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Has foiling just killed light wind windsurfing?

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Created by my7thlife 29 days ago, 19 Aug 2019
my7thlife
55 posts
19 Aug 2019 8:48PM
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To my surprise I saw that both the ultrasonic and the isonic 91 have disappeared from the 2020 starboard range. The same pattern seems to exist at the rrd range as well and I suspect fanatic will follow suit. This is really disappointing since the ultrasonic is the board I love most and the one that has drastically improved my windsurfing days. I have emailed starboard and wait for a response but I suspect all major brands are pushing hard on the foil fad and want to make us invest a few thousand of our hard earned money on foil ready boards and a foil quiver. Shame because I am not keen on following the foil craze any time soon and it seems I will have a hard time finding a replacement for my beloved ultrasonic when the time comes...

Brienno
11 posts
19 Aug 2019 10:33PM
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Fanatic still has the Falcon Lightwind in its 2020 lineup (www.fanatic.com/product/falcon-lightwind/), and I'm pretty sure that JP will have its own too, as it's a bestseller.
The foil thing is apparently being pumped up by marketing people in order to convince customers and change their old equipment.

BSN101
WA, 1705 posts
19 Aug 2019 10:58PM
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We have 4 US boards here. We all luv them. They may get foiled too but a foil board for foiling is the go imho.

forceten
782 posts
19 Aug 2019 11:10PM
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I have no interest in foils. What I find is a Windsup has taken over my light wind days when I want some on the water time.

YMMV

my7thlife
55 posts
19 Aug 2019 11:11PM
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Brienno said..
Fanatic still has the Falcon Lightwind in its 2020 lineup (www.fanatic.com/product/falcon-lightwind/), and I'm pretty sure that JP will have its own too, as it's a bestseller.
The foil thing is apparently being pumped up by marketing people in order to convince customers and change their old equipment.


Yes indeed, just saw that the falcon lightwind is still available in 2020. As for the JP I wouldn't consider it as an option, I feel it is rather slow and lacks upper end performance.

Ben1973
258 posts
19 Aug 2019 11:38PM
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Damn the US was the only starboard I was tempted by for next year. Might have to think about the formula 177now for when it's to light for my Fox
waiting to see if Severne has made any changes to the Fox.

mark62
311 posts
20 Aug 2019 2:14AM
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Foiling has taken off in the Uk too. Personally, even though I've not tried it, I just have no interest in foiling at all.

I recently replaced my SB formula for an Ultrasonic, and it's fun in 8k to 12k thermal summer winds with a 9.6m/63cm & 58cm Deb R13 fins. I also have an iS130 for 9.6 anD 8.4 for winds above 12k.

Im 100kg, and me kit gets me out in 10 knots upwards, so I'm not convinced I need the remortgage the kids to get more stuff.

just my 2 cents worth

mr love
VIC, 1799 posts
20 Aug 2019 6:09AM
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I am not sure they have thought it through completely. Foiling will become popular and is certainly going to become a pretty mainstream light wind option but is not going to work for everybody. What about weedy venues or very shallow venues?
I feel there is still a place for the light wind board.....my 2c

AUS4
NSW, 1035 posts
20 Aug 2019 7:29AM
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NO

Ben1973
258 posts
20 Aug 2019 8:24AM
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No interest in foiling, but I have a lot of interest in light wind boards so getting rid of the US is bad

elmo
WA, 7955 posts
20 Aug 2019 8:46AM
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I sold my beloved JP SLW to get a foil board, because they said you could use it as a slapper if you wanted.

Well you can but it's a pig.

So I traded and got myself another JP SLW (my 3rd I think).

Now I can foil and go for a slap on it if it takes my desire (and it has on a number of occasions). It's the best of Both worlds.


Never part with my big girl ever again, good for a bit of slap and tickle as well as some air time

Orange Whip
QLD, 626 posts
20 Aug 2019 8:03PM
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It is disappointing,. My local is very tidal and I still find 'slapping' very enjoyable and challenging, so, that coupled with the ridiculous cost of foils means I'm not even slightly interested in foiling.

Probably not that surprising though, SB have always been 'out there' with their strategies. Hard to fathom some of the things they do and the directions they go in.

So, now just need someone to do a comprehensive review on the JP SLW vs the Fanatic Lightwind. I doubt we'll see any second hand SB US's coming up for sale any time soon.

EDIT: there is this one from a while back:
www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Review/JP-SLW-vs-Fanatic-Falcon-Light-Wind?page=1

CJW
NSW, 1564 posts
20 Aug 2019 8:14PM
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Yes >_>

Costs and venue issues aside if you haven't tried it I wouldn't discount it. Foiling opens up a light wind world we could of only dreamt about a few years ago. Don't knock it till you've tried it

Orange Whip
QLD, 626 posts
20 Aug 2019 8:51PM
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CJW said..
Yes >_>

Costs and venue issues aside if you haven't tried it I wouldn't discount it. Foiling opens up a light wind world we could of only dreamt about a few years ago. Don't knock it till you've tried it



No I'm not knocking it, it's popularity in such a short period proves it has appeal. And at the end of the day if the sales of foiling gear have helped the success of the brands and the retailers, then that's a good thing.

gavnwend
NSW, 1026 posts
20 Aug 2019 9:06PM
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Having a Foil setup is good.Its a big tick for those light days! I don't have to use big sails anymore but nothing beats sailing a slalom or freeride board with a fin,its real sailing & always will be for me.

azymuth
WA, 747 posts
20 Aug 2019 7:57PM
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CJW said..
Foiling opens up a light wind world we could of only dreamt about a few years ago. Don't knock it till you've tried it


I reckon foiling is even more fun in 20-30 knot winds and big chop/swell.
You can carve wind-swells downwind and fly back upwind in a way that's impossible without a foil

Paducah
473 posts
21 Aug 2019 8:40AM
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Foiling is light wind windsurfing. Shallow spots have always been a problem for wide boards and matching fins. I have more range with a 7.5 and foil than I did with a 9.5 and Formula board. Plus I don't have the expense of the 9.5 rig. I absolutely get going sooner with a 7.5 and the foil.

I get that there are places too shallow for foiling. My foil board was intentionally built as a convertible because I spend a few weeks each year in spots that are foil-hostile. These same spots were just as out of reach for my Formula board - I'd even drag the weedy. But any other time and place, the foil gets me up and going sooner with more smiles.

RichardG
WA, 2690 posts
21 Aug 2019 11:00AM
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I still think longboard sailing is fun there is nothing like the glide of a longboard whether it is a Raceboard, Mistral Equipe, One Design or a Windsurfer LT, so much fun. Foiling is fun too but it is more complicated and fiddly than sailing the longboard. I don't know whether I enjoy sailing the foil in light winds to be honest. At my 95 kg, I need at least 10-12 knots to enjoy foiling and when foiling I use a JP 150 Hydrofoil Pro 2019, NP F4 2018 and an Ezzy Hydra 7.0. I think I need a better foil but don't want to spend any more money just now. I think from what I have seen the Slingshot is a better light wind foil for the light stuff or one of the Starboard foils. I think the disadvantage of foiling is the cost and arms race aspect whereas longboards are cheap and you can pick up a good Mistral for say $500 or less, someone just got a Superlight 2 in Newcastle for $200 and plug in an existing sail. When you sell the Mistral I don't believe you will lose money, but sadly can't say that about the foils which depreciate a fair bit like most of these toys.

azymuth
WA, 747 posts
21 Aug 2019 11:35AM
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RichardG said..
I still think longboard sailing is fun there is nothing like the glide of a longboard whether it is a Raceboard, Mistral Equipe, One Design or a Windsurfer LT, so much fun. Foiling is fun too but it is more complicated and fiddly than sailing the longboard. I don't know whether I enjoy sailing the foil in light winds to be honest. At my 95 kg, I need at least 10-12 knots to enjoy foiling and when foiling I use a JP 150 Hydrofoil Pro 2019, NP F4 2018 and an Ezzy Hydra 7.0. I think I need a better foil but don't want to spend any more money just now. I think from what I have seen the Slingshot is a better light wind foil for the light stuff or one of the Starboard foils. I think the disadvantage of foiling is the cost and arms race aspect whereas longboards are cheap and you can pick up a good Mistral for say $500 or less, someone just got a Superlight 2 in Newcastle for $200 and plug in an existing sail. When you sell the Mistral I don't believe you will lose money, but sadly can't say that about the foils which depreciate a fair bit like most of these toys.




The arms race seems to be in race foiling.
Freeride/surf foiling - I've foiled approx 200 sessions with the Infinity 76 wing and Wizard 105 and I don't feel the need to upgrade - if there was anything to upgrade to. The major upgrade possible is my own skill

There's quite a learning curve with light wind foiling that isn't necessarily shortcutted by buying bigger sails etc.
With a big Slingshot wing and enough TOW most folks should be able to get going with a 5.9 in 10-12 knots.

DarrylG
WA, 207 posts
21 Aug 2019 12:16PM
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azymuth said..

RichardG said..
I still think longboard sailing is fun there is nothing like the glide of a longboard whether it is a Raceboard, Mistral Equipe, One Design or a Windsurfer LT, so much fun. Foiling is fun too but it is more complicated and fiddly than sailing the longboard. I don't know whether I enjoy sailing the foil in light winds to be honest. At my 95 kg, I need at least 10-12 knots to enjoy foiling and when foiling I use a JP 150 Hydrofoil Pro 2019, NP F4 2018 and an Ezzy Hydra 7.0. I think I need a better foil but don't want to spend any more money just now. I think from what I have seen the Slingshot is a better light wind foil for the light stuff or one of the Starboard foils. I think the disadvantage of foiling is the cost and arms race aspect whereas longboards are cheap and you can pick up a good Mistral for say $500 or less, someone just got a Superlight 2 in Newcastle for $200 and plug in an existing sail. When you sell the Mistral I don't believe you will lose money, but sadly can't say that about the foils which depreciate a fair bit like most of these toys.




The arms race seems to be in race foiling.
Freeride/surf foiling - I've foiled approx 200 sessions with the Infinity 76 wing and Wizard 105 and I don't feel the need to upgrade - if there was anything to upgrade to. The major upgrade possible is my own skill

There's quite a learning curve with light wind foiling that isn't necessarily shortcutted by buying bigger sails etc.
With a big Slingshot wing and enough TOW most folks should be able to get going with a 5.9 in 12 knots.


I see a lot of people making assumptions about an arms race in foiling then using it as an excuse to not try it.
One of the top race foils is still the Starboard race foil which has not changed in the last few years. Still a 95 cm mast and 800 wing.
The best boards for course racing are the old formula boards, preferred over the narrower dedicated foil boards.
Fully cambered Slalom sails are perfectly OK.
You just need to look at the results from the last two Australian nationals - Both won with an old formula board and old 7.8 slalom sail.

Often the only cost to convert to foiling is buying a foil. And this costs less than buying one new slalom board.

In the long run it is much cheaper than slalom. You end up with one board not 3, 3 sails not 5, 1 x foil ( 2 x wings) not a dozen fins.

As JJ said above, the biggest gains are thru TOW, not spending more money.
If you don't want to foil, fine, but stop making up excuses why you can't.

BSN101
WA, 1705 posts
21 Aug 2019 12:42PM
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foiling presents a great cost per session ratio. And getting out with existing sails and boards really increases TOW but not cost (initially). Could easily give 100% increase of TOW.
If only we had 100% more time to be on water. Lol

azymuth
WA, 747 posts
21 Aug 2019 1:16PM
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DarrylG said..
I see a lot of people making assumptions about an arms race in foiling then using it as an excuse to not try it.
One of the top race foils is still the Starboard race foil which has not changed in the last few years. Still a 95 cm mast and 800 wing.
The best boards for course racing are the old formula boards, preferred over the narrower dedicated foil boards.
Fully cambered Slalom sails are perfectly OK.
You just need to look at the results from the last two Australian nationals - Both won with an old formula board and old 7.8 slalom sail.

Often the only cost to convert to foiling is buying a foil. And this costs less than buying one new slalom board.

In the long run it is much cheaper than slalom. You end up with one board not 3, 3 sails not 5, 1 x foil ( 2 x wings) not a dozen fins.

As JJ said above, the biggest gains are thru TOW, not spending more money.
If you don't want to foil, fine, but stop making up excuses why you can't.




Good points Darryl




TOW;
It doesn't take long to get up foiling and have fun going back and forth.
But like any other discipline of windsurfing, it takes a fairly serious commitment of time to gain proficiency - to start exploiting the awesome advantages of foiling.
Many of the perceived equipment issues fade as skills improve

CJW
NSW, 1564 posts
21 Aug 2019 9:19PM
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Yep I also agree RE the arms race thing, it's almost entirely confined to the race scene. Starboard were way ahead of the curve in this regard so their race foil hasn't seen as many changes as others but make no mistake it's still been heavily upgraded, just look at all the revisions of it registered with the PWA. I also don't think there's anyway you'd win the nationals this year on a normal slalom sail, particularly if it's light, the new rigs are that much better in the low end.

On the freefoil scene you aren't so concerned with ultimate speed and angle it's just easy of use, flexibility and range, of which there are many brands which have this covered.

I think one of the biggest disservices to the foiling scene was the original Neil Pryde ally foil. It was cheap and claimed good performance and hence it had big adoption rates. The thing was it was and is a rubbish design, fuse too short, not enough lateral dihedral, no adjustability, poor lift performace and it snapped at the head. I think a lot of people had a go on that thing and decided foiling was all to hard and not for them, a great shame.

The other thing is it does take a bit to get your gear setup to make foiling easy, this can be difficult if you just go in blind with a normal windsurfing 'style' mindset and a non analytical approach. There is also a lot of bad advice out there in terms of how to setup your gear unfortunately.

Ian K
NSW, 2920 posts
22 Aug 2019 9:53AM
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CJW said..

I think one of the biggest disservices to the foiling scene was the original Neil Pryde ally foil. It was cheap and claimed good performance and hence it had big adoption rates. The thing was it was and is a rubbish design, fuse too short, not enough lateral dihedral, no adjustability, poor lift performace and it snapped at the head. I think a lot of people had a go on that thing and decided foiling was all to hard and not for them, a great shame.



You've got me confused now. I looked up dihedral. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dihedral_(aeronautics).
Got my head around these two diagrams. (The text in the link helps)


Went off to check the dihedral on the new wing and longer fuselage I'd bartered for my pinkie. (mothballed over winter) Its dihedral is negative! So according to this theory if it rolls the feedback will be positive.

DarrylG
WA, 207 posts
22 Aug 2019 11:03AM
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Foil characteristic can be broken down into 3 directions
Longitudinal stability - ( forward / back)
Lateral stability - ( Side to side )
Yaw - ( angle of attack changes relative to the main mast )

Early NP ally foils had flat wings which meant low yaw stability. That is a lot of the advantage of more curve wings, think of it as more grip in the direction of travel.
The longitudinal stability was low because of the short fuselage / small rear wing and low rear wing angle. - Pros and cons to changing any of the three factors. No one answer as all have advantages and disadvantages.

Lateral Stability, probably the least critical as the wing span and mast length provides a lot a stability. Having negative - Anhedral helps you roll from side to side and change direction. Just look at a lot of the surf / sup foils. If we made the foils with a lot of positive dihedral ( self righting) they could become too stable and be very difficult to turn.


CJW
NSW, 1564 posts
22 Aug 2019 1:04PM
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Sorry Ian meant longitudinal dihedral...typed too fast

snides8
WA, 1589 posts
22 Aug 2019 7:30PM
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Foiling has redefined light wind windsurfing..
The only equipment that can sail effectively in similar light winds are long boards and that's in displacement mode imo.
As far as I am concerned re fad or craze I don't care
more than happy to have the water too myself while other sailors surf the net
yesterdays light winder

azymuth
WA, 747 posts
22 Aug 2019 8:16PM
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snides8 said..
Foiling has redefined light wind windsurfing..
The only equipment that can sail effectively in similar light winds are long boards and that's in displacement mode imo.
As far as I am concerned re fad or craze I don't care
more than happy to have the water too myself while other sailors surf the net
yesterdays light winder



Nice vid Steve
"while other sailors surf the net" - that's gold

Gorgo
VIC, 4266 posts
22 Aug 2019 11:11PM
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snides8 said..
Foiling has redefined light wind windsurfing..
....


It's a mistake to emphasise the light wind aspect of foiling. Foiling in wind blown chop is pure joy.

Ride a couple of km upwind along the coast. Carve and swoosh your way upwind. Turn around and head out and run the faces on the angle until half way back. Then turn in and swoosh back and forth on the faces to the start point. Repeat.

RichardG
WA, 2690 posts
22 Aug 2019 9:57PM
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snides8 said..
Foiling has redefined light wind windsurfing..
The only equipment that can sail effectively in similar light winds are long boards and that's in displacement mode imo.
As far as I am concerned re fad or craze I don't care
more than happy to have the water too myself while other sailors surf the net
yesterdays light winder


Snides, great sailing and top video. A clear demonstration of the effectiveness of light wind foiling by a sailor at the height of his powers not that I am suggesting there is any limit to them. What was the windspeed (it looks very light at a guess about 5-10 knots ? ) and what equipment were you using ?

snides8
WA, 1589 posts
23 Aug 2019 5:28AM
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Gorgo said..


snides8 said..
Foiling has redefined light wind windsurfing..
....




It's a mistake to emphasise the light wind aspect of foiling. Foiling in wind blown chop is pure joy.

Ride a couple of km upwind along the coast. Carve and swoosh your way upwind. Turn around and head out and run the faces on the angle until half way back. Then turn in and swoosh back and forth on the faces to the start point. Repeat.



Yes possibly but 2 completely different forms of foiling..,
a bit like comparing wave sailing to formula sailing.



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"Has foiling just killed light wind windsurfing?" started by my7thlife