Lift tail tips for DW?

My local run has about 5 miles of fun dw conditions, and the last 2 miles there’s a point with heavy current and side wind which slows the bumps down. My current setup is a 120HA + 32 Glide. I’m looking to get more low end for those last couple miles as it’s a lot of work with this setup when the bumps get soft. Obviously the easy solution for the end of the run is using the 170HA, but that makes the first 5 miles feel super sluggish.

So I’m looking for advice on tails to get a bigger range of flight speeds, so hopefully keep the top speed of the 120 while gaining more low end. I heard rumors about using a fuselage extension, a KD tail, or the new lift carve 33. Any first hand experience here? Any other ideas?

The KD boomerang tail with a longer fuse increases the lowdown and pump on the 120 dramatically!!

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What size fuse you using?

I made it myself, it’s about 30mm longer than the 25 glide tail.

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The kujira 178 adds a lot of low end to the 120 in my experience. You lose a bit of top end speed but the pump is insane.


Yes the 178 is the other tail I use. It has a better range than the Boomerang and is an awesome tail. The boomerang takes the pump and stall speed to the next level but doesn’t have the top end or breach recovery of the 178. Both I feel are much better than the 25 and 32 glide tails.


Hey Ikaika, I love this topic!

BTW, this is my first post, new to the forum, so sorry if I missed an introduction page…Stoked to have a foil brained group to chat with!

I live on Maui and DW with the 120 a few times a week. I have been on a bit of a tail blackhole for a while, so I will post about each. In my opinion the stock lift tails are either too squirrely or not fast enough, neither of which suit me. The 25 glide feels like it is going to slide out when the bumps get big, and the 32 is just not fast enough, so my first step is to get the adapter from (get the long one for DW). Kane lives down the street from me, so I have the benefit of either owning or borrowing most of his tails, plus I have been experimenting with the Axis Progressive tails on the 120 too. Here is my opinion of each:

KD Maui tail - I have the 14.5 and the 13.5 and both are a better option for DW than the stock tails. The 14.5 is a good stable tail that provides lost of lift and nice low end, but it is a bigger tail, so I don’t really get much above 22mph top speeds, and my averages are normally in the low 14’s with this set up on the 120. The 13.5 is a bit faster, for me about .3 mph faster on average, but if the bumps are small it is more work. The low end is a touch higher, but pretty negligible in my opinion. I like both of these tails with a 1 degree shim, to lower the lift. The speed increases and the glide is better. Good tails, but I wanted to go faster…

KD Maui Boomerang 12" - This tail pumps amazing, but it gets very twitchy at high speed. For a low wind day, it turns great and the low end is awesome, but when Maliko is head high, this wing scares me. Can’t comment about MPH averages, because I have not tried it enough to be confidant about averages, but it didn’t feel as fast (top end) as the smaller KD tail shimmed with less lift.

KD Ahi - I don’t think this tail is available for sale yet, but it is really good. Kane if you are reading this, I would love it, but it is a bit too big for me. It is so stable, that it does not feel fast, but it is. I was getting average miles at over 15mph for 5 out of 10 miles the first time I used it, and I thought it was slow. Its not slow, its just crazy stable. The low end is amazing too. The problem for me, is that the size kills my back leg. Kane said I need to shim my mast, but I have not done that yet. My gut says that if it was smaller, this would be a very good option.

KD Maui 13R - For me, this tail is magic. It is a bit twitchier than the original KD tails, but the average speed and the top speed are much better, and as long as you are paying attention, it turns really well… I am consistently getting 15+ MPH averages over a full Maliko, and I had my best ever Maliko on this tail. It was a very very big day, so some of that due to was conditions, (top speed was 28mph average speed was 16mph) but I have run it a bunch since, and my averages are .5 MPH better that the original KD tails. The low end is good, the top end much is better, pumps well, this tail is amazing.

Axis 400 Progressive - foil parts has an adapter for this too. I was so excited to run axis tails with the lift stuff. You have to turn the adapter upside-down because axis is a top mount. I have a Axis 999 and I love the 400P with the 999 on lighter days. I was excited to try these two together, but its too big for me on the 120. Same problem as the Ahi tail, it is hard on my back leg. Lift is good, turns ok but needs a lot of back leg, top end not better than the KD originals and harder on my leg.

Axis 375 Progressive - This would be my wing of choice, if I didn’t have the 13R to choose instead. For me, it is a better fit to the 120 than the 400P. Faster average and top speed. Lifts well, but it does not turn as well as the 13R.

I hope this helps you all in your journey to find the perfect tail! Its a arms race out there! Good luck.



Thanks for the tip. Any shimming with the 178? also you using a long fuse adapter with that tail?

Wow Shep thanks for all the info! Super helpful. I’m on Kauai, and we don’t get the same kind of wind you guys do on Maui. Winds are more in the 15-20mph range usually, and bumps are in the waist-chest size, so knowing that, of the tails you mentioned it sounds like the 13R or the 13.5 would be a good fit, would you agree?

Based off your and others feedback the boomerang sounds awesome with the right conditions, but the range is limiting.

Ahi doesn’t seem to be out yet, but sounds like either a shim or pushing the mast forward or your stance back and it could be a good option. How’s the maneuverability on that one?

Also by chance have you tried that Kujira tail that Erik and oceanfrother recommended?

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Hey Ikaika. Come visit us sometime! I would take the 13R in wind at that speed for sure. It lifts easy and it has tons of glide so it’s easy to find another bump even in lighter winds. The Boomerang can do this too, but on a really big bump, I’d feel more comfortable on the 13R. I have not shimmed the 13R yet, but I am going to try it this week and see how it affects speed and turns. The KD OG tails are helped with some.

The Ahi is really interesting. I ran it farther forward that the other tails. Like I said it’s super fast and stable. Kane said I need to shim my mast to relieve my back leg burn, but I don’t have a mast shim….working on that too.

I haven’t tried the Tacuma tails. I’ll let Kane share pics and stuff when ready.

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Wow Shep some great info!!

I’m also using the 120 with a combination of glide 25 tail, boomerang, 13.5 kd OG and 13r. For downwind best all round for me is the 13R. It has an amazing. range with an incredibly low stall speed but equally feels at home going very quick.

In response to the original question I think the 13r could be one to try because of a combination of low stall speed but also amazing glide and efficiency. You may find that with the the increased efficiency you are able to glide longer on the weaker bumps rather than having to pump home. Good luck :call_me_hand:

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yes! I completely agree with this statement

Mahalo Shep and Reedie. You guys shim the tail at all?

Hi Ikaika,

Yeah with all the KD tails I play with shimming. For me it makes a huge difference. For DW I find that I’m willing to sacrifice a little in the turning for efficiency so I tune a little flatter. I use a homemade tail adapter but generally my process is take out on short DW run and continue to shim making it flatter in .25 degree increments until it feels right. This means a balance of efficiency, lift and no weirdness in the turns (pitchy moments).

Hope that makes sense

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Yes. Julian Bradley told me the same thing and that’s what I have been doing. Shim til it feels pitchy then pull back.