Words: Tez Plavenieks
Photos: Tez Plavenieks, Oli Lane-Pearce
Names mean nothing, especially when it comes to water sports equipment. A case in point is the Indiana Wing Foil 118L. Of course, the 118L does the wing foiling thing, no problem. But it’s a much more versatile foil board than being specific to just wing alone.
Most foil boards these days are capable of straddling various disciplines. In the bigger sizes (100L and up), boards designed for flying above water will do so with a wing and with a paddle (usually). In some cases, they may even apply to foil pumping or tow foiling. The Indiana 118L certainly fits this bill.
I’ve been able to test this 5’8 extensively. Being fortunate enough to lay hands on the 118L as soon as it arrived in the UK. Initially used in those first sessions as a big wingsurfing board, it quickly became apparent that it’d work for SUP foiling in waves with no hassle. And work it does – incredibly well.
The Indiana’s brushed green paint and carbon livery stands out on the beach. But the shape catches the eye, especially if you know about foil board design. With its flat deck, low rockered hull, sharp rails and minimal additions, the Indiana is poised to fly as early as possible, be super stable at rest and in the air and deliver the best foiling experience possible.
And it does; the aforementioned design traits allow the 118L to release from the water super early. It, therefore, tutors in the ways of the foil and will help riders dial in their technique to tackle more performance-orientated kit. Should they wish to. Although, from a SUP foiling point of view, there’s no need. You have everything you require right here.
The Indiana’s flat deck is super stable when paddling to the take-off and quickly moved into position. 5’8 may sound short, but there’s just enough glide to paddle up to foiling speed. And with the barest hint of a push from a wave riders will take off and fly! As such, the act of getting on foil has never been easier. And it’s the same in wing mode as well. A small gust is all you need to have the board release and levitate.
In flight, rail-to-rail weight transfers result in fun arcs and turns. The board remains pumpable and direct regarding foil to rider feedback. Should you touch down, the pop-back-up is efficient. And being short means little swing weight for a superior ride experience.
It may say Wing Foil ‘on the tin’, but the Indiana 118L is one of the best SUP foil boards I’ve tested. Still great to wing, though (especially in super light wind), the 5’8 is an excellent example of quality design. If you fancy some fly above water action, you will do much worse than choosing this sled.