Founded in 1979 by the Bich family, of BIC pen fame, BIC Sport grew from the family’s passion for watersports and expertise in sustainable manufacturing. By the late 1980s BIC Sport was a world leader in windsurf manufacture, and over the following 20+ years the company utilized their technological manufacturing skills on other passion projects including surf, kayak, junior racing dinghies and most recently, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP). BIC’s core values of quality, durability and affordability form the foundation of the brand’s reputation and has opened the world of watersports to hundreds of thousands of watersports enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, and those simply happy to spend time out on the water enjoying nature. In fact, BIC Sport has made respect for the environment a priority in every stage of how its production systems are organized. This commitment has been recognized by the Ecoride organization and other business awards such as the «Prix du Bateau Bleu».
Every BIC Sport product is developed by a passionate team of designers and made in France* using production systems that faithfully reproduce perfect copies of the original design. BIC Sport’s exclusive construction methods and materials deliver many years of reliable, high frequency use. Today, BIC Sport is acknowledged as the pioneer of production surf boards in the highly demanding surf market. It’s also a European leader in the Sit-on-Top Kayak market thanks to a range of innovative products which have won numerous design awards.
Most recently Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is an area of dynamic development for the company. The sport is growing at a phenomenal rate and represents more than ever the values of simplicity and accessibility that have made the BIC Sport brand such a long-standing success. Over the past several years BIC Sport received the following awards recognizing its achievements in SUP : GEAR OF THE YEAR award by Outside Magazine, America’s leading outdoor publication, for the Wing 11’ and 12’6, BRAND OF THE YEAR awarded by the EuroSima organization and GEAR OF THE YEAR award by Men’s Journal Magazine, another leading US publication, for the 12’6 SUP AIR inflatable board.
On the competition scene, BIC Sport created a brand new concept in junior windsurfing with the BIC Techno 293 One Design board, which has now become the officially recognized race board for Under 17 riders worldwide. This monotype/formula race class has grown at an incredible rate and is now established in over 40 countries. BIC Sport injected the same energy into sailing with its junior race dinghy, the exciting and innovative O’pen BIC, which has motivated the world of junior sailing in over 30 countries. In Stand Up Paddling the BIC SUPOne Design Challenge was recently launched using the award-winning Wing 11’ & 12’6. This unique and inclusive race series takes place throughout the world in local SUP communities, allowing participants to test their speed and skills with everyone using the exact same board. The pages that follow showcase the passion, drive and commitment of BIC Sport to not only build better boards and boats, but to encourage and inspire an active, environmentally aware lifestyle based on the one thing on which we all depend: WATER.
*All ACE-TEC/DURA-TEC boards and Twin-Sheet Kayaks are made in France, which makes up over 80% of BIC Sport product sold worldwide.
Founding of the company
Launch of the first windsurfer,
the Dufour «Wing»
1979 - 1990
The rapid expansion of the sport of windsurfing had not escaped the attentions of the lover of all things to do with the sea that was the Baron Bich. He believed in the sport and invested in the powerful industrial manufacturing capacity that would enable him to produce tens of thousands of affordably priced windsurf boards. At that time windsurfing had already designed its own destiny : to become the most popular sea/water sport of the late 20th century. With that impetus BIC Sport rapidly became the industry's biggest manufacturer with more than 80,000 boards leaving the doors of its factory in Vannes, Brittany. During the 1980s, BIC Sport wrote some of the most interesting pages of the sport's history by inviting some of the biggest name shapers and legendary competitors to design and promote its boards. The names of those boards will live long in the memory : Electric Rock, Hard Rock, Astro Rock...
Acquisition of the Tiga brand
Release of the first Bic Sport surfboard
Production of the 1 000 000th Bic Sport windsurfer
1990 - 2000:
2000 - 2010 Serious concentration on the competitive aspect : in 2000 and 2001 BIC Sport won World Championship titles in Funboarding. Strengthened by these successes, BIC Sport stepped back from top level competition to concentrate its efforts on the development of formula, mono-type competition, more open to a wider range of participants and more in keeping with its image of making the sport more widely accessible. 2000 - At this point, the brand new funboard, the Techno 283, revolutionised and re-launched funboarding. It was an overnight success with the factory in Vannes running night and day to satisfy the surging demand. It was also to become the first formula/mono-type board to be approved by the French Sailing Federation alongside the development of Funkids competition. This was a big first step on the road to "mono-type". 2001 - Although the big success of the Techno 283 helped mask the problems of an overall shrinking windsurf market, BIC Sport responded by diversifying even further into other sports and activities related to the sea. BIC Sport launched its first sit-on-top kayak, the Bilbao, which very quickly received a design star award. Tobago, Ouassou, Scapa, Yakka.... A series of models followed and met with similar commercial approval thanks to their innovative concept, the design and the manufacture quality.
BIC Sport wins the World Funboard Championships
Launch of the first BIC Sport «sit-on-top» kayak, the Bilbao
2000 - 2003
2000 - 2010Serious concentration on the competitive aspect : in 2000 and 2001 BIC Sport won World Championship titles in Funboarding. Strengthened by these successes, BIC Sport stepped back from top level competition to concentrate its efforts on the development of formula, mono-type competition, more open to a wider range of participants and more in keeping with its image of making the sport more widely accessible
2000At this point, the brand new funboard, the Techno 283, revolutionised and re-launched funboarding. It was an overnight success with the factory in Vannes running night and day to satisfy the surging demand. It was also to become the first formula/mono-type board to be approved by the French Sailing Federation alongside the development of Funkids competition. This was a big first step on the road to "mono-type".
2001Although the big success of the Techno 283 helped mask the problems of an overall shrinking windsurf market, BIC Sport responded by diversifying even further into other sports and activities related to the sea. BIC Sport launched its first sit-on-top kayak, the Bilbao, which very quickly received a design star award. Tobago, Ouassou, Scapa, Yakka.... A series of models followed and met with similar commercial approval thanks to their innovative concept, the design and the manufacture quality.
Launch of the O'pen BIC, the sailing dinghy for children and teenagers
Techno 293 OD achieves ISAF Recognised Class status and becomes the official board for under 17' competitors
Release of the Jungle, the first BIC Sport SUP
Launch of the BIC 245 dinghy which replaces the legendary BIC 252 Release of the first BIC Sport Inflatable Kayaks: the Yakkair HP1 & HP2
2003 - 2010
2002 - 2003 - Mono-type competition finds its way into the world of surf. Once again BIC Sport brought innovation to the sport, being the first to organise a world class mono-type surf contest : the BIC Longboard Challenge. BIC also vastly extended its range of surf boards.
2003 - BIC Sport gets involved in the new sport of kitesurfing by setting up the Takoon brand, who began releasing safe kites at a time when the sport was perceived as dangerous.
In 2005 - the Techno 293 One Design replaced the legendary Aloha board as the mono-type for under 17s. In France only at first but very quickly successful all over the world, success that lasts to this day.
The 2009 - World Championships attracted 260 competitors from 25 countries. As things stand the Techno 293 One Design class is one of the most dynamic in windsurfing and one of the strongest in the entire world of sailing.
2006 - BIC Sport released the O'pen BIC, a board for kids and teenagers that finally managed to rival the Optimist design that had been market leader for almost 60 years. In just four years the O'pen BIC managed to impose itself thanks to its design and innovation, and by the new kinds of competition it made possible. Already, more than 3600 O'pen BICs are sailing somewhere in the world.
2006 - 2010 - The end of the century's first decade can be summed up in a few words : consolidating successful product ranges with quality designs, with innovation and accessibility always the priorities.
In windsurfing, the Core and the Beach boards are the best examples. The continuous search for development of mono-type boards is also a top priority. In kayaking, thanks to the Yakka, BIC Sport was able to make its mark in the inflatable kayak market with a very strong product. In surfing, research continued on the development of Longboards (Magnum, Nat Young 9'4...) and the ACS range. Alongside that, the BIC 245 dinghy was given a new look, refreshing the range that has existed for 40 years.
Release of the first polyethylene SUP, the SUP 11'4 ACS
Comprehensive Paddleboard range is launched, including ACE-TEC, DURA-TEC, C-TEC, SOFT and AIR ranges
Launch of the first "One Design" Paddleboard race series - The BIC SUP One Design Challenge - An industry first
2010 - 2014
SUP is a board sport unlike any other : it's easy to learn, simple to do and appeals to a wide range of people. The result, a (beginning of the) decade in which Stand Up Paddle has enjoyed massive success. It's reminiscent of the golden age of Windsurf in the 80s. BIC Sport has concentrated on developing a bigger and better range in response to this ever-increasing demand. By the end of 2013, over 30,000 SUPs had already left the production facility in Vannes (Brittany).
But the good news doesn't stop there. For instance, the O'pen BIC dinghy continues to shake up the sailing world, with nearly 6000 boats now out on the water. This class is in constant progression.
As too is the Techno 293 One Design windsurf board, which has seen the size of its worldwide fleet growing year-on-year, with more than 9000 under 17s now sailing the board in 40 different countries.
BIC kayaks have also impressed, the innovative YAKKAIR HP (High Pressure) in the inflatables market, the latest version of the Borneo with its new integral roller wheels and 100% mono/duo paddle convertability, a premiere in kayak design.
In the surf board range, the new Egg 7'0 has already made a mark on the decade, a totally modern shape and an incredibly easy ride. Whilst the Mini Malibu has recently seen its 100,000th board roll off the production line. A record. Clearly, in 2014, BIC Sport is more than ever before THE international market leader for all board and water sports, and the only manufacturer to have kept its production facility firmly based in Europe, thanks in large part to its ceaseless drive for innovation and diversification.
BIC Sport is also one of the rare hardware companies to have received the award "Brand of the Year 2013" from the EuroSIMA Commission. BIC Sport gets also the "Ecoride" label from Eurosima for Sustainable Development. Following the prize from Bateau Bleu and their numerous "Etoile du Design" awards, this comes as further recognition of BIC Sport's extensive work on respect for the environment in its industrial processes.
BIC Sport signs an agreement with French brand Oxbow to manufacture and distribute their Stand Up Paddle boards under the BIC Sport flag.
BIC Sport acquires the prestigious SIC brand, reinforcing BIC Sport’s position in the American and world markets for top-of-the-range product.
2015 - 2018
In the middle of the 2010s/teens, the Stand Up Paddle market is expanding rapidly and BIC Sport reflects this by upping their investment in its future. A sponsored international race team, expanded research and development team, manufacture of competition-quality factory/production boards for the race team… Resulting in more and more BIC SUP boards winning and placing in national and international competitions. Martin Vitry, our newest race team recruit, is the perfect example of the new generation of French riders emerging on the international scene. After 2015 the market is beginning to be saturated with new SUP brands, so BIC Sport takes the decision to look for growth elsewhere.
And growth has also been a feature in other categories. The Techno 293 OD and O’pen BIC classes continue to develop, and the new Techno PLUS class is officially recognised internationally by World Sailing, opening up the OD concept to riders over 17 years old. This leads to two new World Champion titles being created : 17 – 19 years old, and over-19s. The first championships are held at Quiberon, France in July 2017 with167 riders on the start line. A huge and immediate success.
O’pen BIC continues to attract ever increasing numbers of youngsters, and more and more countries wanting to develop junior sailing. It takes off in a big way in Australia and New Zealand thanks to support from Russell Coutts, who’s home club choose to use the O’pen BIC. Fittingly, in Arco, Italy, in 2017, his son Matthias Coutts is crowned World O’pen BIC Champion, with New Zealand team members filling many of the top places. This leads to the decision to organise the 2019 O’pen BIC World Championships “downunder”, in New Zealand
The new generation of BIC kayaks, lead by the Borneo, is joined by the single-seat Java, which quickly shows the same qualities and potential as the Borneo. In the inflatables sector, the high-pressure technology that has succeeded so well for SUP boards is identified as an efficient fit for inflatable kayaks, and so the Full HP series appears, replacing the celebrated Yakkair HPs that had already sold in their thousands.
Surfing’s new series of « wide » shapes, started by the Egg 7’0, is extended with the release of the 7’6 version. In 2016 BIC Surf launches its new Paint series, foam boards designed to meet the needs of the growing demand from schools and families. Going strong after 15 years of existence, the BIC Kid One Design circuit continues to bring on emerging new talents every year thanks to its convivial “monotype” competition concept, aimed specifically at young and very young surfers.
In windsurfing, the R&D team has been planning to look at the concept of a hybrid freeride/foil board for several seasons. The project reaches its conclusion at the end of 2018, thanks in large part to the hard work of one of the best shapers around, Jean Marie Guirec. The mould is sent for production at the end of 2018 and the Techno 130 Foil becomes the world’s first hybrid freeride/foil board in the long history of windsurfing.