This board is bang on trend as to where SUP surfing is going for a lot of people. Parallel rails are really the thing of the moment, and this board is straight out of that way of thinking. Lots of brands are now making short, wide nose and wide tailed boards like this. However, what caught my eye about the F-one Papenoo was the attention to detail in the shaping.
This has a beautiful deep concave in it's bottom section, something some of the others haven’t bothered with. It’s got a really nice swallow tail, which encourages me that despite the wide tail, there will still be the opportunity to stick some decent drops, especially if those 4 future fins run on the quad configuration cut the mustard.
The rails are also nicely tapering from nose to tail along it’s profile, again unlike some of the other brands who have ‘crammed’ all the volume in throughout the boards length. Graphics wise, in true continental flair the F-One boys have plastered this board in bright colours in a really nice design, I really like how eye catching the Papenoo Pro is.
What may really appeal to the modern SUP protagonist is the options the Papenoo presents. You can chuck a foil on this, a windsurf rig, a windsurf foil, GoPro mounts, footstraps, the lot, hence the "Convertible" moniker. This really could be your one toy for the season! The finishing is great too, and the deck pad is lovely, with a nice kick at the fore section, for those high effort paddles where you end up creeping up the board, or for locking your feet against when paddling out over white water.
I’m a traditionalist; I like noseriders, or performance shortboards. I wanted to dislike this board, ot goes against everything I hold dear. I wanted to tell my mates on the beach that these boards are silly and have no place in the line up. Then I rode it and had to bury those thoughts deep down inside, this thing rips!
I surfed this several times, the first in waist high super clean peelers, the second in head high ragged cross shore low tide thumping beach break and then everything else in between. I’m now weighing up whether I can actually justify owning one of these.
My normal whip is a similar volume performance short board, and even on bigger days I was reaching for the Papenoo. I was in total disbelief in terms of what take off’s I could stick with this board. I had it out a couple of times in well over head and quite hollow beach breaks, that normally as SUP boarders we tend to shy away from.
On one occasion I was with a mate who was prone short boarding, and waiting for me to eat dirt eagerly. It was very satisfying to see the smug look wiped off his face as I appeared out back after a particularly hefty bomb that I managed to stick and ride through.
Equally in the small stuff this was super fun, really riding off the front of the board and generating an incredible amount of speed for such a small board. I’ve never thrown a SUP around in small waves like this board allowed, there was instant gratification.
There are however limitations to these boards, and despite the fun to be had on the waves, those with inexperience paddling in surf may find the high paddle input off putting. You need to be dynamic at all times to keep on top of these small boards. I also found as the conditions got choppier or the waves got bigger, the lack of glide afforded by something so short could be a little frustrating. That said, this would apply to any short parallel board, and would not be a specific criticism of the Papenoo Pro Convertible.
We've not got a foil yet, so we can't comment on it's abilities there, but the options offered with this board are fantasic, you could stick a kids rig on it for your little ones to play on, or put a man size rig on it on a windy day depending on your previous water sports background. It's a real Swiss Army knife of a shred sled!
If you are contemplating a parallel rail concept board, then I would advise you that you could do a hell of a lot worse than this offering from F-One. It’s loaded with decent features, lovely handle, deck pad and beautiful finishing and shaping. The options going forward are great as well, with the foil attachment option and windsurf inserts, this could well be a future proof purchase. The carbon construction I had was incredibly light.
Indeed, one session I walked about half a mile and felt in no way lumbered by this board. F-One have a reputation in kiting and more recently SUP for excellent well-made gear and this board absolutely doesn’t’ t disappoint. It’s fast, fun and basically puts a smile on your face every wave you catch. Money well spent!
This review was in Issue 3 of SUP Tonic.For more information visit F-One SUP
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By Luke BolsinLuke Bolsin has been on the water all his life and taught a wide range of water sports since 2001, and is passionate about being on the water and sharing the stoke with others. He has been paddling stand up since 2008, initially as a cross trainer for no wind or flat days. However in recent years has become totally hooked on SUP for all conditions, be it down wind paddling in swells, SUP surfing, racing, or mooching on calm days around quiet coves. As well as working for SUP Tonic as our Web Editor he divides his time running his own SUP school and rental business in Cornwall, in the UK's South West, as well as being a teacher and a dad. Luke competes on a recreational level in variety of SUP events in his locality, and is part of a burgeoning paddle scene in the heart of UK's surfing region.