The second instalment of our Club Classics series, which focuses on classic windsurf kit still in use by many, focuses on BIC’s uber popular Techno 283 (or ‘old blue’ as we like to call her). This look back is quite timely with WSUK currently putting the BIC’s 2018 One Design 293 through its paces. (Check out the first Club Classics article, featuring Starboard’s Carve 111 here).
For a company synonymous with ball point pen manufacturing BIC have done pretty well in the watersports market, and still continue to do so. Having a plethora of gear, all designed and produced in France, that covers surfing, SUP, windsurfing and now windfoiling, they’re a brand that spend considerable time tweaking and creating efficient craft aimed at (mainly) the beginner and intermediate – hence why you see so many blue boards of old knocking about.
Peruse any of the usual suspect second hand windsurf sales pages/sites online and no doubt you’ll find a BIC Techno (or three) for sale. Recognisable livery, a distinct shape and familiar performance traits (everyone’s used a Techno at some point haven’t they?) the 283 is a board that riders of all abilities can have fun on.
Manufactured in thermoform composite material BIC’s Techno 283 is distinct with a seam running along its edges. A fat tail leading to a tapered and upturned nose completes the look. In fact, it’s that nose that causes (and caused) so much heartache for Techno riders. Catapults do the board no favours. How many times have you seen a Techno with its beak caved in?
Wipeouts aside the Techno 283 boasts generous volume (150L) and with all that girth placed in the aft section it flatters dodgy planing technique and gets riders up to skimming speed without much effort. This is one of the traits we particular like as even in marginal blows, when other new school shapes (also designed to plane in a kitten’s sneeze) are floundering ‘old blue’ will have you blatting atop the brine quick smart.
Round corners and there’s a degree of technique needed to exit with dry hair and/or on the plane. Again, that rearward volume does tend enhance the bounce effect in chop. With focus, however, riders will ensure old blue is piloted round corners in efficient fashion.
Over time, and maybe this is due to age, fixtures and fittings need to be given due attention and care. Footstrap screws have a tendency to come loose and deck pads tend to lift. Non-slip also wears off (none of this is odd for a board with age). Attending to these niggles will see plenty of life left in the 283.
Early incarnations of BIC’s Techno 283 saw the board supplied with a trim box fin. While great for tuning, being able to slide the fin back and forth in its box, these days trim box fins are hard to come by. With this in mind it’s worth taking care of said skeg if you own one as breaking or damaging will see you possibly not being able to get the board wet.
If you’re after an easy freerider that planes early in the lightest of puff, and really don’t want to break the bank then nabbing a second hand BIC Techno 283 could possibly be a good course of action. Early planing and fairly quick on the straight it’s still a board that’ll ensure grins a mile wide slapped across rider faces. Watch out for that infamous fragile nose – especially if you’re getting to grips with fundamentals. Stay tuned for a test of BIC’s 293 One Design coming to Windsurfing UK soon. And don’t forget to scope out BIC’s windsurfing web pages if you’re fancying a brand new BIC Techno.