I recently tried using a downwind board for wing foiling after seeing it become a popular trend locally. I was initially skeptical that the narrow, “rocket-like” shape would provide enough stability, but I was blown away by how well it performed. This specialized wing foiling downwind board seems to have the volume distributed perfectly to provide exceptional glide in light winds while still feeling very stable and balanced.
Here couple of DW foilboards that are perfect for wing foiling:
Sultan Wing board
The Sultan Wing board comes in various sizes, such as 75 liters (5’5″), 85 liters (5’10”), and 95 liters (6’2″). I was particularly impressed with the 85-liter model. Despite its narrow width (18 inches), it was incredibly stable in the water, contradicting my initial skepticism about its manageability.
The board’s design is optimized for speed and stability. It felt as solid as a traditional wing board, which was surprising given its slim profile. The board’s volume distribution is key here – it allows for maximum glide in displacement mode and efficient pumping, akin to a prone board.
The board performs exceptionally well in light wind conditions. It gets up to speed quickly, making it easier to foil when others struggle. I found it more stable than standard 85-liter boards, and its ability to maintain balance and speed during touchdowns was remarkable.
I also experimented with foot strap configurations and found the single Y configuration ideal due to the board’s narrowness. The board’s design is simple on the deck but sophisticated underneath, with a large track for adjusting the foil position.
In summary, the Amos Sultan Wing board is design and performance make wing foiling more accessible, allowing for more time on the water. While not recommended for absolute beginners due to its narrow width, it’s an excellent choice for those with some experience. The board’s unique design, stability, and ease of use in light winds make it my go-to choice.
Starboard Ace Foil 2024
The Starboard Ace Foil 2024, a narrow board designed for downwind foiling, excels in wing foiling with its versatile features. This board, with dimensions of 7’0″ by 20″ and a 100-liter volume, is ideal for riders up to 90 kg. Its design, derived from Starboard’s race boards, offers a longer waterline for easier glide and speed. Key advantages include early lift-off in light winds, requiring less vigorous pumping, effortless glide for foil initiation, impressive upwind capabilities, and enhanced stability with wider foils. However, its 20-inch width may require adjustment for those used to wider boards, and its length could add slight windage in certain conditions. Despite these minor drawbacks, the board is beginner-friendly and particularly effective in light winds, making it an excellent choice for a range of wing foilers seeking both stability and performance.
KT Dragonfly DW board
The Dragonfly, especially the 105-liter model (7’4″ by 19.5″ wide), is primarily designed for light wind foiling. Weighing around 165 lbs, I find this board an ideal choice for wing foiling in light winds. Its shape, sitting between the longer and narrower and the shorter and wider designs, offers a great balance for both winging and paddling. The board’s length aids in paddling, while its shorter length compared to traditional models makes it efficient for winging.
The Dragonfly’s unique features include a tapered tail and a round bottom at the front, with a step bottom design specific to KT. The tail design ensures a quick release from the water, while the front’s displacement design aids in smooth and suction-free lift-off. Additionally, the board’s rounded bottom facilitates easier release from the water at lower speeds, compared to flat-bottom designs which can create a vacuum and hinder lift-off.
The track positioning on the Dragonfly is versatile, compatible with various foils, and allows for optimal foil positioning. The board’s construction is robust, withstanding rough usage and minor impacts without significant damage. It comes with a vent plug, essential for maintaining internal pressure, especially during travel or temperature changes.
Interestingly, over time, I’ve transitioned from using the Dragonfly solely in light wind conditions to employing it in stronger winds as well. It has become a one-board quiver for me, performing excellently across different wind conditions. The board’s narrow width, initially a concern, has proved to be an advantage, offering better control and stability.
For those interested in downwind SUP foiling, a larger volume board may be more suitable, especially in rougher conditions. However, for wing foiling, the 105-liter Dragonfly strikes a perfect balance between performance and stability.
Sunova Casey Aviator Downwind Prone SUP
The Sunova Casey Aviator Downwind Prone SUP is a longer and narrower board compared to the Elite. Its radical shape allows it to fly through the water like a torpedo. This board requires almost no wind to start moving and accelerates into flight remarkably fast. Due to its narrower deck, it demands more precise weight distribution from the rider. This precision helps in tuning into the pivot point of the foil, resulting in a dynamic and rewarding performance. The Prone SUP’s design challenges the rider to be more attentive to their stance and balance, making it an exciting option for those looking to improve their foiling skills.
Despite being primarily designed for prone and SUP foiling, this board has proven to be excellent for wing foiling. It open up possibilities for very light wind sessions and provide enhanced downwind capabilities. The board grant a massive boost in the range of foiling activities, catering to riders looking for versatility and performance. I’m looking forward to delving deeper into this board and share more about my journey from a beginner to a skilled foiler on these versatile platforms. Stay tuned for a more detailed overview and my progress in mastering new foiling skills with these boards.