North Foils discuss their wing collection

Foiling Magazine's Contributing Editor Steve Sjuggerud talks to Mike Raper at the AWSI in Hood River and gets the low-down on the North Foils wings: the North Nova, Nova Light Wind and North Mode.

For the full interview transcript, see below.



Steve Sjuggerud:

Hi, I'm Steve with Foiling Magazine here at AWSI 2022. I'm here with Mike Raper, brand manager of North Foils based in New Zealand, actually. Mike, you got a lot of things cooking here this year, so let's just kick right into it.

Mike Raper:

Thank you so much. Thank you everybody. Really nice to meet everyone.

We are going straight into the wing foils. We've… I think most of you already know we've had the North Nova, I think, it's in its second generation now. Hugely successful. Covers a range from 1.9 up to seven meters. A real free ride wing that has a good bottom end and a good top end, but a really big sweet spot that's easy to use. Hugely successful, comes with a new grip lock rigid handles, but most importantly, which none of you have, probably knowing we… Well, sorry. The Nova Light Wind is our new dedicated light wind wing. This is in meters six, seven, and eight. Based on your body weight, you only purchase one and it's your dedicated light wind wing. If you're a lighter weight rider buy the six, if you're medium weight rider buy the seven, if you're a bigger rider like you and I, you can grab the eight.

These wings are designed to park and ride without any pump technique. They will get you up onto foil, so you don't need that really difficult and, especially, as beginners, intermediates sometimes getting that pump technique, especially, with a bigger wing is really challenging. They have reduced width so they don't get the tip strike and they really do have an in incredible bottom end. I warn you, they don't have any top end. They really are designed to get you going in less than 12 knots when a day when it's not white capping. Six, eight knots running through the. These are… This has been on the market for a couple of weeks now, but the thing I'm most excited about is the new Mode.

This is, you guys are getting inside scoop now we're going to be launching this in a couple of weeks time and the Mode is made with in weave material. I may just talk about the material first and then I'll talk about the Mode. N-Weave is basically a UPE, but it's 3% stiffer material and it's 40% lighter, so that's 3%… Three times stiffer than a normal Dacron, which means you can pump it up to 10 psi. We've been blown away by how stiff this material is, how durable it is. It's got a film on the inside, as you can see that stays inside against bladder and it's got a really durable material on the outside. The best thing about it, 40% lighter than a standard inflatable structure, which is about 160 grams. This is coming in at about 105 110 grams. We've been incredibly proud.

What that allows us to do with the Mode is it allows us to pump these kites up really strong, have a really stiff frame, and it… I'll just warn you, the Mode doesn't have a lot of bottom end. It's definitely for an intermediate rider into intermediate to advanced rider. It does mean if you've got pump technique, which most intermediate advanced riders does you can compensate for that bottom end by getting that pump to get up. Once you're up this thing has an insane top end wind range. Bigger than anything we've benchmarked on the industry. You can hold onto it really gusty conditions. I can hold the four two down in about 30, 30, 32 knots, which is…

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah. Outrageous yeah.

Mike Raper:

Pretty darn strong for a four two, which is insane. At the same time, I can still ride that four two and sort of 18, 20 knots, as well.

Steve Sjuggerud:


Mike Raper:

It's got this biggest wind range I've ever found. Greatest thing about it super rigid structure. It means you go really fast. You know if you go really fast you change your angle that means you jump higher. The faster you go the higher you jump. Once you're up there traditional wings they've got a little bit more flex in them and you drop and fall like a stone. Once you're up there, this thing stays rigid and it's got this insane hang time. As you're landing, you're landing with forward momentum and forward speed, which as you know, when you got a hydro wing that helps you get up on plane on your hydro quicker. Goes fast, jumps high, great hang time, really planting fast landings. Super set.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Mike, what sizes are these coming out in?

Mike Raper:

4’2, 5’5, and seven meters.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh wow.

Mike Raper:

The 5’5's that main go to size. I think if you live in a slightly windier location, 4’2 if you're a lighter wind location. Don't be afraid to buy a size that you think's a little big for you and hold on, because it's a really good ride.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Right. Awesome. Cool.

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