We went and surfed our new Fanatic Skates today for the first time in Duxbury. Wind was about 18-20 mph from N to NE, a great direction. My wife was used a 5.5 on her 100 l Skate, I used a 7.0 on my 110 l. It was a great, sunny day.
The biggest difference to our other boards is the fin size. Our freeride boards have large fins - 39 and 44 cm are typical, the Kona even has a 56 cm fin. That means riding the fin will get you going - not so on the Skate, as the picture shows:
The 24 cm freestyle fin is tiny, made for spinning and sliding, not for pushing the board onto a plane.
So naturally, the events in the little video clip below would be expected:
Actually, I did not really have problems with spinouts - the one on the video is one of maybe three I had in more than 2 hours of surfing. And as the video shows, recovery from spinouts was really easy. It did, of course, help to have Andy Brandt's tips about how to surf a freestyle board in the back of my head (sink the windward rail, keep the sail further forward than on a freeride board).
Not much difference there. Schlogging & planing was just as easy as on boards with 10 or 20 l more volume that I had surfed for years and was really familiar with. In other words: amazing how easy it was to get dialed in on the Skate!
Both wind and water temps were a bit low (near 50 Fahrenheit, or 10 Celsius), so I did not try anything fancy - mostly, I just enjoyed the ride. I had GPS on, and got a top speed of 43 kmh (28 mph) - that's very good, since the wind was below 40 km even in the gusts, and I did not even go deep downwind or to really flat water.
I'll have to work a bit on tacking the board - like all boards under 120 l, it loves to sink the nose unless I am planing really fast. Here's a clip with a tack:
I was pretty amazed on how well I could turn the board when the nose was under water, and how easy it was to get the compact shape back up. I'm definitely sold on compact boards (the Skate 110 is 237 cm short).
Finally, jibing: the boards jibe like the dream. The winds were a bit marginal, we sometimes had problems planing, and I'm a bit rusty after focusing on other stuff this year in Bonaire. Still, the vast majority of my jibes were dry, and kept at least a bit of speed. Here's an example where the clew-mounted GoPro Hero HD caught the sun during the jibe in a neat way:
Yes, I know - the setup was poor and hasty, the arms not straight - but hey, I need something to work on in my second session on the board, too, right?
Another great day of sailing - using the Fanatic Skates for freeriding worked amazingly well.
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