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The Freedom Foil Boards Dagger, known for its debut as one of the earliest downwind-specific SUP foil boards in the market, has been at the forefront of the downwind game for almost a year now. Available in four sizes, ranging from 6'9″ (90L), 7'0 (100L), 7’5 (110L), and 7’10 (122L), the Dagger boasts several standout features that set it apart in the realm of pulled-in SUP downwind boards. FFB has harnessed a transitional hull design and a distinctive TV Tail, ensuring a blend of chop-slicing speed, frictionless flow, and stability. The Dagger's design revolves around one ultimate goal: efficient takeoff onto foil. Drawing inspiration from big wave style surfboards and non-foil powered racing SUPs, its narrow outline and pulled-in pin tail facilitate faster planing speeds for easy lift off.
For our test, we went with the 7’5, which at 110 liters is a great all around size for most beginner to intermediate riders or heavier experienced riders. Weighing in 16.5lbs (7.48kg), the board width on the 7'5 comes in at 20 inches and a uniform 5.5 inch thickness throughout the four sizes. We also paired the Dagger with the Unifoil Progression and Takuma Kujira II series foils to get a taste of both surf and downwind foiling.
The first few things we noticed as we pulled the Dagger out of the box, was the full carbon sanded finish with Freedom’s signature pinstriping and color accents. Fully tractioned up with a custom FFB deck grip, the Dagger also features gore-tex vent plug that allows the board to breathe when exposed to temperature, pressure, or elevation changes. While the durable extended length Chinook foil boxes require longer mast screws and add a bit of weight, this board unlocks the ability to use essentially any foil and be able to mount it on the ideal spot in the tracks.
While the art of just standing on any long and narrow SUP proves to be a challenge for beginner, intermediate, and even some advanced riders, the speed and glide through the water is worth the struggle. While using the paddle to help balance, even a little bit of forward momentum adds significantly more stability. The angled rails flaring into the TV tail also noticeably grip the water, improving lateral support.
To get a feel for this board and the proper foil positioning in the boxes, we took the setup into small mushy waves to practice pop ups and pumping. We immediately realized how fun this board is in the surf. Being able to catch tiny ankle-biters on the inside and even unbroken rollers on the outside, the Dagger makes sessions enjoyable that would usually be too soft for prone conditions or previous generations of SUP foil boards.
In both waves and wind swell conditions, the Dagger also tracks straight without any yaw instability and doesn’t nose dive when sprint paddling to get up on foil. Once up and gliding the board was forgiving for mistakes and even breaches, quickly releasing off the water as soon as touching down. The Dagger pumps and feels smaller than the length would lead you to believe. The weight distribution also offers stability in swinging the board through turns to stay in the pocket and in between bumps for both longer period and less-than-ideal bumps.
The more we used the Dagger, the more we realized its potential for a range of conditions and riders. Adapting across disciplines, opening lightwind winging on days never before thought possible, surfing in micro-sized or bigger rolling swells, and of course both SUP and prone downwinding, the FFB Dagger is a must have for those looking to spend the most days out on the water.