Adrian Jones and his test Clones test out the first board in the 2013 freewave test, the Fanatic Freewave.
When Vice World-Wave Champion Victor Fernandez chose to ride this exact board in the 2012 PWA Wave tour, it made a fairly clear statement that it’s a very good board. It was probably the first time a production freewave board has ever been used in a PWA competition and not only did he use it for jumping, but also for riding where he notched up some of the highest scoring rides of the day in Klitmoller this year.
The Fanatic Freewave is a tri-fin design with a relatively long and gunny profile compared to some of the other boards within this group. At 237cm long it was in fact the longest in test. The quality of the fittings and finish are excellent including the Fanatic straps, which are always a pleasure to use.
Underfoot if feels fairly high in volume, long and narrower than most – which is actually slightly deceptive as the maximum width is in fact the third highest within this group. The tail width is narrower and the more drawn out nose shape lead to this impression.
In a straight line, it feels longer and narrower with a more rockered up nose than most, giving it a very secure feel underfoot.
Off the beach, it gets going very quickly, feeling of decent volume underfoot with plenty of drive from the fins. The longer profile gives it a fast and reliable feel as it guns towards the first ramp. In a straight line, the nose rides high and there is a feeling of sailing off the fin, which makes the ride quite exciting in comparison to some of the more planted boards. Never-the-less, the extra fins come into their own at the top end, helping to keep the board settled down and in control when conditions get rough.
Extremely smooth, grippy and predictable through the turn. The extra length definitely helps with this, particularly in chop.
For burning around and getting jumps on, the Fanatic is top notch and as such scores best (jointly) for bump and jump sailing. It’s comfortable, fast, exciting and jumps well.
It’s not just in a straight line that the Fanatic is good though. On the wave face it turns incredibly well with the tri-fin set-up giving lots of grip and also a tighter turning circle when required. It was apparent within this test that the three tri-fin boards were really in a different league when it came to turning on a wave and the Fanatic was no exception. It feels very smooth through the turn and whilst it might not be quite as aggressive and radical as the JP when pushed hard, it is definitely easier going and more predictable. It’s hard to call which is best. Advanced riders looking for proper wave riding potential will probably be able to get a little more from the JP, however the Fanatic is definitely more consistent and easier going, particularly in chop where it feels very smooth indeed. It can also be snapped pretty hard when required and the narrower tail and tri-fin arrangement provided a really good backside turn when required.
The Freewave also seemed pretty good for freestyle where it slid easily and felt agile enough to be thrown around a few spocks and flakas etc.
Off the beach it gets up and going really fast and was one of the best for jumping.
The Fanatic Freewave is arguably the best all-round freewave board of this group. On the wave face only the JP can challenge it for aggressive turning, but the Fanatic will shine through for most with its easy going and predictable nature. In a straight line it was really fun to ride, had decent speed and was great for jumping. And if it that wasn’t endorsement enough, Victor Fernandez chose to use this exact board in his recent PWA heats, so it must be good!
RIGHT TO REPLY - Craig Gertenbach, Fanatic Brand Manager, gives his response to the test.
Boardseeker has, as always, produced a well researched test, we were lucky enough to witness firsthand the tremendous effort which goes into the process and were notably impressed. For 2013 we worked very hard on having a clear difference between our three waveboard lines. Our freewave remains an absolute favourite, the best all-rounder we have for waves, flat water and bump and jump. Adding the tri-fin setup has added an even bigger range of use, with the option to close the side-fin boxes and use as a single fin too, customers can now have everything they need in one board for loads of different conditions. A more radical, more waveriding oriented shape is the TriWave, which is narrower than the Freewave and also has the option to switch between Tri and single fin mode, this board is ideal for all riders who have always wanted to try a multi-fin setup, but were perhaps not quite ready for a full on Quad or Twin style ride. The Triwave works great in waves and also on flat water, easliy switching between front foot and back foot riding, as well as a great jumping board with excellent top end speed. Shorter, snappy turns as well as long drawn out lines, all work well with the TriWave, making it one of our hottest sellers this season.
And our third and most radical shape in the wave lineup is the Quad, which is ideal for good wave conditions, has excellent control and is THE waveboard of choice for the majority of our team riders when the going gets rough. In either onshore or pure down the line conditions, the Quad is the most manoeuvrable board in our line, it likes to be ridden with slightly more power in the sail/more powerful waves and is very forgiving in overpowered conditions too. Keeping in mind that we service a global market with many different needs and skill levels, we believe the Fanatic 2013 Wave range has something for everyone, from absolute wave beginner, through to experienced wavesailors, all the way through to Pro level. Our riders are only using Sebastian Wenzel designed boards, either in custom or production form, they are completely integrated into the R&D process to make sure we stay in touch with any new trends and ideas. Thanks Boards and Boardseeker, keep up the good work and see you on the water soon.
Fanatic.com - also the Fanatic website and APP have the info you could need.