GoFoil L vs GL vs NL foils
 
The easiest way to look at the 3 main foil series from GoFoil are that :
the ‘L’ series is the beginner range,
the GL’s are the intermediate range and the NL’s are the expert range, and for the most basic overview that’s fine – HOWEVER, the closer you look into them (the more you use them and the better you get), the more you realise that there’s a whole lot more to it than that. There’s no doubt that the ‘L’ series will allow you to make the fastest progress through the beginner stages of all foiling disciplines. The low aspect nature of these wings are definitely the best to learn with – I wouldn’t advise anyone to start foiling on a high aspect wing, unless maybe they have LOTS of experience with kite foiling or windfoiling. How long you need to stick with the ‘L’ foils is down to the individual and the amount of time they have on the water, but for most people, as soon as they are ready to progress onto the high aspect foils they will make the transition very quickly and easily, and once dialled in would never dream of going back to a low aspect foil. Beyond the ‘L’ series it gets a bit more complicated. In theory the natural progression would be to go to the GL series.
They are faster, have awesome glide and are more responsive in turns. In all respects they are up a level in performance from the ‘L’ series, but they are still very user friendly – mostly because their lift is so easy to control. Again, in terms of progression, the NL’s are faster, have more glide and turn tighter than the GL’s. They are very well named as ‘Next Level’. Sounds easy – happy days! However, the NL’s are so user friendly that you don’t have to be an expert to use them, and the GL’s won’t hold you back as you progress. They both have very specific characteristics that means you might prefer one over the other, or one range might be better for the conditions you are riding in. The NL’s are all about speed – from this point of view, the ‘L’ series are the slowest, the GL’s are medium speed, and the NL’s are the fastest – super fast, but with this speed comes a price – because they have a relatively high stall speed compared to the other wings they have to be kept flying fast or they will stall. They also need more speed to get them up on foil as they have slightly less initial lift. These are the main reasons why they are considered the ‘expert’ range, not because they are difficult to handle when they are flying, oh no… when they are flying they are phenomenal – speed, glide, super responsive, yet very easy to control. The reality is that you don’t have to be an ‘expert’ to get them up on foil or to prevent them from stalling, this isn’t the issue, it’s just a matter of preference – does this higher-octane style of foiling suit you? Pumping the NL’s is also a very different experience to pumping the GL’s. You absolutely must keep high on the mast and keep their speed up or they will quickly stall, and it takes more effort to pump them compared to the GL’s, but because you are travelling faster you can cover the same distance or more in the same time – as long as you have the leg power. And let’s not forget those wingtips – they are sharp! I’ve cut myself more on the NL wingtips than all other parts of foil equipment combined. 
 
The GL’s shouldn’t be dismissed just because the NL’s have arrived. These are the true all rounders. They can be ridden hard or chilled, they are super smooth, user friendly, and looking at the entire range they have so much to give. The GL240 has awesome lift at slow speed and is one of the easiest foils to pump. It will fly on the smallest waves with ease, and when paired with a smaller tail can be very playful for a big wing. It may be slow but that’s the point – in being slow it can deal with the conditions that other foils can’t, and it deals with them extremely well. The GL210 is also awesome to pump and is considerably faster and more responsive than the 240. The GL180 is, in my opinion, the best all-round performing foil on the market. It does everything really well and can be used in the biggest range of conditions and in all foiling disciplines. There’s a reason why it’s GoFoil’s best-selling foil. The GL140 is reputed to be one of the best surf-orientated foils out there, and pumps well for its size. The smaller GL’s are used in ever increasingly extreme conditions that I’ve not experienced but from what I’ve seen they seem to perform very well!
So if you’re thinking about GL vs NL, try to decide if you want that extra performance edge or whether you want an all-round performer – they both rock, just in different ways. I’m really pleased that Matt asked me to write a comparison of the GoFoil wings as it made me re-evaluate my opinions of them all. Having recently been storming on the NL220 & 160 I realised that, as much as I love them, the GL’s are just as awesome in their own right. I still use the GL240 for flat water pumping and super light wind winging, and if I could only have one wing it would be the GL180 for sure. Yes I would miss the NL’s, but if I ever feel the need to have a chilled session it’s nice to know they are there. After all, if every session is extreme, none of them are!
 
Words by Dominic Hoskyns