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    News — SLINGSHOT WINDSURF FOIL

    WINDFOILING BOARDS VS. WINDSURF BOARDS

    WINDFOILING BOARDS VS. WINDSURF BOARDS – THREE MAIN DIFFERENCES AND WHY THEY MATTER.

    You’ve read the hype, watched the videos and listened to the beach bums rant and rave about how fun it is. You’ve been reluctant to invest the time, energy and money into a whole new sport, but there’s no denying how intriguing it looks.  Riders are enjoying the best sessions of their lives on days too light for you to even go out. What are you waiting for? Give windfoiling a shot.

    One of the first questions you’ll probably ask (and one we regularly get at Slingshot) is: “Can I use a board I already have rather than buying a new one?” Our short answer is sure… but we advise against it. The chances of breaking your board and losing your foil are high. By investing in a board designed specifically for foiling you will learn easier, progress faster and have more fun.

     

    HERE’S WHY:

    1. Board and box construction

    Typical windsurf boards just aren’t built to account for the different torque forces of foiling. Traditional windsurf board boxes were never designed to withstand the high forward-aft torque of the foil and are prone to failure.  If you’re lucky, a failure would present itself as a subtle dimple in front of the box. This is a definite warning sign to stop using the board with your foil. If you’re not as lucky, your foil and box will rip out entirely and sink to the bottom of the sea.

    We’ve spent years developing foil boxes for kiteboards; we know what works and what doesn’t.  At Slingshot, we use multiple reinforcements in and around our deep Tuttle boxes so they can
    handle all angles of torque from the foil. Our Dialer, Wizard and Flyer windfoil boards all come equipped with fully reinforced high-density foam and PVC boxes. They also have added stringers and carbon enforcement designed to handle all levels of foiling.\

     2. Board Shapes

    It’s kind of like riding down a steep, rough single track trail with a road bike: technically it’s probably doable for a good strong rider (as long as the bike holds up), but you’d have a lot more fun and a lot less frustration on a bike designed for the right use. The same goes for using a dedicated foil board over a traditional windsurfer.

    Short, wide, high volume:

    Since you’re generally in lighter wind, a higher-volume board that you can uphaul is a must (especially when learning). A short, wide design gives you stability and helps with early planning, which is what you want with a foil. A wide tail gives you more pitch control and better leverage for cutting upwind. A wider body also helps with rebounding off the water rather than crashing when you touch down. Once you’re up and foiling, the short nose decreases swing weight and increases agility. In Slingshot’s lineup, the Wizard is the most pronounced “nugget” shape and is great for experienced foilers looking for the next step in progression, or for solid windsurfers who are confident they’ll learn quickly. The Dialer is a bit longer and higher volume. It is great for learners,  heavier riders or more casual foilers who will need a little extra board under their feet.

    Scooped nose:

    Super helpful for rebounding instead of nose-diving.

    Tail-end cutouts:

    Strategically shaped bottom contours are designed to break surface tension and aid in early takeoff.

     

    3. Mast track and foot strap placement:

    Dialing in your setup and position on the board can take a little patience, trial, and error. With a dedicated foil board, you’ll have the confidence of knowing the pieces are all in the right places, you just have to fine tune where you want everything. Foot strap inserts are located specifically for foiling, which will make a huge difference as you progress beyond the learning phase and discover just how different foiling really is.

    Sign up for Foil-Academy today. It’s free. 

    HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR FOIL AND MAKE IT LAST.

    If you’ve clicked through to this blog, we’ve got a pretty good idea that you know what’s coming. In short: FOIL MAINTENANCE IS IMPORTANT.

    That’s it! Just like a bike chain needs lube and your skis need a regular tune, your foil needs some lovin’. Though many treat it as a set-it-and-forget component, the nature of the materials in your foil leave them prone to nasty chemical reactions—and your hardware can get crusty. Nobody has time for that.

    For those interested in the cold, hard science of the thing (geeks unite!), read on below. For those itching to get back to foiling freedom, the main takeaway here:

    1. Loosen your bolts frequently—we’re talking after every ride if you’re sessioning in salt water. A simple turn or two and a light rinse with fresh water before re-tightening and storing will do the trick.
    2. A good coating of lanolin oil or marine grease on all areas of your foil and all hardware is a key detail and something that you should do after every few rides. Finally, wrapping your bolts with a layer of teflon tape helps prevent them from corrosion.
    3. Bonus points awarded if you stay completely away from sand and dirt while cleaning and maintaining your foil. That will radically prolong its life.

    Foil fuselage lube:

    Teflon tape the bolts

     

     

    Here is a one-page, step-by-step Foil Maintenance Guide.

    And a quick video tip from our chief designer, Tony Logosz:

     

    WHY DOES YOUR FOIL CORRODE IN THE SALT WATER? THE SCIENCE OF GALVANIC AND ELECTROLYTIC CORROSION

    It’s not simply the saltwater-meets-metal aspect that triggers the detrimental reaction in your foil. True, your problems are exponentially less pressing if you’re a freshwater foiler, but the two starring archenemies in this story: carbon and aluminum.

    Slingshot Foils are built with a combination of four main material components: an aluminum mast, carbon front and rear wings, fiberglass, and titanium screws. In our case, aluminum is one of the lightest, strongest materials possible and ideal to serve as masts for our foils for both optimal durability and price point.

    However, it’s also the instigator in the adverse reactions that screw up your getup. Saltwater acts as an electrolytic bridge between the wet, ignoble aluminum, thereby coaxing it into reacting with its neighboring carbon. Though we’ve thoroughly separated the two with a generous layer of “peacemaking” fiberglass, saltwater invariably travels up the threads in the titanium bolts (this is especially true if even the smallest grains of sand get stuck in the threads) and the crust begins to build. Once the aluminum and carbon are wedded, they don’t like to come apart. Over time, what you’re left with is a bolt that refuses to budge. And a prompt call to our customer service line.

    The good news: frequent loosening and flushing with freshwater slows this process nearly to a halt. If you keep up with it, chances are good that your foil will last for years of euphoric ocean sessions.

    For all things Foil, follow our Slingshot Foil Facebook page.