FANATIC FALCON 110L 2014 TEST REVIEW REPORT
The Falcon line is Fanatic’s PWA-registered racing collection that sits beside the Falcon Formula and Ray freerace models. There are also two speed-oriented models for GPS/competition use at 45 and 51 cm. wide.
‘The design objectives were simple: acceleration, top speed, and jibing performance. The ultimate goal: the perfect blend of all three that guarantees Slalom wins. While the top speed of the Falcon was often unrivaled, we aimed at improving control and turning ability. The softened rails in the front half of the board support superb jibing performance. We’ve tuned and adjusted the cut-outs to increase control at the same time.’
The Falcon was one of the easiest to jump on and instantly cope with the rough conditions on this two-week test. Feeling small and compact, this 110 was highly forgiving at the low end and super easy to get going quickly on. Acceleration-wise – and this is very fin dependent too don’t forget – the ‘through the gears’ ability was much more noticeable during stronger wind sessions where you still need to get through dirty air here and there, plus of course in those vital exits from gybes. During either deep or cross-wind reaches, the small amount of tail kick also keeps a feeling of extra revs being ‘always-on’ and accessible to the feet. The Falcon is a lifty and lively shape that, like all high-performance designs, needs to be pinned-down well in strong wind to maximise the amount it can truly ‘fly’ over rough water and swell. In this respect we got more out of it using the more ‘tractory’ sails with deeper bellied profiles that drive the nose down enough to prevent any unwanted tail-walking, yet still help keep the short, fast under section of the board connected to the water. Being one of the narrowest in this selection, the Falcon 110 was laterally stable at full chat, which contributed to strong confidence and very competitive top speed – pace that, once again, is hugely influenced by good fin choice to suit the total rig and board combination. (We’d recommend starting with a powerful sail that you’d ‘grow into’ but paired with either a smaller carbon fin at first, or else a softer, say G10 foil until you’ve got to grips with the power.) Gybing-wise the soft rails help massively entering gybes with harder-to-control sails and there’s good ‘carry’ through turns for such a streamlined shape. All-in-all the Falcon 110 delivers a solid riding position and stance that’s non-intimidating without diluting the fast-and-furious performance.
The Falcon 110 offers an unthreatening, yet electrifying ride without compromising speed and overall performance. Smooth to gybe and early to plane, this is a board that’s at home in rough water, but will be a total dream in the flat. Suitable for all types of sails, but especially deeper-drafted rigs, this size offers both potential and experienced racers a platform that’s as easy to sail as a ‘detuned’, freerace model, but with instant access to élite-level output.
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