This is our Part 2 – First impressions with the STRIKE, this time in Miami and Oahu, Hawaii; with a 5m where in La Ventana, we had a 4.2m. In the range there is also a 2.8/3.5/4.2/5.0/6.0m.
Miami: Billy Ackerman and Gael Espeche took advantage of a solid few days of strong wind in Miami to get their first taste of the STRIKE. Here are their first impressions.
The best way to feel the difference is to ride our beloved SWING V1 and the STRIKE back to back and to have two riders on the same boards and foil setup to see the drastic improvements while riding and from another vantage point. On December 31, 2020, we did just that in Miami with 20+ knots and nice wave conditions. Here are our first impressions: The first time you hold the strike in your hands you can right away feel the rigidity of the canopy and the inflatable structure. You get more power right away. F-One has placed two comfortable longer thin handles which acts like changing gears when moving your hands on them. As soon as your leading hand is gliding toward the end of the handle, there is a boost! More power instantaneously!
We tested the Strike vs the Swing and their upwind abilities, and there is no match. Thanks to the new canopy stiff design and reinforced strut and handles, speed and control in even unsteady wind is fantastic and will let you zoom upwind effortlessly. We really felt also that the Strike needed less pumping to get you up and riding. Its speed creates a boost in the apparent wind which make you fly above water faster.
As for maneuverability, the strike is much easier for tacks, the wing is just so easy to pass over your head for a seamless transition. The new long handle in the back hand is adjustable and let you get the power you need to lock in your course.
The most impressive part of riding the strike is unlocking your desire for tricks. The jumps you can get and the hang time is mind blowing! The Swing is great for jumps but the Strike just wants to boost you way higher than you could actually expect. My first big jump, I just felt having a hand glider in my hand for a few seconds. I was a bit confused at first, I almost thought I was jumping with the hang time of a kite. You literally feel like a bird and then you are hooked for more jumps!
As for tricks on the water surface, your back winging and 360 rotations are easier and executed at a faster speed. Finally, catching waves with the Strike is simple and easy, it weight felt the same as the Swing. With its added ability upwind and impressive speed you can rocket to the right position on the waves until you grab the neutral handle to enjoy gliding up and down the slab.
In conclusion, F-One has delivered, again, a wing that is above and beyond. A massive improvement for those that wants to progress in this new sport and get the best thrill on the water. F-One simply Strikes back! – Gael Espeche
Oahu: Jeff Chang (WetFeet) who has mastered all kind of water sports over the years (SUP, kite, surf, foil) has embraced winging from the getgo and has been a big Swing enthusiast this past year. He was eager to try out the new STRIKE. We asked him if he could feel a clear difference:
Yes, a big difference! Quite a bit stiffer and more responsive. Handling is super quick compared to other brand wings allowing you to instantly place it where you want and do moves quicker. Points upwind better and is faster through the air. Jumps are amazing. Got my highest jumps by far on the first day. Everyone is excited to get them. – Jeff Chang