SUP wave board review – Fanatic Prowave Ltd 8’5

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First thing you notice…

The Fanatic pro Wave is extremely light. Compared to carrying my previous board a 10’6, the Pro Wave is a joy. Every paddle boarder that has picked it up has commented on the weight. The only thing you have to watch is the board can get blown about on the water when you fall off so keep an eye out or you can get a bang on the head. The board is also aesthetically pleasing, which is a bonus.

First steps…

This was my first SUP Surf board and my first time on a board this small. I found the initial outing to be pretty much as I expected. I fell off a lot but as time past I became considerably more confident and drier. More importantly I had ridden a stack of great waves and had a big smile on my face.

General paddling…

Initially I found the Pro Wave  quite a bit harder to paddle in a straight line compared to the 10’6. After a bit of practice the Fanatic Pro wave is comfortable and relatively easy to paddle. It is not your first choice for a distance paddle, but still quite usable. It does become a hand full in strong currents and cross chop.

 

Getting out through surf…

Whether you are kneeling or standing the nose punches through waves easily, a total revelation compared to my previous board. By adjusting your weight back a little it is easy to get the nose to lift as white water approaches. Initially it feels wobbly and unstable once you pop over the wave, after some practice this is becoming less of an issue and I expect a non issue for a more experienced paddle boarder.

Catching waves…

The Pro wave is very quick to turn to catch waves. Once my technique improved I had no trouble gliding round to catch waves or snapping the board round sharply for later take offs. I was surprised how easy it was to catch small to medium waves. You can feel the board lift on the swell and be pretty confident that you will catch it. Early take offs where really good and by getting a bit more weight forward and a few extra paddle strokes I am frequently surprised how early I can get waves.

In bigger, over head, waves I initially struggled catching waves. This turned out to be operator error as after some more days in bigger waves I found the Pro wave was great for catching bigger waves. It seemed to handle both early and late take offs really well. A nice feature is the grip deck where the standing pads end, it does not feel very grippy to touch but in practice you can step forward to the nose, off the deck pad and find enough grip on the nose without having to wax the board (Its winter I am wearing boots).

 Wind effect…

I had been warned that SUP Surf boards are badly affected by the wind. My experience in cross and cross off winds up to a force 4  has been pretty positive. In directly off shore winds some more technique is required to get the board down the face of the wave. I found that chop and strong current was more of an issue, in a confused sea state things can become tricky resulting in getting wet more often than I would like.

On the wave…

This board is amazing on the waves. The first thing I noticed was just how fast the Pro Wave is, it accelerates quickly and is really fast on the wave. Bottom turns are a joy and can be made fast and tight or further out in front of the wave. Top turns can be made snappy or drawn out to suit the wave, your style, the conditions or mood. This board truly excels on the wave face. I have tested the board in weak one foot waves through to overhead reef breaks and the three things that keep coming to mind are how fast it is, how well it turns is but more important just his much fun this board is!

Set up…

You can choose between quad or tri fin set up. It comes standard as a tri fin and this is how I used the board . The Pro wave is fitted with  a mast foot insert for SUPing Sailing.

Wear and tear…

My board has come home pretty much unmarked from a month of hard use in Cape Verde in shallow rocky breaks, plus a few months regular use in the UK. At this stage my personnel experience has been really positive on the wear and tear front.

Is it the board for me…

If you SUP in waves yes, definitely!

If you already have a larger SUP and are looking for another board for waves if is perfect, this is what I currently have.

If you want one SUP for all conditions including cruising, then this is not the board for you.

What size?

I am not a very experienced paddler but I have a lot of windsurf and a good amount of surfing experience and at a weight of 65kgs, I found the 8’5 challenging to start with but manageable. Now after a few months I think this is the right size for me. On perfect days I could go smaller but that bit more volume and width, gives room to get a way with a few errors and simply have more fun. My advice is to be on the side of caution and get a size you can paddle comfortably as once you get the wave it will turn beautifully and you want to get as many waves as possible rather than falling in every few minutes. If you want to try a Pro wave or other board you can test a range of Fanatic SUP’s at Lagoon Watersports.

About author…

Name : Harvey Dawkins from Lagoon Watersports, Brighton

Weight : 65kg

SUP experience : 8 months SUPing experience on a 10’6 board in conditions ranging from flat water paddling to SUP surfing in waves up to head high

Other Watersports experience : Over 20 years windsurfing and 10 plus years surfing mainly long boards.

Testing venues : North and South coast Cornwall, Cape Verde.

Read test on the Fanatic 2017 Pro Wave 7’6″ SUP

More info

Paddle with Brighton and Hove SUP club

Get Paddle fit for SUPing

Learn to SUP in Brighton and Hove

 

 

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