Fanatic Gecko 112L and 98L 2014

Finally I got the chance to sail these boards, Fanatic has done it again. They just get better.

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The dimensions are :- 112, Length 239cm, Width 73cm, Volume 112L.

98, Length 239, Width 63cm, Volume 98cm.

Keeping to the concept of all the range being the same length, it is just the width that is changing.

The 112L, I am using the 2013L  Freewave as a comparison and the Skate 100L 2013 for the 98L. The reason for this, is that at the club these are the boards we use to introduce people to carving maneuvers in the lower volumes.

Freewave 115, Length 244cm, Width 66cm, Volume 115L.

Skate 100, Length 235cm, Width 63.5cm, Volume 100L.

It is interesting to see the 112 at 73 wide, now that is wide. It will be very stable.

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The first thing I noticed getting them out of the box was the foot strap options. They have given an extra inboard setting on the front and further forwards. This is great as it is one of my comments on last years model. This will make it so much easier for those learning foot straps and carving maneuvers.

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Looking at the rocker lines and underwater shape it is difficult to see any changes, so if there are, it is very subtle.

So it’s on the water we go.

(Action photos will come as soon I can get them)

As always I have the mast foot right at the back.

For the test with the inboard straps I have placed them right forwards.

On the 112 I have placed a 25cm Freewave fin.

The balance of the board non-planing is great, front foot by the side of the mast foot and back foot just behind the front foot strap. This also works for a 110Kg guy. When you feel the board start to lift, just place the front foot straight into the strap and the board just takes off. The width of the board makes it very stable, plus the flat clear deck makes tacking a dream.

The board rides very flat and even though you do feel the width with the inboard straps, it is very controllable at moderate speeds. Great for learning.

The carving of the board is long and very smooth, add the stability to this, again a great board to learn carve gybing. I even had a chance to ride some waves and again smooth long turns, fun but you do need full commitment.

So why test against the Freewave 115, well some people find the step from the gecko 120 to big. The 112 is more stable, especially not planing. It planes much earlier. It has a much more stable platform for tacks and changing the sail in gybes. The Freewave is more responsive and comes into its own when the wind picks up.

On the 98L I tried my 18.5cm freestyle fin.

Again the balance of the board is great and there is no surprise it has the classic easy planing of the rest of the range. The inboard straps worked really well and even with this small fin it just flew upwind. The board is very responsive and gives a slightly different feel from the other boards, you can even ride soft waves.

So the test was against the 100L skate, very similar in feel. In fact the ride reminded me of the 89L skate, amazing. The only difference I could feel was the Skate has a thicker tail, easier in the straps in no wind but the Gecko you can still do the freestyle moves.

Move the straps out a position on both boards and place the original fin, Bump and Jump becomes Plug and play fun.

The only word is easy!

Move them out to the outboard position, you have slalom mode. It is better to put a slightly bigger and stiffer fin in for this set up. Slalom now becomes Plug and Play. Ok you do not have the top end speed but it is more than fast enough.

Amazing Fanatic have done it again. Not only a concept of 1 length for all boards but now 1 board for all conditions.

You will have a lot of fun on these boards.


20 Responses to “Fanatic Gecko 112L and 98L 2014”

  1. Hi, excellent review. What do you recomend for a 95Kg guy, the Gecko 112l or the 105l? I can WS, going into the straps, WS and starting with the power gybe.
    I can’t decide because the smaller one could be kind of tricky for me at light winds but with the 112 maybe I reduce the wind range I can use it.
    Thanks!!

    • The Gecko is an amazing board and for the club we will have a lot more 112L. Normally the jump for us is from the 120L gecko to the 116 Freewave but…… Many people find this jump to large. Now we have the Gecko.
      At your weight and level I would definitely suggest the Gecko 112. Play around with the foot strap positions, you have a board for everything as you find your style. Wave, Free ride and slalom. 2014 was so positive on this board from our clients. If I have no problem holding this board down in 25 knots in slalom mode at 56Kg and changing to my 3.7m and inboard straps and play in the waves and freestyle. I think you will learn far more on the 112L. If you think you need more of a challenge then go for the 116 Free Wave, not the 105L Gecko.

  2. Thank you very much for your answer, I’ll go for the 112 this afternoon 🙂

  3. Hello there.
    I´m really considering the option of the 98 lt. I´m very experienced windsurfer (I’ve been sailing for than 30 years now). I weigh 75 kg, and I gybe, tack, jump (no loops), and even surf the small-medium waves in my spot. I´m considering the option of changing my big freewave (Fanatic freewave 98 lt, 2006 year model), for two new models (I also have a custom wave of 56 cm wide for heavy conditions). One of them would be a wave or freewave model of 58-60 cm wide (smaller than my Fanatic) for using them with 5-5,8 sails, and the other could be a Gecko (the 98 ltr or the 105 ltr) for using them with 6-7 m2 sails. Do you think the Geckos (on the smaller sizes) are boards for beginners or do you consider them exciting enough for experienced sailors? I’m looking for a board which is bigger (unless in virtual volume) than what I have now and, therefore, allow me to sail in 12-14 (+) knots with the right sail and fin.
    Thank you in advance for your opinion.

    • Hi Jose Miguel.

      The Fanatic Geckos are very much plug and play, very easy to use and a lot of fun. With the many strap positions you can really change the characteristic of the board, combining that with the correct choice of fin.
      If your style is more towards waves the Fanatic Free wave 106L could also be worth thinking about. People are finding the combination of the 6.9m Volt for light winds is very nice.
      I have also just tried the Fanatic Hawk 113L. Again this is a very nice, easy slalom style board. This could be a suggestion if your sails are more towards the 7+ range and flatter water.

  4. Hi and thank you for your reply.

    I’m sure that all the boards you mentioned are great boards. However, I want to try with the Geckos. Do you think that the 98 ltr (Gecko) woud work well with a freeride sail of 7.0? And with a 6.2 power wave sail?

    Bye

    • Hi Jose Miguel.

      The 98L will work with a 7m sail. It is right at the top end of the range so I would place a larger fin (say around 36/38cm) and have the straps on the outside and sail it in Slalom mode. With the 6.2m it can be in Bump and jump mode with a 34/36cm fin. In wave mode the largest fin I would use would be 27cm on a 6.2m.

  5. Again…thank you very much for your advice. I’m happy to hear that, I’m really considering going for the Gecko 98 ltr (or for the 105 ltr…)

    Bye

  6. Hello.
    Just wanted your take on the carving capabilities on the Geckos.
    Looking for a new lightwind board.
    70 kg, somewhat advanced rider.
    Currently riding RRD X-Fire slalom 114 lts (70 cm) combined with cam- and no-cam race sails (7.5). -Blasting, jibing, tacking and “speed jumping”.
    Same riding on Goya Custom 84 when windy, plus some small waves.
    Goya One 105 for conditions in between.

    Have tried RRD Firemove 112 lts.
    Good response in the corners and good top speed.
    Same goes for the Starboard AtomIQ 110.

    Never tried the Gecko, but it’s built on the same recipe as the Firemove and the AtomIQ. Considering the 112 lts, but it needs to turn well.
    Not demanding same corner abilities as on my wave boards, of course, but more than on the X-Fire, which needs h*** of a lot of speed to be fun to jibe.
    This is why I’m replacing the X-Fire, to get a more versatile lightwind board.

    Is the Gecko comparable with for example JP X-Cite Ride, Fanatic Shark or Starboard Futura, around the corners?
    Or the mentioned freemove boards, for that matter.

    Cheers,

    John

    • Hi John.

      I don’t really understand your question or your comparisons.

      If you would like an easy Fast and manoeuvrable board to sail with cam and no cam sails then the new Hawk 113 is your board. Normally I would not touch this board, as I would rather be on the Falcon but it is so much fun and easy.

      You can not include a shark or an X-Cite-ride in your question if you are looking for performance at high speed.

      • Thanks for the reply.

        Sorry about the confusion.
        My question is if the Gecko turns well, or not.
        The slalom boards don’t, but the freeride- freerace and freemove boards usually do.
        The comparison is just regarding turning abilities.

        If I replace the X-Fire with a Gecko or another freemove, the cam sail is for sale.

      • SO my answer is…… I use the Gecko 112L for teaching wave moves for intermediate sailors wanting to go into the waves but find the Free wave 116L to unstable. So yes it turns. If you compare it with your 84L Goya custom……. it is like a BRICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In sub 10 knots I use this board for freestyle training as well, with a very small fin of cause.

        For the school it is a prayer answered!

        It sounds like the board you really need is the 116 Free Wave. Out board straps and bump and jump fin. But I still think the Hawk is the board you are describing.

        When you become a wave sailor, you will be so pleased you have the free wave.

        The Geckos are for smaller fins than free ride and slalom boards and smaller sails and as I have said…………….. Plug and play, easy boards. There class says it all….. FREE MOVE.

  7. Hello,
    Will the Gecko 112 really take an 8.5 sail?
    I weigh 85kg. i’m looking for a board to take my 6.7 Superfreak and 8.5 speedfreak.

    • A board will take what ever size you want to place on it.
      I have seen in my years many strange combinations.
      The gecko is Free Move but is very good at slalom and wave.
      The mast track is back on this board, If your style is to have your mast foot forward. It will not be comfortable, especially with the 8.5m. It will block the board and it will never really get going.
      Like all questions, it depends on your level. (NOT YOUR WAIGHT)

  8. Hi,
    thanks for your report. I am an experienced sailor/surfer. Weight is about 88kg. I am thinking to get the 105 ltr bamboo as I like its 2015 design. Did you compare the bamboo against the ltd? Is the different weight a factor from your point of view? Would you more tend to the 105 or 112 as a one board solution. Thanks.

  9. Hi Gert.
    I have not tried the ltd model but it will be lighter and stiffer so more fragile but will give a much crisper ride and should plane a fraction earlier. We have found the bamboo model strong at the club.
    The advantage of the bamboo over the hrs is huge.
    At 88Kg it is hard to say which size would be best as a 1 board solution. It will depend on the largest size sail you wish to use and the average water state you sail in. If it is more flat water and larger sails I would say the 112L, smaller sails and waves the 105L.
    Remember a lage sail weighs a lot so you must add that to your body weight when you have to sail in none planing conditions to get to where the wind is.

    • Hi Russel,
      thanks for your reply. Max. sailsize will be 7. Never used larger than 6.4 up to now. So I like the idea of the 105ltr. bamboo as I use it in open (baltic) sea and small waves. This should work out. Thanks again.
      Cheers, Gert

  10. Ok great.
    You will love it as I have people playing around on our 6.9 volt with it.

  11. Hi,

    Thanks for the Very informative post!

    What Gecko size would you recommend for an intermediate sailor 71kg? I sail Lake Michigan and inland lakes only (flat water or small chop and wind rarely exceeding 25kn (average 12-18 knots). I’m torn between 105 and 112. I mostly use 7.5 thru 5.5 sails with 7.5 being used most frequently. I currently use an older shark 130l, but wanted to get a lighter and more maneuverable board that can plane a little sooner but also can work with smaller sails.

    Also, will I see a lot of difference between HRS and LTD models?

    Thanks!

    • You are coming from a 130L shark so very old. The 112 is your choice, it will take a little bit of getting used to but you will love it. Don’t go to small. HRS do not touch but the bamboo is great, If you would like something special then go for the LTD but it has a price tag.

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