Fatstick is yet another home grown SUP brand once again highlighting how far UK stand up has come. Based out of Bournemouth, Fatstick have a number of shapes to satisfy the wants and needs of most paddlers, all priced cost effectively.
The Red Ripper is Fatstick’s go to model for cross over fun – equally at home on the flat as well as gliding along watery walls. It looks the business with wood veneer deck and finished with go faster red rails and bottom.
A well put together piece of kit designed to take its fair share of knocks – durability is always a good thing. Generous fibreglass doesn’t make for the lightest of boards but a deep set and well positioned offset carry handle gives easy journeys to the water’s edge. A good quality deck pad and standard fins complete the finished article. (If you want more performance swapping out fins would be wise).
Once afloat the poise and composure of the Red Ripper is obvious. Its generous thickness, width and low rocker make for a stable ride. Glide is good and the Fatstick cuts through water like a hot knife through butter – it would make a great all round recreational flat water board.
For those who love variety, strapping a dry bag on deck is plausible and even fishing gear if you fancy casting a line. There’s minimal rail to rail wobble, even when hit with chop and the overall ride is gentile and relaxing. But let’s not forget, the Red Ripper also has a wave face and I was keen to get involved with some swell action.
I’ll be honest; a lot of time has elapsed since I set foot on a board over 9ft for wave shenanigans. I started on a huge log, but in time have migrated to smaller SUPs. I was a little apprehensive how the Red Ripper would fare in surf.
Be under no illusions, as you drop into a wave you’re acutely aware there’s considerable foam under your feet. The Red Ripper accelerates and picks up speed with the merest sniff of swell. It’s manoeuvrable, relative to its size, and arcing turns are easy enough to accomplish.
Concentration is needed for steeper drops while soft dribblers deliver huge fun. In fact, some of my best sessions were gliding on minute ripples –the Red Ripper just keeps going.
You’re never going to rip, shred ‘n’ tear, but for cruisey longboard riding the Fatstick works a treat. Swooping turns, drop knee cutbacks and a decent level of nose riding ability, the Fatstick Red Ripper is a stoke inducing board for those with soulful style.
In an age where we’re all encouraged to head out on the smallest of sticks, barely able to support our weight, it was fun to jump on something not requiring the poise of a ballerina and diet of just lettuce leaves.
The Red Ripper will find favour with many paddlers. Families, old school longboard surfers, cruisers, explorers, fitness junkies, the fishing crowd and weekend warriors will all love its mellow performance. Get on board and be prepared for a mile wide smile glued to your chops.