Is this the best bit of light wind kit I have ever been on? Yes!
I've had about 8 hours on the Fanatic Quad 101 over two sessions and this is a board specifically designed for waves. Both times in marginal to moderate wind I intended to do some 'float and ride' style wavesailing using 101 rather than my 79 Fantic quad which I currently own. The first session was Gerroa in 11-18 knots and then yesterday at Long Reef in gusty 10-15knots (later in the afternoon it was closer to 16knots)
The first and consistent impression I had was that this boar
d in no way feels large on the wave. I could bottom turn it like my small board and it had the manouverability of the little 76 twinzer I used to use. At the moment I weigh 75kg (Winter was not kind) and could easily get around the break. Bogging out from the beach the Fanatic could be popped over waist high whitewater and there was plenty of stability for light wind gybes and when stalling out the back. It could easily manage the unfriendly currents/rips at Longy as well. So all the energy I would normally put into keeing a smaller board striaght and encouraging it to through the break was not wasted. Out the back I could simply stand and then select the best of the small sets which was much more relaxing. Yep the waves were only waist high but normally I have to hope for gust and to be sitting just as wave peaks up to successfully catch waves in these sorts of conditions. At Long Reef I had some overhead sets and the board just felt even better. The Fantic 101 could be pushed onto waves and if directed off the wind at the top of the wave it would quickly accerlate so I could slot my feet into the straps. On the softer waves at Long Reef I could generate plenty of speed to get 2-3 top turns, pop over sections that were breaking and even aerial. There was plenty of 'float' to then tack on the inside and head back out. Normally I would catch the wave completely in and walk up the beach a bit, wait for a gust etc as my 79 would just sink or bog on the inside as the various currents would drag it sideways. So I reckon I had a lot more waves than normaly.
As the wind picked up in the afternoon I had no desire to go to smaller board at all. I was happy planing around on board and never reached a point where I felt it was too bouncy or uncontrollable. Although the chop was small on the outside. (If it was 25knots + and lots of wind waves out the back I sometimes use a 69litre but this is too small unless the wind is perfectly steady).
Yep I would buy this board! I like the fact that I can get out early onto the waves before they get too chopped up by the wind and it turns so well. I also like the fact that I would not have to change down too soon if the wind picked up. I would use it as my 'competition' board too.
I used the Naish XL rig (on 370 mast) the first time an as a light wind sail it had plenty of power. I could hold the pressure in the sail while waiting for the wave to build behind me and then a couple of big pumps would get the board up and planing on the wave. The XL I think is between 5.3 and 5.7 (see pic next to my Severne 5.3). I felt like I had lots of power low down and in my back hand to drive through the board. This is a really light rig but not as 'flicky' as my S1. Interestly, the second time I used the Fanatic I used my S1 5.3 in what I thought was similar wind and I found it quite hard to get planning. My mate Chris was on his Nude 100 with a Naish 5.7 and as a heavy guy he was flying past me. I put some of this down to poor technique, a desire to keep upwind and maybe lots of rocker in the Fanatic. This is probably the only critism I have is that it was harder to plane and my little 76 would have got going at the same time - so make of this what you will. I also note that for the type of sailing I was intending to use this board for was not 'blasting around chop hopping out the back' It may make it harder to get get jumps but I'm sure better sailors than me can make the board plane.
I would get this board and partner it with my 79 Quad as a good combo. you can see from the pics the size difference which in reality was not apparent when sailing.
To sum up - great wave riding board providing more time on the water in marginal conditions with lots of potential with a powerful rig. A total 'plug and play' package which only took 2 waves to ajust to.
I rented the board and rig from Sam at WindSurfnSnow for a friend for what I thought would be a really marginal Gerroa day. She ended up on my 79 as she was able to plane quite easily and I ended up with the quad for most of the day.
Hey Tim is that the demo Chopper and do you think it can rig on a 400 mast?
I don't think it will fit on a 400 as the luff is 390.
I haven't seen a back foot strap so far from the tail of a board since my 1985 model Warren Cornish 9 footer....... or is that just a weird angle that the picture was taken from?
Hay wind surf n snow are any of you guys going to round 2 of nswwa on the central coast. Should bring the 101 quad demo up with you. I'm looking to buy one and would love to have a ride on one before I buy.
Nice review Tim. If you get a chance to try the board in bigger waves please let us know how it went. You mentioned that it turned as well as the Twinzer 76 you used to own. Which one was this? Is it the Mistral Twinnie? I have these (84 & 92l), and if the Fanatic is a loose as these that is high praise indeed.
Just to give my two cents... I have only had an 87(ish) size board as my one size does all waveboard for the past 5 years. I'm 88-90kg (depending on beer consumption) and sail with 5.3 or 4.7 about 95% of the time.
I've got an 87L Fanatic Quad (2012) and recently at the Australian National Wavesailing Championships got the chance to try one of the new 2013 fanatic 101 quads. I got to try it in head high cross to cross on with the 5.4. I would have been dogging around with the 87 but the 101 was brilliant - quick to get going and to be honest, not the fastest board (especially when compared to a larger single fin) but in those conditions getting planning is just the main thing. Once on a wave it turned as easily (no bull$hit) as my 87 and came off the lip just as nicely. I loved it so much i'm awaiting the arrival of my very own 101!
I think the new breed of dedicated bigger sized waveboards will see a lot more people sailing a lot more often! Stoked!
PS: Whilst i haven't tried the 94 Fanatic quad, if it's anything like its bigger and smaller siblings it'd be a ripper!