THIS F-ONE TRAX 136 TWIN-TIP TEST FIRST APPEARED IN KITEWORLD #105 ON OUR NEW FREE DIGITAL PLATFORM IN JULY 2020.
F-ONE TRAX 136
“It peels off the water really cleanly for take-offs with excellent carves. There’s no pinching from the fins and that Helical rail allows the water to hug your rail beautifully as you carve sharply up into wind.”
Tested by: Chris Bull and Jim Gaunt.
TEST TEAM NOTES
The Trax is a true classic when it comes to twin-tip design longevity, offering such wide and easy access to a massive range of riders. Find some of our reviews from previous years HERE.
THE BRILLIANT F-ONE HELICAL RAIL
Once again with an F-One Trax we need to talk about the Helical Rail Design. It’s brilliant and must involve so much extra workmanship. Going from thin in the centre of the rail, to a thicker, more rounded profile under foot (about 14mm) and then thinning out again towards the tips (to around 4mm). The result is a soft, smooth edging feel but still with lots of grip for performance.
A single concave runs between the foot straps and other than that there’s not too much fuss in the base. There’s enough for comfort, but not so much that you get that ultra soft pocket of air feel on top of the water. The use of carbon is for flex control and strength rather than weight savings and, with such complex rail profiles, we always have to take our hats off to F-One for creating such a bombproof board that’s got so many intricacies.
SPEED FOR ALL
The stiff centre section gives you speed. The Trax gets you going quickly but then no matter how hard you push it, the board holds its shape. Some freeride boards will flatten out when they’re pushed really hard, whereas the Trax continues to hold, manage speed and perform. This really is an all-rounder and is an ideal choice for a massive spectrum of riding abilities, for both strapped and riding in boots.
STRENGTH WITH FEEL AND PERFORMANCE
Adding to the board’s strength are the thicker dished-out rail stringers that in turn help provide good acceleration, too. It will take a rare set of conditions / rider weight to knock the Trax out of shape and this is a very good example of a freeride board with its own personality.
We’ve always loved the unique rail feel in the Trax, but there’s also that brilliant sensation of control and precision at your back foot that the best modern freeride boards can provide. Push the base of the board around a turn in a clean wave face and you’ll realise ‘Ohhhh, that’s what they were on about!’
There’s loads of available bite on the rail too, but you can also cruise to your heart’s content. If you want to step on the gas and increase the pace, no problem, and then you have the benefit of that beautiful feathering feel in the tips for more flex.
The back foot feel is still more about performance, though. Sporty and tuned rather than overly soft, performance riders will find they continue to grow their love for the pop and drive as they progress.
One of the most important elements that we always enjoy in a good twin-tip is the way it grips / releases from the water. This isn’t a super-light carbon board and carries a positive bit of weight that adds assurance and steadiness to your performance in strong winds. It peels off the water really cleanly for take-offs with excellent carves. There’s no pinching from the fins and that Helical rail allows the water to hug your rail beautifully as you carve sharply up into wind.
These F-One footstraps offer a lot of adjustments in stance, toe in / toe out. The pads are beautifully soft, but when first wet and new are more slippy than some, but once you’re locked in they’re good. Carefully shaped to draw your heel in, they’re comfy, have an excellent toe grip and suited both our feet well. The Velcro strap is pleasingly simple with no pinching and this year features more grip underneath the strap to further secure your foot.
This year’s carbon model looks absolutely beautiful in the flesh and isn’t all flashy ‘look-at-me’ carbon. This is a really long-standing model; a real classic and certainly one of the best boards for managing to please beginners to experts alike. You could own a Trax as your first or perhaps second board and then never really become tired of it. Just enough softness mixes with drive and speed to never feel old. Whatever the weather, wherever you are, the Trax is a solid choice.
The 136 was a good size for us in the strong prevailing conditions of Cape Town, but if you’re over 70 kilos the 137 is probably the better choice for a broader range of light / medium / strong winds.
The lovely, fluid biting feel of the rail and the fact that this is a real one-board solution that will see you through all your twin-tip progression.
KW WOULD CHANGE
If you’re purely looking for the ultimate in soft ride feel, there are other contenders.
F-ONE TRAX BALANCE POINTS
(TEST SCORE BREAKDOWNS HERE)
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 8.5
Upwind: 8 (Really nice parallel section for cranking upwind)
Slider proof: NA
Boots applicable: Yes – good cross over
Ease of use: 8
SIZES: 140 x 45, 137 x 42, 136 x 40.5 & 135 x 39cm
FIND OUT MORE AT: WWW.F-ONE.WORLD
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