Words & photos: Tez Plavenieks
Hyde Blast 5m V3 wing
I’ve had plenty of experience with Hyde Blast Wings. So the 5m V3 arrived to much anticipation. Designed and tested in the UK, Blast Wings are super accessible and extremely versatile. The V3 takes what’s gone before and builds upon those successes with improved materials, a refined shape, and a more efficient performance. The Blast is very rigid and delivers power from the off. But it’s a manageable wing that allows an easygoing ride. Yet advanced wingers can boost, wave ride and chuck it about with the best of them. The soft handles are also quite direct, delivering the best of both worlds.
Signature (SPG) Albatross 250 full carbon foil
Signature Foils are beautifully crafted in full carbon. The one-shot constructed front wing, split fuselage, and one-shot top plate/mast lend plenty of durability and rigidity for the foil. I’ve used the Albatross to good effect in both SUP and wing foil mode. It’s playful, carvey and fun to use with a great deal of pumpability. There’s definitely a wave-orientated pedigree that shines through with SPG, and whilst the Albatross is one of their bigger foil designs, it still turns when there’s swell. Yet still delivers plenty of fun on flat water when winging.
Esea Foil Cruise foil assist
I talk more about the foil assist concept elsewhere in the mag. But this is the specific review for the Esea Foil Cruise. The Esea Foil Cruise is the larger system with a bigger battery. It’s a product that can be retrofitted to your existing foil set-up and can be used to boost riders into even smaller waves, up on foil in even lighter winds and help with all manner of foiling starts. Once there, you ride off foil as normal, the prop clearing the water and allowing a natural foiling feel. Designed and tested in the UK, Esea Foil’s Cruise refines the foil assist concept, adding better components and improving performance. It’s a nifty little product with way more versatility than just helping beginners alone.
Price: From £3245
NeilPryde Fly 6m wing
NeilPryde enters the wing market with their Fly wing range. Developed by Nils Axel Rosenblad, who also works on the America’s Cup programme, the Fly 6m is an awesome-looking bit of kit. Rigid handles, intelligent canopy profile, high aspect shape (for better pumping and upwind pointing), and eye-catching aesthetics make it a head-turning wing. It certainly pumps great on the water, getting me flying in 10-12 knots. The handling is light, and for a 6m, it’s very applicable to moves and manoeuvres. It also boosts great, delivering a decent amount of hang time for those who like to get airborne – partner with the JP X Winger board for complimentary performance.
Artzner Artness retractable wing harness line
As wing technology and manufacturing improve, the rigidity and overall efficiency improve. This also means, in many cases, the power versus the overall size becomes less manageable when holding with just your arms. It’s no surprise harness lines are therefore becoming essential. Artzner’s retractable Artness harness line is a simple yet effective solution that avoids flappy lines distracting the rider. Attached to most wings using a bungee/rope system, the line extends when needed and snaps back when you don’t. The Artness is a simple yet refined product that works great, looks good and offers bang-on hooked-in wing performance.
Price: 49.90 Euros.