Foil Drive Board Choice

What board sizes are people finding are working well for them? I think board choice is way more sensitive for foil drive prone surfing than other foiling disciplines. I’m almost 2 years into prone FD and still haven’t settled on my keeper board.

For me at 78kg I have a big board, 5’2 19.75 40L for DW and tricky surf spots. Having recently sold my small board as it was too wide I want another sub 5’ 30 to 35L board.

I remember somewhere that Dom Hoskyns said under 19” wide doesn’t work well with FD and short low litre boards. Not sure if this is true?

I realise you can chuck a big arse foil and get up on a tray but that doesn’t interest me. What size board (particularly for your weight) can you use a performance foil on in small to medium waves in fairly clean conditions?!?

I’m convinced litres don’t make a great deal of difference when there’s a wave to give you a boost but length and width does. Let’s assume a fairly flat rocker as most people realise foil drive doesn’t like banana rockers.

I’ve had a 4’2 19” 30L a good while ago and it was too small for my skill at the time, I’ve improved since but wouldn’t go this short as I don’t pump much and I feel this is the main benefit of very short boards. Also it Felt very twitchy with foot placement . Tricky onto foil

4’6 22” 35L too wide, easy onto foil

4’8 21” 29L (kite board, just felt wrong on foil and not surfy) Easy onto foil

Love to hear thoughts of board sizes which are working and sizes that haven’t worked.

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ICSurf, your exactly right on board volume, it has little effect with regard to Foildrive and getting going. My current board is 4’4x18 and 12lts, gets my 80kgs fine on the plus system. The board is only 1” thick and provides a really direct feel to the foil as your back foot is so close to the mast plate.

Most Foildrive foilers could split their boards in half and still have no issue getting going at half the volume. But micro volume boards have a big drawback, they can’t be paddled so you can only go out as far as you willing to swim back.

Tail rocker is critical to getting to planing speed, if the tail is too small or rocker to large your going to be limited to big wings or wave assist to get going. I also really dislike narrow tails as your back foot toes end up hanging over the side of the board.

I’ve got a new board currently being built, 4’6x18x34lts, super flat rocker to get going on smaller wings and enough volume to paddle if things go pear shaped.

Been a while but many of the FD crew loved the stuff from Dale Chapman…particularly his 5’5"x20"x50L, but that may have been leaning toward DW

AIRSAILS, do you think 18” to 18.5”wide boards are more efficient than 19” and above boards for getting on foil with foil drive? Trying to decide at my 78kg
4’6 19” 35L
4’8 18.25” 38L
Any down sides for narrower? I guess more twitchy?

Any narrower than 18” and I have trouble with my back foot, my toes hang over the rail. I use larger wings in our bay slop so tend to place my back foot well offset to get the required leverage on the wing.
I guess if you were in proper surf you could use smaller wings and narrower boards due to being able to use wave assist to get going.

Picking a board that works well is hard, I’ve tried prone boards that look great but just push water and are difficult to get planing. Check the tail rocker of what ever board you are considering, it needs to be flatter with good water release for early planing.

Longer and narrower definitely better. Dont go shorter to go wider, find another brand if that is the deal with that lineup. And as said, avoid pintail designs or heavy tail rocker, you need something that will plane to launch small foils with the fd. Personally I wouldnt go much under about 5’6" long but I am a heavy weight.

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Silas, I have a mid length 5’2 19’75 40L for DW prone and longer paddle outs. I want a small performance board.

Oops, gotta read slower. Missed that, sorry.

lol, no worries buddy. Love any kinda board talk :wink:

3 sessions and 60 miles into my journey with 45L Portal and have to say I’m very happy! I’m 64kg and previously using a 36L board. The longer Portal gets up on foil with no boost needed. Flat bottom much better than previous boards concave.