I own three dedicated free race foil sails by LoftSails (2020): Skyscape 6.4, 7.0, and 9.0. They have three cambers, and I was very happy with that, given my background in sailing with slalom and speed sails (four cambers by default). I like the feeling of stability, deep profile, and strength that comes from such sails. However, I had no experience in foiling when I bought them, so the question was, really, do I need cambers, or maybe it would be better to start with a no-cam sail?

The answer, as always, depends on many factors, from the conditions in which you are sailing to your own preferences. Performance-orientated foilers will benefit from sails with cambers, but recreational windsurfers, perhaps, do not need them.

For the season 2022/2023, Monty Spindler changed the design of SkyScape, removing cambers and adding one more batten for stability, thus turning a free race sail into a no-cam free-ride.

Since Emina’s smallest foil sail was actually a 5.3 free-move sail (Neil Pryde Xmove), for the new season, she decided to take a dedicated foil sail. 5.2 SkyScape was a logical choice.

We were delighted by the look of the sail, quality of materials (LoftSails was always superb in that regard), easy feeling in the hands, and – Emina claim – power when you need it and easiness when the wind picks up.

Well, one thing led to another, and I decided that I needed an 8.0 in my quiver. And so it came!

There are two specifics on the SkyScapes which I didn’t come across before.  The first one is a position of outhaul joint point for light wind. It is positioned over the tip of the sail, making quite a difference in boom length and position for strong and light wind. The other is the lowest part of the sail pocket. It opens only on one side, which is strange at first sight but works well. Plus, the pocket is extended some five centimeters below the lowest point of the mast extension, thus covering the base joint and creating a nice protection for your toes.

The SkyScapes have a deep profile if you release the outhaul tension, but they can also be quite flat if you tighten it. It seems to me that this gives them applicability in a wide range of conditions.

I was out on south wind (12-13 kt) with an 8.0 (the board was SB Freeride Foil 150, and the foil was SB Freeride 1500 + 500 with 95 fuselage). Usually, I would take 9.0, but 8.0 was enough power-wise. At the same time, much lighter and more fun to ride.

We have no photos from the action (yet); the ones from the shore should suffice for now.

Freeride Sail vs. Freeride Foil Sail

Recently, I used NP Speedster 8.2 in similar conditions. So do question is, is the dedicated foil sail better for foiling? The answer: definitely, yes. The sails made for fins are usually wider and shorter. The point of balance and the power is more backward, and while foiling, you are mostly more forward. That creates some kind of instability you have to compensate for with your stance and movements. You probably won’t notice the difference until you try the foil sail and compare it with fin sails.

However, Monty Spindler claims that the reverse situation will work better: you can use SkyScape as a sail with the fin. I didn’t try it, so I can not confirm, but it seems logical to me that foil requires more specifics and delicacy in compatibility with the sail.

Cambered Foil Sail vs. No-Cam Foil Sail

I already answered that: If you seek ultimate stability and performance, cambers are a necessity. But for the most part, the everyday living of an average wind foiler could be much easier with no-cam sails. I, myself, am glad that I have the option of using both versions, but if forced to choose, I would sacrifice possible speed and performance for easiness and take no-cam sail just like LoftSails SkyScape season 2022/2023.

About the Author: Adrian

Author and writer of more than fifty books, teacher, lecturer, explorer of consciousness, avid windsurfer, and lover of outdoor activities. He’ll write mostly about windsurfing on fin and foil, spot reviews, and camping equipment.
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