Words & photos: Tez Plavenieks
FatStick’s Purewood looks the biz. Everyone loves a bit of wood – this is repeatedly proven when boards such as FatStick’s Pure Wood 10’6 lie waiting on the beach. Evoking that retro surfing style, there was a buzz of interest just before launching. That in itself makes the 10’6 worthy of anyone’s quiver. But the Pure Wood isn’t just skin deep. There’s a lot more to it than that.
Anyone aware of FatStick head honcho Reuben (May) and his penchant for a wave or two with be unsurprised the Pure Wood feels lively and turny underfoot. From the get-go, while balanced and stable, you can feel it raring to hunt down some swell and get a few liquid glides under its belt. Flat water paddling is absolutely fine with the 10’6, and the board has decent glide and tracking and can easily accommodate any paddler wanting to cruise or paddle recreationally. Yet being spurred on by the Pure Wood’s hunger for swell, I went on the search.
Fortunately, during testing, I found a bump or three. Conditions weren’t perfect – with quite a bit of chop in the mix. But then this is SUP gear testing, and tricky conditions show how capable a board can be (or not, depending).
Riders should have no fear though, as the Fatstick’s stability is bang on. I remained upright even with an annoying sideshore rip, choppy water state, and shifty waves. Of course, any paddler worth their salt will have brace strokes on lock to remain in position. But the Pure Wood helped massively with this and made even flukey conditions worth a go.
The Pure Wood’s hull has a progressive rocker, with double concave, leading to a reasonably chunky square tail. Fins can be tweaked to desired flavour with four FCS performance slots and a familiar centrally located US type. I favour a thruster configuration. That said, it’s always worth experimenting to find your perfect set-up when given options. (I also had a quick spin on the Pure Wood as a single skegged old school ‘logger’ and found this worked fine too).
The Pure Wood gets up to speed admirably. That makes pivoting and catching waves early doable – much appreciated when presented with some conditions. It drops in progressively and manages to keep its nose even in sucky waves. Engaging the 10’6’s rail sees it head off down the line, the board’s momentum keeping it clear of sections and flotsam. Carving from the tail, it’s efficient and loose enough to engage riders thoroughly. If your chosen wave allows, you may be able to get the Pure Wood 10’6 more vertical, but this it’s more about flow and style than anything.
It’s been a while since I stepped on a FatStick hard SUP. But what a sled to try with a bit of time having elapsed. A sweet SUP for recreational paddling, no question. Where their 10’6 shines, however, is in the small to medium wave arena. Riders looking for some old-school longboard surfing performance should apply here. Mellow, open-face carving, toes over and snagging long glides is where the 10’6 shines. I enjoyed it, and you probably will too!
FatStick Pure Wood 10’6: £925 (with glass paddle)
FatStick Pure Wood 9’8: £899 (with glass paddle)