FANATIC GECKO 120L 2014 TEST REVIEW
Fanatic were early to the wide-and-thin party with the Gecko that sits beside its Hawk ‘Freecarve’ and Shark ‘freeride’ stable mates. Available in HRS skin, Bamboo layup or the Innegra Carbon LTD. version that we tested here.
‘… the extra wide and thin-railed manoeuvre-friendly line that redefines the modern Funboard. With width comes support – the Gecko offers stability comparable to boards 15 liters larger. Flat decks with thinned-out edges produce a hull capable of extreme, tight-carving performance.’
The good news is the Gecko 120 is fast. There’s also positive acceleration, plus this size was particularly capable upwind – notably the best in the group. The ride is less planted than some in this test selection, lifting nice and high and lively off the fin and there’s a good feeling of ‘connection’ thanks to the flat deck. The straps offer a good range of width options too, that will suit both bare feet and boots, which is more good news for improvers as the wider loop is definitely more suitable for progression. The gybing behaviour is interesting. For intermediates it stays planing through even quite tight turns at very low speeds, offering forgiveness that’s hard to beat for those hell-bent on mastering carve gybes. A lot of other boards would stall or require wider arcs so this is a strong point to take into account if gybes are the primary move in your sights. For the more technical sailor the Gecko holds some challenges and needs some application to carve hard and fast outside of the set radius the outline seems to define. (Fanatic and many others offer several other harder-carving alternatives in their ranges!) But, once we pushed it hard, we enjoyed some ‘drifting’ and experimenting with various different arcs. All in all, the Gecko 120 is forgiving to novices, but has good ‘growing room’ for when a more advanced level is reached and a more technical approach to gybing will keep you amused on a flat-water day.
A perfect fast-track pick for ambitious novices wanting to rapidly get up-to-speed. Nice and lively with good upwind ability and a non-intimidating behaviour, the Gecko 120 has a forgiving nature for intermediates and notable momentum at lower speeds for those mastering or just getting to grips with the carve gybe.
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