The F-One Strike wing has been a favourite among wing surfers due to its excellent stability, speed, and manoeuvrability. However, with the release of the F-One Strike V3 wing, there are some notable changes that warrant a comparison between the two even though at a glance it may be hard to spot the difference outside of the pattern/colouring. Having not tried the wing on the water yet due to a lack of wind this is just the noticeable changes from the v2 to v3.
One of the most significant changes in the F-One Strike V3 wing is the use of new materials (HITEX and TECHNOFORCE). The new wing features a construction that utilizes higher quality materials and improved manufacturing techniques, resulting in a more durable wing which will increase the life span of the canopy on the v3 over the v2. Wingfoiling has changed and with people riding smaller foils and riding more powered, the wings are under a lot more load. As people aim to go faster and jump higher this again increases the pressure on wings and the materials and construction. Material changes seem to be one of the biggest changes to wings for 2023.
The new materials used in the F-One Strike V3 wing include a new canopy material (TECHNOFORCE™) thats more durable than the material used in the V2 wing. A heavier 66g weight TECHNOFORCE material has been used in the back third of the wing where the a canopy can often begin to stretch out. This is also this is where a wing will experience most flutter (especially when over powered) so this should help give the wing more stability overall as well as more upwind performance and increased longevity. The Strike v3 also features a Load Diffuser (not something you or I should have ever heard of in a wing) and this stiffer Dacron and Mylar either side of the strut at the trailing edge is there to help maintain stability and longevity.
The frame of the F-One Strike V3 features is now made of 158g and 178g HITEX which is a new polyester that will withstand more pressure and has a greater resistance to stretching. The lighter 158g HITEX is found in the strut and as this material is stronger than what was used on the v2 it has allowed designers to reduce the diameter without loosing rigidity. The leading edge has a mix of both weight HITEX materials, with the heavier weighted in the four central segments and the lighter weight material in the wing tips. The aim with this is to keep the wing balanced all the times and give more stability to the whole frame as the gusts and lulls come and go as you ride.
What is interesting is the advertised weights of the wings have crept by an average of over 150grams per size. I think this is to be expected when using more durable materials but there have been some other ways imployed to reduce weight elsewhere. Noticeably there has been a reduction of the Kevlar around the wing tips. No longer is the leading edge wing tip completely covered but just the seams and a few inches of the wing tip.
As well as the change in materials the layout of the panels has been overhauled to help spread the load more evenly and direct that load to help minimise any stretching which again should help keep the shape of the wing over a longer period of time and this will be a big improvement over the v2. The radial cut of the central panels is a change from most wings cross cut panel layout and this may not be much of a noticeable performance upgrade to the wing whilst you are riding but in terms of longevity it should see an increased life of the wing with less performance drop off due to stretching. Essentially if you look at the little square grids closely you will notice they no longer run from front to back and side to side all across the wing but they grids are now diagonal in places which loads direct the load in the wing better giving less stretch.
Handles seem to be a highly debated topic among recreational riders and there is no clear standout style as personal preference is key but there isn’t much change from F-One in the handle department opting for a a semi rigid handle. The handles are the most rigid F-One have done to date with a plastic strip running through the handle but it does still flex in and out towards and away from the strut and there is still some twisting up and down. This twisting movement still gives plenty of control to the wing and doesn’t seem to hamper any of their top riders when it comes to the ability to throw the wing through the latest freestyle moves. The thin, grippy handles are definitely lighter than a rigid handle and obviously there is less chance of causing any damage to yourself or your board with no rigid parts. I’m sure this lack of rigid handle will frustrate the riders who swear by solid handles but F-One are claiming that the strut design takes priority as that gives more performance to the wing.
Worth noting that the leading edge handle (surf handle) has also had the plastic strip inserted which should give even more control when flagging the wing out. The Strike has always been a well balanced flagging out wing but this upgrade will just give a little more of a direct feel and make it easier to maintain a flat wing as you carve on a wave.
Finally, the F-One Strike V3 wing comes with a new inflation system that does mean a little more admin when inflating the wing. They have taken out the one pump hose system that linked the leading edge to the strut and now you have to pump both parts of the wing individually – Leading edge first then strut. This means you should be able to have a more rigid strut (recommended 10 psi) across the wind range of your wing and you can experiment with pressure (recommended 9 psi) in the leading edge in different wind conditions to help improve control and this may help improve comfort when overpowered.
One noticeable thing in the marketing is the promise of power across the wind range but in the sizing guide the lower end of each size has gone up. As with most wind powered thing a higher performing piece of kit often means sacrifices at the lower end of performance. Hard to say for sure on this as getting going in the lighter winds on any size wing has a few variables including board size/shape, foil size/shape and more often than not the riders ability/willingness to pump.
STRIKE V2 SIZING
STRIKE V3 SIZING
This reduction in low end wind range could be a result of the flattening of the profile. This flatter profile at give less drag in the wing once up and going which will result in more stability at higher speeds but a flatter profile will mean a reduction in low end power. As this wing is billed as a performance wing i think this change is understandable. Faster foils are being used by most people and if foils are faster wings need to be more controllable at higher speeds.
With Strike CWC v3 dropping soon and rumours of an updated Swing I’m sure we will be seeing the same sail tech in the full range of F-One wings with the newer materials giving more rigidity and allowing for high pressures there should be real scope for even lighter wind performance out of the CWC and more control and drift for the Swing.
Overall, the new materials used in the F-One Strike V3 wing will provide significant improvements in performance but I believe that its in the longevity we are going to see the biggest gains, that performance should stay more prominent for longer than the older versions. The Strike has been a leading wing in its first two iterations and I cannot see that changing with the improvements that have been made and I’m looking forward to do a hands on review on the water as soon as a forecast lines up.