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Slalom sails and sizes for foiling

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Created by NicoDC A week ago, 21 Feb 2021
NicoDC
47 posts
21 Feb 2021 5:51AM
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Anyone experience foiling with regular slalom sails? I was wondering if there's a real benefit in switching to foil dedicated sails except for maybe a bit in the low end.
I'm also curious to find out whether size has a big impact on the performance of the sails. It seems to me that bigger sail are faster, but don't get you up sooner because they are just less pumpable. "Passive" take-offs aside ofcourse.
When is a good time to start using heavier/cammed sails? I reckon slalom sails are to powerfull for my foiling skills right now, but would love to know what the options are over time.

BSN101
WA, 1895 posts
21 Feb 2021 6:29AM
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I'm foiling with NP Fusion wave sails cos I do want to destroy my V8s. I did use a large V8 last week and the cams certainly made a difference for stability. A free race foil sail will be lighter tan you slalom sail but powerful to get going. Others swear by the Severnes due to lightness in the hands

LeeD
2285 posts
21 Feb 2021 6:38AM
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Question is.....do you windsurf with slalom sails?

Subsonic
WA, 2273 posts
21 Feb 2021 6:39AM
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Theres a significant benefit to using dedicated foil sails over normal sails. Especially at the race end. Had the oppurtunity to use a foil race, then straight onto a normal cambered slalom race sail. It was quite suprising how much more stability there was in the foil race sail.
i would imagine the opposite to be true, using a foil race sail would be unstable on a slalom board. Theres something to be said for leech tension and higher aspect sails as opposed to floppy leeched slalom sails. Also noticeable is how much power you have/can feel when trying to pump onto the foil with a foil sail. Its well worth the investment.

berowne
NSW, 437 posts
21 Feb 2021 10:20AM
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Wrote a piece on this last month...

www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Foiling/Clew-Position

also some discussion in the speed thread...
www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Foiling/Foil-Racing-Downwind-Speeeeeeeed--

NicoDC
47 posts
21 Feb 2021 3:23PM
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LeeD said..
Question is.....do you windsurf with slalom sails?



Yes, and freestyle. I still have a big 3-cam freerace but haven't used it since I started with slalom sails. They just carry so much more speed through the turn which makes gybing imo easier. But again, probably to much speed when foiling for me rn.

Certainly when racing/speeding it matters, but it's the freeriding/racing I'm going for.

Paducah
1281 posts
21 Feb 2021 9:42PM
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NicoDC said..

LeeD said..
Question is.....do you windsurf with slalom sails?




Yes, and freestyle. I still have a big 3-cam freerace but haven't used it since I started with slalom sails. They just carry so much more speed through the turn which makes gybing imo easier. But again, probably to much speed when foiling for me rn.

Certainly when racing/speeding it matters, but it's the freeriding/racing I'm going for.


Freerace can make respectable freeride foiling sails in the 6-8 m2 range as they tend to have a) less twist than full blown slalom b) fewer battens - less weight ac c) fewer cams - easier and softer rotation (a hard pop 60 cm off the water isn't as pleasant).

Going much bigger than 8-8.5 and you start to run into stability and boom length issues much are magnified because of the pitch sensitivity of foiling. A minor touch of backhand pressure on a finned board with a 230-40 cm boom length is almost unnoticeable but, on a foil, it's annoying.

The even shorter boom lengths and reduced batten counts on foiling sails on 6+m2 sails does help. But if you already have a freerace cammed sail, it's worth taking it out and giving it a go.

fwiw, Sam Ross did most (maybe all?) of his foil instructional videos on a Turbo GT. It may be simply because the requisite sizes of FoilGlides didn't exist when he made them but he did fine. A lot of the French sailors who push pretty high speeds use slalom and freerace sails in smaller sizes without issue.

t36
26 posts
21 Feb 2021 11:07PM
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Last saison I used a 6.3 Tempest and 7.0 M7 machine (both Slalomsails from Avanti with 3 and 4 cambers) vs. my 8.0 Phantom RF (Foil Race sail with 4 cambers) on a PD AI Hybrid 91.

I a straight line - the Avanti Sl sails are fine for foiling - but during the foil jibe the harder rotation was significant inferior to the full Foil sail.

boardsurfr
WA, 1251 posts
22 Feb 2021 12:48AM
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I usually foil with freestyle sails, but had a few sessions on freerace sails. When trimming the freestyle sails with less downhaul, the tight leech an high COE makes them work quite well, and they are easy to pump. But I have had a few sessions on freerace sails around 8 m with 2-3 cams in very light wind. The extra power definitely made a difference to get going (my pumping is just mediocre) and helped a bit to stay up in the gusts. But in turns, the extra weight was very noticeable, and reduced the fun. I'll probably use the freerace sails again in the future when I'm starved for a session, but I don't think that I will bother to try my 4-cam slalom sails on the foil.

I found the comparison of different sail types quite useful to understand how the foil sail designers came up with their criteria. It seems most of them arrived at 2 soft cams that rotate easily, and very light weight, for freeride foil sails, which now makes sense to me. I'll definitely consider a foil-specific sail when one of my current sails dies. The one thing that might keep me from getting one is their suitability for things like duck jibes and 360s, where cams and the fat bottom might be an issue.

Windbot
282 posts
22 Feb 2021 5:27AM
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I consider my dedicated windfoil sail a luxury, it's nice, but not at all a requirement. I have had some of my best sessions on slalom, freeride and wave sails. I have also ridden windfoil dedicated sails that I didn't care for and would prefer a normal sail given the choice.

NicoDC
47 posts
22 Feb 2021 5:38AM
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Thank you all for sharing your experience, I'll also share mine.

Severne Freek 2018 (4.4 & 5.2). imo fantastic sails for foiling. Indeed they are fairly powerfull, playfull and have a higher COE. The downside is that the power is noticably forward in the sail, hence you automatically put more pressure on your frontfoot. No problem for my RRD freerace foil, but you do notice slightly that your balance is a bit off. Remains my fav.

Point-7 Slash 2014 (4.8). Also a freestyle sail but much flatter so less pumpable and powerfull, therfore I usually skip this size. The balance in the sail is good. If my lake wasn't as gusty as it is, the 'harder' feel would be appreciated more. I want to make the most out of every gust and this sail is in that respect less 'efficient'.

Gun sails torro 2016 (6.0). A very nice no-cam freemove sail. Able to get in shape fairly quickly when pumping. Sufficient power and in the right place. Still light, but less playful. The advantage over the freeks is that the profile is more 'rigid', it doesn't flatten out as quickly in the lulls and is more stable. Freestyle sails (should) get you going early, but this sail is just better in the low-end.

Gun sails vector 2016 (8.0). A pretty heavy 3-cam freeracer. Only tried it once foiling because it made my set-up twitchy, which isn't ideal to say the least. The cams have a noticable advantage when getting up and keeping flying. At +-6kg it is as heavy as my 7.0 racingblade. Getting going is rather exhausting for my arms, but it requires less effort and compared to no-cam sails I don't have to pump my longs out. It's a different way of energydraining. I also think less precision or skill is required when pumping because the shape is already in place.

Loftsails racingblade 2016 (7.0) & Gaastra manic 2017 (4.0). Haven't tried it yet.

Generaly speaking I think foil sails add that bit extra low-end and in-flight stability, freerace (or slalom) by contrary delivers more in the high-end.

I'm looking for a 6-7m sail (a balanced size for me) and I think I might buy a 7.0 skyscape because my goal is to foil is 8-16/17 knots, more and I can switch to slalom, freestyle or even go foiling on a 4.0 or 4.4. I'm a bit reluctant because the idea of having 2 sails in the same size feels odd, but the foil sail should be more like a 8 or 9m sail.

NicoDC
47 posts
22 Feb 2021 5:40AM
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Windbot said..
I consider my dedicated windfoil sail a luxury, it's nice, but not at all a requirement. I have had some of my best sessions on slalom, freeride and wave sails. I have also ridden windfoil dedicated sails that I didn't care for and would prefer a normal sail given the choice.



I feel the same way, more of a nice to have than need to have.

Boston!
NSW, 214 posts
22 Feb 2021 5:32PM
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Fin slalom sails have too much lift (there is enough lift from the foil) and the COE is too much towards the backhand which results in all-round instability. (foil sails COE is forward, over the front wing) Also, they are quite rigid, resulting in them being difficult to pump. They are also super responsive to gusts, making them unsuitable for foiling, for mine. Switching to foil-specific sails is the gear change that has helped my foiling the most. Good luck!

NicoDC
47 posts
Monday , 22 Feb 2021 9:40PM
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Real helpfull, thanks!

segler
799 posts
Tuesday , 23 Feb 2021 12:41AM
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I have been foiling with 1999-vintage Sailworks XT racing slalom sails because I have no found anything else that I like better. 6.4, 7.4, and 8.5. I even like them better than the two Flyers I have. When it gets windy I use an ancient Revolution 5.0.

I have to conclude that if you have decent sails for windsurfing, they will probably work just fine for foiling. I'm sure there are exceptions.

Maddlad
WA, 563 posts
Tuesday , 23 Feb 2021 11:54AM
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Yep, foil sails are much more stable and better all round for foiling in my opinion.

WhiteofHeart
497 posts
Tuesday , 23 Feb 2021 6:58PM
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Boston! said..
Fin slalom sails have too much lift (there is enough lift from the foil) and the COE is too much towards the backhand which results in all-round instability. (foil sails COE is forward, over the front wing) Also, they are quite rigid, resulting in them being difficult to pump. They are also super responsive to gusts, making them unsuitable for foiling, for mine. Switching to foil-specific sails is the gear change that has helped my foiling the most. Good luck!





Foil-specific sails are not really needed to have fun, i have tried quite a few, but dont own any of them (anymore). My preference goes out for wavesails and 1-2cam freeride sails, I find the cambered freeride foil sails too unstable in gusts and in more wind due to the low overall tension and low nr of battens and my technique is good enough to not need the extra power to get going early. Still, a freeride sail like the Severne Turbo 1-cam in 6.5 is a lot closer to the "true" foil sails, with just a little bit extra stiffness and stability and a little less low-end, ideal for a 200lbs foiler like me.

On the other hand, slalom sails are the least suitable sails for foiling you can have for the reasons explained in the comment cited above. They are very late to fly, hard to pump, and on the foil relatively quick to overpower because of the backhand!

Ofcourse the newest generation slalomsails have been adjusted for foil use aswell, so that is a different matter.



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"Slalom sails and sizes for foiling" started by NicoDC