Boosting parallels – Fanatic Freewave Stubby 105L 2017 windsurf board review

Non-POV pics James Jagger Photography

Freestyle wave boards: the do it all, go to tools for most windsurfers looking to dabble with all kinds of sailing. Except we know no one single piece of windsurfing equipment can cover all bases, can it?

Fanatic have made rapid progress with their stubby parallel rail concept FSW. With its duck’s bill nose and double diamond tail the 105L is every bit the new school shape it professes to be.

Heaping volume into the middle of the board allows for a reduced/stepped rail element around the tail. The brand’s TE lightweight construction, yet hard wearing layup was welcome. Fanatic’s top drawer fixtures, fittings and livery are all suitably high end.

Capped off are thruster style fins from MFC. The middle skeg is a traditional Powerbox while side bites are Slot Box. It’s also possible to blank off the two additional boxes when tuning as a single fin.

With full power blow in effect the FW 105L is up to speed rapido. It accelerates progressively and glides through lulls effortlessly. Back foot dominant riders may prefer the 105L in single fin mode whereas manoeuvre orientated sailors will be content with it as a 2+1 set up.

Most obvious was the cushioned ride across chop. For many large chunks of water will see a board of this size buffeted and bounced about. The parallel rails of the FW keep it slicing through flotsam.

Fanatic’s 105L is fast and loose. Eyeing your ramp riders will be skyward in a flash – how high is then down to nerves. Once in the air there’s a lot of control for a 105L board. Lighter riders would certainly be able to take those first airborne steps without being unceremoniously dunked.

If you’ve a penchant for loops the FSW will serve you well. Swing weight is low which improves control. We were able to mix our loops up between old and new school versions – endos and whips being all good.

Those into sliding backwards will discover an accommodating platform with the FSW. Its nose helps composure through vulcans/spocks and such like. All but the highest level of freestyler will enjoy the 105L. And waves? Drop in, bottom turn and the sensation isn’t unlike a full on wave board with a forgiving nature that allows riders to progress and improve.

Something we would point out is when gybing in heavy chop the FW Stubby needs a committed approach. The board’s whole rail needs to be utilised. Turns off the tail aren’t quite as efficient, although doable.

Conclusion

Fanatic’s Freewave Stubby 105L comes damn close to being a one board does all for mid to heavy weight riders looking to make use of 6m weather down to around 4.7m. A good board for jumping, small to medium wave sailing, float and ride, sliding freestyle and generally booting about on flat or moderately choppy water.

Price: £1899

Info: http://www.fanatic.com/product/freewave-stb/#series-1

 

1 Comment

  1. I live on the Sunshine Coast of Australia and mostly sail in 15-20knots of wind, I’ve only used my 5m NP combat twice in the last 8 months, I’m 51 and 83kg original from England and sailed at Hayling Island in the 80’s.i got this board because of its light wind planing ability and loose feel in the waves. I find it easy to get out in waves when not planning, very stable. On a 5.6 np combat as my biggest sail it’s fine and does actually plan early. Gybing is easy and keeps the speed up which helps because when you’ve just sailed past baited shark buoys you want to make that gybe!!!! Put my time in on this board and recommend to anyone wanting to get that one board that does everything pretty awesome. This board has really helped me get back to the level I used to sail at back in the day on my Alan Neighbour can openers haha thanks Shaun Murphy

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