AFS Wind Foils
I have been using AFS wind foils for some years now so I thought I would give you my impressions of the latest 2021 versions.
I used to use a W105 foil with the R1000 wings and that has been replaced like for like. The R1000 wing has been renamed R810 as the wings are now named by their surface area rather than their wingspan. The new wings will fit on older fuselages but the 2020 wings will not not on the wider 2021 fuselages (apart from on the w85 which is unchanged). The new flange at the top of the mast is now built in and much stronger. The graphics are built in which again is an improvement.
So would I notice any difference with the new foils claiming to be stiffer? Yes, there is a difference but you won’t start flying and say “wow this feels a lot stiffer” what I found is that with the older foils there must have been some increased flex that gave you a sense of height ie you were aware when flying at near full height but at first on the new foils I often found myself flying at full mast height without realising it. The flight feels the same whether you are 10cm or 100 cm above the water. The new fuselages are a few cm longer and if you thought the old foils gave a very level flight the new ones do even more so.
I don’t race so I can’t comment on comparative upwind ability etc but will say I can point as high as I wish.
I had the old W95 which was used mainly in stronger winds on narrower boards with a f800 wing. This has been replaced by the new W95 with either the R810 or R660 wings. The F800 (now renamed the F1080) is not available for the W95 or W105 so I was at a bit of a loss with what to replace it with. I was slightly nervous that the R610 would be tiny and would be a very on/off type foil making life hard work in the gusty winds I often go out in but it is working well. I use the R810 with sails down to 5.3 and winds up to maybe a 25 kt gust. And then the R610 for the 5.3 and below and if the wind is over 20 kts. Even with its small surface area the R610 keeps going through lulls and round gybes etc (i am 95kg).
The new foils come with shims. They have a shim for the front wing in case you find your board flies very nose up or down and then a second shim for the rear wing for you to increase or decrease lift. I am pleased to say I have not used the shims and the foils retain that “plug and play” nature of the older AFS foils, no need to go messing about with settings.
I have used the R810 race wings for a couple of years now, despite their name they are very easy to use. They feel slippy and efficient through the water. To get flying they accelerate easily and don’t need much in the way of pumping downwards. You are best to concentrate on building speed through pumping the sail. When it is windy there is no need to pump at all and you can use the nearest bit of chop as a take off ramp. When the wind drops very light you can keep flying by pumping the sail, small high frequency pumps working the best. The only down side I can think of for using the race wings for learning is that they are very fine tipped so you don’t want to run it aground or kick it. The wings are very tough but with such a good product it deserves to be looked after.
I should point out that while the wings have a “race” label you don’t have to sail them from a outboard stance, the wings are very well mannered and can be sailed in a relaxed upright style with your back foot on top of the front foil bolt, in fact that is how I use them most of the time.
So in conclusion I am very happy with the new foils. I thought I would have to move my footstrap positions to maintain balance but the new foils have worked fine with the straps in the same positions I used for the earlier AFS foils.