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Bic Astro and Electric Rock

 
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RickCronk



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Bic Astro and Electric Rock Reply with quote

Anyone know when the last year of manufacture was for the Bic
Astro Rock or the Bic Electric Rock?
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1029

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tough one to figure out...
You see, Bic made them at least thru '93, but did the local dealers buy any after '89??
Even early '90, when the purple ones were right and light (E about 16lbs., Astro closer to 17.5), most shops didn't order them anymore. Doesn't didn't mean Bic didn't make them.
Then the '92 or so, pure white ones really cheap were made, very heavy also of course.
Then who really knows how many were made after dat?
Guess E came out in '87, Astro a year later.
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RickCronk



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you LeeD. Very helpful as I was a devoted Mistral sailor through the late 90's and didn't pay much attention to Bic. Thanks again. RC
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14319

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mssr Bic was PO'd when Performance Windsurf Report praised the E-Rock as an all-time classic board for learning to jibe -- the very year they stopped selling it -- in about 1993 or 94. They had just succumbed to the extreme no-nose fad, virtually in direct opposition to the E and A paradigm of auto-piloted user-friendliness.

Mike \m/
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lakesailor17



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:14 pm    Post subject: e-rock Reply with quote

The last year for the e-rock was 1994. I bought one of the last ones new in 1995 after reading in windsurfing that it was a great board for learning jibes. The review was right.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14319

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome.

I got chewed out for writing that review because the board was going off the market, but you're not alone in buying gear based on magazine reviews. When Jim Ballentine managed the Hood River SailWorld shop, he told me customers would walk in with the magazine in hand, point to reviews in the mag, and say, "I want to buy this, and this, and that ...". At that time, the E Rock was one of the easiest boards on the U.S. market for intermediates to learn jibing on. Lord knows its immediate successors were not, because the instant they dropped off a plane, they wanted to weathervane (point into the wind). The dang Rocks, OTOH, knew all by themselves how to jibe, so we could just give them the reins, follow along, claim all the credit, and almost learn from the board in the process. Joe Lundstrum of Albuquerque rode his E-Rock from at least holey 6.5 to ragin' 4.0, and learned to loop on it; I'm guessing he also raced it when necessary. That's pretty versatile. Many of its performance characteristics are what make today's boards so user-friendly: early and prolonged planing, lots of flotation in a relatively small-feeling package, and a wide sail range.

To this day I still use mag reviews to narrow down my choices (having read many thousands of individual reviews and written many hundreds of magazine reviews, I probably have an advantage in reading between their lines). What else can we do ... try to demo 30 or 40 boards from scratch every time we need a new one? Heck, reserving one demo board, picking it up from a shop, finding the right conditions for it, and getting it back that evening for the next guy is a nightmare usually requiring several tries; demoing several boards that way is out of the question even in the Gorge. I once tried all summer to demo an F2 Air, and never did get my hands on it; turns out a shop employee was hoarding it for himself.

Mike \m/
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2438

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just had a killer sesh with a very similar performing board. The Exocet Cross 106. Right now, there are many Cross venue boards that have brought back that kind of versatility. Wind was 8-32 side off, waves up to a couple feet overhead. Sail used was a 5.5 DTL specific Aerotech Charge. Look for a faster rocker in the Cross venue to FSW oriented boards. Over rockered ones tend to plane up slower.

Last edited by jingebritsen on Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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billgfc



Joined: 20 Aug 2006
Posts: 226

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Electric Rock was a terrific all around board, for sure.

You would see them lined up on the beaches of Texas in the late 80 s and 90's. We still have one in the garage and selling it.

With three top quality fins the board can be sailed well from 7.5 down to 4.5 for recreational sailing. Another factor in popularity was that you could bring the boom over the tail for water starts. Because of the tail volume the boom stays high, making water starts much easier. This is important not just for learning, but easy sailing.

The beveled top rails, possible a Bic innovation helped the nose stay down.
The Electric Rock is an easy and fun board, absolutely one of the best ever.

I speak and email with sailors around the world and current versatile models include the current Bic Techno series, JP Xcite ride, Starboard Carve , Futura, Fanatic Hawk and any number of other work great

While there is no question that board ads drive the magazine, that drive the reviews, that drive the sales just as as noted above, it seems that if you get a good board in the right category for you, other factors rule and are not often published.

1. Get good rigs. That means the mast the mfr rigs. The right bend curve and flex is everything. Follow rigging instruction and use harness lines with reasonable length so you have the leverage to relax and go.

2. Fins: stock fins rarely give you the best. Get a good aftermarket quiver. You will get a smoother ride, rarely spin out , get moving easier out of jibes, plane earlier and have better control and fun while sailing. A good fin will allow you to fully extend your body, using all your leverage.
This means sailing is easier, You are calm in your shoulders and mind and this is more fun:)

3. Your setup is 1/ 3 board 1/3 rig and 1/3 fin. Each is as important as the other. Even though the ad budget ratio in magazines may be 65% board, 30% rig and less than 2% fin, The mechanical system is 1/3 board/1/3 rig and 1/3 fin.


Manage each 1/3 effectively and you will have more range, a better ride, and more fun. Whether you choose an old Electric Rock, X-Cite ride, or other. You get the best value and fun with thsoe manged

Enjoy!
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I grew up sailing on Bic's. I had the Adaggio which was a slalom board at 106 liters, similar to the E-Rock but a little longer. Fun board. Eventually traded it for a Mistral Screamer. Also had the Bic Rap, a highwind slalom board at 88 liters. Loved/love that board. Brought that one out with me when I moved to Portland. Sailed it in the Gorge no problem: Event site, Hatchery, Dougs. Planes great, jibes great, jumps great. Could use a little more nose scoop and not the best for wave-riding but for overall bump & jump it is pretty good. Eventually broke it jumping when the mast foot punched through the deck. Spent a year or two trying to find a good replacement. Luckily I ended up finding another one at the CGWA swap last summer ! And it is once again my preferred high wind board of choice despite it being an older design.

More info on the old bic ranges available here:
http://www.bicsport.com/windsurf/previous-ranges,35.html
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