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It’s an exciting time to be a kitesurfer if you’re embracing the brave new world of foiling… If you began a few years ago then life was a bit of a lottery in terms of knowing how something was going to ride and whether you had picked up the best new foil on the market, or you had gone for a foil that would end up on the big ‘not quite fit for purpose’ foil scrapheap. Nowadays there are a lot of decent foils on the market and – as with any quickly evolving technology – there is a lot of cross-pollination of ideas. There are some brands, however, who started early with the foil game and have a head start on the competition. One of those brands is F-ONE. They have had a comprehensive range for over three years now and with a solid R&D team headed up by Charles Bertrand they are very much at the cutting edge of foil technology. Their range, until now, had generally been at the mid-upper price point – but for 2018 there is a new foil arriving into the range… The IC6 has an aluminum mast and fuselage – with 65 and 90cm mast options – and then wings made using an Injected Carbon process (hence the IC). The result is a respectably light foil set up with very sturdy wings which are less brittle than carbon, and – most notably – the whole set up comes in at €849… Which is competitive to say the least. Assembly is straightforward using F-ONE’s patented system where one long bolt connects the wings, fuselage and mast together, and you’re good to go.
On the water and first impressions of the IC6 are: this is too easy! The foil comes up at a low speed and is then nicely balanced so doesn’t keep on coming up – a little front foot pressure gets you easily into the sweet spot. Then it’s a nice stable foil to cruise around on – you can inject some power into your kite and it responds to this giving either plenty of speed across the wind or some nice tight upwind angles. Then for us the most impressive feature was its performance when cruising off the wind. It’s not a huge foil but we found that you could smoothly glide around off the wind and the IC6 provided a stable and fun platform. Even riding from heel to toe was pretty straightforward and we found ourselves making a much higher percentage of gybes without ending up in the water…
In a sentence: The IC6 is an impressive foil from a price point perspective, but it is also a very impressive foil from a riding perspective – it’s not going to beat any speed records, but if you want mid-performance freeride fun then it’s a perfect package.