The BIC Sport Original FP is a great introductory paddle that is plenty durable and won't bash your budget quite as hard as the top-tier paddles are prone to do. It has plenty of paddling performance with a good catch and power stroke, but it is on the recovery where you notice this paddle's primary flaw: its weight. This paddle is a bit heavier than many of the other products, which becomes particularly evident during long paddling sessions. The BIC's extra weight did bring it down a bit in the score, but it is still a good option if you don't mind your paddle having a little extra heft.
BIC Sport Original FP Review
Manufacturer: BIC Sport
Compare to Similar Products
BIC Sport Original FP
|Price||$98.22 at Amazon||$270 List||$170.00 at REI||$189.95 at Backcountry|
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|$198.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Durable, good paddling power||Great paddling performance, lightweight, compact for traveling||Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade||Easy and sturdy adjustment, lightweight, high performance||Lightweight, strong, easy on the body to use|
|Cons||Heavy||Slight paddle flutter||Heavy, looks like a toy||Smaller adjustment range||The handle allows excellent grip but can become uncomfortable|
|Bottom Line||The BIC Sport Original FP is a great entry level paddle that can take a beating but is a bit heavy||If you need a travel paddle and don’t want to sacrifice paddling performance, the Lock and Load is the right choice||The Vibe is a great all-around paddle that moves water well and is easy to manage.||The Aqua-Bound Challenge has a a high-performance paddle for serious paddlers.||This is a high-performance paddle that is easy to pull through the water.|
|Rating Categories||BIC Sport Original FP||Hala Travel Lock & Load||Werner Vibe||Aqua-Bound Challenge 85||KIALOA Insanity|
|Ease Of Adjustment (20%)|
|Locking Mechanism (20%)|
|Specs||BIC Sport Original...||Hala Travel Lock &...||Werner Vibe||Aqua-Bound...||KIALOA Insanity|
|Paddle Weight||2.25 lbs||1.125 lbs||1.7 lbs||1.3 lbs||1.56 lbs|
|Offset||10.5 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees|
|Blade Material||Polycarbonate||Polycarbonate||Injection molded fiberglass||epX engineered polymer reinforced with carbon||Fiberglass fibrlite|
|Blade Dimensions||90 sq in||Unavailible||100 sq in||85 sq in||83 sq in|
|Shaft Material||Fiberglass||Carbon||Fiberglass||Carbon||Durable fiberglass|
|Length Range (inches)||67-83"||62"-78"||68" - 84"||70" - 80"||70"-86"|
|Number of Pieces||2-piece||3-piece||3-piece (available in 1, 2, or 3)||2-piece||1-piece (avaliable in 1 or 3)|
|Warranty||2 years||3 years||1 year||2 years||1 year|
|Comes with cover||No||No||No||No||No|
|Locking Mechanism||Pin Lock||Handle LeverLock||Handle LeverLock||"Performance" Snap Button||Handle LeverLock|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We think the BIC Sport is essentially a great baseline to compare other paddles against. It does well across the board, looks alright, and its main flaw is just the added bulk. Throw all this together for a reasonable price and you have a great option for a new paddler who doesn't want to shell out a ton of cash for a premium paddle but is also willing to invest a bit more than the cheapest options out there.
First and foremost, we rated and compared the paddling performance of each of these adjustable SUP paddles. This accounts for 30% of the total score for the BIC Sport and the other paddles in the review. We took these paddles out in all sorts of different conditions and on different paddling excursions, comparing their performance. Specifically, we looked at how each paddle did with each of the three components to a typical SUP paddle stroke: the catch, the power stroke, and the exit, as well as how well it recovered to set up for the next paddle. The BIC Sport Original FP did well, scoring in the upper portion of this group.
The Original FP has a longer and slimmer blade that is more rectangular than teardrop-shaped. It enters the water smoothly but its flatter blade doesn't quite compare to the dihedral blades when it comes to catching the water.
You can get plenty of power out of this paddle and it generally has a clean exit. It also recovers well for such a heavy paddle, as it is very nicely balanced and weighted, Truth be told, we wouldn't have necessarily thought it was one of the heaviest paddles until we weighed everything side-by-side, which brings us to our next metric.
Accounting for 20% of each paddle's final score, our next metric dealt with the weight of each paddle. While it might not seem like there is much of a change in performance when the weight difference is only a pound or two, it becomes very noticeable after extended use. As mentioned above, the BIC Sport Original is fairly heavy, earning it one of the lower scores of the lineup.
This adjustable paddle weighs in at 2.25 lbs.
Ease of Adjustment
The next two metrics of our review are each worth 20% of the total score for each paddle and have to do with the ease of altering each paddle's length. The BIC Sport Original is a 2-piece paddle that is fairly easy to adjust, earning it high marks in this metric.
The Sport Original can change in height from 67" to 83" and relies on the TwinPin locking system. It is fairly simple to change the length but the length can't be adjusted on a continuous scale — you are limited to ½" increments.
The TwinPin locking mechanism utilized by the BIC Sport is far from our favorite type, easily overshadowed by other systems — particularly the LeverLock. However, the BIC does do a fairly good implementation of it, earning it a so-so score.
It can be a bit more finicky to change the length of this paddle on the water due to this mechanism. The upper portion of the paddle slides easily enough, but the extra effort to ensure that it is aligned correctly when it comes to rotation and length to snap the pins in can be a bit harrowing in choppy conditions. It also takes a bit more force to engage or disengage the mechanism.
For the remaining 10% of the score, we compared and contrasted the style of each paddle. The BIC Sport is far from being the favorite of the group when it comes to aesthetics but isn't bad looking, earning it a mediocre score.
The BIC is about as plain as it comes in the looks department, with only a small graphic accent on the blade for visual appeal. Its minimalistic design looks a little cheaper than other options and there are fewer color options available but it at least is a little more striking than the paddles of the monochromatic variety.
The BIC Sport is a solid value, offering a considerably more impressive performance than its price would suggest.
All in all, the BIC Sport Original FP is a solid adjustable SUP paddle that would have scored very well if it was only a bit lighter.
— Marissa Fox