Finally, I got a chance to try a new addition to Starboard Freeride Foils: by all standards, a huge 1500 Freeride. It was an ideal day in Viganj, Croatia. Light maestral (10 to 14 knots, more 10 than 14). Usually, with that conditions, I would not go out on fin, and even with foil, I would take 9.0 sail. This time I decided to take 7.0 Skyscape by LoftSails. I figured it should be enough. And I was right.

The rest of the equipment: 105 evolution fuselage (instead of 95 recommended for free ride setups), a huge back wing of 550 cm (standard for a free ride), and an IQ 95 carbon mast. The board: SB Freeride 150 lit.

Since 1500 is a new addition (2023), I didn’t hear many opinions about it. More experienced foilers expressed concerns about the size of the wing. Not necessary, they would say. Too much drag, too slow. Improve your technique, and you will be able to ride very small foils no matter the weight. Sure, I believe all that, but there is a matter of coming there. And also a matter of focus: comfort and enjoyment, or the performance.

I have come to the phase when I don’t care about what others say – just about what my experience on the water tells me. And it told me that with my 103 kilos  (sometimes even more) with 195 cm of height, I am struggling with small foils. Ok, this year, I am a little bit lighter. 😊 Well, not just a little – around 10 kilos lighter, so that should help. And I am not afraid to try all kinds of equipment to find what suits me the best.

So, how was my day on the water?

Perfect! One of the best ever! I enjoyed immensely in every second. Starting and lifting up was easy and quick. Flying is stable and without unpleasant swinging left and right. Of course, because 1500 is around 100 cm wide.

The most impressive process was jibing. I was quite good at planning jibes on the fin, so I thought flying jibes on foil should be a breeze. But they weren’t! Actually, jibes on foil were a disaster and a disappointment in my abilities. 1500 changed this terrible situation. On the very first try, the jibe turns out to be perfect without touching the water. So I continued going up and down, turning in the fly, collecting around half an hour foiling without a touchdown! That was amazing!

Later on, I got tired and maybe too daring, so I started to make mistakes resulting in some attractive falls, fortunately without any damage to me or the equipment. But anyway, 1500 definitely changed the way I think about flying jibes. Surely, I will have to master that on smaller foils, but the impact on skill and confidence is enormous.

The 1500 is slower than a standard 1100 Freeride foil. You can feel that under your feet in the form of some kind of floaty feeling. But, on average, I was only 10% slower. That is completely acceptable, given the other benefits. The foil keeps you in the air even when you are going incredibly slow. Sometimes I literary stopped moving while still up in the air and then dropped down gently. My estimate is that I had 50% more air time with this foil than with a standard 1100. And we are talking about ultimate comfort, something so pleasant and easy that you can only dream about with other foils.

Of course, at moments when the wind picked up, I felt the lift-up increasing, and obviously, a little bit more, and the foil would be too big. But, given the conditions of light wind and the fact that I was handling it all with 7,0 (where before, I would take no less than 9,0), I would say that I found a perfect foil for light wind conditions. Perfect, of course, if you want to enjoy and find that zone feeling without pressure.

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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