Lift vs Unifoil for Prone Foil Surfing?

Currently, I’m prone foil surfing Lift but I’m confused about if it is the right brand for me. Considering switching to Uni.

I’m a decade-long daily shortboarder. Been prone foiling for 6 months. Starting to make connections regularly: one or two per session. I live in Tofino, Canada where we have mushy beach breaks that are weaker and can be closeouty (similar to Florida!). I am 185lbs / 84kg & 5’10". My pump technique needs a lot of work and I know that is more important than the gear (working on it!).

Currently, I use the 200ha is for the tiny days. The 170ha has become my daily driver. And the 150haX - which I had hoped would become my daily driver - is now my wing for bigger / better days. All have been paired with the 32-glide tail.

The 150hax has been a bit of a disappointment. Yes, it does pump better than the 170ha and handles speed like the 120ha. But you have to carry a fair bit of speed with it, otherwise, it stalls (weak low end and smaller surface area) and it is touchier to turn. High aspect 10.1. On the better days, it does well but it still feels less user-friendly than the 170ha.

After a bunch of frustrating sessions on the 150haX, a few expert foiler friends suggested that more of a mid-aspect foil would be better for progressing with prone foiling. Something with a bit more low-end and a bit more forgiving with turns. They said that I could learn to make the 150haX work, but that would likely slow my progression down and I’d have less fun.

For now, my plan is to just keep riding the 170ha most of the time because it gets me the most time on foil without being a big pig like the 200ha. I’ve also been considering if another brand would help my progression more.

The main issue I have with Lift is that it seems like their new releases are going to follow the 150haX. Lift is about to release the 180haX and the 210haX and I imagine they’ll be similar: higher aspect, efficient but more advanced. This seems like more of a wing, downwind, e-foil direction than beginner / intermediate prone surf progression.

I looked closely at Armstrong. Lots of guys rip at prone-surfing on Armie gear, but the company seems more wing-focused.

The one brand that seems to be very prone-surf-focused is UniFoil. @Erik 's Progression series caught my eye because it seems to be developed for:

  1. Primarily prone foiling

  2. Weaker, smaller waves

  3. Intermediate, average-guy progression - not just 120lb ripper pro surfers

A few UniFoil questions because I am 1000 miles away from the nearest Uni retailer:

Looking at the uniFoil wings - photo above - I noticed the Uni Progression 170 has a very similar surface, aspect, and span as the Lift 170ha (5-year-old tech). How does the Progression 170 outperform the 170ha?

I haven’t seen the Uni gear in person. How do the rest of the Uni components - masts, fuses, rear wings - compare to Lift as far as weight, durability etc?

I’m keen on stability (time on foil!) over ripping turns in the pocket. Which Uni wings and tails would you suggest for me based on my size and skill level?

Where should I order gear from in North America (West Coast)? Real Watersports and other retailers I normally look to in the US / Canada don’t seem to carry Uni.

Does anyone know a North American rep I can fire product questions at before making the switch?

Thanks in advance,

~ Sean

Don’t know too much about lift to comment on comparisons, but I will say that probably just sticking it out on the lift 170 is probably sensible unless you try something and it blows you away. Between the 170 on choppy small days and the 150haX on bigger clean or days with peaky sections and clean “exits” (not closeouts) you could probably just slog away on the pump progression. It is way slower than you would think.
For reference I could dockstart before I got into prone ~year ago (lifelong shortboard before that) and on the pp140 (a great prone foil) I’m still frustrated with my pump and turning ability. Before that on a axis 880 I was also frustrated by both. I’m now much better, the foil is better, but I’m still frustrated! Only time I’ve had breakthroughs has been when I foil 5-10 times on the exact same setup in decent conditions.

Other than for people who already rip, there is probably very little in changing “prone” brands (Unifoil, Lift, F-one, Takuma?). Maybe you are right about Lift but somewhat I doubt it. Possibly an idea to switch out the 150hax for the 120ha? Looks more suitable


The outline is less relevant as just as much of the work is done in foil section, curve, bends, tips etc. All very 3 dimensional. Lift was considered as part of the input to the progression afaik.

Unifoil durability/Quality is at least as good as Axis and F-one in my experience, better than Axis IMO where all the parts aren’t interoperable and get stuck together and corrosion etc.

If you did go to unifoil, probably 170 with the 14.5 tail and then chop the tips off to loosen it up once you get it dialed. You mentioned in the other thread that you have close out beach breaks, same as my regular. For this you should prioritise low end pump over anything as I do a lot of digging. pp140 with Takuma 178 has been great for this.


Those glide tails are hard to pump. Very efficient and neutral but not very forgiving.
Getting a foil parts tail adaptor with a kd maui blunt tail makes the pump way more springy with a nice positive feedback. makes the lift 170 and 200 feel completely different


This is probably the most useful feedback you can get - the feels between tails and tuning is significant

Also I see that people don’t rate the 170HA highly so maybe worth a sniff around unifoil then.

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Ya! I’d love to hear why the 170ha isn’t rated that highly. I’ve heard that from a few guys in passing but haven’t seen a really good discussion around it from prone foilers with first-hand experience. I’d love to see one.

I used to main the Lift 120/170HA before I swapped over to Unifoil and am very happy I did. Full disclosure I’m a Uni ambassador but that’s because I honestly believe they’re the best gear for where I am.

The Uni Progression wings are better in every single way compared to Lift’s 2+ year old HA line. I’m in South Florida and our waves are way too weak for most gear, which is why I was so stoked for the progression wings. A few of the guys here have the Lift 150HAX but IMHO the progressions are better for surfing in our stuff–lower stall speed, much better turning, progs have lower top speed but I’ve never topped them out in our stuff, even on the hurricane swells we’ve been getting. The Uni Prog 140/200 quiver is super solid for our range of conditions.

As you’ve said, Lift doesn’t seem to have anything for weak conditions, which is why I swapped over to Uni. Demo the Uni stuff if you can, I’m sure you’ll be stoked on them.

To answer your questions:
170p vs 170HA – The progression is better in every single way. To be fair, it is several gens newer.

I’ve been on Uni for 1 year now, and I’ve had no issues with durability as the gear is super solid. The Katana mast is heavier than the standard Lift mast, but I don’t have an X2 to compare to. The Katana is super super stiff and worth the slight increase of weight IMHO.

Everyone I’ve put on the 170p doubles their ride time on the first wave. I’m 75kg and I’d say intermediate+ skill, so I’d recommend the 200p for most days waist high or smaller, and the 140p for anything under head high. The 200 loves the short fuse and the 140 rides best with the medium for me. The Shiv is a solid all around tail, 13".


Thanks. Your hands-on experience with both is really helpful.

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