"It feels the smallest board underfoot, but also the loosest and most agile on the wave”
“Turns exceptionally well for an 86-litre board and you can really put it where you want on the wave”
“In a straight line it feels fast, but is a little bit under-finned and slippy in the tail when underpowered with bigger sails”
Available only in lightweight Team Edition construction, the NewWave Twin sits in the 2011 wave range between the new quad-fin and the time tested NewWave single-fin.
There is no doubt that this is one absolutely stunning looking board. With its gloss rails and polished bottom finish it really does look a classy product, and one that you would be very proud to own. As usual with Fanatic, the quality of fittings is equally impressive: the NewWave Twin sports decent G10 twin-fins and some of the best footstraps in the business.
Studying the measurements, the Fanatic is one of the longer boards in the group, coupled with the narrowest tail width. Fanatic boards are usually the lightest in test, so it was slightly surprising to see the board weighing in as third heaviest of the group this year (bare). However, Fanatic have confirmed that this year’s boards have been beefed up a little for extra strength and now include an internal stringer. It’s also worth noting that the Fanatic is one of the higher volume boards of the group, so this may have some effect.
On the water the Fanatic immediately feels like a waveboard in the true sense. It’s responsive and manoeuvrable underfoot, and is arguably the loosest feeling board here.
Waveriding is what this board excels at. It feels (and is) the narrowest tailed board here, which helps to make it the most agile on the wave face. The Goya Quad and the Fanatic Twin are jointly our top two ranked boards for crossshore riding and advanced cross-on riding. They do differ quite a lot in feel, however. The Fanatic feels looser and more responsive, adjusting the turn with the twitch of a toe, while the Goya feels more grippy and ‘drivey’ through the turn. Which style you prefer is down to personal preference, but the Fanatic is arguably the more fun feeling board in smaller, mushier conditions.
When it comes to novice and less experienced riders, the Fanatic is still a suitable board, but is noticeably more technical to sail than most of the others here due to the extra responsiveness and narrower tail.
Two years ago we tested this board’s predecessor and criticised it a little for being too stiff and directional. That has definitely been addressed exceptionally well with this new model, but it does come at a slight price. The narrow tail and twin-fin setup don’t give quite the same drive in a straight line as some of the other boards here, which means that the Fanatic has one of the lower ‘get up and go’ scores in this group and is one of the more difficult boards to get back upwind on, particularly with bigger sails. It is quite a fast feeling board once up and going, but feels lower on grip in the tail than most of the other boards in this group.
Despite having the highest quoted volume of the group (jointly with the Starboard), it feels at least five litres smaller in size than the Starboard and possibly the smallest board underfoot in this group. We wouldn’t be keen using sails much over 5.5m on it in cross-on conditions, but it felt perfect for 4.7 and 5.0m sails (for 80-85kg riders), and was still very comfortable overpowered on a 4.5 in cross-on conditions. We get the feeling that a slightly bigger set of fins might help the bottom end performance of this board a little with the bigger sails, giving it a bit more grip in the tail (at the cost of some wave riding performance). The supplied fins are however perfect for 5.0m or smaller, and also for all cross-shore conditions.
The Fanatic Twin 86 is an extremely stylish looking board with performance to match. It’s the most agile board in this group on the wave, with turning performance that you really wouldn’t expect from this size of board. It will definitely appeal to the advanced wavesailor, but also to novice and intermediate wavesailors who are willing to accept the more technical and responsive nature of the Fanatic.
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