Armstrong Foil Wing Kiteboarding Test
Conditions: NNE 10-14 mph in the back yard at REAL.
- Armstrong CF1200, HS1050, HS625, 300 & 232 Stabilizers.
- Board ridden for all foils 4’5.5" Armstrong.
- All foils were set up on the stock CF1200 kit with the 72cm mast, 60cm fuselage, and 0 shim.
- 10m Ozone Reo V5 was used for the entire test.
The best way to see how products stack up is to test them back to back in the same conditions. We took this opportunity by testing the Armstrong CF1200 complete foil kit against the HS1050 and HS625. We also swapped out the stabilizer from the stock Uni 300 tail wing to the 232 on each foil to see how it worked.
These foils all ride very differently and each one has its sweet spot and something we were really excited about. The CF1200 is the easiest to ride and progress on. The HS1050 has a perfect blend of speed, low-speed lift and turning. The HS625 is in total control at speed and was much easier to ride than we expected. The 300 tail stabilizer keeps everything really balanced and easy, while the 232 speeds up the kit and makes it a lot faster to turn.
This has been our staple foil kit we recommend for kiting, surfing or wake foiling. This is the magic size that works for almost any foil sport you do. The 1200 has a really easy transition onto foil and feels super stable and balanced. This makes learning new tricks, tacks and jibes much easier than the other foils.
When you put the 232 tail wing on, this foil gets faster and looser. It also is less stable. By adding the +1 shim you will get a little more locked-in feel. Most testers liked the 300 tail better for the easy ride.
There is no adjustment period going from the 1200 to the 1050 front wing. It basically feels like a baby version of the 1200. The thinner profile and narrower wingspan means that it goes faster and turns rail to rail easier. If you are a lighter weight rider or want a higher performance foil than the 1200, then go for the 1050.
We had a similar experience swapping out the tail wings on the 1050 that we did with the 1200. Most less experienced kite foilers liked the stability of the 300, while the more advanced riders liked the speed and turning of the 232.
This foil is wild to ride and was significantly easier to ride than we expected. You need to have 10-11mph of forward speed before the HS625 will get on foil. Once you get on to foil, you immediately accelerate to the high teens/low twenties for your cruising speed. At those speeds, you feel in total control. The winglets offer a lot of stability so that your average kite foiler can really ride and appreciate this wing. When you put the hammer down and start edging harder, the 625 accelerates and will go faster than you want to go but is still in control. It is totally addicting. Turning and tacks are trickier because you need to carry more speed through the turns and be more aggressive with the kite.
The 232 tail wing was preferred on the 625 since you can really max out the speed. The 300 worked way better than expected and gives the more novice rider some added stability.
For more questions about kite foilboarding or to inquire about lessons contact REAL at 252.987.600 or REALpro@realwatersports.com.