12’6 PURE LIGHT
Totally revamped for 2018, one of our favorite touring boards from last year has been tweaked into a boxier, sleeker and possibly a smoother model for this season. If you’re after a board aimed more at flat water touring the new Ray should be very high on your wish list. The silent, low, cutting nose will slide through small chop and flat water effortlessly giving maximum glide for this stable classy tourer. It’s perfect for river trips, lakes and glassy days down the coast.
The Ray’s deck has a simple deck spine for dry feet paddling, front cargo tie down points, a long deck pad, a deep ledge handle and a wider tail than last year. The volume is further forward and slims down the further you go back, the main difference this year is the lower cutting nose and very hard boxy rails, which provide a stable secure platform. The tail has a slight vee and a neat 22cm glass US box fin.
Totally redesigned for 2018, the Ray delivers the ultimate touring experience. With outstanding stroke efficiency, racing-style waterline and exceptional stability it truly is a great all-round cruiser. If you’re looking for a daily endurance workout, pure family fun or the ultimate adventure tourer, this board will deliver this great combination of stability and performance for newcomers and advanced paddlers alike.
If you want a performance flatter-water, sleek touring board, they don’t come much slicker than the new Ray. This year’s incarnation is really more suited to flatter days on the water, we loved its easy stable-but-glidey slick feel over a smooth surface. However on bigger choppier / lumpier stuff the Ray was less comfortable with its low rocker and cutting bow. So, perfect for river trips or smoother water if you want the best of it, it’s not really suitable for down winding as you may expect. Overall, the Fanatic Ray will out-perform most boards on flat water (other than a narrow race board). It instantly reveals itself to be comfortable and easy to paddle, stable and your feet will be dry – unlike many tourers. This is the board you should aspire to try if you’ve only paddled inflatables so far; it’s rewarding, sleek and silent to ride – it’s a very smooth board – and there’s plenty of space on the deck for the basics. We tested the Ray this year in the heavier Pure which was a similar weight to other tourers, the lighter LTD, not only looks far nicer but comes in very light at around 2kg less, well worth saving up for if you can find the extra cash. In a nutshell this tough, refined new shape from Fanatic will give you years of sleek cruising experiences ahead.
OTHER BOARDS IN THIS TEST: