At A Glance
The North Hydrofoil system is based around the Sonar mast, fuselage and rear wing set-up. Choose how you want to ride and select the set-up that suits you. Then you can add from a myriad of front wings to complete the package. All finished in high-end prepreg carbon; it's as light as it is sexy… Plus, it comes packaged in a very high-quality padded bag to keep all your swanky parts in pristine condition.
In this issue, we've been testing the Sonar 1050MA on the Sonar CF set-up. We have the 700mm and 600mm fuselages, too, with the 270 rear wing and the 82cm mast. Opening the box is a real treat. Everything is so well thought out, from the padded sections of the bags to the exquisitely finished carbon parts to the smaller details like specific bolts for each part that are marked on the component as well as the bolt, so you can't put the wrong one in the wrong place.
Once you've put it together, you can appreciate the work that has gone into it. There are no gaps or loose bits, just a very stiff, solid set-up ready to give you some smiles on the water.
On The Water
There is a massive push, thanks mainly to prone and pump foiling towards high-aspect front wings at the moment. They are all the rage, so what we have here bucks the trend somewhat, but you know what? That's OK, and here is why. We had super high-aspect front wings for kiting years ago. Before foils were even commercially available, all the racers were on wings that looked like a 30cm ruler. The downside, of course, was that they were a complete pig to ride and even harder to gybe.
When you are kite foiling, you have all the power in the world at your fingertips, and unless you want to set a speed record or go racing, something like the 1050MA is the perfect tool for the job. You can get to some impressive speeds, and it is easy to gybe, easy to ride and very forgiving. With a fairly low stall speed, even the freshest of kiters to the foil revolution will find a friend here.
I often judge a foil set-up by how easy it is to ride. After all, no one wants to spend hours trying to get dialled in. It took me about 30 seconds to get the 1050MA rocking and rolling, and I salute it for that. Once we were up, we were blasting at speeds that were plenty fast enough for me, but even better, it would turn on a dime. Even if I messed up the foot switch, it would give me those vital moments to correct myself rather than just chucking me out the front door.
I actually preferred the 600mm fuselage on this set-up as it livened the ride up even more. If you are learning and want that pitch stability, the 700mm is the way to go, but if you want to play in the waves and crank some tight turns, the 600mm definitely kicks things up a notch.
The build quality is stunning, the package is fantastic, and the ride is sublime. We'll see a retreat to more medium-aspect wings in the future. Let the high-aspect ones grab the limelight as you quietly nail every gybe and tack with this under your feet. I am seriously impressed with the North foil system overall, and it should be on your radar if you are looking for a new set-up. Especially with all the wings you can add for various sports and disciplines.
This review was in Issue 97 of IKSURFMAG.For more information visit North Kiteboarding
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!