F-One brought TKB all the way to Mauritius for their annual Global Meeting, giving us the chance to put all the new F-One and Manera gear through a thorough test drive in amazing conditions. Here are some highlights of the week.
F-One Bandit 7
First up is the 2014 Bandit, now one of the best known and longest running kite models out there. The 2014 Bandit looks similar to the Bandit 6, but it has undergone a complete redesign by a new designer and now features Teijin Technoforce canopy fabric.
The Bandit uses a bar very similar to last year’s with the addition of the long awaited F-One push away quick release. If you liked the Bandit 5 or 6 you’re going to love the Bandit 7. More details about what we thought about it can be found here.
2014 F-One Twin Tips
F-One’s twin tip line got a major update for 2014 with the introduction of the unique Helical Rail Design (HRD). It’s tough to explain in words, so we’ll let Raphael Salles show you:
On the water this translates to a very smooth feeling board with very little spray while you ride.
Both the Trax and Acid are now available in fiberglass and carbon constructions and F-One is also introducing the Spicy, a wakestyle-oriented board designed to be used with boots.
2014 F-One Surfboards
For 2014 F-One is launching its first pro model, the Mitu Pro surfboard. This is the board Mitu Monteiro now rides in almost all conditions and it is primarily designed as a strapless board (although it does have inserts for riders who want to use straps).
The compact outline should be ridden smaller than a normal board and it is stable and forgiving while delivering a lot of performance.
Also in the surf line is the Signature and the Fish. The Signature and Mitu feature the new camel deck which lowers your heel position making strapless riding a little easier. The thick traction pad is designed to work in conjunction with the deck shape and offers a lot more comfort than just wax under your feet, especially when landing strapless jumps.
Manera is a new line of accessories from the same people behind F-One and the Manera product range is about to begin rapidly expanding.
First up is the Manera harness, which features the unique EXO support system. The hexagonal shape at the back of the harness is actually the harness’s main support structure and is sewn directly to the spreader bar straps.
With the load bearing part of the harness on the outside, all the thickness of the harness is made up of layers designed to make it more comfortable to the rider.
On the water it is a very comfortable harness with a lot of freedom of movement. Manera is offering one harness model but it will come in both a high and low back version in a variety of colors.
A very unique product from Manera is their new surf wax made specifically for strapless kitesurfers and SUPers. What makes it special is that it is designed to be used with traction pads.
It doesn’t melt in the sun (a claim we tested) and is really sticky. It provides so much grip that it almost feels like cheating.
Other Manera accessories at the meeting included surf leashes, a lock box, and a changing robe. The changing robe is made from thick bamboo cotton and should be a big improvement over fumblling with a towel while getting out of a wetsuit after a cold session.
Currently in development from Manera is a line of wetsuits as well sunglasses, sunscreen, and board shorts.
Our week in Mauritius happened to line up with a great swell, have a look at the conditions we had while trying all this brand new gear: