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The un-informed amongst you may think that foiling is a relatively recent phenomenon but, do your research, and you will find out that it has in fact been alive and kicking and doing very well for many years in one particular European country: France. So when foiling suddenly hit ‘the mainstream’ there were several French companies right at the front of the R&D pack who were putting out quality foils to rival the very best that that the bigger brands were producing, and there were several other companies with the right know how waiting in the wings. One of these was Alpinefoil who blasted onto the scene with their extensive range of foils. The foil we had on test was the second version of their Access foil.
The Access – as the name suggests – is their entry through to intermediate level foil. It has an 6061 T6 aluminum mast (which has been reworked slightly from the 2015 mast to reduce cavitation) an aluminum fuselage, and full carbon wings. The first thing you notice when you start to unpack and assemble it is that every last thing has been considered… It was beautifully packed and then all fitted together very quickly and cleanly. You also have the option of using GIS wedges to adjust the angle of the foil depending on your level and your style of riding. The version we had of the Alpinefoil used their KF-Box, which is their box designed specifically for the foil and provides a more solid connection than you get with a Tuttle box. We also had two mast lengths supplied, so also a shorter one for when you are starting out. It seems that they have thought of everything.
So how does it go on the water? The first thing we noted was that the board (the RX–V5S) provided plenty of buoyancy and the foot straps were super-comfy. Once you send the kite and get going, the board picks up speed quickly and it is then your call – a quick pump and it comes smoothly up onto the foil or you can accelerate and it comes up nice and easily. It’s a very well balanced foil and isn’t going to scare a beginner. Once you are riding there is a good amount of response from the foil and you feel plugged in. Could you tell you were riding an alu mast if you didn’t know? Probably not…
For intermediate to advanced riders there is plenty to get excited about as you can really turn the Access V2 on. Alpinefoil have clocked it at over 30 knots and you can easily believe this as there is a surprising amount of performance here for a ‘non race’ foil. Turning and carving is smooth, and it is relatively easy to ride when sailing off the wind. For us the Access V2 has all of the features that you need to get you started but then plenty of performance beyond this to keep all but the top-end racers happy.
In a sentence: A well-built, lively and enjoyable foil to ride – just about accessible enough for a beginner but it’s main appeal will be as a perfectly tuned performance option for intermediate and beyond…
For more information: alpinefoil.com