A high achieving freestyle performer with top notch stylings and build quality to match
THIS TEST FIRST APPEARED IN ISSUE #92 IN MARCH, 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The WTF is new from F-One and has made a dramatic entry into the market by making it onto unhooked freestyle world tour podiums in its first season and yet we’ve found it to be super smooth for riders of lesser ability, too.
Firstly, the rail is sublime and must be one of the most fluid feeling twin-tip rails out there, seemingly gripping the water in a really effortless way and without any sticky patches.
First-off though, this board is heavy, even with just foot straps on. You’re not going to be flipping board-offs with it, unless you’re got guns of steel. But for everything else, the WTF feels great and somehow blends good performance traits for most riders.
There is loads of energy for freestyle and, for a high-performance freestyle machine, the WTF is extremely comfortable; almost as if the weight is doing a lot of the work for you, whether it’s propelling forward or applying good swing weight around your rotations.
For freeriding, even though there’s a generous rocker, there is no problem in finding easy drive and, although the board is stiff and feels like a brute in your hands, you’re not working your legs too hard if you’re using foot straps, either. The way the WTF cuts through the water is just so very smooth that it had us wondering whether a beginner could get on with it?
We’ve ridden F-One’s carbon Trax board this year a lot too, which is more traditional and locked-in in the tips, has a flatter rocker and cuts more naturally upwind. The Trax is excellent at giving you good control for going fast in a straight line. It’s standout for that, especially when you’re loading up to hit a piece of chop and send a big boost. But we could do everything on the WTF, just 20% slower. The WTF is playful in its looseness, but it’s not as loose as the Xcaliber this issue, so an intermediate can make good sense of the way it feels. Although it’s heavy, it’s incredibly strong and the landings are totally assured and stable, with just enough give to allow you to not land quite right and have a moment to get away with it, before the WTF gently locks in again.
You can commit to taking a step beyond freeride and into freestyle without regretting it on the WTF. This is a comfortable cruiser and fantastic for throwing spray and carving in little waves. For boots, it’s so nice to have a board that’s comfortably fast and quicker than heavier rockered wakestyle boards. The bear-away-and-edge function is like it’s automatically programmed in and the way the rail progressively bites for take-off is just a joy – you can feel every inch of engagement and the elastic band getting tighter towards the end of your carve.
Everything about the WTF is comfortable, and when you feel good and well connected, you ride so much better. You’re always motoring at a constant speed, whether you’re tricking, landing or cruising, and it’s that continuity that feels really nice. This is in the same bracket as the Livewire this issue – the WTF is heavier and a bit more cruisy and loose, but also mixes rider comfort with the ability to grow into boots. It’s just a different technical flavour to the Livewire and also crosses a few boundaries.
This WTF will up your freestyle game without working your knees very hard and although there is so much performance under the hood, this isn’t an aggressive board to ride. It’s playful and loose without being sloppy and F-One have created a very forward thinking freeride / freestyle cross-over board here that bridges the needs of a huge cross-section of riders incredibly well.
That rail! Beautifully smooth bite and doesn’t require loads of technicality from the rider to get great performance.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Some freestylers will want more of an injection of speed and a flatter rocker. It’s also quite heavy, so smaller riders will find it a bit cumbersome some of the time.
WTF BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 8
Slider proof: NA
Boots applicable: Yes
Ease of use: 8
SIZES: 140 x 42.5, 138 x 42 and 136 x 41.5cm
WHAT’S THE WTF ALL ABOUT?