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Beginner? Do yourself a favour!

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Created by lao shi A week ago, 16 Sep 2020
lao shi
WA, 1207 posts
16 Sep 2020 1:49PM
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I have been windfoiling for the last 2 years and have a Slingshot 105 with the I76 (760 front 420 rear, Low aspect)foil using wave sails mainly on the ocean. I have recently moved overseas and got to have my first foil in 6 weeks at a rental place. Gear was a 2 cammed 7.2, 147L slalom board with straps on the rail and Starboard GT foil (800 front wing 330 rear). It was 12 knots ish (whitecapping) and by the end of the session I was tired!
I felt sorry for the person who was trying to learn to foil on this set up.
Everything was so much more physical. Heavier rig, the board and foil combo needed to reach near planing speed before take off and vigorous pumping did not really help. Power needed to be maintained to keep flying. The set up worked ok but I think I would have been on a 5.3 wave sail on the Slingshot set up. Inboard straps make for a more relaxed upright stance and the foil can be pumped to fly and then needs less power to stay up and way more nose to tail stable and gybing with the smaller sail is much easier.
Ok the extra area of the slalom board meant that it could easily be tacked.

So moral of the story?.... IMO if you are learning make sure that you find, borrow, buy low aspect foil with a suitable (matching) foil board and enjoy the experience of using small sails and the delights of flying. I am sure that full powered racing on fast foils is fun but I would suggest as a progression.
Flame suit on!

Peter Hands
NSW, 138 posts
16 Sep 2020 5:58PM
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YES!! I learnt on GT, it was labelled the "Freeride" choice back then, but is really more "iSonic" - wish I'd had Supercruiser and latest videos instead

azymuth
WA, 1149 posts
16 Sep 2020 6:30PM
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lao shi said..
I have been windfoiling for the last 2 years and have a Slingshot 105 with the I76 (760 front 420 rear, Low aspect)foil using wave sails mainly on the ocean. I have recently moved overseas and got to have my first foil in 6 weeks at a rental place. Gear was a 2 cammed 7.2, 147L slalom board with straps on the rail and Starboard GT foil (800 front wing 330 rear). It was 12 knots ish (whitecapping) and by the end of the session I was tired!
I felt sorry for the person who was trying to learn to foil on this set up.
Everything was so much more physical. Heavier rig, the board and foil combo needed to reach near planing speed before take off and vigorous pumping did not really help. Power needed to be maintained to keep flying. The set up worked ok but I think I would have been on a 5.3 wave sail on the Slingshot set up. Inboard straps make for a more relaxed upright stance and the foil can be pumped to fly and then needs less power to stay up and way more nose to tail stable and gybing with the smaller sail is much easier.
Ok the extra area of the slalom board meant that it could easily be tacked.

So moral of the story?.... IMO if you are learning make sure that you find, borrow, buy low aspect foil with a suitable (matching) foil board and enjoy the experience of using small sails and the delights of flying. I am sure that full powered racing on fast foils is fun but I would suggest as a progression.
Flame suit on!


I hope you handed the rental gear back in good condition

CoreAS
255 posts
16 Sep 2020 10:29PM
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I always used big cammed sails and slalom boards for windsurfing, so naturally progressed into that type of equipment for foiling (RS flight sails, F4 foils).

For higher winds I bought the i76 and used a much smaller freeride sail and quickly realized how much more fun and less taxing on the old back it felt.

Now I don't use anything bigger than 5.8 and all of my boards are slingshots and wings, I don't miss that heavy race kit one bit.

segler
535 posts
16 Sep 2020 11:17PM
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I agree with the comments.

I first foiled on the AFS-2 with F700 (779 cm2) wing. Quite speed and race oriented, and my learning progression was slow and full of crashes and injuries. When I got the F800 (1120 cm2) wing, everything changed. It went from terror to pleasure.

Then for my kit in Florida I got the i76. Very easy riding with a 6.8 or 5.0 sail in Florida's fairly light winds.

Moral of the story. If you are learning the sport, you can't go wrong with the Slingshot i76, probably on a big Wizard board, and any decent sails in the size range of 4.0 to 7.0. Don't need anything else.

The i76 foils are everywhere. They completely dominate the Florida windfoiling scene, and I see a lot of them in the Columbia Gorge.

Put your kit together around the i76 foil and matching Wizard board, and you're good to go for years of fun and drama-free windfoiling.

Maddlad
WA, 505 posts
17 Sep 2020 7:43AM
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The Starboard GT or GT-Rs are a fantastic foil, so i wouldn't be telling people not to start with them, coz it depends on the person. I had no issues using one and have progressed to the full starboard race set up by adding components one at a time.

DarrylG
WA, 301 posts
17 Sep 2020 1:59PM
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I have to agree with Madboy. The fat slow learner wings are great for a first flight, but if the guys are coming from a slalom /speed back ground they will out grow them really quick. I have started a few guys ( good slalom racers) on a super cruiser for a few flights , then they buy a GTR and never look back.

azymuth
WA, 1149 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 2:36PM
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DarrylG said..
I have to agree with Madboy. The fat slow learner wings are great for a first flight, but if the guys are coming from a slalom /speed back ground they will out grow them really quick. I have started a few guys ( good slalom racers) on a super cruiser for a few flights , then they buy a GTR and never look back.


I respectfully disagree

Learn on an SS Infinity 76 and 3 years later you'll be carving 2m ocean windswells downwind in a 25 knot breeze on the same wing.
20 knots speed downwind - I doubt a racefoil will survive that fast in big swells or be able to turn anywhere near as hard.

Different strokes

DarrylG
WA, 301 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 2:46PM
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azymuth said..

DarrylG said..
I have to agree with Madboy. The fat slow learner wings are great for a first flight, but if the guys are coming from a slalom /speed back ground they will out grow them really quick. I have started a few guys ( good slalom racers) on a super cruiser for a few flights , then they buy a GTR and never look back.



I respectfully disagree

Learn on an SS Infinity 76 and 3 years later you'll be carving 2m ocean windswells downwind in a 25 knot breeze on the same wing.
20 knots speed downwind - I doubt a racefoil will survive that fast in big swells or be able to turn anywhere near as hard.

Different strokes


Yes
i did say from a slalom/ speed background.
if you are a freestyle/ wave / ocean sailing then those foils are fit for porpoise ??
( I still have a Severne foil and horue gp foils along side all my race foils )

azymuth
WA, 1149 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 2:56PM
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Fair enough - I think Mark was referring to ocean foiling in his original post.

I think it's good to make a clear distinction for beginners between flatwater/race and ocean/carving foils and boards - I still see people confused.

FWIW - if I was sailing on flat water exclusively I'd get a race foil and a big cam sail

WhiteofHeart
430 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 4:55PM
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I think for the very first flights low aspect is definately better because it feels a lot safer. However, after taking lessons and when ready to buy your own equipment I think the choice should be made where / how you want to foil.


Not really a fair comparison though, The old Starboard GT is a generation 1/2 foil, came on the market in 2017, the newer version with 95+ fuselage is already a lot easier to manage. The starboards are also not the easiest to control high aspect foils out there. AFS, Lokefoil, F-One are major brands I've had ample experience with and they all make very easy wings & stable wings. I'd say both longitudinally and laterally more stable than slingshot I76, but because they're faster they're a little less geared towards the first steps. A big plus of these foils is that they have a wider windrange with the same sail, so will not try to throw you off when you get a little close to overpowered.

My lokefoil racefoil with L (870cm2) frontwing, 230cm2 stab an 115 fuselage is the most stable foil I've ever tried (a lot more stable than the slingshot or supercruiser or similar foils), with a stall speed of around 17-18kph (10 knots), so very competative to the big slingshot wings. If you move your foot straps forward enough the setup isnt even that powerful and is very nice to learn on. Ofcourse if you get a foil to learn, maybe a 1600? SS would be a better option than a 4500? Lokefoil PWA machine, but if you want to go into racing anyway its very very doable to learn on the racing foil.

In the end I think if it were possible to create a very slow high aspect wing that would be the ultimate learning machine. The slowness of a low aspect, with the stability of a high aspect design.

Subsonic
WA, 2142 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 4:58PM
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DarrylG said..
( I still have a Severne foil and horue gp foils along side all my race foils )


how many foils do you own? Or have you lost count?

DarrylG
WA, 301 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 6:48PM
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Subsonic said..

DarrylG said..
( I still have a Severne foil and horue gp foils along side all my race foils )



how many foils do you own? Or have you lost count?


I've only got my original Horue, a Starboard Team set, Starboard Race foil Pro (110mast and 1000 wing), AFS 105 with 1000, 800, 700 wings, A few Zulu wings, Starboard IQ set, and a sup Starboard ocean pro set. And a Severne foil set with a couple of wings :)))

swoosh
QLD, 1739 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 9:14PM
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azymuth said..

DarrylG said..
I have to agree with Madboy. The fat slow learner wings are great for a first flight, but if the guys are coming from a slalom /speed back ground they will out grow them really quick. I have started a few guys ( good slalom racers) on a super cruiser for a few flights , then they buy a GTR and never look back.



I respectfully disagree

Learn on an SS Infinity 76 and 3 years later you'll be carving 2m ocean windswells downwind in a 25 knot breeze on the same wing.
20 knots speed downwind - I doubt a racefoil will survive that fast in big swells or be able to turn anywhere near as hard.

Different strokes


There are different strokes and then there are statements that are extremely misleading if not outright dishonest. Why wouldn't a racefoil survive those conditions? A typical racefoil would get punished much harder and have heavier loads put on it then your slingshot.

The slingshot sails fine and would make a decent beginner foil especially if you pick one up second hand for <$1000. But the construction is so far from the front of the pack it's way overdue for an upgrade. It has the smallest and weakest aluminium mast of all current offerings and has by far the worst mast to fuselage connection design.

No doubt they will shortly come out with an upgraded foil and a pile of marketing about how they have beefed up their construction and how thin masts are 1980s tech. Just like they came out and trashed Tuttle boxes now they changed their mind on the Wizard.

Something like a Fanatic Stingray or JP Hydrofoil with a bit more length is a much better learner board than a Wizard for most average learners. And freeride foilers won't outgrow them.

Plenty of people also learnt perfectly fine on higher aspect foils, but a slower foil is for sure less intimidating.

azymuth
WA, 1149 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 8:25PM
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The Infinity 76 is deservedly renowned as an easy learner wing but less appreciated is what an awesome wing it is in big swells and stronger winds - when you've spent many hours on it and learned the techniques to make the most of it.
It carves brilliantly, awesome wave riding and controllably fast downwind in big swells - which is the point I was making about a race foil not being able to match it in the same conditions. I wasn't making a comment about the strength of race foils.

Different foils excel in different conditions - HA race foils are fast in flat water, Slingshot type medium (i65) and lower aspect foils (i76) excel in the ocean - the bigger the seas the better

How have you gained enough skills/experience/ knowledge in your 4 months of foiling to criticize brands and tell people what they should be riding?

swoosh
QLD, 1739 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 10:45PM
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Maybe as a recent beginner it's fresher in my memory and I'm more qualified to advise on the beginner approach then someone who is obviously way more advanced and spends most of their time powercarving 3m swells in 40kts. As a recent beginner I know that it's way easier to uphaul on a longer board.

And let's be honest it doesn't take an engineering background or 3 years windfoiling experience to see that a smaller mast will be weaker, or that a 2 bolt mast to fuse connection with no recess or spigot is weaker.

Must have misinterpreted your comment, it was a bit confusing when you said "20 knots speed downwind - I doubt a racefoil will survive that fast in big swells"

Have you ever sailed a racefoil? Or any high aspect foil?

And if you look at the prone/sup/wingfoilers they are all starting to find that HA foils can work great in waves and downwinding. It will make me laugh if Slingshot comes out with 2021 gear with new HA wings and spins some marketing hype about how lowaspect is now out of date...

Stretchy
WA, 621 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 8:46PM
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DarrylG said..
I have to agree with Madboy. The fat slow learner wings are great for a first flight, but if the guys are coming from a slalom /speed back ground they will out grow them really quick. I have started a few guys ( good slalom racers) on a super cruiser for a few flights , then they buy a GTR and never look back.


I've been thinking about this recently. I'm very happy cruising around on my Supercruiser in light winds, at least I'm on the water ... but geez it's slow! I want that "hammer down" adrenaline rush so as soon as it's windy enough I'm back on my slapper and going twice the speed. Slapping on the chop just adds to the excitement, I don't mind it one bit! So I have been wondering if something like a GT might be more my style? I haven't achieved a full foil gybe yet, so should probably keep working on my skills with the SC for a little longer? A good conundrum to have I guess...

Stretchy
WA, 621 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 8:56PM
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WhiteofHeart said..

..... A big plus of these foils is that they have a wider windrange with the same sail, so will not try to throw you off when you get a little close to overpowered.....



This is what I want

azymuth
WA, 1149 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 9:07PM
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swoosh said..
Maybe as a recent beginner it's fresher in my memory and I'm more qualified to advise on the beginner approach then someone who is obviously way more advanced and spends most of their time powercarving 3m swells in 40kts. As a recent beginner I know that it's way easier to uphaul on a longer board.
And let's be honest it doesn't take an engineering background or 3 years windfoiling experience to see that a smaller mast will be weaker, or that a 2 bolt mast to fuse connection with no recess or spigot is weaker.

Must have misinterpreted your comment, it was a bit confusing when you said "20 knots speed downwind - I doubt a racefoil will survive that fast in big swells"

Have you ever sailed a racefoil? Or any high aspect foil?

And if you look at the prone/sup/wingfoilers they are all starting to find that HA foils can work great in waves and downwinding. It will make me laugh if Slingshot comes out with 2021 gear with new HA wings and spins some marketing hype about how lowaspect is now out of date...


I think a lot of what you say is incorrect but I'm betting you might realize it for yourself as you gain experience.
Meanwhile, the Slingshot crew here in Perth will probably foil another superfun couple of thousand hours this summer on our "inferior" equipment

Smidgeuk
22 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 9:20PM
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I sail an i76 and i99 - and I love them. I taught my wife , 15 yr old daughter and daughters friend on the i76 and they picked it up instantly. But the 2 girls, who both come from international standard Techno racing background - plus a bit of shortboarding, did not blink when they tried the iqfoil 115+ set up (900 front I think) after a (very) few sessions on the i76. Daughter recently had back to back compare and contrast sessions in ultra marginal winds using same sail (foilglide 7m)

Feedback was like this: Q: Was it harder? A: No - just faster which is scary until you get used to it. Q: Gybes? A: Similar, come in faster, go around faster, fall off with same frequency at same stage for same reasons. Q: Doesnt it stall quicker? A: Not really - yes it stalls at a higher speed, but you are going faster to start with so the amount of speed you need to lose before stalling is similar. Q: Surely harder to get going in nothing winds, A: quite samey, less drag so accelerates quicker with pumping to reach the necessarily higher takeoff speed when you pump. Q: Anything worse? A: If you overfoil and survive the drop it always stalled, whereas i76 will often bounce back up, and did more pumping through lulls - but might have come down in those lulls on the i76 anyway as wouldnt have come into them with the same speed or apparent wind.

Of course the girls are very light and pretty fit - suspect my 90kgs of belly might have come to a different conclusion.

The instructors were all advising any beginner or intermediate with Starboard foils to go get the 115cm fuselage - apparently its an absolute game changer, making it far easier.

swoosh
QLD, 1739 posts
Thursday , 17 Sep 2020 11:57PM
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I think you hit it on the head with the length thing. All the gear has gotten longer fuselages which has contributed to more pitch stability and ease of use. Naish WS1 was hilariously short compared to the current 1150. Same as the Fanatic H9 vs the Flow. NP F4 race foil has gotten way longer. And the Starboard has gone from 95 to 105 to 115. Slingshot out of the box probably got to the right length a season before some of the others.

Windfoiling is a little unique as we have the sail and mast base pressure to contend with which means that we generally will need more pitch stability from the foil compared to other foil sports.

IndecentExposur
236 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 12:28AM
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I learned on the SB GT and matching Foil 147 board. So it's hard to say which is easier for beginners (From my perspective). I did jump on a few Dialers and Wizards with low aspect, high lift foils and got right up. Here are my few beginner tips outside of specific gear setup.

1. Bigger board helps a lot: Most beginners on the Slingshot gear and smaller boards struggle to get the board planing in the first place. Forget pumping in the beginner sessions. Plane 1st; and wider, floatier boards make a HUGE difference. I have the SB Foil 177, and it planes so quickly. Put a SS low aspect foil on a larger floaty board, and you'll be well on your way. The SS boards don't have a lot of rocker either, so pitching/catapulting is more common. SB did the noses right to help with roll/pitch landings to keep you upright.

2. Old windsurfing habits die hard: Keep your rear leg straighter!!! Most, if not all beginners bend legs the first few times, but this isn't necessary. It's an easy tip that helps a lot.

3. Longer fuses! enough said. Don't buy short fuses.

4. Mast length around 90cm. Short masts make it tougher on beginners. not much room for error to keep on a level fight. You either breach or land on smaller masts. Avoid anything under 85 cm.

5. If you can afford, it, get a foil specific sail. It does make a difference, especially foiling. I was using Cheetahs, old infinities & Panther wave sails initially, all worked okay. But once I got the Hydra's, my foiling progressed much faster.

boardsurfr
WA, 1110 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 12:56AM
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swoosh said..
Something like a Fanatic Stingray or JP Hydrofoil with a bit more length is a much better learner board than a Wizard for most average learners.

I'm tempted to agree, after seeing one friend make very quick progress once he switched to a Stingray, and another friend struggle on the Wizard 150. But I've also seen others do well on Wizards. Still, I'm not sure if going to every-shorter boards, as Slingshot seems to be doing, makes sense for most people.

It's probably not by chance that the most ardent supporters of Slingshot typically foil in decent ocean swell. SS gear is developed in the Gorge and Baja, two spots that have excellent waves. Since the wind in the Gorge usually blows against the current, many Gorge windsurfers never learn to tack - if they need to go upwind, they can just sit on their boards. No surprise the SS boards don't have nose volume.
Perhaps tacking is less of an issue on foils since they go upwind so well, but for beginners who know how to tack, tacking on a reasonably foil board like the Stingray is a way to turn around without crashing from day 1.

Grantmac
420 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 3:19AM
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The Supercruiser is plenty fast but you have to make it go fast. It'll happily just cruise slowly if you don't push it.
I foil the SC alongside guys with the 800 Starboard wings and they definitely aren't blasting away from me.

Biggest issue is if the SC is mounted on a board with the fin box to the rear and you compensate with stab angle it's very slow.

Paducah
1106 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 7:39AM
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swoosh said..
...And the Starboard has gone from 95 to 105 to 115.


Original GTs were 75. I had the little Alu GT which was actually pretty stable probably because it had a lot of stab pitch. Just saw on FB today new 105 slalom fuses which I'm assuming replace the 95 to emphasize your point.

SS are pretty stable fore/aft but surprisingly not as stable as some other foils I've ridden. OTOH, too much stability detracts from curvy fun so it's a trade off.

stehsegler
WA, 3150 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 11:27AM
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My 5 cents... wind foiling will implode itself if it becomes too technical just like windsurfing as a whole did. The mass market appeal will be easy to use wind foil setups that are modular and focus on free ride (ie not too hard to control and use).

There will also be those that are into super technical slalom and race gear but that has zero mass market appeal. It's to technical, to expensive and to much fuffing about for the majority of weekend warriors.

I think Robby Naish has some good points on the subject in the recent Windsurfing.TV post.

DarrylG
WA, 301 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 11:40AM
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stehsegler said..
My 5 cents... wind foiling will implode itself if it becomes too technical just like windsurfing as a whole did. The mass market appeal will be easy to use wind foil setups that are modular and focus on free ride (ie not too hard to control and use).

There will also be those that are into super technical slalom and race gear but that has zero mass market appeal. It's to technical, to expensive and to much fuffing about for the majority of weekend warriors.

I think Robby Naish has some good points on the subject in the recent Windsurfing.TV post.


I think you will find the more you do it and the better you get the less technical it becomes.
People get over excited trying to make adjustments, thinking it must be the gear not them that is the issue. That is why I like the simple setups. Very little adjustments , very little that you can actually stuff up. This includes both race and free ride gear.

Stretchy
WA, 621 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 12:04PM
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Grantmac said..
The Supercruiser is plenty fast but you have to make it go fast. It'll happily just cruise slowly if you don't push it.
I foil the SC alongside guys with the 800 Starboard wings and they definitely aren't blasting away from me.

Biggest issue is if the SC is mounted on a board with the fin box to the rear and you compensate with stab angle it's very slow.


Yeah, the slowness is 99% me. When I start to push it I can feel it wanting to go into orbit so I back off. I'm only hitting about 17kts atm. I have reduced stab angle (less than mid position), but I might flatten out more. A couple of cement pills might be in order too

DarrylG
WA, 301 posts
Friday , 18 Sep 2020 1:20PM
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Stretchy said..

Grantmac said..
The Supercruiser is plenty fast but you have to make it go fast. It'll happily just cruise slowly if you don't push it.
I foil the SC alongside guys with the 800 Starboard wings and they definitely aren't blasting away from me.

Biggest issue is if the SC is mounted on a board with the fin box to the rear and you compensate with stab angle it's very slow.



Yeah, the slowness is 99% me. When I start to push it I can feel it wanting to go into orbit so I back off. I'm only hitting about 17kts atm. I have reduced stab angle (less than mid position), but I might flatten out more. A couple of cement pills might be in order too


The super cruiser can do low 20's vs the 800 race wing doing 25 to 30.

RuddeBos
30 posts
Saturday , 18 Sep 2020 11:55PM
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Agreed, the SC can cruise around at 20 + kts but it starts to get a bit of a handful.. whereas the 800 on a 95+ fuselage, cruises at around 22kts and can go into the late 20's easy enough.
i hope that the new 2021 Starboard wings will be able to fit onto the SC fuselage for more top end, rather then use the 1300 wave wing



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"Beginner? Do yourself a favour!" started by lao shi