The Trax is back with the new HRD rail system. Famous for its smooth ride and incredible drive, the new model planes earlier and has better upwind performance thanks to the bottom concave and channel combination. It’s riddled with technology including: biaxial glass layers in the top and bottom sheets on top of a layer of fibreglass weave, fibreglass insert patches, carbon UD cross tapes, a paulownia 3D wood core, ABS insert plates and ABS sidewalls. Reduction in the core volume (and weight) towards the tips adds extra flexibility which, combined with the stiff middle section, result in precise drive and a smooth feel.
A carbon model is available with full top layers of biaxial carbon instead of glass for even less weight, more responsivity and increased pop.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Trax has long been a regular in the line-up for Kiteworld reviews as we believe it such a well crafted and relevant board for the kitesurfing twin-tip market. Always well made, shaped for kitesurfing in terms of its outline and rocker, rather than wakeboarding and it’s been continually refined over many seasons. We tested the basic HRD model, but the carbon model looks particularly special.
If we have one gripe with the Trax it’s with the footstraps. They are soft and comfortable but for the last couple of seasons we would like to have had the option of a wider setting for the strap itself in the way it sits over the foot. On the flip side, for normal and smaller feet they fit beautifully, and lengthwise they’re fine, but just a little more width for guys with wide feet would be nice.
Anyway, let’s look at this HRD rail. In the feet area the rail profile is very thick and inverted which F-One say creates two support zones that stop any bouncing effect. It also helps generates lift, aids early planing and offers support on landing. The sharpened top edge also reduces water spray. The central part of the rail is thinner and sharper for edging, jumping, grip and pop. At the tips the rail returns to its original thin shape.
On the water the Trax is as easy to ride straight away as ever. Still mixing a lovely blend of get up and go with a steady reliability and easy handling characteristics at speed. The Trax is very uncomplicated when it comes to switching from heel to toe and the wide channel underneath does it’s job at gripping on landings, through carves and of course the Trax releases nicely.
When it comes to performance the Trax has a phenomenal load and very springy pop. The energy you feel in the ride translates into you being able to feel when it’s fully loaded and ready to pop and its light swingweight and balance makes it a joy in the air.
Handling itself in chop as easily as it does flat water and whether overpowered or underpowered, the Trax is a superb one board solution whatever style you want to ride in. Good speed control and lots of pop, this is one of kitesurfing’s true all-round performance models for any rider.
Great energy in its all-round performance even in lighter winds.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
A slightly wider setting on the foot strap would be a good option for some people.
TRAX BALANCE POINTS:
Build quality: 8
Fixtures and fittings: 7.5
Slider proof: N/A
SIZES: 137 x 42, 136 x 40.5 and 135 x 39cm
The carbon model is also available with an extra light wind size: 140 x 45
More info at: www.f-onekites.com
Here’s the official Trax 2014 video from F-One:
Here’s the official Trax Carbon Series 2014 video from F-One:
THIS BOARD FEATURED IN ISSUE #69