Hydrofoiling: ​The best “Do it all” foils - Foil Fridays: EP 18

Hydrofoiling: ​The best “Do it all” foils - Foil Fridays: EP 18

The best “do it all” foils

Hydrofoils have effectively entered most action watersports these days. If you, like most of us at the shop happen to partake in multiple watersports, choosing the right foil can be a difficult decision. Some of our hydrofoils are useful for a specific purpose while others seem to blur the lines between sports to make a truly excellent jack of all trades. Let's take a quick look at what makes a good “do it all” foil.

What wing size is right for your needs?


Wing dimensions

One of the largest factors that contribute to what makes a good “do it all” foil is the wing size. For an average sized rider, wings in the 1100-1600 sqcm zone, or medium to large surf wings seem to work well for a variety of uses. Some popular examples of these foils are the Slingshot Fsurf, Neil Pryde Glide, Gofoil Kai and Iwa. They provide excellent low-speed lift, stability, and speed range. These factors contribute to the ability to use the foil in waves, behind a boat, while still maintaining enough playfulness and speed to make them fun for wind sports. Wings that are smaller than 1100 may not have enough surface area to create the lift you need for lower speed riding on waves or wake. Conversely, wings over 1600 will create an excess of lift and stability that makes them difficult to ride in a medium to large surf or for wind sports where higher speed riding is necessary. The pitfall of medium to large surf wings, at least for wind sports is that they may require you to ride smaller kites and they can lack the high-speed potential that some thrill seekers enjoy. If you are on the cusp or needing a bit more speed but do not want to invest in two setups, look for a thinner wing profile that will allow for a larger speed range. Some examples or wings with a thinner profile are the MHL Lift and Moses surf wings. Keep in mind that you may need to size up a bit to account for the loss of lift due to the sleeker design.  

Some platforms are more versatile

Adaptability - parts

No matter how you cut it, at some point, your single wing quiver will hold you back in some way. You will lack the speed to beat your friend in a race, lack the lift to ride tiny rollers, or perhaps your larger wing simply lacks the maneuverability to support your aggressive riding style. Have no fear, there are a lot of setups that offer adaptability to suit nearly any situation with the simple switch of a front wing or wing set. Slingshot, Lift, Neil Pryde, Naish, and Gofoil all offer multiple wing sets to meet a variety of needs. (Currently, Gofoil wings must be purchased with the complete setup to ensure a perfect fit. We hope to see A-la-carte parts in the near future). Large waves, choppy conditions, and higher speeds may benefit from a longer mast in some circumstances while shallower water or small waves are the best fit for short masts. Lots of options and adaptions out there, so feel free to reach out for a good recommendation.

Which one?

Choosing exactly which foil to pick up can be difficult but hopefully, you have it narrowed down to a few choices. Talking to one of our experts is a great way to really hone in on what foil is best for your situation. Let us know what kind of riding you do, what you aspire to do, what watersports you engage in, and we will do our best to match a foil that meets your budget. Every foil has its own feel, usefulness, weight range, and speed range. With a little help from us, you can maximize the usefulness of your next foil purchase. If you are more of a browser, here are some attributes of our most popular “do it all” hydrofoils…

Slingshot is amazing



As the largest foil manufacturer on the planet and the only brand who actively pursues all five foil watersports, Slingshot is an easy choice for someone looking for a versatile hydrofoil. They have an excellent system that can be effectively modified to meet nearly any riders needs. With 7 wing options, the Hover Glide platform (Fkite, Fsurf, Fsup) foils can actually be a little too versatile in that the choices can become dizzying. Really though, if you eliminate the outliers that are required for downwinding, racing, and high-speed riding, you are left with only four decent choices. Here is a brief breakdown of those versatile wings from Slingshot / Ride Engine…

  • Gamma / H2 / FWake - Kite, wake, surf, SUP, windsurf
    • Good speed range. Roughly 12-22mph
    • Efficient use of size
    • Easy to learn on
    • Fairly stable
    • Heavy riders may need a little more wave power for surfing/SUP
    • Best for light wind kiting, wakefoiling, medium size surf
  • Infinity 76 / FSurf - Kite, wake, surf, SUP, windsurf
    • Good speed range. Roughly 10-22mph
    • Easy to learn on
    • Fairly stable
    • Light riders may need tiny kites for kiteboarding in higher winds
    • Best for light wind kiting, wakefoiling , small to medium size surf
  • Space Skate / H4 / FKite - Kite, wake, surf
    • Limited speed range 12-17mph. Excellent maneuverability
    • Agile edge to edge turning. “Skatey”
    • Best for kiting, wakefoiling, clean medium sized surf
  • Time Code 68 / H1 - Kite, wake, surf
    • Good speed range. Roughly 14-24mph
    • Smooth, powerful turns
    • Best for kiting, lightweight surf/wake riders, larger waves

Neil Pryde

Another versatile alloy foil option is the new Neil Pryde Glide Surf Foil. Coming in small, medium, and large sizes the Glide Surf foil offers a wing size for most surfers as well as SUP, wake, windsurfers, and some freeride kiters. At only $899 with additional wings for only $299, this late to the game champion is gaining followers fast. Here is a brief breakdown of the wing size uses and attributes…

  • Glide Small - Kite, wake, surf
    • Good speed range. Roughly 13-23mph
    • Predictable performance
    • Excellent pumping
    • Best for kiting, larger waves, smaller surfers, wakefoiling
  • Glide Medium - Kite, wake, surf, SUP
    • Good speed range. Roughly 11-21mph
    • Predictable performance
    • Excellent pumping
    • Best for lightwind kiting, small to medium waves, wakefoiling
  • Glide Large - Wake, surf, SUP
    • Best in slow, mellow surf
    • Predictable performance
    • Excellent pumping
    • Best for lightwind kiting, small waves, larger riders

We love the MHL lift in the surf. Ohh, and yes, you can surf with the alien air foil too! 

MHL Lift

MHL lift foils have been high on the demand list for a long time for kiters but their new designs are gaining notoriety from the surf and wake crowd as well. The full carbon, two-piece design that Lift offers gives confidence inducing rigidity and a light weight that begs to be tossed around the waves. The newly released Lift 200 and 170 Fish have been getting rave reviews from all angles which make them excellent high-performance crossover foils.

  • 200 - Kite, Wake, Surf , SUP
    • Good speed range. Roughly 12-23mph
    • User-friendly performance
    • Best for lightwind kiting and small to medium waves
  • 170 Classic - Kite, Wake, Surf
    • Excellent speed range. Roughly 14-25mph
    • Stable yet maneuverable
    • Best for kiting and medium to large waves
  • 170 Fish - Kite, Wake, Surf
    • Excellent speed range. Roughly 14-25mph
    • More maneuverable. Whippy turns with a little extra flair for pumping
    • Best for kiting and medium to large waves


Gofoil could be credited for being the first user-friendly surf foil and continues to produce reliable products for beginner and advanced riders alike. Their three-piece heavy-duty carbon construction leads the way in rigidity while their new mast heights and board connections assure that kiters, surfers, and windsurfers have the right gear for any occasion.

  • Kai - Kite, Wake, Surf, SUP
    • Moderate speed range. Roughly 13-19mph
    • Stable for its size
    • Locked in feel during turns
    • Best for kiteboarding, wakefoiling, and medium-sized waves
  • Iwa - Kite, Wake, Surf, SUP
    • Moderate speed range. Roughly 10-17mph
    • Stable
    • Locked in feel during turns
    • Best for heavy kiteboarders, heavy wakefoilers, small waves

So thats it guys. If you have any specific quiestions don't hesitate to give us a call. We're happy to help you figure out what gear is going to best fit your needs. 

Written and produced by Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic Blake Olsen and Tucker Vantol 

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.

2nd Nov 2018 Tucker VanTol

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