Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Light Wind Freestyle with Air

During our Hatteras vacation in October I got to try an inflatable, sailable SUP. Peter and I took it out on a nice light wind day to see how it would feel compared to our regular light wind boards. The idea of an inflatable sounds awesome - it saves a ton of space compared to our regular SUPs and in my case would probably replace my SUP and the Bic Nova. So we took the opportunity to try the 10'4 Fanatic Fly Air for some light wind freestyle. Here is a video recorded with a mast mount:

Very quickly after starting to sail I removed the fin - which made everything feel so much better for light wind freestyle. The fin had been collecting lots of weeds, and since the boards has two small, permanently attached, side fins, you do not really need the center fin for the light wind tricks and spins. The inflatable did have a bit of a bouncy feel to it which made jumping up and down on it a ton of fun, but needs some getting-used-to when taking big steps on the board. It felt a lot more stable and less spinny than my 170l Bic Nova. This made any moves relying on the board keeping direction easier than they would be on my short Nova, but moves that turn the board took a bit longer. Peter felt like the mast mount was a bit too far forward for his sailing, and the nose did dip in the water frequently when he sailed.
Overall it was a lot of fun to sail, and I think this could be used for light wind sailing, flat water SUP'ing, and even for catching some small waves. Now if the inflatable SUP's only had some system for the inserts that allowed rail rides without having to worry about damaging the SUP... Considering the current insert, we did not deem it save and refrained from trying rail rides on it.

Special thanks to Brian and Ocean Air Sports who made it possible for me to try the SUP! I love that we still have windsurfing stores where you can try the gear you are interested in!

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