Which Hydrofoil Wing is best for you in Windfoiling? | 2019

The Hover Glide Modular foil platform for Windfoiling has several different front wings that all perform differently. Find out which hydrofoil wing is best for you.

 

Slingshot Windsurfing Brand Manager Wyatt Miller is here to give you a detailed breakdown of four of Slingshot’s current wind foiling wings (Infinity 84, Infinity 76, Infinity 65 and Warp Speed). Whether you’re just getting into foiling or are an expert, Wyatt’s level of knowledge of the product and how each difference in design translates to performance is invaluable information.

The Hover Glide can be tailored for high-performance use in 5 sports. Use our Wing Selector tool to get the exact information on Windfoiling and the other sports that interest you.

Here is the transcript:

Hey guys, I’m Wyatt Miller. I’m the brand manager for Slingshot’s Windsurfing Division. Down here at my windsurfing resort, Pro Windsurf La Ventana in Baja. I get a lot of questions about the wings and which wings should people try and which one’s the right one. I just want to go through all the different wings in the lineup and give you my two cents on all of them.

I think the first part to talk about is big wing vs small wing. When I first started testing for Tony a bunch of years ago, I started on this one, which is the Time Code 57. It’s a pretty small wing. What I’ve seen over and over and over again in foiling, is that people learn how to foil and then they just say, “Hey, I want a smaller wing; I want to go faster. I need a smaller wing and I want to jump higher, faster, higher, faster.” I was the same way. I didn’t start on the bigger wing for 2018, the Gamma 68. I started on this small one because I wanted to be able to jump. Looking back at it, it really held me back. Yeah, I could jump and I started throwing loops, but I was 20% of my jibes. I was using this and I just kept being like, “Tony, give me a smaller one, give me a faster one, give me a smaller one, give me a faster one.” So he’s like, “You don’t want a smaller, faster one.” I was like, “Give it to me!

 This is the Warp Speed 65.

Really fast wing. But again, you have to hold a lot of speed through your jibes. If you slow down at all, it stalls and drops. It didn’t help my jibing at all.

At the same time he gave me that Warp Speed, he also gave me one of the early prototypes of what’s now our flagship, which is the Infinity 76. He gave me the Infinity 76 and I just let it sit the in the garage down here for two months.

Finally, we’re getting a little bored so we pulled it out. From that day on me and my buddy just fought over it. For the next three months we were down here we didn’t want to foil unless we could use this wing, and we only had one of them. Immediately my jibes went from 20% up to 80, 90%. Also, immediately I had so much fun just riding swell, just riding whitecap bumps, if we get some bigger rolling swell on the outside. With the bigger wing I could really feel the energy in the water. The energy in even just a one-foot, two-foot piece of chop has so much lift and energy. I could sheet the sail out, just hold the mast and carve back and forth on little swells. I could pump the windsurf board just like you pump a foil surfboard. All of a sudden I fell way more in love with foiling with the bigger wing than with the smaller wing.

The Hover Glide Infinity 76:

It comes on all of our FWind1 packages. The 76 width gives you a lot of rail-to-rail stability so it’s not super tippy as the smaller wings are. The more width you get the more rail-to-rail stability you get there. It’s got a pretty low stall speed. I can take it down to about seven miles an hour, eight miles an hour before it drops. When I’m jibing, I can go these long, slow jibes and just exit with hardly any speed, take all the time I need to get my footwork together and it stays lifting. It’s so much easier to jibe.

It’s got a top speed of about 25 knots, so it’s still really fast. If I’m on my 4.4-meter windsurf sail, just lit up on my 80-liter waveboard, screaming off the wind, I’m doing 24, 25 knots, so it’s real windsurf speed, but it has the advantage of just a super low stall speed. You can go really slow, you can ride waves, you can ride swell, you can catch up to a boat wake and sheet the sail out and just ride that energy in the water. The Slingshot Infinity 76- that’s really the flagship. That’s my favorite wing right now. It’s windsurf fast, it’ll go real fast, but it also has a really low stall speed.

The next size up is an Infinity 84:

This thing’s so big. This is like having training wheels. It’s got so much side-to-side width that you’re really, really stable. The stall speed is four or five miles an hour. You’re basically not moving before this thing drops. It lifts crazy early.

One funny thing about the 84 is that you can uphaul or waterstart and sheet in, and this thing will want to lift you out of the water before you have enough forward momentum to continue foiling. You can sheet in, the thing will lift out of the water, your board will swing upwind and downwind, upwind and downwind, and then settle back down. You actually have to keep it on the water until you get five or six miles an hour speed, and then let it lift so that you have that forward momentum to keep it going. This thing will lift before you have enough forward momentum to keep going.  Like I said, it’s like training wheels. Your jibing is so much easier. Upwind, 360s on the foil, downwind 360s on the foil. It’s kind of like cheating; I got to be honest. But super fun to ride around. It’s so fun to just sheet the sail all the way out, hold the mast with one hand and just pump downwind for hundreds of meters. The Infinity 84- It’s the ultimate light-wind wing.

The only thing I don’t like about the 84 is it kind of hits a wall at about 20, 21 knots. It doesn’t want to over lift, which is something that’s really cool about all of these Infinity wings. It doesn’t want to over lift; it just hits a wall and you can’t push it forward. You’re not going super slow, but I’m not going quite as fast as I feel like I’m going when I’m lit up on my 4-4 or my 5-0 full power windsurfing. It’s a little slower, but man, it’s so much easier to jibe, so much easier to upwind and downwind, carve 360s. Pumps like crazy, ultra-low stall speed, super fun wing.

One thing that Tony did, which I don’t know how he figured this out other than it’s kind of just like a windsurf sail. But what he did is he put downforce in the wing tips that kicks in with higher speeds. All these Infinity wings, if you look at them, they all have this downforce built into the wing tips. What that does is it basically creates a self-regulating wing.  At really slow speeds I get a ton of lift from the center of the wing right here; that’s where all my lift comes from. It pops me up and I’m on my front foot. Then as I get to medium speeds, this downforce on the wing tip kicks in and actually wants to drive the foil down a little bit. At medium speeds I’ve got weight on both of my feet. Then as I start to push it faster and faster and faster, this downforce on the wing tips kicks in more and more, and I’m able to get my weight further and further back over my back foot, and really drive the thing faster.

By putting downforce in the wing tips, it’s kind of like the twist off on the top of a sale; you get a really big gust or get overpowered on your windsurf sale? Your windsurf sale twists off. The biggest problem with most foils on the market is that the faster you go, the more they lift. The faster you’re going, the more and more you’re having to get over your front foot to keep it down.

The Infinity line, Tony designed this basically just like the twist off on the top of a windsurf sail. It’s this downforce in the wing tips, that the faster you go the more it wants to go against that lift and actually drive it down. I’ve taken it behind my boat and towed buddies on the 76, on a wakeboard with the foil behind the boat. When you get up to 30 miles an hour, the thing is trying to go down and it’s kind of scary. You’re like, “Oh,” trying to push so hard on your back foot to keep the thing going at extremely high speeds.  For windsurfing, that’s exactly what you want. You don’t want the traditional foil that just over lifts with too much speed. These Infinity wings, the more speed you have, the more downforce in the wingtips kicks in and wants to allow you to get your weight over your back foot.

It’s the same here for my all-time favorite wing … is the newest in the line coming out in August.

The Hover Glide Infinity 65.

This is a great speed machine. It’s absolutely insane for jumping. It lifts pretty early. Don’t have to get going crazy fast for it to lift, but for jumping and all the freestyle maneuvers … Jack Muller, all our team riders are using this all the time basically.  It has a low enough stall speed that I can sail backwinded for hundreds of yards across the water. Jumping is great. It’s still 65 wide, so it’s not super tippy. It’s just, if you want to go fast and jump and rip around, this is the wing. But I’m not going to be able to foil through a downwind 360 on this. Maybe someday, but I haven’t done it so far yet.

For any day that I’m just going to go out cruising and I’m not trying to jump, hands down I like to ride this Infinity 76. That’s my favorite for cruising around, trying to get upwind 360s, downwind 360s. If I’m jumping, this is just too big to jump. I’d rather be on the Infinity 65. The Infinity 84. If the wind is ultra light or I just really want to work on getting upwind 360s, downwind 360s, 540s and staying on a foil through any maneuver, the 84 is my favorite wing.

Then there’s Slingshot’s the Warp Speed 65. This is just crazy fast. This is your 30-knot wing. You definitely have to get going 14, 15 knots. You have to be basically planing on the board before this thing will lift. But it’s got these crazy curves in the wingtips, kind of a gull wing shape. For a ripping, really hard turns, just full power jibe, this has the most grip through a turn. It grips like crazy, it’s super fast, crazy fun to jump. The lift is really quite far-forward on it. This is your ultimate speed machine jumping and just high-speed carve machine.

Another cool thing about all these Infinity wings is this nice downturn on the wing tips. That gives you grip through the turn, but also it’s puncture resistance. When you’re doing big crazy jumps or maybe you’re not doing big crazy jumps, it’s nice to know that if I fall on this thing, it’s not going to go right through me. This downturn, these winglets, they provide grip on the turn and just if you’re going to fall on it, you’re going to be a lot happier that you have those. Those carry through all of the Infinity lines. You can see the curved winglets on all of them. So nice grip through the turn and also makes it a lot safer.

The 84, that’s the ultimate light wind machine. It’s like training wheels for jibes, carve 360s, upwind 360s. Pumping is so fun. You can just pump forever only holding the mast. The happy medium, definitely faster, this is more windsurf speed here, is the Infinity 76. That’s the one that’s included in all the packages. You can do carve 360s and stay on foil, upwind, downwind. You can ride swell, ride wakes. But it takes you to that 24, 25-knot speed that makes you feel like you’re going just as fast as you would on your normal windsurfer.

Then you got the Infinity 65. This is your high-speed jumping machine, freestyle wing. I love this thing. If you just want to go ultimate fast, rip really hard grippy turns, and you’re not worried about needing enough wind to get the board basically planing before it lifts, then the Warp Speed is the way to go.

For more Windfoil information check out these other Blog Posts:

Which Size Levitator board is right for you? 

Which Size Wizard board matches your riding style? 

Educational videos on each Wing:

Infinity 84

Infinity 76

Remember to visit the Foil Academy for more tips and tricks on Windfoiling!

windfoil academy