Choosing the right foil

Choosing the right foil

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How do I choose between a surf or SUP foil?

We suggest users start with the equipment that they are most comfortable with; your muscles will thank you. That being said there are advantages to both. Surf foil boards are typically smaller and allow for more maneuverability and easier pumping. While SUP foils offer the advantage of starting off standing up and are a bit more stable.

Are parts of the hydrofoil adjustable for different riding conditions?

Yes they are! We suggest you start with are all around package and adjust from there. We offer different size masts and wings to alter your riding based on conditions.

A lot of foils on the market have the back wing with the tips facing down. Why does the NSP design regular flat back wing have the tips facing up?

There are many options in terms of tips up or tips down, where you put the surface area, etc and both can provide similar riding characteristics. Bear in mind that the rear wing is always pulling down so it’s acting opposite to the front wing which is always lifting. Tips up, we find provides more direction stability and less drag for a given area due to the wing geometry reducing tip vortexes (induced drag).

Why do some companies have a vertical wing at the rear of the foil and why doesn’t NSP?

Firstly, the foils are like airplanes and follow the same principles for stability, speed and lift off. The vertical component of the rear wing or extra vertical wing on the tail provide directional stability. There are other factors that contribute to this like fuselage length and shape, however the amount of curve on the rear wing largely helps to determine directional stability and is directly related to roll or side to side stability. So, with the rear wing we are tuning how much effort and force is required to initiate turning or how loose the foil is. Our wing design with tips curving up combined with the overall front wing and fuselage design provide plenty of directional stability.

What is the aspect ratio of 78 cm Span wing? ~4.6

What is the aspect ratio of 85 cm Span wing? ~4.25

Is the NSP airwave foil package suitable for Kite, wake or wind foiling?

It’s designed for Surf, SUP, kite and wake. Theoretically wings will work great for windsurf with a longer fuselage setting the wing further forward but our Tuttle box adapter would also be required (listed under “Airwave Accessories”)..

What is the reason for the shims and in what situation should we change them?

The shims can be used to adjust the angle of attack of the back wing to tune the lift off behavior, balance, speed and turning. We recommend you start with the 2-degree shim and play around with the 1 & 3 degree as you increase skill and the conditions change. (Check our FOIL SHIM TUNING GUIDE for more details).

Why should we use the M back stabilizer wing over the standard back wing?

The standard flat back stabilizer wing is great for pumping and straight line speed. The M wing provides better stability while turning compared to the flatter wing. (great step up for waves and big carving turns)

What are the main differences between an aluminum and carbon mast?

There are several factors, carbon is a bit lighter and more responsive than aluminum.

However, aluminum is strong, durable, generally stiffer but heavier. Heavier underwater helps stability and glide (lighter isn’t always better). Everything above water needs to be as light as possible.

For the speeds we are aiming for with the NSP Airwave foils, the aluminum mast works amazingly well and offers lots of advantages with very similar performance to carbon.

Do you have a Tuttle adapter available?

It’s on the accessory page, and we recommend contacting your distributor about these as they’re not in every shop just yet.

Is there a how-to section on assembly?

There is this video of Ty assembling his Airwave and a more complete how-to section over here.

Any recommendation where to set the foil on the board? Distance from Tail? Mast in relation to the riders back foot?

The rear wing angle determines where the feet go. With the 2-degree shim normally the arch of the rear foot over the trailing edge of the mast is a good place to start. Move the mast forward for more lift and back for less lift. Everything is relative to your speed, size of the front wing and which shim you have on the back wing.

How does the NSP foil design stack up against others?

While in collaboration with the F4 Design team, as far as our testing goes, we feel we are among the best, maybe the very best right now.F4 started making kite racing and windsurf racing foils, so everything started there. Tolerances and stiffness, angles, rake have similar effects with surf along with some profound differences. We had a pretty good idea about how to make foils fast and stable. Some of this is applicable, however surf is different in many ways. The rider has to handle rapid changes in speed from 0 to 25 accelerating down a wave, so foils have to lift up early, but then be controllable during this acceleration. This was a major consideration in the development process of the NSP Airwave.

  1. We learned early on that stiffness is critical for stability and performance and the attachment points are very important. Any movement in the wings or mast connection causes control problems. Also since most of the foil is underwater, the weight is mostly important for handling while out of the water, however contributes to stability while in the water. We’ve greatly simplified the design based on flat connecting surfaces; goes together easily with most of the angles built in with CNC machining tolerances. Modularity is built in and any of the parts are easily replaceable.
  2. Best riding foil – best combination of price and performance. Super stiff and easy to ride foil. Excellent wave riding performance with many tuning options.
  3. Stiffer and more modular – modular design with bolt on wings – easily change mast, wings without a hammer. Slip on fit designs are very difficult to get right, they are either too tight or too loose.
  4. Tune performance with rear wing shims – change turning and balance with interchangeable rear wing shims.
  5. Easily upgradable and maintainable – any part can be easily replaced or changed.
  6. Carbon prepreg wings – positively buoyant and super strong and stiff

Which FW configurations do you suggest:

The FW 78 (1,325 square cm (205.3 sq inch) wing is simply amazing. It’s suitable for riders of all skill levels. This is because it not only lifts early, but is super FAST. It’s a medium aspect ratio design that combines a draft forward profile with an elliptical plan form. The FW 85 is optimal for anyone asidefrom a beginner.

  • Beginners – FW 78 is an all-around awesome wing, some might start on the 60 mast and use the 3-degree shim. Best to learn behind a boat, jet ski or on a 2.0 cable if your local cable park has one. Bigger riders (90kg +) will want to start on the FW 85.
  • Weekend foilers – same as above
  • Downwind – riders will want the bigger FW 85
  • Surf – FW 78 (Try the M Wing)
  • Sup – FW 78

Find the right foil for you today.


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