Windfoiling boards vs. windsurf boards – 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. Riders are enjoying the best sessions of their lives on days too light for you to even go out. What are you waiting for? Give windfoiling a shot.
One of the first questions you’ll probably ask (and one we regularly get at Slingshot) is: “Can I use a board I already have rather than buying a new one?” Our short answer is sure… but we advise against it. The chances of breaking your board and losing your foil are high. By investing in a board designed specifically for foiling you will learn easier, progress faster and have more fun.
1. Board and box construction
Typical windsurf boards just aren’t built to account for the different torque forces of foiling. Traditional windsurf board boxes were never designed to withstand the high forward-aft torque of the foil and are prone to failure. If you’re lucky, a failure would present itself as a subtle dimple in front of the box. This is a definite warning sign 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 kiteboards; 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 windfoil boards all come equipped with fully reinforced high-density foam and PVC boxes. They also have added stringers and carbon enforcement designed to handle all levels of foiling.
2. Board Shapes
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 traditional windsurfer.
Short, wide, high volume:
Since you’re generally in lighter wind, a higher-volume board that 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. It is great for learners, heavier riders or more casual foilers who will need a little extra board under their feet.
Super helpful for rebounding instead of nose-diving.
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.