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 Post subject: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:23 am 
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I really want a high aspect ratio foil like a Sword, Spotz, or Aguera, but the prices are still to high for me. Thinking about picking up lower aspect ratio Liquid Force foil or a used MHL in the mean time. Is it worth it or will I get bored very quickly?

I thought they would help me learn to foil before getting the faster foil, but it seems like everyone says it is like starting over when you go to the high aspect foil. Is that an exaggeration, or is the experience on the slower foil really no help at all?


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:48 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 1:00 am
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Location: New Zealand
I'm currently learning on a Moses Silente foil. I had the same queries as you but having taken the plunge I am glad I chose to start low aspect. I am surprised at how steep the curve is to get to a reasonable level of proficiency. Having kited for over 10 years on every sort of board and style possible I expected it to be relatively straightforward to acquire the new skills, but it is taking longer than I thought. If I had consistent wind and a couple of weeks to dedicate a few hours every day I would go straight to a higher aspect foil, but for the weekend rider who can't even be sure of wind every weekend I think it would be frustrating. My plan is to spend the winter (southern hemisphere) getting reasonable skills so I can enjoy the summer on the low aspect foil, then look to upgrade a year later if I really want the extra speed. At the moment I can see it being at least a few months until I have the skills to really max out the speed potential of the low aspect foil.
Other reasons I'm glad I went lower aspect is that its a more solid foil and if you are kiting off a beach in onshore winds with a bit of swell/wash you will hit the bottom and smash your fancy high aspect machine much more easily. Its not always easy to find a good piece of learner water with the right wind, flat water and shoulder depth water, especially if the tide's out.
I'm guessing that in a year or so there will be a better market for lower aspect foils as more people want to get into the sport at a reasonable price. Also there's a lot of hype around racing but the free ride market is always the biggest in the end.
Best of luck. :D
BTW I'm not likely to become a high level racer. I retired from competitive racing back in the olympic IMCO days, so at the best I might look to limp around a course or two in the masters class :-?


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:43 am 
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Personally I much prefer low AR over high AR.
Much easier to ride and turn. I am glad Taaroa did not send me the sword I ordered.


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:01 pm 
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I started on a Sword, now when I try the low AR foils they feel slow and not very exciting to me. They also don't point upwind as well. If you can get foiling though it's probably better than not foiling so go for it!


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:43 am 
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I think it really depends on what type of riding you want to do. If you are not planning on racing or interested in pushing the high speed limits, I would go for a medium to low aspect wing. Medium to low aspect are easier to ride in a range of speeds and don't catastrophically stall when you are going too slow.

I started on a Moses A wing and since have made some larger, slightly higher aspect (still medium aspect) wings. The larger wings start earlier and are much better for staying on the foil though transitions and downwind carving. I mostly foil in light wind, so the larger, lower aspect wings have enough lift to stay out of the water as the kite transitions. A high aspect wing in the same light conditions would drop to the water.

I tried the Sword and it is very fast in comparison and points higher. It gains stability when you ride it faster. It is more difficult to ride comfortably downwind and you need to carry much more speed through turns.

I think it is a personal preference. Lower aspect wings are more like riding a floaty/carvey surfboard and higher aspect wings are more like a raceboard (faster, but more technical to ride).


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:00 am 
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One can not generalize like that.

A high AR foil is NOT a foil that is a lot more difficult to ride, nor does it start later or stall easier.

But reality most often is, that those making high AR wings choose a race profile and smaller area, and voila - you have created a thing that starts later and stalls abruptly.

You can easily make a high AR wing with more camber and more area - and it will start ealier than ANY other wing, and go the highest angle to the wind (but not max VMG), that is for sure :thumb:

Just saying, that "AR" is not really a parameter you can use alone.

Would be better to talk about "race wings" instead.
These are typically smaller in area (unless in really light wind for upwind), and a less cambered profile, and quite high AR :naughty:

8) PF


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 Post subject: Re: Low Aspect Worth It?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:07 am 
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And to Dave, if you compare the early Carafino foils with a modern race foil, then yes, it is almost like starting all over again.

But using a newer freeride foil, then the difference is not that big - and IMO the difference is "exaggerated" and history from when you looked the most extreme "ends" as said.

You WILL learn things faster on a freeride foil, no doubt - and those experiences can all be used when getting a race wing later.

You can also learn on a race wing right away, knowing your learning curve will be slower and tougher.

Your own choice and I can not advice one over another.

8) PF


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