At A Glance
The crew at Liquid Force Kites all love foiling, and this is the culmination of a project that looked outside the box of the traditional cottage industry foil producers around the world. The Foil Fish became the first commercially available foil on the market from the big players in the kite industry and as such it is arguably a game changer.
Rather than create a high end, high performance craft that was tricky to ride, expensive and fragile the team turned the concept on its head and went for something that was easy to ride, bomb proof and reasonably priced too. The Foil utilises an aluminium mast and fuselage with a glass front and rear wing.
The foil itself bolts onto their converted Foil Fish board which actually doubles up as a light wind surfboard that works well in small fun waves. You can of course buy it as a foil only set up and bolt it onto anything you want, but the overall package from Liquid Force is a very polished one at a great price. You even get a neat travel bag to keep all the bits in!
The foil itself is a low aspect design, it's wide area is designed to foil at low speeds to make your first flights easy. The fuselage is of a medium length and every component unbolts to leave you with a very transportable package. Assembly isn't the fastest, there are quite a few bolts to get tightened but it's an easy process, all the bolts use the same allen key which makes the build easy.
On The Water
We'll get this one out of the way early, the Liquid Force set up isn't light, the board itself is where the bulk of the weight comes from, but the aluminium and glass construction won't be impressing anyone who picks it up on the beach. However, with that clanger out of there way there is some logic to it, the whole set up is literally bomb proof, as notoriously fragile foils go, this one trumps the lot. The board is literally bullet proof and the glass foils are really tough too.
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We lack sand on our local beaches here at the office, it's all rocks and pebbles, after a solid 2 months of use the Foil Fish is looking as good as the day we got it, and that's not because we have treated it with kid gloves. Of course you need to be careful, but when learning something new inevitably bad things happen from time to time and yes it has washed up on the shingle more than once, each time the agonising run over to fetch it was filled with trepidation, but we were always pleasantly surprised to find there was no damage to the foils or the mast.
Weight and indestructibility aside, the Foil Fish is one of the easiest foils to ride out there, we've given it to a few beginners and they've all found the same thing, it's stable, forgiving and foils at a really low speed, between 12 and 15 knots. This means those first flights are less fear-induced hell runs, more like gentle cruises to allow you to get the feeling of flying!
Carving and turning is also really easy, the forgiving nature of the foil allowing you to easily learn those first tacks and gybes. Don't get us wrong, this isn't a magic self-foiling machine that can get anyone up and riding, but it is one of the easiest foils out there to give yourself a fighting chance. There is a fair amount of debate at the moment about foil boards, and it's fair to say once you are flying the board really makes little difference to the ride.
One feature that is worthy of note is the lack of sharp edges on the foils themselves, unlike the razor sharp carbon race machines the foils here are much friendlier, sure they'll hurt if you kick them, but you won't lose an arm or a leg, which is always a nice thought to have in the back of your mind.
Upwind the Liquid Force Foil Fish points incredibly well, it isn't the fastest board round the race track though. Off the wind you can improve the speed by working the kite, but upwind you'll be more pedestrian than able to keep up with faster foils. Don't take that as a negative though, when you are learning it will feel like you are doing a thousand miles an hour anyway, so getting used to the speed gradually is important!
It is worth noting that the Fish board this is supplied with is fairly basic in terms of a foil board. It's flat with a little bit of nose rocker to help with the inevitable nose dives, but that’s about all there is to it. If you are using the straps you might find the parallel configuration a little tricky compared to the more familiar Y set up.
Incredibly easy to ride and great for learning; easily our pick as a 'first foil". If you want to get ahead quickly then spend a good few months riding something that makes this insane side of our sport easier! Indestructible build quality will keep it looking good despite any mishaps you might have whilst learning.
Heavy is the price you pay for the solid build of this combo, the board is also a little basic and you might find yourself hungering for a Y strap configuration as you progress.
If you want to learn to ride a foil, this would be our first port of call, easy to learn on, great fun to ride and really forgiving you'll be smiling for miles once you get the bug!
This review was in Issue 52 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit Liquid Force Kites
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By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!