FANATIC STUBBY FOIL EDITION 2019 REVIEW
Our Stubby Foil Edition comes in the same shape as our regular Stubby and offers the same easy and controlled flow if you decide to ride your regular thruster fins. Once you change to Foil, our Stubby Foil Edition creates a whole new dynamic. The greatest variety of multisport use combined in one package.
The Stubby has been in Fanatic’s SUP lineup since 2016, with a Foil Edition introduced for the first time last year. As with its name, the outline of the board bears the same likeness to the popular compact designs seen in Fanatic’s windsurf range, with benefits in speed, stability and response now well established. For 2019, the outline of the Stubby has been revised further, with an even straighter outline in its nose and mid-section, leading to a winged swallow tail in the rear. There is plenty of tail rocker in its profile – something that is apparent and eye-catching even from a distance. The Foil Edition Stubby benefits from an actual mast track instead of a simple bolt hole and footstrap plugs to provide additional versatility, using the pedestal plate option for foil connectivity. And like the standard Stubby, it is available solely in the brand’s Vector Net Technology, using stringers and bamboo reinforcements to provide the required strength to weight ratio. It certainly isn’t the lightest in the group, but for £1199.00, it certainly looks the part and has curb appeal. Used for windsurfing, the Stubby is stable and comfortable underfoot, using the windward rail to compensate for any loss in traction from the small thruster fins. It is fine for light wind practicing or float and ride sessions, its 120 litres distributed evenly to provide plenty of buoyancy and ease. The banana rocker does predictably result in the board feeling sticky when trying to release onto the plane, which is why the foil option is so worthwhile having. Using the Stubby FE with a variety of different foils, we found that placing the foil right to the back of the enlarged boxes tends to provide more drive and practicality, releasing and going earlier. That said, the curvature in the board’s rocker is still felt, so be prepared to pump through the foil to exact an early release. Once in flight, the Stubby can be used either with or without straps. We enjoyed both, but did find that if you do use the straps in more powered conditions, it is worth treating the Stubby like any other foil board: an 85 cm mast is a minimum requirement really. If you try to load the board whilst using shorter masts, the margin for error is small and results in frequent breaches! The shallow dome to the deck is very welcome, providing both comfort and connection through the feet, and the ability to adjust strap, mast foot and foil position gives plenty of options to find the perfect balance. Response is smooth and easy, rather than sharp and instantaneous, the long length of the board noticeable compared to wind foil specialist boards. And yet the extra length is actually a real asset during those first tentative flights and will undoubtedly be useful if using the Stubby for progression into SUP foiling. Used for regular SUP surfing, we found the Stubby incredibly stable and practical for its quoted size, gliding smoothly during every stroke and maintaining its path well. The wide nose has plenty of rocker to pop up over broken whitewater and the stability of the board gives the rider time and assistance to position themselves in the lineup. When catching a wave, a positive step back on the tail raises the Stubby’s shoulders high and clear, its thin rails and narrowed tail helping the rider to connect with the fins and really drive the board through the turns. It was a lot of fun in the small waves we tried it in. An enjoyable, practical SUP for use in small to medium waves, the Stubby’s ability to adopt a foil has added the missing piece of the jigsaw, bestowing it with true crossover appeal.
Other boards in this test:
THE LINE UP