Rewind 30 years, and windsurfers were foiling!

"These foils back in the 70's and 80's weren't quite as sophisticated as what we see today..."
Hydrofoils are big news in sailing, kiteboarding and to a lesser extent windsurfing right now, but funnily enough, they've been around for a very long time!

Back in the 1980's, sailing hardware company Harken was turning its attention to the windsurfers, which were back then, actual windsurfers. You know, huge white boards, Dacron sails with a couple of 1/3rd length battens in the trailing edge? Windsurfers! There were even a few attempts before then with the traditional V foils in the 70's. They worked, long enough to snap a picture anyway! Even those old dinosaurs were getting up on foils, so why is it just catching on now?

These foils back in the 80's weren't quite as sophisticated as what we see from the likes of

%3Bebc%3DANyPxKpPiryb1qrts49u2HsZsECvbs6cerLqBnlG_fikQm2Sl-uR9qi8t5lVnYPt5gjSE5Gu_z7CUFDtjhcFpEra4NfidfZqbQ' target='_blank' rel='nofollow'> Horue today. In fact they looked positively uncomfortable to ride, with longitudinal stability issues caused by having no stabilizer on the rear of the monstrous board. But, the concept is there, the technology just needed 30 years to catch up!

Now, foils are mounted in traditional deep Tuttle fin boxes, with both the main wing and stabilizer mounted on a fuselage (just like the kite foils). Stability is great, speeds are mind-blowingly fast, and a windsurfer of average skill can get up and foiling in just a few hours of practice.

Check out how it used to be though, when hydrofoils were for futurists and riding one was considered a serious achievement…


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