Friday, September 9, 2016

2017 Fanatic Skate Review

I'm mixing things up for 2017 and I'm back on the Fanatic Skate! I've been able to ride the entire range of Team Edition boards and the Skate doesn't disappoint! I've always been a big fan of freestyle boards, but the ones I like the most are the boards that will also work for the average guy looking to learn to jibe and get planing early. The entire 2017 range does just that. I feel more comfortable than ever in all the new school and old school freestyle tricks and my wife Christina loves them for the early planing and ease of use.

One of the major factors that got me started looking for a board other than the board I was on last year was that the previous brand ditched the power box for a shortened version of a U.S. Box. For 2017 the Fanatic Skate still has a powerbox and I can still use all my favorite Makani Fins that I already own. Now that I've had a taste of all the 2017 sizes, I can say for sure that the Fanatic Skate is the ultimate freestyle board!! Check out the video below for some details and thoughts on the new range.

2017 Fanatic Skate Review from Mike Burns on Vimeo.


  1. Hey Mike,
    Just had a go on my new 2017 Skate 93 with my 4.4 Severne Freek. What an amazing combo. Instantly my switch Konos went to another level as could get so much more speed. The freek is so controlled in ducks and the skate pops up like nothing else. It has the classic fanatic liveliness and perhaps doesn't glide over the chop as smoothly as the flare but seems better for tricks. Have you found any noticeable differences between stock and makani fins? I'll try my makani next time

  2. Hi Andy,

    Glad to here that you're liking the gear so much!! The 4.4 Freek and 93 liter Skate just might be my all time favorite combo!! I did notice also the increased pop that the Skate has and combined with the off the charts handling of the Freek, I feel like anything is possible! I do think the Flare glided over the chop a bit better, but it's a trade of for more pop and better jumping.

    I never even bothered to try the stock fin that came with the Skate. Every other stock fin I've ever tried is slower than the Makani Koi, so I would assume you'll feel even a bigger performance boost!

    All the best,


  3. Hi Mike,

    Im 90 kg and have purchased a Fanatic Skate 110. BGA . I will be using it as my primary freeride and leaning old school freestyle on it. What would be the largest Freek I could use successfully, Mast base location on the track and Makani weed fin quiver. I will be using it on both bump and jump and flat water ocean conditions

    Thanks !

  4. Hi,

    Congratulations on your new Skate!! As for sail size, they don't even make a Freek big enough to sink that 110. You'll be happy all the way up to the 6.3 Freek and that will feel perfectly fine on that board. For mast track, that's the one Skate that I have very little time sailing since they updated the design for the TE in 2012. If I remember correctly I used to sail the 100 with the mast track around center, maybe a bit back from center. Since sliding tricks aren't something you're looking at quite yet, you can simply go by the feel of the board in a straight line. When you move it forward, it will push the nose down. This will make the board's nose ride closer to the water, so it will give the board a little more of a mellow feeling, but too far forward and it will start sticking on the chop. Moving it back will let the nose ride higher, freeing it up to fly across chop. Too far back and the board will loose control easier when over powered. So I would say, start off with it dead center. I know you'll be having a blast and won't want to come back to the beach, but ride it dead center for a few runs, then maybe bump it back a bit at a time until you get the best feeling from it.

    Things get a little more complex with mast track placement when you start sliding backwards because although riding in a straight line feels great with the mast track all the way back, it can really make the tail bite on the backward sliding tricks. So that's when you really need to find that happy place.

    All the best,


  5. Hi Mike;
    Im Alessandro from Italy,
    I also ride the skate 93.I have a question about strap position. In whitch hole do you put them?
    Lots for rider I noticed put the front screws of all 3 straps i placed further back and the back screws further forward.

  6. Hi Alessandro,

    Lots of guys do this for one reason or another. For freestyle they need their feet pretty far int the strap, but at the same timothy need the board to stay on their feet. SO if they "pinch" the straps it ends up with a higher arc and narrower for the feet. Another thing I see a lot of guys doing is changing the strap angle so that it easier to get into while going switch. I wear boots year round so I never have a problem of the straps being too wide for my feet. I also don't have any problem getting switch stance with the straps in the normal position, so I simply have my straps one hole from the back for all positions on all 3 straps. Front straps are in the outer holes. It's pure preference as to where you like your footstraps. There is no right answer. Put them where you feel most comfortable and go have fun!!

    Happy sailing,


  7. Hi Mike

    Thanks for your review. I'm thinking about the 110l. I'm based in NJ sail sandy hook and Long Island. Am working on basic freestyle Upwind 360s and simple sail tricks etc. I'm 180lb, 6ft. I like the idea of the bigger board to handle the lighter wind. I will sail it with a 4.8 and 5.4. Is this a mismatch? I have an old Flare 106 that's going soft.

    Any advice is appreciated.



  8. Hi Phil,

    I think the 110 would be a great choice for you giving you that extra bit of planing power to get moving and extra float to get you through the tricks. If it were me, I prefer the 100 or especially the 100 TE for the faster ride and smaller board feel. I am about 175lbs right now and use the 100 with the 5.2 and 4.8. It's really a toss up on what matters most to you, float or maneuverability. The 110 will get big as the wind picks up but give you that extra float to complete tricks while the 100 liter sizes will be more fun to ride in a straight line. If you're going to go out and practice some light wind sail handling, the 110 with the extra volume will definitely be the way to go. You're going to think your riding a Ferrari compared to your old Flare :-)

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Hope that helps,


  9. Hey Mike, I took your advice and just placed an order (it was my birthday present!) unfortunately Fanatic seems to have sold out of the 110 Skate and only have the 108 TE Skate left.I know the TE is shorter and has less in the nose - I am just nailing 50% of my quick tacks and need every liter in the nose and I am also concerned with a shorter waterline the 108 TE will be a handful in the chop. What do you think? is the TE an OK substitute for my level - should I look harder for a Flare 110? It will be my main/only board and I will use it as my freeride do everything board as well as my learning more freestyle machine. cheers phil

  10. Hi Phil,

    Bummer about the 110 Skate but it might be a blessing in disguise. The new TE boards are better in chop than the regular versions. The 108 TE is the first board my wife is in love with since her 2007 Mistral Screamer. It's got enough float in the mid section to stay afloat just fine during tacks. Chrissy doesn't do any freestyle at all and the Skate 108 is the board she likes the best. I took it out with the 5.9 in Hatteras to put it through it's paces and it was great with everything from Donkey jibes and carving 360s to spocks and shakas. Order up a 108TE. Happy Birthday!!!


  11. Hi Mike, thanks for the great video. Do you use the Koi weed 15cm or 17cm ? I'm looking for a freestyle fin that deliver some drive for power moves. I already use kaku weed 15cm and I think it needs mode drive espescialy when it's very windy/tchoppy.


    1. sorry It's a freestyle WEED fin I need

    2. Hi Anon,

      A lot of which fin I pick is dependent n which board I'm using. The Skate 100, with it's width, tends to spin out easier with the 15 cm weed fin, so many times I'll go with the Koi 17 if I'm not looking to add any extra spins to any tricks. If I'm working on something requiring 2 or more rotations, the Koi 15 is the call on the 100. On my 93 liter or 86 liter, I only use the 15 cm Koi weed. It has plenty enough grip for burners, skopus, shakas, etc. Keep in mind that the laws of physics prevent weedfins from being as good at freestyle as their regular fin counterparts that we all love. I used to absolutely hate switching to a weed fin, but at least with the Koi Weed, I can get on track to learning some new tricks.

      So, if you're on a 100 or bigger, the 17 will give you tons of grip and the 15 more spin. If you're on the 93 or smaller and have the ability to be working on power moves, just go with the 15.


    3. Thanks for your answer Mike. I sail the new skate 93 and I really love the stock 18.5cm fin. How would you compare the grip of that 18.5cm with the koi weed 17cm ?

  12. Hi Anon,

    I found the stock fins pretty slow in comparison to the Makani Kois so I don't use them, however, the 17 cm Koi weed should have more grip than the stock fin....



  13. Hi MIke,
    we met on Cape once prior at ECWF but also appreciated your advice last year re the Skate.
    i ended up buying a Skate 100 BGS. I weigh 165#, sail mostly 5.7, some 5.0. I've been using the stock 21 cm freestyle fin, sometimes stock 24 cm FS fin (from my prior 110 skate), also MFC FSW 25 and 29 cm. But, now there are tons of weeds. I've been using a Tangent Dynamics 26 cm, but definitely want something smaller. So, i was looking at the Koi Weed 17 (188 sq cm), versus Nai'a 18 (212 sq cm) vs 21 cm (255 sq cm). I can't find the sq cm on the Tangent fin. I'm doing carve 360's, duck jibes. Can do light wind duck tacks, push tacks, UW360's but not planing yet. We have a group "competition" up here trying to get people to loop, so have been starting to work on these. I was a bit worried that the 17 might be too small for my sail size and skill level. I was hoping to get your thoughts on the Koi 17, probably versus the Nai'a 21...or maybe both ? Kind of $$ though to buy two !
    thanks again for all your help

  14. Hi Mike, I enjoyed your video's on Vimeo!

    I've also decided to settle for a skate. But I'm unsure about the size and which year to aim for.
    My thoughts keep switching between the 85 litres, 93 litres and the 100 litres. My weight is usually between the 73 and 80 kg (160-177 lbs) usually 170 lbs.
    So besides this I own an 83L starboard pure acid (radical wave) and a 96L Tabou 3s, which has some water damage and feels more like a heavy 90L which I don't like anymore.
    I'm using a 4.5m North Sails hero (26-38kts), 5.0 Hero (21-30kts) and 5.6 Hero (18-25kts). (wave sails)

    But I hope to sail the 5.0 with 16+ kts comfortably, is this realistic with a Freestyle board like the Fanatic Skate?
    I'm having a hard time grasping the needs for freestyle sailing.

    If my level is of importance, I can do some minor spin/speedloops and I've started to do some air jibes.

    Any information that you can think of is absolutely welcome!

    Yours sincerely,

  15. Hi Bo,

    You can definitely rule out the 86 liter skate. It's too small for the sails you want to use. The 93 is my main board for 4.0 to 5.2 and switch over to the 100 with the 5.2 and up. 16 knots might be doable for you with the 93 and 5.0. I think you'll find yourswlf using a smaller sail in less wind than you're used to.