Parallel rail boards have been a thing for a number of years now. Fanatic have really taken the concept and run with it – right across their whole range (SUP and windsurf). SUPM has been fortunate enough to test a number of different size Stubby’s, of which the brand’s 2018 8’10” version is the newest addition.
On paper the Stubby’s 30.5” width suggests a super stable platform that could be to the detriment of manoeuvrability. Look closer, however, and you’ll notice the pulled in and reduced volume tail. Coming as a thruster 2+1 fin set up, with additional fin boxes to configure how you wish, you have a nice looking, modern surf SUP that shows looks can defy performance.
A few sweeps from the beach gets the 8’10” up to speed without issue. Glide is efficient with a decent amount of nose rocker lifting the Stubby above chop and flotsam. While stability is good it’s interesting to note the enhanced lively feel of the board – more than the 8’8” we tested at this time in 2017.
Having accurately positioned yourself to take off Fanatic’s Stubby picks up waves relatively early. Riders may need to be a tad pro-active to induce speed on flatter/fatter waves. Once up to full throttle, however, it keeps on going, allowing riders to focus on that all important bottom turn.
With three fins the 8’10” bites and slingshots paddlers back up towards the lip. On steeper waves riders may need a slightly refined technique to get the best out of the turn. Swapping fins to a quad set up increases grip – those with access to hollow waves will appreciate the tunability of the Stubby 8’10”.
Top turns are flavour orientated and to a point conditions driven. On slacker swells it’s more of skate style, slashy turn. In quad mode you can bang re-entries and vertical lip hits (although paddler skill also plays its part). This versatility is a great trait of the Stubby and in particular medium to heavier weight SUP surfers will appreciate being able to plug into different styles of riding.
Fanatic have done something rather nifty with their 2018 Stubby 8’10”. Rather than simply scale up a previous shape they’ve made the cut off nose concept applicable to a wider audience and created a versatile, tunable sled for differing surf conditions. The thinned out tail makes it looser than you’d imagine whilst being able to tune via the board’s fins gets a big tick in the box from us. As usual Fanatic’s attention to manufacturing detail is top notch.