The SOUL is the latest (and probably most advanced) in the current trend of super easy to use performance foils on the market. With the increased popularity in hydrofoils over recent years, more freeriders realize the limits in the low end of LEI kites, and start looking at foils for those sub 10 knot days which can be pretty daunting with a LEI kite. Which is where the SOUL comes in. From a practical perspective, foil kite bridling doesn’t get a great deal simpler on the SOUL than on a more high performance foil kite, so you need to read the manual (and check out some YouTube clips). But once you have unpacking and packing dialed then it is actually much quicker to get on the water than with a LEI kite. A quick check over for any seaweed and bridle tangling before you launch, a bit of a pre-inflate, and off it goes. It takes a little while to fill compared to other foil kites on the market, but this means it’s also extremely hard for the air to escape if you bin it in the drink. We tested this theory on a mistimed jibe and think you would be hard pressed to sink it. The kite holds its shape extremely well for a foil, and reverse launched like an absolute charm. From a build point of view, the Flysurfer SOUL is a beautiful work of engineering and – with all of those cells – you can only begin to imagine how many man hours go into each one. So in terms of materials and R&D: you can see where the hefty price tag comes from.
On the water and the low end of the SOUL, as you would expect, is extremely good. For one session we tested with a relatively large surface area hydrofoil in six knots, and the SOUL provided smooth, reassuring power delivery and an unbelievable stability even at this minimal wind strength. The canopy is so light that, if the wind does drop below what was foilable, the kite still flies overhead patiently and it was very easy to limp home. The power delivery with the SOUL is so smooth it’s much like being towed around by a friendly cloud. Turning speed on a 15m foil kite is never going to be comparable to a LEI, but the SOUL does an admirable job of shifting that huge canopy around. We tested it on 20m lines, Flysurfer suggest coming down to shorter lines for a quicker response with foiling. On a twintip in a little more wind, the SOUL provides a ridiculous amount of power and float. A feeling we can only describe as kitesurfing in slow motion. We’ve also witnessed its crossover potential on snow, where the low wind ability is staggering with the correct piloting. The SOUL is really going to suit the low wind hydrofoil use, it’s as easy as foil kites currently get and it’s super easy to make the transition from a LEI.
In a sentence: It’s pretty simple, if you’ve got a foil then you need a foil kite for low wind days, and for us the SOUL is the clear stand out right now.