The hydrofoil revolution continues to evolve and expand with an explosion of new, cutting-edge wing shapes, deck models, and redesigned mast and fuselage systems for 2020. The foil’s transformational reach is wide and spans across the multiple foiling sports of surfing, windsurfing, wakesurfing and SUP.
Refinement of foil wing shapes and improvements in mast and fuselage connection technology has improved the smooth and stable lift and drive of the newest freeride foil designs. The newest surf-oriented foil designs are smooth-cruising and stable designs that can keep hovering at ridiculously slow speeds.
All the brands have developed modular frame platforms, so the same fuselage and multiple sized masts can be equipped with multiple wing sizes and shapes. The more experienced foilers are now putting multiple wings in their quiver which can alter lift, speed, and manoeuvrability to cater to different skill sets, riding conditions and kite foiling styles.
The sheer number of foil models and their performance evolution reflects the expanding skills and evolving needs of the modern day foiler. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just four years ago, very few kiteboarders had a foil board in their quiver.
The first expansive freeride foil board test that Kitesurfing Magazine conducted was for the 2017 gear line. The first-generation freeride foils had advantages for learning and developing basic hovering skills over the speedy and more aggressive race-style foils that started the kite foiling phenomenon. As foiling has exploded in surfing, stand-up paddle surfing and windsurfing, these larger surface-area, high-lift foils have proven to be ideal for learning and expanding kite foiling skills as well.
Simply put, expanding carving and transition skills was made easier by the stable, slow cruising and easy carving surf wings whose origins were in the surf and SUP foiling designs. Their ability to lift and go with less power in the kite and their slow cruising performance makes learning to foil safer and less daunting and makes foiling accessible to even the less experienced kite flyers.