Switching to a High AR foil for downwind? currently on the progression 170

I am currently riding the progression 170,140,125 and am pretty happy with how they surf and the ease of use. I downwind the 170 and it makes piecing runs together on the east coast of Florida pretty easy (I weigh about 160lbs) this foil also makes the runs super surfy and fun. I do wonder what I am missing with a proper downwind foil with a higher AR in terms of efficiency. Is it worth making the jump to a proper downwind foil, it would mean switching to an all new setup since UNI doesn’t currently have one? Code in particular intrigues me.

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Although I have not done a proper “downwind”. I have found on 1/2 mile shore runners that the 125 allowed me to float from area to area really well. But I assume it would be harder to get on foil in open ocean. I am sure Uni has some down wind specific gear on the way.

Im not confident in my ability to get the 125 up in the Florida bumps on the current board I ride, I haven’t tried the 140 yet but its next on my list. Just curious because I hear that a lot of these “downwind foils” have a great low end.

The code foils are fast and undeniably accelerate when being pushed by the swell. Even the S series would be a huge upgrade from your progression foils for DW runs IMO. I’d be tempted to get the 770R since it still has a pretty reasonable wingspan for my taste.

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How is the paddle up? I am on a 7ft board a bit more than 100Liter, I can paddle up the 170 on any day there is bumps. I am new to paddling still but am getting the hang of it quick.

Never tried Code with the paddle. I quit DW paddling once I realized I was becoming heavily car bound. For me, it was fun to learn but I’m happier winging way upwind with a tiny sail and then flagging out and riding back.

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SUP DW. The sport for people who love driving and hate being in the water.

The sport for people who never played team sports and always wanted surfing to have a “locker room” experience.


I’ve had a 140 for a while but haven’t tried it for DW. Keen to hear how you get on as I’m probably at a similar stage, but currently still on the Axis pump foils which I hate pretty much all equally but wary of blowing runs (the logistics do indeed hurt, but not as much as popping a wing in shorebreak)

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Im keen on trying the 140 the next time we have conditions, I am sure it will be a step up in speed and efficiency and surfing, at the cost of pop up (I may be wrong and it is easier than I suspect). I guess what I’m trying to rationalize is it worth switching to a higher AR for,with some of them having a"'marketed" easy pop up and improved glide and top end at the cost of the surfy feel.

The logistics do suck but man it is worth it IMO, I think it depends on how bad logistics are, we have it pretty easy down in Juno beach


Everyone has their own flavor of fun. However, when I ditched the standard wingboard and switched to narrow designs it amplified the fun in a way that very clearly terminated the DW thing for me. The fact that I’m about 90kg and can ride a 3.5m or smaller wing with a 700-850 area foils and 77-86cm span foils every day with no struggle… I just had to move on.

That and, when the best DW foiler I know in the gorge told me he had one of the “best days ever” and it involved 10 shuttles back up the river, I knew I was 100% out haha.

All that being said, I have always found speed to be an asset when bump hunting on DW runs. At times more important than glide. The ability to efficiently overcome, or drop back onto neighboring swells was always more valuable to me than a slow, long glide. More fun too.

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Also keep in mind the negative shims to put in your tail with help with speed/ which will make it glides longer. That way you still have the pop up stability of the 140. I recently have used my 170 with negative shims and it was kinda insane how much faster it is. Only issue is I did have to move my feet a little back. Not sure if that will mess up your footing for DW. Hope this helps

I messed around with them while prone in the surf, Ill go mess around with some settings while winging the sup board later

Bwalnut / Hdip, I’m with you on the anti car shuttle sentiment. Sure I see the beauty in getting the wing completely out of the picture but since we’re mostly using 3.5 and smaller for any ‘real’ downwinding these tiny wings aren’t in my way much. I do like the upwind with wing then deflate concept though, could be new challenge for me when and if winging becomes… ummm… boring(?) Hard to imagine right now.

The other issue I see is time on the water (or lack of) for pure downwinding. We were doing a 2.5 mile section repeatedly yesterday in 25-35mph winds and covering the downwind part in about five minutes hitting 30mph dropping down these monster ocean swells. Then it’s time to pay some dues back upwind in six long reaches (which is also kinda fun :nerd_face: )


I have been wrestling with this exact issue recently. Reason i didn’t like downwinding the 200/170 progressions is I was getting overpowered too easily and their speed couldn’t match my local conditions. I downsized to the 140 and the speed is much better. However i still find with the 140 that it is so lifty at higher speeds if you need to glide through a little lump to get to a trough at speed it just launches you out of the water - you spend a lot of energy keeping the thing in the water. I think this is because it was never designed to be used for solid downwind conditions and has a pretty aggressive lift profile. I am trialling the armstrong DWP930 at the moment but haven’t had any good conditions yet so i’ll report back once I do.

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Nice, I am giving the Code 860R a go, can’t wait to see how it compares.

I tried paddling up the 140 and it was way easier than I expected as I’ve only ever otherwise done DW on the 1300. Can’t comment yet beyond that as the conditions haven’t been great but I definitely feel the progressions are best when in the pocket of a wave. I have a Marlin tail that I’m looking forward to trying