Fanatic 2017 Pro Wave 7’6″ SUP test reviewHarvey Dawkins
This is a great board! If you love riding waves there is a good chance you will love the Fanatic 2017 Pro Wave, I do. Find out more below…
There are quite a few noticeable changes to 2017 Pro Wave compared to the previous model. The most striking is the new nose shape which is much narrower and there is more nose rocker, making the board look much more like a blown up short surfboard. The second obvious thing is that the rails are much thinner followed by the deck shape being curved rather than flat. Less noticeable and only applying only to the smallest model in the range, the 7’6, the board is in fact an inch wider than last year’s version.
I have owned four different versions of Fanatic Pro Wave SUP and it strikes me that going back to 2013, riders were looking for a Standup Paddleboard that could be used to ride waves. ( Read my test of 2014 Pro Wave for comparison) As we reach 2017 the riders and the sport have progressed to a point where many riders are looking for a surfboard that can be paddled. The 2017 pro wave is the closest that Fanatic have come to achieving this.
Paddling this board out through surf, prone, lying down down, I found it feels much more like a traditional surfboard and you really notice the thinner nose. Standing up for the first time the volume feels very similar to last years model. However, you can really feel the thinner rails and the increased domed deck. Paddling the board feels very similar to last years model and takes very little adjustment. I felt the rails sit a bit lower in the water and I found that I made a slight adjustment to my stance so my feet are slightly closer to the centreline of the board.
I found catching waves easier than previous versions. The single concave into double concave seems to really help the board accelerate very quickly. I was able to catch waves earlier and I certainly caught a couple that I would have missed on last year’s version.
I have owned four different versions of Fanatic Pro Wave SUP and it strikes me that going back to 2013, riders were looking for a Standup Paddleboard that could be used to ride waves. As we reach 2017 the riders and the sport have progressed to a point where many riders are looking for a surfboard that can be paddled. The 2017 pro wave is the closest that Fanatic have come to achieving this.
On the wave
On the wave face the 2017 Fanatic Pro Wave is very fast. I was able to make sections that I am certain I would have struggled to previously. I can certainly say I have had some of the fastest backside waves I have had on a SUP on this board. It is not just a straight line rocket ship, it also turns really well. I found I had complete confidence making front side bottom turns, never feeling the board was going to do anything unpredictable and had room to be pushed very hard. Off the top the new Pro wave seems equally happy to let you carve hard on the rail or go for a more slide fins out turn. Back side bottom turns can be made hard and fast with confidence the board which hold its line.
There has been a big change is the construction of the 2017 Fanatic Pro Wave with it now coming in one form of construction. Gone are the HRS and carbon versions, being replaced with a new construction PVC sandwich construction. The new construction is a fraction lighter than the 2016 carbon version. Having owned both HRS and carbon versions I found the carbon version performed significantly better. I was a bit worried the new construction would be a bit of a compromise for the new pro wave but carrying the board and on the water the PVC sandwich construction feels much like the carbon version. The good news is the 2017 version is approximately £300 cheaper than last years carbon version. Obviously the bad news is it is still more than the discontinued HRS version.
Choosing the right size
My personal advice is not to go too small unless you have the time, patiences and energy to paddle regularly. Paddling small boards can be tiring, reduces your wave count, and can limit the conditions you can go out in resulting in less fun. There are benefits in terms of performance but I would advise being realistic about the size of board you want. Volume equals fun.
Conditions tested in
Venue: West Cornwall north and south coasts in waves from a foot to head high in clean calm conditions to moderate chop, and winds from light cross shore to force five off shore.
Name : Harvey Dawkins from Lagoon Watersports
Weight : 68kg
SUP experience : 4 years SUPing experience on race boards up to 14 foot, in conditions ranging from flat water paddling to high wind down winding, SUP surfing in waves from a foot to double over head, on boards from 10 foot – under 8 foot
2017 Pro Wave info and specs on Fanatic web site
Where to buy near Brighton :
Lagoon Watersports only sells used SUP boards
Local retailers : Surfladle