Pics: James Jagger
At one point, not too far back, you couldn’t move for blue BIC Techno boards littering beaches on sunny blow days. The iconic blue shape still holds favour with many – scour the classified sections and you’ll no doubt find a few ‘old blues’ being sold second hand. These days they’re not quite as prevalent, yet there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be. (Check our look back at BIC’s 283 freeride sled here in our windsurfing club classics article).
Hit up BIC’s website and you’ll discover a whole host of BIC Techno shapes and designs, all manufactured with easy windsurfing in mind. A huge tick in the box is the brand manufactures within Europe (BIC’s French homeland to be exact). You mightn’t be getting a board made from the latest exotic material. It may not be the best solution for aerial contortionism. But then that’s not the point. For many sailors looking to get out and simply blast, across ‘normal’ conditions, BIC’s Techno range will still fit the bill for many.
Possibly the most versatile and longstanding shape in the BIC range is the One Design 293. No doubt you’ll have seen this sled being put to good use by all manner of Olympic pathway fleets. In particular youth windsurf racing is alive and well with the 293 and associated rigs. So what from a recreational windsurfer’s point of view?
First of all BIC’s One Design Techno is super versatile. Not only is it capable of performance windsurfing in planing mode, but due to the hybrid shape, integrated daggerboard and beating straps it’s an efficient light wind machine that gives raceboard/longboard shapes a run for their money. And for those who fancy some whirling and twirling simply attach a smaller fin, plug in a sub-6m and with the majority of its 205L volume underfoot it’s a great low breeze skills training platform.
One of the magical elements of the Techno 293 is its early planing potential. In the lightest of airs the OD winds up to full speed in progressive fashion, that wide tail forgiving clumsy footwork (great for those practising strap technique). The additional/substantial nose rocker keeps everything up front clear of chop whilst being able to push against the Ride 46cm fin increases full power efficiency no end. For intermediate sailors it’s a great platform for learning the planing ropes – especially with multiple options for footstraps. If you plump for a One Design rig also then combined with a 7.8m low end force fours are no match!
We’ll be honest, blistering speed is not the Techno’s forte. But, again, that’s kind of missing the point. Early planing, with efficient upwind and downwind ability, is where the BIC’s skills lie. Round bends and riders need to be forceful when pushing a rail into the water. With practice good gybing technique can be developed that’ll see planing exits in no time.
If you’re at an advanced level of skill then you can throw the 293 about more than you’d think. The daggerboard does add some weight so jumping needs to be done with this in mind. One of BIC’s alternative Techno’s however, sans daggerboard, will be fine for some floaty air time. How do we know this? Because we’ve tried…
If you’ve dismissed BIC’s Techno range as not for you then perhaps it’s time to revisit and check out what the French brand are offering. Affordable windsurfing equipment with no less performance than you’d expect from any other premium product. As an everyman windsurfer the One Design 293 delivers everything you’d want from a light to medium wind early planing freerider (with the additional benefits of light wind performance). Robust, versatile, efficient and a whole lot of fun. And just to address the elephant in the room: that previously thin nose danger area now has a mast bumper in place to prevent damage in the event of catapulting. If you fancy something that’ll put a smile on your face then check out BIC’s 293 and raft of alternative Techno designs, you never know…
Thanks to Alex Fishpool at https://lyon.co.uk/outdoor/ for supplying the test gear.
Techno 293 board – £1270.00
7.8m rig package – £1165.00