Overall impression of my new 12’6 F-One SUP Race board – by Danny Alvarez, F-One Americas
Its good to say that the initial impression of this special board is that it was ..really worth the wait..!! It was10pm on a Friday night and we were still waiting at the cargo airline hanger waiting to receive the board. The skipper meeting for the downwind race was 7am Saturday. So the first test on the actual board was gonna be the race. Yikes!
My past experience with SUP boards was on the basic 8 to 9 foot surfing type SUP boards. All my training was done on these types of boards so I did not know what to expect from this board. So yeah, I was kinda anxious to take on this mission….
So yeah! Finally we got the big big box…. almost 14 feet long. Wow, it was big… Right there in the airport hanger we opened the box.. BOOOMM! It was like a piece freaking sculpture..! The carbon looked like Batman’s armor and the bamboo on the top seemed flawless!!! F-One really stepped up when designing these boards. The big, bold white letters on the side were like icing on the cake!! So on the truck we packed it and headed home to rest for the race.
The next day I woke up and headed to Kiteboarding PR home base, picked up some last minute things, and headed to the beach where the race was gonna take place. It’s 8am and we were at the beach for like, a 10 minute test drive of this board. I had no idea what to expect when getting on board, this monster. Ten minutes and a few stance and posture corrections later I was kinda conformable on the board.
The other racers were watching from shore as I glided past with this beauty. Everyone asked, “Who is that from!? What Size? What kinda of board was that?? What brand ?? Where did it come from??”
So yeah…people really like the looks. And they had their eyes on me to see if this was a real race board, or just another typical board!!
OK, so there I was standing on the board and ready to charge downwind. The last thing I heard was,”Paddlers ready?!! GOOO! I charged like a beast!!
The board glided faster than my usual surf style SUP board. Unlike those, this felt alot more stable once I got the momentum going. I did not look back when I started. I threw a burst of paddles strokes for like, 20 minutes straight, without looking back. Before I knew it I was 10-15 board lengths ahead of the other paddlers. I had a comfortable margin of space to stroke my way to the end.
This board felt great on the ocean. It kinda felt like I was on a surf board, but on a race board. It made resting between small swells alot better! This thing rode down these little rollers super smooth. The stability got better and better the more momentum I had.
A couple of miles downwind I was almost to the finish line. I could hear the people on the beach cheering. The whole paddle community was there, as well as the kiting community! I was the first of all competitors to cross the finish line. And had like, a 2 minute lead on the racer behind me.
There I was on the podium with the big 1st place trophy. I did not think this was possible. I bet a few other people didn’t think it was possible either. The second place paddler had a hollow bark competition board. The person in third place had a hollow 404 carbon board. The latest, and, supposedly, the best boards. I guess F-one is on the right path!!
Overall I think this board is an all around board good for any kind of riding. I’m curious to see the possibilities on waves.
Not a bad way to demo a board – winning first place in the 12’6 Elite Division!! So yeah! Try to get your hands on one of these.