Fanatic Fly Air Review

Overview
  • Build: Inflatable
  • Skill: Beginner / Advanced
  • Amazon price: Price not available | Buy here >
  • Our score: 8.6 | Read our conclusion
  • This board can be used for:
Yoga
All-round
Touring
Pets
8.6
8.6
Our score
Stability
9
Design
9
Performance
9
Price/Quality ratio
8
Supplied accessories
8

The Fanatic Fly Air: Popular and reliable, but missing gear

The Fanatic Fly Air is an inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board of very high quality and one of the best inflatables money can buy. This board is expensive for beginners, but it offers maximum performance so you can enjoy the sport straight away from the start.

I will tell you more about this board, the properties, the different sizes and their advantages and when you should or should not purchase this board.

Pro’s

  • Stiffer and faster than other all-round inflatable boards
  • Suitable for both quiet and slightly wilder water
  • Large diamond grooving footpad for extra grip

Cons

  • Quite expensive, a big investment for beginners for a board without a paddle
  • The recommended user weight is not very high, taking a second person is not possible on any of these boards
  • SUP leash is not included

Most suitable for:

The Fanatic Fly Air performs very well on the water and it is easy to build up some speed. This board is only suitable for optimal performance for one person, this board is not suitable for taking along another person as the weight limit is quite low for all three sizes. Also you need a slightly bigger budget, as you will be spending a bit over $600 on a Fanatic Fly Air.

If you do not own a paddle or leash yet you need to purchase these separately, as they are not included in the package that comes with these boards.

Fanatic Fly Air Review 1

Fanatic Fly Air Review 2

Primary use
All Round / Relaxing / Touring / Yoga (though the 9’8″ is not great for Yoga due to the small platform)

Fanatic Fly Air Review 3

Speed on the water
The board has quite a nice speed. It is very light and thinner than other inflatables, so you can build up extra speed.

Fanatic Fly Air Review 4

Transport
This board weighs around 8 kg, depending on the size as you can see on the chart up here. This is very light so it is very easy to put in the supplied backpack and transport it.

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Stability
The board is 32/33/34″ wide and 9’8″/10’4″/10’8″ long. The big diamond grooving is good for your grip, but on the smaller board it is harder to stay stable.

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My own experience

Before I started testing this board I was very excited about getting to try this out. This is supposed to be one of the best inflatables available at the market, but at the same time I was very curious if it could justify the higher prices that are attached to these boards that do not include a paddle.

When I finally got to use the board it surely surpassed my expectations. The quality of this inflatable is indeed unmatched by others, and compared to cheaper brands like Aqua Marina this offers a whole new experience.

Since I only had 2 days to try these out I got on the water right away. The 9’8″ was most difficult, as I am close to the weight limit and it is a small board. Unlike other boards the weight limit doesn’t need an extra margin to be taken into account. So it did not bend through and worked perfectly. I mostly enjoyed this smallest board for catching waves and a more surfing-like approach.

Maybe I’m not a super pro, but to me it did not feel like a lot of difference between the 10’4″ and 10’8″ boards. Sure there is a bit more stability and a longer glide, but it did not completely change my paddling experience. Either of these sizes will do, if you want some more stability you can go for the 10’8″ instead of the 10’4″.

Downside is that for the 10’8″ the maximum weight capacity is still only 105 kg, so taking a second person is out of the question. As a beginner I did like to share my experience and joy with other, so this is a bit of a downside to this board for me.

Besides that I would never have paid this kind of money to try out a sport I would like to try for the first time. I feel as if this is great as a follow-up board for people that want to get more out of their inflatable Stand Up Paddle experience, but for most people this is just too pricey to purchase as a first board.

Important features

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Setup

  • Comfortable carrying handle
  • Integrated deck net to attach luggage
  • Fanatic Power Pump HP2 for fast inflation
  • Diamond grooving footpad for the ultimate grip and comfort
  • High quality towing eyelets
  • Removable tool-free fin
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Fins
One removable tool-free fin in the center of the board.

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Material
The Drop-Stitch Light technology for lightweight but a very durable and stiff board.

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Inflate / deflate
SUP is inflated in nearly 7 mins with the supplied pump

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Warranty
A 2 year warranty that covers all workmanship and materials. It does not apply to the included accessories. 

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Design
Cool and stylish design that is very appealing to the eye.


Included in the package

Paddle

Officially this board does not include a paddle at all, but at some retailers a paddle is supplied anyway to make your paddle board set complete. Most common is the inclusion of the Fanatic Pure 3-piece Paddle, shown below.

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Fanatic Fly Air Review 14

Backpack

A nicely designed and high quality backpack to easily carry along your (lightweight) Fanatic Fly Air. The size fits the board, with the 9’8″ you receive an M sized backpack, with the 10’4″ and 10’8″ you receive an L sized backpack.

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High pressure pump

The Fanatic Power Pump HP2 is of high quality and gets the job done quickly with double action inflating. One of the best pumps available, I have also included this in the Best SUP pumps of 2020 article.

Fanatic SUP pump

Optional accessoires (not included)

Restube Classic

Restube Classic
An absolute must to go out on the water, do not forget to purchase one if you do not own one yet!

Nalanda Electric SUP Pump

Electric SUP pump
For those who don’t want the exercise before getting on the board.


Difference between an Inflatable board and a Hard board

Advantages Inflatable board

  • Easy to take on holiday (even on the plane)
  • Easy to store in the winter days
  • Much cheaper
  • Technology has improved greatly over the past 10 years. For this reason, these boards are now almost hard to distinguish from hard boards

Advantage Hardboard

  • More speed, which is important if you are a professional
  • Easier to make sharp turns on the water because the board is thinner
  • No inflation needed, you can get on the water right away

Other Fanatic Fly Air Reviews online

The Fanatic Fly Air is a very popular Stand Up Paddle Board and has thus been reviewed by many different websites online.

A short overview of these reviews below:

Sup-internationalmag.com: “A premium board from one of the best global brands, it’s simply a very polished product you’ll be happy with for years to come. Well recommended by our testers. “

Greenwatersports.com: “The 2019 Fanatic Fly Air 10’4″ inflatable paddle board is exceeding good value. At just $899 Fanatic provides a high quality single-skin-with-stringer SUP that really feels and performs like a premium board.

Conclusion – Should you buy?

The Fanatic Fly Air SUP is mostly perfect if you are already Stand Up Paddle Boarding for a couple of years and want to upgrade to a higher quality board. As a starter board is a bit pricey and you cannot even take your friends along for a trip on this board.

Especially because the board officially does not include a paddle or leash either it is not suitable for beginners. If you are getting this as your first board, look at offers that do include a paddle so you can get started right away.

I would recommend this for taking the next step or if you have a big budget to spend for your first Stand Up Paddle Board and you want to get the highest quality possible right away. If you first want to try out paddle boarding go for a cheaper model, so you do not have a $600 board just lying around if you decide this sport is not for you.



Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)

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4 responses to “Fanatic Fly Air Review”

  1. Hi Tom, Did u pump up the board yourself with a Fanatic pump. Did u notice that u r pumping into a CLOSED valve which is really hard? Also, the pump only reads the pressure for a split second (due to the closed valve). In my opinion (and also several other people that I asked) this is caused by the unusual “fill adapter” that Fanatic uses on the fill hose. Do u know of any fix for this? (Like an adapter for the adapter?) LOL
    Thanks for your help.
    Bill

    • Hi Bill,
      Yes, you see this problem with a lot of brands. Whenever you stop pumping, the air goes back into the pump so that it seems that pressure reduces in the SUP. Crazy.

      Unfortunately I don’t have a solution for this. After paddle boarding for many years, I know when the SUP is on 15-20 PSI (more or less) 😃

  2. Hi Tom,
    I really appreciate the review of the Fanatic Fly Air Pure boards.

    Two questions come to my mind:

    1. What is the recommended PSI for these?

    2. Being a single layer board how rigid/stiff is it? I am wandering if I would be better off with a stiff board from a smaller (cheaper) brand?

    Thanks

    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks! I’m happy that you like my review!

      The recommended PSI for the Fanatic Fly Air boards is 15 PSI, but if you feel it is not rigid enough for you it is possible to inflate it up to 20 PSI.

      Fanatic boards are very stiff, the brand is known for the good quality and if you like Fanatic it will surely be worth the purchase.
      But I do believe you can get boards that perform just as well, or even better, for the same money. The Bluefin Cruise would be a good example of this.
      It offers a thicker board, a 2 in 1 fiberglass paddle and a kayak seat, where Fanatic only has an aluminum paddle in the package.

      So in total I would say you would be better off with a Bluefin Cruise that even costs a bit less than the Fanatic Fly Air, hence the scores.

      Hope you can make a choice and find the right board for you!

      Tom

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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)