Translator from GOOGLE

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 lol

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 ...

Later, in 2018, people are saying this video shows a rougher ride than the current foils ..
i.e. MORE affected by the state of the water ...

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 came up with this one: vimeo was deleted - hope it was this one from youtube

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:

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 ...
oops think that page is here now

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 WAS 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. "

Fellow purchased the FRP mini-foil and HATED it !! He took the bottom plate off and tried it on longer fins and suddenly LOVED it. He feels the short fin with the mini-foil is just NOT LONG ENUFF !!

It seems there is also a Polish company making mini-foils.
They are called "TheVirus"
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 ...

fellow is even foiling with a longboard Kona Carb One

also found this link with great tutorials and a wealth of information on windsurfing with a foil ...

here is an example - regarding "first flight(s)" ...

People ask what kind of damage can a foil do to a regular fin box ie NOT reinforced ?? Well, it seems it could RIP it out and de-laminate the bottom of your board !!! this is pic found on windfoilzone

and this one was found on iwindsurf:

here is the 2018 UK windsurf magazine windfoil test and summary ...

Buddy in Ontario, joe looby. has tried MANY light wind weapons and so, he decided to try the Naish foil. Now he is selling it (SEPT 2018) - the pic and discussion follow ...

"I haven't really used it that much so I though I would get rid of it.

I find that I still need 9/10 kts to get going on it and on Lake Huron with 10 knots it starts getting wavy so its really not worth the hassle...

I think the biggest drawback is that the wind minimum is just that - the minimum wind. If it drops below that you are just dead in the water. At least a longboard still zips around below planing. At my launch, if I I go out in 10-15 knots its usually too wavy for a foil and I would rather just windsurf 'normally'.

So I still think the ultimate light wind weapon is - the Phantom 377! (or a catamaran which I might get!)"

Joe was selling that foil for about $1700 Canadian. Feel like I can get a new one for about same price.

On the Australian seabreeze forum Imax1 asked about foils for heavyweights (115kg) and some people suggested the Naish foil. SL55 uses a JP SLW and wrote as follows:

"Love my Horue XLW which was designed specifically for heavy riders and super light winds. It has a wingspan of 92 cm and gets me flying in 8 mph winds. Build quality is superb. It flies me way earlier than my wife's Slingshot. My wet weight is >90 kg. I think I paid $1600 (american) for it."

isthmus sailboards has em in the states with 2 front wings for $1600 US
local 2-rad shop has it with one wing for about $3000 Canadian
that's too much of a difference
Bruno of 2-rad wrote back - saying the XLW wing has issues - like it breaks !!

Here is an interesting video - both fellows are on Formula boards. One is with a 12.5 meter sail and windsurfing while the other has a foil and a 9 m² sail ... another video gone :-(
put another one quickly in 2021  - now there are plenty showing WindFoil can beat Formula in the same conditions

Even Select now has a hydrofoil which they made with Taaroa.
What I like about their documentation is they suggest front and back wings based on rider weight ...

As I expected, a fellow of my weight needs a front wing of at least 85 cm and 850 cm²
and the appropriate matching back wing
ALSO - it has been known that aluminum masts bend with heavy weight riders ..

Bugfoils seem to have the largest front wing span at this point in time - to my knowledge.
Tom showed me a bugfoil at OKA in the summer of 2018 and it was large.

With a 10 knot minimum and pumping required - guess I will stick with longboards and JP SLW92. For now ...

This "foil guide" from Starboard confirms that the wind minimum seems to be 10 knots.
Especially for beginners ...

On seabreeze they suggest a dedicated foil board for foiling. On iwindsurf Coachg agreed and also stated one needs to be willing to be physical i.e. pumping. Also if one stays below 12 knots for foiling, don't bother ... So, ten to fifteen knots should be the goal. As a starting point that is - as seen above, many can go as high as 20 knots ...

for me - the smile says it all !!
gregnw44 from iwindsurf on 2003 SB GO, 1995 Ezzy 2 cam 6.oh with 2017 LP carbon windfoil

In early 2019 I contacted Joe in Ontario to chat about foiling ...
He was trying to sell his Naish with a large front wing.
Was thinking of going back to SB Phantom 377.
they are going for about $6000 now and so, checked in on Joe
Now he was thinking about SlingShot Infinity 84 front wing ,,,
2066 cm² area versus 1220 on the Naish !!
costs about $550 US just for this piece

In early 2023 I checked back with Joe ... Now he is SOLD on foiling ...
He purchased a 144 litre Goose from the Reef Warriors in NY
They also carry GO foils and Joe went with the 105 cm mast - for waves ...

in the above discussion, there are photos of a raceboard with a foil. apparently the experiments involved busted screws - even heavy duty screws - too much force/weight on one place

Here's Eddy Patricelli of Big Winds and Tiesda You of Starboard talkin bout foilin...

Lotsa reviews out there - here is one about the impact of some really LARGE front wings ...

Oh oh, read another story of a fellow trying the foil on a non-reenforced fin box and trying different foils. He almost LOST the foil, but had a GPS to mark the spot. The foil was down 10 meters/30+feet and was found by scuba friends. BUT let this be a lesson to us. Here 2-rad will re-enforce the box for ONLY $200 CDN !! Sounds like a worthwhile investment - you are after all investing more than $1000 in the foil !!!

April 21, 2019 just read the max width for PWA is 91 cm and different companies are coming out with boards to address this ...

this does NOT mean Formula boards cannot be used for foiling ..
however, since wind minimums are affected for racing ...
there is a potential for Formula boards AND large sails to disappear ...

and which of these boards should be my first foil board ??

The consensus seems to be GO WIDE as in the JP SLW92 and the cost is $350 CDN @ 2-rad to change the fin box -- A while back there was a $200 special for that ...

Check this dude out !!

moses twist from Suistyle Freestyle on Vimeo.

now they are saying there are four(4) types of windfoiling ??

here they talk about the ass ends of things

Here is a video in French about windfoil concepts and a little bit of physics:

It is now 2024 and I still have NOT bought into the windfoil world ... I was looking for a Levitator 160 and SlingShot I84 front wing, but feel all that may not be necessary. Many start with the larger windfoil boards and then either give up, downsize or change the board ...
I asked on QuebecWind whether they thought I could start with a SlingShot Wizard 125 and an I76 foil
Saw this video where the infamous Andy Brandt goes out on a Sligshot Flyer 280