Performance and aesthetics aside, comfort is an oft-overlooked quality in a SUP surfboard. When a board maker successfully marries all of these attributes, though, we have a winner. F-One's new Taiba surf model feels as good under the feet as it looks on the rack. It's available in three sizes—8'6", 8'10" and 9'2"—all featuring ample width and volume to create a model you can stand on all day. We rode the 8'10" and while the 125 liters it boasts provide more volume than we're used to, it was substantially easier to pivot and lay on rail than other boards of equal size.
That's thanks in part to the chined rails and rounded pintail, two design subtleties geared toward making big boards more maneuverable. The chined rails allow a softer entry angle when putting the board on edge, adding drive in turns. The responsiveness of the Taiba's rounded pintail works with the lift created from its single concave V-bottom for whippy bottom turns and surprising control on steep waves at speed.
The Taiba's layup is EPS foam and bamboo with a sturdy fiberglass finish. We're partial to bamboo decks on surf SUPs because they tend to weather better than typical fiberglass/epoxy finishes and provide a desirable weight-to-resistance ratio. Embedded in the Taiba's deck is an attribute unique to F-One: the "smart handle." It's a contraption built into the carrying handle (which is deep and comfortable in itself) that works as a decompression valve and a multifunctional tool compartment, carrying a built-in screwdriver head and fin key. With such a rounded array of features rolled into a single sled, the Taiba may just be your one-board quiver this season. –MM
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