The Stoke is F2’s long-standing performance freeride board that has performed well over several seasons. While carrying out this test it quickly became apparent that the 126 felt considerably bigger than the other boards on test and on measuring it we found its width to be 3cm wider than advertised. Although all the stickers and the serial number suggest that the board is a 126 it both measures and feels like a much bigger board and would actually appear to be the 136 shape stickered up wrongly.
Type: Large performance biased freeride.
On the water:
As explained above, this was an exceptionally large board by comparison to the others on test and as such it was no surprise that it felt very stable indeed but considerably heavier and less responsive than the majority of boards on test. Despite this it planed up quite early, particularly with big sails, but its acceleration up to speed was not the quickest. Everybody found it a very comfortable and easy board to sail offering excellent support. Unsurprisingly it didn’t feel very manoeuvrable but it did gybe very predictably. However, if really cranked into the gybe the tail cut-outs make it a bit more technical than other big boards of this type.
The F2 straps are excellent and the fin was sound if perhaps a shade small for a performance oriented freeride of this size. (Though it may well be the 126 fin with the 136 shape!) The riding position and strap positioning was all good. The hull weight was however relatively high for a performance freeride, even allowing for the extra size.
Treated as a 72cm 136L board it performs well, being a nice easy and stable hull that offers high stability and decent performance with sails up to about 9.0m. It does seem to lack that final edge of performance and excitement for its performance market placement but we would happily recommend it to heavy sailors looking for an inland blaster to use with sails between 6.5 and 9.0m or as a first shortboard for average to lighter weight sailors.