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Wing Boards: Fanatic vs Fone vs Naish vs Custom Carbon

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joekitetime
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Wing Boards: Fanatic vs Fone vs Naish vs Custom Carbon

Postby joekitetime » Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:37 pm

Hi Wingers-

As someone who, like most of you, scramble to try to get information on winging gear and find reviews somewhat lacking, I offer some information of boards I've owned and ridden.

Here is a list of the boards I've owned and ridden. This review isn't about volume but about other board factors.

Fanatic 5'4" 95L list $1199 straps
Fanatic 6'0" 125L list $1199 straps
FONE 5'0" 60L list $1479 no straps
FONE 5'4" 75L list $1499 no straps
FONE 6'0" 110L lsit $1629 no straps
Naish 4'6" 50L $1185 straps
Custom Carbon 5'4" 70L used $600 no straps
Alien Air 32L 4'6" $450 straps

DESIGN
The fanatic, fone and naish boards all had excellent design and were designed for winging. They all worked extremely well for that purpose. The custom carbon board I rode was shaped by a talented winger and foiler but lacked by comparison design wise to the other professionally designed boards. The slingshot alien air was by far the worst design wise, not even being designed to be used for winging.

I won't elaborate much on design of the naish, fone or fanatic. The boards were designed to be used for winging and to that end I would not venture to say one was any better than the other. They all performed as expected and I was happy with how each performed. They would all achieve a 10/10 for design. The custom board worked, but was off somewhat in the swing weight, plus knee starting was more difficult due to weight distribution limitations. I would rate the custom board at 7 or 8 of 10. The alien air was absolutely the worst for knee starting, and was similar to the others when up and riding. However, I must give it an very low score for design for winging because it really just didn't work. 1 or 2 out of 10.

STRAPS
The next rating system is for straps. Obviously the fone has no straps, so it scores a zero. The naish has straps but for the foils I ride they are not positioned correctly, so I'd give it a 7 out of 10 for straps. I do conceded that Naish boards are made for Naish foils, so remember this when mixing and matching foils. Not all foils will allow your feet to line up for different board/foil combinations if you ride with straps. The custom carbon also had no straps, so 0 out of 10. The alien air's straps were perfect, as were the fanatic straps, so both get a 10 out of 10.

BUILD
Build quality. This factor alone I found to be huge, and a big deciding factor for me in the future. I buy all my gear thru Mackites, and they have an excellent guarantee progrem, and I know that fone, naish, slingshot, and fanatic, all stand behind their gear. That is a good reason to buy new. However, there is more to it. The fanatic I found to be very heavy, hoping that the extra weight was extra layers of protection. Not so. I've known 2 close friends now who have sprung leaks in their fanatic boards and are having to get warranty replacements. On my fanatics I found them to be very fragile, and the weight did not result in more reinforcement. It was just more weight, sadly. Due to their fragileness I would be very hesitant to buy another fanatic until their quality improves. The fones were a delight to hold and ride due to how light they are. Sadly, that lack of weight comes with a serious penalty - they are extremely fragile. Fanatic is fragile, but fone is extremely fragile. They ding far too easily. If you can baby your boards then this is acceptable. But I predict they won't last long or take any abuse otherwise. They had the best ride of all the boards I rode due to their lightness, but again, at a great cost. The custom carbon I found to be literally indestructable, something I appreciated the most. It wouldn't ding and you could throw the board around somewhat and it didn't mind or get dinged. The Naish was/is by far the most durable production board. I've never been a big fan of Naish until now, and I can say that their board is durable, which I appreciate. The slingshot alien air was fairly durable as well. I'd give the custom a 10 out of 10, the Naish a 9 out of 10, and the Alien Air a 9 out of 10.

PRICE
Price. The price goes without saying due to its "self rating". I found the custom carbon to be the most bang for the buck. Second is the Naish. Hard to say which I rate third. The fone's are very expensive, and I have concerns over warranties on the fanatic. The alien air is a great price, but I really can't ride the board. So, my pick is the Naish.

I have a new Naish Inflatable sup/wing foil board coming in today which I'll review soon.

RESULTS
The takeaway: The major brands seem to be producing some wing specific boards that work well, very well, as designed. The deciding factors may end up being durability, cost, and straps. You can't judge a book by its cover! These boards are very expensivie and are quite an investment and so we want our investments to last for ourselves our for resale value. The custom boards out there seem to be much more durable - their build qualities are much better but they lack some in the design (which only makes sense since they are often one board at a time design and trial and error). And, boards that don't work for their intended purposes aren't worth anything, at least for winging.

I have not tested the converted race boards, something many riders around me are riding and is something work looking into.

I suspect that many of these issues will improve considerably in the years to come.
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby dave1986 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:19 pm

@joekitetime - Thanks for the detailed and informative review.

May I ask regarding the durability of the boards :
Do the F-one boards ding from falling onto them on the water - for example do you expect that knees and elbows will cause dings?
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joekitetime (Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:22 pm)
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby fluidity » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:56 am

dave1986 wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:19 pm
@joekitetime - Thanks for the detailed and informative review.

May I ask regarding the durability of the boards :
Do the F-one boards ding from falling onto them on the water - for example do you expect that knees and elbows will cause dings?
Any dinging on my F-one rocket air bounces right back out again :D
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby slowboat » Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:20 am

dave1986 wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:19 pm
@joekitetime - Thanks for the detailed and informative review.

May I ask regarding the durability of the boards :
Do the F-one boards ding from falling onto them on the water - for example do you expect that knees and elbows will cause dings?
No problems with my F-one Wing board with routine use.
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joekitetime (Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:22 pm)
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby robclaisse » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:41 pm

Just a clarifications on the F-ONE boards - are the ones you used v1 or v2 Rocket Wings? I suspect v1 as the sizes of the 5'4" and 6'0" don't match the v2 size/volumes. Only ask because I have a v2 6'0" and its been pretty resilient to knocks so far but time will tell!
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby windmaker » Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:48 pm

I have been using a F-One Rocket wing 5'4'' for the past 3 months nearly everyday, no dings or cracks and pretty light (5kg/75L) but why are they so expensive ?

Anyhow from my experience, more than size or volume, total weight and swing weight are the most important things with a wingboard.
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joekitetime
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby joekitetime » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:09 pm

After I posted the above I got some feedback from a respected rider so I thought I'd add his comments which also answers some of the questions above...

Thanks for sharing Joe,

You guys must be pretty hard on boards, at least compared to me. I've hammered on my F-one as my primary wing and prone surf foilboard for about a year, without a bag, in a crowded Prius full of foils and boards. Probably 50 sessions... Hit sandbars countless times, nose dive, tossed in large surf...Not one repair needed. That's pretty darn good IMHO. Maybe just because I'm used to dealing with surfboards and SUPs in my repair history, not many windsurfers. Makes me wonder, how are you guys dinging them? Spreader bar hooks? Handling? Collision?

For sure the F-one is more delicate than the Naish but I would say that for me, the weight tradeoff is totally worth it. Same story for straps. I'll take a 10lb board that I have to repair a few times a year if I mess up. Fanatic has a lot of fiberglass in its construction rather than carbon or HD foam, so naturally, it is going to ding far easier than higher quality/higher priced boards. Funny enough, everyone wants the Fanatic. Must just be a price or marketing thing. Should know soon, I've got some nice Starboards coming in that will be $999 in a good shape. I'd bet they knock Fanatic out as the budget leader. Especially if they can deliver products in a timely way.

I'm testing a Cabrinha Macro right now that is pretty darn bombproof. Innegra/basalt/kevlar deck, but again a little heavier than F-one or Naish.

In testing wingboards the past 2 years I've found two things I'm really sensitive to....
Width. Too wide or too narrow is a big deal. My ideal for good days is around 22-24" and 25-26" for light winds. Going any narrower gets hard to start without adding any riding benefits, going any wider and it makes more drag for starts and feels huge when flying. I've been testing the Moon Buddy 5'0 80L lately and it's a really weird size/shape for me. At 26" wide it feels like a "big" board but at 5'0 you'd think it would feel small...it doesn't. At 80L, the volume is kinda corky. Neither a good knee sinker nor knee floater, very unstable in waves and current when starting.
Weight. light boards feel good and lively, heavy boards can make the best foils feel mediocre. I like most of my boards in that 10-12lb range it seems. Funny since I like a little heft on my small kite foilboards for smoothing out the ride. Guess these boards have enough weight anyway. Super light kite foilboards just fell twitchy IMHO.
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joekitetime
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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby joekitetime » Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:22 pm

robclaisse wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:41 pm
Just a clarifications on the F-ONE boards - are the ones you used v1 or v2 Rocket Wings? I suspect v1 as the sizes of the 5'4" and 6'0" don't match the v2 size/volumes. Only ask because I have a v2 6'0" and its been pretty resilient to knocks so far but time will tell!
The V2 but I went off memory for volumes so I possibly was off there...

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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby Dwight » Thu Oct 01, 2020 8:45 pm

We’ve got people coming to winging with no similar sporting experience. Treating boards like a plastic kayak.

Not saying this applies here, but not jumping to conclusions on durability without knowing “the person” who dinged it.

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Re: Wing Boards: Fanatic VS Fone VS Naish VS Custom Carbon

Postby phlow » Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:06 pm

I've a rocket V2 5'10" 105L that I've fallen on tons and my perception is that the bamboo construction is pretty bomb proof.
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