If you are not following the PWA championship then let me tell you that the first couple of stops in Korea and Japan were really low on wind and even the first days of the Costa Brava stop haven't seen much wind either. What's different this year are the foiling races, very successful so far in winds as low as 4-8 kts with the Antoin Albeau /no surprise here/ leading in the rankings at this point. So it looks like we will see a lot more of them in the near future with all major sail, bord and foil companies heavily involved in the design and mass production of the new products and getting excited about the new source of revenue. If you want to read some more about what it's all about here is a very informative interview and you can check some footage of the foiling races in the videos section or the PWA YouTube channel. It all looks very weird to me, but it looks like it's getting mighty popular and they swear it has become less technical so who knows.
Hey Ady, I have been looking into foils. I agree, it does seem a bit goofy, but the light wind has a lot of appeal. Crazy expensive, so i've checked out a couple of youtube videos and blogs to see what the DYI, garage hot rodders, and techno nerds have been creating. Heres what i think i've learned. Some dudes have a lot more free time than me and are way smarter, but some are shaping and glassing effective foils for cheap. Building one myself appeals to me, but i think anyone interested should wait until the design and process is dialed. Saugatuck has a few veteran surf, sailboard, and kite board shapers living here and if i could get them enthused to give it a go we could pull off something quality. I might try this approach. Neil Prydre offers the cheapest foil now made out of aluminum. From what i can gather super wide formula boards seem to work well because of the rail to fin leverage, which means another board.
The foils are coming! The foils are coming!
8 months 3 weeks ago #3
I don't see this becoming hugely popular-you need to be a good windsurfer in the first place which is challenging enough by itself. It will rather be a niche category like formula. I personally would have tried it if I lived close to a suitable launch and had a 9-5 job that would allow me to spend a few hours every day after work on the water. As it is I have non of these and I can afford only one/sometimes two/ days a week for myself and I take them when there is enough wind for planing most of the time , so my current fleet of windsup; moderate wind bord and strong wind board are all the toys I need now and in the foreseeable future. Don't see it as a business opportunity either even if I were able to craft them myself somehow-too niche.
The foils are coming! The foils are coming!
8 months 3 weeks ago #4
Building one myself appeals to me, but i think anyone interested should wait until the design and process is dialed. Saugatuck has a few veteran surf, sailboard, and kite board shapers living here and if i could get them enthused to give it a go we could pull off something quality.
When you guys get one built you can do a SUP down winder from South Haven to Oval Beach on foil only...
The foils are coming! - Required Foil Gear?
8 months 1 week ago #5
To get into trying foil, my understanding is that you could buy a foil and try it with an older board preferably a board with a deep tuttle fin box, (but you might crack your fin box). I guess if you crack your fin box and you can get the board repaired and insert a stronger fin box.
And they came...,to Wolf of all the places! Got myself a quickie sesh at Wolf today between 11 am and 2 pm. It was pretty good for about an hour and a half with my 7.5/110 but then it dropped below planing threshold so I had some Hellytack time aswell . There was a new guy with a top notch slalom equipment -around 120L Tabou Manta and 8.4 sail and he was planing almost constantly and seemingly effortlessly untill the wind drop. I came in and started packing while he attached a foil to his board and went back sailing. What followed wasn't impressive at all to tell you the truth, the miracle didn't happen. He struggled and got lifted only occasionally for a second or two just to drop down again. Clearly the wind wasn't enough or the guy didn't know how to pump it or I don't know. The wind graph below shows the wind being around 10 mph between 1:30 and 3:00 and the foil wasn't able to plane with the guys 8.4.
One of the kiters was caring a foil aswell but I didn't even check if he fared any better , for me this thing is DOA.