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Foil Boards

Foil Boards

 

Foil Board Configuration and Evolution

Early wingfoiling boards were uniformly high in volume, well over 100 litres and excess of 6’ in length regardless of rider size, until wingfoiling skill levels improved and the demands of wingers quickly outpaced wingfoiling board design constraints. Wingfoiling skills developed quickly, and with it, wingfoil board volumes quickly lowered so that as early as 2018, wingfoil boards were sub 6’ in length and nearing 50 litres, delivering high levels of manoeuvrability, high jumps and ever more radical moves. Today, we have boards under 5’ and as low as 20 litres.

The extremes of minimal wingfoiling board volumes and length we see today directly reflect the advancement of windsurfing. In windsurfing, boards become ‘sinkers’ as they lose buoyancy and cannot support the rider's body weight until they attain enough speed to overcome gravity. This advanced riding style, requiring high degrees of athleticism, has influenced the design of wingfoiling boards.

CONVENTIONAL WINGFOILING BOARD DESIGN

Typically, wingfoil boards are more or less rectangular, with adequate width, volume, and surface area to support the rider throughout the kneeling to standing phase. Board stability and floatation are required for most beginner—to intermediate-level riders.

DOWNWIND PRONE SUP FOILING BOARDS

Emerging from high-end downwind stand-up paddleboarding, longer, narrower foil boards designed for prone downwind riding have evolved. These boards are generally in the 7-8’5” range and narrower than regular wingfoiling boards, narrowing from average widths of 28-26” to 22-18”. They require a paddle and leg pumping to get going, and the ride is predominantly maintained by the kinetic energy found in surface waves, which is directly related to the lift efficiency of the hydrofoil.

Downwind-prone SUP foiling boards are designed to be long enough to accelerate on bumps and short enough to pump with the legs. Their narrow design allows them to gain speed faster through less drag, making them faster to engage the foil and gain lift.

This board style makes for an excellent light-wind wingfoiling board, and you can use smaller wings and foils than you would with a conventional wingfoiling board.

FOIL BOARD VARIANTS

Foil boards now exist in a variety of pure and hybrid forms for:

• Wingfoiling with a wing
• Windfoiling with a sail
• Proning using a paddle

Disciplines include:

• Freeriding foiling
• Freestyle foiling
• Downwinding prone SUP foiling
• Surf foiling
• Race foiling


For each foiling variant, discipline boards are refined to improve performance.

WINGFOILING AND PRONE FOILING BOARD VOLUMES

1 litre of volume will support 1kg of weight. If the volume of your foil board equals that of your body mass, the foil board will be just below the surface. The more volume there is over and above your body mass, the more buoyancy and support you will have.

• To learn, aim for 20-30 litres over and above your body mass.
• For intermediate riding, 10-20 litres over and above your body mass.
• For advanced riders, there are no limits to having a volume less than your body mass.


Critically, the strength of the wind (force) will determine how much body weight (mass) can be efficiently powered and moved in combination with the lift from the hydrofoil. The higher the wind strength, the higher the skill levels and the smaller the foil board can be, though with downwind foiling, you will generally have a larger-volume board closer to or above your body mass.

FOILING BOARD DECK CONFIGURATION AND STRAPS

Uncluttered wingfoiling deck configurations often feature dished decks, which offer improved foot traction and security and a slightly lower rider centre of gravity.

Foot straps are included for rear and front foot security when winging or prone SUP foiling, though it's optional to ride with or without straps, depending on your riding style or intentions. It's common to attach only two straps. Multiple screw-down points are included for multiple variations of footstrap placement.

Rear Strap: Generally directly over the mast of the hydrofoil.
Front Strap: You set this strap at an angle depending on whether you ride predominantly with a regular stance or switch in relation to waves and swell.
Down the Line Placement: The front and rear straps should parallel the board (no offset). These are often preferred for freestyling.
V-Straps (front): These allow for added rail pressure and high-speed riding, whether goofy or regular and are liked by some freestyle riders.

Foostrap tension should be relatively loose when learning to foil so that you can kick the board away from you during a fall.

FOIL BOARD SHAPES AND DESIGNS

Rocker: The rocker refers to the board's curvature from nose to tail. Flatter rockers promote higher speed and glide, while those with greater rockers provide better manoeuvrability.

Outline: The outline affects its turning ability and stability. A rounded outline can be more manoeuvrable, while a straighter outline with parallel rails offers added stability.

Foil Mount: It's important to check that your board is compatible with the hydrofoil connection, dual USB box plate, or Turtle. 

FOILBOARD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Inflatable Foil Boards: Uniquely designed for travel, easily inflated and deflated, these inflatable wingfoil boards are a fantastic addition to your quiver when you want to travel hassle-free. They can also be an ideal choice for the learner wingfoiller and schools. The better setups include a carbon mast plate to fit a plate mast connector as found on our 5'4 130 litre Skywave Air and our 6'6 170 litre Skywave Air inflatable wingfoil boards. 

Carbon Fibre Epoxy: These wingfoil boards offer the ultimate in lightness and robustness in construction, in addition to reduced flex, for the ultimate in response times and rider comfort as used with our Skywave, Rapide and Tempest wingfoil boards.

Fibreglass Epoxy: Great value construction, offering easy repair for minimal additional weight.