This is F-One's seventh version of the Trax and represents the high-end of their board range in terms of innovation, design shape and technology. Firmly geared towards performance, F-One have optimised the Trax's lines on the bottom and the deck and incorporated a new double concave with a progressive V for early planing, upwind ability, stable edging and super-high efficiency on the water – qualities appreciated by freestylers as well as freeriders. The complex 3D shape of the Twist Carbon Control is an integral part of the board's core structure this year. The core consists of strips of Paulownia wood, glued vertically and CNC-machined in 3D. Adding a layer of carbon adds ideal strength to the qualities of the wood core distribution. This combination gives the board a greater liveliness and longitudinal stiffness and also offers significant weight savings. Finally, the inverted rail was abandoned for 2012 in favour of more rounded, surf type shaped ABS rails.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
F-One really deserve a lot of praise for the way they construct their boards, and the way they have done for a long time. Dedicated to sublime quality, we've never had an F-One board delaminate or anything like that and the manufacturing process and the way their boards are bonded is just so solid. The difference between this and a cheaper board? This isn't just an ordinary press production, but that's just for starters. Looks-wise the Trax is unusual with an immense
rocker line, so we thought it was going to be quite a slow ride, but it's not at all. A large concave section running through the board helps in two ways: firstly it flattens out that rockerline, which is ingenious as you end up with a board with lots of nice rocker, making it easy and untechnical to ride, but the big concave alters the nature of the rockerline. So, although it's huge, the workable area in the middle is quite flat, meaning it gets up and going nicely, but is also very comfortable. When you're ageing wannabees like us, it really helps the old kness as it feels like you're kiting on a bubble and eats up anything thrown at it. The thick rail in the centre tapers out to the narrow tips and provides immense, controlled grip. We're so used to seeing five, eight or ten millimetre bog standard rails. This isn't like that, it just nice and softly shaped, so while you're hammering through chop or landing to blind or wrapped, it handles it all beautifully. The Trax really is incredibly solid and will be dug up and discovered in a thousand years time. We got on well with the F-One pads and straps straight away. They're soft and comfortable and we didn't even think about them, which is a good sign. There is a shed load of performance in this board, but you can also make mistakes and it won't punish you. For a board so stacked with performance, it's also just very accommodating. If you want a board that's easy to ride but isn't a slug and slow, and if you want a board for trying lots of things on and improving your confidence, whatever your level, then this is a great option. There's no sliding about on landing, and it's difficult to catch your nose or tail; it just locks in and is totally reliable.
Apart from the obviously impressive build quality and flashy sports car looks, this board stands out because it ticks so many boxes, whether you're an ageing rocker or an up and coming freestyler. For freestyle this is also really very easy to use compared to other top performance models. It's extreme but it's clever and it works.
Super sexy design mixed with a performance level that has something for most people in all conditions.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
It's not cheap, but the difference in quality over cheaper models is obvious, so try it before you complain about the cost. Top level freestylers riding in flat water might still want something super stiff and flatter, but for the rest of us, this is a gem.
136 x 41, 134 x 40 and 132 x 39cm
This test is in issue #58