Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Naish Foils and an Interesting "foil light" Development



Hi

I promised to say something about the Naish foil and board options. I will also include some notes about a fin/foil development which deserves our attention.

Naish

Naish have placed their foil products firmly into the recreational space. No high intensity racing is going to be done on this stuff. 

This is evidenced by a total lack of carbon fibre construction and dire warnings to never take their foil into the surf. Here is some of what they say on: https://www.naishsails.com/product/thrust-ws-1-foil/

WARNING: DO NOT USE THE HOVER HYDROFOIL IN THE SURF. You will permanently damage your foil and can cause serious injury or death to yourself and others around you. Damage incurred as a result of abnormal use, or subjected to stress—including breaking waves—beyond the physical limits of the materials used in body or components is not covered under the warranty policy.

When a supplier threatens death to both user and those around him if he ever ventures into rough water, one can conclude that the product is not high tech in any way.

The foil itself looks really easy and stable though, with its comforting aeroplane-like shape.




You probably need to think very carefully about where you want to go with foiling before you commit to the Naish solution.

They have pure foiling boards with a proprietary foil connection on rails beneath the board. The advantage of this is that you can move the foil towards the middle of the board to learn, and nearer the tail as you improve.

They offer their Titan model with built in rails to attach their foil, but which doubles as a windsurfing board with power box fin.




They also supply their foil with Tuttle or deep Tuttle heads should you have a board with re-inforced fin box and are looking for a light wind foil which is fun, easy to ride and very stable.




The Titan solution is good but because the board is heavy and “recreational” in its windsurfing role, I would be unwilling to spend my money there. 

I would require a higher spec board (lighter, faster) with deep Tuttle box to allow me to choose from all the foil makers out there. The DT box then also enables me to screw in some high performance fins for normal blasting.

The above requirement means that I would personally go for Pryde’s RS:X Hybrid every time if I had the money. Your requirements may differ from mine of course.


Fin/Foil Combo


Mert Ozener alerted me to this development from the guys at FRPGear - an outfit which develops and produces fibre reinforced plastic components for various industries.

They have developed a very strong windsurfing fin with a wing at its base. They claim that this wing generates massive amounts of lift making it very easy to plane in light winds.





I will give you a link to the site where you will find descriptions, videos, comparisons with regular foils etc. I cannot verify their claims but the video footage looks promising. 

I would need to test one of these before I could make a solid pronouncement. I would like to try it at speed for instance (and hopefully not experience the mother of all face-plants).

If the fin is as good as they say, then we should all have one in our bags. How often do we find ourselves struggling in slushy, shallow conditions in light wind. Plug the FRP hydrofoil in and you are in business! I like the fact that the fin is only 30cm long but with all that lift. Nice!

I will try to get the guys at FRP to send me one of these fins (fingers crossed). If I can convince them, I will be in a position to try it, write a review and give some sort of recommendation.

Here is the link to their site:

http://www.frpgear.com/

Thanks Mert for alerting us to this development. I think it is definitely something we should be taking seriously!


Good winds

6 comments:

  1. Phil,

    Firstly, appreciate the mention!

    My two cents on Naish's offerings for the season:

    The Board that attracted my attention wasn't so much their all-rounder "Titan", but instead a "Crossover" board, , one that in essence is a jack of trades; a SUP Board, A SUP foilboard as well as a windfoil board, all in one.

    Earlier on this year, I had the opportunity to visit Lisbon during the low wind season, and keeping in mind an old quote “Any day in the water is a good day” (I believe by Robbie Naish himself) , I chose to try out wave surfing.

    My neck of the woods (ie the Aegean), is more characterized by flat to choppy waters, hardly the grounds for good wave surfing. However, based on videos that I have watched (as well as Kai Lenny’s recent documentary) it appears as though SUP Foiling may act as a viable alternative for those like me, who have come to enjoy wave riding, especially on days where there is more wave than wind.

    There is another dimension to this pursuit, one that I took notice of recently, but again will appeal to the recreational sailor, more than the performance oriented guys and gals amongst us: Duoboards – which manufactures semi inflatable freeride boards (ie the front half is inflatable, while the area behind the mast track is solid) has strengthened its fin boxes to make them foil compatible. Talk about space savings ! 

    Cheers,

    Mert


    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mert
    You are right in that the windfoil/sup/inflatable board is one really efficient way to go. Please have a look at the site of Mantafoils. Their inflatable board will take a windsurf rig or can be used to SUP.
    Their foil mast can take a Mono Easyflight front wing for both windsurfing and SUPing and they offer a range of front wings for more advanced windsurf foiling.
    The great thing about inflatables is the fact that when your boom crashes onto the deck in a fall it is absolutely OK.
    One cool feature of Mantafoil's inflatable board is that it has 2 fin boxes - one towards the middle for learning and one towards the tail for advanced stuff. Nice!
    Two sports with one set of equipment - very cool!
    All the best
    Phil

    ReplyDelete
  3. Phil, I would not read too much into that warning other than Naish has attorneys they consult with on new products. They make a foil for SUP surfing if that is what one is looking to do and any foil is going to be dangerous in breaking waves. I recall warnings like that on many different windsurfing items such as sails, booms, etc.

    I use the Naish WS foil and the great thing about it is you do not have to ride breaking waves. You can get all the stoked feeling of surfing on small to medium swells that might never break or just break for a bit. Essentially you are getting all that fun without the risks of rolling around in a wave with it.

    Regarding the fin I think they are on to something, although that video is not making me rush out to buy it. However, the idea of a fin that allows for earlier planing with smaller sails while not reducing the top speed too much is an attractive buy for all windsurfers. If it gives you just enough lift where you don't feel quite as much bounce of each swell that would be another positive. I hope the larger fin manufacturers start to test these shapes out too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bryn
      I hear you regarding the Naish death warnings. I had a chuckle about the wording when I saw it in their product information and felt I needed to share with the readers.

      Truth be told - the Naish solution is probably ample for 90% of windsurfers looking for a convenient light wind option.

      I agree with you on the foil/fin as well. The kid in the videos weighs as much as one of my legs and the board he is riding is 150 years old. Very difficult to get a good idea of how the fin actually performs.

      William Fragakis from Atlanta tells me that one of his sailing friends used one and found it to be very small and quite easy to spin out.

      I still believe that we need to keep an eye on this design direction as we go forward.
      Some decent development may just yield something special. Robbie - are you listening?

      Regards
      Phil

      Delete
    2. you need to check the most recent videos from FRPGear. The videos show a newer 100 liter board performing very well with their Fly-Fin.It probably take some skill to use a foil fin.

      Delete
  4. I agree that it seems to short but that the idea has a lot of promise. I have a manta easyflight setup and use it on the short mast mainly as foil assisted windsurfing in light winds. I do fly a bit but really its a lot of hassle being so sensitive and hard to stay hooked in with weight off your arms. Being a bumbly windsurfer I would probably be happy with exactly this setup to get going when it is light. However I can tell you would do a lot of spinning out in any chop because the foil would constantly be coming out - it happens easily enough on the 65cm mast.

    ReplyDelete