At A Glance
The Trax has been the stalwart board in the F-One twin tip range for many years now. Ever since the brand first started creating those carbon boards with ABS rails in 2003, their board design and technology has been heralded as some of the best in the industry. For 2016 the Trax gets a makeover but retains much of the shape and technology from last year.
The big news is the Lite Tech construction, which isn’t available on the carbon version as the light wouldn’t shine through the black cloth. Essentially this is there for no other reason than looks, and while looks aren’t something I like to wax lyrical about when writing tests it deserves a mention here. Lite Tech allows light to pass through the board creating some very striking visuals, it’s as simple as that! An innovative idea, it’s certainly an eye-catching feature and looks very cool when the board is jumping through the air on sunny days. Sometimes it’s these little design features that can’t but help you love a product just that little bit more.
Elsewhere, and more importantly, the board features the HRD rail shape. The Helical Rail Design allows each section of the rail of the board to be shaped to best suit its job; you’ve got a good amount of tuck under your feet, which helps with carving and water release, and in the middle and towards the tips the rail is sharper which offers improved bite and better edging capabilities.
The board features a medium flex, it is a little softer than its carbon sibling, a good amount of rocker is on hand to promote good carving abilities and the Trax is squarely aimed at the freestyle side of the market. You can, however, fit boots to it, and this 137 x 42 version is plenty big enough to suit the most demanding of wakestyle riders looking for extreme pop and easy landings.
The board comes equipped with the Uni Box fin system and the new Platinum3 footpads and straps. These might just be the most well thought out set of bindings we have seen, they are fully adjustable for various size feet and very comfortable. They even have a bolt holder in the base, so when you travel you can keep your bolts securely in the base of the footpad – yes, they really have thought of everything!
On The Water
Once you’ve stopped drooling over the Trax HRD Lite Tech you can get down to the serious business of riding it. We really enjoy riding these boards with the HRD rails, until you’ve tried them you can’t really believe how different they feel. The Trax seems to offer a superior ride with lots of comfort coupled with immense grip when you want it.
No face washes here, the water releases from the edge in a smooth controlled manner. When you come in to land from a trick, especially sideways, there is just enough give in the rail to allow you to get away with a few errors. It’s still possible to catch a heel or toe edge, but the frequency and ferocity of the face plants is definitely reduced.
The pop offered is excellent, despite the softer flex you can still get some serious propulsion off the water, especially when you are unhooked. Loading and releasing is easy to do too, the board feels smooth and predictable throughout the critical moments allowing you to concentrate on boosting as high as possible. Upwind is a doddle, the rail really bites when you want it to and this board, especially in the larger size, offers a lot of drive, even in light winds.
The Trax will appeal to a wide range of riders: hardcore freeriders will enjoy the forgiving comfortable nature in any water state, while freestylers will get a lot out of the popping capabilities. Less experienced riders will enjoy the ease with which the Trax can be ridden, lt isn’t a complicated board, despite the amount of complex technology that has gone into creating it. Simply strap it on, and go and have a blast…
The Trax is a freeride weapon that can handle boots and a demanding freestyler too. The size and forgiving rocker and flex make it a good choice for those ambitious beginners progressing to their first proper kiteboard without training wheels.
This review was in Issue 56 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit F-ONE Kiteboarding
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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!