I need a little help deciding whether to buy another foil or not. I've been riding the SS Hover Glide with the Alien Air for 2 (off-)seasons now and am getting ok at riding it, I can do foiling gybes and sometimes roll tacks, usually riding strapless.
I'm a bit bored with foiling at the moment for a couple reasons:
(a) It still feels really dangerous
(b) You have to ride it a specific way, not as playful as a board that rides on the water
(c) I don't really want to progress to jumps and such due to (a), so I'm mostly just riding back and forth
I'm wondering how much of these things are just due to the foil and board combination being so thick and heavy. The foil feels generally unresponsive unless you really put your weight into it, and if your weight is in slightly the wrong spot while trying to goof off on carves or something, it's very easy for the foil to start to jackknife with no way to recover, and you end up slamming your shins or feet on the rail of the board or the wing.
I don't want to throw a bunch of money at foiling, because for me it's just an off-season toy, but I'm wondering how much the experience might improve if I had a lighter, more responsive setup, maybe something like one of the zeekos with a smaller/thinner board. I have absolutely zero interest in racing so I'm not interested in race or carbon foils.
Having a foil is crucial to kiting in Florida since there is no wind most of the time, so I will probably hang on to the hover glide if I don't upgrade, but I'm curious if anyone has tried both kinds of foils and can guess whether I might have more fun on a different setup.
I was out the other day and some guy had one of the liquid force thrusters set ups he was riding it like a surfboard ,lotta back leg influence a lot carving around
Also guys on big surf wings doing something similar like carving
So you might want to look into these kinds of foils.
Also that zeeko canard set up .
Making no comment about the top speeds, race/carbon foils really are a whole other beast than metal foils. All of the vector math regarding the relevant forces in play changes because of the reduction in weight, especially with the Slingshot product which is the heaviest foil I've ever personally held in my hands.
There are a few companies that sell very light carbon freeride foils that would work well for what you're describing, several have good last-model units for sale on the used market. For what it's worth, any more "race" foils are the most stable and easy to ride foils on the market, albeit most expensive. Going fast around the course necessitates stability and consistency, hard to ride foils are nothing like that so they've all progressed towards really easy rider experience. The trade off is that some of them may feel over-stabilized and less playful or responsive, which makes them a poorer fit for your preferred riding.
I'd try to get up with the local foiling gang and ride someone's carbon rig. Spotz2, Sword2, Spotz Tuna, Delta Hydrofoil, MHL/Lift, Zeeko, Ketos, etc. That's the best way to really determine if it's worth it.
I learned on a LF Fish and SS Hoverglide. After about a year of foiling, I bought a Lift 110. It was like night and day. So much lighter, so much more lively, and so much faster. It’s great for free ride. I had the same issue with roll stability that you did with the Hoverglide.
I can’t imagine going back to a heavy klunker. I would absolutely recommend going with a lighter foil. It really is a qualitatively different experience.
I recently switched to a lighter foil (Zeeko to lift 110). There is a dramatic difference in the ease of water starts, and this is probably directly due to weight (foil doesn’t sink as quickly). That is probably the only difference due to weight though. The two foils have very different characteristics, but I think this is caused by wing shape instead of weight. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, just different.
Will moving to a different foil give you a different ride? Yes, absolutely, I’ve tried 4 different foils and they all have very different characteristics.
Will moving to a lighter foil give you a BETTER ride? Not necessarily. I can promise that strapless waterstarts will be easier, but aside from that, just different. Maybe better for you, maybe not.
Honestly, if you don’t enjoy your current foil all that much, I wouldn’t sink more money into it unless you can demo first. I love foiling, but can totally understand how it wouldn’t be everyone’s thing.
Lightweight foil/board will indeed be great for jumping. For a general snappines I'd get a smaller board first. In my experience, just switching to a small board made a significant change to how playful the setup was. In my book Alien Air is really big board with lots of swing weight. See if you can borrow a much smaller board (lighter as well) and try it with your current foil. That will give you an idea how things will change and if it is worth to you. I used Alpine, Spotz 2 and now Zeeko Spitfire. Spotz 2 with light board was the best for jumping by far, except perhaps a bit fragile for it. Spitfire is second, mostly because of its weight.
Me too. The HG was too locked into straight lining and too stable in the roll axis for how I wanted to ride it ie. craving around without changing feet and chasing swells. Definitely wouldn't describe the HG as "playful".
I got the Axis Ride and foil and it was excellent -- playful, oh yes. Then I demoed the SUP foil and it was even better for me more playful, less kite, more bottom end.