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First impressions: I got the package as promised “end of day delivery” so only had time to put it together quickly and try it on a quick session. (Had to fly out for a week next day).
Conditions and Ride:
12 knots, onshore wind
during high tide, increasing to 18 knots with 3 feet irregular chop.
Lots of seaweed 🙁
12 m LF Solo with regular line length.
Onshore direction can be challenging, but it is easy to do body drag with little effort to keep the board on its edge. Take off is easy, foil raises with minimal pull from the kite and at very low speed thanks to the impressive 67 cm wide wingspan. Ride at low speed is fluid, water is not breaking under the foil.
First I was riding in an upright position with leaning back and forth: mast is really stabile:
board-mast-fuselage- and wings are moving together under foot control.
No wobbliness due to soft mast/strut.
The wind picked up considerably and had to totally depower the kite, however, still overpowered. I am kind of slow the foil is riding up and down the waves. Well, at that
point was not sure if this foil is for choppy, irregular water. Then decided to push it even though overpowered and if I fall I fall.
The foil accelerates nicely, predictively and all of a sudden the low speed up and down ride smoothens, the wings lock in and keep the foil under the water and in control. I am going as fast as ever, cutting through patches of tripping seaweed and I am still up and not falling: the anti-cavitation system is working!!! WOW!!! This is adrenalin rush!!!
Backing up on the pedal the board decelerates predictively and glides. Toe side 180: no problem (toe side ride is easy due to front foot strap placement, small dimension and low swing weight of the board).
Carving back to heel side again: sure thing.
Let’s turn with a roll tack and we are doing it. Speed up again in the opposite direction and tighten the strap on my cap not be blown away by the wind. A buddy of mine is coming
along on a Sword2 and I am keeping up with him. This is fast!!! This is crazy!!! I am loving it!!! O.K. my quads are burning, let’s jibe this thing.
The foil is super stabile at high speed so switching stance for jibing is easy and due to high speed it is an exhilarating feel.
Have not tried to ride the waves, but glided down on a few. Despite the large wingspan (roll stability) the foil is very manuverable and responds directly to rider’s input. Btw, wave riding: the edges are not samurai sword sharp, which is nice as I have cut myself several times by kicking the masts of various hydrofoils.
I am impressed 🙂
Will move front straps closer to nose and back strap just a bit aft of center line and looking forward to my next sessions 🙂
It looked good on the web, it was expensive, but this was crazy and controlled fun!!! Cannot wait until my new R1 arrives!!!
Few words on the components:
The Foil construction
Modular design. Beautiful, very intuitive and wisely picked 3D shapes that lock together tightly, ensuring no wobbliness. Due to the huge wing span roll stability is outstanding!!! (This comes handy for beginners and
learning any tricks that involves switching feet or sitting on top of the board).
Yaw stability is superb. The roll and yaw stabilities are also probably due to the stiff mast, which reduces adjustment time needed to fully enjoy foil.
Pitch stability is also excellent. Combined that with large wings: low speed planing access and long distance
gliding when power shuts off e.g.: during transitions. Recently rode one of the highest end competition winning foils, which is fused into one piece. At high speed it began to produce a squeaking noise which is
obviously due to turbulent flow somewhere.
The Alpine is a silent, silky ride.
Board: RX-V6 race:
Extremely compact, especially compared to other race boards I used to try (142×52.5×6.8cm, almost twin
It is 4.5kg. Compact design: low swing weight= more control, steering ability. (Was going pretty fast when a big log
appeared in my way: easy steering away).
Board is super stiff: no wobbliness. Bottom double concaves works great in eating chop and prominent rocker helps bouncing back on plane. Easy to carry under armpit and transport.
Finish, attention to details second to none.
GPS: did not have the time to set it up but looking forward to trying and using it as training partner.
Are super comfortable and also thin but keep their shape.
Advantages: easy step in and out during jibes/tacks and one can step on them (as I did several times) and they flatten out so the move can be completed. It also helps me to put foil into car with ease as they don’t form inflexible humps on the board, making in and out of car easy.
Position: spot on! The front straps are placed close to the center of the board (and center of gravity) making even on the race board toe side riding easy and of course jibing, heel side/toe side switches are super easy. Was riding without back footstrap to see where my back foot would be placed but I was just on top of the mast so the inserts are where they should be.
First time I saw it. It is a shallower and more conical version of Tuttle and pro-box. Only one screw is needed to be tightened, however it tightens up nicely: had to gently kick out the mast after the session.
Uniform screws, screw driver included!!!
Again, attention to details!!! One type of screw driver assembles everything from wings to fuselage, fuselage to mast, mast to board and the foot straps. Have not had this type of screws before, but work better than flat or Phillips heads. Just demoed a foil from another brand. Had to go first to a hardware store to pick up various screw driver heads, and Allen keys to be able to put it together (not included). Was told that there is a construction reason for the different types of screws. Well they loosened up pretty fast.
The only con beside the price tag is that one would feel bad about damaging, breaking it. So full speed rock or even sandbar encounters would not be great. Also, jumping is probably best with a large foil kite which parachutes back
with less impact (vs 7m kite re entry after flying into a lull from 40 feet high).
At the beach in Miami we call the Alpine the “Bentley”, because it looks as elegant and sophisticated as a
Bentley. This superb look on the web can be a marketing gimmick: appealing product on the Internet (made by photoshop), arriving to the doorsteps as a different low quality product. I have made that mistake
several times… Well, for once at least, it seems that I was lucky as I got a perfect, shining piece of art that can be easily presented at a modern art exhibition. The board and the foil are oozing from the attention to details. The parts are coming together intuitively with no-nonsense and beautiful equipment. Bravo for the construction: highest end manufacturing I have ever seen among hydrofoils.
It is the following morning when I am writing this. I am still excited about the ride yesterday and having that second day of Christmas feel, when one wakes up and feels the urge to rush under the tree again to continue to
play with his or her new toys. Have not had that feeling for years, so greatly appreciating and fully enjoying it 🙂