The last man standing: All major brands sell hydrofoils

"Naish showed off a shiny yellow hydrofoil, completing the list of major kite brands to release a foil for the masses."
For almost four years now, the major kiteboarding companies have been jumping on the hydrofoil craze and releasing their own branded foils. Some on the high performance end, others catering for the masses. Notably, Naish, who also chose not to register their race kites for competition in the past few years, have been the last to release a foil. Now the latest big ‘thing’ is too big to ignore, and in their latest 2016/2017 release video, there’s a shiny yellow aluminum foil cruising around under their kites.

Naish do two different releases each year, one at the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere summer, and one for us down south. We’re lucky, because Australia gets the fresh release of the Torch and the Park, Naish’s high performance line of kites. Up north, they get the Fly, Ride and Trip, the freeride kites in the lineup which sell in higher numbers. To keep the stoke levels high, they have also chosen to release a foil with the freeride kites, although details are still pretty scarce.

What’s plain to see from the video though, is that the Naish hydrofoil will feature an aluminum mast, much like the Liquid Force Foil Fish did when it started the ‘cheap’ foil movement back in 2014. With an alloy mast comes a freeride orientated fiberglass or G10 wing below the surface, medium aspect ratio, designed for cruising and optimized for lift in light wind. Strapless fans will be excited about the board that’s bolted to the foil, because it’s got a really short outline and deckpad that covers the entire deck. It’s little stubby nose will keep the board super lively underfoot, and make light wind sessions on the foil a heap of fun!

Now all the major brands have jumped on the foiling bandwagon, does that mean (what some called) the ‘fad’ is here to stay? Over the next couple of years we’ll see some interesting developments from the brands as they try new technology and aim to bring the cost of buying a foil down to earth. Price is of course the biggest barrier of entry to hydrofoiling, but it’s quickly reducing to the same price as a high end twintip or surfboard - right now you can pick up a new foil and board combo for under $2000.

Interested in hearing that characteristic whisper of the foil, while you cruise along above the waters surface? Read up on the best foil boards for beginners on a budget, in the kiteboarding Forums.