At A Glance
F-One have a vast range of boards for foils, from SUPs, surfboards and kiteboards, using some smart technologies and designs they've been in the game longer than most and the 2019 range is looking impressive. The 49 is part of their kiteboard line up with volume. There are three boards in the range, the larger 52 being for beginners and the smaller 45 being for racers. The numbers relate to the width of the board at their widest point.
The 49 is 156cm long with 28.5 litres of volume; it's a foam and glass construction although there is a lighter carbon construction available. The shape comes from years of experience in building hydrofoil boards, and a lot is going on here. It's quite thick so they can pack such a massive volume into such a small size, with sharply bevelled rails and a double concave nose scoop. The rails are relatively parallel with a rounded nose and a very square thumb tail.
There is a full deck pad, and the board can be ridden strapped or strapless, a Y configuration gives a good stance when setting the board up strapped. On the base, you will find the now almost ubiquitous twin track system so the board can be used with a vast range of foils currently on the market.
On The Water
There are two schools of thought with foil boards at the moment, a board with more volume to help you when you are learning, coupled with some straps to make water starting easy. Or a board with low volume that makes strapless water starts easy. The 49 from F-One is from the former camp, offering just over 28 litres of volume. This is plenty to ensure when you have the inevitable touchdown; the board will float you through the mistakes you make.
Shaped as a toned-down version of a race board the benefits are noticeable, the double concave and rockered nose ensure it won't stick when it hits chop or touches down. The highly bevelled rails allow you really rake the board to windward and while it isn't as narrow as full-on race board, there is a lot of performance to be unlocked here.
The full deck pad has multiple positions for a Y configuration strap set up, with the rear strap right at the rear of the board to give you lots of leverage over the wing below. In this glass guise, the board is light, but you can go full carbon if you want to shave some more weight off the setup. The standard track set up will be compatible with a multitude of foils too.
This board became one of our favourites for all-round riding, best suited to a strapped set up, as the volume makes it a little trickier to water start strapless, especially in really light winds. For coastal blasting where you need the confidence of being able to paddle back to shore when the wind inevitably gets the better of you, this deck is perfect too.
Beautifully shaped, well-behaved and confidence-inspiring, especially when you are learning, the 49 isn't a beginners stick by any stretch. For someone wanting to move to a more performance orientated board that has the benefit of being forgiving over a standard race set up the 49 fits the bill perfectly.
This review was in Issue 76 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit F-ONE Kiteboarding
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!