Old school, new school and everything in between – Fanatic Skate 100 2016 review

Fanatic’s Skate is one of those boards that has a long standing and large following within windsurfing. In the past the Skate has offered enough versatility for everyday freeriders to make use of while remaining applicable to advanced freestyle maestros. While not quite the same shape as the TE version it’s still a worthy consideration for more all round tricksters.

During a recent trip to Vassilliki, Greece, we got the opportunity to put the Skate 100 2016 through its paces. At 63.5cm wide and 100 litres in volume there’s ample float for heavy weights, while being applicable for lighter riders to make use of in marginal conditions.

Planing in the merest whiff of breeze the Skate 100 zooms off the beach, its 21cm fin giving a little extra lift to get through any lulls you may encounter. For those into body contortionisms the fin maybe a tad on the large side but we found it no issues for the level that we’re at (vulcans, spocks, loops and carving). And likewise the slightly heavier construction of this model didn’t hold us back when spinning into a slide.

Paired with mostly 4.7m and 5.3m sails it feels quick even when slightly underpowered and with a little bit of technique riders will find themselves upwind in marginal conditions no trouble. When the breeze fills in the Skate 100 switches up another level and blasting along feels almost slalom-esque due to those box sharp aft rails and tail which releases effortlessly.

For anyone into moves – especially medium weights looking at freestyle beginnings – the Skate 100 pops easily and almost begs you to rotate, slide and chuck a move. With flat water forward loops, especially, the amount of lift generated from moderate pops should see sailors rotating clear of the water and in a good final position for recovery and landing the move. Some boards just don’t give this dynamism and we could see why the Fanatic is loved for sending into all manner of whirls and twirls.

Some of our favourite moves are downwind carves and it’s nice to see Fanatic haven’t forgotten this somewhat overlooked old school end of freestyle. Fanging through a reverse monkey gybe or downwind three can be as rewarding as more extreme tricks and the Skate 100 allows sailors to stomp these manoeuvres with a bit of practice. Obviously there still needs to be some skill employed by the rider in question but as a tutor it’s a board that works incredibly well.

Action pic: PROtography

Conclusion

Fanatic’s Skate has been a stalwart of the freestyle windsurfing market for a number of years and the brand’s 2016 version continues this trend. Already in the mix with a 2017 version (albeit the same shape with updated graphics) this model we tested would still be a great choice for any windsurfer looking to build upon his/her freestyle skills without losing the rounded versatility of a freeride board. Go for a blast, throw down some old school or bust out the big guns – Fanatic’s Skate 100 is a versatile stick that many sailors will adore.

Price: £1499

Info: www.fanatic.com/windsurfing

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