Chances are good you are familiar with the name BIC—yes, the same company that makes lighters, razors and pens also makes paddleboards. At least they did. Let’s get into a short introduction and history of BIC Sport and TAHE paddleboards to set the stage and then dive into the paddleboards BIC produced.
BIC Sport was created as a subsidiary of the French plastics manufacturer known globally as BIC in 1979 and started pumping out very distinctive and utilitarian but popular windsurfing boards. BIC Sport thrived, in part due to the quality of their sustainable manufacturing methods for their Ace-Tec and Tough-Tec thermoforming technologies. In 2010 they began creating durable paddleboards. Their popular Cross and Performer models are still paddler favorites, but note they now carry a new brand name.
In 2021, BIC Sport logos were replaced with the TAHE label, following the purchase of BIC Sport by an Estonian company called Tahe Outdoors. Tahe means “the will to succeed” in Estonian, and the company set about trying to do just that with their newly acquired paddlesport division.
TAHE-branded boards assumed the designs and distribution channels of BIC Sport, as well as four decades’ worth of manufacturing technologies and expertise. The BIC Sport manufacturing facility in France was taken over by TAHE to carry out the same manufacturing processes and continues to be the only manufacturer of paddleboards in Europe.
BIC paddleboard lineups included inflatable and rigid board options to let novice to intermediate paddlers enjoy the water. Models included all-around paddleboards for flatwater and surf as well as for touring and there were even some race boards in the mix until 2017 when BIC released an Earth SUP range of eco-friendly wooden paddleboards that would be discontinued after two years.
The Cross and the Performer paddleboard models are synonymous with BIC Sport and now with TAHE and are ideal for flatwater paddling, playing in surf waves, yoga, fitness and family use. They are excellent options for the cottage, the beach and to be shared between paddlers.
The Wing models are great for longer tours and beginner racers. BIC paddleboards don’t offer much in the way of extra accessories but they do cover all of the basic necessities, such as soft and grippy deckpads, an ergonomic carry handle and locations for tie down bungees.
BIC’s commitment to sustainability, including energy efficiency and zero waste processes, positioned the company as leaders in eco-minded manufacturing. They made paddleboards that were built to last, not become landfill, and the Tough-Tec paddleboard models are theoretically 100% recyclable. If reducing environmental impact is an important factor to you when buying a paddleboard then the purchase of a used paddleboard from BIC is something you can feel good about.
Top picks: Best BIC paddleboards
Best BIC Paddleboards
10'6 Performer - Inflatable Complete Package
ACE-TEC 10'6" Performer Red
ACE-TEC 9'2'' Performer Red
TOUGH-TEC 10'6" Performer
ACE-TEC 11'6" Performer Red
Shop BIC paddleboards
If high-quality, sustainably made, family-friendly, durable paddleboards sound like a good fit for you we invite you to check out the BIC paddleboard lineup through our Paddling Buyer’s Guide. As you look over the paddleboard specifications, prices and reviews be sure to read more about how to choose which board might be the best choice for you in our Shopping For A Used BIC Paddleboard section of this article.
We’ve set up some categories below to get you started on browsing by model type, activity and length.
Shopping for a used BIC paddleboard?
They say you can never forget your first love—for me that was a BIC paddleboard. I can’t help but smile when I think of my 11.5-foot Ace-Tec Performer SUP by BIC Sport that I purchased back in 2013 and still use to this day. With lots of great options for a BIC paddleboard to choose from, let’s help you find a board that you’ll love too.
Given BIC Sport’s decades of expertise in watersports and manufacturing, a used BIC paddleboard is a dependable and durable option with which to start or expand your fleet. BIC paddleboard designs like the Performer and Cross have really been dialed in over the years with high-quality manufacturing and no major recurring defects to be on the lookout for.
There are thousands of BIC paddleboards that have been sold all over the world so the odds are good for you tracking down a used one if they are your paddleboard of preference.
Typically, I wouldn’t recommend buying a used inflatable board that is more than a few years old. The quality of the BIC inflatable paddleboards and inflatable materials and manufacturing in general has improved over the years, however where BIC really excelled was in the manufacturing of rigid boards at their facility in France. The inflatable paddleboards have been made in China like the majority of inflatable boards and in my opinion the rigid BIC paddleboards are the ones which hold their value and durability.
BIC has had all-around models like the Slide, Cross and Performer available in soft top paddleboards. These are generally the lowest-priced models and tend to damage easily as they are essentially foam with no hard outer layer. This style of BIC paddleboard will degrade and wear the most over time and is best purchased for a low budget option with no durability requirements.
It is important to check the weight of used BIC paddleboards to ensure that you are able to handle and transport the paddleboard easily. Many of the older Tough-Tec BIC boards in both the Cross and Performer models are over 30 lbs, with some earlier models over 40 lbs. Even 30 lbs is seen as a heavy board nowadays and might be enough to deter you from the deal.
BIC paddleboard models
The Performer is BIC’s best-selling classic design and is the option for beginner and intermediate paddlers alike for surfing waves, paddling flatwater and playing with footwork to advance skills. With its large deck pad and good stability the Performer also makes a great floating yoga mat.
Over the years there have been various size options to find a suitable board length and weight capacity, as well as the price point that suits your budget. The rigid Performers are a tad on the heavy side, however they are lighter than the Cross model.
Next up, let’s explore the Cross design. The BIC Cross paddleboard is a stable and, as its name would suggest, versatile board. The Cross is a good board of choice for fitness, yoga, fishing, paddling with family or dogs and touring. There was a fishing version of the Cross which has integration options for fishing accessories.
The Cross has a grippy deckpad, and multiple attachment points for securing bungees. It has a keeled nose for improved tracking to allow the board to go straight more easily. Be warned that Cross standup paddleboards are on the heavier side. That makes these popular boards for rental fleets as they are durable.
BIC’s touring design is the Wing, which was available in 11-foot and 12.5-foot lengths. The Wing is good for longer flatwater paddles, fitness and day adventures with family and friends. The 12.5-foot Wing delivers good performance in more challenging conditions, can be used by paddlers entering the SUP racing scene, and is a good option for SUP camping.
I’ve also owned a 12.5-foot wing that I really enjoyed, and have paddled and loved the next model as well, the Tracer.
The Tracer is BIC’s take on a hybrid touring and race board, added into the lineup in 2015 and sticking around for just two years. The Tracer World Series was a lightweight performance racing board that evolved from and replaced the BIC Race-Pro and World Series models.
The Tracer was essentially a fast board with good stability for recreational and touring use.
Rigid BIC paddleboard vs inflatable BIC paddleboard
Rigid BIC paddleboards were made in France with decades of expertise in plastics manufacturing and sustainable methods such as recycling waste. The rigid paddleboards tend to have improved performance on the water over inflatables and don’t require inflation, however they will be heavier, land at a higher price, they may be more difficult to transport and will need more storage area.
The rigid BIC paddleboards have been manufactured in Tough-Tec materials for more durable and affordable boards and Ace-Tec materials for lighter and higher-performance boards.
Inflatable BIC SUP AIR standup paddleboards came at a lower price tag than the rigid paddleboards and are lightweight, a breeze to transport and, although not complicated to set up, they do require some time and effort for inflation. The Inflatable BIC paddleboards were manufactured in China with high pressure drop stitch construction and PVC-reinforced skin.
Although they were still manufactured at a high level of quality they land as a less eco-friendly and sustainable option than the rigid BIC paddleboards.
For more tips on what to look for when selecting a used paddleboard, read our article How To Buy A Used Paddleboard.
Still have questions about BIC paddleboards? Find quick answers below.
Are BIC paddleboards good?
BIC paddleboards are high-quality and built to last with sustainably focused plastics manufacturing methods. BIC paddleboards are good for all skill levels, are family-friendly and are intended for flatwater or the surf zone.
BIC paddleboards have durable and affordable options that use their Tough-Tec technology as well as lightweight and higher-performance options using the Ace-Tec technology. The rigid BIC paddleboards were manufactured in France while the inflatable paddleboards were manufactured in China with the same high standards.
What are BIC paddleboards made of?
BIC paddleboards are made of drop stitch technology for the inflatable paddleboards and either thermoformed Tough-Tec or Ace-Tec technologies for the rigid paddleboards. Inflatable BIC paddleboards use thousands of polyester drop stitches along seams in the outer PVC material.
Rigid BIC paddleboards are made of either a Tough-Tec or Ace-Tec construction, which both have a molded, lightweight, watertight, EPS foam core to give the paddleboards their structure.
To increase rigidity and stiffness, the Tough-Tec paddleboards are thermoformed with a rugged polyethylene outer shell while the Ace-Tec paddleboards are laminated with layers of fiberglass, epoxy resin, and an ASA polymer plastic skin surrounding the foam core. The BIC Tough-Tec paddleboards are theoretically 100% recyclable.
BIC standup paddleboard prices
The prices for BIC standup paddleboards ranged from around $550 to $1,300 USD with the more durable Tough-Tec models as well as soft top and inflatables at the lower end of the price range. BIC standup paddleboards made with ACE-TEC technology were at the higher end of the price range. The BIC Tracer sold for $2,000 USD and more.
Does BIC make paddleboards?
BIC did make standup paddleboards under the BIC Sport subsidiary from 2010 to 2019 but no longer makes paddleboards as they sold their line of watersports products to Tahe Outdoors. There are many used BIC paddleboards in circulation.
The BIC paddleboard designs still in production s are now labelled as TAHE paddleboards and are manufactured with the same high quality and durability that BIC Sport was known for.
Is TAHE the same as BIC?
TAHE is the current brand name of the paddleboards, kayaks, surf boards and windsurf boards which were previously sold by BIC Sport. Many of the watersports models may be recognizable as the designs of BIC Sport since being carried forward by TAHE in 2021.
Did Tahe Outdoors buy BIC?
Tahe Outdoors purchased the BIC Sport line of watersport products from BIC in 2020. The BIC Sport line of kayaks, paddleboards, surf boards and windsurf boards were launched with the TAHE brand name in 2021.
Who owns TAHE?
The TAHE brand is owned by Tahe Outdoors, an Estonian expedition kayaking company established in 1989. Tahe Outdoors also owns premium paddleboard and surf brand SIC, the CORE kiteboarding brand and the Zegul kayak brand.
Is BIC Sport part of Bic?
BIC Sport was created in 1979 as a watersports subsidiary of BIC. BIC Sport has since been sold to Tahe Outdoors to become TAHE.
Is BIC now TAHE?
The BIC Sport line of watersports products are now under the brand name TAHE. The TAHE brand replaced the BIC Sport logo in 2021. New owner Tahe Outdoors carried forward the BIC Sport products, distribution, and 40 years of manufacturing technologies and expertise.
BIC paddleboard reviews
By now I hope it’s clear that I have been a longtime fan of BIC paddleboards. I am one woman offering one across the board opinion that the BIC line of paddleboards has outstanding durability and quality. Although they are eco-minded, designed for a variety of skill levels and activities, and have different price options, the BIC paddleboards may or may not be what you are looking for and we invite you to seek other opinions by checking out these reviews.
Keep in mind that these reviews can help you with shopping for a used BIC paddleboard as well as for shopping for new TAHE paddleboards.
BIC paddleboard reviews
TAHE paddleboard reviews