I recently visited Mark Raaphorst at the S.I.C. headquarters in Maui and got to check out one of his latest creations, the S-16 Standamaran racing SUP stand up paddle board. The S-16 is surprisingly fast, especially going upwind. Upwind paddling is actually fun on this board. I shot some video of Mark explaining about the S-16 and got some footage from our downwind test run.
The S-16 came about when Mark got an order for 4 catamarans. Right now, the board is built to order but Mark is thinking of offering it as a production board. They already have a mold and are making adjustments to the platform area. After seeing the first promo video, I just couldn’t wait to test it out.
From the video we knew it was fast in flat water but what about in open ocean bumps, side chop and downwind? That was answered during our test run. Let’s run through the board specs first.
Here are some of the specs for the S-16:
Dimensions: 16′ x 28″
Weight: 27 lbs (It feels really light)
Better yet, check out this video where Mark goes over the S-16:
We tested it on a downwind run in Kihei, Maui. I paddled the S-16 upwind for a bit at the beginning of the run to test it out. I was blown away at the speed and glide I could get going upwind. The S-16 in flat water and upwind is extremely responsive to each paddle stroke. I just took one stroke and I was off and running. It felt almost effortless, just the way I like it. Paddling into a 15 mph headwind I was actually gliding. Huh? That never happens to me on anything else I’ve ridden. If this is the case for Oahu, the last portion of the Hawaii Kai run that’s upwind will be way easier. I can’t wait to test it out on my home course but that probably won’t be until July at the earliest.
At 28″ wide, the board is super stable. In fact, it feels just as stable if not more stable than 34″ wide SUP’s I’ve ridden. Side chop has no effect on it and balance is not an issue. Pono Bill got on the board and at 260 lbs he could paddle it too.
The big question that I had was, “How will the S-16 perform in open ocean conditions and can it catch bumps?” The answer is mixed (for this version). One issue we ran into was the platform was reinforced and when the reinforcements hit the waves, it slowed the board down.
Since the board sits fairly low in the water, this affected me more than the other guys because I weigh 205 lbs, Livio is 170 and Mark is 185. The board catches bumps pretty easy so in the next version the platform will be adjusted or changed. Mark already has some ideas for this and he mentioned that he will only be satisfied when the S-16 can perform in a Maliko run as well as in flat water. That’s pretty ambitious but if anyone can do it, he can.
A couple of things were surprising about the board. I thought that there may be a tendency for it to turn sideways and then flip over when going downwind. That never happened and wasn’t an issue. The other thing is that I was able to steer and surf the board without the rudder for a good portion of the test. I thought that I would need to stay on the rudder the whole time but that wasn’t the case.
Here’s another video where we take out the S-16 and test it in open waters:
Here are some pictures of the S-16:
There are 2 rudders on the S-16.
Both rudders are controlled by a single foot pedal mounted on the deck. The foot pedal has a telescopic extension that can be adjusted on the fly.
The deck has full EVA padding, leash plugs for straps and leash and a carry handle. Keep in mind this is the first S-16 to come out of the mold so #4 will be even more refined.
I can’t wait to see what Mark has in store for the next versions!