Well - tested the new FS-900 on two 6K and 8K runs.
the same day I received it, went straight to do a run on my 6’11" x 18" x 96LTS board, no time to test it first in wing to find it’s sweet spots or anything. I’m 67-69kg.
Set it up with no shim, and in the center of balance found by lifting the foil by the center of the front wing and verifying the board is parallel to the floor, it worked, as expected from a balanced foil.
Sharing some thoughts on it -
Disclaimer - I’m a Cloud IX dealer as so I’m able to deal with other brands and even I get dealer prices, I’m not bounded and I pay for my own stuff. Also, I fell in love at first ride so I may need more rides to find a more critic review
First of all - The foil is 10.1 AR so it’s higuer aspect vs the other FS foil sizes in the range which are 8,5 to 8,7 AR, it’s also indeed a thinner profile foil and thinner LE and it seems to me the dihedral is more subtle so it’s a bit flatter (will do a comparison with the other foils to double check this claim).
The wingtips have less area, and the central cord it’s generous as the other FS on the range but still quite high aspect. This is key to understand the low end capability of this foil.
First take off -
Wind and bumps were good - over 20knts of wind - and decent wind and swell bumps crossed each other - Paddle ups were incredibly good for a 860cm2 foil (projected Area), the disctintive and signature LOW END capability of Cloud IX it’s still there despite it’s a HA foil - good Chord at the center helps with that easy take off ability and narrower cord thru the wingtips deliver speed and acceleration.
I’m still wraping my head around this concept, but testing different foils with different AR’s from 8.5 all the way to 13 - has given me a better understanding here, so I would describe it as having a great balance of low end take off for easy pop off and lower speed stall speed mixed with the capability that once you are on foil, it’ll let you pump it fast so you can gain as fast as possible the speed of the bump or swell you’re trying to catch, if this doesn’t happens, you’ll have to keep pumping to maintain flight until the second or third bump catches you and you equal it’s speed. So with faster bumps, acceleration it’s a challenge!! I’m on a short period 7 to 9 secs swells and lots of wind, and when things get in between the 8 to 10 secs it gets bigger and faster the bumps, so matching speed it’s an important issue, keeping in mind that I’m not on a 7’6 + board - I’m on a 6’11" so this balance of low end and high speed acceleration thru the foil and not relying so heavy on the glide of the board is very well appreciated. My board is a 18" thou so glide is good enough, and lots of volume on tail so I dive it and help my self poping it up.
Balance and foot pressure -
Well, gotta say that I was surprised that feeling was so balanced and predictable, also stable, that my first flight was a 12 minutes ride no falling going bump thru bump and pumping felt pretty easy and similar from what I was used to from the FS-1000, just faster and less front foot pressure so was able to feel less fatigue from any of my legs. The Catalyst corrected a lot of that front foot pressure feeling on the FS-range and they ride very nice now - The new FS-900/Catalyst just took it to another level.
Speed - High End
It’s fast, but not the kind of crazy fast that goes with too much pitch sketchiness, was able to find feet balance and just stand on a close stance when gliding and required small adjustments throwing the back foot a bit far back when wanting to carve and pump harder to save from a really low speed situation, the foil can handle 36km/h (22.5 to 23mph) with lots of control as recorded by garmin watch at top speed and didn’t fell off from any fast bump, this is an issue I had with bigger foils that maxed out or faster but higher aspects (maybe not tuned so well) that I just couldn’t control it’s super high speed. I believe that with a proper big bump/swell I’ll be able to reach 40km/h probably a bit maxed there, but hopefully doable. Also I’m not heavy at all so I’m at disadvantage there trying to reach top speeds.
Stall Speed - Low End
Well not much to say here, if there’s something Cloud IX Foils excels at it’s low speed thru ther Forward Swept Leading edge and longer center area chord. I was able to save most situations were sketchy backwash currents screwed with my speed and at the same time supported with the efficient glide and acceleration was able to keep enough speed to keep flying and finding the next gutless bump to better speed and then being able to jump to the juicy speedy next bumps!
Carving - Rolling
With pitch control comes good drive while turning, and with also recognized rolling Cloud IX capabilities, well, gotta say this thing rolls better than the FS-1000 (which is almost the same span) and almost like a 850 but with more glide and speed. So also saving from conditions where you need to carve your way thru to either gain speed or just save from a strange bumpy current, felt really stable and I really could trust the foil when leaning on it’s rails. Pending to test it on a proper wingsurf or prone situation for more comments.
Here a link of 1 minute clip, will be uploading a longer vid on youtube hopefully by the weekend.
Have a good one everyone!