Overall, we are fans of the Ace-Tec Wing. It's a solid SUP that scores well across the majority of our tests, only falling slightly short when it comes to portability. This board has excellent glide performance, allowing you to travel across the water with ease and is stable enough to keep you on it even when hit by a wake from a boat that came just a little too close — a direct contrast to some of the other touring boards in our review. It's decently maneuverable, and its plastic construction makes it exponentially more forgiving to scrapes and scuff than a fiberglass board. It also retails at a relatively reasonable price compared to some of the top boards.
BIC Ace-Tec Wing ReviewPrice: $1,100 List | $1,049.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Great glide performance, extremely durable
Cons: Harder to move, mediocre maneuverability
Bottom line: If you are looking for a quality touring board that can take a beating, then this is the perfect model board for you.
Board Volume: 285 L
Weight Capacity: 260 lbs
Manufacturer: BIC Sports
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) of 2018
Our Analysis and Test Results
The BIC Ace-Tec Wing finished right towards the top of the fleet, only outmatched by the Boardworks Kraken and the Isle Versa — some of our all-time favorite SUPs. The Wing is more impressive than both of these boards when it comes to speed and glide performance, but it can't match the Kraken or the Isle when it comes to stability or maneuverability. The Isle is quite a bit cheaper — making it a more attractive option if you are shopping on a budget, but the Kraken and the Wing retail for almost the same, letting you decide whether you want increased stability or speed.
To determine which stand up paddle board is truly worth purchasing, we have bought all the best boards on the market over the past year and pitted them against each other in a series of head-to-head challenges, grading their performance on everything from their stability to their ease of transport. We grouped out various tests into five weighted testing metrics, with the Ace-Tec Wing's results discussed below.
Responsible for the largest percentage (35%) of the overall score, glide performance is the most important trait for a stand-up paddleboard. We looked at how efficient it is to paddle the Wing in both calm and choppy water, as well as its cruising speed in the same conditions. The Ace-Tec did exceptionally well, finishing right at the top of the group.
This board is exceptionally speedy, cruising at a respectable speed with only moderate effort, similar to the Boardworks Raven. It does a stellar job of cutting through waves and wakes, maintaining its speed and momentum throughout your adventure.
It glides quite far per paddle stroke on flat water, only undergoing a slight reduction in performance as the water becomes rougher. These traits combine to make the Ace-Tec Wing an exceptionally awesome touring board that is significantly more stable than many other boards. That brings us to our next rating metric, stability.
Ranking second in terms of importance, our Stability metric accounts for a quarter of the overall score for each board. We based our assessment on how well each board handled in choppier conditions, how it did when transporting cargo or other passengers on it, and how beginner-friendly it is. The BIC Ace-Tec Wing did very well for a touring board, earning a 6 out of 10 for its above-average stability.
This board does alright in rough conditions, though it is easier to get knocked off by a rogue wave or wake than it is on a broader, more stability focused board. Still, it usually took a moderately large wake and a surprised tester for anyone to end up in the water. If you don't have time to brace or kneel down for a wave, this board might not save you. We definitely noticed that testers easily withstood waves that would have swamped them on other touring boards, like the Raven.
This board does a decent job of transporting medium-sized packs or small coolers but does feel substantially tippier with any heavier cargo. Likewise, it would probably be okay with a smaller, exceptionally well-behaved dog or child. But you are going to get wet if you have a larger dog or a second adult passenger on rough waters.
Consequently, the Wing isn't the most novice-friendly board out there and a totally new paddler will feel quite shaky on it for a while, but it would be fine for someone who has been on a SUP a few times and doesn't mind taking a few falls as they get used to the BIC. Intermediate to advanced paddlers should be able to hit the ground running and start touring with the Wing right away.
The last of our board handling metrics, Maneuverability constitutes 15% of the total score for the Ace-Tec Wing and the other boards. We judged how well we were able to maneuver the board and avoid obstacles with each SUP throughout our entire testing process. We also tested the turning radius of each board to decide on the scores. The Wing is a bit handicapped in this metric because it is over two feet longer than some of the stand up paddle boards we tested. Still, it delivered an overall respectable performance, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its results.
While it might be a bit of an overstatement to describe the Wing as agile, we usually could weave our way through most obstacles. However, it can get a bit dicey taking the BIC through particularly confined environments, such as a river. We had a handful of minor collisions with submerged rocks or logs that we saw too late. Given enough notice, our testers usually could avoid them.This board is one of the longest we have tested — consequently, it has a rather large turning radius. This usually meant that testers found it more expedient to back-paddle or drag a paddle to turn quickly, rather than to paddle only on one side.
Ease of Transport
Moving out of the water, we next graded the BIC on how difficult it is to transport. This accounts for 15% of the overall score. We accounted for each with each board's weight, the ease of loading and unloading it on a car, and the ergonomics and general comfort when carrying the board for a short distance over land. The Ace-Tec Wing is a bit of a behemoth, so it unfortunately didn't score terribly well, only earning a 3 out of 10 for its poor showing.
This SUP is a bit on the hefty side, weighing in at around 34 lbs, which makes it one of the heaviest boards of the entire fleet, dragging down its score quite a bit.
Still, we found it to be reasonably comfortable to carry this board, at least regarding the ergonomics of the handle. It is bulky and cumbersome, and you definitely wouldn't want to lug it far, but a short walk from the parking lot to the beach isn't too awful.
Its length and weight do make it a bit of a pain to load and unload from a car, almost certainly requiring two people to lift it on to a pair of roof racks, especially for shorter people or for taller cars. For those that opt to use a truck, its length means that quite a bit will stick out past the tailgate, usually requiring a flag at the bare minimum and making us a bit nervous while driving.
For the final 10% of the total score, we judged the durability of each board by grading the amount of damage each SUP sustained in our testing process, as well as looking at user reviews and the included warranty. The Ace-Tec aced this metric, earning an 8 out of 10 for its stellar showing.
This board's construction is rock-solid, only suffering some minor scrapes and scuffs throughout our testing process. We were not gentle with this board, even taking it down a river that usually would be limited to inflatable SUPs or kayaks. However, we did lose a fin when one of our testers hit a submerged object. Rather than relying on the standard FCS fin screw, BIC uses a "Quick-Fin" mounting system on their Ace-Tec boards. We aren't the biggest fans. While it is convenient, we have lost fins from both of the Ace-Tec boards we have tested and had to purchase replacements.
BIC does provide a 2-year warranty for all defects for the original owner. However, this may have changed since the time of writing, so it's always worth double checking on their website before purchasing. We also found hardly any negative reviews of this board at major retailers, or anyone else mentioning a missing fin, so perhaps we were just a little too cavalier in where we tested it.
The BIC Ace-Tec is a solid value for a touring board, offering top-tier performance at a middle-of-the-road price. However, it can be a bit pricey if you are shopping on a tighter budget.
We highly recommend the Ace-Tec Wing. It glides supremely, handles choppy conditions extremely well, and its plastic construction is durable enough to take a beating that would destroy a fiberglass board. It's not the most nimble board we have seen and can be a bit of a hassle to lug around, but it is a fantastic choice if you want an excellent touring board that you don't have to baby — and you have someone to help you load it on and off a car.
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Most recent review: June 23, 2018
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