If stand up paddle boards were tractors Fanatic’s 2015 Falcon 14ft HRS (30”) would be a John Deere – strong, long, solidly built and extremely dependable. In fact let’s go so far as to coin the phrase ‘SUP tractor’ right now – after all the Falcon is IT!
Fanatic have been in the watersports manufacturing game for years and Sebastian Wenzel is a prolific shaper well respected within the industry. Over recent decades he’s been responsible for knocking out super popular (and competition winning) windsurfing boards that can still be found on UK beaches today. His expertise now helps the Big F with their line of stand up paddlers – from wave to flat water, race to downwind, the Falcon 14ft HRS is just another example.
Stepping aboard the 14ft for the first time its composed nature shines through. Fantastic stability that’s rock steady in even the choppiest conditions is extremely conducive to building confidence. If you’ve never stood tall with a paddle before the Falcon will certainly make your journey a lot easier. Sweeping off it sets a line and barely deviates allowing the rider to concentrate on getting up to full speed without worrying how their sled is tracking. Moving around the deck does help with upwind and downwind paddling while railing an edge delivers efficient trim when sweeping across chop and breeze.
It’s possible to catch a few blowy runners but the Falcon’s forte is chewing up miles with as little or as much effort as the rider dictates. After a while auto pilot engages and before SUPers know it they’ll have smashed some serious distance or be back to their starting point.
Fanatic’s HRS construction, while slightly heavier, is super tough and highly recommended if your local area is rocky or littered with obstacles. The carry handle is ergonomically designed with an internal lip that gives a better hold – this is a big board and anything that makes getting to the put in more pleasurable is welcome. The deckpad is grippy and comfortable and Fanatic’s Ferrari red livery ensures it stands out from the crowd.
During our sessions there was an opportunity to try the Falcon 14ft HRS in some small, weak waves. It was surprising how good (and how much fun) this was. If you’re confident setting a rail, and sliding (right or left) down the line, it’s actually a pretty nifty tool for these conditions.
If you have the storage space and mode of transport to accommodate a 14ft stick, that’s a great all round stand up paddle board, then Fanatic’s Falcon 14ft HRS could be your ideal SUP partner. Able to straddle a variety of paddling scenarios, it’s a tractor of a SUP that’s dependable, rock solid and a proper work horse. Those looking for a slightly livelier ride would possibly do better with the 27.5” model.
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