The F2 Stoke range consists of six boards spanning 106 – 156 litres. The range is offered in just one construction option and is shaped by Patrik Deithelm. We tested the Stoke 126.
"Stoke – the sportster. Carve gybes, high speed reaches in flat water or chop, the Stoke keeps you in control at all times. Top performance with the widest possible range for the advancing novice to experienced sailor." – F2 Website
The F2 achieved a GOLD Quality rating with the following scores:
The Stoke comes standard with a well matched 38cm Choco Fin.
Pads and straps are excellent. One point was scored in ‘Other Extras’ because the F2 comes with markers (albeit stickers) on the mast track and footstrap inserts indicating the recommended positions.
With a volume of 126 litres (quoted), the F2 is the second biggest board in the test. It is also the second shortest and second heaviest. Itís quite a compact, stubby shape with a relatively wide tail, sporting miniature cut-outs.
The F2 is a top performer in terms of early planing. Technique wise, it’s also incredibly easy to get planing (with the inboard strap positions) and one of the least technical in the test.
Being slightly heavier, with a smaller fin, it wasn’t quite able to match the JP, Fanatic and Tabou, but a slightly bigger fin could see a serious challenge to the top 3.
The F2 was our 3rd fastest board (joint with JP and just behind the Fanatic and Starboard). In a similar way to the Fanatic, the F2 is incredibly easy to sail at speed and whether experienced or inexperienced, you’re unlikely to be overtaken!
The Stoke is very similar to the Fanatic in size and ride. Like the Fanatic, for a board of this size, the Clones were expecting a bit of a handful when it got windy. The board certainly felt big, but delivered an extremely safe and predictable ride that gave no cause for concern.
Again, in an almost identical way to the Fanatic, this is the F2’s weakest area. Its not that the board doesn’t gybe well, it’s just that there isn’t much to keep you entertained once you have your gybing technique sussed. These bigger boards tend to turn on one arc (a fairly wide one) and are not obliging when it comes to altering that arc in any way.
The characteristics that make the Stoke less entertaining for advanced sailors are the same qualities that make it great for less experienced gybers.
The board is stable, predictable, tolerant of heavy footed technique and quick to plane should you lose your speed. The inboard strap positions are perfectly placed for swift access after the gybe.
The Stoke is characterised by its very smooth, gliding ride. It’s a compact shape and it feels compact and balanced when you are sailing it. At very top speed the F2 is not quite as controllable as it's nearest rival the Fanatic and exhibits a very slight instability from side to side (requiring a bit of heel/toe balancing to keep the board flat), but you will only notice this if you take the board to its limit in overpowered conditions on a broad reach.
It’s definitely more of a blasting orientated board. As such the outboard straps are the favoured option. These provide a great deal of foot comfort on the excellent pads and nicely curved rails.
The standard 38cm Choco fin, seems to work well with the board. For lighter wind performance, the board is definitely capable of handling more and if you plan using bigger than 7.5m on the board, we would recommend investing in a 40/42cm fin.
F2 claim the sail range of the board to be 6.0-8.5m sails, which seems fair.
The recommended mast track setting seemed pretty good all round. With our bigger test sails (7.7m), we did find ourselves using it about a cm further forward.
The Stoke is best suited to its outboard footstrap positions. Inboard work ok and do make gybing a bit easier, but overall, it feels quite a blasty board by nature and with the inboard strap, you keep finding yourself edging your back foot closer and closer to the rail.
The F2 Stoke is an excellent all-round freeride board, appealing to beginner/intermediate freeriders on merit of it's stable and predictable learning platform, but also delivering enough performance to keep more advanced riders amused.
A 40/42cm fin for bigger sails.