Which Foil?

You can't resist any longer and you've decided to take the plunge but which setup do you go for?

A quick guide on how to think about choosing your foil, and then a chance to look at one of the options and who it best fits.

Questions you should have a think about when getting a Foil (and board)

Things to consider:

The below questions would be a good guide to working out the best setup for you:

  1. Your Weight

  2. What conditions do I want to foil in? Ie Sub Planing, or just lighter planing

  3. What do you want it for, Freeride, Race?
  4. Do you already have a board and how wide is it

  5. Sailor ability

  6. Sail sizes being used

If you look at each one in turn and what the outcomes might be.

  1. Weight: the higher this is the more likely you’d want to go for a bigger front wing option (800+) but also a higher volume board. Those over 70kgs should most likely go with bigger wings, then as you get to 85kgs higher volume boards (over 120).
  2. Conditions: If it’s sub planing then the board will need to be higher volume and we’d be looking towards a 800+ front wing on the board. If just lighter planing then lower volume boards come into play and the wing would be more on rider weight.
  3. What’s it for: If it’s for free ride, shorter masts and lower aspect wings will be fine. Of it’s for racing you’ll want a higher aspect wing set, and the longer mast.
  4. Board: If you already have a board that might limit either your mast length or at least what sail sizes you can put on it. Boards under 80 may struggle with masts much over 75, especially when putting bigger sails on. Boards 85+ will give you very few top end limitations on mast length.
  5. Ability: This comes down partly to what you want to use it for, but if you’re already confident on slalom and formula style equipment then long masts and race type foils may well tick the box. If you’re moving across from wave or free ride then shorter masts with narrower boards, and lower aspect foils will get you off to a better start.
  6. Sail Sizes, the bigger the sails the wider the board you’ll need. If it’s just your biggest wave sail you’re going to use then a board between 75-85 should be absolutely fine.

More on this to come, but to get a feel of how a race foil performs here is a video of the Starboard Race Foil on the 147 Foil board (95cm wide). Sail size 7.0 in around 13knots.

Pros of the Starboard Race Foil

Long Fuselage gives stability but also helps sail higher and deeper angles.

Long Mast allows hard heeling to windward and more speed over rough water.

800 high aspect front wing gives maximum lift, but is also fast and low drag.

147 Foil board

95cm wide so lots of control over the foil and able to heel and angle board.

Lots of volume in sub planing foiling conditions.

Good rocker shape for touch downs and early release.

Huge range of footstraps options for a range of conditions and foil setups.

Best Suited to:

Anyone who wants to race.

Big rigs in light airs, also heavier sailors.

Those that want to cover distance and want to sail a wide range of angles.

Tuning: By adding a 550 front wing this setup can be used in even the windiest conditions.


If you’re keen to try this and many other foils, and also progress as fast as possible in flight don’t hesitate to get in contact. UK coaching available or check out the overseas trip with Neilson Holidays below.