I'll try and keep this short. Been kiting since 2002; 190#, mostly flat water tt, hooked in, not too much ocean. Lots of shallow sound water. Looking for my first foil board. Was just about to commit to a Hover glide/school mast set/Alein air when I found I can get the full RRD H-flight rig with a 3 mast set and Dolphin board for the same price as the Hover Glide with Alien Air. Almost seems like RRD is trying to go head to head with the hover glide, but has no foil track record and no user history with this rig. I've seen both foils and boards (I live on the Outer Banks so I get to see all this stuff right down the road) and the biggest thing that struck me was the general similarity, at least in front wing shape and intended market. The hover glide looks and feels like a Sherman tank. The RRD looked/felt very beefy (for carbon), strong and LIGHT compared to the Hover glide. (I think the spec is something like 3.7 kg for RRD versus 5.3 kg for the Hover glide). You sure do feel it, even in the mast.
What would do given what you know now? Thanks in advance!
Last edited by Dspace on Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
I learnt on and still ride the Hover Glide with a Dwarfcraft 54 board. It's the only foil I've tried and I'm still enjoying it 3 months later. You'll find most people who have used these boards for learning have good things to say - not all - but most. They are definitely heavy, but with this comes some piece of mind - particularly as a beginner. The short mast system is a great learning aid and has allowed me to progress well from my very first session.
In saying that, if you can get the RRD for the same price, I'd go for that. Looks like a very nice set up. It has the benefit of the short mast options, foil looks mid aspect so good for learning and free ride progression and the board looks like a nice design. And it's lighter . The only negative might be fragility, but you'll be able to assess that yourself. I'd go for the RRD. Write us all a report on it if you end up getting it.
I'm surprised I haven't heard of the RRD until now. Looks promising.
Only knock on it could be carbon+aluminum galvanic corrosion concerns. But lots of people don't trust any aluminum setup to last more than a few seasons.
That said, I'm learning on the hoverglide/flight school package and have no regrets.
My best advice is to use foothooks, at least while learning. I use two front hooks, and no back hooks. The front hooks provide just enough connection to the board for easy, repeatable water starts, but they don't tweak the ankles/knees when crashing.
I'll likely go strapless in back with hooks up front. The Dolphin board felt really huge (5'4") next to the Alein air (4'8"), but I also have the option of using the RRD foil rig with the Alien air if I want. Without any foiling experience it's all a big guess, but my brain just likes the feel of the Alien better
The fit and finish of the RRD foil rig really was impressive. Even the aluminum mast felt slimmer and lighter, than the slightly more clunky Slingshot mast. Carbon-aluminum galvanic corrosion does seem like a valid concern and RRD doesn't mention it at all (weird). All they say is to disassemble completely after each use and rinse with fresh water to prevent Al oxidation from the stainless steel screws, nothing about electrically isolating Al from carbon in the design. Hmmmm? Other foil companies seem to make a big deal about it.