Why the Foildrive Gen 2 Will Revolutionise Surfing and Hydrofoiling

PRE ORDER FOIL DRIVE MAX here 

 

PRE ORDER FOIL DRIVE Slim here 

 

 

Introduction

Hydrofoiling and surfing have always stood at the nexus of innovation and tradition, perpetually evolving yet deeply rooted in their core essence. However, a groundbreaking product is set to redefine what we know about both sports: The foil drive Generation 2 "Assist max & Assist slim "

In this piece, we will delve into the remarkable features of this innovative product and explore why it promises to be a game-changer in the realms of surfing and hydrofoiling.

 

The Dock-Start Dilemma: A Barrier to Entry

One of the most pressing challenges that hydrofoilers face, particularly those using non-powered boards, is the "Dock-Start Dilemma." Traditional hydrofoil boards, despite offering sublime manoeuvrability and carving abilities, require a dock or towing for initial launch. This limitation has often confined hydrofoiling to specific locations and conditions. 

The "Dock-Start Dilemma" refers to the challenge that riders face when using lighter, non-powered hydrofoil pump boards that typically require a dock or similar structure for initial take-off. Unlike heavier, powered foil boards that can start in open water, these lighter boards often need a dock for launching or must be towed into the swell to catch waves and generate lift. This necessity limits the locations where one can hydrofoil, as not all water bodies have docks or are conducive for towing.

The dilemma exists because while lighter hydrofoil boards offer superior manoeuvrability and a more authentic surf experience, their limitations in terms of starting conditions make them less accessible for everyday use. Powered foil boards solve this issue by providing the needed thrust for open-water take-offs but often compromise on the natural surf feel due to their added weight.

Therefore, a powered foil board that offers the agility and surf-like experience of a non-powered board while also allowing for open-water starts addresses the Dock-Start Dilemma, giving riders the best of both worlds. The new Foil Drive Gen 2 ingeniously navigates this dilemma, providing the ease of open-water starts without the need for external aid.

The choices for this new product exist in how much battery you choose to require -  Max or Slim batteries at product launch and then a further 2 batteries in early 2024 .

What board and foil you ride is down to you. You could be picking up a complete setup which weighs less than 10kg !

Weighs of the new Foil Drive Gen2 Batteries are as follows

Foil Drive Gen2 Max Battery weighs - 2.7kg

Foil Drive Gen2 Sport Battery weighs - 1.9kg

Foil Drive Gen2  Endurance  Battery weighs - 1.46kg

Foil Drive Gen2 Performance  Battery weighs -1.07kg

A Perfect Fusion of Power and Finesse

Until now, surfers and hydrofoilers had to make a choice: opt for the natural, surf-like experience of a non-powered board or embrace the convenience of an e-foil's motorised thrust. The powered foildrive unit with its slim Fully IP68 Waterproof batteries removes this trade-off by placing the unit under the riders feet, offering a perfect amalgamation of agility and power. Riders can now "chip" into even the smallest swell, transitioning smoothly to unassisted pumping and carving, all without losing or feeling any additional weight so the authentic surf feel is retained.

 

Unlocking Uncharted Territories

Traditional hydrofoil boards and even some e-foils have their limitations when it comes to the range of conditions they can handle. However, the new foildrive Assist models with Max or slim give unique capabilities allowing riders to access swells and waves previously deemed unrideable or non-breaking. It's not just a board; it's a passport to uncharted territories and limitless possibilities in wave riding.

The Democratisation of Hydrofoiling

The arrival of this product not only addresses the needs of experienced riders but also lowers the entry barriers for newcomers. Its intuitive design and powered assist make it easier to learn hydrofoiling, thus democratising access to this exhilarating sport.

 

Sustainability and Long-Term Viability

An added layer to this narrative is the potential for increased sustainability. As technology advances, the efficiency of the motors and battery life in powered foil boards will likely improve, offering a more eco-friendly option to traditional power boats or jet skis used for towing. 

If you already own a jetski and have a tow buddy …great , but what if the conditions are all time and you have the time to go , but your tow partner is busy or away.

This FoilDrive gen 2 positions itself at the forefront of a sustainable future for water sports.

 

 

Conclusion

The new Generation2 foil drive assist stands poised to disrupt the status quo, promising to be the catalyst for a new era in surfing and hydrofoiling. 

By addressing long-standing limitations and seamlessly merging the advantages of both powered and non-powered boards, it offers an unparalleled riding experience. For enthusiasts and newcomers alike, this isn't just a step forward; it's a quantum leap. Prepare to redefine your boundaries and expand your horizons, for the future of surfing and hydrofoiling has arrived.

 

PRE ORDER FOIL DRIVE MAX here 

 

PRE ORDER FOIL DRIVE Slim here 

 

words by Matt barker smith


Downwinding with Foil drive

 

 

Foil drive downwinding in the UK 

Little run from our Shop rider Kevin Riley who is based on the south coast near Bognor regis

On this day Kevin used the  F -ONE 1290 eagle 

How old are you and how fit would you say you are ? 48 years old Fairly fit but not a gym person fit

Conditions : Easterly about 15ish knots - Small swell about knee high

Location So this run was from Elmer beach to Bognor yacht club.

Finished this with 55% battery left, More throttle and pumping than normal but still loads of fun.

I was Feeling good after So I had another 45mins outside the club with my other 2 batteries

Have you done any shorter distances for DW ..or did you just send it ?

I’ve done plenty of blasts upwind 200m or so and just rode the swell back.

Equipment used 

Board setup is a 4.6 f-one 33 litre

1290 eagle xxs fues and 210dw - 1290 glides amazing but turns so well for that size foil. 

 

If you are interested in Foildrive in the UK please get in touch with us .

We are based in Swansea south wales and have Demo foil drives and great foil downwinding locations a stones throw from the shop .


Axis DW foil boards

 

The AXIS Downwind boards are high-performance boards designed for experienced downwind paddlers. These boards are inspired by Hawaiian-style downwind boards and feature a sleek, narrow design with proven rocker lines. The prominent chines on the boards allow the tail to sink easily and work in combination with the straight, elongated outline to keep the board tracking in a straight line. This unique design makes paddling up onto foil far easier, even in choppy waters.

The AXIS Downwind carbon foilboards are specifically designed for dedicated downwind enthusiasts, making it perfect for overcoming the biggest challenge of downwinding: getting up on the foil. The long, skinny design of these boards provides a distinct advantage. If you ever touch down, getting back up is a breeze thanks to the reduced drag resistance of the narrow outline. Additionally, the takeoff is unparalleled due to the unique shape and rocker design.

Constructed with EPS core, full carbon, and a tough PVC sandwich layer on the EVA deck area only, these boards are built to be incredibly light, ensuring optimized performance. The AXIS Downwind carbon foilboards are the ultimate dedicated DW boards for AXIS in 2023, providing a smooth and thrilling ride for downwind enthusiasts.

Limited Availability here https://hydrofoilstore.co.uk/Boards/Downwind-Boards


James Casey - downwind footage

So it seems Downwind foiling has evolved from being a niche specialist endeavor to now emerging into the mainstream market with more than a few brands developing boards.

 

We have been keeping an eye on these developments and just received a batch of SUNOVA CASEY AVIATOR SUP BOARDS 

James Casey has been developing these alongside Marcus Tardrew with Sunova , and after achieving 213km in 11.18 hours these boards have more than been proven they work .

Watch about this outstanding James Casey Downwind adventure here .

 

Anyway more about The boards - These are available in Two models - The Pro range and the Elite range

which technically is a more accessible and then narrow type of board depending how extreme you want to go for paddling speed and ease of getting up on foil. 

Board pictured is a 6'6 x 19.5 - 84 litre custom model - which can be ordered for a 10% additional charge 

WE have stock - Check out which Sunova Aviator downwind SUP foil board models we have Here 

 

Check out this recent movie of James Casey riding in Australia 


Sunova Downwind foil boards

 

So there are a few trail blazers across the UK following the hardest of foil disciplines  'Downwind SUP foil' How do i know ?

I've either just heard about them or spoken to them. The one thing about SUP downwind foiling at the very start is ..you don't talk about it! ...its hard and without failure you don't get better. However 'they' and myself included  are progressing and with progress comes better equipment. Boards for SUP foiling are very niche ...but it seems there are more of us than we think...so if you are treading that path and want to froth or like the look of these new Downwind foil specific boards from Sunova - Reach out to us !

 Here is some more info 

NEW Sunova casey. foil range
Working with one of the best foilers and designers in the world enables you to lead the charge and be at the forefront of design and functionality. Putting our position to use sunova has updated the entire casey. foil range for 2023. Months of testing have led to updated shapes throughout the range and the addition of 2 brand new downwind specific models. Longer boxes throughout the range enable the boards to work no matter what foil setup the user prefers.

As above with the casey. boards, all dedicated SUNOVA foil boards will come standard with 14” boxes enabling a larger usage range for all.

The range listed below - Get in touch for more details and ordering (the wait is long! )

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'0" x 23" x 5 1/8" @90.2L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'3" x 24" x 5 5/16" @101.1L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'6" x 25" x 5 9/16" @114.5L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'9" x 26" x 5 3/4" @128.3L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 7'0" x 27" x 5 15/16" @143.0L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'0" x 23" x 5 1/8" @90.2L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'3" x 24" x 5 5/16" @101.1L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'6" x 25" x 5 9/16" @114.5L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 6'9" x 26" x 5 3/4" @128.3L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Pro 7'0" x 27" x 5 15/16" @143.0L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'0" x 20" x 5 1/4" @80.1L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'3" x 21" x 5 3/8" @90.1L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'6" x 21 3/4" x 5 9/16" @99.9L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'9" x 22 1/2" x 5 3/4" @111.4L / TR3Tec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'0" x 20" x 5 1/4" @80.1L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'3" x 21" x 5 3/8" @90.1L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'6" x 21 3/4" x 5 9/16" @99.9L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes 

SUNOVA | casey. SUP Foil Aviator Downwind Elite 6'9" x 22 1/2" x 5 3/4" @111.4L / XXXTec / futures. - Twin Foil Boxes


Foil Downwinding

Which style of foil is best for downwinding?

(Ramblings from a self-confessed foil frother)

 

Downwinding is one of the most exhilarating disciplines within foiling - if you’re already doing it successfully you are undoubtedly nodding your head in agreement, if you are in the process of learning or about to learn, imagine being able to ride the ocean swell like an endless series waves, but I’m sure by now you’ve already watched a number of videos of foilers downwinding and have a good idea of what it’s all about.

Foiling has progressed to the point where downwinding can be done with a wind-wing or without, and when done without you also have the choice of doing it on a prone or a SUP foil board. Whatever your preferred method of downwinding it helps to have the best equipment to use, and the most important part of that equipment is the foil, as that’s the part that has by far the biggest impact on each downwind ride. Ok, the board is essential for getting you up onto the foil, but it’s the foil that you are almost entirely reliant on for the duration you are flying.

Having extensively used pretty much every foil that GoFoil has ever produced (and a few others from various different brands) has given me the opportunity to compare various different foil designs for downwind performance. This has led me to the following conclusion - speed is king!!!!! However that’s going straight to the end of the story, so let's start at the beginning:

Yes, you can downwind with a low aspect foil - I started off my downwinding journey in very light wind conditions with the Maliko 280 (and 200) and a 7m wind wing, and I have to say it was a great platform to learn with - slow and forgiving, super stable, but most important of all it taught me how to read the ocean swell - learning how to stay in the power zone of the swell, knowing which direction to turn in order to keep on the swell, and knowing when to pump the foil to generate speed and when to bring the wind wing back into play. I then progressed to the GL range, using the GL240 in light wind conditions and the GL180 when the wind and swell picked up to a decent level. The GL’s are faster and much more maneuverable than the Maliko’s, and have MUCH better glide - a game changer for downwinding! The GL240 not only allowed me to downwind in conditions as light as the Maliko 280, but it allowed me to have so much more fun - for a big wing the GL240 can be thrown around so much more than the Maliko’s. When conditions were 15 knots and over the GL180 just blew me away. With its extra speed and glide, for the first time I could move forward to the next swell using it’s glide alone, or by pumping the foil while luffing the wing. I could also turn on the swell like surfing a wave, well almost! Then came the NL’s - the 190 is arguably the most versatile, but I went for the 220 and the 160 to extend the range of conditions I could foil in. It’s true that the NL’s have less initial lift than the GL’s, but only slightly, and that’s all part of their riding style - it’s all about speed, and with that speed comes insane levels of glide! When I first started using the NL’s I thought they were harder work than the GL’s. They have a much higher stall speed than the GL’s, and if you don’t keep their speed up they require lots of effort to keep them going, BUT, once you dial into the slightly different technique they need to get the best out of them, you can see why GoFoil chose to call them ‘Next Level’. Focus on keeping their speed going and you’ll unlock their potential - they don’t become effortless, no foil does, but they do allow you to glide faster and for longer than any other foil I’ve ever ridden, and for downwinding this is the key.

Whether I’m downwinding with a wind wing or on a prone board (having been towed up onto the foil behind a boat) the NL’s allow me to move from one bump to the next so much easier than any other foil, as well as allowing me to carve around to link different bumps. In tests I’ve done (all in 12-15 knots) using the GL240, GL180, P180, NL220, the Axis 1150 and the Lift 250, (all foils with great glide), the NL220 was the best by a mile. [When the wind picks up the NL160 is just insane, for the same reasons, but that wasn’t part of this test so no more on that for now.] In my opinion this is because of the superior glide and speed you get from the NL’s. When downwinding it’s so easy to keep their speed up with minimal pumping, it’s like they don’t want to slow down. Despite requiring more effort to pump in other disciplines (flat water pumping, wake foiling transitions, and when pumping to connect multiple waves), I found the NL’s are actually much easier to pump than ALL those other foils when downwinding. The other foils slow down too easily and seem to be affected by the inconsistent nature of the swell forming and reforming, but the NL’s are affected by this much less and as such they keep on gliding. My theory on why the NL’s do this so well is because when downwinding the foil is constantly given lots of little pushes as you connect from swell to swell, thus maintaining the speed that the NL’s need to keep within their optimum range of speed, whereas the other foils require a more consistent power delivery to keep going.

So there you have it, when it comes to downwind performance, speed is king. And glide. Ok, the perfect blend of the two, but you get my point - speed helps to keep you gliding to the next bump...and the next...and the next…

The video clip is me downwinding with the NL220 in 12 knots and very small swell - hopefully it demonstrates what I’ve been trying to explain:


 

I’d like to thank Matt Barker-Smith of ‘Foil Surfing UK’ for his support in sending endless quantities of foil equipment to me to test where I live in Oman - dealing with all the paperwork needed to ship the kit here took the patience of a saint - Thanks Matt. I can strongly recommend anyone checking out his website for a huge amount of foil related information and a big selection of equipment: https://foilsurfing.co.uk/


Downwind Tips

TOP- TIP  Try and develop your SUP sprinting technique to fully optimize you downwind foiling starting procedure.

TOP CHEAT - Using a wind wing will allow you to get out to a good wind line out to sea , then deflate and start your run , or just blast it downwind with the wing !


Go Foil Glide series - GL

The Go foil GLIDE or GL series is a new design with a narrower and faster profile.

This is better for foilers who are looking to go faster in downwind or in small waves, or flat water pump onto bumps and lumps.The High aspect wide width nature of these wings means the wings pump easier through the water column as the chord of the foils wing is thinner - however they are a little harder to get up on foil so the GL wings are probably not for beginners. Most of our customers today are super happy with the actual main Go foil range KAI/IWA/M200/M280.

  • The GL series comes in Three main sizes 100 / 140 / 180 / 210 / 240
  • Pedestal
  • Rear stabilizer - Narrow or wide

The new wings can be retro fitted to V1 GF masts with a little sanding and making good - Videos of this can be found on Gofoil - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6BWBE9pFrc

If you would like to pre order the GL complete or Wings only please email us  [email protected] 

Pricing is as follows GO TO PURCHASE  https://standuppaddleboarding.co.uk/hydrofoils/hydrofoil-surf-foils/go-foil-hydrofoil-surf-foils

GL 100  wing only £689

GL 140  wing only £729

GL 180 wing only £779

GL 210  wing only £799

GL 240  wing only £849

Pedestal  £119

Narrow or wide tail stab £179

 



Downwind foil by One

If you're wanting to learn to downwind foil .....watch this !

Great video Jacko !


Downwind foils

We thought a movie showing and explaining some aspects of the foils aimed at Downwind foiling might be useful .

All of the foil models featured in this movie we have available to purchase here  DOWNWIND HYDROFOILS