TKB Review: 2019 F-One Trax ESL – “Feels indestructible, comfortable pads, good upwind ability”

The TRAX ESL is all about having fun on the water. This new board is based on the long TRAX heritage and implements some of the latest thinking developed on the WTF?! to offer a unique blend of comfort, performances and ease of ride. Available in 134 & 135 sizes for 2019 - read the complete review online.

March 4, 2019

F-One TRAX ESL 2019 – 134 x 40 cm

F-One Trax ESL
Sizes Available: 134 x 40cm, 135 x 42cm
Sizes Tested: 134 x 40cm

F-One Says:
The TRAX ESL is all about having fun on the water. This new board is based on the long TRAX heritage and implements some of the latest thinking developed on the WTF?! to offer a unique blend of comfort, performances and ease of ride.

The general rocker is moderate to ensure the board offers early planing and keeps the legendary glide which is the true signature of the TRAX. The rocker line is split into three distinct stages with a flatter section in the center, which is key to achieve a good upwind angle and good tracking on the water. The transition between the middle section and the tips was inspired by the WTF?! rocker to offer really good pop.

The bottom shape features a deep double concave and some tip channels. Both are quite efficient at providing first class grip and control to the board but the double concave really is the main driver behind the overall comfort of the board and its stability at all times.

The rails are inspired by the HRD, with taller sections in the feet area for some better lift and balance, and they were kept thin everywhere else to get an easy grip.

The deck shape is stripped down for more simplicity and better contact between the bindings and the board. The 3D work in the middle section, another heritage of the TRAX, helps keeping the center of the board with a solid feel for more accuracy and control when riding. On the water the board impresses by how smooth it is to ride. Everything feels easy and totally intuitive. Perfect glide, solid pop and easy landing characterize this well-balanced shape.

The TRAX ESL is available in two sizes, which should fit a large range of users. The proportions of the shape are inspired by the latest freestyle developments whilst the dimensions are kept more manageable. All versions come equipped with our UNIBox 50m fins, which offer better speed and improved glide thanks to their thinner profile.

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Our Testers Say:

“Feels indestructible, comfortable pads, good upwind ability, on the skatey side, not for advanced riders.” // Micha Dassler

“Soft flex, large rounded rail, easy, soft, forgiving, eats up chop. Great for beginner riders with choppy home spot.” // Dylan Dobbyn

“Flexible board comfortable in chop. Firm footpads but comfortable, middle of the road weight, decent upwind ability with fairly loose edge control.” // David Kirkup

Meet Our Testers

F-One Trax ESL 134 – Bottom

Tkb Says:

This year the Trax comes in two trim levels, the Lite Tech and ESL versions. While the two share the Trax name, the boards have very different shapes and construction.

The Trax ESL has a V-hull down the center and double concave with a subtle single channel out the tips while the Trax Lite Tech has a single concave through the entire length of the board. The ESL has a little bit more of a complicated bottom shape and in terms of rocker, it feels like the ESL version has a little bit of a straighter rocker template as well. The ESL still has the HRD rails, but look to be a little thinner and toned down. The Lite Tech version of this board is a little bit heavier than the ESL construction, so when you pick the two boards up there is a small but noticeable difference with the ESL being the lighter board. The ESL also has a lighter flex pattern, so the ride feels a little bit more forgiving, and the flex for load and pop is a little bit more user-friendly for less aggressive riders — landings and just about everything is bit of a softer experience. The ESL is fairly steady when edging upwind; the tail and rail tracks stable and feels fairly locked in. Compared to the Lite Tech version, the ESL has a little bit more hold and the tail feels a little bit more secure. On both constructions, if you push on the tail hard, the fins will wash out. Testers highlighted the ESL’s excellent chop handling ability, user-friendly performance and recommended this board for the progressing kiter or the casual freeride cruiser that prizes comfort over aggressive performance.

F-One Trax ESL with Platinum3 Pads/Straps

The Trax came with F-One’s Platinum3 bindings which features a smooth rubbery footbed that has quite a bit of contour built into them with fairly dense and middle of the road grippy texture. The strap is a single Velcro adjustment, and since we had to make some adjustments on the water, we were reminded of the big plus of mono-adjustment straps: that they are easy to adjust with two quick motions. Testers commented on the straps comfort, their firm footbeds and ability to adjust to a wide spectrum of foot sizes.

View in 3D – Trax ESL