Designed by Peter Thommen, the 255 WCE is easily the most wave oriented of the two F2 boards in the test. An 82 litres board, 254 centimetres long and 54 centimetres wide. The tail one-foot-off measurement is 33.5 cms exactly the same as for the Axxis 258 which was also designed by Thommen. But that's where the similarities end because the widest point is 12cms further back along the board at 152 centimetres, slightly behind the mast track and this board has the highest degree of tail kick in the test, 1.1 centimetres so it should be the easiest turning board of them all. There is vee throughout the whole length of the board and the rails are soft along the working area and hard in the tail.
Standard equipment includes four position footstraps with three sets of blocks so that the back strap can be offset or paired up slalom fashion. There are large all over deck pads and the new F2 mast track. Just a quickword about this track. We like it a lot, the deck plate and foot come together very easily and adjustment is positive and easy. However, while you can use any other finbox type fitting in an F2 mast track, you cannot use the F2 deck plate and fin on any other board. We only mention this is case you have an F2 and another make of board and decide to take the F2 base with you down to the coast.
The fin is a concrete wave 22 centimetre wave design fitting into a standard slot finbox.
SAILING: With that amount of tail kick the F2 Wave 255 should be as easy to turn as anything and it is. Being reasonably light, the board is highly responsive when it comes to pulling off short snappy turns off the lip but it also does long controlled bottom turns with equal ease. Does this compromise the accelerarion and top speed? A tail kick like that will of course have some effect on the boards straight line performance but we found that the F2 is exactly right in this respect. It's not so fast that you start bouncing out of control in big waves but easily fast enough to accelerate out of a turn and punch through the oncoming break.
The combination of tail width, speed and wide tail give excellent air and the board feels light and controllable while it is up there and being stiff the Wave 255 doesn't stall on landing. The deck shape is lightly domed and this makes the ride comfortable for your feet.
The fittings are good and the whole board feels as though it was designed with wave riding first in mind and then everything else given second consideration.
VERDICT: An excellent wave board, it feels right in every sense and is perfect for those who are lucky enough to ride nice waves.
USE: Onshore unlimited, Down-the-line unlimited.
SAILOR ABILITY: Medium/experienced
We liked the total wave dedication of this board. It makes no concessions to any other discipline. The balance of the looseness with the speed and acceleration is particularly impressive. We disliked nothing.
Length: 254cm, Weight: 8.6kg, Volume: 82 litres, One-foot-off-Tail: 33.5cm, One-foot-off-Nose: 29cm, Width Top: 54cm, Width Bottom: 51cm, Wide point from nose: 152cm, Nose Lift: 25.4cm, Tail Kick: 1.1cm, Mast Track From Tail: 127cm. Price £1050 (basic) £1095 (Pro Kit).