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Tkb Review: 2021 F-One Swing V2 “Super Stable with Easy Access to Power”

By media on Jul 19, 2021 04:49 pm

Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine

Sizes Available: 2.4, 2.8, 3.5, 4.2, 5, 5.5m
Sizes Tested: 4.2m

F-One Says:

Offering pure enjoyment is at the heart of this new Swing V2’s design. It is not a matter of pure performances nor the jumps’ height. It has been designed to offer the lightest feeling possible and generating efficient power to allow foiling in all conditions with maximum stability and ease of use.

The power’s distribution has been improved and is perfectly balanced in order to save arms fatigue. The instant power generated by the wing as well as its neutral balance makes it a fantastic wing for all riders no matter their level and ways to practice. It has been designed to offer a flex which greatly improves the comfort. The Swing V2 is a fantastic light wind wave riding wing.

We have made the choice not to add unnecessary accessories to keep the weight as low as possible. Its remarkable low weight will make you forget about it when in free-fly mode and when riding the swell. The Swing V2 has improved all of its original features: simplicity, comfort and stability. Riding in the low end will have never been so enjoyable and is exceptionally intuitive.

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TKB Says:

Shortly after the release of the Strike, F-One introduced a new version of the Swing and this is probably a big head-scratcher for some as the Strike is such a general improvement on the Swing. So what can a refined Swing V2 bring to the market? The answer is lightness and while for most, that may not seem that important, but to us it muddies the water and makes the choice between the Strike and the Swing V2 much more difficult.

Type of inflation: Push Button inflation / boom dump valve
Number of boom handles: 2 center handles
Y handles: None
Wrist leash style: Closed loop cinch
Window/Coverage: None

First off, the Swing gets all the same control improvements that are baked into the Strike. The three small handles are replaced by two larger handles, the boom has its own unique bend (different from the Strike) and the airframe gets upgraded rigidity, perhaps not quite as rigid as the Strike, but a significant improvement over the Swing V1. Much like the Strike, the Swing V2 boom bends away from the rider for a more comfortable riding position, but also reconnects with the canopy for a stiffer more controlled trailing edge. Noticeably different, the Swing’s boom has a much narrower tip compared to the Strike, reducing Dacron and bladder and perhaps a bit of stiffness. The other significant difference is that the Swing V2 comes in one size smaller (2.4m) than the Strike.

The new handles are a big change but a welcomed mod to the previous three-handle layout. With the Swing V1, the middle handle was only helpful on your first week of wingsurfing, but after that, you almost never used it unless you were confused. With only two handles on the Strike, our hands always landed in the right place and without thinking. Since the handles have a wider stance, you can move your hand forward or back to fine-tune your balance point on the wing and it seemed like our technical handwork was far easier as we attempted new transitions—our hands could find a handle much faster and we had fewer misses. The handles use the same EVA-infused webbing as the Swing V1, which is great because that was one of our favorite designs on the market.

The Swing V2 also gets the introduction of a release valve on the boom for much quicker deflation. Inflation still occurs on the leading edge through the high-flow push-button valve (just remember to close the valve on the boom first or you will be pumping forever), but now the boom deflates much faster than the Swing V1. The wrist leash is new this year; it uses the same cinch system that F-One pioneered on the V1, but gives it more padding and makes it a bit smaller.

Since we tend to be biased towards the surfing side of wingfoiling, when we were told that the Swing V2 would be designed as a beginner/progression wing it just didn’t seem to add up. Foilsurfing with wings is all about lightness. Sure there are handling characteristics that come to play, but the lighter you make the wing, you get more float and freedom to ride waves without interference. Ok, so we’ve disclosed our agenda, but when you test the Swing V2 back to back against the Strike we found that the Swing V2 has two arguably crucial qualities that give it a slight edge for downwinding and riding waves. The first is that the Swing V2 is just a hair bit lighter and seems to float a bit more positively when you’re in onshore conditions. It’s slightly easier to flick around and if wave riding was all that we were doing, that advantage would be a decisive factor. Secondly, the Swing V2 has a much broader power band that is less sensitive to how you sheet the wing. The Swing V2 generates power immediately, no matter where it is in its angle of attack. If you could imagine a low-aspect kite that has that sheet-n-go feel, this is the equivalent. We prefer this slight difference in power delivery for wave riding because oftentimes in wave riding you need power instantaneously. It can be the difference between kicking out of a wave or waterstarting and getting to the channel before the next set rips you into pieces. Compared to the Strike, the Swing doesn’t have as much range in over-powered conditions and you might feel a bit more arm pump on long upwind tacks. As for upwind ability, the Swing V2 feels more efficient than the V1, but it doesn’t reach the same high angle of attack that you get with the Strike. When it comes to steering the Swing V2 through the wind window, the Swing feels a little less active than the Strike, which means it feels a little more steady.

Maybe we’re splitting hairs, mostly because the Strike works great for chasing swells and riding waves, but we believe the Swing V2 is a foilsurfing wing at heart and those qualities that make it great for waves also make it great for beginners and progression. Super stable with easy access to power without much technique is a winning equation for those just getting into the sport. If you’re doing a lot of upwind riding (ie to get to your secret spot) or freeride/freestyle winging, then the Strike might feel like the better option. If you’re a surfing purist, then perhaps you should give the Swing V2 a chance before you commit to the Strike.

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Tkb Review: 2021 F-One Gravity 1800 FCT “A Surefire Way to Progression”

By media on Jul 17, 2021 12:22 pm

Source: The Kiteboarder Magazine

Sizes Available: 1800, 2200cm2
Sizes Tested: 1800cm2

F-One Says:

A Gravity foil is an intuitive foil to use. It generates lift at low (and even very low) speed but does it in a smooth way so you can keep your balance easily. The wings are designed to be easy to roll and turn, so they can perform in the surf.

The Gravity has its dimensions optimized to provide enough lift to get anyone flying. We made sure to keep the drag limited to maintain a thrilling feeling of glide. The span is generous making it a very stable foil and the refined shape details such as the arch curvature, the profile and the wing tips insure it remains highly maneuverable.

The FCT technology offers a wing that is covered using a thin but strong protective layer to protect it from scratches and digs. It is built in fiberglass around an injected foam core and fits on a streamlined, aluminum fuselage. The two connect via a large, solid plate at the front of the fuselage ensuring a very solid and stiff bond between the wing and the fuselage. The fuselage can be connected to the standard F-ONE aluminium mast of the desired length. The setup and disassembly are also super easy and the whole is very travel friendly.

The Gravity comes with the IC6 300 Stab. This stabilizer offers easy take-off and good directional stability for a secure feel which is perfect when riding. Built using the IC6 technology it is both strong and durable

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TKB Says:

The F-One Gravity 1800 FCT (Foil Compression Technology) is a great entry-level wingsurfing option that gives progression-oriented riders a nice, slow and stable platform in a package that is reasonably priced. If you’re hooked on the durability and price-point of FCT technology, you can get this construction in smaller wing sizes if you hop over to the Phantom FCT line of front wings for the 1280 and 1480cm2 sizes.

Design and Features
The 1800 FCT features a new 4-point mounting system for the front wing mated to the IC6 300 stabilizer with its vertical winglets for extra stability and the 75cm aluminum mast/74surf fuselage. The FCT construction is a hybrid carbon that gives you a ton of durability with reasonable weight. While you can get this same setup in a lighter full carbon option, you won’t get the same durability and affordable price point. The front wing features a super-wide wingspan that gives you stability with a fairly deep profile that generates early and predictable lift at lower speeds. The aluminum fuselage and mast give you a ton of durability for those first sessions when you’re doing walks of shames and bonking into cars walking through the parking lot.

We found this to be an excellent beginner entry-level setup for learning to wingsurf. The Gravity gives you tons of early lift at really slow startup speeds and allows you to hook into early lift without the need for higher speeds. We were really impressed with how quickly we could start to get lift even in the lulls with just a couple of pumps to the inflatable wing. You don’t need as good wing/power control because this hydrofoil is such a stable low-speed lift generator that it begins to come up and float you really early. The foil up felt super predictable without that awkward high angle of lift that some foils have when they first start flying. The slower threshold speed also proves helpful while dialing in harder moves, allowing slower speeds and carrying you through until you can get power back in the inflatable wing.

The 1800 felt reasonably active on the pitch axis for up and down adjustments while the yaw and the roll felt comparatively more stable. The yaw or directionality is really stable and we expected this because the IC6300 stabilizer has those vertical winglets and the roll axis is extra stable because of the extra length of the wingspan. These aspects make the 1800 super reliable and intuitive because it requires a bit more input to initiate turns.

The 1800 is the setup we would encourage our friends to try out for learning. Firstly, because it gets you in the game for a fairly low price point but also because it offers durable and bulletproof materials that can withstand the typical mistakes in the early stages of learning. After dialing in your basic skills, the 1800 continues to be fun in lower wind situations and will probably be a great companion for road trips where you might end up at a mountain lake or somewhere similar with threshold conditions. The F-One 2021 lineup has a ton of more high-performance foil options, but the Gravity 1800 is the surefire way to set yourself up for the fastest progression and the greatest amount of fun.

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