Fanatic’s Fly 10.6ft has become the entry-level do-it-all platform for many paddlers – at Wet’n’Dry SUP school we teach on a fleet of similar pump-ups and often recommend them as a first-time purchase. So on a recent trip to the fantastic Club Vass we relished the chance to buzz about on one we’d not tried before.
The Fly Air All Round range encompasses four boards – of which this 10.6ft is the second largest, below the 10.8ft but above the 10ft and 9.0ft. This one’s quite a wide boy at 34″, but relatively thin top to bottom at 5’5″ deep. Boasting 210L of volume, Fanatic pitch it at heavier riders, which we’d agree with.
We rode the Fly in conditions ranging from early morning glass to classic coastal onshore breeze and chop – even charging into some full on Force 5 wind and catching a few ankle biter waves! As you’d expect from a board such as this, it proved extremely stable, comfortable underfoot, and behaved well in the face of everything we asked it to do. These traits made it the perfect board for ‘Holiday’ Rob’s (Club Vass instructor) legendary SUP fitness classes too.
Cruising, it tracks in a fairly straight line thanks to the tri-fins and decent waterline length. With the centre fin mounted in a standard finbox (between moulded thrusters) there is the option to fit a bigger skeg for optimum straight-line / cruising performance. There’s even cargo netting for lashing down essentials, although we suggest removing this for absolute beginners so as to not clutter the deck.
Turning really is what this style of board does best – and the Fly proved particularly capable. There’s a lot of width in that tail for stability, but not so much volume that it’s hard to sink: a simple step back and it pivots on a sixpence. Reverse paddle turns were also a doddle thanks to all of that stability, while 10.6ft is just short enough to comfortably sweep the paddle round the front. Generous nose volume is great for helicopter turns and nose 360s, although there’s not a whole lot of grip up there!
This was Greece in summertime, so we’re not claiming to have tested full-on wave performance, but we did have a freak day of knee-high swell breaking on the inside sandbar – and this was the board of choice from the Club Vass racks for catching a short ride. It was surprisingly capable, albeit with a lot of effort needed to keep that huge nose from catching.
True to their windsurfing roots, Fanatic include a deckplate insert on the Fly range so you can attach a sail for a spot of windSUPing. A board this wide is an amazing learning platform and light wind freestyler – easy to pick up the basics on and perfect your sail-spinning skills.
All-up this board is a comfortable and capable example of the genre – it has broad appeal, and we’d happily recommend it to any of our heavier or more cautious students at WetNDry SUP. Easy to inflate and super versatile, it’s a great toy for summer – whatever type of stand up you’re into. Also available in stringer technology construction for added stiffness.
Further info: www.fanatic.com/product/fly-air-allround/
Price: £779 (Premium) £689 (Stringer)