The NewWave Twin is Fanatic’s twin fin offering and takes its name from their very successful NewWave single fin line.
Available in three sizes (72, 78 & 84) and one (Team Edition) construction, Fanatic state that only very limited numbers of the board will be produced. We tested the 84 litre version.
" The NW Twins are designed to take wave riding to the next level. You can ride closer in the pocket of the wave than you have ever dreamed of and dig turns as deep as if you were on a surfboard. There is no section that can’t be attacked.” – Fanatic Website
first impressions, fixtures & fittings
The NewWave Twin is a very high quality product. Footstraps are very good, pads are soft and comfortable although perhaps a little short on texture for ultimate grip.
The fins are well suited to the board and the overall look of the board is very good.
The Fanatic is the lightest board in test at just 6.03kg (bare hull). In plan shape it looks most similar to the Quatro, featuring a wider nose shape and thinner more drawn out tail. Tail width(measured 30cm from the tail) is the second narrowest in the test at 33.7cm (Quatro is narrowest at 33.3).
get up and go
The Fanatic scores top of the group for ‘get up and go’. It has excellent acceleration and a very rapid top speed. At speed you will notice the board is more nose down than a single fin, but performance wise, it will give any single fin a run for its money and shows no apparent ill effects for being double finned.
Plenty of speed, a stable directional feel and an extremely light hull all contribute to an exceptionally good jumping board. As such the Fanatic scores top of the test for jumping (jointly with the JP).
The Fanatic is a fantastically smooth board to ride. It feels very flowing and controlled, albeit not the most radical board in test in terms of turning ability.
Off the top, it’s not super loose (only the Mistral and RRD would be described as this), but it holds an edge well and you can break the tail out if you choose to.
Overall it has a nice fast, flowing ride, which makes you feel very connected to the board and gives you an exciting, surfy feel, but it won't dazzle you with the sharpest of turns.
In comfortably powered up conditions, the Fanatic sports similar traits to cross-on riding. It is smooth, flowing and predictable, but lacks a little looseness particularly off the top.
It’s not a board that anyone is going to dislike and will match and even exceed the majority of single fins for performance. But when you compare it to the Quatro and Mistral in cross-shore conditions, the stiffer ride will become apparent.
As the wind increases to overpowered conditions, the bottom turn becomes a bit less predictable and we had occasions where the rail would trip unexpectedly. The board is definitely most at home when comfortably powered up.
As described above, the Fanatic is an impressively smooth and controllable board when comfortably powered. When overpowered, there are a few instances where our test Clones found the rail would trip in the bottom turn. Its not a big problem, but the Fanatic sacrificed some points for riding control because of this.
The score is also affected by the slight stiffness of the ride, which doesn’t always let you get to the places you want to reach on the wave when riding.
overall feel, ride & foot comfort
The best words to describe the Fanatic would be fast, flowing and smooth. In a straight line, you won't find yourself looking for more speed. If you are, go and buy a slalom board! On the wave, the board has an impressively smooth and flowing feel to it that really makes you feel like you are surfing the wave.
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 standard 165 fins are a good match for the board. We felt no need to go bigger and only if you want the board to have a softer, less grippy ride would you consider needing to go smaller.
Fin position makes quite a difference. We had the fins positioned just forward of middle for most of the test. Further back noticeably stiffened the board up (but made it more single fin-like in feel). Further forward loosened the board, but could make it a little unpredictable at times.
The mast track worked well in the middle. We moved it about 1cm forward for bigger sails and waves and about 1cm further back on the smaller (4.7m) sails.
At 84 litres the Fanatic was one of the biggest boards in test. Our 80kg Clones would be happy sailing it with up to 5.6m sails. It floated well and showed no signs of being unable to cope. At the other end of the spectrum, they also used it in fully powered 4.7m conditions. We wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than 4.7m if you are serious about your wave riding performance.
If you fancy the idea of a twin fin, but are worried about losing the straight line performance of a single fin, then the Fanatic is a great choice. It is a very competent all-round wave board for 4.7–5.6m conditions offering a taste of the twin fin sensation but with the good manners and familiarity of a single fin ride.