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Building a hydrofoil wing quiver for kiteboarding - Foil Fridays EP 23

Posted by Tucker Vantol on


A foil is no longer simply a foil. There are so many flavors of hydrofoil wings around these days and some really compelling reasons to have more than one at your disposal. The vast range in wing size, new designs, and how they complement your given condition or riding style can really expand what is possible when you are out foiling. In this blog, we are going to walk you through some good reasons and common choices to add to your kiteboarding hydrofoil wing quiver.


Wing 1 - Large wing

We sincerely believe that every foiler should have a large wing in their quiver. Large wings are typically best for underpowered riding, freeriders, and learning. When you first get into foiling this type of wing will allow you a mellow progression with low-speed lift and a good amount of stability. It also allows you to explore and progress your foiling when you would typically be sitting on the beach due to a lack of wind.

With all that lift, you do not need much power from the kite. So, expect to size down a good 20-30% in kite size compared to what you might ride on your twintip or directional board.

Generally, these larger wings will afford you a speed range of roughly 8-18 knots of board speed, although the thinner designs can range up to 25 knots. In addition to providing lift at those low speeds, they also can provide stability at lower speeds that will allow you to progress more quickly and safely when learning transitions and other foiling tricks.

These large wings are becoming increasingly popular with all levels of foilers due to the emergence of the wave and freeride foiling styles. These styles necessitate more glide, riding freedom, and loose carving maneuverability.

In addition to being excellent for light winds, progression, and freeriding, they are also versatile in terms of foil sports. The majority of these large wings are also suitable for prone surf foiling, wakefoiling, SUP foiling, and windsurf hydrofoiling.

  • Low-speed lift
  • Stability
  • Ride with smaller kites
  • Light wind, freeride, and wave styles
  • Versatile across foil sports

Wing 2 - Moderate speed

The second wing in your quiver should be one that will allow you to ride at moderate speeds. This will make your ride a little more exciting and allow you to progress into faster riding and doing sent jumps. This will also allow you to expand your range with a given kite by raising the amount of kite power you can hold down.

Most of these wings function in the speed range of roughly 14-25 knots with some outliers as fast as 30 knots while still maintaining accessible stability for your average foiler. We recommend a kite roughly 10-20% smaller than what you would typically ride with your twin tip or directional board.

  • Moderate speed lift
  • Respectable top speed
  • Accessible for intermediate foilers
  • Expand the range of your foil without changing kites
  • Larger upwind angles
  • Cover more ground while touring
  • Progress towards the fastest foils

Jumping on on a moderate speed wing


Wing 3 - Off to the races

If you are ready, your third wing will take you to the edge of what is possible for speed and efficiency. The speed in itself is enough to put a smile on your face, but there are also some other benefits to these wings.

If you are a person who just wants to boost as high as possible, speed is a big part of that equation. The faster your board speed, the higher you can potentially go. Foils have the unique ability to hold a kite down until you are ready to pull the trigger on a jump. That, paired with the insane apparent wind that can be generated, makes a race wingset a great way to jump your highest with less kite power than is required from a twintip.

Foil touring is a great way to explore a new area or access a difficult spot. The faster and more efficient your foil is, the more ground (water, I guess) you can cover in a given time. Foil touring is arguably the most unique and fun way to explore waterways and islands. Look for this new trend to expand in scenic areas.

  • Requires more kite power to maintain lift.
  • Maximum top speed
  • Accessible for intermediate-advanced foilers
  • Expand the range of your foil without changing kites
  • Maximum upwind angles
  • Cover maximum ground while touring
  • Generate lots of apparent wind due to their speed and reduced drag
  • Leave your friends in the dust

Common Wing Quiver selections

Moses

  • 633, 590, 637
  • 873, 633, 590

Slingshot

  • Infinity 76, Gamma h2, Time Code 57 h3
  • Gamma h2, Time Code 57 h5, Warp Speed h3
  • Infinity 84, Infinity 76, Gamma h2
  • Time Code 68, Time Code 57 h5, Warp Speed h3

Liquid Force

  • Impulse, Thruster, Happy
  • 120 Wake, Thruster, Happy

Lift

  • 200, 150, 110
  • 170 fish, 110, 90

Naish

  • Thrust Surf L, Thrust Kite
  • Thrust Surf XL, Thrust Surf M, Thrust Kite

Duotone - TBA with new spring releases

Cabrinha - TBA with new spring releases

Written and produced by Tucker Vantol, Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic


Tucker Vantol

Mackite's resident surf and "Hydrofoil junkie." You can either catch him on the phones or on the water at dawn testing new gear. He is proficient at a myriad of sports, a shaper and passionate about getting his water time. When he discovered kiteboarding it took over as his predominate sport. The same could be said about hydrofoiling.