When we brought SIC in to the shop we knew the X 12 is awesome, and the Bullet 12’6 is the only thing I want to be on in open water, but the Recon was a little more of a mystery for us. Recon is one of SIC’s recreational/ surf series. The Recon comes in 9’9, 10’4, 11’4, 11’11. It seemed like a good bet because it is SIC and they seem to do everything well. But also because most of the people who come to us are looking for a versatile board that can cover ground on flatwater, can play in the ocean, and maybe even catch some waves here and there.
The Recon 11’11 lives up to all of that.
It is a quick board on flatwater, which makes sense given its length and modest nose rocker.
It has more than enough stability at 31” wide
It is still maneuverable. When you get back on the tail of any board it should turn very easily and this is not exception. But even without that kind of commitment, the Recon makes nimble turns. Doing figure 8’s around a couple of buoys was easy and predictable
It is relatively quick off the mark
We have been really pleased with the Recon on flatwater, and it has become a staff favorite demo board very quickly. But how is it in open water?
On Monday we got to try it out on open water. We went to Deep Hole in Matunuck where there was 2-3’ surf. It’s a very rocky bottomed break so it was a little concerning…if something goes wrong, you and your board can get banged up as you tumble amongst the rocks.
Getting out through the break was no problem so that was a pleasant surprise.
Once out past the break the swells were pretty big and confused. The wind was switching from the north to the typical southerly wind we get all summer. So the chop was coming at us from all directions.
The Recon handled the confused chop pretty well. I worried a bit about its length getting caught in the troughs because the swells/chop were so close together. But that wasn’t a problem. There is just enough rocker in the nose to keep you from nose diving (pearling), but not so much so that you lose glide or end up plowing water. Even though the nose dipped in the water, there was no fear of being driven down and over by it.
Going into the chop was totally doable, what about when it is coming from the side?
We turned east and started to paddle parallel to the shore. That put the swells and chop primarily coming from the left and the Recon was just fine. It was nowhere near as comfortable as the Bullet in these conditions (after all, the Bullet was designed specifically for open water paddling) but it was pretty darn good. Surprisingly it was actually more comfortable with all of the junk coming from the side than from the front. When I turned around to head back to Mark, I thought stopping to turn might dump me in the drink…nope. All was well.
It was sketchy out there (hence the reason we have no pictures of our adventure), but my confidence was quickly growing on the Recon. With the winds picking up and things getting even messier, we decided to head back. We haven’t surfed in a long time so that prospect was a little nerve wracking. But you could tell that the board was pretty excited about surfing. The size made me a little nervous for both control and getting on a wave, but as mentioned above it gets going pretty quickly on flatwater and it does in the open too. Digging in good for a couple of strokes got me on a wave for a short ride while still pretty far out. As we headed in closer I was flanked by surfers, so I knelt down. No one needs a 12’ projectile flying at him. I was concerned about staying on the board and being able to maneuver it. I caught two more waves while kneeling down coming in and in retrospect don’t think that staying on the board or staying on the wave would have been a problem standing either. But until I have spent some time on it, in the absence of other people, it’s not a chance I wanted to take.
The short story is that the board feels smaller than it is other than the glide that you get from it. It feels nice and trim in the water and doesn’t bog down at all because of its size. But it still has plenty of stability and playfulness.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced all around board that really will do well all around, the SIC Recon 11’11 is one you should check out. It is one of the most versatile boards we have ridden. Most of the time there are a lot of sacrifices with one board to do it all, the Recon does well to minimize those and maximize fun.