

Photo Apr 26, 7 45 33 AM

With the storm now on the other side of us we were able to enjoy a sweet tailwind on day four. We hoped to paddle 20 or so miles to leave an easy last day, with a strong tailwind we easily cruised through the day. By mid afternoon the wind picked up even more, and by late afternoon we were out paddling in 40+ mph wind gusts. We struggled to control where our SUPs were taking us. This was our first real experience paddling in irregular waves. We were used to paddling through river rapids which have very predictable waves. These waves were chaotic at best. They would die down with the wind and then pick up again the next minute. There were white caps everywhere and the wind wasn’t just pushing the water around, it was pushing us too.

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We enjoyed it for a bit, it felt like we were flying down the river. One wave would pick us up and surf us a few feet forward, before it would race past us and another would catch up and surge us forward. It was fun until we had to find a campsite. The one serious rapid on the river was approaching and we wanted to be able to see it, scout it and pick our favorite line without the wind at our backs. We couldn’t find a campsite before the rapid so we broke down and stopped at The Green Valley Campground in Newport, PA at mile 6 for our last night. IMG_4621 We were able to get a hot shower and we even splurged with a celebratory dinner at the restaurant on premise. The campground didn’t have our typical alone-in-the-woods feel, but it got us out of the wind and provided a little luxury on our last night.

We tried to go slow in the morning because we only had 6 miles to paddle before our pick up at 12:30on the Susquehanna River. We even made ourselves a big pancake breakfast before before getting on the river. Our slow morning didn’t work out too well, with people milling about the campground, we were antsy to get on our way. We put on at 10 and paddled a short way to that rapid we heard so much about. It turned out to be a single ledge that was easily runnable river right, with several slots throughout the ledge that could have also been run.

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It wasn’t much, but in the wind from the day before, we easily could have ended up swimming and damaging our boards.

Photo Apr 27, 10 24 07 AM

Photo Apr 27, 12 51 53 PM (1) We took out at the Riverfront Campground & Fish Camp in Duncannon, PA where my grandmother picked us up and brought us back to our truck. Another river successfully completed! The Juniata River was not what we expected, but it held its own beauty and was very typical of central PA. The water trail itself was marked very well, all the public boat launches had mile markers on them and the designated campsites were marked with small silver plates on the trees. Overall, a very relaxing river to paddle.

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Waterbury Res Sunset Paddle

With Memorial Day this weekend, Umiak Outdoor Outfitters is preparing to kick off a great summer season. The rivers are holding their water even with the lack of normal rain in April and May. Most of the staff are returning from last year and starting to arrive home (VT) from their winter obligations.

WBR May 2014 Group

After work yesterday, several of the Umiak staff went out for a sunset paddle on Waterbury Reservoir to loosen up those muscles that had been dormant all winter.

Emma Porrett, received her Level 1 SUP ACA certification last summer and agreed to give some valuable pointers to the crew attempting the same course in mid-June.

WBR-Sunset-May-2014

The calm winds and beautiful backdrop made this first paddle a great start to the 2014 Summer season.

Umiak Crew BIC Wings Waterbury Reservoir

PREVIEW: PA SUP River Trip – April 2014

The SUP adventure continues.  Vermont SUP’s very own JJ and Erin just returned from a grueling 205 mile SUP trip.  They started in Pennsylvania on the Allegany River and covered 107 miles over a 5 day span.   sup1

JJ and Erin then jumped over to the Juniata River for another quick 98 miles over the next 5 days.

Look for the full story of their adventures in the next week or two.
(Erin does have a full time job…and JJ, well he leaves the writing to Erin!)

Here are some photographs taken on the trip:

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