While the original SIC RS was a very successful raceboard many paddlers loved due to its versatility, it was… lets say, difficult with its successor.
When I tested the new RS in May 2020 i had mixed feelings… the looks and haptics got definitely better with the move to kinetic and the full pvc wrap construction. At this time I only could test the 21,5 and the 23″ model and while they were manageable, 24,5″ is still my prefered width.
Only slight changed regarding the deckpad, kickpad and recently the move to the matte paint happened since then.
Changes from the old to the new RS
Many things have been carried over from the old RS and when you’re switching them frequently duing a session, they also share a lot of DNA.
Especially for heavier riders it’s not so easy to get a waterline that works well in flats and in the draft. The old RS had a really good waterline up to 100kg and glide was quite good although being a Allwater Board. Where I did absolutely hate the old RS was when hitting steep waves upwind, as the nose was too wide and the bottom absolutely flat. Combined with the flexing laminate, I never hat big trust, nor a good feeling when hitting those bumps.
While the newer RS is definitely an improvement when heading upwind, with its narrower and higher nose, not everything got better. Especially with small waves I do have a feeling that glide is comprimised and you’re kind of stuck between the waves. Handling in sidechop is absolutely great and due to the higher rails and equally as deep standing height, it’s relatively easy to stay the captian on board 😉
Watching different world class races in the past months, you could see that many teamriders still prefer using the RS over the Atlantis. The Atlantis was never a board concept I really understood as I always had a feeling that this is not fish, not meat. Too flat for an Allwater Board, too slow for flatwater. The RS doesn’t excel in any discipline, but it’s extremely easy to use, works better than it feels and it’s fully equipped with everything a rider could wish for.
Things that Starboard could learn from SIC
After many years of increasingly extreme dugout boards, the market has shown demand for easy-to-use flat deck race boards. The GenR has some great design features, lots of volume and an even more effective Nose when paddling upwind.
SIC has the racehandles placed just perfectly and bungee tie downs in each availaible size. Furthermore the SF construction has way better compressive strength compared to the Blue Carbon Sandwich GenR.
The standing position on the GenR is too high compared to the RS, what may be one of the reasons why it’s not as easy to use.
You want a Board that does it all and serves also as a race tourer? Why not giving them all those bungee tie downs?
Things that SIC could learn from Starboard
Keep that drainage system simple… The GenRs Drainage System works perfectly and serves for a dry cockpit.
Do we really need a step channel? The first RS didn’t have that extreme steps and I also don’t think that it’s beneficial in any way. Waterrelease also shows a lot of turbulence.
Creating a laminate that’s stiff and light seems to be a difficult task these days, while not as stiff as an old 2019 Indiana Open Ocean Board, the GenR feels way more solid.
The Deckpad of the GenR is just perfect, lots of grip and you always know where you’re standing. Enough volume and a rockerline that suits even heavier paddlers.
SIC and their marketing politics
While I appreciate the SIC is sticking with good boarddesigns like the Bullet and not changing year after year their complete lineup, even 1,5years ago prototypes of different Atlantis variants as well as strange looking RS Models have been seen on social media.
Finally it seems we’ll soon loose that flatdeck RS raceboard, and get a turbo version…
I’ve seen many Atlantis prototypes with that kind of nose, but a different side view. Seems this should merge all the benefits of the Atlantis and pair it with the RS DNA.
Soon first boards should be available and I’ll definitely try to test that new RST Raceboard.
Verdict SIC RS 2023
The RS, particularly in cross-chop conditions, stands out as a remarkably user-friendly board, though it doesn’t truly shine in any specific discipline. It excels as a touring board, but it’s important to note that the rockerline appears to be tailored more for lighter-weight paddlers, and thus there are many alternative boards on the market that offer superior glide.
Nevertheless, its exceptional ease of use and impressive first and secondary stability allow you to concentrate on refining your paddling technique and conserve significant energy in your legs when confronted with challenging conditions.
As a bonus, you will receive a complete package that includes the most comfortable handle, additional handles for beach starts, a bungee tie-down, an FCS mount, and high-quality laminate with low weight.