Fanatic Rapid Air Inflatable Paddle Board Review
My review of the Fanatic Rapid Air. This Review is independent! I have no attachment to Fanatic. This review is based on my personal experience with the board.
The Fanatic Rapir Air Paddle Board was the first white water-specific board that I bought. I saw a video of Dan Gavere paddling this board on white water in the states, jumping around on the board, and generally looking awesome. This board was definitely a good way to introduce white water into my SUP experience. The Board gives the confidence to get creative on the river.
The Fanatic rapid air is an inflatable whitewater SUP designed for “freestyle” paddling and downriver racing. The two main features of this design are:
Diamond grip pad – provides grip even when wet and gives you an indication of where to stand for optimum control and balance. It has five handles all over the board, which makes it easy for carrying around or picking up if you fall off.
The Pros & Cons
- At 36” wide this board has a huge amount of stability. Moving/jumping around on this board is done with ease with little reaction. This board is definitely confidence inspiring. (if you fall over there is a good chance you'll land on the board as it's massive!)
- Loads of Bow rocker keeps the bow high and dry.
- Super maneuverable, turns on a dime. (There is a trade off).
- Deck pad covering the entire upside of the board.
- Stompbox as well as raised foam at the center and edges of the deck pad so you know where your feet have landed.
- 5 grab handles makes it easy to move when not on the board.
- Fish tail design helps with surfing (I couldn’t really give a detailed comment as I am not a keen enough surfer to notice a difference).
- Quad Fin set-up with the option to go fin-less.
- This board does not hold its line when putting the power down. You really have to make up for this with nose driving, cross decks and edging. All of this takes your speed away when running a rapid.
- The board is massive and I am small, carrying this board under my arm can get uncomfortable quite quickly.
- Lack of Bungee cords make carrying equipment hard. I was able to make use of the carry handles but still not ideal.
- After spending a lot of time on this board I felt like I was not learning the lessons I needed to i.e edge when crossing eddy lines. The board looked after me well but I felt like I peaked early on it and wanted something more responsive for taking on my home run.
Who is This Paddle Board for?
The Rapid Air‘s finely tuned rocker line and a thicker rail profile makes this paddleboard as close as you can get to a hardboard – with the convenience of a roll-up inflatable. The Rapid Air is constructed using the highest grade PVC material making it impervious to damage from bumps and knocks. The double-layer rail band gives added strength and rigidity which further improves the board’s performance on water, while providing the ultimate protection against knocks and abrasions.
The Rapid Air range boasts a sharp nose design and carefully engineered rocker lines which combine to produce a board that cuts through water with ease, accelerating quickly without sacrificing stability. The board is designed to take the beating of being dragged over rocks and around obstacles found on rivers, streams and beaches. The extra strong drop-stitch material used in the construction allows for higher air pressures which results in greater stiffness and better performance for river use.
The Fanatic Rapi Air Inflatable Paddle Board is for adventure seekers paddling down streams, touring rivers, or shooting white water rapids – the bullet proof Rapid Air range are the ultimate inflatable river SUPs. The smaller 9’6″ Rapid Air is designed for the first time paddler cruising streams, right up to experienced riders challenging boiling white-water.
Rapid Air Inflatable Paddle Board Review Specs & Features
The Rapid Air is a great paddle board for the adventure seekers out there looking to go paddling down streams, rivers and white water rapids! It’s super stable when going through rough terrain, but it’s also very maneuverable.
Here are the measurements of the Rapid Air:
- Volume: 324 L
- Width: 36″ / 91.4 cm
- Length: 9’6″ / 289.6 cm
- Thickness: 6″ / 15 cm
- Weight 30 lbs / 13.75 KG
- Recommended User Weight: 110 – 250 lbs / 50 – 100+ KG
The Fanatic Rapid Air 9’6″ Inflatable Paddle Board is a very stable board for beginners, intermediates and even advanced SUP boarders. Designed for paddling streams and rivers, this board is extremely maneuverable, turning easily on a dime. At 36” wide this board has a huge amount of stability. Moving/jumping around on this board is done with ease with little reaction. With loads of bow rocker, the bow stays high and dry, allowing you to glide over chop effortlessly. This board is definitely confidence-inspiring for all levels of paddleboarders.
First of all, the Fanatic Rapid Air Paddle Board is a great board, very versatile and fun. The issue is that the board has a tendency to not hold its line when putting the power down. You really have to make up for this with nose driving, cross decks and edging. All of this takes your speed away when running a rapid or trying to get through a boiling eddy.
While it’s possible to compensate for this by paddling hard and driving your weight forward, it would be nice if it weren’t necessary. Overall though, I like this board, but it has some tracking issues that are pretty significant.
Who has time to spend 10 minutes just trying to get their fins on? You’ve got places to go, waves to ride, and a world of amazing water waiting for you.
The Fanatic Rapid Air Paddle Board is equipped with a quad-fin set up that gives you maximum stability, better control, and incredible maneuverability. These fins come with a tool-less fitting system so you can put them on and take them off in seconds. This means you can be ready to explore even the shallowest waters—and not just the deep blue sea.
Don’t let your fins slow you down. Get a board with fins that are easy to use so you can dive headfirst into any adventure.
Disappointment is no fun, especially when you’re on the hunt for a new paddle board. If you’re looking to carry things like a cooler or a waterproof case full of snacks and drinks, bungee cords are essential to making that happen. Unfortunately, the Fanatic Rapid Air Paddle Board does not have any bungee or storage capabilities. The lack of bungee cords makes carrying equipment difficult with this model. I was able to make use of the carry handles but still felt it wasn’t ideal as they were not very stable once I had attached my cooler or other items.
You’ve got the board, now get the accessories you need to make your adventures the best they can be! Your Fanatic Rapir Air Inflatable Paddle Board comes with a premium backpack and a pump. Use these to transport and inflate your board quickly and easily, so that you can spend more time on the water enjoying yourself.
The Wheely Backpack features padded shoulder straps plus hip- and chest belts for effortless packing and transportation of the board and accessories. The Fanatic Power Pump HP8 gives you the fastest route from the beach to the water by inflating your board in minutes—not hours. You’ll be paddling away in no time at all with this powerful accessory!
My Final Thoughts on the Fanatic Rapir Air Inflatable Paddle Board
To sum this board up in a few words. It is great at helping people from the transition from flat water to moving water and to really emphasize the importance of ‘Nose driving’. It also gives more experienced paddlers the confidence to be creative on the water and paddle bigger sections of river when you want a big platform to stand on. I did eventually out-grow the board and wanted something that would present more of a challenge whilst running rapids, however I will keep it in my arsenal for introducing others to the sport or sending bigger, future projects.