I finally got a chance to test ride the T1! here's my impressions, prefaced by a few caveats.
1. I compared this back to back with a Phantasm 684 and a prototype stabilizer with a 710 fuse.
2. This wing is VERY different. I rode it for a bit over two hours over two sessions. A full and honest review would require at least a few more hours riding time to develop muscle memory to match the wing. Some of the negatives I list might easily be negated by more experience with the wing.
3. This was MY experience, and others may well have different impressions.
I tested the T1 with a Hopecraft 103 board, a Sabfoil 101 mast--pre Kraken--and a Stringfellow adapter. First off, IMHO, the Stringfellow adapter is rock solid and provides at least as strong a connection as a butt joint mast with M8 screws. The wide connection to the wing and the pocket for the mast ensure that far less bending stress will be applied to the M6 screws compared to a butt joint. The resultant force on the screws should be almost entirely tension, and an M6 screw under tension is stronger than a M8 screw under bending force.
I rode the T1 with both a 4m and a 5m UFO, both in wildly overpowered gusts and wildly under powered lulls.
The very first thing I noticed was how light the foil was once assembled! OMG! Since the weight savings is at the end of a meter long moment arm, carrying the board under your arm is ridiculously easy.
Water starting was not near as hard as what I was expecting, but neither was it easy. It took me a couple of tries to water start each and every start. I talked to one experienced and highly skilled foiler who has a lot of time on the T1, and he confirmed that it was harder for him to water start in difficult conditions as well. Foot position and balance is more critical with the T1 than a standard wing/stab setup. This makes sense, as the distance between the center of lift and the "stabilizer" is shorter on the T1.
Once up, my first couple of reaches were one long PIO. How I hung on and didn't crash is beyond me, but I did. After a mile or two I settled down, but still found the T1 extremely pitch sensitive. I think that with enough time on the T1 you'd get used to the pitch sensitivity. the first 45 minutes I rode, my legs were absolutely burning from the constant pitch corrections. After that I got more used to it and the next 45 minutes were much better on my legs. Still, if you try the T1, don't do a leg workout earlier that day, or even the day before. You'll want all the endurance your legs have initially. At this point in the ride I was not impressed with the T1. Then I started doing some turns.
Wow. Just wow. This wing turns like a dream. It carves so easily and so smoothly. Slow it down and roll into a turn and you can almost literally turn on a dime. Turn initiation is effortless, as is transitioning rapidly to the opposite edge.
Although I didn't find the T1 less draggy than my conventional setup under normal conditions, it did have less drag at very low speeds. This was obviously because the wing was able to maintain a near horizontal position at low speed instead of needing to really increasing the AOA at low speeds. In turns where a massive lull made it so I couldn't even turn the kite, the wing turned nicely and just kept going until I could get the kite around. Then, it really didn't take much to get going again. Very nice.
Foot placement was far more critical than I'm used to, I had to be very conscious of getting my feet in the right place so that I could ride comfortably. In over powered gusts, I had a hard time edging hard upwind to control kite power. The nose of the board wanted to point down wind if I didn't really work it hard. Because of this, I simply could not carry the same power as with a conventional setup.
The board stayed on it's side obviously while floating. I was initially concerned that this could make it difficult to body drag to--possibly very difficult. I've ridden some large, floaty wings that made it near impossible to body drag to a medium to low volume board. (15L or less.) I needn't have worried. While not as easy as a wing that sinks, the board never turned into the wind while floating. Body dragging to it was reasonably easy.
Who is this board for?
1. A bigger guy who wants a lot of lift but wants a wing that turns like a small wing.
2. It would be hard to beat this wing in light winds.
3. Someone who loves to carve short radius turns and fast edge to edge turns.
4. Someone with the skills and patience to learn how to get the most out of this wing.
5. NOT a beginner.
I do believe that a lot of folks who try this wing will absolutely love it. I also think that many may prefer the stability of a conventional foil setup. My 710 fused 684 with the prototype stab carved as nicely as the T1, and was almost as easy--but not quite--to initiate the turn. (I'll be trying it with a shorter fuse in the near future.) It could not carve as tight a turn because it could not go as slow as the T1. OTH, I could hold down over powered conditions quite a bit easier.
Which do I prefer? Right now I prefer my conventional setup in Gorge conditions, but in under powered conditions I'd probably grab the T1. Once I have a lot more experience on the T1 and the new stab on a shorter fuse, my preferences could change. I'll probably add a T1 to my quiver in the near future, but I won't be giving up my conventional setup either. If I absolutely had to choose one or the other, right now, with what experience I have, I'd choose a conventional setup. Fortunately, I don't have to make that choice. I can't tell you what wing will go to Baja with me next winter yet.
TLDR: It's not cut and dry. Test a T1 for yourself to see if YOU like it. I would recommend test riding the T1, I would not recommend buying one without testing it for an hour or two first. If you want to run a Moses/Sabfoil mast, absolutely get the Stringfellow adapter.