I have followed the hydrofoil history since the very start in the early 2000s mostly protos and a further development of the AirChairs for wakeboarding.
And now I have noticed something:
Back in 2007 Carafino made the first "public" kitesurf hydrofoil which were marketed worldwide.
It did not catch on that much - being an interesting novelty for very few, but that was it.
I know that Rush Randle also did loads of riding and testing too, much respect, but lets just take a look at the big picture for now.
A few years later the French took it up not just one notch, but to the extreme, making super efficient high performance hydrofoils, with low drag and crazy speed and upwind angles - and that was literally a "gamechanger" (I hate that word though, being misused so much for things like odd QR'ses).
Suddenly it caught on all over the world, and a few years later the raceboards died and got totally extinct in less than one year - I have never seen anything like that before (well, maybe the change from 2 line to 4 line kites, also very rapidly).
Total respect, and from then it caught on like a wildfire because it was AMAZING to see the speed and upwind, and all the best (race) riders in the world converted in no time.
This had an amazing impact on the "general" non racing kitesurfers, as now it was suddenly "cool" (no disrespect eventhough it sounds like it), and in the following years many brands focused on making hydrofoils for the "public", meaning easier to ride and just as (or more) fun
The last few years, I have seen a trend towards much bigger wings, much lower AR - which is what the majority likes (or at least ask for).
Then I am thinking (nothing wrong with that, just a remarkable turnaround), that we are almost back to the roots now, like the early 2007 Carafino which is almost like many are today
Here the video from Colona Watersports that got me into it (many years later though) - the Carafino hydrofoil and board worked just great, and here in Denmark a guy Peter still got his with the original board, and it works like a charm - AMAZING !
I know Mango went bad and became a crook later, but his first foils were masterpieces, just way before their time so noone could appreciate these.
Remember that some was on this thing almost immediately, like Tautologies who was "on" way before everybody else, but I think he got nobody to share the passion with, what a shame it took so many years...
So in 10 years of time or so, we went from low AR easy riding, to high AR superfast difficult racefoils, to now having even higher AR easy racefoils AND low AR easy riding foils.
What a turnaround
Here the original Carafino is about 1 year ago at our annual kitesurf "Island" camp, Carried or Segway'ing by Claus, the owners best buddy:
Still used, works just great, and I find it amazing to see that many freeriders and waveriders are going (somewhat) back to this design now