I never had a Fanatic board until recently, while if I hadn’t been so closely related to the Greek F2 importers back then, I’m sure I would have sailed a Fanatic sometime.
By mistake the Fanatic 30 years book commemorative anniversary advertisement, used as their first photo (1981), one that my friend Armando Moustakis took me while I was sailing in Schinias, a 1980 Sordelli board with a storm sail made by Tassos Boudouris (the Olympic games Soling sailing medalist), and that was my only connection with Fanatic until last summer.
Well thanks to my 2 Greece-loving, German windsurfing friends Alex & Markus, I may proudly join the vintage Fanatic owners club. Here is how this happened.
Fanatic Ultra Cat – late ’80’s
I suppose you remember how I got interested about the Ultra Cat from the post Windsurfing season 2015 – part 2.
Thinking I would not find an opportunity to visit Paros again that summer, I had taken the Ultra Cat to Athens. :)25 days later, I returned to Paros, and as soon as Anastasia of the Philoxenia beach shop saw me, she called me in and gave me a large parcel, telling me that Alex had left there for me. To my great enthusiasm, it contained the Cat’s trousseaux, consisting of 2 expertly hand made wooden daggerboards, 3 different size & material fins and 2 hard to find mast foot joints!
I asked Anastasia about Alex, and she told me he was in Paros and that he was coming daily to the beach. Not more than half an hour later, I spotted Alex, rigging a Mistral Pan Am raceboard.
I thanked him warmly for being so kind to give me all the valuable material of the board, but when I asked what was the sum I should give for everything, Alex offered me the Ultra Cat, not accepting any kind of compensation, saying that he was happy someone could appreciate the old Cat which was in need of some rejuvenating care. He had already replaced it with the Pan Am, while he also showed me his smaller, red, old-school Fanatic freeride, both of which he soon sailed in turns, with determination and flair.I took the board to Kostas @ boardsnwheels. First we dealt with the non fully retracted daggerboard issue, that we solved by altering slightly the pivot point of the custom wooden daggerboard – after Kostas managed to mark the wood with a genius bronze marking button he crafted on his recently acquired lathe. Then he moved on (on a very slow pace, I may say), to fix the 2 holes on the deck, retouch the old repair of the tail – restoring the animal print graphics on plain yellow background (the old repair was covered with blue color, masking also some of the graphics), respray of anti-slip and finally change the rotten footstraps.
Trying to find appropriate footstraps for a board belonging to the funboard period, is not an easy task nowadays. Gone are the colorful choices, and after extensive search, I decided to go for the Dakine turquoise Primos that contain almost the full palette of the Cat’s decoration. Mind you that even knowing what I wanted to buy, it was not easy to get all 8 straps ( I always buy one spare) from one shop! I finally ordered them from France, from a shop that doesn’t even specialize in windsurfing… I believe these straps lifted the the bar of the reconditioning considerably.
To complement the looks, I asked the board’s bottom to be sanded race wise, for less drag. Now, all I need is an experienced raceboard (see ALEX) rider to appreciate it. Alex, although older than me, still competes in tandem (2 riders boards), something I have not even tried in my youth.
Fanatic Ultra Mosquito – early ’90’s
It was last January, that Markus having visited Hitthewave, left me a kind comment. He also told me, that he is windsurfing in Serifos, where he keeps most of his equipment, including 2 vintage boards, an F2 Sunset Slalom & a Fanatic Ultra Mosquito, that were somehow decorating the resort of his friend Edie, where he stays every year he goes to Serifos. I think you know this F2 is a benchmark in shaping and that it paved the way to the cross type of boards, but you are maybe unaware, that the Fanatic Ultra Mosquito of 1990 – 1991, belongs to a range that I consider as one of the most inspired artwork in the history of production boards.
Not having any board of this range, I asked Markus if I could offer a substitute and get the Mosquito, but he generously told me I could get it outright. Without delay I contacted Edie, who promptly dispatched it to me. It was with great anticipation that I received it, to realize unfortunately that the Neither Markus nor Edie had followed the fate of the Mosquito for quite some time and the board had obvious signs of neglect.
As usual, I took it to the repair shop for the bottom, while I dealt myself with the deck artwork (after all, Kostas is too busy to spend long hours in detailing). You see, although I doubt I will ever sail it, I had to restore it so that it will please my eyes.
And nobody can forget the combined beauty of the girl & the surf – Jenna on the Mosquito, the unsurpassed photo of pro – sports photographer Sylvain Cazenave 🙂
I hope one day, we will sail together with Markus, as we already did with Alex.
Below are some photos of Markus in action, both with the retired Ultra Mosquito and his present Fanatic board, while there is a playful entertaining video showing the good Serifos times.
Once again, I would like to thank my friends Alex and Markus for their gifts, and wish them happy sailings!