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RANGE REVIEW: North Sonar MA series

North’s foil range has expanded generously this season and their MA range perches between the all-out speed focused HA and beginner-oriented Reflex series. A concise and sensible range of three sizes are available in 1050, 1200 and 1350cm2 which bolt onto their fully modular Sonar Edition mast and fuselage system. The front wing has a generous sweep and mid depth of profile for its surface area, and an aspect ratio that sits between five and six over the three sizes. It’s constructed in a tough and well finished pre-preg carbon construction which feels like it will handle glancing off a reef without issue. We tested primarily with the Sonar S270 tail which sits in the middle of the North stabilizer range and matches the MA wings well. The front wings are provided with a tailored cover back matching the rest of the system and providing decent bump protection.

In the water the system immediately feels very smooth; we had very little vibration through the foil, even when pushed fast with a wing. The relatively short spans keep the MA wings maneuverable through the roll axis, and manifest a playful and surfy nature, accelerating progressively out of the turn. When the foil reaches its speed limit, there’s no unpredictable behavior, it simply tops out and sits there without building any significant front foot pressure.
We spent quite a bit of time on a SUP with the MA 1200 and were impressed with easy paddle in, smooth controlled lift, and how much drive and glide the foil had in mediocre waves. It’s the type of foil that just seems to work without a huge amount of thought, positioning and rider input, allowing you to build plenty of confidence and progression. The provided 70cm fuselage makes for a very stable platform with a slower pump cadence and longer drawn-out turns. If you want to spice things up, the 60cm fuse reduces the turning radius significantly and enables you a more rapid pitch correction to deal with steeper waves. The rock-solid stiffness in the Sonar CF mast system also really shone here, with a larger board, maintaining a precise and crisp feeling underfoot, where others may start to flop around.

These attributes carried over elegantly into wingfoiling, where the three sizes will cover a huge amount of wind range and conditions. Particularly with slower onshore conditions where that drive from the foil is essential, the general pace of the MA foils seemed to match perfectly, sit in the pocket and not outrun the wave like a faster HA foil potentially can. Around the corners there’s plenty of support from the foil and the 1050 in particular has quite a low stall speed for its size, making getting round tacks and jibes a painless process.

North’s MA system is friendly and performant in equal measure. As a steppingstone in the North foil ecosystem between the all-out beginner Reflex wings and the more technical to ride HA system, the MA provides a perfect middle ground. The level of accessibility is high, and someone with kite foil experience could hop straight on one of these and learn to wingfoil without issue. It’s a playful and surfy feeling foil that transcends disciplines gracefully, and whilst the hype around HA foils seems to rage currently, perhaps for the majority of people the MA range will bolster their progression and provide a stable accessible platform in any foiling sport. RB

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