Austrian foil specialists Levitaz developed the Shaka foil as their first hydrofoil aimed at the surf market. Originally available in the L and M sizes which were solely dedi-cated to wave and wing use, the S size comes in at 1200cm2 of surface area and can crossover into kite use.
As with all things Levitaz, the manufacturing is magnificent producing a natural look-ing shape. The connection system remains the same as previous years with a perfect tube-shaped milled stainless fuselage sliding through the mast foot and clamping the wing on firmly with four M6 bolts. Stainless bolts into a stainless fuse means there is no galvanic corrosion to worry about. The junctions of the components are elegantly sculpted and there are few drag points on the system, making it slice through that wa-ter all the more efficiently. We were provided with the 80cm hybrid mast, which even as the cheaper option from Levitaz, absolutely oozes quality of manufacturing. We were super impressed with the stiffness, particularly in the lack of deflection across the roll axis. It all comes packaged in a compact and high quality protective carry bag for luxury transportation.
In the water the Shaka boots you up onto the foil instantly and provides great sup-port around your transitions even at low speed. The surf style anhedral stabilizer promotes agility in the yaw axis and allows you to change direction confidently with predictable results, without feeling too skatey. The Shaka S is going to suit a complete beginner through to a capable freeride foiler. The foil section seems to remain rela-tively thin, and we were impressed with the top end which doesn’t seem to require too much front foot pressure. In a wave scenario, the easy pitch adjustment over a broad speed range seems to prevent breaching for what is a relatively high surface area kite wing. The Shaka S is a genre spanning organic masterpiece of carbon that feels very much at home under a kite for a freeride foiler dabbling in waves. The crossover potential into prone and wing foiling is also an inevitable possibility, which will be very convenient for the growing numbers of multi-discipline foil riders.
The Exo board comes in at 18 liters and is probably the most universal kite foil board in the Levitaz range. There is a carbon and fiberglass layup with wood stringers and a resilient gloss coat. Foot strap inserts are available in two and three strap Y con-figurations for every occasion. The deck has a completely flat work area and fairly aggressive EVA grip. We found when paired with the relatively high lift Shaka S, the foil wanted to run towards the back of the dual futures track boxes. The 125cm is a pleasant size, giving enough volume and float for a very low wind water start, and is light and agile enough to throw around unhindered.
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