Review | 2017 Fatyak Samos SUP
We were certainly keen to review the new Fatyak Samos (the name derived from a Greek Island in the Eastern Aegean Sea, in case you were wondering) - a project which has been underway for some considerable time but has finally come to fruition, ready for the summer 2017 season.
It's good to see that Fatyak didn't rush the design or manufacture of their latest project. Instead, taking time to consider all the elements which would be involved in making a rotationally moulded SUP - something which is still relatively rare on the paddle boarding scene. Fatyak are masters at this form of manufacturing of course, being well versed in the process through their superb range of sit-on-top kayaks and Hono multi-purpose bodyboard.
Our Samos arrived well packaged, direct from the factory. Encased in industrial-grade polythene to protect the outer shell of the board, foam wrapped on the nose and tail with cardboard protecting the sides and the fin taped firmly to the deck.
We've always championed the merits of a brightly coloured kayak to aid in your visibility to others at sea - whether that's so boats and jetskis can see you in choppier water or so you can be seen by the coastguard or RNLI should you encounter difficulty and an emergency situation develop. We feel the same here - perhaps not quite as important if using a SUP in surf or on an inland water course but out at sea and paddling along the coast, we feel its important to have the confidence that our paddle board is helping us to remain visible and safe. Blacks, dark blues and muddy greens may look adventurous, but red, yellow, orange and other bright colours get our vote every time.
So, as usual, we specified orange as our colour of choice to Fatyak. Primarily because of that important safety aspect but in all honesty, also because we're particularly fond of the vibrant hue that Fatyak use for its products!
One of the first things you can't fail to notice of course is the weight. At 20kg it's light for a rotationally-moulded board but in comparison, heavier than the alternative methods of manufacture. There is an advantage to that rigid plastic construction however - it's extremely durable and robust and not adverse to nudging against the occasional rock as you explore coves and crevices along the coast. This should make it brilliant for the rental market, too.
The deck of the board is wide, with a large grey rubber grip emblazoned with the Samos signature in white. We understand from Fatyak that there was a slight issue with the alignment of the pads initially, due to the cut of the outsourced pads, but this has now been resolved and all new boards should feature the revised design.
In front of the grip is a storage bungee, firmly held down with stainless steel hex bolts and a supplied (high-quality) aluminum and BPA free Mizu branded water bottle; a nice touch.
Of course, you could use this storage area for other items, such as a small dry bag, packed with food and drink and if you're paddling as part as a group, there is the potential for a reasonable amount of storage across multiple boards.
At each end of the board there is a sturdy carry handle. It's incorporated into the plastic moulding at the front and at the tail, a separate plastic branded handle is riveted to the deck. This makes it ideal for two people carrying a Samos, side by side (as you might a kayak).
For one person, carrying individually, an ergonomic recess has been moulded in as a deck handle; it is perfectly placed and in a well-balanced position to prevent any obvious tipping point in use.
It is far easier to lift and carry than a sit-on-top kayak and this makes it extremely practical in use.