Thefoil world opens up new opportunities for windsurfing enthusiasts. The foil in windsurfing is a new generation of windsurfing sport which allows to discover other possibilities to sail and to start with foil. With more and more followers, it is a trendy practice. For the uninitiated, the foil corresponds to the appendix which is in the place of the fin. In particular, it allows you to navigate with complete peace of mind in very low wind ranges. As for the board, it no longer touches the water, which allows for new sensations of riding and a wider riding area.
The beginnings of windfoil
As early as the 1980s, we tried to fly windsurfing boards but it’s only since 2016 that brands have seriously looked at foiling in windsurfing. AFS FOILS was one of the pioneer brands in this field. This acceleration in development has everything to do with the general trend towards foiling in water sports. This even led to the foil windsurfing becoming Olympic for the 2024 Olympics. The practice is still evolving with the optimization of the fluid flow both in and on the water. The ZEPHYR project with Antoine Albeau is an example of this, with the ambition of going for the absolute sailing speed record.
How to choose a windsurfing foil when you are a beginner?
Windfoil equipment is made up of 3 parts, the board, the foil and the rigging.
For the choice of foil, there is a wide range of products to suit all participants. However, it is necessary to opt for a high-performance foil from the outset. For this, versatile models should be your preffered choice . The possibility to simply change your front wing or stabilizer while keeping your TBAR when you are flying is a real plus. This also saves you from having to reinvest each time in a complete foil. These usually fit most boards. In addition, it is important to choose a reliable and robust foil. Its weight must also be light in order to allow to fly and navigate easily on all the spots. Carbon versus aluminum gives you all these benefits with the added advantage of not having to worry about corrosion.
Which windsurf foil board?
To make windfoil beginners easier, it is recommended to choose a compact float between 70 and 80 cm wide and 100 and 130 litres. It is to know that the wider the float is on the back, the more it will be able to rest on the foilwhich ensures great stability during the take-off phase. For experienced windsurfers, a board between 65 and 70 cm wide with small sails is ideal to improve their windfoil performance and to fully enjoy the pleasure of this sport. Some boards allow you to sail with both fins and foils, these are the mixed boards.
In any case, the majority of windsurfing foils and boards are nowadays mounted in deep tuttle boxes.
On the choice of the sail for foil windsurfing, how to choose? Cambers ? Without cambers? Large or small surface? It will depend on your ambitions: race/power or lightness/ease. In the first case then rather a sail with cambers, in the second case then a sail without cambers.
How to start windsurfing foil?
Before getting started, it is essential to set up your equipment correctly. If you are new to windfoil, the rear straps can be removed. We go into more detail about the position of the windfoil straps on this video. You can adjust your mast step and front strass position in the middle. Also, don’t bother with wedges at first. Pick up a little speed, put a little pressure on the back foot, and off you go for the flight…
In addition to choosing your equipment, it is important to take into account the safety rules to start windfoiling. For this, the wearing of a helmet and impact vest are essential. It is also recommended to wear booties to limit the risk of cutting your feet.