WIND WING REVIEWS

 WIND WING REVIEWS

Words by Dominic Hoskyns

DIMENSIONS:

Gong Wing Plus 7m Width: 4m approx Depth: 2.3m approx
Duotone Echo 7m Width: 4.1m Depth: 2.2m
Duotone Unit 5m Width: 3.5m Depth 2.03m
Naish s25 5.3m Width: 3.1m Depth: 1.97m
Takuma Wing Ride v1 4m Width: 2.9m Depth: 1.71m

Gong Wing Plus 7m:
The measurements of the Gong are approximate because the leading edge exploded which
meant I couldn’t measure it inflated like the other wings.
Fairly flat profile – only a very slight dihedral shape to the leading edge.
PRO’S:
 Quality materials but a question mark over build quality compared to other brands.
 Windows.
 Good quality handles - medium sized, oval shaped, webbing covered and fairly stiff.
 3 handles on the leading edge makes it easier to turn over on the water.
 Easy to handle, well balanced, smooth power delivery, good power range, especially it’s
low end.
CON’S:
 Windows present but visibility is impaired due to split window panels on each side and
the large diameter centre strut.
 Thick window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
 The wing feels heavy even in flight – drops during transitions and needs to be
consciously held up or risk wingtips touching the water.
 Does not move as easily into position through transitions as the Duotone wings.
Duotone Echo 7m:
The Echo has a VERY pronounced dihedral shape. Very wide diameter leading edge. Boom in
place of an inflatable centre strut.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction.
 Padded section under the leading edge handle – prevents knuckles from being scuffed
when luffing the wing.
 The boom is comfortable and allows for infinite hand positions – makes transitions
super easy, even without looking.
 Easy to fly one handed due to the boom.
 Moves through transitions really smoothly – moves into position effortlessly.
 Pumping is very effective due to the boom, and no centre strut means no scraped
knuckles.
 Very easy to handle in all conditions, very smooth power delivery (absorbs gusts really
well), goes upwind really well, excellent power range, both high and low end.
 Windows give excellent visibility due to there being no inflatable centre strut to get in
the way.
 When holding the front handle to luff the wing, the 7m is very stable.
 Dump valve makes deflating really fast.
CON’S:
 No Kevlar reinforcements on the wingtips.
 Large wingspan (4.1m) might be a problem for those under a certain height.
 Wingtips touch-downs are difficult to recover from.
 Awkward to turn over when on the water – but hey, it’s a big wing!
 Some flapping of the trailing edge of the canopy when in flight.
Duotone Unit 5m:
The Unit has a medium dihedral shape – more than the Naish s25 but not as much as the
Duotone Echo. Fairly wide diameter leading edge. The centre strut is curved.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction.
 Very light and very well balanced. Super stable when luffing/holding by the leading edge
handle.
 Padded section under the leading edge handle – prevents knuckles from being scuffed
when luffing the wing.
 Excellent handles – x4 large sized, round, made of a high density foam material (not
covered with webbing) that gives great grip and has excellent comfort – my favourite
handles!
 The handles are VERY well positioned and allow perfectly balanced flight. They feel very
intuitive for taking hold of the new handle in transitions. I never once thought it needed
more handles.
 Moves through transitions really smoothly – moves into position effortlessly.
 Pumps well, very easy to handle in all conditions, very smooth power delivery (absorbs
gusts really well), goes upwind really well, excellent power range - a decent amount of
‘grunt’ (low end) but also handles high power well. No flapping of the canopy
whatsoever when flying.
CON’S:
 No Kevlar reinforcements on the wingtips.
 Windows are fairly small and due to centre strut the visibility wasn’t great, but certainly
better than nothing.
 Because of the curve of the centre strut there is restricted space under the first handle.
 Holding the wing with one hand (by the 2 nd handle) is not easy to control.
 The wider wingspan was more noticeable than the Naish, but despite this, wingtip
touch-downs were not an issue.
Naish s25 5.3m:
The outline shape is a continual curve from wingtip to wingtip, so much so that the wingtips are
not the widest part of the wing. Fairly flat profile – very slight dihedral curve to the leading
edge.
PRO’S:
 Excellent build quality. Quality materials and construction. Excellent compromise of
Kevlar reinforcements vs weight.
 3 handles on the leading edge – makes turning over very easy.
 Large windows give reasonable visibility (but are partly blocked by the centre strut).
 Feels super light when flying.
 The wingtips NEVER felt like they were in danger of touching the water when in flight.
 Can generate decent power through pumping the wing.
 Good upwind flight and good power range. Excellent apparent wind – generates extra
speed when flying.
CON’S:
 Handles are really small (esp. awkward for large hands), flat and the webbing becomes
loose. They are NOT rigid enough to prevent your knuckles from rubbing against the
centre strut when pumping.
 Not the best low end power, although this could be made up for when starting with
vigorous pumping.
 Skittish – moves around a lot during gusts, therefore did not feel as stable as the
Duotone Unit.
 Moves easily into position through transitions, but having lots of small handles meant
that during transitions it was difficult to grab the new handle cleanly without looking.
 I did not feel comfortable flying the Naish with one hand at all.
 Reasonably stable when luffed (holding the handle on the leading edge), but not as
stable as the Duotone Unit.
 Window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
Takuma Wing Ride 4m (v1):
Takuma are on v3 of their Wing Ride now, so I realise this wing is quite old now, but I included it
as a comparison for the others.
Similar outline shape to the Naish 5.3m – more or less a continual curve from wingtip to
wingtip. Fairly flat profile – minimal dihedral shape. The leading edge does not taper down at
the wingtips as much as the other brands.
PRO’S:
 Quality materials and construction. Very sturdily built, lots of Kevlar reinforcements.
 Good quality handles - medium sized, oval shaped, webbing covered and fairly stiff.
 Easy to handle, smooth power delivery, reasonable power range - very good high end.
 Large windows give reasonable visibility.
CON’S:
 Window material prone to creasing & damage when folded (esp. in cold climates).
 Heavy for its size.
 Not as much power as newer models, especially in it’s low end.
 Does not move as easily into position through transitions as the Duotone wings.

SUNS new foil line

 

So  SUNOVA who need no Introduction , Have come out with a very interesting line of SUNS foiling boards.

Featuring the amazing construction accompanied by Sunova product and featuring foot strap inserts.

This new line also has a very appealing price point for the European market , so if any of these boards catches your eye please get in touch by

contacting us  - by email [email protected] 

 


To Pump - Ramblings by Dom Hoskyns

The Elusive flat water Pump - Ramblings  by Dom Hoskyns

Landing with both feet on the board at the same time is essential, or at least NOT landing with your front foot first. If this happens you instantly cause the nose to dive and its game over in a split second. It might be different if you're doing a running start, but for cold starts from a boat or rock its essential not to land on the board on your front foot.

Landing with both feet facing to the side rather than my front foot pointing forwards seems to help with stability, especially with turns, but this is still early days in my testing 😉

COMPRESSION IS VITAL - bending forward/pivoting at your hips as you bring your front knee up to meet your chest. This allows you to have your weight forward enough to drive your front foot FORWARD as you drive the foil down. This is something that sounds easier to do than it actually is. Keeping the front wing of the foil as close to the surface as possible is the desired goal . I've been trying to do this action from the start but am only just beginning to get anywhere near the amount of compression i need. This particular movement is totally alien to me and as such it's taking time to get used to the action. Slowly, very slowly it's getting better. A really good example of someone who does this well is Beryl from the French surf company 'Gong'. Check him out in the first 2 videos. The first one is from 2017 when he was using their low aspect ratio wing, and the second video is 2019 and he's using their new HA wing - although it's not as High Aspect as the Go foil GL wings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRiBV4DZrKw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCigsNXwTzs

You'll notice that he doesn't have to compress anywhere near as much for each pump on the new HA wing. I'm sure there's other factors at play as well - like in the first video he's probably on a much smaller wing for surfing, but if you check out the next video, you'll see just how little compression the rider Kane de wilde does for each pump, and he is on a very HA foil wing - Signature 210 I believe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRGiYCWyXkc

From what I've seen (and I think I've watched just about every flat water start or foil pumping video on the internet by now) the new high aspect wings (like the GoFoil GL series) don't need anywhere near the amount of compression with each pump - as long as you have the speed that is.

You may have noticed, I'm determined to crack this flat water hydrofoil pumping skill. My thoughts are that I have to keep on working on increasing the amount of compression on each pump, leaning forward so I can drive forward as well as down each time. So far in nearly every attempt I'm riding with my board almost touching the water, but in a couple of my latest attempts I actually got reasonably high on the foil, and that came about from raising my knee to meet my chest which helped me to drive my foot forward as much as down. I think this is really important as being higher on the mast means you can decrease your cadence and therefore last longer - it's bloody tiring pumping at a high rate for any length of time!

Anyway all - Keep on Pumping - Loyaltothefoil 


Go foil Wings review

 

So a customer of ours Dom, is very fond of his Go foil wings and he very kindly put together a Go foil wing overview explaining in his own words how and why he likes each individual wing.

Over to you Dom !

Just done a whole day of wake foiling using all 3 wings extensively so thought you might like a comparative review for your blog.

GO FOIL MALIKO 280

The 280 is so chilled and stable, can keep going on the smallest of wakes with minimal effort, just needing a few gentle pumps every now and again to keep it in the wake's power zone. It's an impressive wing with a 41" span able to catch all but the smallest of ocean running bumps of energy and also a go to beginners foil for wind wing foiling. 

GO FOIL IWA 170

The IWA is much more lively, you can tell instantly how it has to be kept at a higher speed, and how much more reactive and responsive it is. What I really love about it though is the extra speed you can generate from pumping. Shifting your weight forwards slightly so you can drive your front foot FORWARD and down is the key to generating speed with the IWA. When I feel myself falling behind the wake I know that I've got a good chance of speeding up and moving myself forward back onto the wake again by revving up the pumping.

Although If I had to choose a favourite at this particular time it would have to be the Maliko 200.

GO FOIL MALIKO 200

To say it's a happy medium between the 280 & the IWA wouldn't be giving it its due. It has hybrid vigour! It's not just half way between the two - it's closer to the 280 in terms of stability, and closer to the IWA in terms of speed and performance. When wake foiling it's as lively as your want it to be but reassuring with it. Pumping the 200 is awesome, you can choose your style, chilled or frantic, it can handle both with ease. Sometimes it's a case of increasing your cadence with lots of short quick pumps to get your speed up again or to get you back higher up on the mast.

Sometimes you might prefer to do long, drawn out pumps to maintain your position on the wake if there isn't as much power. There's enough stability to make corrections on the go but at the same time, there's enough in terms of performance to keep you on your toes.If you can only have one, the 200 is clearly the one to go for, but they all excel in the conditions they were designed for. The 280 is a dedicated downwind machine.

The IWA is the go-to SUP surf foil.

The 200 does it all with minimal compromises. I know the trend at the moment is towards the high aspect ratio GL wings, but they aren't for beginners. The 280, 200 & IWA wings are still right up there with the best to learn and progress on, and for those who aren't in this for the speed the new wings give, they won't hold you back for a long time yet.

We hope if you're reading this , you find it useful and informative - please take a look at the selection of Go foils we have .

Buy GO FOILS  Here


THE PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF FOILING

FOILING

So firstly if you're reading this..it’s because you have 'foil brain' or soon to have it ! Having personally tread the foil path for 2 years I've noticed many changes to my outlook on the ocean , equipment and also my body’s limitations. The latter has made me question and challenge my body more than ever before in search of consistency and progression in a body 40 plus years old. So get training..! 

Foiling is starting to create niche players in new ocean realms and because we've never done this before and the sensation is so addictive ...sometimes we all need a new endeavour

The demands of foiling are different to other board sports, some even say that foiling is the most physically demanding of all the board sports! You can spend a lot longer in an engaged riding stance when foiling compared to surfing or SUPing, and as well as the usual left to right control and balance needed for other boarding, foiling has the added dimension of the front-to-back balance and control for your muscles to deal with. Also, once you’ve finished riding a wave, you can pump your way out back again, without having a break! So, having these extra demands, and requiring them for longer, means you can certainly expect your body to be aware of these demands during and after surf foiling sessions… Feel the burn!

 

The riding stance

Pic credit - Glennel Jordan - IG ocean_baby

Winging it

Getting out foiling with a wind wing and learning to ride in switch stance will completely change the loading and could also help even you out a bit in terms of left/right biases. That and the brilliant brain training of having to relearn things backwards!

(WARNING; May involve some entertaining crashes.)

 

THE RIDING STANCE

The foil board rider controls height and turning with weight shifts, upper body movements and balance through their riding stance.  This riding stance involves a specific foot position, which is required right from the starting moment of riding.

The riding stance 

Jonathan at ClubBluePearl 

Involves having your chest up facing the oncoming horizon (Imagine you're iron man with that circular ring facing forward) , front knee bent and loaded, and rear ankle and knee bent and loaded. This rear foot position (knee and ankle bent) is something we do in prone surfing when riding, but the limited amount of time we spend in this position, and the absence of the vertical force demands involved in surfing mean it rarely causes problems.

In hydrofoiling, you are essentially hovering above the water, thanks to the wing ‘flying’ beneath the surface of the water.

As such foil-boarding uses the same terminology as that used in the aviation industry;

 

  • PITCH is the front to back vertical rotation of the board. This, as well as your speed, controls the board height above the water
  • YAW is the left to right horizontal rotation of the board. 
  • ROLL is the left to right vertical rotation of the board.

YAW and ROLL can control board direction, but you also have to take into consideration your PITCH when changes of direction come into play- which in itself is a delicate balance between your speed and your front/back weight distribution!

THE BIOMECHANICS

There are certain positions that your body needs to be able to deal with to foil well. You need to be able to keep your chest up which requires a lot of upper back opening (or ‘thoracic extension’), else your lower back will compensate which could lead to a sore lower back. You need to be able to achieve deep squat positions, which requires good ankle and hip flexibility (‘ankle dorsiflexion’ and ‘hip flexion’). You need to be able to turn your knees in and out to control direction (‘Internal and external rotation’ at the hip). What’s more, you need to be able to do this in deeper squat positions. Internally rotating at the hip with your foot planted leads to what look like a ‘knock-knee position’ (Also known as valgus, see below). This isn’t the most natural of positions for the body, but also happens a lot in skiing. For you body to manage these positions well it’s important to have good flexibility, strength, and control at the ankle and hip.

If you want to understand the demands of foiling as a non foiler

Try going upstairs with your foot at right angles and pelvis facing forward….  actually don’t !

 

The valgus knee position, also seen in skiing

SO, WHAT CAN WE DO!?

It’s important to have good movement mechanics, strength and control, especially around squatting, lunging and rotating, due to their clear relevance to foiling. Muscles shorten to deliver power but lengthen to give control and to help absorb and then re-deliver force. Having strong muscles, particularly quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves, which are good at this helps avoid overloading forces getting concentrated in tendons, joints and ligaments, where problems can tend to ache and niggle. It might be worth seeing a Strength & Conditioning coach to improve in these realms. If you have any pain or old injuries that might interfere with what’s required of foiling it would be worth seeing a physiotherapist of course!

Flexibility around hips and ankles is really important.

(MobilityWOD on youtube has good ideas for flexibility and the positions mentioned above in biomechanics!). 

Steadily building up your foiling time, being diligent with warm-ups, recovery, stretching, rollers, even massage will help.

Core strength and endurance is, of course, also important.

These are all things that would be included in the regimes of the world class athletes who are foiling.

If you are starting something new always remember to start slow/small /low impact and build really steadily!

By far the easiest form to learn with limited stress on the body and joints is using the adapted electric motorised hydrofoil - known as the Efoil board

If you are interested in trying hydrofoiling and learning to foilride book on one of our Efoil Intro Experience

Co Written by the following - Thanks for your input both 

Alec MacHenry MCSP- Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist

Matt Barker Smith- Foil specialist 

Chris Chucas- Strength Coach


Foil Podcasts

If you haven't listened to them --- take a trip ...plug and play

FOIL PODCAST


Takuma Electric Hydrofoil

The E takuma pack includes : from £6099

  • 1 board1 Hydrofoil LOL 1600 wingset
  • 1 e-mast 50cm
  • 1 handheld Bluetooth remote with a charger lead
  • 1 IONSamsung 43.2v/35a battery with charger
  • 1 board carrying bag
  • 1 foil wing/ e-mast bag

More details ...Try before you buy with a cost of £189 for 1.5 hours - We'll deduct this from your total bill. You can book your session here: efoil.foilsurfing.co.uk

We are based in Swansea South Wales. 


High Aspect Foil wing lineup

So you've been into foiling for a year or two and you want to up your game ....chase some swells down and pump like you have bionic legs ...

They give us the High Aspect wings ....

So Whats with High aspect wings i hear you ask ...well if you have come from either windsurfing or Kitesurfing you will know what Aspect ratio means "the proportional relationship between its width and its height/depth " quote wikipedia.

A high aspect wing for foiling means it will give the rider a faster top end speed and be easier to pump although not as user friendly as a lower or medium aspect ratio wing which will generate lift at lower speed and be more stable.

I would call low-medium aspect ratio front foil wings more accessible and high aspect a little more tricky to master , this is all in the name of efficiency and where some people are finding limitations in the equipment they are using , some will never feel the need !  

Benefits - Why do I need one !

If you are into the new craze of wing dinging / wing surfing and using the power of the wind in you hand held wing it will enable you to manage this speed without fear or breaching the wing so much - like some more beginner orientated foils can suffer from.

The other benefit would be down winding - where ocean energy is literally blasting you downwind and if for instance you find it hard to pump between sets ...the higher speed of these front wings can help to cruze through ocean troughs of energy and onto the next crest.

 

The athletes who competed in the downwind Molokai to Oahu 30 mile ocean race would have all been using high aspect front foils to enable them to ride at 20mph plus speed - not achievable on some foils

Most of the main foil brands are developing faster wings - in the pic below we have Go foil GL series (blue wings)

Naish (yellow and black)

Axis (black and white stripes)

Takuma have also developed a wing -LOL foil' which is very efficient but gives a more accessible feeling for the rider , the upturned front wingtips clear up turbulence and the rear stabilizer also does the same job ...its a fantastic foil !

If you would like more info on High aspect foil wings please don't hesitate to get in touch 


Takuma 2020 Foil Collection

TAKUMA FOIL 2020

The eagerly awaited Product PDF from Takuma has been released.

If you want to get into Foiling in 2020 this is the brand to Watch !

Take a look at the range - Please email us for a link which we'll share with you - [email protected]

For UK pricing please get in touch we have some product already 

TAKUMA-2020-COLLECTION