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Does weight matter?

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Does weight matter?

Postby Flyboy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:38 pm

Related to the SS Hoverglide topic: how significant is the weight of the foil?

Carrying a heavy foil around is a pain, but once you're up on the foil, how much difference does weight actually make? Are carbons foils more efficient/faster because of the weight ... or because the finish is more refined?

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby grigorib » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:43 pm

Lighter foils/decks make tricks with the foils easier. Not speaking of carrying them :)

I believe aluminum mast/fuselage could be as efficient and smooth as carbon and many people macgyver pretty wings/fuselage to aluminum mast and save themselves $500-$800 easily.

Some people argue that inertia of heavy setup is good for riding, which some can also speculate about heavy twintips, heavy kites, heavy pickup trucks or heavy spouses. I'm skeptic about each of these. I love carbon and I love flying the foil.

Just came back from 2 weeks in La Ventana where one of the guys on our crew, who has been riding H5 hoverglide setup for a year ad a half, put his feet on 633 and we couldn't pull him off that board, and we just sat and smiled telling him that there's a reason to ride carbon - the material is just expensive enough to justify manufacturing better foil out of it.

I think Axis makes pretty aluminum foils, but they're not cheap, making no reason to not buy carbon.

You can get a brand new Moses 548 setup with 71cm mast for about $1100, why bother with aluminum set for $900

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby slowboat » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:05 pm

Heavy foils sink too fast after a crash and will shoot downwind in a potentially dangerous manner much more often than more buoyant foils. Not directly answering your question, but to me a very important safety issue.

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby jumptheshark » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:16 pm

I’m mid journey towards light gear so have long justified weight. My foil is aluminum and my board is wood. Has been an awesome set up so far. I ride strapless with no aspirations to boost. The weight did nothing to hold me back as far as progression goes. I did notice a HUGE difference in switching from a heavy 6 foot board down to a heavy 3’7” . The drop in swing weight between similar weight boards changed the riding significantly. Upsizing my front wing again this winter and stoked to swap wood for a foam and carbon pocket board. Excited to see how much it impacts my foiling. Should drop a not so insignificant 4.5 lbs or 2 kg from my set up.

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby Greenturtle » Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:23 pm

Also from the safety standpoint, the heavier the setup the more flesh and bone is required to bring it to a halt given the same speed at impact vs a really light setup.
I would much rather take a tumble with a lighter foil / mast thrashing around my legs.
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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby revhed » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:17 pm


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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby Flyboy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:19 pm

I don't doubt that weight would make a big difference when jumping ... & for "tricks". I don't have much interest in either, however.

I'm not sure about the safety aspect. Does a lighter foil not have a tendency to bounce around more in a crash? Light has always meant "better" in windsurfing & kiting, but foiling seems a bit different because of the weird hydro-dynamics involved. Are carbon race foils faster because they're lighter ... or faster because they are more precisely shaped?

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby tmcfarla » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:02 pm

My personal take is this:

When I moved to a carbon foil, I found it so much easier to do strapless water starts, so really just a convenience thing. I never thought of that as a problem before I used carbon, but it would be really hard to go back after using it. I do think board weight makes more difference.

Weight distribution is a lot more important than actual weight. My carbon lift foil isn’t that much lighter than my aluminum foil, but the wings and fuselage are dramatically lighter than aluminum fuse/g10 wings,which makes a huge difference in swinging the board into position, and when carrying the foil fully assembled. The carbon mast is actually heavier, but I don’t think mast weight matters that much. Again, this is a convenience thing though, unless you are quite good, it isn’t going to make you a better rider.

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby BWD » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:15 pm

Carbon race foils are faster mainly because of thinner and smaller area mast and wings, and because the users are more aggressive and expert riders. Typical Al mast is 15mm thick, race carbon masts can taper to around 10mm, thinnest al mast i think is 13mm, etc.
As far as safety goes, it sucks to get hit with a 16 oz hammer, but a 3 lb hammer is worse...

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Re: Does weight matter?

Postby OzBungy » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:46 pm

The only negative of a light foil is that they float. If the board floats on its side then it can sail along crosswind without you. If you have fallen then you have to drag back upwind to get back to the board. On the plus side, the foil is less likely to scoot off downwind away from you.

This only really maters when learning new things and you are likely to fall. It saves a heap of time if the foil comes back to you instead of having to drag back to it.

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