Shrinked Downwind Boards for winging?

KT/KD is coming with one soon (read between the lines).

If you have any questions on the Appletree, LMK. There aren’t many around and I have one - albeit, one size smaller (5’9"), but I’m also slightly lighter at 80kg.

I think what we are seeing with the big board manufacturers is just a long time between idea-prototype-production-distribution. I predict we’ll see a lot more of these types of boards in the next 6+months. I’m not surprised we didn’t see anything at the big show this last week, as those boards were probably designed and locked as much as a year ago - before people really started to do a lot of winging on the full sized downwind boards. And now any of the manufacturers that produced a lot of stock will be reluctant to release a brand new concept so they don’t leave their retailers with racks full of old boards nobody wants. Its a very difficult business!

We always see it first in the customs people are doing, and then we’ll see a few big brands jump on the latest ideas.

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Blue planet had one at AWSI. I don’t think Rob rode it though.

i don’t know where you are located but for your program i think the takoon ultraglide might be the best option

I’ve tried winging a 100l barracuda board and i didn’t like it at all. I’m 80 kg. The board is tracking forward like it’s on rails which makes it harder to adjust against sideways chop. All of the efficiency is also not needed when using a wing. I personally feel all this hype on winging with a downwind board is partially generated by manufacturers trying to sell boards and buyers trying to rationalize buying a very expensive tool designed for downwinding when they never actually get to do any downwinding (the latter is true for myself)

I have the omen 84l board. It’s a way better tool for the job. Although at my weight i also feel this board has more volume than i need given its efficiency


I hear what you’re saying bro. It seems crazy to go winging in a 8’4"(my cudda). I live in Reno NV and am winging on lakes around here with sometimes fickle light wind. If I lived and sailed in stronger wind conditions, I would probably use a smaller board. For me, it is a session saver. I am often the only one up on foil around here when the wind lulls out and everyone else is on small slow wingboards. Your Omen sounds cool. I would like to try a smaller version of what I have. The funny thing is that the long board doesn’t bother me at all. I can rip radical turns as hard as anyone else on shorter boards. Mine only weighs 9.5 lbs and I thing that is a huge factor. It is lighter than my 80L shitbox Moonbuddy. I would think that in FL there would be a ton of lightwind days? Its has opened new spots that I had written off as un-wingable. And, I can ride any foil I want instead of choosing foil based on wind strength. To each his own, but I am getting a barrage of questions everytime after the light sessions where most are flailing and I am up, ripping about my “weird, skinny” board. My guess is that at my spot, there will be a lot of long skinny’s coming in the next year. I also like the versatility of the board. I can flatwater paddle up, go wake theiving, surf un-broken(or breaking) lumps in the ocean, and last but not least, go downwinding with or without a paddle. I think that any foiler will find it a useful tool in their quiver for many reasons.


I’ve been using an AFS Fly 5’3 Tomo style board at 95Ltr and then tried the AFS Blackbird 6’4 110ltr from AFS. I am convinced skinny boards are the way forward. Where I live on east coast of Ireland, it’s always offshore breeze so gusty and up an down. Getting home upwind in a dying breeze if a must. The Kalama style boards are perfect for that. I was surprised how easy they are to gybe and tack as the foil acts like a pivot in the centre so feels like a small board. I have small budget so was looking at the following;

Brand Model Length Size Thickness Weight Vol Price
Takoon Escape proto 6’6 198x25 115ltr €900.00
Gong Cruzader 6’6 198x48 18.8 6.7 112ltr €1,019.00
Takoon Escape 7’2 218X49 12.9 90ltr €1,300.00
Takoon Escape SW 6’6 198x54 14 90ltr €1,300.00
AFS Blackbird 6’4 182x60 14 6.7 110ltr €1,949.00

As you can see the Blackbird is mad expensive but you get a 3yr warranty and it’s Tri-radial carbon. I’m leaning towards the Gong Cruzader 6’6 fsp or the Takoon SW 6’6 (Both carbon wrap on ESP)

What do you think is better?

(75kg mostly offshore wind, 1300 HA, 1250 MA, 950 MA foils and have 3.4,5,7m wings)

FYI Takoon boards are not EPS foam.

They use an XPS type of foam that is waterproof (closed cell) ,you can crack and drill the carbon skin and go ride.No water will get in.

Appletree and Levitaz use this foam too.

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Adding some feedback on the concept:

Note, I am a newbie.

Learned to wing on a 110L wide 5’7 Appletree. Compared to a prone board feels like it almost pushes water. but its stable and you can easily stand on it.

Then, given all the stories about DW boards for light wind winging, got a 6’6" x 21 Amos (95L). was really hesitant, concerned that it might be unstable and too difficult to operate for a newbie. but pulled the trigger in the end.

first session very light wind, no one out on a wing but a few kiters… and i got up! the board easily acquires speed and it was not that hard at all to balance. Pumping is sooo easy given the narrower overall profile and lesser weight. Gets up soo quickly easily on much lighter wind than ever previously. total cheat code! the board is much more efficient. Even with side chop in the waves it wasnt really that bad at all. very happy.

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@Gonefoiling ive had exactly the same experience. Went from 105L f one to 95 L E3 DW Kalama. I get up faster, in lighter wind, and with smaller foils. I seem to have less windage too and am pointing higher upwind. And maybe 5% loss in stability when slogging. But actually have felt more stable once up.
I’m 83kg, winging for 2y, but only making jibes this summer, so NOT very skilled yet. This transition was easy and has been absolutely excellent in every way
I do have a 7’6 gong hipe cruzader on the way to, will be very interesting to compare to a more traditional DW type board…

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If ya looking to test, I have the 7’6" hipe cruz, ya can give it a spin if ya want. I am west coast but over in the pale for my troubles each week. It was an impulse buy to test the light wind winging feedback and its true, goes in 8knts with a 900cm foil and 5m wing! Someone on the east coast has a blackbird as well, not sure if ya tried it. To me the blackbird is nice but more designed for sup downwind, as its wide (I know skinnier is better, that width is for stability when supping). The takoon boards are sweet, I was tempted to go there as well but budget held me back, would ya also consider their 6’6" ultragilde ?

This looks rad

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Just to add to this, the regular wingboard is more sticky. takes more of effort to get it to release from the water for a pump

I have a blackbird 6’2. While there are some parts of the shape i like (like the pitch stability in the water with the volume up in the nose and mix of mini simmons/baracuda tail, there are two things i dislike quite a bit. The bulb nose is too draggy, especislly winging in chop, it’s quite a bit slower than the escape 6’6 at same litreage (tried a friends’)…the latter then being too easy to nosedive though…something inbetween those would be better…also, the widest point of the rails is not in the upper third, closer to the deck, but more in the center of thickness, which wastes roll stability and in combination with an exaggerated transversal concave deck with this kind of edge around it means the actual standing area is just below 18’’ wide…which really reduces the lever you have on any slightly higher span foil… i got it used so all good, but if you check out the awsi videos you’ll see afs will have a next gen white bird that has a narrower nose and is longer. soon.i actually might go for the ak nomad 7’0

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That’s super useful feedback on the BB Andiabel - I’ve used the BB 6’4 and found nose volume good for the bounce while pumping. It might have been my foil placement but I wanted to get my foot further forward but the bump was too big to allow that. Saw a WhiteBird in the background of the AWSI. I’d say that is my next board. Is there any vids of it that you found?

I’ll probably hang onto my 5’3 Fly to see if the Whitebird can replace it. I also really like the look of the AFS 5’4 2023 (Blue one) but think at 75ltrs (I’m 80 with wet winter gear) that I’d struggle to get home in light airs. AK board looks sweet - they make really nice kit…

Thanks for the offer OuterBombie. I tried the BB 6’4 with Pure Magic, beautiful board but beyond my budget. I was able to get that going in 5 knots with a 1300 foil and 7m wing. With apparent wind was doing 12knts once up and flying. Cool feeling on a super light day.

mine is ready! will try it maybe next week end.
hope the box are in the right spot!


Holy smoke! Having tried that finish a couple of times I now steer well clear and just do plain. I never got it anywhere near as good as that… that’s up there with Album and Dark Arts

thanks for your kind words i will translate them to my old friend who made the glassjob!