Wing surface and lift, are all brands the same?

Many of you are asking the question of the equivalence of the wings from one brand to another. For example, is a 1300cm² wing equal to a 1300cm² wing from another manufacturer? Well, no, we’ll tell you why.

For a hydrofoil to be able to carry you in a wing, it must be able to develop a lift that will be at least equal to or greater than your weight (= your weight + wetsuit + board + foil + wing – lift of the wing).

In order to carry this weight and take off, the wing will have to move in a fluid, at a certain speed, at a certain angle.

The choice of a wing is important and depends on what you want to do with it and your style of sailing. If you want to sail in light airs, you will choose wings with surface area and possibly a thick profile.

So how do you characterize the lift of a hydrofoil? Well, in relation to its surface, its thicker or thinner profile, its camber, and also its aspect ratio.

To compare the different foil wings, we don’t rely only on the surface. Indeed some foil wings with lower surfaces than others and with a profile able to generate more lift at low speed, can therefore carry at lower speed.

At Foil and Co we tend to optimise the profile in relation to the wet surface on AFS wings, because we want to optimise performance at higher speeds. So a 1300cm² wing from us, can deploy the same lift as a 1800cm² wing from another manufacturer.

For example, at AFS, the Flyer 1500cm² and the Carver 1500cm² have exactly the same surface area but different profiles and aspect ratios. This makes them behave differently too. The Flyer 1500cm² will develop much more lift than the Carver 1500cm².

As far as profiles are concerned, a wing with a thick profile (Carver type) will be easier to launch at low speed. On the other hand, a thinner wing (Performer type) will require a little more speed for the lift out but once launched it will have very little drag so you will still be able to fly at very low speed. The larger the wing, the more wetted surface area it has and the more it can fly at very low speeds for a constant weight. Remember, the bigger it is, the longer it takes.