Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

How bad does a foil have to be to be unuseable?

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Created by Jethrow 2 months ago, 1 Apr 2020
Jethrow
NSW, 866 posts
1 Apr 2020 8:31AM
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Hi all, I've been sailing all my life, windsurfed a lot back in the 80's & 90's, did a few years of Formula 10 years ago and have now got back into windsurfing racing an LT.

My question is how bad does a foil have to be to be unusable? The price of foils is dropping into the region where it's not prohibitive to give it a go and see if I like it. I'm talking light to moderate cruising. I still have an older slalom board in the roof of the garage and a few smaller race sails in the rack. I'm not interested in huge cammed race sails, they're why I got out of formula.

Anyway, are the early, cheaper foils just diabolical to use? Will using an early foil actually be worse as a test platform than a more expensive newer model?

Appreciate your thoughts

Paducah
914 posts
1 Apr 2020 5:40AM
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Jethrow said..
Hi all, I've been sailing all my life, windsurfed a lot back in the 80's & 90's, did a few years of Formula 10 years ago and have now got back into windsurfing racing an LT.

My question is how bad does a foil have to be to be unusable? The price of foils is dropping into the region where it's not prohibitive to give it a go and see if I like it. I'm talking light to moderate cruising. I still have an older slalom board in the roof of the garage and a few smaller race sails in the rack. I'm not interested in huge cammed race sails, they're why I got out of formula.

Anyway, are the early, cheaper foils just diabolical to use? Will using an early foil actually be worse as a test platform than a more expensive newer model?

Appreciate your thoughts


Some early ones were pretty good and have held up, others not so much. The biggest challenge you'll find with most older foils is that the wings tended to be smaller than what we use now - a lot of 750 to maybe 1000 cm2. So, you'll need a bit of wind. Glissattitude has been doing reviews for a number of years and they (imho) hold up pretty well. Use google chrome to translate for you

marseille.glissattitude.com/blog/comparatifs-windfoils.html

It depends a bit on your weight and board, too. Lighter folks have an easier time on the older gear (the wing size issue isn't anywhere as important at 70 kg as 95). Also, your older board may be less suitable because of mast track and foot strap placement. When you find something, don't be shy about asking for opinions. One of my favorite rides (I'm lighter) is something that came out in '18. I find it easier than a few foils that you'll see mentioned a lot here.

martyj4
254 posts
1 Apr 2020 5:58AM
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Hi Jethrow,
Firstly, I think you need to know what you want to use the foil for. What are your local conditions like? Do you get lots of days where it's 10 - 15 knots (in that case it may be good). Where you sail, is it shallow (<0.5m)? If so, foiling may be difficult as you won't have the depth. If you're looking to get going in lighter winds, then as Paducah suggests, you might want to research foils that will suit your body weight. The bigger area foils are much better at getting going in lighter winds. The early model foils generally came out smaller in size than a lot of the later models generally meaning that they require more speed and wind to get up and flying. And the more recent designs seem to be just better all round.
Yep, check reviews. We had a guy called XYZ (and then later ZYX) on these forums a while back who was banging on for ages about how good FRP gear is. I'd steer clear of that stuff.
Also while learning, I'd be inclined to use old gear (old wave sails are good). Low end grunt is what you're after. Top end less so when learning.
And for boards, be careful when bunging a foil into an old slalom board. You may find the box can't handle the strain of the foil leverage and it either cracks or explodes under load.
Ask questions. It'll save you a lot of time and money.

WillyWind
37 posts
1 Apr 2020 6:18AM
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Jethrow said..
Hi all, I've been sailing all my life, windsurfed a lot back in the 80's & 90's, did a few years of Formula 10 years ago and have now got back into windsurfing racing an LT.

My question is how bad does a foil have to be to be unusable? The price of foils is dropping into the region where it's not prohibitive to give it a go and see if I like it. I'm talking light to moderate cruising. I still have an older slalom board in the roof of the garage and a few smaller race sails in the rack. I'm not interested in huge cammed race sails, they're why I got out of formula.

Anyway, are the early, cheaper foils just diabolical to use? Will using an early foil actually be worse as a test platform than a more expensive newer model?

Appreciate your thoughts


Hi there,
I am a novice foiler. With your background, and provided you are still somewhat fit, you should be able to comfortably foil in few sessions IF your sailing spot has steady 12/15 knot winds.

If you do not have ideal conditions, especially if the wind is generally low and if you are heavy, you will need to be a little bit more careful about selection.

Generally speaking, if you stick with well-known brands that make foils (just read posts here and you will get a sense of what I am talking about) their products are good enough for learning. You will need to do some research online (there is a lot of info out there). You can even post a question here about a specific foil and most likely will get at least one answer within few hours.

I agree with Paducah that earlier foils were marketed as good for beginners but for today's standards they are a little bit small and they were replaced with larger versions (again, wind strength is a big factor). Just think about learning how to windsurf on a longboard compared to a 1m wide Starboard GO; you can learn on both, but the GO might be a little bit easier at the beginning (hey all stay on topic, I do not want to start a debate here!).
Just to give you an example, neipryde has/had a foil that people call it pinkie (yes, the mast and fuselage are pink). When I was doing some research online about what to buy, I thought about buying that one. I think it was a good foil BUT that foil needs more than light wind to get foiling (or at least more wind that my spot generally gets).
And I do not think you need to buy an expensive model if you are testing waters or you are not thinking about racing. Even now you can buy a really good foil for around 1000 USD that is fantastic for beginners and experts (yes, good for both) and it could be as good for learning as a full-carbon 3000 USD dollar foil.

Don't forget about your abilities and spot (wind) will be the ones determining what foil you should use.

choco
SA, 3545 posts
1 Apr 2020 9:28AM
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Jethrow said..
Hi all, I've been sailing all my life, windsurfed a lot back in the 80's & 90's, did a few years of Formula 10 years ago and have now got back into windsurfing racing an LT.

My question is how bad does a foil have to be to be unusable? The price of foils is dropping into the region where it's not prohibitive to give it a go and see if I like it. I'm talking light to moderate cruising. I still have an older slalom board in the roof of the garage and a few smaller race sails in the rack. I'm not interested in huge cammed race sails, they're why I got out of formula.

Anyway, are the early, cheaper foils just diabolical to use? Will using an early foil actually be worse as a test platform than a more expensive newer model?

Appreciate your thoughts


I was in the same boat as you and after speaking to a couple of people decided to buy a new foil, I use it on my old 2006 Falcon 131 slalom board. The board has a deep tuttle and I beefed it up by applying 5 layers of carbon over the top of the tuttle box(deck) and epoxied on a carbon plate on the bottom of the board + I tied some line to it for insurace lol, added some soft deck grip to the deck because my knees where being sanded every time I climbed on, so far so good.
The first ever foil session used a camless 5.8m sail and the 2nd a 6.3m race sail(lighter winds) both felt great, still got a lot of learning to do but so far loving it the crashes are similar to when jumping a board




Hess
11 posts
1 Apr 2020 7:14AM
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These guys have provide you with some solid advice. I would add that if you still have an old formula board I suggest slapping on a couple layers of glass on the top and bottom around the finbox, place the mast base near the back of the track, and take off the foots straps to start. As they pointed out using an older >1000cm2, thick profile foil does not diminish the fun factor.
This worked for me and my friends. We just stood in board of the foot pads to begin with and as we learnt to jibe. We now have smaller boards and faster foils but still use the big stuff on lighter days.
Have Fun

powersloshin
NSW, 1119 posts
2 Apr 2020 8:20AM
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My first foil was the naish hover, and I tried it on a slalom board. The wing is large enough to get going at low speed, but I found that I had to apply a lot of back leg pressure, and if I used large sails it was very difficult to fly steadily. I think now that it was mostly due to my wrong settings, I had footstraps and mast foot too much forward.
So my advice if you get a naish is to move footstraps and mast back and use small sails for starting. My most used size for foiling is 5.7 (76 kg)

LeeD
1452 posts
2 Apr 2020 5:32AM
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Good stuff!
After 77 days on Naish setup, 73 kg, foil back of track. Sail mast forward of center by 1.5".
Front strap full forward.
Back straps 3 holes forward.
Same stupid as my bump n jump gear.

LeeD
1452 posts
2 Apr 2020 5:35AM
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Spellcheck erases my "setup" and added "stupid".....over and over.



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"How bad does a foil have to be to be unuseable?" started by Jethrow