Since 2017 I have kept a detailed log of all days when a windsport session has been scored in WNY for the purposes of comparing year-to-year action. Sessions are recorded when air temps are 40 degrees or more (and also categories for 50 and 60 degrees or more), and when wind is at least 15-20mph for at least one solid hour. Data is harvested by several means including my own observations at the beach, reports from other trusted riders, and reports from WeatherFlow and NOAA stations. The following chart shows the 40 degree plus results as the wind relates to windsurfing gear:
If the 2023 windsurfing sail size is translated into wind speed the result of a 4.9m sail equals average wind speed of 21.5mph and gusts of 26.3mph. The average sessions per week from 2017 to 2023 is 4.24, so as you can see from the results the 2023 season was about average in this 40 degree plus category. However, my inspection of the data for 50 and 60 degree plus days reveals that the number of wind sessions was less than average for these categories. In fact, the 50 degree plus category had the least number of days recorded, and the 60 degree plus category had the second least number of days recorded. Please note that I do not have data for years prior to 2019 for the 50 and 60 degree plus categories below:
So, overall it was a solid season with wind favoring the colder days, but still delivering sessions on warmer days. A further analysis of the data shows that windsurfers scored 71 sessions on a 3.7m average sail size, which translates into 71 sessions in average wind of 28.6mph and average gusts of 32.1mph. Thankfully it was well over 4 sessions per week of riding in the 40 degree plus category, and over 3 session per week in the 50 and 60 degree plus categories. A solid year, but I'm thankful to have had the foil for the warmer days when the wind was lighter.
After four completed seasons in the sport of WWF I have arrived at a particular gear combination that I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! This particular combination of board, foil mast, front foil wing, rear foil wing, fuselage, sail, and sail mast brings me extreme performance and perfect stoke. Let me share this combination with you as you continue on your own WWF journey.
Board: I will begin with the board as this is the foundation. After spending a little over 2.5 years on the Top Gun Iceman (7ft long, 31 inches wide, 120L), I now have more than a full season on the Top Gun Maverick (6ft long, 30 inches wide, 112L). The Maverick has been life changing. While it was initially more challenging to get up on foil and uphaul, the shorter length and overall smaller volume turns this board into a Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato instead of a Chevrolet Corvette. The shorter length allows less wind to push up under the board thereby limiting overfoiling, and the board snaps through turns like the flick of your thumb and forefinger.
Front Foil Wing: After four completed seasons I now have considerable time the following front foil wings: GoFoil Maliko280, Maliko200, Iwa, Kai, EZ1800, EZ1600, EZ1275, and RS1300. Out of all of these, the EZ1600 brings me the highest level of performance coupled with the greatest pleasure. While it is equally or more snappy compared to the Iwa and Kai, it maintains significantly more glide on cutbacks, wave rides, and jibes. I cannot help but notice the corners of my mouth turn up on each and every turn. It is certainly a more advanced wing, and it does lack considerable grip in turns compared to the Iwa and Kai, but extended practice helps to manage this one drawback. The EZ1600 is my go-to front foil wing.
Rear Foil Wing: I have tried many rear wings including the GoFail Maliko, Kai, Flip-Tips 14.5 inch, Flip-Tips 17.5 inch, FT 17, and FT 20. For 90% of my riding I have settled on the Flip-Tips 17.5 inch. This rear wing gives me plenty of lift, extreme turning, and allows me to adjust the stab angle for varying degrees of lift. The FT's simply don't have enough stab angle for WWF. The 17.5 inch flip-tips gives me the best of all worlds and can be used at the highest level with all of my front foil wings.
Fuselage: Those of you familiar with the GoFoil line know that the length of the fuselage is adjusted by the length of the pedestal to which the rear wing is attached. There is a short pedestal (6.5 inch) and a long pedestal (9.5 inch). My favorite is the 6.5 inch. It allows me to be very snappy on the turns while still giving me sufficient pitch stability. It's really fun!
Foil Mast: The height of the mast has a sweet spot for me. I have used the 24.5 inch, 29.5 inch, 36.5 inch, and 40 inch. For me, the sweet spot is the 36.5 inch. This height is perfect to clear big chop and avoid over-foiling, while keeping the drag less than with the 40 inch mast. I'm so happy that I spent time on each one to learn what is the most efficient and most fun for conditions here on the Great Lakes.
Sail: This right sail makes for a very special experience. I started with Ezzy Zeta's in sizes 2.7m to 5.3m. Later I changed my 4.7m and 4.2m to Ezzy Taka's which have more depower and fewer battens. But an absolute game changer was switching to HotSails Maui MicroFreaks in sizes 2.8m, 3.2m and 3.8m. I can't wait until they release their upcoming 4.8m version. These are actually kid's sails. They are made of very light and extremely soft fabric that is coupled with a highly depowering design including a 3/4 batten just above the boom giving you a sail that depowers wonderfully. This soft, depowering experience gives you a lot more time to respond to gusts of wind thereby preventing over-foiling and keeping your ride more steady. My favorite size is the 3.2m. It feels just as snappy and small as the 2.8m, and it is used in conditions that are less radical than 2.8m conditions. It is the absolute perfect sail. The average sail size that I use is 3.6m, so I am fortunate to get a decent number of sessions on this 3.2m sail.
Sail Mast: While I have used the Ezzy Hookipa mast with my Ezzy sails I much prefer the HotSails Maui Kauli mast for foiling, especially with the HotSails MicroFreak. This mast is much softer which is more conducive to foiling as it allows the sail more time to respond when a gust of wind hits the sail. It's perfect!
These 7 components make for the perfect kit! I would strongly encourage anyone participating in the sport of WWF to move toward this kit. Top Gun Maverick, GoFoil EZ1600, Flip-Tips 17.5inch, 6.5 inch pedestal, 36.5 inch foil mast, HotSails MicroFreak 3.2m, and HotSails Kauli sail mast. This is the perfect kit for our Great Lakes wave conditions.
This weekend I got to spend 3 days in a row riding the GoFoil EZ1800 on flat water and contrasting it with other foil wings. This wing is has much more sensitive roll than the Maliko200 which is of similar surface area, therefore I only recommend it to advanced WWF riders. The EZ1800 offers improved glide compared to the M200. But the greatest distinction I want to make in this brief post is that the EZ1800 has a much greater wind range than the M200, especially on the high-wind end. On Saturday, I started with the EZ1800 in about 17mph of wind with a 3.8m sail. As the wind increased and as I became over-powered with the large sail size I noticed that I did not feel over-winged with the EZ1800. I came in and re-rigged to a 2.8m sail as the wind further increased to 25-28mph. It was blowing hard. I went back out, still with the EZ1800, and I still did NOT feel over-winged. The EZ1800 performed wonderfully, even being over-powered. I came in again and switched to the EZ1600. It felt significantly more maneuverable, but the lift and control was about the same as the EZ1800. When I put the M200 in the same situations it does not perform well when it gets over-powered. It is very difficult to hold down the M200 in over-powered high-wind, and it is difficult to control.
Keep this report in mind as you rig for your next session. Have fun out there!
Today I did a flatwater session with my WWF gear. I used the GoFoil RS1300 with a 2.8m sail. As you may know from experience or from my previous posts and articles, the RS1300 has extremely sensitive roll. I mainly use it for its amazing glide on waves, but it also serves as a terrific training tool to improve your roll sensitivity and control.
About halfway through the 90 minute session I had a fantastic discovery. I noticed that tipping the sail in a specific direction had significant impact over how much the foil rolled in that same direction. As I paid close attention I realized that if I tipped the sail to the inside of a turn just an inch or two it would induce roll on the foil to the inside. If I tipped the sail to the outside of a turn just an inch or two it would induce roll on the foil to the outside. An inch or two made a huge difference. Up until today I've always been actively controlling roll mostly with my feet. But today I was controlling about 50% of the roll with tipping of the sail. It made a huge difference in control especially during the second half of the jibe. I was able to more precisely turn the board without as much wobble.
In my article Wind Foil Jibe - Flagging Technique I explained that tipping the sail to the outside of the turn during the second half of the jibe is a great way for beginners and intermediates to maintain balance and control. But now that I'm using very sensitive high aspect foil wings I'm learning that the improved control results more from the forces that the sail imparts on the foil rather than simple balance improvement. I think the greatest significance of this discovery is that it will help people avoid falling off the board during turns when they embrace the importance of tipping the sail, just an inch or two, in whatever direction prevents them from falling in. Pay close attention to how you are tipping your sail. Have fun out there!
Since I began WWF the size of both the front foil wing and sail that I ride has decreased significantly as skill has improved. I went to my log to find out exactly what percentage of my sessions have been on smaller foil and sail sizes compared to larger sizes since I began WWF in 2020. I wanted to know which decrease in size was more significant, smaller foils or smaller sails. I used cut-offs of 1600cm or smaller for foil size and 3.8m or smaller for sail size as these are generally considered to be smaller sizes for this discipline. The results are very interesting:
You will notice that all four seasons had very similar wind strengths for the sessions that I experienced. This makes the comparisons easy as there are few confounding variables to adjust for. As expected with improving skills, both sail size and foil size decreased as skills improved. However, if we consider 2020 as the baseline year, then the percentage of sessions with sail size less than 3.8m increased from 52.4% to 66.7%, or a 14.3% absolute increase in the number of sessions with the smaller sail size, while the percentage of sessions with foil size less than 1600cm increased from 3.2% to 69.1%, or a 65.9% absolute increase in the number of sessions with the smaller foil size. In relative percentages that's a 27.3% increase in sessions with sail size less than 3.8m, and a 2,059.4% increase in sessions with foil size less than 1600cm.
After analyzing these numbers the results are astounding! As a percentage, the number of sessions on smaller foils increased by a HUGE amount over the four years, with the greatest increase between years two and three. The number of sessions on smaller sails increased by a small amount, with the greatest increase again between years two and three. The slight difference in wind speeds is not enough to be a significant factor in these results.
In conclusion, we can see that, for me, the skills required to learn to ride smaller foils takes longer to learn than the skills required to ride smaller sails, but the progress can come VERY, VERY quickly. So, if you are striving to improve your skills then start with smaller foils now. Don't wait! In just a couple short years you will be riding them well.
I had a great email discussion recently with a windfoil friend who has prior experience with hang gliding. He shared many important things about the physics of foils with me. I thought it might be helpful for everyone if I put those thoughts into a blog post so we can all refer back to it. Here it is:
Friend: After mulling this over I think what is happening is a combination of Adverse Yaw and sail/mast directional force on the board causing it to exacerbate the wing adverse yaw induced slipping. Below is a long description of what I believe is happening and why. I may not be correct and I do believe that there are a lot of different and interacting forces on the wing coming into play. I am sure the hydrodynamic engineering mathematical analysis of this would be very complicated. So, I hope this may help us both to better understand what is going on and I am anxious to hear what you think about my analysis.
Finally, I don't know if any of it really answers how to better control the yaw/slipping/sliding tendency of the RS-1300 and similar wings but perhaps better knowing why its happening and anticipating it, we can better adjust or weight, foot pressure, sail positions etc. to counter some of it.
Ideally in an aircraft or foil wing you want a smooth coordinated turn where the wing rolls into the turn to the desired degree of bank. It then continues turning while maintaining that degree of bank. Additionally a positive angle of attack of the wing is maintained by back stick providing up tail elevator action, or back foot pressure when foiling.
If you don't coordinate your turn the bank angle will keep increasing due to ever increasing speed and subsequent increasing lift of the outer wing. Simultaneously the angle of attack decreases resulting in steeper and faster turning. In a plane this ends up to be a very fast deep diving spiral turn which can quickly over-stress the airframe due to excessive G forces, be difficult to pull out of and possible structural failure.
However, lucky for us foilers, it will just quickly roll our board steeply to the inside, breach the outer side of the wing which will then stall and we wipe out.
So, ideally we desire a nice coordinated turn when we jibe. However, the higher the aspect ratio foil wings with their longer and more narrow designs; when you initiate a turn, the increasing speed of the outer wing also starts producing more drag resulting in adverse yaw. This in turn causes the turn to be uncoordinated and the whole wing, foil and board begin slipping to the inside of the turn. Not having a moveable rudder it is difficult to counter the adverse yaw and slippage. We may try to counter this by pivoting the board to the inside by torquing both feet towards inside of the turn. This would yaw the board back into a more coordinated turn but that would only help momentarily as once we stop pivoting the wing will continue to yaw back to the outside.
Now when we introduce the forces that the sail rig and mast act on the board and foil, a whole new set of factors comes into play. When you initiate a jibe initially the mast is tilted slightly to the inside of the turn. At this point the forces on the mast are projected down into the board through the mast foot as well as pulling it forward as long as the sail is powered up. These forces can be affect as well from the weight of the sail/rig and the rider pulling or pushing down on the boom with their hands to some degree. Then when the mast is initially tilted to the inside, the pressure on the board from the mast will want to push the board both down and towards the outside of the turn. Consequently the board is pushed outwards and downwards simultaneously both trying to flatten out the board's bank angle and serving to have some counter effect on the board/foil slipping towards the inside due to adverse yaw.
Then as you get to deep broad reach and downwind you are tilting the mast back more upright (perpendicular) to the board. This just generates a downward force on the board from the sail rig & mast but probably has less effect on the yaw / slipping. However, as the mast is then tilted to the outside of the turn as the board goes from downwind to broad & beam reach on the new tack, the force from the mast is now also pushing the board towards the inside of the turn. I believe this then exacerbates the slipping to the inside and the bank angle of the board to the inside. This is likely why we have to pay attention to both heel and toe pressure during the jibe to help level out the board and prevent falling off on the inside.
Another factor that likely adds to yawing and slipping of these higher aspect wings such as your RS 1300 is that they are much flatter with minimal dihedral or anhedral. Maliko 200 for example has a lot of anhedral. A lot of aircraft have dihedral. In a slip to sideways both act to push the inside wind up or down. Think of the M200 with its curved downward tips. If you try to push that wing sideways through the water the downward curvature will push against the water and as the tip lowers the wing wants to keep rolling downward because of the curvature of the design. In an airplane with dihedral ( wings sloping upwards from the root cord (center of wing), when pushed sideways like in a slip, the inside wing will want to go up helping return the craft to level flight.
Now taking a flatter wing such as the RS-1300, when you push it sideways in the water it will likely just want keep going sideways to a much greater degree than the Maliko will. This in turn makes the wing more prone to slipping / sliding in a turn and without anhedral or dihedral, it will be less inclined to want to roll into a turn like a Maliko.
I can envision why the wing foiler tries to yaw his high aspect ratio wings first when starting to jibe. Since these wings are more resistance to just rolling into a turn because of their flatter design, initially yawing towards the outside of the turn the helps the wing start to slip towards the inside allowing the board to begin turning towards the inside. Make sense?
I recently had a wonderful social media conversation about foil wings for WWF versus Wing Foiling. I thought it would be helpful to share it with everyone. Here it is:
Friend 1: Have you tried any recently released wings with low camber foil sections? I find that foils that do not rely on camber to generate lift (rather generate it from angle of attack) have a much better top end. For example the Lift 150 hax (980cm2) has a lower camber than the 120 ha (775cm2) and both of these foils have a similar top end - the 150 is much harder to stall while pumping out of the hole. Granted, I find both of these to pump exceptionally well due to their minimal drag.
I think tuning your stabilizer angle could mitigate some these issues, but draggy front wings will always have problems with speed. It seems in general wind surfers seek out foils with more stability (longer fuze and larger tail). I do not have expience on a windsurfer, but I find that very thin wings which produce less drag allow the use of much smaller stabilizers (with less angle of attack relative to the fuze) which do not build up front foot pressure as the speed increases. This is because they do not need to overcome the downwards pitching moment caused by rapidly increasing front wing drag as speed increases.
Not that this is a discussion about flat water pumping: but for what it's worth surface area is mostly irrelevant for determining how a foil pumps. Efficiency matters much more here. Small fast foils take less energy to keep moving given they have less drag than larger wings.
Me: spot on dude! It's amazing how differently these foils work for windfoiling versus kite/wing foiling. The difference is that the weight of the sail near the nose of the board provides a ton of downward pressure on the foil, while the kite/wing does the exact opposite and provides upward lift. It changes everything. You're totally right about the stab angle. We have to use a lot more stab angle with our sail attached to the nose of the board than kite/wing riders use. That stable angle balances the weight of the sail. The flatter and higher aspect front foils definitely do not over-foil, but these wings yaw, slip and slide for the same reason I just mentioned...sail weight. They glide great for WWF, but they totally suck for carving. We generally use them for downwinders. As far as pumping, you are the master in that area. I think you're right on.
Friend1: Interesting.. low camber does not necessarily mean high aspect as this describes the wings cross section (foil section). I wonder if the yaw and slide you describe is actually the roll stability of larger wingspans. These generally need to be counter-steered into a turn by yawing them which then causes a roll in the opposite direction (similar to initiating a turn on a motorcycle). Stabs with winglets will increase yaw stability but on large high aspects will make initiating turns slower.
Not that it applicable to windfoiling, but my favorite foils are >10AR with moderate wingspan -> which means small surface area. Based on what you are saying the sail weight makes your gear choices limited? I cant imagine being able to pump a foilboard with a sail attached.
Foils are awesome!
Me: Yeah, it's a super interesting discussion. Love your input. There are so many nuances. First, there's the distinction between windfoiling and WWF. They are actually two totally different sports. Windfoiling is more like windsurfing, while WWF is more like surfing. For example, if I use a foil >10AR (even greater than 8AR) with low camber and thin profiles, it turns WWF back into windsurfing. It's back to big cumbersome sails, lots of harness use, rear footed stance, and speed. With the opposite approach (lower aspect, more camber, thicker profiles, very small sails) it turns the gear into surfing machines with a front footed surfer stance, out of the harness, wave slayer experience. The middle ground is fun to explore though, like using the RS1300 and EZ1600. I use both of them, but not nearly as often. They're just not as surfy. The glide is better which is the main reason I use them for certain situations. You can ride a wave forever, but you can't slay it. The sail makes the sport so different from wing/kite foiling. You can pump ok if you time a little downward boom pressure from your hands with the drive/float/climb/load of the foil pump, but we rarely pump because it's so easy to engage the sail a tiny bit when a little power is needed. I have definitely found that WWF is a niche sport. No one makes gear for it. We use kids sails because manufacturers have no idea what we really want. We use older foil models because newer ones don't perform as well. Custom designed boards because no manufacturers build what we want. Sounds crazy, right? It's just a small group of WWF riders on the Great Lakes, and a few scattered throughout the country. So much freakin fun though!!!!
Friend1: Interesting! I'm sure its different, but from my experience winging I don't agree with the points you made about small foils. I don't ever ride anything larger than 980cm^2 and use a 4m wing down to 12kts. To do this a long skinny downwind style board is key as it lets you get water speed less powered up. When I'm surf foiling or wing dinging downwind I much prefer to be on a foil that can easily outrun the waves - this allows you to be much more agile with the lines you take rather than be confined to only riding at the speed of the wave.
Me: I totally agree with you for winging, prone foiling and SUP foiling (and freestyle windfoiling in the waves). I think you're exactly right. It's different for WWF. We don't want all that speed. With anything much smaller than 1300cm^2 it becomes more speed oriented and rear footed windsurfing instead of front footed surfing. You can still have fun, but we lose the surfing experience. The sail is attached to the board and counter rotation of the sail plays a big role. Once the sail is flagged, then with every cutback, you experience counter rotation from the sail. This counter rotation induces roll in the foil. The rider compensates by tipping the sail in different directions which helps drive through the turns and control roll. But once you're in switch stance the body can only bend so much before you can't control or even reach the sail. So the slash and slay we experience is different than the slash and slay in other foiling sports. We want much less speed through cutbacks and more drive and grip. Too much speed while turning makes the sail uncontrollable. It's a much, much slower approach than other foil sports. Freestyle windfoilers go out in the waves with gear similar to what you are using, but they are windfoiling in the waves instead of surfing in the waves. It's all so much fun!
Me: To expand on the great discussion above with Brendon, here is an article from Windfoil Zone that distinguishes between the 4 types of windfoiling (actually 5 types as of 2023 if you include what the Slighshot pros are doing at the Columbia River gorge with large foils and small sails). https://windfoilzone.com/4-different-windfoiling-types/
Friend2: I read all your discussion points with interest. As a former hang glider pilot for many years I have a pretty good understanding of basic aerodynamics which I believe are similar in many ways to the hydrodynamic principles effecting how our foil wings fly through the water. In particular, Brendon you wrote; "I wonder if the yaw and slide you describe is actually the roll stability of larger wingspans. These generally need to be counter-steered into a turn by yawing them which then causes a roll in the opposite direction (similar to initiating a turn on a motorcycle). Stabs with winglets will increase yaw stability but on large high aspects will make initiating turns slower." Perhaps what is happening to cause the higher aspect and flatter wings in particular to yaw and slide around is "Adverse Yaw". The basic principle as I understand it is that in an aircraft you generally initiate a turn to right or left by activating the ailerons first. Lets say you are turning to the left. When you move the stick or yoke left the right wing aileron goes down and left wing aileron goes up. The downward aileron on the right wing increases camber and initiates more lift on that wing and the wing rises causing the plane to roll to the left. Then as the turn is initiated the apparent airspeed over the right wing increases because the wing has a greater arc to travel through the turn than the inside wing . This in turn increases lift even more since it is now flying faster than the inside wing but it also increases DRAG. This increased drag then can cause the nose of the plane to yaw to the right as the increased right wing drag actually tends to pull the nose in that direction. To correct and counter this in a plane the pilot usually applies some left or right rudder to reduce or prevent the adverse yaw. However, in wind and wing foiling we don't have a moveable rudder on our tail wing stabilizer. Using toe and heel pressure we initiate wing roll like a plane uses its ailerons. We control our pitch to dive or climb by front and rear leg pressure, but I can't think of any way we really have the ability to apply an adverse yaw corrective force to our foil wing in the way a plane rudder does. Anyway, this is a long explanation as to why I think what Eric describes as his wing yawing, slipping and sliding around is a function of adverse yaw at work. What do you guys think?
Me: From what I've read over the years, I think that's exactly right. Thanks so much for bringing that up. You guys are smart dudes. Everything Brendon says is exactly right in my opinion. What is so interesting to me is how it applies differently to foiling with a sail as opposed to foiling with a hand-wing. When foiling with a sail, changes to the foil will quickly change the sport from windsurf wave foiling to high speed wind foiling (by definition) with some hybrid sports on the spectrum in between. I think that happens for 3 reasons: One, because of the weight of the sail near the nose of the board, as opposed to a hand-wing lifting the board. Two, because of counter-rotation from the sail during cutbacks. And, three, because when we shift from low aspect/larger foils to higher aspect/smaller foils, resulting in larger sails used, we must change our entire stance on the board to accommodate. The entire stance shifts from front-footed surfy to back-footed windsurf stance. I carefully watch video of pros in all categories of foiling with a sail, and the stance shift is opposite at the ends of the spectrum. Complicated stuff, but these conversations make a huge difference in my understanding. Thanks guys!
Friend1: Interesting take! Not that I fly but as you describe - with an aircraft a turn is induced using the aileron, and than the rutter is used to correct for the yaw.
On a foil (because the center of mass is above the wings and you do not have flaps) I find that when I turn hard, I yaw the foil to the outside of the turn which induces a roll. So sort of the opposite order as in a plane I think. It's similar to countersteering a bike because you are balancing on something below you.
Addition: (Here are some additional thoughts that were not included in the conversation above.) The RS1300 (high aspect foil wing) is difficult to over-foil because of its high aspect nature, flat design, and thin profile compared to the Iwa and Maliko. The glide is incredible, however, the trade off is that the RS1300 has terrible grip and does not carve for WWF. It yaws, slides and slips through turns instead of carve. It's a lot of fun when you want incredible glide, but offers a very different riding style. These type of front foils are geared more toward wing foiling where the rider's feet are close to the centerline of the board. With the feet near the centerline the rider wants that very sensitive roll of the front foil (like the RS1300) because the winger's foot position has little leverage against the foil wing. But with WWF we ride boards with 30 inch width to accommodate the sail dynamics, and we put our feet at the rails of the board to turn. The heel of the front foot is at the upwind rail and the toes of the rear foot are at the downwind rail. We can carve like crazy on a front foil like the Iwa with all that leverage, but the roll sensitivity of the RS1300 makes it a poor choice for hard carving.
Recently, I received an email from a friend who is learning WWF. He has both the GoFoil Maliko 200 and EZ1800 front foil wings. He is a larger body size than me, and he was wondering which wing he should stick with. After responding to him I thought it would be helpful to share that discussion with everyone. Here it is:
The short answer is this: forget about the EZ1800 and the 17.5 fixed short tail. The EZ1800 is for advanced WWF riders only. It has very little stability compared to the Maliko200. It yaws and slides terribly, and it has no grip compared to the Maliko. It will slow your learning progress by years. Even for advanced riders the EZ does not carve as well on waves because it has little grip being so flat. It will drop out from under you even if you don't overfoil because it just loses grip.
The 17.5 fixed short tail doesn't work very well for windfoil. It's good for winging, but not windfoil (GoFoil changed all their focus to winging). The reason why the 17.5 fixed short tail doesn't work is that is has no stab angle. It's flat. The weight of our sail near the nose of our board creates a lot of downward pressure. With winging it's the opposite because the hand-wing provides lift like a kite. We need a tail that counters the downward pressure of the sail weight and the 17.5 fixed does not do that. You might get a little more lift from a 20 inch fixed to compensate, but I haven't tried it. I doubt it would be good, again, due to no stab angle. The Maliko tail that you bought is a good choice, or the flip-tips tail (although the flip-tips are hard to find).
I wish GoFoil still made the Maliko. At 190 lbs it's the perfect foil wing for you. The new board you got is plenty wide enough to initiate great turns with the Maliko. I'm 150 lbs and the Maliko still turns fantastic. Like you said, you will be using it under 20mph wind. That is perfect!
One other thought. I've done many structured tests of the speed between the Maliko and EZ1600 (slightly smaller than EZ1800), and the EZ is NOT any faster. The EZ glides better than the Maliko when the power is shut off, but it is not any faster. Just an interesting find.
Here is a video that explains the wings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ueo7WEftus
This video also has some talk about wings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diMgdmIg8hE&t=227s
At the bottom of this link are some other resources: https://www.ericthebige.net/windsurf-foiling-progress.html
This video is great to watch in slow motion for technique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeR4b7in84w
This article will help with the jibe: https://www.ericthebige.net/wind-foil-jibe---flagging-technique.html
This article for wave riding: https://www.ericthebige.net/windfoil-wave-technique.html
This helps understand the difference between windfoil and WWF: https://www.ericthebige.net/difference-between-windfoiling-and-windsurf-wave-foiling.html
A friend recently emailed me to ask what I think of the GoFoil RS1300 front foil wing that I have started using more this season for windsurf wave foiling. After responding to him I thought it would be helpful if I shared my response with everyone. So here it is:
The glide is the best part of the RS1300. It's a very, very cool feeling. It just doesn't want to slow down. I've used it in about 20% of my sessions this year. Yes, it definitely takes more board speed to get it up on foil. It wants to lift, but you must force it to stay on the water until you reach the threshold speed, otherwise it just drops back down. You really need to bear off the wind and deliberately and precisely bring it up onto foil.
The speed is not what I thought it would be. I've done several tests against 3 other riders I know, all on Maliko200 in flat water, and I could not go much faster than them at top speed. I was shocked because it feels so much faster. But I think it's glide that I'm feeling, not speed. The first series of tests I did not tell the other guys that I was going to try to go faster than them. The second time I told them and asked them to try to go as fast as they could. I know their riding styles, and we were all on same sail sizes. Maybe the RS was slightly faster a couple times, but I really was not impressed. But the glide is amazing. When you depower the sail on the wave you can literally ride it forever. One wave links to the next without using any sail power.
Yeah, the jibe is a bitch. The roll sensitivity is very challenging. I'm doing better. Monday it was solid 25mph on 3.2m with big waves and I only fell in 4 times during the hour session. And one of those 4 was because I forgot that you can't slow down too much or it stalls. So only 3 jibes missed.
I've been riding the EZ1600 more. That wing is much easier to jibe than the RS and it definitely has more glide than the Iwa. It turns pretty good with less yaw and slippage than the RS, but does not turn as well as the Iwa.
The 2021 season was another great year! The wind did not produce as much as the record setting 2020 season, but it was still a solid season. The season started early, in late February. It produced a total of 177 sessions when air temps were over 40 degrees. The average windsurfing sail size was 5.1m and average board size was 98.7 liters. However, in the chart below you can see that it was significantly less than the 2020 season.
If you were looking for warmers air temps then these numbers will summarize the number of sessions available.
And still warmers sessions are shown here.
There were not as many big wind days in 2021, but we still managed to get 70 days on an average windsurfing sail size of 3.7m and board size of 85 liters.
Eric L. Mihelbergel is an intermediate/advanced windsurfer, kiteboarder, and foiler living in the Great Lakes Region of New York State who enjoys sharing about windsports and fitness.