on the beach
For 2012 Fanatic have redesigned their entire Quad range, with the brief being to improve early planing and top speed while retaining the great turning characteristics of the previous range. There are a few other new features for 2012, including the introduction of slot boxes all round, a bigger choice of sizes, and a slightly heavier (cheaper) construction option (although not in this size). The Quad range is still accompanied by Fanatic’s twin-fin and single-fin ranges, giving them an extremely comprehensive wave line-up.
Despite being such a subjective topic, there was no argument that Fanatic had some of the best looking boards last year. For 2012 we see a slight and (in our opinion) very successful reworking of the original theme, and once again they look absolutely stunning. Sadly, the gloss finish bottom has been dropped in favour of a ‘weight saving’ matt finish, but realistically this should prove more durable.
As we’ve come to expect with Fanatic, the quality of fittings is equally impressive. The Quad 94 sports decent (Choco) G10 fins and some of the best footstraps in the business.
Studying the measurements, the Fanatic is jointly the shortest board in test with one of the narrowest tail widths and max widths. At 6.89kg (bare) it’s the third lightest in test.
Underfoot it definitely feels one of the smaller boards here, but at the same time it feels one of the most dedicated wave shapes. The get-up-and-go suffers a bit from this, but top end control is very good (best of the group in fact). The Fanatic has an impressively smooth and stable ride once powered up, and the board is definitely at its best with a bit of power in the rig. When underpowered a little bit of stickiness became evident, and the smaller size of the board came into play.
Perhaps surprisingly for such a dedicated wave shape, our larger Clones actually found it quite good for powered-up bump-and-jump sailing thanks to its smooth, stable ride and compact proportions.
On the wave the Fanatic is really good. It has a lot of grip in the top turn and an extremely smooth, predictable and reliable bottom turn. The better the quality of the wave, the better the Fanatic gets. It has a really nice flowing feel on the wave and transitions from rail to rail nicely. The top turn has grip when you require it, but is also able to break the tail free with control when needed.
In poorer cross-on conditions, when the wave is soft and particularly when there isn’t much power in the sail, it can become a little sticky, and it’s harder to carry speed through the turn on the Fanatic than some of the others. But as soon as the wave steepens up or you get some more power in the sail, the Fanatic comes alive. Underfoot it had such a smooth gliding feel, really eating up any chop through the turn. Taking into account the smaller size, the Fanatic leans slightly more towards advanced riders. It’s not that less experienced riders would struggle with anything in particular, but within this test group there are boards that are targeted directly at ‘intermediate’ riders, whereas the Fanatic is a more hardcore design.
While it’s pretty much a given that all of these boards are suitable for heavier riders, the Fanatic was one of the most applicable for lighter riders. Even our lightest Clones (c. 75kg) were perfectly happy sailing the Fanatic well powered up on 5.3s, and could have sailed with 4.7s if needed.
Weight (bare): 6.89kg
Weight (complete): 7.84kg
Fins: 4 – 15cm & 10cm
Range sizes: 69, 75, 81, 87, 94
The Fanatic Quad 94 is a stunning looking board offering perhaps the most radical performance of the group. The better the conditions and ability of the rider, the more the Fanatic has to offer. It feels one of the smaller but most dedicated waveboards of the group. As a result, it will appeal more to competent riders, although intermediate riders will appreciate the Fanatic’s smooth riding characteristics and good natured turning performance.