Windfoiling board vs. windsurf board, three main differences and why they matter.
You’ve read the hype, watched the videos and listened to the beach bums rant and rave about how fun
it is. You’ve been reluctant to invest the time, energy and money into a whole new sport, but there’s no
denying how intriguing it looks, and you’ve had enough of watching others enjoy the best sessions of
their lives on days too light for you to even go out. So you’ve finally decided to commit and give
windfoiling a shot.
One of the first questions you’ll probably ask (and one we regularly get at Slingshot) is if you can use a board you already have rather than buying a new one. Our short answer is sure? But we advise against it.
You’ll learn easier, progress faster, have more fun and are much less likely to break your board or lose
you’re foil if you invest in a board designed specifically for foiling.
1. Board and box construction
Typical windsurf boards just aren’t built to account for the different forces of foiling. Their boxes are
prone to failure due to the high forward-aft torque of the foil, which they were never designed to
withstand. If you’re lucky, a failure is a subtle dimple in front of the box, which is a definite warning to stop
using the board with your foil. If you’re not as lucky, your foil and box will rip out entirely and sink to the
bottom of the sea.
We’ve spent years developing foil boxes for kiteboarding; we know what works and what doesn’t. At
Slingshot, we use multiple reinforcements in and around our deep Tuttle boxes so they can
handle all angles of torque from the foil. Our Dialer, Wizard and Flyer boards all come equipped with
fully reinforced high-density foam and PVC boxes, with added stringers and carbon reinforcements
designed to handle all levels of foiling.
2. Board Shape
It’s kind of like riding down a steep, rough singletrack trail with a road bike: technically it’s probably
doable for a good strong rider (as long as the bike holds up), but you’d have a lot more fun and a lot less
frustration on a bike designed for the right use. The same goes for using a dedicated foil board over a
windsurfer intended for something else. Here are a few key design features:
Short, wide, high volume:
Since you’re generally in lighter wind, a higher-volume board you can uphaul is a must (especially when learning). A short, wide design gives you stability and helps with
early planning, which is what you want with a foil. A wide tail gives you more pitch control and better
leverage for cutting upwind. A wider body also helps with rebounding off the water rather than
crashing when you touch down. Once you’re up and foiling, the short nose decreases swing weight
and increases agility. In Slingshot’s lineup, the Wizard is the most pronounced “nugget” shape and is
great for experienced foilers looking for the next step in progression, or for solid windsurfers who
are confident they’ll learn quickly. The Dialer is a bit longer and higher volume- great for learning,
heavier riders or more casual foilers who are more comfortable with a little extra board under their
Super helpful for rebounding instead of nose-diving, and
Strategically shaped bottom contours are designed to break surface tension
and aid in early takeoff.
3. Mast track and foot strap placement:
Dialing in your setup and position on the board can take a little patience, trial, and error. With a
dedicated foil board, you’ll have the confidence of knowing the pieces are all in the right places, you just
have to fine tune where you want everything. Foot strap inserts are located specifically for foiling, which
will make a huge difference as you progress beyond the learning phase and discover just how different
foiling really is.
Sign up for Foil-Academy today. It’s free. Or call us anytime. 509 427 4950. We’ve got experts from the leaders in foilboarding standing by to answer questions.