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Making a Deep Snow Windski

First off, let us begin with a little bit of history ...

So far, I have built a windski that works VERY well on ice since it runs on the metal rails:

My first windski is actually the model I am still using when there is not too much snow on the ice. The ice model above bogs down when there is more than about one inch or so of snow. This model works up to three(3) or four(4) inches of snow (or crusty snow). The front portion is not always used, but the middle ski stays ...

I also have other "windski" models that either did not work for me or have not been tried YET.

I have the blue "windskate" that has not been tried yet - need some good ice !!

This one is the windski based on gtj's model which i hoped worked in deep snow, but Guy informed me that was not the case and i found it difficult to get out of the boots...

And then there was the ArcticSail which was fabricated in Quebec. This model had metal edges and I had high hopes. It was just too heavy and I abandoned trying it again. Someone stated somewhere it works in water too. With my weight it sank to my thighs and I did not try it any deeper. So for me, that one was a FLOP !!

So, the BIGGER issue so far is the deeper snow ... Once there is more than about four(4) inches of snow, NONE of my models work !! Since starting this blog in 2011 and even before, I have been working on snow models. The most evasive is the deeper snow model.

I have come to the conclusion that a windski in deep snow acts as a plow and a kite lifts skis or snowboards in the deep snow; NOT snow plowing in any case.

So... My idea is to build a windski where the platform is above the snow. In order to be able to envision this and check measurements, feel, etc; I came up with this "prototype".

The idea is based on what I found here: Fastest-Sled-On-a-Hill/

And so ... The questions about materials and measurements begin ... The skis and snowboard platform are givens ...

Part of the reason this is important now - winter in 2017 started early and stayed. There is ice and lotsa snow in December. Temperatures are hitting -30 degrees C at night. So, I am up at the in-law chalet in the cold, lotsa snow , almost no wind and no sleigh. I can't just stay inside and watch netflix all day :-)

I had come to the conclusion that I would need a strong support that was not too heavy. This may seem obvious, but all details are important. As such, I decided upon PVC piping, like from the "fastest sled" link earlier. As mentioned there, the PVC end caps were NOT so easy to find. Ideally would have liked something like this, but the ends may be flimsy...

So ... luckily my bro-in-law, Chas, found something else in the States. Like the ones from the fastest sled, but without the holes ...

As I want some height, I cannot just put the elbows with the 45 degree joints...

Also, since I will be standing, the support is not just higher, but MUST be sturdy... Do I need cross-bars ?? Not under the sled, but along the sides ...

Stay tuned ... yeah right :-(

mid-Jan 2018 - am stalled since the ice conditions are SO BAD... On the weekend checked three(3) sites and Lac St-Louis was actually the BEST and then today/Monday we are getting a snow storm with freezing rain = yuck - truly disappointing ...

It is now early FEB 2018 and we ARE getting snow - time to wake up the project !!

Went and got some raw materials:

Had made some adjustments to the plan:

and is started to look like this:

and the simulation proof of concept:

Still not sure if more legs are required - like a water insect....
Or support between legs on the same ski ...

The problem now is the snow is still deep and very WET. We are expecting rain and 10 degree C weather. That's like 50 degrees Fahrenheit !!

Windskate and Windski

Would like to revive this subject, since the air and water are too cold for me now ...
My average for on the water in December is a BIG fat zero and ONE for ice windskiing !!
The cold weather is only just starting now - the 10th of December 2017 ...

The experiments I did earlier for windskating (on a skateboard) and discussed below were fun, but did not go well - NOT to my tastes anyway ... I found the windskate idea interesting , but dangerous. Learned quickly to dump the sail if in ANY kind of trouble. I found the board a bit short and narrow.

My first experiment to change all this was with some wood laying about - it was 50 inches long and 17 inches wide. I was looking to go 8 or 9 inches wide and 48 to 54 inches long. So, I stuck with the 50 inch length and tried the 9 inch piece first. Initial tests on the press wood suggested it would not break with my 105 + kilo weight. When cut to size, standing on it felt very comfortable - not too wide nor long. Put the wheels on at 7 inches from the ends. It rolled well and i stepped where the back wheel was and it was ok. Put some stress on the board in the middle - hmm. Ok, stress test time and it broke, This is okay - because I really do NOT want it to break while riding on pavement. Now I will search for a more appropriate wood and probably do more stress tests before assembling the wheels and mast base ... All just part of the fun ...

And what does a search for home made skateboard wood bring ?
Quick search on internet and it seems maple and plywood are the best choices ...

Well, it seems local freestyler, gtj/Guy Trudeau jr, is starting to influence me...

He runs a website called and is also know for his freestyle tricks on the water.

First I tried a windskate where I took my son's 31 inch skateboard, changed the wheels and put a hole for the mast base ...

 These wheels are wider and come from a longboard. They also roll "better"

Because the board is short. the mastbase had to go in front of the wheels...

Most people including Guy, put the mast base behind the front wheels. The boards are also longer. Putting it front means the board often tips up when moving it about (without people weight holding it down).

When I saw Guy today in December 2016,  he suggested many things... He keeps BOTH wheel bases long. I can switch the wheels onto the longer truck from my son. Guy's boards are longer, as discussed, and also FLAT. He makes them thicker now so that they do not break. His wheels are also even wider than mine and finds the really wide and large wheels just slide too much. Would need a harder rubber on those wheels ...Next spring 2017 I will purchase a full kit from Guy...

When I did my experiments, I only had my HSM Fire 6.3 sail here and not my smaller junkers. I don't have good smaller sails ...

(need a better pic of this sail ...)
how about this one - NOT me obviously

The good news is of my windskating sessions so far - nothing was broken and I did not get hurt. I do have my windsurf helmet, knee pads, good gloves and purchased elbow pads ...
With all the good things Guy is doing, why not copy his windski as well ??

I had thrown out the skis from Helmut because they were at the chalet and I was NOT going any more. Did keep the boots just in case.

Since my boots did NOT fit the skis I got from Marc's garage sale, I had to move the back bindings:

Guy suggests cutting the clips, but mine come off - leave them off ??

For the boots I unscrewed the top portion
and cut the backs as suggested by Guy

the cross bar was purchased from Guy

and now ... almost ready to get the rest of the materials
nuts, bolts and washers as suggested in the video

okay, got some nuts, bolts and washers
and moved to NEXT step:
where pucks are attached to the crossbar

need to ask Guy about the bolts and how long is really necessary

What I did for now, was add some more washers. The setup looks okay and ready to mount pucks onto the skis.  Guy suggests seven to eight inches up from the bindings. Did an experiment about where to place the pucks on  the skis and it was 7.5 inches from the bindings. As such, that is where I will place the pucks ...

As it gets wider further up the skis, I decided on eight inches from the front of the bindings. As I could NOT find my protractor, I had to print one from the internet in order to measure 360/5 = 72 degrees between the screws and decided on 1.1 cm from the edge. Here is the first puck mounted ...

and now just need to let things dry - silicone and loctite - before testing it out 😊

Was going through my winter posts and looking for other windskis. There used to be a company called windski that built something like American "magic ride" who posted on Auzzie windsurf forum: (says it does not tack or jibe well, but then none of my models seem to either...)

Apparently this was a water ski - something I tried with an older ski that did not work out for me ... 
Here it is in action ...

 "my ski won't perform well with larger sails. The ski seems to bite too much to the snow at the bottom of the ski 3/4 to the front end area of the ski. Found any thing less than a 5.4 and down works perfect."

Will look for pics from "original" windski ... They used to be @, but that address does not exist anymore and is available ... Here is a sample:

They claimed that the windski and "windski carve" could go in ANY depths of snow ...

Found pic at a site where they "talk" about classifications of winter sailing ...

1) Sled with rider standing on structure
2) Hand-held like a kitewing
3) Kites connected by lines ...

Obviously there are also ice sailboats !!!
and for me these below are ALL sleds, but all completely different !!!

This fellow says he simply attached the sail to one ski with a rope ??

Here's another single ski, but with snowboard(s) and a platform

Well, brought the stuff up north to the out-law chalet cuz the ice is supposed to be frozen. This is on TUES 27DEC2016, my birthday... when i tested the ice at night/evening, I managed to break through top crust and find some water before next layer 😒 and it looked light / perhaps water ? near the middle of the lake $%^&*(( On the following morning put on the BIG boots and wandered further out. The ice made a BIG BOOM like lake was a GIANT WOOFER. Was afraid for about 2 seconds. Went and got my other sleds and took out my favourite ice sled with the HSM Fire 6.3. Ice was fine (8 outta 10) but the wind was too light  - off n on around 10 kph (6 outta 10). It was good to go out though !!! Just been too long - think i have a serious addiction 😊 This is the ice sled:

The next day I tried again, but wind was even less - 6 outta 10. Tried my ice sled, but the ice was too sharp and rails too sharp - did NOT go better than above sled. When I rigged the SW Retro 8-oh, the wind died !! This is my blue ice sled:

I must have spent over one hour looking for a specific board on this blog that buddy Claude Belanger showed me @ OKA. He met Langis Caron @ WISSA in 2010 I believe and based his boards on that/those meetings ... It is a combination  of skis and snowboards with an angle of about 23 degrees. What is interesting is the mount of the platform AND the joining/amalgamation of the skis with the lower snowboard (which has been cut in order to match the 23 degrees of the skis !!

What differs between Claude's model and that of Langis Carron is, Langis only had one ski coming out the front : (in case you did not know - Langis was a Québec race car driver who also won WISSA windsurf races on ice n snow)

Here is a windski from Langis Caron in action !!

Here is a local fellow using a windski like mine ...

Here's Brian Foster aka magicride on his windski @ Lake of the Woods, Oregon

Well, it has been confirmed that this WindSki and Guy's version do NOT go well in deep snow. DEEP is not a number and so, what is meant by deep snow. Ironically, it is NOT a big number. For me 6 cm of snow can wreak a day out in the winter and ten cm for sure. Need more wind and more effort. On the ice 15 kph winds can make the ice sailboard fly. Need 15 knot winds when the snow is over 10 cm. Starting to sound like summer planing requirements ??

In any case, I am constantly wondering how i can overcome this deep snow "issue" and often come back to this idea:

The idea is to keep the weight and drag up and over the snow line. How much height is required ?? At first I was considering 12 inches in order to ensure one is over the snow... Went outside with deep, wet snow and measured how deep do I sink with my weight in these conditions = ten inches. Okay, does it make a difference if one is on a ski ?? With one ski and my full weight on it, it sank about five inches which is obviously ONLY half the amount. This seems to indicate that 12 inches of height may be too much and awkward for nothing. A typical step in a stairwell seems to be 8 inches and so, since this seems to be a comfortable height, that is what i will start with... Have skis in the garage and an old snowboard from my sister up in the chalet basement. Will put three crossbeams one foot apart under the snowboard. Maybe I should NOT share all this information until I have patented the model ?? 😊

What about deeper powder snow ?? That happens rarely here and if so, at least the weight and drag will be up higher and perhaps able to push the extra fluff out of the way ?? 

What about spin-out as there is NO fin nor angle of skis ?? 
Have thought of that and have a potential solution, but cannot share that here - not until patented 😊

may as well add some new stuff since I brought the post back to the fore front ...
how about winch windsurfing on the mountains ??

or Levi Siver on Japanese mountain:

now for deep snow am using this as an idea to think about - elevated platform !!
other George told me that the snowfer works in deep snow, but is out of business !!

BEST windsurf event in Canada EVER ??

Okay, buddy Brian out of Kingston, Ontario, Canada got me started on this subject ...

He claims the BEST one in Canada EVER was the 1983 World Championships, you guessed it, in Kingston. Quick search turned up this picture ...

Obviously looks like they/we were still in the original WindSurfer stage

Based on some further readings ... it may have been one of the last tobacco sponsored events:
It seems the Export "A" girl showed up in kilt and all and handed out prizes !!

In Wikipedia under the Windsurf World Champioships we see the following:

In the men's we obviously recognize all the names and in 1983 a woman was the first Canadian to win a World's event. What Brian of Kingston was actually looking for , was more pics. He said there was an official photographer, who was most probably from Ottawa ... I am wondering if it is Geoff Webster and asked Brian about it ...

As I look about at images and stories, I see that in that year there were other windsurf events in Brittany and Holland too ...

For now I will leave this post as it is, but wish to remind people there were other GREAT windsurf events in Canada - both winter and summer. KONA has been here , as has WISSA (World Ice n Snow Association) ...

Once we have located the Ottawa photographer for Brian, perhaps I will delve into the other GREAT windsurf events in Canada 😊

"Yes, let the photos flow and the debate begin!  I'm armed with a lot good memories and impressive statistics that defeat all proposed challengers to this title lol.  Swedish girls in skimpy white bikinis doing splits on the rail to music in front of 5000 spectators is an example.  400+ boards on the start line to the long distance race is another.  Google map Kingston KYC and Garden Island and 400 boards means that the starting line had to stretched from in front of the yacht club almost all the way to Garden island!  SW wind around 10 knots and the winner was the inventor's (Hoyle) son (Matt).  
The photographer from Ottawa (pretty sure) had a last name I think started with a M,ie McAlpine or something like that??
Hopefully, the blog topic will be well received :), thanks, Brian"

Was the event also sponsored by Bacardi ? well known for their rum ...

By 1985 the stock WindSurfer was being replaced by the MOD aka Mistral One Design/SuperLight  and then the Comp SST.  Here's a video from those times ... still with the original WindSurfer ...
oops gone already = WTF $%^&*()_
Am surprised there were NO comments and NO challenges...
There have been other GREAT windsurf events in Canada.
I myself witnessed a KONA event in Trois Rivières ...

How are we supposed to get better ??

We all want to get better at water starts, foot straps, pumping onto a plane, gybes, bigger winds, waves, you name it ... Jim from Kingston wrote in and says he shares my frustration ...

Some of us are older, some coming back to windsurfing and most of us have to work for a living ...

One example that always makes me laugh is when we get back to the beach and people are complaining that it was gusty. My typical response is,"Bienvenue à  Montréal." Even Environment Canada announces the winds as 20-40 kph, 30-50, 40-60, etc ... That is a ten(10) knot range !! Yesterday at Pointe-Claire a fellow windsurfer summed it up,"Mieux d'être over." We were watching two dudes schlogging about. One had rigged down from an 8.5 to a 6.5 and looked like he was drifting along i.e. worse than schlogging.

Okay, we cannot do much with the environment; nor with the fact that we are weekend warriors ...

Jim and I have both been to Hatteras, North Carolina and both feel that the Sound is THE PLACE to try new stuff and learn. Water never seems to go over shoulder depth, there is usually good wind (less gusty) and is a large expanse of water that never gets crowded.

What about back home? Jim now has a Kona One with an 8.2 and I have a Mistral Equipe 2 XR with various sails in the 8.x range. These are our GO TO setups... MANY times I have gone to Oka, La Crête and I was either alone or there were only some  kiters and I on the water ... up to the point where Sylvain was out on his kite foil and I was out on the MEQ2 - with the rest sitting on the beach.

It was so calm and quiet this day, that I put on the TR-4 10 m² sail:

Jim and I have other boards and sails: Fanatic Shark 165 or 145, SB Kode 137 or AHD SL2 132. The issue is: how often we really get to use them. The conditions need to be right and we need to be sure our skills (or lack thereof) do NOT put us in danger.

This summer I had a magical moment on my Shark 145 and old North Sails Duke 6.9. I was absolutely flying on the water. All the stars had lined up - wind, sail, board, fin and me. Too bad I was not in my straps. Young fellow who was parked beside remarked on how fast I was going - which confirmed it was not just a feeling.

Jim says he had a magical moment at Hatteras on the Carve 137 and found himself in BOTH footstraps ...

Unfortunately for some of us, these magical moments are few and far between. We speak about needing TOW to improve, but with what kind of conditions ?? We are not all these thin, athletic people living right beside the ideal conditions and can go at a drop of a hat. On the local quebecwind forum I often comment that I need to go to work, have a family, etc and cannot go over the border to Lake Champlain at the drop of a hat !!

Some locals like Georgie have gone over to the dark side completely - kiting. Some like Yvente have learned that kiting works in light wind, when winds are up high AND in the winter. Although both Yvente and I do winter windsurfing near Montreal , as in on ice n snow ...

So, remember words of encouragement or suggestions are always welcome to folks like Jim and I 😊

and YES, we should go to Hatteras more often !!!

Tropical storm Anna just missed us when I was there ...

"Unknown" makes some important suggestions in his/her comment... Firstly the suggestion is - how do we get better more quickly ?? Secondly, TOW/time on water is only useful if certain skills are practiced. If one goes out in the same conditions , at the same place and does the same things without trying or practicing those skills lacking, then TOW is just that - only more TOW with no improvements. No pain - no gain.

Helmut, my windsurf buddy, has improved his water start skills more than I. Bruno of 2-rad suggested to him that it was a key skill to improve shortboarding and Helmut practiced it every chance he got. Kudos to him, but I also know Helmut will not go unless it is shortboard weather ie 15+ knots and he has windsurfed at the islands in the Caribbean, Spain, etc. I only started more of this "practicing" this year and things are improving. For me, the most elusive skill is the footstraps. Perhaps I should use them in the winter on the ice ??

Thanks again to all who write in !!!

WindSUP wazzup

Unfortunately it feels like the foils have taken the wind out of the WindSUP sails, pardon the pun. Just when WindSUPs and inflatables were starting to be a subject of discussion, the foils fired up.

Locally Franco Ittiandro has tried a number of boards, long and short, and has decided that his recent purchase of a BIC WindSUP 11'6" was the best fit ever ... He did have issues with the EVA skin, but it was covered under warranty ...

No, that is NOT Franco in the next images 😄
Franco is like me - older gentleman , heavyweight , still loving the wind and the water ...

The thing is, the WindSUP is NOT just for light winds, beginners, etc. The implication is obviously that you can stand up paddle as well, but most reading I have done on the subject (on windsurf forums), the majority of the people are windsurfing and quite often in the waves (not mast high though).

The most popular one on iwindsurf seems to be the Exocet WindSUP 11'8" (especially for the heavyweights like myself).

John Ingebritsen speaks favourably about ALL the Exocets on the North American iwindsurf forum.

People have even compared the Kona One with the Exocet WindSUP with some surprising results !!

but before we go any further, just check out what this windsurfer is saying about the Exocet WindSUP !!

it is from this discussion:


Owning both the Kona One and the Exocet Wind-SUP 11'8" I have had extensive experience sailing and paddling both over the last several years here in Eastern North Carolina. For sound side (flatter water) windsurfing I prefer the Kona One as the daggerboard system works better and I think it is a little faster board. However, for ocean and light wind wave sailing the 11'8" is the winner hands down. The Kona One also works quite well as an SUP but is a little narrower. Also due to its thicker hull you end up standing a litttle higher off the water. This contributes to a slightly higher center of gravity too which makes it a little more tipsy until you get used to it compared to the 11'8" when paddling. 

The 11'8" remains a super fun board for light wind ocean/wave sailing and especially fun for doing downwinders! This is because thanks to the daggerboard you can really cut high upwind and easily sail a couple miles up the beach. Then kick the dagger back up and blast back on deep planing broad reaches riding swells and waves as you go. Fun - Fun -Fun. Once back at your starting point, just repeat the process. I use an Aerotech Phantom 7.5 sail almost exclusively for this purpose. 

As an SUP it is very stable, easy to paddle, and paddles faster than you would think a big board like it would. I have also taught several rank beginners to windsurf on it as well as SUP paddle and it worked very well with more than ample stablity for that. 

I wrote a review on this board over a year ago which talks about how it performs as an SUP in paddling mode as well as under sail. You can check it out at: 


I have several other reports on the 11'8" posted on my blog there as well. 

My only big complaint is that it is a heavy board when carrying and or taking off your vehicle. However, once on the water its light wind performance and paddling ease more than make up for it. Also, I and others have had problems with the daggerboard gaskets coming out. However, since putting tape over the front edge of the gaskets and adjacent bottom surface, I have had no more problems with this. 

I think that if you want both a windsurfing and SUP all in one board that you can sail ocean, waves, flat water; teach beginners to windsurf on, teach beginners to SUP on, as well as have a fun SUP for both ocean and flat water paddling; then you can't go wrong with the 11'8". 

Good winds 


and also ...


I used to own the Kona and now own the 11'8. Here are my thoughts on the different aspects of their performance: 

Early Planing: I felt like the Kona needed 1-2 knots more wind to plane than a light-wind shortboard would need. For the 11'8 the planing threshold is more the same as what you'd expect for a big shortboard. 

Speed: I'm sure I haven't seen the true "top speed" of either board. They both go fast and stay pretty controlled when powered up. The Kona is a little more comfortable to sail overpowered, though, especially when having to bash over/through rough water. 

Jibing and Carving: The 11'8 carves and jibes better. 

Glide: Both boards seem to glide about the same to me in flat water, although the wider 11'8 may get slowed down a little more by head-on chop. 

Daggerboard: Kona daggerboard is more powerful for upwind sailing, and the gasket makes a better seal. The 11'8 daggerboard works adequately for getting you upwind, but it doesn't give enough power to let you "rail" the board. The 11'8 daggerboard also has a flimsier gasket more prone to catch water and break. 

Waves: The 11'8 is better for catching and riding waves and swells, both because of its shape and because of the centered footstrap options, which the Kona does not have. 

Beginners: Beginners like the 11'8 better because its more stable and the daggerboard isn't as sticky to operate. 


So, this makes deciding between a K1 and a WindSUP that much more difficult. If one is into the K1 races, there is no question what ti purchase, but otherwise ??

Summary of 2017 summer sessions

As usual, it seems it was a disappointing year - in a number of ways ...
Now almost end of October and the season is quickly drawing to an end ...

1) ONLY went out about 37 times - there were years where I went out over 60 times
2) as usual about 80 % of the sessions were on the MEQ2 longboard with HSM SPF 8.5
3) the JP SLW92 was used 2 or 3 times
4) the Shark 145 (which was purchased this year) was used about 5 times -
5) both slalom boards were NOT used at all - keep trying to sell the AHD SL2 132
6) still NOT in the footstraps - NOT much planing this year ...  biggest wind 60 kph

also lost some fins ... and cracked one too - one fin repaired and one replaced

guess it does not help that i have not been out in the last two weeks
with my new job it seems weekends or time off are the only windsurf possibilities
the local river is only good when the water levels are high and i cracked my fin there :-(

the good news is - all the old BIC Dufour Wings were sold ... replaced with a BIC SL220
also sold all the large fins I was no longer using - like the last trimm fin i had ...

One session with the Shark got a 2 outta 10 at the beginning of the season and one session got a 9 outta 10 in the middle of the season. On that day I really felt like I was "flying" and when a young dude confirmed it - it made my day. That was the one day I should have been in the straps !!!

this summer i made NO videos ... i think it was too disappointing
wanted to try the homemade back mount, but never did ...
this year making videos and maintaining the blog were not considered fun ...
Adobe Flash is being removed by 2020 and causes issues with embedding from youtube
Photobucket is asking people for all kinds of money now and so many pics are no longer available.
people like Cluffy keep taking their videos down - have to find a way to copy them %&^*() options are , netvideohunter on firefox and FreeYoutubeDownloader for windows ...
also had to go through ALL posts and resize videos - many seemed off for some reason ...

on top of all this ... my windsurf vehicle , the van, is on its last legs ...
the car was sold and get a new one - no candidate for windsurf transport ...

Harness Lines and Boom Height

Franco is starting to use the harness on his BIC WinSUP and started another long post on iwindsurf. He tends to over analyze, but some good information came out of his quest ...

Let's start with this video ...

and in the post(s) there were the standard suggestions - higher boom for lighter wind and lower for higher winds...

one post on iwindsurf:

and another on seabreeze ...

of course our buddy Jem Hall has a few words to say ...

Windsurfing Tuning - Windsurfing Boom Height / Windsurfing Harness line positioning & Length / Windsurfing Outhaul Trim from Jem Hall on Vimeo.

and there is a reference to a Peter Hart article as well ...

I will continue to read through the posts and put more information ...

am definitely glad that there is some conversation about BOOM, lines AND mast foot position, How many times do we read about the infamous triangle ?? Which also affects how far back you go on the board and get in the foot straps ...

on one of the posts, i put this image of AA/Antoine Albeau who obviously always shows fine form:

and why not one more video here:

Sailboard Hydrofoiling

Seems this is the buzz talk in the windsurf world for 2016. 

Some people are calling it "windfoiling", but on a Danish forum they complained that this term is NOT clear enough. Why would kitefoiling NOT be windfoiling ? Can we call it windsurf foiling? Windsurf is a term that ideally refers to surfing using wind. As such, most of us are doing sailboarding. And so ... sailboarding with a foil s/b called what ? Danish forum suggested sailboard hydrofoiling or SBHF 

The first SBHF that I became aware of was the AHD AFS-1 and that was a years ago.

It is somewhat unique with the hole in the nose and the wide tail ...

One thing I found interesting is, the wings of the foil are held on by the plugs at the end, which have a LONG bolt/screw going into the middle.

Why this never caught on , is beyond me...

Another French company called the Horue seemed to get their name out there . My joke is they succeeded due to interspersing bikinis in their videos ...

The hydrofoil that caught my eye was the iFoil:

When I first saw this model, it felt like it made the most sense. Why bother trying to balance the whole apparatus on the single point at the back ?? With a foil in the front, you are more balanced and have more options ... in terms of body placement , etc ...

Of course there are other hydrofoil companies ... ketosfoil, foilever, kerfoils, lokefoil, etc
Most of these are names I have NOT heard before and MANY seem to come out of France !!

Foils still cost about $1000 and companies like AHD & Horue sell boards to go with foils.
Otherwise , it seems a slalom board of about 80 cm width and naturally tuttle fin  box  is suggested.

I will NOT get into the technical details of the foils. It is difficult enough to understand fin concepts. Suffice it to say hydrofoils for sailboards are larger than those for kiters and the bottom looks like an aeroplane.  There are MANY models and some adjustment is available on them - like angle,  etc - depending on the model...

There is buzz about this on almost all the windsurf forums...
Here is some discussion from iwindsurf and a video of some people starting out ...

and naturally there are some on facebook too - here is a smooth jibe:

You want MORE bikinis ?
Shame on you ...

My joke - this s/b called SOBHF, as in a jealous "look @ that SOB hydrofoiling"

The one that surprised me (and NOT just me) is the video of Kai Lenny (who is now 22 !!) hydrofoiling "downwind" on a SUP and making it look easy. He and Robbie Naish can make anything look easy - AND cool !!

And Exocet is working on a two foil board - NOT released YET ...

There are TWO major concerns with foiling and I am NOT even going to mention price, risk of danger with large knives under water, etc.

Firstly the obvious one is that foils are quite long and as such need deep water to start, maintain and need to be wary of sandbanks in case you are not up in the air ...

The one I kind of forgot about, but have read about is weeds. Is it going to be necessary to develop weed foils ??  At the cost of one of these, there is no way people are going to have two !!

Even for my wide freeride JP SLW92, I have purchased a Lessacher 42 cm fin  in order to see if it is not possible to avoid weeds AND ride with a shorter fin ...

Knew I had once seen pics of the earlier BIG windsurf hydrofoils .. Well, I stumbled upon a video which seems to be narated in Dutch, but seems fairly clear. Notice: NO footstraps ...

and here is a TV discussion or Rich Miller's 1995 hydrofoil:

It seems that over thirty(30) years ago a company HARKEN made foils for windsurfers:

Addendum: Just found out recently that AA / A ² / Antoine Albeau may have been foiling / hydro-foiling on windsurfer boards for the last ten (10) years !! That may be the reason why he won the 2016 PWA foil races !! If the following link still works,, go to about 5:30

SBHF looks like it here to stay - even if fins/foils cost OVER $2000 !!
reminder: SBHF = sailboard hydrofoiling ...

more n more videos and discussions coming  out:

Kite foil companies are realising the potential and are building foils for windsurfers now !!

and some are getting REALLY confident !!

After some careful deliberation, I came up with some criteria:

1) deep tuttle and thus NO need for an insert
2) with a base plate so as NOT to stress the fin box
3) alloy in order to save some serious $$$
4) ideally able to change position or angle
5) different lengths and foils available

So far, I have come up with this one:

Looks like even in Montreal we may start to see some windfoils !!

Finally an article with some decent comparing. Vour parlez francais n'est-ce pas ??

or try the google translated version ??

and now they have a motorized foil called an e-foil:

As discussed in the comments, on some forums and seems to have been attempted years ago... some people are adding a blade/foil to the fin which is parallel to the base of the board:

Some people are still on the fence - is this a FAD or even too dangerous. Kite boarding is definitely more dangerous than windsurfing and yet it is increasing in popularity. Ironically some beaches have banned kiting in recent years... If people get hurt often enough with foils, will they be banned too ?? Locally in Montreal, more and more kiters are experimenting with foils and a buddy of mine - lost his and it NEVER turned up again. Nice loss of about $3000 and I felt bad when I lost my GoPro ...

Update: September 2017 ...

I am SURE you have all heard about the GREAT North American one and ONLY windsurf magazine called WindSurfing Now ?? Well, guess what the latest issue highlighted ?? You guessed it - Wind Foiling !! It may not be obvious from the cover, but KP/Kevin Pritchard is actually on a foil.

Since he is sponsored by SB/Starboard, I would have expected him to be using a SB foil as well, but he was using an MFC foil. Well, they are on Maui too and so , I imagine it was more accessible and he actually called them for some technical questions, when KP did NOT tighten all the bolts properly !! However, on the back of the magazine, there was a SB foil pictured ... Here is a pic of one from the web  

Okay, there is an article with KP foiling @ Whistler, BC , picture of Tyson Poor jumping a foil, article with Robbie Naish on a foil, images of foils (SB, NP, Slingshot, Naish, MFC and even BIC)  and now foil boards (SB, JP 4 the NP, Slingshot, Naish, Gecko, Techno and Goya + Simmer too), BUT what really got me was - there were foil sails too !!

Since most of the companies have been mentioned, but not his one yet ... Here is the SailWorks Flyer with both the BIG boys on foils !!

What i find interesting are the sail features ... Depth in the sail, soft tension, cambers for profile, less sail twist and a forward draft. Hey, that almost sounds like a smaller version of a longboard sail !! They will only be making them as large as 7.0 m² because foiling just seems to need less of a sail. However, when racing , AA has been known to use 8.x sails. That Flyer in an 8.x size would probably be just great on my longboards !!! It is difficult to find readily available longboard sails in North America .... (don't quote me on that - cuz I am sure someone will bite my head off).

The magazine had plenty of other great articles. The one that caught me was Levi Siver sailboarding down a snowy mountain with a custom "snowboard"/windsurf board ...

So, if you are not subscribed to WindSurfing Now, you better get to it !!

I like this discussion here:

Ultimate Wind Foiling Guide: Best Gear for Learning from Big Winds on Vimeo.

what about this one ? looks like a windfoil with a kitewing or perhaps inflatable sail like iRig ??

Check out the on-line windfoil academy !!

some good stuff here, in case i did not put this up yet ...

frpgear are actually selling what I will call the mini-foil .. it is 12 inches / 30 cm long and 14 inch / 35 cm wing span with a light weight of 0.9 lbs / 0.4 kgs. it is supposed to generate enough lift to relieve 50 pounds of weight / 22.7 kgs. this one is slated to work best with narrow boards - rather than wider boards like the full foils. i am in contact with them for a powerbox version in order to try it on a longboard and the Shark 145 😊

Asked on iwindsurf about these quasi-foils and got the following !!

"Those were a bad idea 28 years ago and they still are. "

Foil boards are around $3000 and wind foils around $2000 and now there are windfoil sails too.
The industry is disappointing me with these rich boy toys so much, I truly feel it is time to go back to basics and perhaps go for a KONA ONE and sell everything else. Just forget about trying to keep up.

asked on iwindsurf if i needed re-enforced fin box and if better with JP SLW92 or the AHD SL2 132.
gregnw44 had a GR8 answer !!

Look for an old Starboard Go board, late 90's to mid 2000's. There's gotta be one of those gathering dust in someone's garage up in your area. They have a deep Tutle box... are strong enough (but still light enough)... and have added length, which means WAY easier "splash-downs" from foil-out's. And easy touch n go's. We all do lots of that stuff, while learning. 

I've foiled a bit on 2 different Go boards... and a bit more on my formula board. All work fine. But I have a friend who's foiled for more than 100 miles in the Gorge, on his Go board. He has learned fast and done very well on it. 

Anyway, I also know many people using other formula board and big slalom boards. All work fine, and no damage yet to stock tutle boxes. Although, I've heard stories of stock tutle boxes eventually having cracks for some people... but so far, this seems rare. People in the business tell me, "use whatever you have with a deep T box... if or when, some day, you get a crack in it... then sure, get it re-enforced". 
I also like the LP (what I have) and the Slingshot (what some friends have) because they have a flange which distributes load on the bottom of the board. This will also make a stock Deep T finbox board last longer. However, I also have friend's with "no flange" foil masts... and their boards are ok so far. 
Conclusion - You do NOT need a special board or special sails. You're on flat water, just looking for a little extra fun in 10-20 mph wind. You and I are bigger than many. Neither one of us are going to foil in waves. So all you need is your SLW board, which would be great... or an old Go board, which would be a little better for you, cause it's longer. 
So after you're using and learning with that, for a while. If you "really get into it" or your deep T box cracks... you can get it fixed and beefed up... or get a ready made foil board. And then you can add special sails as well. 
Of course, if you want to invest big $ right away, you can. But for guys like you and me (frugal) it's not needed, to start having a really fun time.

just discovered this link which seems to have an extensive list of the different windfoils on the market now - too bad it is not also a review ...

that was a good source of information in order for me to be able to create this spreadsheet:

summary of some foil boards --> average volume of 133 liters, width of 78 cm and length 226 cm
however, the forum discussions suggest longer board with more width and shorter mast on the foil for an easier start ,,,

for heavy weights they are suggesting the NAISH foil due to its large area in the front wing. it also seems to come with three(3) mast lengths to help one get started. Looks like one needs the piece to go from board to foil tho. Locally kiteforce seems to carry them for $1350

one thing for sure, people are saying it is IMPORTANT that the foil and the foil board are a good MATCH - in French they are calling this a marriage. So, not for the faint of heart nor wallet ...

in case i did not put this link here yet ...