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AFS 2022 Windfoils

AFS 2022 Windfoils

I have been on AFS foils for many years starting with the AFS2  which then became the Wind range, W85, W95 and W105. They all had the cigar shaped fuselage which from memory was 88cm long. The “W” range was then updated with longer 94.5cm rectangular fuselages and a moulded in collar at the tuttle head.  And now we have another development in the new 105cm fuselage. Here I will give my thoughts on the progression. This is not a finished article as I  am still testing combinations and set ups and I will update this blog in due course.

I should state that I don’t race so my findings relate to comparisons with previous AFS foils and the occasions when foiling with other sailors. One of the things I have always liked about AFS foils has been their “plug & play” nature. There was never any need to shim things, you could choose what wing size you needed, put your foil together and go sailing. Those days are now passed and you now need to do some trimming.

There are now basically two stabilizer (rear) wings and they have been designed to work on the 94.5cm fuse. So if you are using a W95 with the 94.5cm fuse you can just bolt on the stab without any shimming and go sailing. But when you put them on the 105 fuse they require a bit of negative shimming. The foils come with a couple of AFS shims which are just like flakes of carbonfiber. I have ended up putting both under the rear screw of the stab. I am not sure what angle difference that relates to in degrees. But I have since bought a shim kit from and I tried to translate the two AFS shims to the AP3 shim which I think is about -0.5’ and I have now moved onto the -0.4’ shim with the 200 stab.  Sorry if this all sounds a bit complex compared to the “fit and forget” AFS foils from the past so let me continue in more of a review style.

200, 240 & custom stabs

I got a W95 with a dismountable fuse and a W100 (new 100 mast height) with the new fixed 105 fuse. I have had them a while and used them a lot. To go with the new T bars I have 900, 700 and 560 front wings and 240 and 200 stabs. I also have a cut down V3 stab.

560,700 & 900 wings

When I got the new foils it was windy and I used the W100 with the 700 wing and 240 stab (unshimmed) and I was amazed at the amount of lift provided. It felt like it had a similar range to my old R810 wing on the 94.5cm fuse. I am heavy at 95kg and in the past with the 700 wing I had to come out of gybes fast to remain flying and I needed more wind to get flying. But with the extra leverage of the 105 fuse the 700 wing flew much earlier and had more glide. Not quite as early as the R810 but close. Also when you run out of power the R810 tended to just glide down to a stop where as with the smaller 700 wing it tends to be a bit more of an abrupt drop (and the 560 even more so).  Anyway those first few sessions felt great but with hindsight probably the 240 stab was doing too much work and I think I would have run into control issues as the speed increased. 

Finally a day came when I could try the 900 wing with the 240 fuse.  I was really looking forward to seeing how early it would fly. It was a patchy 3 to 8 kts so I had to wait for the gusts to get flying and then see how long I could stay in the air for. I would not like to put a number on what wind speed I could get flying in but it was the lightest I had flown in. So after what felt like a successful session I headed in and a slightly stronger guse came but probably only 10 kts. The foil accelerated and accelerated and the height came up and up regardless of my efforts to pin it down until the inevitable crash happened. I have never had that happen in such light winds before. That experience prompted a chat with Kevin Ellway the AFS foil designer and he advised sticking with the 200 stab on the 105 fuse. So I tried the 900/200 wings and it worked well but at times it felt like I was getting “weed strikes” – strange “slooshing” and “glugging” sounds and sensations. A further conversation with Kevin and he said I needed to add a negative shim to the stab to reduce its angle. I have done that and have had no further issues when using the 900, 700 and 560 front wings. 

The new longer fuse certainly increases the lift from the foil. It lets you use a smaller (faster) wing in the same conditions. So by comparison the 700 wing on the 105 fuse is very similar to the 900 wing on the 94.5 fuse and likewise the 560 wing on the 105 fuse is similar to the 700 wing on the 94.5 fuse. When I say similar I mean in broad terms of wind/flight range. The fizzle out when the wind drops is a bit different in that the smaller wings slow down then just drop whereas the larger wing will keep going a bit more. 

W100 with 700/200 wings

The same stiffness of previous foils remains. The new 105 fuse has a small tail stabilizer on it. You do need to be aware of it if you are in the habit of resting your feet on the fuse when waiting to waterstart as it is quite sharp and could easily cut you foot. 

105 fuse with 200 stab

The dismountable fuselage option on the W95 seems robust. I have been told that the fixed fuse version is going to be the standard and that the dismountable version can be pre ordered. I wanted the dismountable version for air travel. I believe that AFS is now the only fully carbon windfoil on the market which for someone like me who likes to keep his foil bolted together all the time is an important feature. 


Here is a video of the W95 with the 900 wing in 9 to 13 kts –


I have used the foils a lot now and a few things have come to light.

The W100 with the 200 rear wing does benefit from adding a negative shim on the stabilizer. I have found that a -0.5′ shim tends to give the foil more stability across a wide range of use. Without it the lift ramps up a bit too quickly as you go faster.

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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