Having checked out 2017’s 105 version of the Stubby FSW it was intriguing to lay hands on 2018’s 95 litre version and see how it compared. As always Fanatic’s attention to detail, fixtures and fittings and overall manufacturing finish is right up there. So much so it seems a shame to get boards like this wet…but still.
Coming as a 2+1 thruster fin configuration, with x2 12cm side bites and x1 19cm central skeg the Stubby FSW 95 appears quite gunny and long, relative to its overall shape. Parallel rail boards can often take on this aesthetic even when that’s not actually the case – a sort of optical illusion if you like. The board’s pronounced double diamond tail and stubby nose (hence the name) rounds off a very new school looking board.
On the water and the Stubby FSW 95’s flat rocker gets things up and revving in no time – it’s certainly quick that’s for sure. As such skyward boosts are satisfying and a part of what makes freestyle wave boards appealing. For anyone looking at learning aerial rotations it’s a good tool that make inverted transitions easier to stomp.
Freestyle wave boards have come a long way in the last few years. Whilst the above traits won’t be any surprise to those with FSW experience the most notable performance increase – with bigger versions of freestyle wave boards (generally) – is in the wave riding department. In the past FSW’s haven’t really been that fulfilling for diehard wave heads to ride, tending to accelerate out away from the pocket too often. Happily the Stubby FSW 95 is a sled that you can fully belt lips with and delivers a bona fide experience in the surf. Plus, with its stubby compact shape, fitting into real world swells – such as onshore slop and grovel waves – is no issue. Fanatic have taken the best of previous freestyle wave models, onshore surf sleds and mashed these traits together adding a little bit of freeride flavour to the mix as well for some additional seasoning. Of course there’s no such as the perfect board for every condition – hence why we all have quivers. That said Fanatic’s Stubby FSW 95 fits the bill perfectly for powered up coastal lump bashing on medium sized sails.
Fanatic have honed their stubby shapes over the last few seasons arriving at what we now have here: an efficient, suitably fast and fulfilling board that allows wave orientated sailors to attack conditions without having to employ any overly complicated techniques. For most riders in real world wave environments it’s a sled that’ll deliver you skyward with ease, for all manner of aerial antics, while retaining speed, drive and efficient carving traits for proper banging lip hits, deep gouges and knife edge slices. And for those that just want to blast? No worries. Hop aboard and go!