We review the flagship Twin-tips from F-One
This test first appeared in issue #98 in March 2019
Test Team Notes:
It’s quite a marvel – to be able to produce a board that both beginners and those wanting to use boots can ride, as well as everyone in between. Of course there are other subtleties that can steer you towards or away from the Trax, but that’s a big deal in a market where there’s so much choice. At the end of the day, you can’t really go wrong.
We tested both the Carbon and Lite models. Don’t read ‘Lite’ as a funny way of spelling ‘light’, because the carbon version is a lot lighter than the ‘Lite’ Paulownia wood core model (137 Carbon is just 2.7kg). The Lite Tech is an integrated TPU element patented by Rossignol snowboards giving an incredible look to the board.
The carbon is also stiffer, but the Lite version still gets up and going really well in light winds, but not quite so quickly. So there’s a financial and riding difference to take into account, but they’re both the same ‘shape’.
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 idea (and working effect) is that there’s lots of grip in the middle of the board, then the thicker, softer, more rounded rail under your feet gives a very fluid response, adding an element of comfort and carving grip. The thinner profile in the tips then brings all that together to give a more racey feel for improved pop release. There’s no all-or-nothing feel and if you close your eyes you can really sense the progressive nature with the grip building as you carve to pop. It’s really good.
This board ticks so many boxes. Behind the back foot it’s thin and racy, but the profile and rocker line deliver enough freeride comfort and control. Like the Bandit it crosses genres very well. For a high performance board, the edging control makes it feel quite smooth.
In terms of stiffness the Trax is quite uniform throughout, which is good for early planing and that robust feel also works for riding in boots. The channel on the base of the Trax has always offered forgiveness on landings and it’s hard to trip a rail, but the Trax does have a bit of chatter when ridden flat and fast for some distance. There’s also not quite as much of a soft and playful feel under your back foot as some other boards this issue, but none of them are as all-round.
The Platinum 3 bindings have a strap insert module that can be set at different widths and moved forward or back depending on where you want the pressure. The strap sits over that and has a soft, gel-like feel and can be tightened down to get a secure fit. The F-One wakestyle baseplate for the footpad has a huge amount of adjustment to get your stance just right. The only downside is if you’re wanting to do a lot of board-offs then when the strap is looser, the soft rubber texture on top of the pad feels quite slippy when it’s brand new. Best to therefore ride this system nicely locked down. Once again the build quality of the board is excellent.
The Trax must be one of the most truly all-round boards on the market, combining lots of early planing with the most beautiful twin-tip rail on the market and an even stiffness throughout to keep all freestylers happy. The carbon version is lighter – as you’d expect – but also has more real performance, but try them both because you may prefer the Lite’s comfort.
You can do anything with the Trax, it’s a fun twin-tip.
KW would change:
A bit more chattery underfoot than some other boards when ridden flat. But as we’ve said, the rail largely overrides most qualities and there’s nothing you can’t do on this!
Trax Balance Points:
Build quality: 9
Fixtures and fittings: 8
Pop: 7 (8 Carbon Series)
Flex: Uniform stiffness. For softer experience go for the Lite wood core.
Comfort: 7 (6 Carbon Series)
Slider proof: N/A
Sizes: 140 x 45, 137 x 42, 136 x 40.5, 135 x 39cm