The Madeiro range from F-One signifies their high-end performance line of boards. Available in two guises, a double bamboo version and the “Pro” carbon version we have here. The Pro construction saves around 500 grams in weight and offers a stronger overall construction. F-One also use High-Density Foam in their construction, which is far more resistant to damage than just a standard core laminate. The HD Foam is on the base of the board and a bamboo layer on the deck adds strength while making the board look achingly beautiful, everywhere I go with this board it turns heads, the finish is just stunning!
Turning our attention to the stats, the Madeiro Pro 8'3" features a width of 30 inches and 110 litres of volume. I’m around 80 kilos in board shorts and found that to be plenty for me to be able to paddle it even in choppy water, although if I had a beer at lunchtime, it became a challenge! There is a five-fin Futures box set up on the bottom; we rode it as a quad and a thruster during the test, but more on that later. The board comes supplied with some simple fins in a thruster set up.
The shape is very shortboardesque, with a squash tail and classic lines indicating the real purpose of the Madeiro Pro, slaying waves. On the bottom there is a single concave, which washes into a V at the tail, you’ll also find the “Bevelled Rail” championed by F-One. This makes the rail of the board thinner when it is on the wave and also reduces the planing surface of the board. When it is in displacement mode, the extra width comes into play and makes it more stable.
There is a steep nose rocker and also a very pronounce tail rocker, the rails at the tail are really thin, and there isn’t much volume in this area of the board, this will help it perform on the wave. The mid section has a flatter rocker to enable the board to catch waves and hold its speed. The Madeiro Pro features F-One’s Smart Handle, which incorporates a decompression valve, fin key and screwdriver for the decompression valve. We didn’t use the fin key much, but it is great to know it is there if you need it. The screwdriver for the decompression valve though and the way you can’t put the tool fully into the recess from the handle unless the valve is screwed in though is genius.
Having previously ridden the very popular 8’5” version of this board I was excited to get the 8’3” Madeiro Pro version out into some waves. At 80kg the board sinks quite a bit more than the larger version, there is a difference of 15 litres in volume and an inch and a half in the width. If you are just venturing into a smaller board for the surf and are the same weight as me, definitely test one before you buy one. The 8’3” is quite different; it takes a lot more effort to keep it deck side up especially in choppy water.
If you are more experienced, though, or weigh around 70-75kg then the 8’3” is the one to go for. I was surprised just how well this smaller board paddled into waves; you need to be in the right spot, and you can’t get away with sloppy technique on take off, but it does paddle into small waves exceedingly well and the bigger it gets, the happier it is. Once you are on the wave though this is where the 8’3” comes alive.
The thinner rails offered by the Bevel Rail tech allow the board to bite and carve. This offers both a lot of control and a very dynamic ride. The low volume thin tail section helps the board to feel a lot smaller and more manoeuvrable on the wave. We tried both the quad fin and the thruster set up, and while the quad fin offered a little more drive and speed, we preferred the way the thruster set up handled on the wave.
In shoulder, to overhead high surf we were able to get aggressive top to bottom turns on the thruster set up. In smaller surf, the quad option offered more speed and power so to get the most out of the 8’3” get two decent sets of fins and do some experimenting. Paddling out through the white water the nose rocker helps to take the sting out of each hit, and it was easy enough to drop the weight back and punch through the line-up.
We fell in love with the Madeiro Pro 8’3” from F-One, the construction and finish are just stunning, and the board absolutely rips in the waves too. If you are a lighter paddler, or have a bit of experience behind you and want to step down to something more challenging and aggressive on the wave, this is a good bet!
This review was in Issue 1 of SUP Tonic.For more information visit F-One SUP
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Rou Chater has been paddleboarding for the last six years, and he is passionate about riding waves and exploring new places. As the publishing editor, he oversees everything at SUP Tonic but also our sister magazines IKSURFMAG and IMB. He's been on the water since he was born and has never looked back, in the winter you'll find him chasing swells in the Caribbean and during the summer he can be found all over Europe at various SUP, Kitesurf and Mountain Bike events getting features for the magazines.
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