Fanatic Ray 110L 2014 Test Review
With the straps further inboard – and just a slight weight difference – than Fanatic’s full-on slalom racing shape, the Falcon, (see May issue test for 110) the Ray is the most similar ‘de-tuned’ version to its race equivalent on the market. (And significantly cheaper plus it comes with a fin.) The Ray sits alongside the Hawk (Freecarve), Falcon and Falcon Formula at the racier end of the Fanatic range. The Ray 110 is delivered with a 40-cm. G10 (Tuttlebox) fin.
“The Ray 2014 has been updated to offer even more looseness in turns, jibing power, and accessible acceleration – while still maintaining blistering top speeds. The increase in jibing ability comes from softened rails in the front of the board; while tail cut-outs that have been increased in size and tuned-in shape help increase control while planing. The already-proven scoop rocker line has been left untouched, while the adjusted V shape in the nose and tuned-up tail release offer a better ride than ever. Fast, but friendly – that’s the ride you’ll get with the Fanatic Ray.” (Sic.)
Misconception and Preconception: Without knowing beforehand that this 110 shares the same outline as the Falcon, we all thought the Ray looked a little ‘dated’ – an image enhanced by the classic East End gangster’s name. (Once again a case of graphics being misleading and clouding one’s judgement before taking a spin. Lesson: Go and demo boards …) Using a mix of both the twin cams tested in this issue and the 7.8 dedicated slalom sails tested in the May edition, our Ray instantly proved to be an simple geezer alright. No, not an unsophisticated or treacherous type, but surprisingly smooth and forgiving and totally un-technical to handle. Lining-up against specialist racing gear we suddenly found that, despite the old-fashioned looks, Ray’s very much still got it, being capable of beating serious, no-compromise gear, but from the comfort of a nice Recaro seat. He might look like an old Ford Cosworth, but when it comes down to it, Ray’s very refined and, anyway, the old Cossie’s still got the top-end speed so what’s all the fuss about? We reckon Ray prefers taking on bigger geezers, or players who like that old skool, push-against-the-rail sensation with a more outboard type of stance. Despite being forgiving at the lighter end of the spectrum, initially we felt the low-end wasn’t too good, but, in tricky, overpowered conditions this is so fin dependent it’s hard to judge a board based on a massive, soft G10 foil, plus, in stronger wind, the acceleration became exponentially better and better anyway. Cornering was smooth and easy and there’s a nice compact feel to the hull. Nice one Ray.
A true dark horse, the Fanatic Ray doesn’t just offer a tamer version of an out-and-out racing board, it delivers truly competitive speed in a super comfy package. Fastest with dedicated racing sails but a good match with Freerace foils for the optimum route to fuss-free racing that’s not too far off the pace.
For more information on the
FANATIC RAY 110L 2014
go to www.fanatic.com
Other boards in this test: