New SIC Maui wing Raptor V3 review by Livio Menelau

20th August 2023

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You won’t want to miss the latest from SIC Maui! After unveiling the SIC Maui Raptor Launch a few months ago, an Ace-Tec Made In France board that we were able to test, the brand launched the V3 of their Raptor wing a few weeks ago. And for this new version, SIC Maui has pulled out all the stops! It’s a wing that’s been almost entirely reinvented: hard handles, improved shape, windows, and improved materials make the new Raptor V3 a resolutely modern wing. To tell us all about it, we called on Livio Menelau, SIC Maui Team rider who already has several months’ experience with this wing. He notably finished 3rd overall and 2nd in his wing foiling division in the Maui to Molokai race, as well as 4th in the Paddle Imua Downwind Race over the past few weeks with his Raptor V3. He tells us all about his new wing!

Hi Livio, you’ve just finished 3rd in wingfoil division at the Maui to Molokai. Can you tell us about your race?

It was a great great great event. We were like 105 or 120 competitors between wingfoilers and paddlers foilers. It was a great event. The races started by light wind and I started moving a little bit close to the island, because the wind, as I’m a goofy footer, is pushing me better to the island. I say “okay, we can go close to the island, but not too close, so I can surf more, and I can more downwind and enjoy better”. Then I start racing against Zane Schweitzer, Alan Cadiz and Robert from Oahu, and we start to race each other. I was a little bit ahead and passed Zane and Zane passed me… he went outside on the line I was taking for catching the wind. The wind was kind of getting break down to a little low wind, so I started to surf the most I can and use the wing with a lot of power wind. I got a good line and I passed them because they went outside, and I say “if I keep following them, I never gonna pass them again”. Because as soon as they turn, I’m gonna turn the same line with them, and it’s gonna be who’s gonna be fast to the end, you know. And I say “okay I’m gonna keep in my line, don’t look at him and just follow to the finish line”. Then, when I was shooting straight to the channel to the finish line, I saw some guys who didn’t make it and have to swim to the end. So I say “okay if I go straight nobody can pass me anymore” and I went to straight line. I went to the shallow water to try to get the wind, but then I hit my foil on the rocks close to Molokai. So I have to swim to the end. Well it’s a good good race, I’m happy to be back on the field and do the best I can with the best equipment.

Livio Menelau and Zane Schweitzer – Photo: @aedererik

For this race, you were equipped with the new SIC Maui wing, the Raptor Wing V3. So, first of all, what are your overall impressions about this wing?

I’m very excited with the new wing, the Raptor V3. I used the 5sqm. Most competitors used 5,5sqm or 6sqm wings, and I use my 5sqm wings, I trusted them, and they have a lot of power. The wing is pretty strong and stiff. I love the new handles. At the beginning I was complaining like: I don’t know if like the bars, will I like the bars… Because I learned with no bars. But finally it’s very easy to control at full speed, and it’s very easy to maneuver and switch around the position of the hands… it’s a pretty unique wing. I’m very impressed with the job that have been done and the hard work.

Photo: @aedererik

In terms of comfort, how is the Raptor Wing V3, especially on long-distance races like the Maui to Molokai?

The wing is very comfortable. It’s very tight, it’s easy to control in light wind, you can pump and you can easily put in the right position for the wind. It’s really really easy in your arm and your shoulders. The reason I really like this wing is the power they have, the maneuvers to put in the wind is really really good, and the aspect is nice, the material is really high quality… All this make the wing pretty amazing.

After having soft handles, the Raptor Wing in its V3 version has now switched to rigid handles. What are your impressions about these rigid handles?

Yeah like I say before, I was against the switch to the soft for the hard ones. But as soon you try, it’s easy to position your hands. When you do a ton of jibes, it’s easy to place your hands where they were before, you don’t have to look, you don’t have to worry to place your hands, they are in on the right spot, the bar is right there. You just stick your hand and you’re in the right position for the power. I’m really glad that SIC did that, like the different companies too doing this switch to hard handles, it’s much more comfortable for the athletes and for the sports lovers.

Where does the Raptor Wing V3 stand in terms of power and rigidity?

The V2 wing already has a lot of power but the V3 feel better: the materials are way stiff and the quality of the handles is really comfortable. When you go full speed, the loops normally are pushing the wing down and up, and with the hard handles we can stay steady and keep it straight. They go pretty amazing, you don’t have that flexibility which go up and down, it’s hard, it’s like pretty much you hold a piece and it doesn’t move. It’s pretty pretty good, the power is amazing for full speed. They don’t bend it much like some couple of wings in the market, when you go full speed they’re super flex. But SIC did a good job to make the wings stiff. Rigidity with the hard handles is really good for full speed, for maneuvers and everything.

The Raptor Wing V3 now features an all-new window layout to enhance visibility – there were none on previous models. What do you think of them? Are they useful, especially when racing?

About the windows in the wing… oh my gosh, that was of a lot of people talking about it. I was like against it, it’s like “I don’t like the windows”… but when you think about safety stuff, with the windows it’s very very easy to look where are the people, if they gonna cross you over or not… The windows protect everybody around and you. Sometimes you have a windsurfer cutting you and you never see him before! You look in the wind and you see somebody over there. I think the windows are gonna be really popular with everybody, a lot of companies are doing it, and some companies still not doing, but I think it’s gonna turn around and the people is gonna get wings with windows, it’s about the safety stuff.

What do you use the Raptor Wing V3 for?

I use the wing for racing and surf. I’ve been using it for about a year, we did tests here in Maui, we went to Bonaire Island, to test over there too, to do photoshoot… and I’ve been using the wing for about a year, and abusing the wing. It’s matchmaking to see the quality of the product, the SIC design. I’m really really excited for what they did, and I’m excited to be back in racing again, against my friends, and it’s pretty unique to be back in the field, in training and do all the commitments again.

On what surfaces have you been able to try the Raptor Wing V3 ?

I’ve been using all different conditions: when you have a super high wind in Maui you use the 3sqm, and normally average here in Maui I’ve been using the 3sqm, 4sqm and sometimes 5sqm. For the race, I see a lot of guys using big wings and it doesn’t matter if the wind is strong or not, because you’re going downwind then you’ll go with the wind and you’ll need a little extra power. The wing is being really good for the strong wind, and I tried, two days ago when the wind was pretty gusty, my 3sqm and I really really enjoyed the ride without flapping and all that kind of stuff. Sometimes when you have a lot of wind, the wings are starting to bang in the wing like a lot, like you know the sound. Sometimes it’s good, you have like a short wing for strong wind, I say 3sqm for average winds like 20 to 25kts, and if the wind is below 25kts to 15kts, you can go 5sqm. Some guys prefer 4sqm on the wind 20-25kts, all depend on how you ride, what kind of foil, front wing, you use. Most people use a small foil, so with big wing, because you need the power to take off.

I’ll leave you with the last word?

I’m excited for next year and I see you guys around. Thank you so much !

Thank you very much Livio for your detailed feedback on this new wing SIC Maui Raptor V3! For more info, visit the SIC Maui website.

To support Maui which faced devastating fires, if you’d like to donate to help the local community, please find some links below:

Follow Livio Menelau:

More about SIC Maui :
Official website / Facebook / Instagram

About the Author

Laurie Montagner

From SUP Racing to wing foiling, through windsurfing, wakesurfing and surfing, you will always find Laurie somewhere in the South-West of France. Passionate about watersports, Laurie spends her time surfing, whether on the wave... or online! Laurie is indeed a specialist in social media marketing and web development, from writing lines of code to making professional videos. Very much a competitor, you've probably already met her on one of the SUP and wing events all over France!

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