North Foils talk foil boards at the AWSI

North Foil's Mike Raper talks Steve through the current North foilboard line-up, at the AWSI event in Hood River.

Products featured:
North Seek
North Seek Air
North Swell
North Scoop

For the full interview transcript, see below.


 

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

Mike: Hey look, we've been working, our product manager is a naval architect and engineer and a composite specialist. Spent his whole, whole life in boat building. So we don't, we've been incredibly lucky to have somebody who has such a knowledge of composites and board building. In combination with our board shaper, Jaimie Scott, who just does everything, is one of those legends in New Zealand world famous in New Zealand, but obviously not worldwide. But super proud of the constructions and the shapes.

So I'm just going to start briefly at the top. This is our new Seek Air. So these are the inflatable boards. Great thing about these, is, oh, you can drop them, doesn't matter. You literally, most boards foils lie on their sides most of the time. You got that protected, you're not going to chip the board. Packed down into a really nice portable bag with a roller. CST base is a carbon base that you can hold onto, still fits our standard Dropbox settings. Has a beautiful smooth flush finish, quick release on the tail, works with foot straps and can work without. And obviously has room for the leash to be attached. Super easy, durable, works really well with boats, tenders, teaching, lessons, schools, that sort of thing. You can kind of drop your elbow into it and it really doesn't matter. Our performance range of Seeks run from about four four up to five nine, I think. Beautifully.

We've worked really hard on making a super wide tail so that the volume's a little bit more at the back of the board, which is quite different to most people. And we've really made sure. Because if you see most people standing on their boards, most of the time, they really, really struggle to get the board flat. And you see a lot of our competitors, they have to put their feet together to get the weight forward on the board, that's when you pump. And you're really unstable if your feet are together. So we've designed it with the volume in the back of the board. So when you pump, you've got the widest stance. Once you're up riding, we've also done the math on where you are in relation to your fours. You don't have to move your feet around to get that perfect balance anymore. Where you start sub planing is we end up foiling and it's a perfect position for it.

Really beautiful construction. Little bit of carbon in there, glass. Our Seek boards, so these are very much for winging. Our Swell is running our, these are our prone surfboards, which can double up as a wing board as well. So four inserts, inline offline centered rear strap. Fantastic. They've got a beautiful … on the inside here you'll see they've got a really nice grip. So when you grip onto the board on either side, especially when you're trying to get up on foil from a prone position, it's really important, you've got to be able to control that foil under you. That's why we've made this grip on the side, so you get really can leverage.

It's not like surfing where you put your hand on top. Push up into prone surf position. You actually grab the rails on these and control your foil, which is a massive selling point for anyone learning to wing foil. Really, really important, but also doubles well as a wing foiling board. A whole range of Scoop foil boards. This is a mini. We've got a normal Scoop and in 121, 35 lengths. These are fantastic for all round foiling, kite foiling, that side of it.

Steve: Awesome.

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