Grip TE R&D
Behind The Design
Behind The Brand
What was the main goal for changing the Grip TE?
We wanted to improve the wave riding performance with minimal effect to the planing performance. The overall trim back (mast track, stance) was slightly moved back allowing more surfy turns and tight reactions on the wave. This leads to significantly improved rail to rail turns and direct response.
What are the main innovations?
The surfy rocker was paired with a new progressive outline with a wider swallow tail for better manoeuvrability and turns, while the new bottom shape with deeper double concaves in the planning area results in controlled top speed.
So turning on the waves must be much easier?
Turning is a different world. The boards feel smaller, more playful and offer a new level of looseness and control – particularly in down the line conditions. Whether full rail turns or tight slashes, the new shapes impress with direct reactions, lots of drive and plenty of grip in the turn.
What fin options are recommended?
The Grip TE is extremely versatile with multiple fin options to work both as a Quad and Thruster, even in the biggest sizes.
Which sizes will be available?
We have worked on a new size split of 69 / 76 / 81 / 87 / 93 / 99 plus a new floaty 107 for heavier riders and lighter winds as those are often struggling to find a good shape in this segment.
Fanatic is well known as a brand with the best working wave boards on the market. What do you do to achieve those perfect products?
Our shaper Sebastian Wenzel and his team are constantly looking into different surfing concepts, our intense research and input in combination with the huge database of shapes Sebastian has built over the years are all part of this. The new Grip TE protos were tested by our wave team in the best international wave spots: Cape Town, Maui, Baltic Sea and Portugal to make sure they are working in all conditions. Even Fanatic boss Craig Gertenbach is involved personally to make sure things are 100% :-)
Once all feedback is collected after each test round, Sabastian starts working on the next proto. That long until everyone is satisfied. Since Sebastian´s workshop is located in Portugal right at Guincho´s wave spot, sometimes Marc or Victor even visit him there to get a faster result.
Sebastian – can you tell us a bit more about how you work together with the riders here?
Over the years we have developed a very efficient system of R&D. The key point is the communication and the data base. All boards that we have designed with the team since 2004 are stored and accessible. With the CAD based R&D we can adjust the shapes for the team riders in great detail. All the information from the team gets collected and processed by Klaas Voget (Wave R&D Manager) and once it is condensed, we discuss the needs for the team boards. Different event locations require different shapes for the team to be able to perform on their highest level. All the feedback and information we gather from the team is used to create the team boards and leading to the final development of the Grip TE. The amount of parameters to play with during the design process are shear endless, so it is absolutely critical to get all of them right, to end up with a great board.
Never losing out of focus the intent of use of the shape. The Grip TE is a board with a very versatile and wide range of use.
Victor – as a pro rider you need a board that you can 100% rely on during competitions. Is the Grip TE always your first choice here?
The Grip TE is always my first choice when it comes to down the line conditions where I trust my board 100% on every turn, also for wave tricks, big carves and late hits, the Grip gives the confidence I need to push myself.
For which riders is the Grip TE and what other wave boards do you still have in line?
It definitely is a board for more experienced wave sailors who gets to sail in ‘better’ waves more frequently. The Mamba is more for average waves and mushy conditions, while the FreeWave is perfect for smaller waves and can basically adapt to any conditions: flatwater blasting, to bump & jump or waves.