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Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

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Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:07 pm

I have followed the hydrofoil history since the very start in the early 2000s mostly protos and a further development of the AirChairs for wakeboarding.

And now I have noticed something:

Back in 2007 Carafino made the first "public" kitesurf hydrofoil which were marketed worldwide.

It did not catch on that much - being an interesting novelty for very few, but that was it.

I know that Rush Randle also did loads of riding and testing too, much respect, but lets just take a look at the big picture for now.

A few years later the French took it up not just one notch, but to the extreme, making super efficient high performance hydrofoils, with low drag and crazy speed and upwind angles - and that was literally a "gamechanger" (I hate that word though, being misused so much for things like odd QR'ses).

Suddenly it caught on all over the world, and a few years later the raceboards died and got totally extinct in less than one year - I have never seen anything like that before (well, maybe the change from 2 line to 4 line kites, also very rapidly).
Total respect, and from then it caught on like a wildfire because it was AMAZING to see the speed and upwind, and all the best (race) riders in the world converted in no time.

This had an amazing impact on the "general" non racing kitesurfers, as now it was suddenly "cool" (no disrespect eventhough it sounds like it), and in the following years many brands focused on making hydrofoils for the "public", meaning easier to ride and just as (or more) fun :thumb:

The last few years, I have seen a trend towards much bigger wings, much lower AR - which is what the majority likes (or at least ask for).

Then I am thinking (nothing wrong with that, just a remarkable turnaround), that we are almost back to the roots now, like the early 2007 Carafino which is almost like many are today :rollgrin:

Here the video from Colona Watersports that got me into it (many years later though) - the Carafino hydrofoil and board worked just great, and here in Denmark a guy Peter still got his with the original board, and it works like a charm - AMAZING !
I know Mango went bad and became a crook later, but his first foils were masterpieces, just way before their time so noone could appreciate these.

Remember that some was on this thing almost immediately, like Tautologies who was "on" way before everybody else, but I think he got nobody to share the passion with, what a shame it took so many years...

So in 10 years of time or so, we went from low AR easy riding, to high AR superfast difficult racefoils, to now having even higher AR easy racefoils AND low AR easy riding foils.

What a turnaround :rollgrin:

Here the original Carafino is about 1 year ago at our annual kitesurf "Island" camp, Carried or Segway'ing by Claus, the owners best buddy:


Still used, works just great, and I find it amazing to see that many freeriders and waveriders are going (somewhat) back to this design now :naughty:

8) PF

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby plummet » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:40 pm

I bet mongo is somewhere kicking himself repeatedly.
He pioneered kite hydrafoil for the better part of 10 years and then blew out on the doorstep of world hydro foil domination.

He is a nutty crooked person. But I do feel sorry that he hasn't enjoyed greater success.

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby Bletti » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:43 pm

What's the story with Mongo? Something about people not receiving their foils or something?

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby Randahl » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:18 pm

For a time there was only the Carafino and Rush Randle I think. I believe one of the catalysts for Taaroa becoming a thing was a disagreement over their arrangement for selling Carafino's in Europe. He could have been hyrdofoiling's cabrinha or naish but for his personality and practices. I tried hard to get my hands on one of his foils in the early days of foil fever and he couldn't get out of his own way to sell me one (if it was really true that he had the next production run available in "4-6 weeks")(which now I am 100% sure wasn't true)

Development has gone in two or three directions-- the race foils are getting impossibly fast and high aspect with banga, levitaz, mike's lab to name a few, --then there is the surf riding direction where the wing aspects are lower and masts and fuselages shorter, like pelican foils and aguera's stuff, and similarly, the carve/cruise/learn foils which are probably the most prolific and broad category that I have made (lumping the LF and slingshot foils in there)

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby cglazier » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:05 am

Peter has summarized it well.

Mango Carafino was a pioneer in 2007 when he offered an inexpensive complete foil/board package that could be used with just footstraps (not ski boots like Rush Randle was using). A lot of us began foiling with this original Carafino gear which was slow and easy (..also not very durable so there are very few left). He had financial difficulty and then was quiet for a few years while the French were developing much higher performance gear. Then Mango came back aggressively and offered his second generation foilboard packages at an absurdly low price. After delivering a few of these he went broke and failed to deliver to many people who had already paid him. The end.

While there are beginner packages now available that are similar to the old classic Carafino, I doubt anyone will keep them very long after their beginner stage. Modern high performance foils are fast, stable, and easy to ride. Even modern lower aspect foils (that may be preferred for some styles of riding) are way more efficient than the old Carafino with flat wings. Nobody should be satisfied with inefficient foils and drag.

:-) CG

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby alexrider » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:57 am

Quote PF "Back in 2007 Carafino made the first "public" kitesurf hydrofoil which were marketed worldwide."
Not quite.
I was in South East Asia when the Carafino foils first appeared. I wanted to buy one and placed an order to Mango. His answer was that he doesn't ship to my area being so sure it would be copied. Not very sharp, the guy. If anyone wanted to produce copies of the Carafino design and avoid the suspicion, he'd go buy directly to Mango in Italy.
Good post otherwise, PF.

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby revhed » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:46 am

Manual Carabello, liar, thief, psycho, copier, did nothing but take existing designs both in the hydrofoil and kite world and combine them AFTER seeing others do the same!
Hopefully some day he will find his way back to Europe, France in particular, please come see us CARAFINA!
But please, use your real passport!

Note that almost ALL "c" specs can be directly related to the

See that the STRUT was symmetrical, COPY! And stupid because just a little research would have shown a much better asym chord as ALL modern KBHFs employ.
The F wing is almost exactly the same, COPY! As well as the rear!
Just for fun if you ever get that chance to find a "NONBROKEN" MOST DID!!! "c" COPY KBHF and a air chair and, or R R, have a check.
Note general overall design.
I must say That reading PF post here now is disappointing as he deserves absolutely nothing but legal processes and SHAME!
I sure wish I,we had the video of him watching another first KBHF! I have it on VERY reputable info that this was for sure the case!
I just hope one day sooner than later that he will be completely forgotten!
Although sure was funny to see cardboard and paper in his shit quality T bars, and heavy but still breaking boards, what a looser!

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby Starsky » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:20 pm

You miss spelled loser

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby Kamikuza » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:14 pm

Starsky wrote:
Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:20 pm
You miss spelled loser
And mast

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Re: Back to the roots of hydrofoiling ?

Postby juandesooka » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:43 pm

Stepping away from the Carafino criticisms and back to Peter's initial post, seems to me he's right that things are somewhat turning full circle.

For a few years there the foil progression was all race based. I found the attitudes a little frustrating, if it wasn't super light carbon and a high aspect knife built for speed, then it was crap -- and if it cost less than $3000 it must be garbage. The first person I heard publicly opposing this mindset was Greg D and his BRM Cloud in Maui. He said he didn't really want to go fast, he wanted to fly and carve ... and the water ballet foil videos he made went viral and ignited a lot of imaginations about the possibilities for style and fun. The other most public innovator has been Kai Lenny, first with SUP foiling, then with paddle surf foiling ... first his video of riding endless swells between Hawaiian Islands, then his video of surfing 4 waves in one set. Honorable mention to the Horue guys too, for showcasing some crazy freestyle possibilities way beyond the super fast lawn mow. [and I'm sure there's lots of people doing this kind of thing out there who aren't in viral videos....but these were the ones that caught my eye at least]

All that to say that foiling has a whole lot of diverse interests now. The Spitfire canard blew some minds earlier this year about next generation carving and turning, but I found it interesting that Gunnar B, one of the first and most stoked reviewers, said that he is now kiting with GoFoil as a surf vehicle as it is the most natural surf feeling ride. And this is where it comes full circle, as I understand that's a huge surface area wing with very low aspect. If you put a chair on it, maybe you could even ride behind a boat? ;-)

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