What sails to use for Foiling

Posted by Dieter on Wed, 07/04/2018 - 20:06
Categories 
Gear

There are two types of foiling – racing and freeride.  For racing there are dedicated sails to eke out the most performance and increase chances of winning.  But for freeride foiling, chances are you already have a rig that’s perfectly suited. 

For Racing, the HyperGlide has quickly established itself as the benchmark.  Used by Gonzalo Costa Hoevel (currently leading the PWA foiling) and Amado Vriesdwijk (currently 3rd in the PWA foiling) to consistently win races and events. 

But for Freeride foiling it’s less clear.  ANY sail will get you up on the foil and you can see guys using wave sails, no-cam sails, pretty much every type of sail.  Each type of sail has advantages and disadvantages so an ideal Freeride Foiling sail would take the best parts and combine them into the one design.
It’s easy to just print ‘FOIL’ on a generic sail and market it to anyone getting in to foiling. But without addressing the 4 main characteristics below they are not delivering anything you can’t get from a modern, well-designed freeride sail. So what are the 4 main characteristics:

1. Lightweight – this is one of the most important characteristics.  And we do lightweight sails better than anyone.
2. Soft – easier to pump.  Doesn’t need the stiffness as rig load is reduced once up and flying.  RDM’s help keep everything soft and easy to begin with, SDMs will allow you to start carrying more rig in more wind.
3. Stable – need to reduce any draft movement as it affects the trim.  Better to keep everything constant.  Cams help keep the sail profile stable and minimize the movement.
4. Short booms – better control. The shorter boom length allows you to easily adjust your stance.

When tuning your Freeride Sail for Foiling there are a few things to think about.

1. Downhaul- If you’re really looking to push the sail size down or get out in really light winds then reducing downhaul by 1-2cm can make a big difference. Whilst the slalom sails won’t suit these reduced loads that well, the freeride sails will still be able to rotate but give you more bottom end with reduced loads.
2. Outhaul- Less makes a big difference, especially when using small sails on wide boards reduce the outhaul to help prevent oversheeting. For more upwind/downwind performance adjustable outhauls will help make any freeride setup a little more racey, and help you achieve those high and deep angles.
3. Boom Height- Once you’re past your first flights, raising the boom will help you improve your stance.
4. Harness Lines- Adjustable lines will really help you get setup right. The bigger the rig the shorter the lines, the wider the board the longer the lines. Typically we see people using lines roughly 4-6 inches shorter than normal.

Below you can find some of our current sails for freeride foiling;

TURBO GT:

This sail ticks all the boxes.  It is one of the lightest freeride sails available, is nice and soft with lower batten count, has cams for stability and a short boom.  If we were to design a specific freeride foiling sail it would look like the Turbo GT.

This sail has one of the best wind ranges for foiling, giving you maximum planning ability at the bottom end while the cams give a very stable top end control.
For foiling, we’d rig it with 1-2cm less downhaul to tighten the head for more leverage, you can also let the outhaul right off to increase it’s performance in sub planing conditions. For that soft, manageable feel, run it on a RDM mast, if you’re looking for a more racey locked in feel the SDM will work best.

FIRST TIME FOILER: 4/5 stars
FREERIDE FOILER: 5/5 stars 

GATOR:

The Gator is our most suitable no-cam freeride sail.  Softer and lighter than the NCX, with a shorter boom.  The 100% X-Ply construction means it can handle any early foiling mishaps.
Best sizes for foiling are the 5.5 to 7.0.  Rigged on a RDM mast with a touch less downhaul and the Gator foils well, as with other sails reduce the outhaul load to get the most out of this sail in lighter winds.

FIRST TIME FOILER: 5/5 stars
FREERIDE FOILER: 4/5 stars 

CONVERT:

Many of the attributes that make the Convert a great entry level freeride sail also make it a great sail to get your first flights in. The Lower downhaul loads and Dacron Flex zones give the sail a very soft feel, making it easy to pump and  creates a huge amount of shape in sub planing conditions. It won’t have the higher performance stability of the Gator, NCX, or Turbo. But if you are looking for lift and first flights the Convert may be all you need.

FIRST TIME FOILER: 5/5 stars
FREERIDE FOILER: 3/5 stars 

FREEK:

Better known as a freestyle sail, a lot of the characteristics make it ideally suited to foiling.  Just check out Balz Mueller to see what’s possible with a foiling Freek.
With some larger sizes available – 5.6, 5.9 and 6.3 – the Freek becomes a very easy sail to start foiling.  Weight is really light which makes it very easy to use.  The 5 batten layout means it’s soft, but stable enough to keep things in place once up on the foil.  Very short boom lengths are ideal.
Our recommended sizes for freeride foiling would be the 6.3, 5.9 and 5.6.  And for FREESTYLE foiling there’s no better option than the smaller Freeks.

FIRST TIME FOILER: 4/5 stars
FREERIDE FOILER: 4/5 stars 

See Wyatt Miller going big in the Jorge:

https://www.continentseven.com/windfoil-back-loop-wyatt-miller/

NCX:

What the Convert offers in bottom end the NCX offers in top end. The no-cams means you can reduce loads without fear of rotation problems, and with the NCX’s stability you’ll be able to reduce the sail size gap between it and normal windsurfing. This means you can turn that extra power into speed. So if you want to push the GPS maximums on the Foil then the NCX will give you the performance you need.

FIRST TIME FOILER: 3/5 stars
FREERIDE FOILER: 3/5 stars 

Want to take you first step and need some advice? Make sure to tune in on Sam Ross his tution video’s.

https://youtu.be/Shr0A67YHlI