THE F-ONE MIRAGE 1000 & POCKET CARBON 130 HYDROFOIL BOARD TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #107 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM IN NOVEMBER 2020.
THE PRINT ISSUE IS ALSO AVAILABLE TO BUY HERE
F-ONE Mirage 1000 & Pocket Carbon 130 Hydrofoil Board Test Review
“Always very smooth changing up and down the gears inspires confidence in your riding and leads to more success in manoeuvres.”
TESTED BY: JIM GAUNT AND ROB CLAISSE
TEST TEAM NOTES:
F-One are now five years into their kite foil programme. Whether you’re riding the Mirage, Phantom or Gravity range, they’re all very progressive in their lift and feel part of the same family.
The Mirage will be the go-to wing for most kite foilers and the carbon 1000 model is now far smoother throughout its performance range. Less locked-in, the rear wing shape has also flattened off, so there’s more play but still lots of security in feel. Now you can have a third of the wing poking out of the water and still maintain grip throughout the carve. Push hard without the worry of being thrown off.
This year we’ve seen many riders moving from 800 being their all round wing, to something more like this 1000 because the bigger wings are now quicker, but offer more stability benefits. The Mirage has increased its pace without the need for increased front foot pressure to keep the nose down. Once you’re going reasonably fast the lift starts to level off and your foot pressure remains nicely balanced, whether spreading your feet wide and powering up for a blast out to sea, or with your feet closer together for a more carving oriented riding style on smaller, faster kites. It’s not loose enough to turn on the spot, but the Mirage’s over-riding selling point is that you can load it up with power, maintaining a nice, even pressure between your feet, giving you a lot of trust when driving it through a turn.
There’s plenty of versatility too because the lift is very progressive, so even for quite a large wing it never surges up, which is invaluable when you’re first water starting. As you get more advanced, when you go round a turn and perhaps loop your kite a bit more deeply, the Mirage goes along with the big dollop of kite power and just rides it out without requiring aggressive doses of front foot pressure. You can just point downwind, chill and re-engage a more upwind angle once you feel comfortable.
The Mirage stays level without any kick up when tacking, too. If the Mirage does eventually stall, it just drops down very steadily, so you can pump your way out of a situation, confident there will be no nasty kick up. Also note there’s no need to add any shims for different rider weights; the design just works (there are 30 kilos difference between testers Jim and Rob, too).
The Mirage’s front and rear stabilising wing relationship has been helped now that the F-One fuselage is integrated into the front wing. The whole set-up is much stiffer with no flex between the front wing and fuselage, which is why the ride feels so sure and smooth. The carbon fuselage has also delivered a kilo of weight saving. Lighter and stiffer is the way forward!
Be aware that the Mirage is pre-preg carbon, so it’s nice and light, but needs looking after more carefully than the injected carbon IC6 wings.
We were using the F-One Pocket Carbon 130 board, complete with carbon mast. Yes, a deliciously light set-up and the carbon mast will set you back about £400 more on the overall package, but it feels lovely and stiff throughout and extremely light for a production set-up.
The Mirage 1000 will be a go-to design for many this year because it offers a massive, comfortable wind range, from big kite, light wind riding, to a more powerful blasting style. Incredibly smooth lift is matched by very secure carving reliability. This really is a majestic wing and you will quickly get the confidence to push it harder and harder round turns. Paired up with the Pocket Carbon 130, this is a set-up that won’t leave you shopping for bigger or smaller wings / boards in six months time.
Always very smooth changing up and down the gears inspires confidence in your riding and leads to more success in manoeuvres.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Extend the pad further towards the nose on the Pocket. It’s rare you need your foot that far forward, but there are odd moments coming out of tacks where you might be thankful of the forgiveness of the extra inches of grip.
THIS FULL F-ONE MIRAGE 1000 & POCKET CARBON 130 HYDROFOIL BOARD TEST REVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED HERE IN ISSUE #107
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