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Severne Turbo for windfoiling

Severne Turbo Sails for foiling

Introduction – The Turbo GT is Severne’s 2 cam freerace range and is a popular sail for powering fast freeride boards. It lacks the down force to pin down a dedicated slalom board but more than makes up for this by it’s easy nature. The Turbos sit between the no cam ncx which despite not having any camber inducers actually feels more slalom like than the turbo and the NCX can provide the necessary mast foot pressure to make sure a slalom board behaves itself. On the other side of the Turbo is the Overdrive which is a dedicated blasting sail. It has a wider sleeve, more battens and more cams than the turbo but most importantly it has a much more open leech. To compare the sails the size up in the Overdrive has a similar wind range to that of the Turbo for example a 7.8 Overdrive you can use in the same wind as a 7.0 Turbo.

 

I can’t really start with “first impressions” like I normally do with other bits of kit since I have been using Turbos for a number of years now.  So I will simply describe the sails. The Turbos are a bit different compared with most other twin cam sails in that both cams are below the boom. Other sails such as the NP V8 and simmer all have a cam above and below the boom. The result is that the Turbos are probably one of the easiest rotating sails on the market, What is more is that the rotation remains constant across a wide range of downhaul settings this allows you to rig the sails with less downhaul allowing for a tighter leech but maintaining good rotation. This is one of the key factors that makes the Turbos such nice sails to foil with. Up until 2021 the sails from 6.5 downwards had only one cam and 5 battens but the new sails maintain the 6 batten 2 cam layout across all sizes. Other notable points about the sails is that the sails can be rigged on rdm or sdm masts. The 7.0 upwards are supplied with SDM cams and the small sails are supplied with rdm cams. Either type of cam can be purchased as an optional extra and they are easy to change. The cams sit on spacers so fine tuning is straight forward. The sails come with additional spacers although I have to say over the ten or so sails I have used I have not once felt the need to alter the settings of the cams despite using the sails on Maverx masts. Talking of masts the 7.0 is about the biggest sail you can rig on a 430 and likewise the 8.6 actually works better on a 460 than the 490 that is recommended. At this stage I should say that the luff dimensions are often stated. I often find myself rigging the sails with 2 to 4cm less extension than it says on the sails.  I tend to look at the mast sleeve as I downhaul the sail. I downhaul until the batten above the boom is just starting to flatten at the mast sleeve. The booms are also relatively compact. While it might be tempting to reduce the outhaul to gain more power I think it is best to keep some outhaul on the sail to maintain a slightly more efficient profile. 

On the water – Before you get the sails on the water you may well notice that these sails are light for their size. In use the sails respond well to pumping. There is no need to try to do big pumps, smaller higher frequency pumps tend to work better. The head of the sail should have some spring in it and you want to use that to build momentum in the sail. The result is that you should be able to get flying in a bit less wind than you would with a looser leeched sail. In flight the Turbo will provide a steady power source, feeling light in the hands.  When flying through holes in the wind the sail holds its shape and maintains drive. This is where camber inducers have an edge over rotational sails by maintaining drive as the wind pressure drops.  In over powered situations the sails can spill power quite easily by sheeting out just a few degrees. When gybing the sails rotate easily and normally do not require any additional pumps of the sail to get the battens to rotate and as such the turbos help maintain flight as you exit the gybe. 

Conclusion – It is as if the Turbos really were designed for real world foiling. They might not fly quite as early as some of the dedicated freeride foil sails but what you get in return is a sail that will cover a wider wind range. The sails are best suited to freeride/freerace style foils boards and will suit foils with low to high aspect wings.

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AFS 2021 Windfoils

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.

R660, R810 and F800 wings