Axis Spitfire Vs ART | The Foil Wing Comparison You'll Want to See

Axis Spitfire Vs ART | The Foil Wing Comparison You'll Want to See

Ryan and Cole have been fielding a lot of questions about how the Axis ART and Spitfire front foil wings compare. Here, they take time out to discuss where each excels and what sets them apart.


Ryan: How does the ART pump compared to the Spitfire? What are the differences that you've noticed there, Cole?

Cole: For pumping, the clear winner is going to be the ART. The ART is a sick wing for pumping because of that high-aspect design. This thing just glides through the water, with minimal effort to pump it. It's a great wing for pumping. Now, the Spitfire isn't that far behind it, and you can still pump the Spitfire really well. In fact, I'd take the Spitfire over a lot of other wings, but the ART is definitely easier to pump than the Spitfire.

Ryan: One thing that I did notice when pumping with the Spitfire while winging, because you're going a little faster than you are while prone surfing or other things, is that I felt like I had to back down my speed a bit with the Spitfire to get into that pumping speed range. I didn't notice that quite as much with the ART; it seemed like the ART pumped at a little higher speed and a little faster rate than what the Spitfire does. That does make sense, looking at the chord length and knowing what we know about foils and how they perform.

Cole: Yeah. I was proning these two wings back-to-back while Ryan winged them back-to-back, and pumping the Axis definitely is a different technique compared to a lot of the higher-aspect wings that I've ridden. It's this interesting cadence that's hard to describe, but when you start riding the Spitfire more and more, you'll feel that cadence. It's a little bit slower than the ART like Ryan was saying, but you've also got to be careful on how aggressive your scoops are when you're pumping the Axis Spitfire. It definitely likes shallower pumps when you're pumping on it.


Ryan: The next category is turning and carving: ART vs. Spitfire... What have we got?

Cole: Again, we have a clear winner in this category. The Axis Spitfire is a great wing for carving. Hands down, it has been my favorite wing to go prone surf with. It's a very surfy front wing and you can go edge-to-edge so easily and get immediate feedback. That's something that you don't see in these higher aspect wings. Did you feel the same way, Ryan?

Ryan: Absolutely. It was really easy to get into some high-end performance in terms of carving with the Spitfire. It takes a lot more pressure and input into your foil to get similar performance from the ART.

Cole: You have to be so patient with the ART. The turns take so long to develop.

Ryan: You've really got to throw your weight around with the ART to get it to turn how you want it to, whereas the Spitfire is a naturally rolly, fun-feeling foil.

Top Speed

Ryan: What are your thoughts on which wing goes faster? What have you noticed so far, Cole?

Cole: When I took these things out, I was in about knee to waist-high waves and, surprisingly, the Spitfire actually had a higher top end than the ART did. Now, I'm not sure exactly why that is because the higher-aspect wing should be able to go faster than the Spitfire, but when I rode them back-to-back, it seemed like the Spitfire just wanted to go. It didn't feel like the brakes were being put on when I was riding down the line on the thicker parts of the wave. When you were winging, was it the same or did you feel that it was a little different?

Ryan: I felt like I hit the high end of the Spitfire a little bit sooner than the ART, but when I was watching some footage later on, I noticed that I was going a lot faster than I thought I was going. So it may partially be because it's such a smooth and easy-to-ride, forgiving foil that you end up going faster than what you think you're going. I definitely need to spend a little more time winging these two back-to-back to have a clear answer on that one, but I would say the Spitfire definitely has an impressive speed range, and I wouldn't put the ART above it in terms of speed like I originally thought I would before I had ridden the Spitfire. I'm really impressed with the speed in the Spitfire. Currently, I'd say it's a draw for me, but I need to do a little more testing to have a clear answer on that one.

Getting Up On Foil

Cole: Gotcha. On the other side of the spectrum, let's talk about the low end of these foils. Which one did you feel popped up on foil earlier than the other?

Ryan: The Spitfire was the clear winner here. The Spitfire popped up much easier. It's got a longer chord, and it's a more stable popup, too. It's definitely a lot easier to get going with the Spitfire when you're winging than what it is with the ART. The ART requires some speed or some power. If you're not super powered up, you've really got to get that board speed going to come up and ride it stable, whereas the Spitfire was not as big of an issue there. What are your thoughts on popping up while prone foiling?

Cole: When prone foiling, one thing I noticed was that the ART definitely got up on foil at a lower speed than the Spitfire. The Spitfire had to go a touch faster to get up and on foil, but what was strange was that, at those lower speeds--the very bare minimum of when that foil is activating and coming up and out of the water--I noticed that the ART was much more stable than the Spitfire. The Spitfire was more unstable at those lower speeds than the ART was. It's something minor, but for beginner riders, that could make a difference.

Stall Speed

Ryan: Going along with that, how about the stall speed? Which one is the winner here?

Cole: You know, this one's tricky. They were pretty close. I was in some knee to waist-high waves, and there was a little bit of wind going on, so I couldn't really tell you if there was a clear winner there. How do you feel from winging?

Ryan: For winging, I would say the Spitfire is the clear winner here on stall speed. You can drop this wing down, almost stall it out, and pick up your wing and get moving again. The ART glides forever, but once you start to slow down, it's going to drop out on you, so I would definitely take the Spitfire for stall speed.


Cole: This is a fun thing. I don't know if you've tried it at all, but wing-outs are something that I've been having a lot of fun with the last part of the summer and in the early fall. I think I had half the Spitfire wing out of the water, and that thing was still ripping through the turn, which was super fun. The ART definitely sucked air down the whole leading edge of the wing and took me down, so the Spitfire is my winner for wing-outs.

Ryan: I didn't get to do any wing-outs with the Spitfire, but I have with the ART, and it does all right. I'm looking forward to some bigger fall days where I can really test that on the Spitfire. It's a little more challenging to wing-out on a smaller wingspan, so you've got to get in some good conditions and really give it its money's worth. That'll be a fun one to try out.

Who Are the ART and Spitfire For?

Cole: Is there anything else between these wings that you think everyone should know?

Ryan: What kind of rider would like the ART for prone foiling?

Cole: If you're someone that's looking for easy pumping, go with the ART. If you're looking to downwind, go with the ART. Now, if you're looking for that surfy foil where you can really get those turns going, carve into that wave, and get the most out of it, go with the Spitfire. I think it's that simple: if you're looking to pump, go with the ART. If you're looking to turn, go with the Spitfire. What about for winging?

Ryan: I have similar thoughts for winging. If you're looking to get into that wave and turn aggressively, the Spitfire is your clear winner. It pumps sufficiently, so if you do need to pump around a section, it will handle that just fine. Now, if you're looking for some downwind swell riding and gliding, especially if you're riding swell at a decent speed, I would go for the ART. That's going to be your downwind style front wing for winging.

Cole: If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to us via live chat, phone or email. Until next time, have a fun time shredding, and we look forward to seeing you on the water!

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Wake foiling with Cole
22nd Nov 2023 Ryan Hooker & Cole Buller

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