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TheKiteMag 51 Tell me about it North Sonar Foil System 9 1200x800 - TELL ME ABOUT IT: North Sonar Foil System 

TELL ME ABOUT IT: North Sonar Foil System 

We’ve been testing North’s new CF Mast systems recently and to say they’re stiff would be an understatement. We spoke to Foil Designer Danyon Watchorn and Brand Director Mike Raper to find out more.

TheKiteMag 51 Tell me about it North Sonar Foil System 3 scaled - TELL ME ABOUT IT: North Sonar Foil System 

How have you achieved the stiffness in the system and was it a difficult process? 

Danyon: The goal of the CF Mast design process was to arrive at products with the best balance of stiffness, hydrodynamic efficiency and low weight. The first step in this process involved extensive mathematical modeling to compare different foil sections and carbon layups. This produced designs which could then be constructed and load-tested in order to validate the results from the model against real-world performance. After load-testing and ride-testing, the final design could then be signed off for production, where the close relationship we have with our suppliers means the parts are constructed to tight quality controls and ensures a premium final product. Using computer simulation to do as much of the work as possible minimized time and resource spent on prototyping and testing, making the whole process very streamlined.

Mike: We challenge everyone to flip a Sonar system upside down and lean and twist the foil tips to see and feel the rigid nature of our mast and fuse connection. It’s one of the best in the market (in our humble opinion) and it is even comparable to some of the high modulus models, at a fraction of the price. It’s a real tribute to the love that’s gone into the system and without a doubt the best value foil setup on the market.

The mast to fuse connection is also robust to say the least. Talk us through the design of this. 

This is our patented GeoLock system. Engineered for strength and stiffness, the system locks the mast and fuselage firmly together, so they feel like one piece. A tapered connection sits between the mast and fuselage, then screws engage the GeoLock so the load transfer takes place over the full cross section of the mast profile, allowing for a more efficient load distribution and longer-lasting connection.

Which of your front wings work best for kite foiling? 

The 850 is your go-to front wing. For higher speed performance we recommend the HA wing sizes from HA550 to HA950. It really depends on the wind!

It’s a comprehensive range. What’s the best way for the consumer to work out what’s most suitable for their riding needs?

We’ve designed a step-by-step procedure on our website that riders can go through to decide what’s going to suit them most. Head to the ‘Foil’ section of our website to go through the steps.

We know Mike is a big tow-foiler! How well does the kite foil setup transfer over into this discipline? 

Perfectly. The 120 Scoop’s a great crossover but Mike’s now using the Swell 4’1 board because it has a longer waterline and in big waves less drag. He also rides it strapless. Mike’s 92kg and for anything under head-high he’ll use the new SF930, but for anything over head high he uses the HA850 / H750, and anything over 20-30ft HA650 / HA550. For kite foiling he might use the smaller HA wings for powered riding and the bigger sizes for freestyle e.g. HA850.

Which of your kite range do you recommend for kite foiling, and why? 

Code Zero. The Code Zero kite has incredibly good relaunch capabilities, especially in light air. It drifts like a dream, and it is also a very fast flying kite that can keep up with the foil at high speeds. One of the lightest single-strut kites available, the Code Zero has a playful and agile feel with dynamic steering. The kite is stable and evenly tensioned, with a balanced geometry. It won’t luff, over-fly or front stall, and its one-handed steering means you can always foil in your preferred stance.

Are there any of your team riders who are particularly loyal to the foil? 

Most of our riders foil, especially in lighter wind conditions. It’s just such a great way to maximize those cruisy lightwind days when you’d normally struggle to stay upwind. Light wind foiling opens up so many possibilities.

Are there any additional updates to the range coming soon?

Yes we have a new 95cm mast launching very soon. It is ideal for use with higher aspect foils, when conditions are rougher and there is more chop, when racing, kite foiling or high-speed winging.

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