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Fanatic Ray Air Pure und Ray Air Premium Review

We were able to test both boards the standard version the Ray Air Pure and the Ray Air Premium. The result is clear, if we were to buy a SUP from Fanatic, it would be one of these two boards. In our article we will compare the two. We will show in which points they differ and for whom which board is better suited.

12’6” / 381cm

Lenght

32" / 81cm

Width

6" / 15cm

Thickness

9 kg and 12 kg

Weight

120 kg

Capacity

339 l

Volume

Field of Application:

Allround, Touring, River

Suitable For:

Einsteiger, Fortgeschrittene, Profi

Prize Class:

450-700$
(specification without guarantee)

Table of contents

Comparison of the Fanatic Ray Air Pure and Ray Air Premium: In a nutshell

(Or a little less short, already alone this title is super long =) )

We must admit the naming of Fanatic is not entirely clear to us. What is certain is that there are two different versions of the Ray Air. The slightly cheaper standard version and the premium version. Sometimes the cheaper board Ray Air PURE Edition is called and is also so on the board. But in most online stores and on the Fanatic website it is simply called Fanatic Ray Air.

Fanatic Ray Air PURE Edition Close Up
The PURE Edition designation on the board, but is simply called Ray Air on the Fanatic website.

For this reason we call it from now on simply Ray Air and the premium version logically Ray Air Premium =)
Both versions are available in lengths of 11’6″ (350 cm for paddlers up to 110 kg) or 12’6″ (381 cm for paddlers up to 120 kg). The Ray Air Premium is available in an additional length of 13’6″ (411 cm for paddlers up to 130 kg).

The Ray Air boards are classic touring boards. In terms of handling, the two versions are roughly comparable due to the same dimensions. Thanks to the super gliding properties, they are ideal for extended paddle trips. However, they still offer enough tipping stability so that they are also suitable for SUP beginners after a short familiarization period.

The quality in the Ray Air SUPs in the standard version and of course the premium line, is excellent. What you can expect from Fanatic in this price segment of course.

With the boards themselves, the main difference is the double-layer construction of the Premium boards. This makes them a bit stiffer and they almost feel like hardboards on the water. In addition, the SUPs from the Fanatic Ray Air Premium line have a mast base insert. For this purpose, various windsurfing sets (rigs) can be purchased from the manufacturer, with which the board becomes a windsurfing SUP.

Another difference is that the set of Ray Air Premium boards has some more high-end accessories. The normal fin gets an upgrade to a click fin which can be quickly and securely clicked into the US box rail. Instead of the good Fanatic Pure backpack, the Premium set comes with a practical backpack trolley.

Clear thing, the Fanatic Ray Air Premium Set has a lot to offer. However, this also has its price. However, if you consider that you can use such a board safely 10 years, this point is put into perspective again a bit. Check the price and buy.

However, if you can do without these few main differences, the Fanatic Ray Air is a class SUP in the mid-price segment, with which he or she, many cool discovery tours will undertake. Check price and buy here.

Pros and Cons

Pro

  • Excellent quality even in accessories
  • Super riding characteristics
  • Cool modern design

Contra

  • The leash is not included in the set

Specification of the Fanatic Ray Air and Ray Air Premium

In our test, we used the 12’6″ length of both versions (Standard and Premium).

Logically, they are identical in shape and dimensions. With their length of 381 cm (12’6″) and the pointed nose, they are classic touring boards in terms of shape. Designed for longer distances, with good gliding properties. However, the width of 81 cm still provides enough stability that even less experienced paddlers will feel comfortable on it. With the thickness of 15 cm, the 12’6 “er Ray Air SUPs come to a total volume of 339 liters.

Spitze des Fanatic Ray Air PURE Edition
Nose des Fanatic Ray Air Premium

Thus, paddlers up to 120 kg rider weight, can count on the optimal riding characteristics of the boards. However, the maximum load is significantly higher, so that two people can be on the board at the same time.

The difference between the standard and premium version is the weight. The Ray Air comes to a weight of 9 kg. A really good value for a SUP of this size. The Ray Air Premium is a little heavier at 12 kg. The reason for this is the somewhat more robust, two-layer construction of the Premium boards.

Construction and quality of the Fanatic SUP boards

The Ray Air is made with Fanatic’s “single layer Drop-Stitch Light technology”. This means that the Drop-Stitch core (thousands of threads that give a SUP its shape) is covered by a single layer of PVC, which gives the visible outer shell of the board. The edges (rails) are reinforced with another layer called rail tape. This supports the rigidity of the board and also protects against damage.

The single layer construction is perhaps a little less robust, but can score with lower weight and easier handling. For example, when rolling up this board is easier to do.

The boards of the Fanatic Ray Air Premium series are made with the so-called “Double Layer Light technology”. Here, two layers of PVC encase the drop stitch core. To save the weight of the adhesive and to create a generally higher quality connection, these are laminated together with the Fusion process. The rails are also reinforced here with an additional rail tape.

This construction creates an extremely robust SUP which can go one better, especially in terms of stiffness.

Excellent quality of workmanship and the reinforcement of the sides by a rail band

The build quality on both versions is absolutely top notch, just as you would expect from a board from Fanatic. In addition to the great quality, we also like the boards visually. While the design elements are the same on both, you can tell them apart by color. The Ray Air has a really nice modern blue look, while the Ray Air Premium comes in turquoise with bright neon accents.

Handling and ride performance in the test

Finally on the water and that’s what it’s all about with a SUP. There you immediately notice how quickly these boards pick up momentum. A few paddle strokes and you glide beautifully at a decent speed over the water. The width of 32″ (81 cm) does not seem to slow down the boards at all. Nevertheless, you still have a very good tipping stability. Especially for beginners and somewhat less experienced paddlers, this is a big plus. Of course, it is a bit more wobbly than an all-round board. After a short familiarization period, we think but, the Fanatic Ray Air SUPs are for everyone and every woman easily ridable.

What else we noticed is the excellent directional stability. The board rides extremely well straight ahead without having to constantly change the paddle side. This and thanks to the beautiful gliding capabilities will make longer tours very much fun, no matter in what water whether lakes, rivers or the sea.

The handling of the standard and premium version is relatively similar. One point in which the Fanatic Ray Air Premium has the nose in front, however, is the stiffness. Due to the hardness of the board, it really cuts through the water. Especially in small waves it doesn’t pick up any vibration from them and you don’t feel any flutter under your feet. It almost feels like you’re standing on a hardboard.

Super speed you can achieve with the extremely stiff Ray Air Premium.

For rather small and light paddlers, the standard version offers an advantage. Due to the lighter board weight of only 9 kg, this is not only easier to transport, but also easier to maneuver in the water. Because a lightweight SUP is easier to accelerate and turn.

In the water, the Ray Air SUP have given us extremely much pleasure. And because joy is best shared, it is absolutely no problem to take a second person, dog, child or whatever with you.

Features of the Ray Air Boards

The board features are identical for both versions. The only exception is  the mast foot insert which the Premium board has. This is located directly in front of the riser and allows a windsurf sail rig to be mounted.

The standing surface of the Ray Air boards is covered with an EVA deck pad in a diamond pattern. Pleasant underfoot, it reaches all the way to the edge and provides a large surface to stand on.

Behind the valve is a D-ring for the leash and one in the front area on the bottom, which can be used as a tow ring.

A luggage net in the bow area and a central carrying handle complete the equipment of the Ray Air Boards.

Fanatic Ray Air accessories

The sets of the Fanatic Ray Air and Ray Air Premium are fundamentally different, so we will list them separately here.

Fanatic Ray Air Set

Paddle: The Ray Air is available in a set both with and without paddle. For the option with, the “Fanatic PURE ADJ 3-PC” is included. This is continuously adjustable from 165 cm – 220 cm. The shaft is made of carbon/composite composite and has a carbon content of 15%. The paddle blade is made of ABS plastic.

Pump: Included is a Fanatic Power Pump HP2. For fast and efficient inflation, you can easily switch from single to double action. This means air is pumped into the board not only when pushing down the lever, but also when pulling up.

Fin: Included is a large fin, which can be mounted without tools in the standardized US fin box on the SUP.

Backpack: Beautifully designed and finished to a high standard, the lightweight Ray Air SUP can be transported effortlessly with the backpack.

Fanatic Ray Air Premium Set

Paddle: In the set with paddle is a “Fanatic CARBON 35 ADJ 3-PC. This 3-piece paddle P is continuously adjustable from 170 cm – 220 cm. The complete paddle, shaft incl. paddle blade is made of carbon/composite composite material and has a carbon content of 35%. It also has an anti-twist system, which ensures that the handle is always right to the paddle blade. The Premium Set is optionally available without paddle.

Pump: Included is a Fanatic Power Pump HP2. For fast and efficient inflation, you can easily switch from single to double action. This means air is pumped into the board not only when pushing down the lever, but also when pulling up.

Fin: The set includes a newly developed Premium Click fin from Fanatic. This can be quickly and securely clicked into the US box rail. The usual tightening of the fin by means of threaded plates is no longer necessary.

Backpack or trolley: A highlight of the premium set is the transport backpack or trolley. This can not only be carried on the back, but also pulled behind thanks to the wheels. The backpack has a padded back surface and lies comfortably on the shoulders thanks to the wide carrying straps. For longer distances, however, it is extremely convenient to simply pull this behind.

Quality made, it has enough space and pockets to store all accessories and additional material for a nice summer day in it.

Our recommendation for you

If you’ve read this far, you won’t be surprised to hear that we loved the Fanatic Ray Air boards in our review. These boards deliver what we expect from a brand like Fanatic, which has been active in watersports for an extremely long time. Quality products that shine on the water with good handling characteristics. The boards have immediately awakened in us the desire to make longer trips and explore unknown shores.

Are you a passionate paddler, go every week on the water and now want to buy a board that you will not have to replace for many years, buy the Fanatic Ray Air Premium. Some may gulp empty in the face of the price. However, you get an absolute top board here. It will give you a lot of fun on the water and, thanks to the robust construction, it will also withstand intensive use for a long time.

If you are a newcomer to the sport of SUP or your budget is a bit limited, don’t worry, the Fanatic Ray Air in its standard version is also a great SUP. Why we actually recommend a first board like the Ray Air to all beginners? First, you get what you pay for. The cheap boards just can’t compete in quality here. And second, of course an all-round board like the Fanatic Fly Air is more forgiving and faster to master. But if you don’t have two left feet, you will feel comfortable after a short time on a touring board like the Ray Air. If you don’t necessarily want to slalom with the SUP or just bob around on the lake, there’s simply more potential here for longer trips. Therefore, yes treat yourself and buy a Fanatic Ray Air.

FAQ

  • Who is the Fanatic Ray Air suitable for?

    Our thesis is, the Fanatic Ray Air is for everyman and woman SUPer (see what we did there, haha). But shouldn’t a beginner buy an all-around board first? No, not necessarily. The Ray Air offers enough tipping stability that you can master it relatively quickly. But you have much more potential to do longer tours and expand your SUP skills than you would with an allround shape. More info

  • Which Ray Air version should I buy?

    Are you a passionate paddler, go every week on the water and now want to buy a board that you will not have to replace for many years, buy the Fanatic Ray Air Premium.

    If you are a newcomer to the sport of SUP, just get out on the water every now and then, or if your budget is a bit limited, you will have a lot of fun with the Fanatic Ray Air (standard version). More info

  • Which Ray Air length is right for me?

    We always tend to a slightly longer board. Those who like to travel from time to time, in pairs or with a lot of luggage can benefit from the larger load capacity 120 kg (12’6″) compared to 110 kg (11’6″). But the main advantage of a longer SUP is the better glide. Don’t forget, however, that maneuverability decreases with increasing length. Something especially small and lighter paddlers need to consider. More info

Rocher

Vor über 10 Jahren stand ich das erste Mal auf einem Surfboard und dieses Gefühl vom “auf dem Wasser stehen”, hat mich seit dem nie mehr losgelassen. Am Anfang war SUP „nur“ die Alternative für Tage ohne Wellen, um trotzdem auf einem Board stehen zu können. Allerdings ist diese „nur Alternative“ mit der Zeit zu einer eigenen Leidenschaft geworden. Deshalb freue ich mich für euch hier über spannende Themen rund um diesen wunderbaren Sport schreiben zu dürfen.

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