Words & photo: Tez Plavenieks
It’s always nice to jump on a hard paddleboard. I’ve nothing against inflatables – they all have their place. And in many cases, iSUPs suit the paddler’s needs much better. But it’s always good to remind that SUP boards aren’t just limited to inflatables.
This isn’t the first time I’ve used FatStick’s Pink Panther. But with a slight refinement in shape, I thought it was good to see how the newer version faired. Also, I will say just because it’s pink doesn’t mean the Pink Panther is aimed specifically at women. It isn’t! And personally, I like a bit of pink!
Coming in the style of a traditional longboard paddle board, which rings true of FatStick’s surfing roots, the Pink Panther is more than just a mellow wave machine. The PP’s geometry lends itself to flat water cruising as much as it does being slung around a surf break. There’s decent stability, and it gets a vroom on easily.
Once up and riding, it cruises at a decent speed. The Pink Panther’s slightly elongated nose (one of the refinements on the V1 I tested) gives it better tracking, and the glide’s pretty good. The 4.5” thickness brings riders closer to the water for a more engaging experience, and it feels pretty nimble. If paddlers fancy putting the hammer down, then this yields good results. This is no race SUP, but the FatStick cuts a decent line and covers plenty of ground.
In the tail, the PP narrows, which plays into the board’s surfing prowess. SUP surfers will find an efficient sled when ridden from the back, above the funs. However, newbies to wave environments shouldn’t worry, as there’s nothing hardcore about the Pink Panther. It’ll tutor just as well as it will perform.
Construction is durable and robust. It’ll take a fair bit of abuse. Although, too much and you will ding it – as with all hard shell SUPs. Weight is admirable. At a quoted 10kg, it’s not too much hassle to lug about.
FatStick’s latest incarnation of the Pink Panther is a resounding success! Building on an impressive foundation, its refinements deliver even better performance than its predecessor, which is accessible to all. For those with surfing aspirations, there’s plenty of fun to be had aboard this SUP in waves. But flat water paddlers will get plenty out of it too. I love the aesthetics, and I hope the FatStick Pink Panther remains part of the brand’s range for many seasons.