What makes a great surf foil board? Shaper Feedback: 2018
If you’re serious about surf foiling, don’t mess around with trying to retrofit a regular surfboard with a foil mount. We’ve tried boards of all shapes and sizes, and you’ll be a whole lot better off with a board designed for foiling.
Here are five design features our team has deemed to be the most important in a good surf foil board:
- Short, thick and buoyant is the best. About 5’ to 5’2” is a good starting point- much over that is too long. Why? The shorter the board, the easier it is to pump, which is an important factor in surf foiling. Experienced foilers are getting down to the 3’6” range, but for a first board that’s a little short.
- You want a high volume-to-length ratio. The volume will help you paddle into smaller, mushy waves and the shorter length is ideal once you’re up and foiling.
- A low rocker is important. You want the foil mount to be as level as possible in the tail so the board will ride at the proper angle, and nose rocker isn’t needed because the board never really needs to fit into the curve of the wave. Overall shape and design are to maximize paddling.
- Stiff is best while maintaining a reasonable weight. Flex is a factor with regular surfboards, but with a foil, you want all the energy from pumping to be translated down into the foil, so you want the board relatively stiff. To achieve this, you can use a thicker stringer and a little extra glass. At the same time, you need to keep the board light.
- An adjustable track mount is an advantage over a Tuttle connection. With a track mount, you can change the mast and the foil’s position in relation to the board, which allows you to fine-tune your setup to your changing needs.