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.
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.
TESTED: RRD H-FLIGHT AND DOLPHIN1
There are few brands who now don’t have a hydrofoil proposition
RRD have been pretty canny and haven’t rushed into the market, but are now heading in full throttle with the H-Flight Foil and Dolphin1 board.
RRD have opted for the ‘mid-range’ construction option of aluminum mast and full carbon wings and the foil comes in at a smidge under 4kg which is pretty respectable…. The board is very nicely put together, with a composite construction and wood deck and base. It is a nice wide stable platform with plenty of volume and nose rocker to give you time riding the foil without it rising. There is also heaps of adjustability with an adjustable track on the base for attaching the foil, and plenty of strap placement options up top. The whole package is exceptionally well thought out; from the travel bag to the torque bolts that are easy to remove once used (something that all other brands can learn from) the quality is fantastic as is the attention to detail.
On the water the H-Flight and Dolphin1 work in unison with the board which has really been designed with the beginner in mind. The front wing is not an exceptionally high aspect wing but will offer endless amounts of performance unless you are looking to enter the race scene. The H-Flight was well balanced from its first set up but with the option of mast positions you can really fine tune the mast to suit your riding style. With a small amount of back foot pressure, the H-Flight glides into action providing a steady lift at a lower speed which was easy to control, and once up on the foil the balance point between front and back foot is pretty much spot on. We didn’t find the H-flight wanting to break the surface with that terrible foil gurgle, and in a straight line the foil is pretty quick – we were comfortable riding the board at 25mph which felt pretty much like the top end for this foil, but it’s ample. We found during gybes and tacks the Dolphin1 board was a superb platform for getting these dialed and overall the board really built confidence.
In a sentence: We were really impressed with the RRD foil and the thought that has gone into the whole package, and we feel that it will be a real contender when the foiling scene picks up again this summer…