Fanatic currently have three wave lines: NewWave, NewWave Twin and Allwave. The NewWave is Fanatic's high performance wave range.
After a very successful year with their 2008 NewWave range, Fanatic decided to keep the shapes of the NewWave exactly the same for 2009 but have added a bigger 91 litre board to compliment the 81, 75 and 69 litre range. The boards are offered in two constructions: Team Edition and Wood Sandwich. This test looks at the Team Edition (lightest construction) 75 NewWave.
" There is no better board than the NewWave in the Fanatic wave range, for high performance wavesailing. No compromise, hard core down the line conditions, the NewWave is THE wave-machine for when the going gets rough!” – Klaas Voget, R&D Manager
The Fanatic achieved a GOLD Quality rating with the following scores:
Like the NewWave Twin that we tested a few weeks ago, the NewWave is a very high quality product. Footstraps are very good and pads are soft and comfortable, although some may find them a little low on texture for ultimate grip.
The fin is a high quality G10 22.5 and is well suited to the board. The Team edition boards look great with their grey, light sanded finish.
The NewWave is the longest board in the test at 236cm, nearly 12cm longer than the Exocet and 10cm longer than the JP. It is also the narrowest at 54.5cm wide (same as the RRD) and the lightest at 5.33kg.
Tail width is fairly narrow at 33.2cm (measured 30cm from the tail), but not quite as narrow as the RRD, Goya and Quatro.
The Fanatic NewWave is an absolute rocket ship in a straight line and scores top of the group for ‘get up and go’. In addition to blistering top speed, the NewWave also has great acceleration. The NewWave seems to compensate well for it's comparatively narrow tail width and was always one of the quickest (and easiest) onto the plane.
Boards with good 'get up and go' are often good jumping boards as well and the Fanatic is no exception. Not only does the board have great speed and acceleration to ensure you are hitting the ramps at full speed, but it also has a powerful fin (one of the biggest in test), which gives good push/drive off the top of the wave and a very secure direction feel when lining up.
Both the Fanatic and RRD scored top of the group for jumping. They both generated huge amounts of lift in the air and the biggest jumps always seemed to happening on these two boards. It is perhaps no coincidence that these are two of the longest boards in the test.
The Fanatic performs best when it carries speed and is driven hard through the turns. With speed, the riding is very smooth and also predictable. It isn’t quite as ‘flowing’ as some of the other boards but it does offer a really nice snappy top turn and is generally very loose on the wave.
The Fanatic loses out slightly to the group leading JP and Starboard for cross-on riding, only because of how it performs at slower speeds. On smaller, softer waves and with less wind or less technique, the JP and Starboard are slightly easier to hold speed on and can be sailed at half throttle whereas the Fanatic feels like it needs to be driven with it's foot to the floor. If you are a good sailor in reasonable sized waves, the Fanatic would probably be your favourite due to the extra performance it offers at the top end of the ability spectrum.
The NewWave is a fantastic board for cross-off riding on all sizes of wave and was beaten to top spot only marginally by the Quatro twin fin.
It has a nice ‘gunny’ fast feel on the wave compared to some of the wider boards in this group. It grips and turns with full commitment to the rail, whilst the extra speed that the board generates proves a real bonus in smooth cross off conditions.
It does have a slightly more twitchy, reactive feel than many of the other boards in the group, but experienced riders will probably find this a plus point rather than a negative.
The NewWave definitely leans more towards advanced sailors (Fanatic have their AllWave range for less experienced riders and less than perfect conditions). It's not to say that less experienced riders won't be able to cope with the NewWave, there is nothing too demanding about it, but boards like the Starboard and JP are slightly easier going and more forgiving of unpolished technique.
The first thing that you notice when you sail the NewWave is how fast it is. All of the Clones who sailed it commented on how fast it felt. It’s a very responsive board that gives the rider plenty of feel and feedback. Some riders may prefer the more numbed-down ride offered by many of the other boards in this test, but more advanced sailors will probably appreciate the extra responsiveness.
The pads and straps are extremely comfortable, although some people who are used to other brands of board may notice the lack of texture on the pads. Boot wearers may also detect the narrow spacing of the footstrap plugs, which at 14cm are the narrowest of the group.
The Fanatic comes standard with a 22.5 cm fin, which is one of the biggest in test, but actually suits the board well. We positioned the fin just forward of the middle of the track. Moving it further forward will loosen the board up and pulling it back will make it more directional.
The mast track also seemed best positioned around the middle. We played with a range of about 1cm either side depending upon sail size and conditions.
Our clones found the NewWave to work well with the test sail range of 4.0m to 5.0m and could see no problem going up to 5.3-5.5m if necessary. At the windier end of the spectrum it should work ok with a 3.7, but would probably be better to opt for the 69 litre model if you expect to be using this size of sail frequently.
The NewWave 75, whilst still applicable for less experienced wave sailors, is best targeted at more advanced sailors who will love the speed, jumping, responsiveness and exceptional all-round appeal of the Fanatic.