Well performing mid length softboard let down by durability issues
Sic Maui Dark Horse 7’4″ Review
Reviewed by: Tim – Advanced – 21 years surfing experience
Dimensions: 7’4″ x 22″ (57.6L)
Fins: Tri fin setup with FCS fushion fin system
What we like: Goes really well down the line, FCS fins make a big difference
What we don’t: Not great durability (Sic Maui have offered to replace)
Sic Maui is a Hawaiian company which has been a major player in the paddleboard and paddle racers world with a reputation for making high quality water craft. Over the last few years they have expanded their softboard range. The “Dark Horse” series is a hybrid softboard which comes in four sizes – 5’8″, 6’8, 7’4″ and 8’4″.
We have previously reviewed the 5’8″ model (see here) – and we note that both that and this 7’4″ are the older versions of the Dark Horse. Sic Maui have recently released a newer version which may have better durability. Tim has noted, to Sic Maui’s credit – that they have offered a full refund or replacement with the newer model.
What does Sic Maui Say about the Dark Horse model:
“The all-new SIC Darkhorse is stepping up the game with its Vortex construction fusing the highest quality soft board technology with composite stringers and lightweight core materials to create fun and yet high-performance boards.
The Darkhorse features a EPS core, the bottom and top skin are ultra-high-quality Vectra Ply reinforced polyethylene to promote speed, stiffness and durability. The rails are a high-density EVA to increase durability while being low friction, so they are comfortable on your arms when paddling.
A key differentiating factor and core performance characteristic of the SIC Darkhorse is its Dullies™ (dual glassed reinforced composite rail stringers). This gives the board its unique stiffness without sacrificing its lively feel and pop!
These boards are equipped with FCS Fusion compatible fin boxes and allow you to run the board as a quad or tri fin setup in the 5’8” and 6’8” lengths and a tri fin setup for the 7’4 and 8’4 lengths.
FCS plugs are great.
Construction needs improvement
Nowhere near strong enough
Unless you’re only ripple riding and don’t weigh much.
What do you like about it?
Goes great in small to medium-sized surf, best feeling soft top I’ve ever ridden, the FCS fin system really makes huge difference over the usual floppy soft top fins🙂
Still doesn’t turn like a glass bottom board but down the line it’s amazing, even had a couple of proper little barrels on it.
What don’t you like about it?
Construction needs major improvement, I have been riding it alot in 1-3 foot surf but it has only lasted around 4 or 5 weeks, crease marks have sowly started appearing in more than 1 place and then the board started to over flex, it’s now pretty much unusable, I have a spare new 1 but will probably sell and get the new model because it will end up wrecked as well. I haven’t owned the new blue vortex model yet, mine is the previous dark horse model hopefully they are stronger, I’ll have to pick 1 up soon. (** SIC MAUI have offered to replace with the new model)
What kind of waves have you surfed it in and how does it go?
1-3 foot beach breaks
Went great in all conditions, it’s not a high performance board but for what it is it’s pretty amazing.
Had a few people comment shocked at how well it was going.
What kind of surfer is this board best for?
All levels will enjoy this board :), it’s soft and safe, and goes great.
Any other comments?
Just needs to be strengthened up alot, then it would be amazing
I give the Sic Maui Dark Horse 7’4″ a 8/10.
The Dark Horse is available direct from Sic Maui in most regions check out their website here.
If you are after more mid length softboard reviews, or buyer guides please check out the rest of our site!
If you have any feedback yourself on the Sic Maui Dark Horse please drop a comment below.
3 thoughts on “Sic Maui Dark Horse 7’4″ Review”
I have just put a deposit down on the newer model of the sic dark horse 7’4 (before I found your review) I was just wondering if you ever got the newer model and if it was more durable. Thanks.
Just reached out to Tim who did this review – he’s got the new board on the way so can’t comment yet. Don’t think they ever came with traction pads – you’ll need to put one on yourself.
Let us know how you get on with it?!
Also what happened to the traction pad?