If you follow Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) with any regularity, you have likely heard some of the accolades bestowed on the SIC X14 series of racing/fitness SUPs. The famous SIC glide intrigued me and I accepted the opportunity to demo an X14 Pro model recently on a windy day in Dana Point Harbor. Is there really something to the hype surrounding the SIC glide? The short answer – yes.
The X14 Pro’s silky smooth glide was immediately noticeable from the first stroke. The board simply glides over the water’s surface like a hot knife through butter and quickly gets up to speed. With 43 liters less volume than the standard X14, most of which was likely shed by scaling the width of the board down from 28.5 inches (72.4 cm) to 26 inches (69.22 cm), the X14 Pro is remarkably stable and is suitable for experienced intermediate paddlers to elites.
Similar to other top of the line SUPs, the X14 Pro features a full bodied volume from the nose to the tail. The board has a cutting bow, but the nose does not stick out as proudly as some other boards in its class. As a result, I experienced a sharp reduction in the amount of self steering commonly found on many SUP race boards when navigating through chop and boat wakes.
The X14 Pro’s full volume contributes to the board’s stability along with the exceptionally clean lines along the rails and slightly recessed standing deck. The recessed standing deck does mean you cannot place your feet right along the edges of the board, but you can get pretty close. The deck pad was comfortable underfoot and easy to move around. The recessed feature does give you the ability to lock your feet against the rails for a sense of comfort and possibly a small bit of stability, if desired.
Moving aft, the recessed standing area tapers ever so slightly towards the tail. I found the taper a useful indicator for my foot placement on the back of the board when performing a pivot turn. The point when my foot (turned sideways) could just begin to feel both sides of the rails appeared to be a good indicator that I had stepped back on the board far enough to shift my weight and sink the tail to execute a turn.
I did not have a chance to weigh the X14 Pro, but SIC’s Single Carbon Composite construction is light and the board easy to maneuver both on and off the water. SIC has engineered a wonderfully secure handle for all of its X14 series boards which makes them easy to carry. With the proliferation of flat water races, it is nice to see another well designed SUP tailored specifically for the conditions. If racing is not [yet] your thing, the SIC X14 Pro would be a good choice for on the water fitness and recreational paddling. The board is comfortable to paddle, glides extremely well and is easy to learn.
A special thanks to SIC Maui for giving me the opportunity to demo the X14 Pro.