Windsurfers want combi, wind foiling and windsurfing
We see that many (novice) wind foilers are looking for a board that they can (learn) wind foils with, but also still enjoy windsurfing with when it blows harder. You quickly lost at least €2,000 for a board, so you want to get the most out of that, right? Fanatic has understood this well and is full of wind-making this year. No less than 3 models are ‘foil ready’. The Fanatic Falcon Lightwind, Gecko foil edition and the Blast LTD. All 3 boards of around €2,000,- We thought it was time to test these 3 boards. The question we want to answer is: If I want to buy one shelf that I can both just windsurf with and wind foil, which one is the best?
Gliding as a base
With all 3 boards, the ‘roots’ are in ordinary windsurfing. They have been developed as a slalom/freerace/freeride board, where the vinbox has been replaced by a stronger deep tuttle copy. 3 boards with different volumes, width and sailing properties. So the question is how good these boards are to wind up with.
Fanatic Falcon Lightwind, performance board
Length 230 cm | Width 90 cm | Volume 159 l | Weight 9.0 kg | Price € 1,999
We’re very excited about the Falcon Lightwind from the 1st minute. A nice light board, which you can wind up very well on, both with a freeride oriented wind foil and a race oriented wind foil. The board plans quickly, causing you to fly quickly. The shape, width and volume clearly make sure of this. And the width also provides stability and ‘space’ on the board to easily find a nice position if you don’t want to be in the footstraps. Despite its width, this board still feels playful. This is in contrast to many formula boards that are also used to wind. They feel much more like a door. Fortunately, the nose of the Falcon Lightwind is nice and wide, so a nose drop never actually leads to a catapult. It’s 🙂 such a safe idea. With distance we think this is the best wind foil board of the 3.
Windsurfing with the Lightwind
As the name says, this board is meant to be able to plan with little wind (and big sails). That’s what this board does really well. Because of its width, this board with more wind feels less fast and a little plomper than its little brother the Blast. But the power of this board is not the strength of this board, especially with little wind. There’s a bit of this board’s dilemma. This is by far the best board to wind up. And wind foils you prefer with little wind. And in that too, the board is best if you just want to windsurf. So if you want to windsurf with harder winds, the Falcon Lightwind is not the best board of the 3.
Fanatic Blast LTD, freerace board
As already written in an earlier article, this board of the Wind Foil fanatic rises very quickly, but we don’t like the stability of the board during wind foiling. Especially compared to the Lightwind. And the Gekko Foil edition also feels a little more stable than the Blast. You can wind this up, but it takes more concentration and skills to wind well, especially if it’s going to blow a little harder. The board is relatively narrow with 77 cm (especially given the volume). This in combination with the narrow back of the board ensures the unstable character of this board. The nose is very wide. Even with this board, having a nose drop is no problem. The nose stays neatly above water.
Windsurfing with the Blast
All the comments mentioned above work in the favour of windsurfing. The board feels much smaller than it really is. Is very fast and goes like the fire brigade. Also with more wind this board sails very easily and also jibes go smoothly. We didn’t feel for a moment with wind force 5 that the volume (145 litres is really a lot for such a board) got in the way. A great performance from the designers of the board!
Fanatic Gekko Foil edition, freeride board
Length 246 cm | Width 78 cm | Volume 133 l | Weight 8.2 kg | Price € 1,999,-
As revealed above, the Gekko Foil Edition feels a little more stable during wind foiling than the Blast. But it still requires a lot of concentration and skills to wind up stable. Compared to the Blast, the Gecko is less likely to go up. This is due to the lower volume and freeride oriented shape of the board. We found this to be the least attractive board to wind up with.
Windsurfing with the Gecko Foil editon
The behaviour during windsurfing is best described as ‘friendly’ and ‘easy going’. The board sails easily and is not super fast. The board is clearly planning less quickly than its two other brothers. With more wind, you feel faster that the board is at its limit compared to the Blast and therefore becomes harder to sail than the Blast. This is despite the fact that the board has considerably less volume. We came to the conclusion that the Blast makes the Gecko redundant. The Blast does everything better. More volume for faster planning, faster, sails super easily even with more wind even easier than the Gekko.
At the start of the test we had the idea that giving good advice could be difficult, but during testing things quickly became clear. Our advice is
- You especially want to wind-up (also for performance) and occasionally just windsurfing. Then the Fanatic Falcon Lightwind is the best choice.
- If you want to pop back and forth (even if it has to be easy) and maybe or occasionally want to wind, then the Fanatic Blast LTD is the best choice.