Nuzzi’s Test Notes: Axis Foil for Winging
Location: Wing Hole
Conditions: 18-23 N wind and cold.
60L Armstrong FG - Mast in #2 position
- Quality of construction is the highest quality in the aluminum market that we have seen. Hate to have to deal with greasing the bolts but that is part of riding aluminum.
- Tolerance on top plate and fuse connection is top notch. Solid and secure fit on both. Well built and will hold up over time for sure. Doubt that these fuse or top plates get wiggly over time.
- Wing to fuse is really secure with wide multi screw mounting on front wing. Back wing has a solid foundation to make it sturdy. Won’t flex break or give while riding. Different size screws for different wings is a pain in the ass when changing out wings but it makes for a solid fit so would rather have to deal with the screws and it be strong than less screws and flimsy.
- Got the Stainless and Titanium bolt kits. Started with the Stainless. Nice they put all the bolts you will need in one bag. Will recommend people getting a back up set of stainless as there are really specific sizes and they will get lost. Bolt length and size chart is necessary as some bolts are 2mm different. Wish they put the size on the bolt head. Comes with mounting hardware and tools. Having to deal with T40 M8 and T30 M6 bolts is a pain in the ass. Especially when you are changing out wings a lot with gloves on.
- Carbon wings have proper finish work, are light, stiff and made well.
- Awesome that they put the bolt size you need on the actual wing hole. There is a QR code that can take you to the product page which the specs as well. Kind of unnecessary since the wing has the bolt size on each wing hole.
- Wing bags with plastic zippers is a nice touch.
- Weight wasn’t that bad for full aluminum set. Felt heavier than my Armstrong but on the water it wasn’t that noticeable winging. Will get full weights later.
Wanted to start out with wings sizes that I am riding the most. The ART 899 looks similar in size and design to the Armie HA925. Design wise, the distance from the leading edge of the front wing to the center of the mast is longer than the Armstrong. This led me to move the mast farther back as the Axis has a lot more front foot kick than the Armstrong. With the mast farther back that could lead to the stiffer more locked in feel.
I have been riding the 60cm and 70cm Armstrong fuse. Total length from front wing to back of fuse is shorter on the 60cm Armie and longer on the 70cm fuse than the Black Ultra Short 643. Both length Armstrong fuse turn faster than the Axis. Armie is more technical through turns but can turn both size fuse faster and harder than the Axis. I think part of this is because the Axis is farther back in the boxes.
Overall I was pleasantly surprised with all the Axis wings I rode today. Very easy and controllable is the main take away. Moderate but relevant differences between the BSC and HPS. ART is killer but was surprised by the amount of front foot pressure needed also how much forward speed needed to get on foil compared to the HPS. Rigging was a pain in the ass with the grease and all the screw sizes. Two tools sucks too. Favorite for the day was probably the 999/350 set up. That said, all were awesome and relevant to how I like to ride.
BSC is a great beginner wing since it goes really well for intermediate/advanced winging. Super easy and doesn’t feel too draggy when you get up to top speed.
HPS felt really similar to BSC but that notch up in speed and performance.
ART goes pretty quick but is nice and controlled. Was easier to ride than expect and lower performance which I think is a good thing.
BSC 890/400 was first up. Started easiest to hardest in similar span of wings. Super smooth and easy progression on to foil. Lifted, felt stable and easy to ride. Didn’t feel dopy and didn’t feel quick and nimble. Kind of nice easy blend. Hit transitions easily. Pumped ok but didn’t have a ton of forward projection. Little stiffer than expected on turns. Nice positive front foot feedback through the turn gives confidence. Definitely felt the top of the speed range when I would get really powered up in gusts.
HPS880/400 was easier to ride than expected. Feels really similar to the BSC890 just faster and smoother through the water. Nice progressive climb on to foil. Notices some humming at the top of the speed range. Surprised this wing didn’t feel quicker rail to rail. Pumping was noticeably better on the HPS over the BSC. Doesn’t really matter winging but will be something to take note of for surfing.
ART899/400 was a lot different feel than the 890 and 880 as it took much more forward speed to get on foil and was more specific to foot placement. It had way more kick to the front foot that I expected out of a wing this small. Setting 2 on the mast placement was a touch far forward on the 890 and 880 but it felt a full cm too far forward on the 899. Definitely a strong increase in speed and with that speed came more wing noise. Not that bad just more noticeable. 899 feels really stable and locked in but can still roll rail to rail. You can breach the front wing and not have it ventilate. If the tail comes out on a reach, you are done for. Once you are on foil, it carries through gust and stays on foil well. Slightly better pointing on ART over other. Most noticeable change was speed increase. Pumping slightly better than HPS with longer glides. Not as good as expected but need to test surfing to really see how it pumps. Really controllable HA wing and not too squirrelly feeling.
ART999/400 Wind started to back off a touch in the lulls and this wing was money in these conditions. Was surprised by the amount of front foot lift out of this wing when on foil. Just need a little extra foot adjustment. This positive front foot makes it more controlled through turns. Stiffer on the turning but doesn’t hang up rail to rail like a Lift170. Wasn’t as quick as the 899 but was still pretty quick. I expected the ART to be faster but what you loose in speed you gain in control. Some humming at top speeds.
ART999/380 Touch of speed improvement but not that noticeable. Speed 380 does hang up a little more than the Progressive 400 on rail to rail turning. Not that noticeable difference from the 400 and I liked the 400 slightly more.
ART999/350 Definitely my favorite tail. Felt a little more in line with what I normally ride. Better top end and feel on the 999 with the Progressive 350. Still felt stable and controllable. Little harder to get going but that might be from the wind going NE more and dropping out a bit.
Location: Billy Mitchell
Conditions: SW18-24. No waves at the start and smaller waves as tide dropped
60L Armstrong FG - Mast in #1.5 position
Armstrong HA1125, KD Maui 13.5” custom tail, 70cm fuse and 85cm mast.
Rode the 980 HPS first. 1.5 mast position felt right. Some fun rolling swell that got better through the session. Rode for a few hours and traded out to HPS 930 then ART999. Rode the HA1125 for a while after the Axis stuff so I could compare to what I am used to.
Wing has easy on to foil progression and lots of control. Very stable and easy to ride. Made some turns on foil and rode out clean. Caught waves well. Felt pretty quick and had a really low stall speed. Turning was pretty slow but totally controlled. Really easy to stay with the swell. This is a great all around size for most people winging. Just so easy to ride.
This wing was a bunch quicker than the 980. Turned slightly better but still kind of stiff. Very predictable. Doesn’t glide swells as easily and pumps ok. Really like this foil and felt it was confidence building and would ride it a lot on small waves. Little bit harder to get started on foil than the 980. Super comfortable bottom turning and crushing on swells.
This foil took a lot more forward speed and focus to getting on foil than the HPS. ART is a lot more specific to foot placement on the board. It has a lot more front foot kick than the other two wings I tested. Will ride better with the mast at 0. Speed and upwind were quicker. Noticed some humming at higher speeds. Stiffer turns than the HPS930 but carries speed and glides through the turn better. Longer glides on pumps too.
Of the three Axis wings I would say I had the most fun on the HPS930. Really confidence building and I felt like I was riding the beat on that set up. ART is cool and works well for what it is but I need some more sessions to get it dialed in. HSP980 was really fun. Had a smile on my face the whole sesh.
Noticeably lighter carrying this set up to the beach. Paddling through the break I felt like it paddles better too. Getting the HA1125 takes a some forward speed to get going but the progression on to foil is really smooth compared to the ART999 that wants to kick up. ART has a slower stall speed so was easier to recover bad turns or mess up. The HA1125 on foil cook. Upwind and top speed feel a lot better than the ART. There is no noise on the HA1125. Super smooth and buttery feel that has a lot less drag. The HA feels twitchier and you feel the surface bump easier and you can just whip the board around with your ankles. Pump and glide on ha1125 covers a lot more distance but if you push too hard on the front foot it doesn’t push back. Need to really work on front and back foot balance to smooth out the turns. Rail to rail the HA1125 is a lot quicker. Not better just different.
Location: Billy Mitchell
Conditions: SSW 15-24 waist high and pretty choppy/bumpy.
Nice sunny day on the southside. Did some wing reviews on the Ocean Rodeo Glide 5m and Reedin Superwing X 4.7m.
4’11 Armstrong FG 60 L - Axis mast position 1 and Armstrong mast position 4.
Armstrong HS1550 v2, 232v2 no shim, 70cm fuse, 85cm mast
Had a fun day on the southside testing some wings and doing product videos. My Armstrong 85 mast was rigged on my wing board so did the wing reviews and on water content with the Armstrong knowing that I wanted to find out what Axis foil was most comparable to the Armstrong HS1550v2. I hadn’t gotten out on the Axis HPS1050 yet so figured I would switch to that foil after the HS1550v2 for comparison.
Despite being similar sq.cm, these two foils are quite different in design, ride feel and size. The HPS is higher aspect and a flatter profile than the HS1550v2, so I assumed the HPS would ride bigger despite having less sq.cm. HPS1050 (1503 sq.cm) HS1550v2(1550 sq.cm) My assumption was right and the HPS felt a lot bigger than the Armstrong. The HPS got on foil a little faster, stayed on foil longer, had more glide, was slower riding and slower turning than the Armstrong. All was in line with what I expected.
It seems like the HPS980 is the Axis that is closest to the HS1550v2. Need to try the HPS980 with a couple more fuse and tail to get a good feel for it and will do a back to back review between these two once I get some more time on the Axis.
When I was rigging my Axis, I did notice a little of that nice shiny red aluminum corroding where you put the board mounting screws into the mast and top plate to mast connection. Nothing abnormal or bad for the foil. It just looked a little crusty. I also really like that the mast to board bolts can slide onto the top plate rather than having to set the T nut in the track and go through the top plate to secure like some brands have. Makes rigging and switching gear much easier.
Overall I am really impressed with the quality of the aluminum, fittings and tolerances on this foil. No question the highest quality aluminum foil being made and definitely the best fittings. The Doodad connector for the mast to fuse is genius and really super solid. Great design and simple tech that works. So nice that the bolts that secure the fuse on to the mast go right through the Doodad so you don’t need an extra screw to secure the mast foot to the mast. Makes it a really rigid and solid connection of mast to fuse.
This foil rides a lot bigger than 1503 sqcm. This is like most 1800 wings I have ridden. The HPS1050 will be great for light wind or big riders. It is very stable and comes on foil in a balanced smooth fashion. It doesn’t accelerate too fast which is a good thing and the slower acceleration adds to the stable feel. Pretty big sweet spot and upwind performance was nice. I did have one tack where I hit a chop weird, the foil hooked upwind and just kept jamming that direction til I ate crap. That was the only surprise in riding it.
I found the glide to be amazingly easy. You could let go of the wing on the smallest bump and carry on foil for a while. Very cruisy. I could pick up a swell on the outside and just park it at the top of the swell then glide to the beach. The speed seemed to be the perfect speed for the swell I was riding. You didn’t go too fast and outrun the swell or go to slow and fall off the back. Very easy foil to learn to luff out and glide swells on.
The cruising speed of this foil is pretty slow. You can push it and get to the high teens where you hear a slight humming and overall it felt kind of draggy. That slightly draggy feeling seems pretty consistent with the line and seems to make the ride easily and stable. I think this is from a very pronounced positive tail angle(trailing edge up) built into the tail wings so the foil is controlled and stable. Also turning on this rig is stiff. You can turn it but need to be really deliberate in your body motion. The positive front foot push back makes transitions easy.
With the wider span I noticed the HPS feels more of the turbulence in the white water like larger HA wings do. The super stiff Axis aluminum mast helps to control the shutters and gives this rig and overall solid feel.
Location: Watermen’s Foil Garden
Conditions: N15-22 and chilly. 38 air. 42 water.
Armstrong FG 4’11 60L - Mast in 1 position.
Frosty day on the water in the Watermen’s Foil Garden. Wanted to get out and test out the bigger BSC wings and bigger tails to see how they will go for the entry level market. It’s great riding out of the back yard since the water is so flat on the inside. Water levels were low today so I had to walk out 50 yards to get to deep enough to start on the 60L board. Was still close enough to change out wings easily.
The bigger BSC and PNG wings take the red fuse which has a larger front foot where the front wing attaches. The Standard Red fuse is 760mm which is just too big for most unless they are windsurfing. I opted for the Short Red which is 680mm knowing that the big front and big tails would make this rig plenty stable for beginners. It was the right call and I think that the Standard Red fuse will just make this foil just much too stiff.
The bigger wings and fuse definitely bumps the weight of this foil up quite a bit. You notice it carrying the foil around. The weight while you are on foil, adds to its stability and as long as you aren’t jumping it or pumping back out then you don’t notice the weight too much while riding.
Mast position 1 was the right spot on on the Armstrong FG.
This rig is 1803sqcm and the 500 tail is a monster. My expectation was that this was going to be a really easy to ride foil, stiff, slow and draggy. It definitely took me by surprise. Came on foil with little effort as expected, but it was surprisingly smooth and comfortable feeling. Not much noise at all and I immediately had a smile. Stable so you can move your feet around or if your feet were in the wrong spot you didn’t feel like you were going to immediately wipe out. It goes fast enough but isn’t fast by any means. The positive front foot push makes feet switching and transitions much easier than most foils. Was super impressed with the 500 tail and will recommend this for beginners and bigger riders.
Switched down to the 440 Freeride tail on the 1060 and it felt familiar, but it was slightly faster and better turning. Nothing crazy but a nice update for this wing. One thing I noticed while riding the 1060 was that you don’t feel the surface chop like some other foils. This makes a stable controlled ride through the whole water column. I found that this foil didn’t pump that well, but it is a bit hard to tell on a wing board. I think you can learn to pump on it but not really made for pumping.
This one is a gem. It is a 1572sqcm. Really fun. Smooth and not much noise or drag. Not the fastest 1500 out there but still goes great. This is a confidence building foil. The 440 is perfect for all around riding and the 400 adds quicker rail to rail and a touch more speed. Pump is ok but not great. Just not that much glide between pumps but it stays on foil and has a low stall speed. With the smaller tail you need more forward speed to get it on foil but not that bad. Just like the bigger 1060 you can move your feet around on the board easily and it doesn’t get that affected by the surface bumps. Really fun foil that I will be spending some more time on. I think that this is going to be a necessity for most wingers. Also as a two wing combo, I think that you can do the 1060 and 970 to have a nice range for different riding conditions and you will be able to keep them both on the red fuse.
Location: Wing Hole
Conditions: W25-38. 45 air. 42 water
Armstrong FG 4’11 60L - Mast in 1 position.
Broke out the carbon mast today to try it out in a bumpy lumpy and onshore wing hole. Was planning on shifting through the smaller BCS and HPS wings but bailed on trading them out because it was hard to get off the beach and changing wings was going to be a pain. That and my hands got quick fast as I took out too thin of gloves.
It was CRANKING on the water. Bumpy and gusty wing that was averaging 30-35 West. Couple nice little lumps in the deep part of the hole but hard to connect them as it was really crossed up.
The carbon mast was better than expected. Need to test it back to back with the aluminum to really see. I found it to cut through the chop better than the aluminum and I appreciated the lighter weight. Fitting on to the fuse was a clean and precise fitting with out needing a rubber mallet to get it on or off. I do think that there might be more of an angle to the mast as there was more front foot kick on the BSC 810 at the 1 mast position than the 1060 was that I rode the other day. I was using the same tail and a shorter fuse today. I had to ride my front foot farther forward than normal to compensate.
Also I broke out the Titanium Screw Set. The plastic case with the size chart on the outside is worth the $100 more. They feel like nice quality and if they told are titanium and don’t rust it will be a lot less hassle than the standard baggie of stainless hardware.
I’m glad I took out this wing as it helped smooth out the crazy conditions. These BSC are really easy to ride and controllable. The bigger tail was a bit slow but stable, turny rail to rail and easy.
Nice thing about the BSC 810 is that when it comes up to the surface the foil kind of pauses before breaching. Saved it a few times where I thought I was going to eat it. There were a few sections that I could stay in the small swells and carve to stay on foil with the wing luffed out.
These aren’t the fastest foils but nice and easy to ride. I think it could get a little more top end with a smaller Progressive tail. Also I think that this will be a killer all around recreational kite foil.
This foil does have a lot of front foot kick which makes it stable through the turns, foot transitions and bumpy conditions. Since this foil has a smaller span I needed to make sure my feet were in the right spot on the board and not too far to the rails to keep proper control of the board.