Windsurfing Foil Board Shapes Explained
Three key evolutions of windsurf foil boards are…Shorter, wider and scooped and don’t forget they need to be more durable.
Just when you thought you had a solid grasp on the latest windsurfing gear and what setup works best for you, foiling explodes onto the scene and throws everything out of whack. New windsurf board shapes and sizes, new bottom contours, new rail and rocker lines, new construction, new sail considerations, new box standards, new mast and footstrap placement, a long list of new terms and concepts to memorize and a hundred different foil shapes, configurations and materials to choose from.
Some might find it overwhelming or frustrating, but if you’re anything like us, all this NEW in windsurfing means renewed excitement and intrigue, and a level of fun on the water we’ve been chasing ever since we started. We are perpetual students of the sport, and having all the new tech of foiling to obsess about is like the next book in a series we never want to end.
Since we can’t talk about everything at once, we’ll keep this to a one-beer-post and cover three key elements of windsurf foil board shapes that are quite a bit different than what you’re used to.
1. Short and wide
At just 5’10”, the Slingshot Wizard 105L would have been the laughing stock of the beach before foiling. It’s a fat, stubby shape that would have made a nice table to barbeque on, but unless you had gale force winds, you would have had a hard time making it back to the beach. With a foil, everything changes. Once you get the hang of foiling, all you need is a puff and you can pump yourself up to speed and on-foil. From there the short, agile shape of the Wizard (also in 6’8” 125L and 6’8” 150L sizes) and the Dialer (7’6”) is crazy fun. The shorter board you’re on, the more control, agility and maneuverability you’ll have, and the more it feels like you’re riding a hoverboard from Back-to-the-Future.
If you’re a larger or more mellow cruiser, if you plan on sailing super light winds or if you don’t plan on advanced foiling, we recommend one of the Dialer sizes, or the Wizard 150. If you’re more aggressive, athletic, lighter or want a board you can whip around like a sports car, go for one of the Wizards.
2. Higher volume
Even if you’re a pro, you’ll at least want the option to uphaul since foiling is generally most fun in light wind with a smaller sail. Taking into consideration shorter board lengths and less sail, you’ll need a wider board with enough volume to not only float your body weight but to generate enough speed in light wind to pump up and get on-foil. Slingshot’s lineup starts at 105L for the stumpy sub-6’ Wizard and goes up to 145L for the 7’6” Dialer. That’s quite a difference from the 8’6”, 85L profile of your typical performance board.
3. Front-end dimensions
Unless you’re riding waves or jumping, pearling usually isn’t much of a concern in windsurfing. When you add a foil and the height of a mast (anywhere from 15” to 35.5” if you’re using our Foiling Flight School learning method) to the equation, pearling quickly becomes one of the most common reasons for crashing. Foil-specific board shapes have been modified to be quite a bit wider and more scooped. This helps in rebounding and bouncing off the water when you touch down instead of nose diving and going over the handlebars. For the easiest learning, the length and width of the Dialer will be the most helpful in minimizing pearling. If you’re a strong sailor who plans on more aggressive freeride foiling, don’t worry about the learning process and go straight to the Wizard.
Learn how to Windfoil at Foil-Academy.com. It’s the number one rated online instructional course.