TKB SURF TEST: 2019 F-ONE SLICE FLEX
JULY 17, 2019
F-ONE Slice Flex
Sizes Available: 5’1 x 17.9″ 21.5L, 5’3 x 18.3″ 22.5L
Sizes Tested: 5’3 x 18.3″ 22.5L
The board has a straighter rocker and a parallel outline, which fades into a dynamic winger tail to increase its maneuverability. The squared off nose keeps the length to a minimum, and the volume along with the thickness of the SLICE have been specifically tailored for kiting to ensure the highest possible level of performance. Underneath you’ll find a single concave with central channel which has been extended and now runs along the entire length for more directional stability.
We’ve kept the rails of the board thin to allow you to hold a better edge and also to increase the pop, making freestyle tricks easier. The distinct kick in the rocker line around the fins has been emphasized to get more pop out of the board. The nose is pulled up slightly to help nailing the landings while the long channel provides the stability required. The board delivers plenty of speed, both on flat water, for tricks, and in the waves too. The flatter rocker line enables the board to carry itself through weaker sections of the wave and the thin rails and pulled in winger tail make for dynamic turns on the face. The thruster fin set up offers maximum versatility across a wide range of conditions, while also making the board easier to use.
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The Slice is F-One’s implementation of the modern planing hull concept, with an overall template that runs a little bit narrower from the nose and through to the tail with its wings. The bottom shape features a single wide channel down the center of the board and F-One’s XS Flow fin set in a thruster configuration with Future-style fin boxes. The Slice comes with a ¾ length deckpad with four inserts on the front foot to adjust forward and aft strap placement and six inserts under the back foot for two forward and aft adjustments as well as options for adjusting duck depending on your stance. The pad has a nice heel bump on the front and a solid kick on the back so you’re not going to be doing the splits when you’re throwing your double front rolls.
Our first impression in the water revolved around how fast and efficient the Slice feels in the water, with the straighter rocker profile really locking in a straight line and rocketing upwind. When it comes to surf, the Slice wants a little bit more pressure on the back foot to initiate turns compared to the Mitu; it feels as if there is a little less tail rocker and with that stability you want to initiate your turns a little bit harder to lay into a carve. The Slice seems to really find its niche in carving drawn out bottom to top line turn through the surf and its stable feel in the chop gives you confidence with room to be more aggressive with your inputs. The Slice relay comes alive in strapless jumps, its thinner template makes rotating through rolls fast. For those that find other MPHs to be a little too corky or wide, the Slice’s narrower nose and tail might be a better transition from twin tip riding. We found the deck pad a bit cushier than a lot of the other pads in the test which adds a bit more dampening to strapless freestyle and upwind blazing through chop. We tested the Slice with the flex construction so the board’s overall dampening was significant compared to the carbon version and while we often choose the carbon version for freestyle, the comfort of the Flex is appealing to a lot of riders. We could definitely feel a bit more flex in the waves, particularly in heated bottom turns and smashing the lip, but with inserts and flex construction it is not quite as light as the carbon and while it still sticks to your feet for airs, it doesn’t quite levitate the same you as you would get from the carbon version. Pure strapless freestyle riders might go for the carbon build, but for wave riding the flex feel has its advantages. The Slice was fun in small to medium surf, but we think it would work in larger surf drawing bigger lines with its steady carves and chop dampening. In terms of fin hold, the Slice holds its line fairly well, which gives it enough control for high speed carves but isn’t so glued that with a little bit of pressure you can break the fins loose in the lip so it has that nice middle of the road grip from the combo of the fins and the tail outline. Overall, the Slice is a board that works great for someone looking for a little bit smaller of a template in a MPH cutoff shape. It goes upwind really well with a super comfortable yet fast feel while yielding fun but user-friendly control in the waves and solid strapless freestyle performance.