The Signature Albatross range of foils are the original high aspect downwind/pumping surf foils. Designed by Clifford Coetzer in collaboration with the Signature R&D team, these wings have been finely tuned for maximum efficiency and high speed. After seeing the success of the original 175 in downwind racing, Signature realized they could bring the speed, pump, and glide to normal riders too and have since expanded the line to fit different riding styles and rider weights. Currently there are four sizes: 165, 175, 210, and 250. These all have unique feels and excel in different conditions. The first thing one notices about the Albatross line is the very high aspect ratio. All sizes are very flat, straight, thin, and wide which is what makes them so fast and efficient. Connections are simple, solid, and reliable and the foil is very easy to put together. The wings come with all required hardware in a small tool bag (two mast bolts, two tail wing bolts, and four nuts and bolts for the mast tracks) as well as the tools needed to assemble it. No anti seize is needed, and during testing, there was no corrosion or binding between parts. The wings come with covers for the front and back wings that help with scratch and small impact protection. Stiffness has been vastly improved over the 2019 foils, with the wings being very stiff and fuselage stiffer too. There was little flex felt while riding. The finish has also improved and the wings are now more accurate to the computer design and all trailing edges are very thin. Weight has increased slightly, but everything is still very light and it’s a good tradeoff for very durable, solid wings. One of the more unique aspects of the Signature foils is the one piece front wing and fuselage which allows a smaller front wing to fuselage connection that reduces drag, weight, and offers a nice controlled flex. The only downside of the one piece design is that it makes traveling tricky as foils won’t fit in normal luggage or board bags and need their own bag. The front and back wings are more geared towards pumping than other brands’ high aspect wings. This costs some top speed but makes pumping almost effortless and getting on foil downwind much easier.
For the test we rode the Albatross 165, 210, and 250 using a 75cm mast. Tailwings used were the Sprint 18”, Apex 16”, and four custom tailwings. No shimming was required on the stock tail wings but is easy to do if the rider wants a different ride. Conditions were mostly glassy and in the waist high to slightly overhead range. The foils were also tested with a handkite in light wind and waves with faces up to 15 feet (4.5m). Rider weight is 180lbs (81kg).
The Albatross range is most known for its controllable lift, crazy glide, and easy pump. While riding, it has tons of drive and it is easy to feel small changes in the wave’s power. Turning will be more challenging for beginner/intermediate riders but the more advanced rider will be able to manage hard turns with the wingtip breaking the surface on the 210 and 165. The wings are pumping machines, with massive drive out of every pump combined with the efficient glide sure to bring any rider’s pump game to the next level and, during testing, a few rides on the 210 and 250 were over 30 minutes!
Overall the Signature foils Albatross range is perfect for the intermediate and advanced rider looking to up their pump game, go super-fast downwind, use with a handkite, or just cruise around in weak waves. All sizes are well tuned for both prone and SUP boards and top riders from around the world will enjoy the efficiency and performance of the Albatross range.
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