At SUP Mag UK we’re chuffed brands regard us highly enough to pass over equipment still in early stages of development. Bournemouth based Fatstick did just that with their new SUPSkate 8ft. We were only too happy to oblige and deliver some constructive feedback.
Shaped by south coast foam mower George Burras, with conceptualisation by Nick Kingston, the SUPSkate 8ft is an unusual looking board. The current trend of ‘no nose’ wave riders are seemingly everywhere, and it’d be easy to lump the SUPSkate in with these. In the flesh it’s a slightly different beast, however.
Its scooped out nose, low profile rails, 32” width – even in the extremely angular tail (yep, she’s a wide old girl) – quad fin configuration and generous rocker make the Fatstick SUPSkate 8ft unique. Brand owner Reuben May told us he wanted an original, accessible new school wave shape that appeals to the masses (and heavier riders) rather than lightweights or experienced paddlers.
Leaving the beach they’ve certainly nailed the stability side. Even in the choppiest of seas the SUPSkate barely wiggles. Paddlers up to 95kg+ will find it a doddle to balance. Even if you’re pushing 100kg it’s still stable enough. Mush burger conditions never looked so appealing!
Heading for the peak is pretty slow going. Short SUPs don’t glide that well and the SUPSkate’s nose rocker pushes more water than we bargained for. That said, it tracks well and doesn’t wander off course.
Dropping into waves is standard fayre – it’s what happens after that stoked us. The loose and skatey ride really lights up small wave sessions. If you’re a SUPer with a degree of skill then whipping round slashy turns, sending buckets of spray in the process, is extremely rewarding. In fact, the smaller the wave the more pro the rider looks – the SUPSkate really flatters. Extreme re-directs are satisfying as it keeps speed right through the turn. Even if you’re not quite up to this standard learning the art of carving from the tail is super accessible. Heavyweights will find it a real joy to use and it puts smiles on faces when conditions are less than perfect.
Fatstick’s SUPSkate 8ft is a unique shape among a plethora of similar looking designs. With more small wave performance than you can shake a paddle at the 8ft will be the dream board for mid to heavy weights searching for that elusive accessible rip stick. Intermediate surfers will love how easy the SUPSkate makes learning moves while advanced riders will be rewarded with extreme re-directs and uber spray chucking ability.
*** Note: The production SUPSkate 8ft will feature slightly different construction than the proto we tested. Its livery will also be much more colourful. Check the FS website for further details.
Price: £699 (also available as 9.5ft x 33″ x 155L)