Pick 5 Challenge | Ryan Shares His Wing Foiling Essentials

Pick 5 Challenge | Ryan Shares His Wing Foiling Essentials

Tucker and Ryan introduce a new series that finds them making some hard decisions on what gear they would ride for the ultimate quiver. The catch? They can only choose five items.

Tucker: We understand that everybody's making tough decisions. Not everyone has fifty thousand dollars to spend on a quiver of gear. We all wish we could do that, but realistically, we may not have the space to store it, the money, or our priorities are elsewhere with some of that cash.

So we're going to pick five items. Today Ryan can pick a foil, a wing, a board, and then he'll have two choices left to further customize his quiver. Those can be another board, another foil, or another wing. Hooker, we're going to get you set up with five items that you would choose if you had to ride that forever.

Ryan: Okay, I'm going to start with the wings. I would start with a 5.5 and a 4 meter wing. That, along with some of my other gear choices, covers me pretty well in the mid to low teens, on into the mid-20s. That's most of our rideable wind here. The 5.5m is definitely going to be a Duotone Unit, preferably the D/LAB. But either Duotone Unit is an easy ride in those light wind conditions.

Tucker: Yeah, it gets you up and going, and it's also a really surfy wing. It's super good in the waves.

Ryan: When I'm riding light wind, I don't want to be working my butt off trying to ride. I want to be up riding and having fun, so I'd pick the Duotone Unit for the 5.5m. The 4 meter... That's a tough one. Another Unit would pair nicely with it. It would be nice to get a little more range out of it. I could stick with the same brand and go with the Duotone Slick.

Tucker: The F-One Strike is another good one. It's a good, surfy wing with a lot of range on the top end.

Ryan: Yep. Definitely something along that line: a little bit faster and a little more range. A little flatter canopy profile is going to make it easy to push into those mid and maybe even upper-20 days. So those would be my two wings.

Moving down to the board, I would actually go for two boards. So I'm going to go for my 50-60 liter sinker board that I love and is awesome on those good days. Right now the F-One Rocket S is what I'm really liking. The 54 liter is super easy to get up and ride and planes really well. I can ride that with the 5.5m down to 15 easily, and even sub-15 if I want to put in a little more work. That gets me a high performance board on those good days.

For those days where it's a little lighter (because we get that a lot here in Michigan where the forecast is between 15 and 20 and it's actually 12 to 13) and you've got the time blocked out and you're down at the beach, rather than going home, I'd rather still get out there and ride. So I'm going to throw a downwind board into the mix.

Tucker: Since you're down to one item, you need something that works with a smaller foil on those light wind days. A light downwind board is the only way to go if you're going to ride a small foil on a light wind day.

Ryan: Yeah, a downwind board gets me out there having fun in that 10 to 15. We get some decent small swell on those days, so you can still ride some swell around and have fun on those days.

Tucker: You don't want to miss those sunny summer days where you can wear boardshorts and get a little tan.

Ryan: Exactly. I hate to turn those away. What I've been running right now is the Appletree 99 liter. It disperses the water away from the board when you're trying to pump it up onto foil. Another thing that I really like about those Appletree boards is the closed-cell construction.

Tucker: Gotta love it. You can ding it and ride it and deal with it later. You don't need to worry about it exploding in your car if it's hot. Or you forget your vent plug.

Ryan: That ruins your session. That closed cell is nice. It's worth spending a little extra money on.

With one item left, I would go with a foil, something right around the 1000 cm2 range. Something mid to high aspect is going to do well across a variety of conditions for me in 10 to 25 knot wind and wave conditions.

Tucker: Yeah, that's pretty comfortable up to head-high swell or so, as long as it's not too pitchy.

Ryan: Yep, and there are a lot of good options there. There are a lot of brands that have just recently come out with stuff in that mid to higher aspect ratio that's really good fun and carvy. Some of it's even got pretty good glide to it. I think for a good do-it-all, I would want something more mid-aspect that carves pretty well. It's got to have some good glide to it.

Lately I've been riding the North Sonar system. The SF pumps amazing and is really good there. I'm on the 930, but I might size up just to give me a little more range on those light wind days. For me at my weight, a 900 cm2 foil is a little bit on the small side for those really light wind days, but right around 1000 is the sweet spot where you can get out in some really light conditions with a downwind board.

So that's what I would go with: two wings, two boards, and one foil.

Tucker: Sweet. I think you're making some smart choices there. We get a lot of a lot of range throughout the year; we get the light-light, we get the high-high stuff, we get a range of wave conditions, so I think you made good use of your choices. It isn't easy after having all the gear at our fingertips here at the shop. We're spoiled brats. We always have the latest and greatest, so having to choose a few is not easy.

Ryan: These are the kinds of things we think about when we're in between phone calls or driving back and forth to work. That's the reality of it for most people. They're not working at a shop where they've got eight wings, three boards, and five foils in their car.

Tucker: Even if they do have those things but they're going on a trip, they can only pack a bag with 50 pounds. That's even harder than what we've done today.

Stay tuned- we're going to be dropping some more of these here in the near future. This has been Tucker and Ryan with MACkite, and we'll see you next time.

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4th Aug 2023 Ryan Hooker & Tucker Vantol

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