FANATIC GECKO 135L LTD 2014 TEST REVIEW
Fanatic’s Gecko range is targeted at improvers that they’re convinced will love the stability, early planing and carving benefits these wide-and-thin shapes bring. (In fact you can expect them to drop their other entry-level products, such as the Shark, in favour of this line in future.) The ‘freemove’ Gecko’s slot in beside the Hawk ‘freecarve’ and Shark ‘freeride’ ranges. This 135 is supplied with a 46-cm. G10 Powerbox fin. (Also see our test on the Gecko 120 LTD in the April 2014 issue.)
“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. Taking a cue from Freestyle shapes like our ultra-successful Skate, the extra width gets you going quickly with smaller sails. The Gecko boasts a proven rocker line and tuned tail kick release to deliver the ultimate quick-to-plane, responsive Freemove ride.”
The overriding characteristic you immediately feel on hooping aboard the Gecko 135 is the level of stability underfoot. The very rough water conditions we experienced while testing this model highlighted this behavior and really drove home how important this security is to intermediates/improvers. We were all impressed by how confidence-inspiring this outline is and how even a tricky sea state won’t limit you much on this model. In the all-important early-planing department the news is good, although this isn’t the easiest or earliest planing of the bunch – but bear with us for a second. This size does need to be pushed pretty deep downwind to get up-and-running. As such, it’s not a completely ‘stand and wait’, ‘passive’ planer, so our point is that the Gecko can pop up fast but it does teach you and, gently, demand a little bit of active planing skill. Upwind the rail outline gives you something positive to push against to good effect and in general it locks into your chosen point of sailing and tracks very well. Gybing-wise the outline once again lends security that’s welcome and makes gybing an 83-cm-wide hull a breeze. Just like its smaller (120L) sibling, that we tested earlier this year in vastly contrasting conditions, the 135 has an excellent carving nature – that is, quite a fixed arc that allows a steady line even at fairly slow speeds – perfect for those looking to master the corners. Elsewhere the speed is actually pretty good and the fixtures and fittings are to the usual Fanatic quality. (Including nice width options for straps to help accommodate different types of feet and preferences.)
Gybing on autopilot. The Gecko 135 brings awesome stability and an amazingly forgiving carving nature that will benefit those with mastering the corners in mind the most.
Other boards in this test: