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Armstrong vs Moses/Sabfoil

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Armstrong vs Moses/Sabfoil

Postby addictedtofoil » Fri Aug 27, 2021 11:38 pm

I'm looking at the Armstrong 93cm mast, 60cm fuselage A+ and HS850, HS1050 (kiting), HS1250, HS1550v2 (wing/prone)

At 95-100kgs, has anyone ridden these Armstrong wings and how do they compare to Moses for kiting, winging and prone?

I've heard they're not as fast for kiting, but speed isn't really important for winging and prone.

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Re: Armstrong vs Moses/Sabfoil

Postby joe f » Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:37 pm

I can offer some insight into this, from a kite perspective, having just changed from the Moses 633 (with the 91 mast) to the Armstrong HS850 (with 83cm mast and V200 stab)....

I am somewhere between 90kg and 93kg and use Soul (9m) and Peaks (5/4/3 and experimenting with the 8m at the moment). I have a 42" Kanaha Shapes board.

The short story = they are both excellent foils and you would be happy with either.

The long story:
I wasn't unhappy with the 633 at all and the Armstrong was a bit of an impulse buy that I would struggle to justify if I was asked to explain why. I do think the Armstrong package overall looks more polished but I think I was just bored and fancied a change. I thought that I wanted more speed and upwind angles for flat water days and the 633 just doesn't really look very efficient. It is like a big shovel. I also was interested to see if a stiffer mast made any difference as you can feel the Moses flex a bit if really pushing it. Nothing disastrous, but I had read reports of how much stiffer / nicer the newer Moses 82 masts were and I started to convince myself that I could feel the 91 flexing.

The Armstrong does look lovely and goes together very well. The kit is great, with lots of spares, and the lack of having to worry about greasing screws etc is very nice, even though I always leave my foil on the board so not actually really much of an issue for me.

First impressions were how much heavier the Armstrong is. The Moses 633 kit is incredibly light. It was very noticeable and I was slightly worried that I would feel it in the water. Having now used it for around 15 sessions, you can definitely feel the extra weight but it is both good and bad. The good is that it feels much more locked in and stable at speed. This could be the stiffer mast, but it feels as though you plough through turbulence and small bits of seaweed etc whereas the Moses feels lighter and more skittish. The bad is that strapless waterstarts are MUCH harder as the foils sinks very quickly. That is actually as much about lack of volume in the foil, but it just feels much heavier and you have to be much quicker when starting. Some people hate the fact that the 633 sits on its side, but I loved it and it makes strapless starts very, very easy. I am adjusting to the Armstrong quickly and it certainly isn't a problem, but I do find myself having to reset sometimes when I am not quick enough to get going on the first dive of the kite.

I think the weight is reflective of how much beefier the mast is. I do think this is noticeable and very nice. I can push it very hard and it just feels super solid in the water, which I love. I have sold the 633 so can't actually go back and test it but I suspect it would feel wobbly in comparison to the Armstrong, which feels like a tank (but in a good way). For me, the extra weight is worth it as it feels so solid.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me is the fact that the HS850 really isn't much faster than the 633. I track all sessions and average speeds are pretty much the same. The HS850 definitely feels more composed at top speed and it is easier to cruise at full tilt, with far less front foot pressure, but the actual measured speeds are very similar. That is not to say that it is a slow foil, but I think it shows how good the 633 is. They look very low aspect and you would expect it to be sluggish, but they are thin profile and fast enough for fun freeriding.

Upwind is noticeably better on the HS850. To be expected really as, whilst still moderate aspect rather than high, it is much higher aspect than the 633. I really enjoyed blasting upwind for a while and then doing a nice long downwinder, playing in the rolling swell. This is where the Peaks shine and they go really well with both foils.

You can still go surprisingly slowly on the HS850 but the 633 wins if you want to go stupendously slowly. Another clear win for the 633 is the take off speed. I always start straight on the foil on the 633 and it is very easy to do that. The HS850 definitely needs more forward speed to get up and running. Again, an adjustment rather than a problem and it still gets up and running with little power from the kite (Peaks are grunty in a weird way but I generally ride them underpowered) and the stall speed is low once you are on the foil.

We don't really get proper waves where I live, but they are both really good fun in wind blown swell. Both turn extremely well and this is what I like doing on a foil. I am not really interested in mega speeds but love charging around in rolling swell and carving as much as possible. The 633 is very pivotal whereas the HS850 feels more glidey. I have actually gone for the V200 tail fin on the Armstrong which looks tiny but feels amazing. I thought that I had bitten off more than I can chew when I first went out on it as there is so much less pitch stability when compared to the Moses, but I absolutely love it now and you can really stamp on it when carving. You can feel a slight spring as the tail flexes, but it is very addictive and, for me, the single biggest standout difference between the two set ups. The 483 stab on the Moses feels very draggy when compared to the tiny fin on the Armstrong. The whole thing just feels much more slippery, which I like.

A long rambling brain dump..... As I say, you would be happy with either and they are both great. I do not regret changing at all and feel that the Armstrong has ultimately got a lot more for me to grow into as you really had push it hard whereas I think the 633 would be better for learning or building confidence. I would be equally happy if I still had the 633 though - it was excellent at pretty much everything and a great allround.

The Moses is a touring car, the Armstrong is an extremely well built go-kart (a comparison that I make between the Soul and the Peaks actually, everything about the Soul is better (drift aside) than the Peaks but I just love the Peaks - 100% fun).
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