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Kitesurf pioneer Bruno Sroka is a notable former world champion over various disciplines from 2004 to 2013, and the first and probably only person to have crossed the 100 mile stretch of exceptionally dangerous water at Cape Horn in Chile by kite. He created his own brand, Sroka Watersports in 2014 and now develops SUP boards, hydrofoils, foil boards, kites, kiteboards and wings with original designs and an affordable market position.
The S-Foil HA slots into an already wide, and ever-expanding range of hydrofoils on the Sroka Lineup with complete cross range compatibility. The intended purpose of the HA range is to provide a much more high-performance hydrofoil suitable to advanced prone foilers and wingers alike, but keeping in mind the accessibility of the S-Foil range and maintaining the same fitting platform.
It comes with a now widely adopted fuselage construction with a big squared front wing attachment section matching into the curve on top of the front wing, maximizing stiffness which is very simple to adjust with a set of shims. We were provided with an 80cm mast. The mast and top plate are mounted with two sturdy M8 Torx screws with the same fixing arrangement joining the all-important fuselage to mast joint. The bolts that solidly connect the front wing to the fuselage are mounted together with a specific mount and three screws. The stabilizer is then mounted underslung on the fuselage with two more M8 countersunk bolts. We didn’t shim this foil but Sroka has a complete set of shims available for personalized adjustments. The baseplate is open ended so it’s fast and simple to mount up on your board. Once mounted the foil is extremely rigid and stiff but on the heavier side. The overall design aesthetic is beautiful and well finished with blue anodized aluminum parts.
The S-Foil HA-S (Speed) version front wing has a flat projected length with downward, recessed tips and a pretty thin profile. The 1190 HA-L (Lift) version is the same design with a slightly thicker profile. This is quite a unique design choice, but it makes sense to have the choice of having the same surface area and same design using different profiles to bring a very similar handling ability behavior but with different speed ranges.
The S-Foil HA-S has a graduated lift and is extremely stable at any altitude, deep or close to the surface. The foil system feels really stiff and any impulse is gradually amplified, giving you a highly controlled amount of energy when entering a wave. It builds speed gradually and glides very well. The carving control is fairly responsive and predictable, with the foil requiring quite a bit of power to take off and reach its cruising speed. Once flying it feels very stable and delivers good acceleration. It is very balanced and enters into carves very easily on the roll axis, remaining controllable even very close to the surface. It works as you’d expect of a high-performance hydrofoil in wave riding where it translates the power of the waves into a very rapid and controlled acceleration. It can definitely ride the fastest bumps in the ocean where some other foils would reach the top of their speed range and breach. The HA-S requires you to maintain speed but will allow you to pump and connect waves with momentum which makes it perfect for open ocean foiling. The easy high speed pumping will help you to connect that bump in front of you while already flying very fast.
For smaller waves and lighter winds, the HA-L will provide very similar behavior and feeling to the S version but the larger profile will fly earlier with a lower stall speed and softer characteristics in its low end; this in turn limits the very top end. When it comes to pumping, the L version is noticeably a very easy to access pumping machine that will help you to connect waves prone or to punch through gaps in the wind.
The S-Foil HA front wings from Sroka give a very comfortable foil platform with this unique feature of riding almost the same wings with different profiles. It opens up the range of each foil to work together without changing to a bigger or smaller wing when wind conditions change. It’s also a good hydrodynamics lesson, teaching you how much a simple profile increase can affect hydrofoil characteristics, and how important this design consideration can be… AB