Well that’s the meeting over, we had some great wind and fantastic conditions to test the Bandit 6 and the new boards. The full test will be in Issue 35, but I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a little more information on the board line up. The brainchild of Raphael Salles, as with all things F-One the new board line up is pretty impressive.
There are new sizes in the Twin Tip range, adding bigger models to the Acid range with a 134 x 32cm which will please the larger guys who are pushing the limits of freestyle and also changes to the 127 x 37cm board which has been tuned to have a softer flex for smaller riders and women. The Trax has also been made thinner by 1mm saving on weight and making it faster. On the water the Acid delivers impressive pop, the rocker line sucks up the chop well, but the Trax really wins in the smooth ride stakes. Completing the line up is the Trax Lightwind, TX6, Unik, and the Next in the free ride program. The SK8 also returns focused at the riders who like ripping in the waves and carving big turns but don’t want to ride a surfboard.
Over in the surfboard range there have been some changes as well, the popular Surf Series remains the same, but the new Signature Series has been redesigned for 2013. The 5’10” has a completely new shape, and on the water was a stand out favourite amongst the riders. The concept was to take the 6’0″ remove an inch from the nose and tail and keep the same shape in the mid section. The result is a board that has the stability of the 6’0″ but the throw around dimensions in terms of length of a shorter board. In the chop and high winds it felt totally in control, we’ll need to get it in some waves to truly test it, but we definitely want one in our quiver. The 6’0″ has been tuned as well featuring a swallow tail and is aimed at the rider looking to tame waves from One Eye to their local spot. Both boards in the Signature Series feature a quad fin set up like last year. The Surf Series is still a thruster set up and a more traditional board that you can surf as well as kite. The Fish sees a new size too, 5’10” is massive and will get you flying upwind in the lightest of airs, it’s a bit of a handful to carve, but it flies upwind better than any of the boards in the range. A possible choice for the rider looking for a free race style board but wanting something a little more playful.
The new Monolith Bar is something to behold, machined from a solid piece of aluminium it is CNC cut to shape and then the bar ends are connected to the machined pieces. The aluminium is of a higher grade too, 6061 alloy is charged with magnesium and Silicium to create a highly strong and resistant material. Used in the space program it offers excellent stiffness, resilience and resistance to corrosion. The rest of the bar set up is nice and simple, as usual for the F-One bar systems, the chicken loop is the same, but as Raphael says they have over 50,000 of these loops on the water over the years and when something works well it is often prudent not to change it. The EVA grip is new as well and is very comfortable on the hands whilst being reasonably “sticky” to ensure you hands stay connected when throwing down kite loops.