Fanatic Aero Surf Foil 2000 Review.
There’s foils and then there’s “Foils!”
Fanatic are a long term player in everything that is windsurfing, kite [North], and SUP. Over the past 3 seasons, it also more than dipped it’s toe in the foil water. The 2017/18 kite foils were weapons in their own right, but the surf foils lagged behind other major brands in ease of use, performance and build quality. The 2019 surf foil was also mildly confronting, but did provide decent lift and had ample control at speed.
Enter the 2020 Aero Surf Foil! Fanatic has totally reworked its approach, so let’s take a walk through this new piece of kit.
Fanatic has an eye for detail, so it’s no surprise that the presentation is excellent. The foil quiver case is made from quality materials, is spacious, but compact. Separators and pockets for the wing, fuselage, tailpiece, mast, mounting hardware and tools resemble a well-designed car dashboard.
The mast [& mount] and fuselage are aluminium, whilst the front wing and tailpiece are a carbon composite construction. Using a combination of materials allows for a cost-effective package.
The mounting hardware is chunky and uses hex head, countersunk bolts, track inserts are brass and the supplied tool works well. No lube is supplied and I always advocate that assembling and dissembling is far easier when used, whilst reducing the risk of cross-threading.
Assembling is rapid with this Foil, as the board mount is welded to the mast, 3 bolts secure the wing and 2 bolts secure the fuselage to the mast. A cool design feature is the cutaway board mount which allows lining up the bolts without having to remove them from the track.
The great thing about testing any new seasons’ gear is that I can do it with absolutely no expectations, allowing me to be as subjective as possible.
My first session was in clean, small waves at my local with a light offshore breeze. I paddled out in the emerging light, so the first few waves would be by 75% feel rather than sight.
What happened on my first wave is well etched in my memory. Easy take off, albeit a slow one and Boom! The wing allowed instant but very progressive lift with such controlled smoothness. I shook my head in disbelief at the end of my first ride, thinking that I’d fluked a ripper ride, but each wave thereafter confirmed how smooth and effortless this set up is. I was again riding a big wing @ 2000cm2, which for my 67 kgs is a front leg pumper when controlling the trim at speed as well as the added lift from the offshore breeze.
For a big wing [almost 1000cms wide] once the pressure needed to execute fluid turns was determined, I found the angles of attack higher than I expected.
Two areas that I felt added to the overall smoothness are 1/ the longer fuselage which allowed more margin to move your feet mid glide. & 2/ the longer chord through the mast which virtually eliminates all torsional twist, which over the length of a 75cm mast was impressive.
With the welded plate-to-mast connection, this setup is completely rattled & wobble-free. I was initially a little worried by the overall weight of the foil, but the planted feel and feedback that this setup emits justifies the slight weight penalty. Counteract that by paddling a little harder on take off….no problems.
As with many better brands, all components are totally interchangeable. There are 3 wings sizes and 2 fuselage and tailpiece options. Personally, I’d go with a 2000 and the smaller 1500 front wings to cover the widest range of wave and downwind applications.
So, the question remains is, now that Fanatic have finally got this outstanding, polished performer right, can it get them under riders feet?
Answer? Simple, go to your Fanatic Dealer and demand a demo and my guess is that you’ll not look back.