Hydrofoil windsurfing is not a new idea. Early adaptations used teak boom Windsurfer boards on foils in the late 70s, and many variations of the concept have been tried since then without gaining much appeal or commercial success. However, in the last couple of years, Windfoils have evolved significantly – such that they are now an easy plug-n-play set-up with current boards and rigs. The result is truly revolutionary and perhaps the coolest advancement in windsurfing performance in a very long time.
It takes very little wind to get foilborne – only 8 to 10 knots – and once up on the foil, the floating sensation is quite remarkable. It is very quiet, completely quiet once the board leaves the water. The foil trim control is fore and aft over the lenght of the board: lean back to rise up onto the foil, lean forward to then level out or ride lower. Watch your ride height though, as “foiling out” (lifting so high that the foil “cavitates” at the surface of the water) will lead to a loss of foil lift and quick drop of the board back onto the water.
The performance and efficiency is amazing. A 6.0m² sail can be used for windfoiling where an 8.0-8.5m² is typically needed for planing a standard light wind board. Once foiling, the speed, acceleration and upwind pointing angles that are possible easily compare to what can be achieved with Formula racing gear.