F-ONE have made no bones about the fact that they want to have a top end foil program.
They have invested heavily in the R&D and put a lot of hours into creating foil packages that suit all riders – from the entry level hybrid foils all the way through to the Race Grand Prix which, as the name suggests, has its eyes on the prize.
Technical Kite foiling Terms
So a few key things to understand before learning to foil is the anatomy of the Foil in basic terms when you think about Hydrofoiling all you need to know is thats its an aeroplane underwater. And to control it press down on the tail. And yes you got it the Hydrofoil willl contiue to climb like a plane, so to stop underwater plane climbing we need to level it out when its reached its crusing altitude - (ie the top of your Mast). To achive this we basically transfer our body weight to the front foot and keep the pressure on it so as to keep our foil level. This will ensure you have a plesent flight.
The box will connect the foil to the board via one or more screws. There are different types of boxes with each of the advantages and disadvantages that you will find in this
The Mast is one of the most important parts of the foil, in fact many of its characteristics will influence the foil's behavior. In summary there are 3 sizes of mat:
There was a lot of excitement about the arrival of the new Naish Hover Foil which has been a couple of years in coming.
Unpacking the package and it was great to see that the Naish Foil comes in its own travel bag which is a really nice touch, then the fuselage and mast (available in three lengths) are aircraft grade aluminum 6061. The wings are low aspect which creates a mellow lift at lower speeds, so if you’re cruising or looking to venture into some surf conditions then this is a great option. Naish have also opted for a relatively long fuselage to further aid stability. This was one of the heavier packages that we had on test and it was clear that Naish have opted for durability over all out performance.
On the water and the Naish was an easy foil to get to grips with. The board (we had the 160cm, there is also a 130cm) had plenty of volume and length so getting it foiling at low speed was relatively simple and would really suit those just heading out on a foil for the first time. Then what we really like about the Naish is that once it’s up and foiling the balance of the setup is excellent, so you don’t need to apply excessive front foot pressure to stop it rising. It naturally sits nicely in the water which gives you heaps of confidence.
It goes upwind easily, and when riding it downwind you suddenly realize after 15 minutes that you haven’t fallen off! Which is a real asset in a foil as this tends to be when things quickly begin to deteriorate… Tacking was steady and forgiving and if the nose dives it doesn’t sink, and speed and wobbles were controllable. It’s not designed for speed and it pretty much topped out at 20mph, but even then it was still stable and we came off the water singing its praises as the whole set up gives you a lot of confidence.
In a sentence: Naish’s introduction to the foil market is a durable and accessible foil at a very competitive price point which ticks all the boxes for foil-cruising and for beginners to the sport.
It is no secret that F-ONE have been right at the fore front of the hydrofoil game. Continuing their commitment to this discipline, they have developed a kite which is aimed firmly at this market. The Breeze is a single strut kite available in three sizes: 11, 13 and 15m and flies on the Monolith bar.
First impressions are: wow, there is nothing to this kite – you have to hunt for it in the bag! It is incredibly light with reduced reinforcements, and with the loss of weight and bulk that comes with only having one strut. The LE is then supported by a beefy bridle, with four attachment points and three pulleys per side. The tips are relatively wide and the graphics are similar in style to this year’s Bandit.
In the air the F-one Breeze feels quite firm on the bar but keeps the same smooth direct feel that the Bandit has. We had the 13m and found that it would fly in about six knots of wind! Due to the weight and shape of the Breeze it sits at the zenith with incredible stability and has no signs of overflying, and this gave us plenty of confidence to get the Breeze out with a foil. The Breeze doesn’t have that initial low end power, but after a few power strokes its comes to life and generates smooth consistent pull and flies fast through the window.
The true beauty in the Breeze is that it can hold power so well and never feels like you lose control, it really does give you confidence… Many other lightwind or single strut kites tend to not have a great top in favor of more low end power, but we found that the F-one Breeze would just keep on going. Depower was also impressive – again this can be less good on lightwind kites – and the wide tips mean that the Breeze also turns very smoothly. Upwind performance was obviously very good when ridden with a hydrofoil, but we’d be confident that it would perform just as well with a twintip or a surfboard. We had a few crashes on the Breeze just to check how it would respond. It showed no signs of getting the center to lie flat and hinder relaunch and was also happy to backward relaunch which is a real asset for this style of kite.
for more info or to demo please give us a call or drop us an email so we can arrange.
TESTED: MOSES FLUENTE T40
Moses were one of the first brands into the kite foil market, production wise, and their foil range now comprehensively covers all foiling requirements – from entry level through to racing – with three foils and two boards now available. In our foil mega-test last issue we found that the foils from ‘non kite’ brands were very competitive and were some of the best value and favorites that we tested, and first impressions of the Moses Fluente T40 suggested that this might well be the case here.
The Fluente is, pretty amazingly, a full carbon foil which comes in at the same (or in some cases below) the price of many of the aluminum/carbon foils currently on the market. The Fluente set up utilizes their new W550 front wing which offers the size and power to get going early whilst still being able to handle a solid amount of speed. If you then want to step up the speed then wings are interchangeable so you could switch up to the Silente wing if you would like some more performance.
The board is the T40 which is a foil specific board and weighs in at an impressive 3.3kg. There is a nice amount of nose rocker to help you to keep everything above water when you’re starting out, and there is enough volume to relieve a lot of the pain of your first few sessions… In terms of slotting it all together and everything is pretty straightforward with M6 screws throughout. Once constructed the foil feels solid and impressively light for a foil at this price point.
On the water and the first thing you notice is how quickly it comes up onto the foil – you can get going at very low speeds which is a real plus if you are just starting out or are getting going in marginal or gusty conditions. And then it has to be said that this is just an incredibly stable foil… It really does feel solid beneath your feet and acceleration or deceleration are supremely smooth. In performance terms the Fluente setup is great. It is not going to win any races, but it is quite likely to be the board underneath you on your first planing tack, or your first fast broad reach run without wiping out. If you do then want to turn it on then the top end of the setup is beyond where you would expect it to be and you can get up to some decent speeds before you reach its limit – certainly fast enough to get the heart rate up!
For us this is one of the easiest to learn on and gives more future potential than many of the alternative entry level alloy and plastic setups.
In a sentence: A very impressive foil by any standards with excellent accessibility for beginners, but with plenty of performance beyond that too.
Levitaz are an intriguing company. They have over 25 years’ experience in working with advanced composites, and have turned that (very useful!) breadth of knowledge and experience to the world of kitefoils. It is fair to say that they haven’t held back and have been striving to be on the top of the podium with their sponsored riders and commitment to evolution and R&D.
Based in Austria, their foil program has now extended to include two boards along with three front and two back wings, which are all interchangeable onto the full carbon masts. The masts are available in three different lengths with an optional 4-bolt-plate or deep tuttle connection.
We had the Element and the Bionic on test so were able to put most of their kit through its paces. The first thing to say is that the entire range simply oozes quality and class from the minute you unwrap it. From custom padding for the mast through to the simple five stage assembly. The fuselage fits simply but absolutely perfectly onto the mast and their unique system allows you to quickly change both the front and back wings, and it all fits together with an incredibly solid and secure feel. So, before we even had it on the water we were suitably impressed.
In terms of boards we had both the Exo and the Transformer. The Exo is a small, race-specific board which we found perfect for intermediate and above riders, and the Transformer suits more competent beginners upwards. The first wing we tested was the Element, the ‘entry level’ wing. The first thing to say is that this is an ‘entry level’ into top-end foiling! The Element does have a relatively low take off speed but when you put it up against the foils from most of the bigger kite brands it is an entirely different experience. It requires more board speed to get it foiling and once it’s up it’s fast. It can really be put through its paces and is more than happy hitting 27 mph: and then some! You do have to keep your wits about you and concentrate on your riding as the full carbon construction is so lightweight and your foot positioning will affect the yaw quite considerably, but when you get it right it is an incredible feeling. The performance and potential is simply awesome on all points of sailing and will excite (and scare) you continuously throughout your session.
The benefits of a brand with experience in materials has clearly really fed into this foil and – providing you have the skills – this really doesn’t ever put a foot wrong. Once we had savored the performance of the Element, we then put the top-end-racing Bionic wing on. This doesn’t really work until you get up to 15 knots but when you get there you had better buckle up… This is a foil for the top 10% of riders and it feels like it with incredible acceleration, speed and all round performance. It’s nice to taste this level of performance but it would be foolish to pretend that you could get away with riding it unless your skills are truly top-drawer.
In a sentence: For top-end build quality and performance it’s hard to look beyond the Levitaz package. Not for Sunday cruising but if you are looking to get more serious then there is plenty here to get you excited.
The RRD Poison V4 138 x 42cm
The New RRD poision V4 has arrived and it looks supreb, RRD have definatley upped there game in the graphics deparment and moved away from the Marmite sytling they had before, personally the Poison is now one of the most eye catching boards on the market, with its flowing parabolic rails to into clean cut graphics it wouldnt look out of place in the garages of the Scuderia. (the 138 version! that is). The Poison is aimed at the high end freestyle market, with its outline features a totally straight line in the mid 45 cms of the board, creating a perfect area to push hard when trying to edge and go upwind we found no issues with the Poison going upwind so this new feature is working, the Posion is exceptionally smooth on the water and this is something we have seem across the newer RRD board range, and we like it. The Speed that the Posion generates is impresive and its really is like riding your favourite pair of slippers thorugh the choppiest of conditions.
With the Parabolic rail thats visible the poison gives you a fantastic edge to work with, you can load up for ages and it will just hold and hold! and when you pull the trigger the poision gives a really snappy release also aided by the swept tips, which act like a spring board. we found the pop great but if you wanted a little bit more bang for your buck then look at the carbon V3 LTD version but for most riders the Posion V4 will keep you beaming for days. The V4 also comes to life when you want to just huck some flowing carves! those tips just let you have so much fun.
The Posion V4 comes with the New Rad Pad System which is Track style pad, this gives you plenty of options for tweaking that stance to reall suit your style, The pad has a 4 point adjustment so if you want to ride with wetsuit boots on then you have that option to really fine tune the set up.
Overall the Posion V4 is a cracking board and Would suit riders looking for that real Freestyle ride in there quiver.
We have opened a brand new warehouse & HQ!
We are excited to have expanded into two locations! Our shop at The Watersports Academy on Sandbanks is open as usual, plus we have opened a warehouse and HQ alongside our sister company, SUP Inflatables, in Poole. The new HQ is open to the public to visit for expert advice and to collect their new watersports kit, but by appointment so please get in touch!
The 2017 Cabrinha Ace twintip this board came into the cabrinha range in 2015 and has been well recieved its the board that team rider Nick Jacobsen uses in all his crazy antics.
The Ace is aimed at the freestyle/freeride rider and is a versatile performance twintip. Boards like these are one of our favourites for the all round conditions that most riders have to endure.The 2017 Ace has been tweaked with the addition of slightly fatter tips to increase pop. Cabrinha have got some fancy Volcanic Basalt construction to give the Ace a bomb proof feel. Cabrinha have added some quad concaves and chanels to aid in the clean water release, faster board speed with supreb amounts of pop and drive.
On the water the Ace has a really soft feel and soaks up all the chop incredibley well, first impressions were that maybe a little to soft but once you get this board up to speed and start to edge and release you relise that it has plently of pop and preformance to boot!. the parabolic rail is also a real bonus as this also aids in a super smooth feel. the Ace is a board that really is at home is some of the wost conditions and is well suited to a borad range of rider from intermediartes up to freestyle riders.
Upwind, the outline and rocker are well thought out and the board flys upwind with the 40mm Hex flow fins drving well and not losing any ground when powered up. The fin size is also spot on, many brands are still running 50mm in a freetyle / freeride board and sometimes it gives the board a very locked in feel which is better suited to crusiers and not freestyles so the 40mm is a great compromise.
The Ace does like to be ridden fast, to maximise the pop you need to really hold that edge a touch longer but you will be rewarded, and with the channels your landing is super soft so the adition of the obligatory freestlye kneebrace is not required when riding the Ace.
The Cabrinha Ace can be used with their H1 or H2 Bindings we prefer the H2 on this board as they give a more allroud fit and with 4 point adustment you can really get a precision fit.
Overall this board is at home in all conditions and suits all levels of rider if your looking for wakestyle then look at the excaliber.
TESTED: LIQUID FORCE LEGACY 2017
Sticking true to the heritage of Liquid Force’s most popular ktieboard of all time (the Influence), the Legacy delivers a cutting edge performance that spans all twin tip riding styles. Jason Slezak and Jimmy Redmon put their heads together in designing a board that would provide a similar feel as the Influence, but with thniner and lighter design for unrivaled board feel and control. The Legacy’s advancements include a progressive rail concave for added edge hold and enhanced durability, a full double concave for more efficient riding, and a state of the art flex profile for eating choppy conditions, softer landings, and more powerful takeoffs.
The 2017 Liquid force Legacy is a very good looking ride and having tested it previously its always been a great board so we were excited to get the 2017 version in the water. The legacy has been designed for all styles of riding from wakesyle, rails, Chop and boosting its got it all. The legacy has some impressive concaves in the rails and a lovley double in the centre of the board, this gives the board a really nice rail to rail carve, but also provides you with superior handling at speed in the worst conditions. and it thats not all! it has a state of art flex pattern to improve that handling.
The Legacy has insane amounts of pop and when you decide that its time to strap on the boots and go for some kite low wake tricks the Legacy is perfectly at home. Boosting is also so much fun with the legacy as you can belt along as its fast and really explode of the water!, and with those chanels the landings are soft so it gives the rider so much confidence to land at speed and in choppy conditions. The legacy is a really playful ride even though its has so much grip at speed, if you fancy some surface tricks or pops to blind the medium rocker gives you confidence to not catch a tip or tail. Having Jason Slezak design this board has given it real heritage and after 10 years of development with shaper Jimmy Redmond they definatley have something to be proud off. give it a go you may well love it as much as we do.