For me, downwind paddleboarding easily meets the gold standard of fun. I love getting out into the open water when big swells are happening. The thrill of hunting down monster bumps, catching them, and then surfing them at high speed is just a glorious feeling.
The best ocean swells run fast and heavy and you need a board that allows you to catch up to them and then easily transition into a plane to make them surf-able. That’s why I’ve been riding the SIC Bullet for years now- it is one of the best downwind boards ever made. And a ton of riders, from sponsored professionals to weekend warriors will attest to that.
I rode the Bullet 12-6 for a long time before moving onto the 14 V2. They are very similar in how they feel and perform in open water due to the high-volume, rounded rails. The rails help the board roll with the waves, but keep it from tipping too much. This makes for a very stable ride, especially when the water is choppy and moving fast.
Although the general outline of the two boards is the same, there are some differences in volume distribution and rocker profile. The Bullet V2 has a lower rocker than the 12-6, so combined with the extra length and waterline you get faster board. On flat water I feel like it has a more little glide and it tracks really well. When downwinding I definitely notice how easy it was to catch the larger and faster bumps.
The V2 also stays on the bumps longer than the 12-6. Part of this may be because of the way it sits in the trough between forward and rear waves so it never really loses momentum. I’ll need more time on the board to really figure out why it holds a plane longer but it definitely does.
SIC also shifted the widest part of the board more towards the nose so more of the board’s volume is further up and this compensates for the lower rocker. When the nose sinks below the water it naturally wants to rise back up quickly. It also tracks straight when swamped and doesn’t yaw or become unstable when punching through bumps. The stability and extra float are very apparent and it gives the rider extra confidence in rough conditions.
The Bullet V2 is carbon construction (SCC), which is lighter than the tough wood construction (TWC). Its average weight is about 27 pounds according to the SIC website. It has an overall volume of 269 liters, which is plenty of volume for even really heavy riders.
If you’re looking for a do-it-all board that excels in open water but can also make a great all-around type touring board, the Bullet V2 should definitely be high on your demo list. SIC has recently been bought by the Bic Sport Corporation.
Hopefully, they will carry on the same awesome quality construction and design we’ve come to expect from SIC.