BIC and LL Bean kayaks...

-- Last Updated: Jul-20-04 1:24 AM EST --

...not interested in SOTs or SINKs for my own use, , but saw ads in Paddler for kayaks from BIC and L.L. Bean. Looking at their websites, I wonder if they're standard brands
relabelled. There's nothing on "Product Reviews". Anyone familiar with these?

would imagine they
are () brands with diffrent stickers for the company name aplied. Every other store does it too or at least the big retail chains.

Old Town and Perception
LL Bean sells Old Town and Perception with the LL Bean name on them.

Kinda like…
GM bringing in Korean cars…What are they…Epica…Optra???etcetera?

probably a relabelled brand.

We looked at the BICs down here at the FLYC site -they look like they’d be a bit quicker than the usual US SOT -but their rare.

I DO wish US manufacturers would see what SOTs from SA, Oz, & the Euros are looking like -they’re sleeker, quicker, higher performing boats than the majority of US makes -and, for that matter, their designs, which is the important point.

Many discussions -and yearnings for - these in the SOT community. Many if not most of us really want better -i.r. -improved performance, faster, sleeker boats to

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Another myth?
I like the looks of some of the European boats but in general European boats are not better than U.S. and Canadian boats - They just LOOK a little different (sometime).

U.S. boat makers sell much more boats in Europe than European boat makers sell in the U.S., although the U.S. market is bigger and more accessible.

Not a myth,
what Frank said is the truth.

I don’t know the exact numbers about “kayaks international trade”; however, for the only reason, US makers might get easily in Europe is the the “weak dollar,” ok. very weak dollar value.



My only concern
Is the big bow wave the boat in the BIC advertizement is pushing. Designed for manufacturing simplicity, not for efficiency.


got to admit though
Bic makes a great surfboard,though the razors are crude

BIC Sports I saw at a trade show were…
…very tough. Two sheets of polyethylene - top and bottom, molded and welded into one piece.

I had a cut out hull sample including the weld. Jumped up and down on it and beat it hard and no damage. Sure it will scratch, but similar treatment to a comparable piece from my WS Tarpon would have at least deformed.

Designs are different looking, but for wide slow SOTs they looked to be as fast as any similar offerings from OK, etc. Hull design are different too. Sort of a tri-hull.

Unique features like that wheel could be gimmicks - or actually useful. Seemed pretty functional at the show.

For something different, check out their Scapa model. 14’ 5" x 28". Looks a good but more sporty than the others. Interesting rear storage area that drains out the back. Handle up from reminiscent of a baidarka bow. They said it was designed to have an optional skirt (in development) for cooler/wetter conditions, but I don’t see this on their site (yet? or maybe dropped? - I have a PDF of an older scanned brochure with sketches of the skirt if anyone wants it). Pictures don’t do it justice, but check out the slide shows anyway.

After talking to the BIC folks at their booth, it was clear they are serious about this effort, have thought out their line (like it or not - it does seem to target pretty well) and plan to be in this for the long haul. Not some quick buck idea - they actually cared what people thought and obviously worked hard and believed in the product. They have a fairly complete line of accessories as well.

I think they said they had something like 300 dealers lined up - and this was maybe a year ago. BIC has plenty of $ to back this. They look at this as a natural extension of their 20 year involvement in water sports.

I expect we will see many more of these over time. So far all I’ve see outside that show are what’s on their site and adds in Paddler. Look like good rental fleet material too…

Nothing Standard
Nothing standard about the Bics, those crazy french designers (guessing)


it’s the “fat-ass” factor
Most beginners get the widest SOT available for stability. Also, most americans are over weight…probably in worse shape than their Euro counterparts and so american kayaks, like american cars, are fat and designed more for comfort than performance.