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RANGE REVIEW: North MAv2 Foils

With consumer requirements changing rapidly and foils evolving across disciplines, North have responded to new market demands with an all-new V2 mid-aspect series, which has had a thorough development cycle and bolts straight onto their existing modular Sonar mast system, which now ship out with all titanium fixings. There’s a comprehensive range of sizes available, ranging from 700 all the way up to a 2400cm2. The design aim was clearly a cross discipline and universal foil which a rider can grow into and adapt as their ability level increases.

The R&D process has been masterminded by North’s in-house naval architect Uli Sommerlatt, in New Zealand’s ideal test bed of real-world dynamic wave and wind conditions, and this shines through in the universal application of the new series. Fittings-wise, the front wing bolts straight onto a profiled section in the front underside of the fuselage with three sturdy M8 bolts. The size of these varies dependent on the thickness of the front wing, and it’s clearly printed on the associated aperture and bolt, so it’s worth paying attention here when swapping sizes.

The range can be divided into two distinct brackets. The smaller foils (sub 1500cm2) are more performance focused and obviously faster in terms of top speed; the aspect ratios increase as they step down to 700, maintaining an even span into the smaller sizes and carrying that consistent and familiar feel that overarches the range. A particular highlight for winging was the 850cm, particularly when paired with the smaller stabilizers. It stands up amongst the elite as a performance freeride foil for winging or prone, with eager roll characteristics and an in-built predictable behavior through harder turns, where its even foot pressure allowed for a comfortable stance and body position. Particularly when riding strapped, we found little need to shift our feet around between riding a wave or heading upwind for example.

The 1500cm2 through to a mighty 2400cm2 are beginner and progression-focused, and innately stable in both pitch and roll, but remain playful enough when pushed, yielding early lift and a wide speed range per size. They have their own specific foil section and a little more anhedral to aid tracking. For us, the 1500cm2 was the highlight here, with delightfully early lift and a seriously extended speed range where it seemed to feel comfortable at all points, and a surprising top end. Its stall characteristics were also particularly gentle, and for a larger foil it felt eager enough to roll. It never seemed to get flustered regardless of the situation you threw it into. We took it out on a SUP, where the waves doubled in size within half an hour, and it handled it with absolute grace and control, a testament to the upper speed range.

Two fuselages are available in 60cm and 70cm and we found it important to tune this to your taste with regards to the pump cadence and pitch sensitivity you require. The smaller foils seemed to suit the smaller fuse for a more playful feel, but conversely, if you were stepping down from one of the larger front-wing sizes, the long fuse would make this transition less of a shock initially. The same goes for the tail wings with North’s Freeride (ending with 0) and High Speed (ending with 8) offering compatibility across the range. To avoid getting bewildered here, there is a handy chart on their website to show you which tail matches its relevant front wing as they’ve designed it, but there’s certainly no harm in a little experimentation. North’s Sonar carbon mast system with its deep tapered fuselage socket has been a benchmark of stiffness, and with a range that extends to 2400cm2, it handles the wider spans with ease.

Across the entire range, tip breaching is expertly controlled; at moments where normally you’d potentially lose control, it seems to recover remarkably well, and this applies even in the larger sizes. When really cranking the smaller MA V2 foils, there was no mast cavitation evident, which gave for a reassuring feeling when it’s most critical.

Probably one of the most universal and genre-spanning foil series we’ve had the pleasure of testing, there’s something applicable and performant here for all disciplines, rider weights and abilities, be it wind or wave propelled or even by lithium. What sets the MA V2 series apart from the competition is its intelligent balance of characteristics, the size and consistency in the range, and extremely smooth transition into the smaller sizes as you progress. If you’re buying into a system as a beginner with progressive intentions, it’s an informed and solidly constructed choice you can throw into a multitude of situations, and the sizing means you can increase your quiver to go as hard and fast as you like into the small sizes. It’s a universal and all-encompassing multi-discipline foil system for the people.

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