FANATIC RAY 120L 2015 TEST REVIEW
The 120 is the largest Ray in a three board line-up, each said to emulate the design of Fanatic’s PWA board, the Falcon Slalom. The Ray comes in only one construction option of Biax Glass sandwich with a Light Finish and is competitively priced at £1399.00.
“The Fanatic Ray is the user-friendly speed demon suited to every windsurfer. Early planing is enhanced by a wider outline around the front footstraps, which also effortlessly supports the board on the plane through any lull. Acceleration, top speed and control is boosted by a revised cut out design and board balance is supported by advanced volume flow. The ergo rail design increases response when gybing giving a solid and speedy performance through your turns. A fantastically fast yet friendly design, the Ray will give you the ride of your life!”
Whilst being one of the widest in the group, (both in max width and one foot off in the tail), the Ray has a pronounced scoop to its deck and has little volume forward of the mast track. This makes you alter your position slightly at idle, particularly when carrying larger sails, moving a little further back on the board. The scoop also means the Ray is more technical than most to pump onto the plane in marginal winds, your front foot rolling into the channel, making it very hard to keep the board flat. It is almost easier to reach for the front strap early and apply the pressure from there. Once on the plane however, the Ray accelerates quickly and provides an electric, captivating ride over the water. It sits high on the water, feeling loose and flighty allowing the rider to really feel the fin and drive against it. The bottom shape of the Ray gives us an idea of why this is, with pronounced vee in the shoulders fading to the tiniest hint of a mono-concave by the front straps, which remains in place until just in front of the fin box. As such, when lit up, the Ray hovers over the water on this mono-concave and provides near slalom-esque levels of feedback to the rider. It really is a lot of fun to ride and has stacks of potential, pointing upwind well, skipping over chop and continuing to accelerate in every gust. In harsh seas, the Ray’s lively nature can become unnerving for the less experienced if used with a firm feeling sail. Instead, partner it with a soft moveable foil such as the North e_Type and you’re ready to fully exploit the Ray’s capabilities. In the gybe, the Ray requires positive input from the rider, but commit and it bites superbly, retaining its speed effortlessly through the turn.
The Ray pushes freerace performance to the next level, hovering over the water and providing practical useable feedback through the fin. Best partnered with a softer driving sail that will help to temper the Ray’s character and retain control when the conditions become severe.
Other sails in this test: