Interior/Lake DW Set-up

Hi everyone, I’ve been watching the downwind scene develop over the past couple of years, but have held off jumping in given my location living near a lake in interior Canada. It seemed unattainable for lake riding with the original gear and foil equipment. I’m starting to come around on this as more people are using these set ups on lake conditions. I suspect this is a combination of adapted skills, longer boards that are easier to paddle up on, and new foil technology. I am looking at getting into this myself now that things seem to have evolved enough to take it on, and I’m curious as to what other people in similar situations are using for gear regarding board dimensions, foil set ups, and what your actual inland conditions are like. This sport has its origins in the ocean, but I suspect the inland/lake component will be another area that it grows and takes off, given its greater accessibility to a larger number of people. I don’t consider the gorge as relevant here, given its very unique and ideal downwind conditions ha ha! For myself, I’m thinking an 8‘ x 20“ board with a progressive forward placed foil box would lend itself best for smaller, less powerful wind swell. I ride Omen Foils for winging, but I realize this will be beyond me for starting, and I will probably go to a 72 cm Armstrong mast, an alchemy fuse, and an axis PNG 1150 wing to start. I have a foil parts, pumper tail that is 17 inches long that I think will compliment this well. These are all educated guesses based on what I’ve been reading online, but I’m curious as to what people who are pursuing this type of downwinding are actually using and would recommend. I realize flatwater, paddle ups and paddle technique will be my first step in this journey, and I’ll have lots of days to sort that out. Any advice or experience would be appreciated. Stoked to start this journey!

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Hey Jon,
You can ride pretty small waves. Probably 2 feet. Smaller the waves are, shorter period the waves. How big is your lake? Less fetch equals shorter period. With a super large board and short period, can be tricky. Super large board might not be the way. For those small, slow moving waves. Big foils are the way to go! I have a bunch of examples of riding small stuff. Might give you some insight.


Thx Mike! Yah, I’ve seen your video, it was one of the inspirations to trying this here at home! I live in the Okanagan, so short period wind driven swell that settles out quickly when the wind dies. It’s definitely not an ideal dw location, but lots of flat water days to practice ha! My logic for the 8’ board is based on stability and easier to get up on foil. Once up it will feel long I’m sure, but I think I can sort that out. I’m worried a shorter board will make learning difficult? I would think about downsizing when I can paddle up reliably. I’m hoping axis png 1150 will make this process smoother!

For sure the 8’ board will be easier to get up on flat water than a shorter one. My experience (just about an hour so don’t read too much into it) with a 7’6’ board in < 2’ bumps was the main difficulty was not pearling into the back of the next bump while trying to take off. I think I might have had an easier time with a shorter board.

But how big a problem pearling is will probably vary with different nose designs.

Hey Jon now knowing your pretty low fetch the 1150 will pair nicely like I mentioned to you on the face book group. The bumps will be moving slow. You may need a smaller tail or a shim for a little extra speed for the bigger days.
I often ride on an inner bay on a lake with a very low fetch, and you see vids of guys dock starting and cutting across little bays all the time. You will be good.
As for board length 8’ should be good. The tight bumps for sure will hinder how long you can go but think 8’ is ok. Im on a 7’ and the run I mentioned gets pretty stacked and packed and an 8’ would be fine.
And if you don’t have paddle experience you don’t want to go less than that. Even width I think you could go up to 23” at 8’ as your bumps will stack up low fetch, shallow water and be better if you don’t have paddle time.

Thx Mike, that all makes sense! I’ll see how it all goes as soon as the board gets finalized. Awesome advice, thx again!