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Nobile have always had a fondness for compact travel focused products with their successful range of split boards. In a move of pure genius, this design direction has now progressed into their hydrofoil range. With some (if not most) hydrofoils being notoriously awkward to transport this is a genius move. The board and foil comes cunningly encased in two slimline black travel bags, the maximum length being close to the mast and board length at around 90cm. It is genuinely hard to contemplate that there is a full hydrofoil setup in there. As you rummage through the various per-fectly tailored pockets for the tools and components, you realize it is a work of art worthy of a severe case of OCD. The fixings are simple hex bolts and the connections delightfully simple, and before you know it, voila, you’ve built a full size freeride hy-drofoil.
The Zen Carbon Surf 1000 wing set is instantly visually impressive and lightweight. The carbon work shows high levels of attention to detail in the manufacturing, and the mid-aspect shape with generous profile has all the hints for a playful surf foil. It is complemented with a racey looking stabilizer with dihedral winglets, and the fu-selage length is relatively short. Underfoot, the lift is very instant and it is playful in the turns. The foil seems to find its speed range pretty quickly and maintains great pitch stability and plenty of support around the corners. In the yaw axis, the minimal stabilizer comes into play, and it’s loose and entertaining to ride. It is an interesting mixture of high lift and high maneuverability, particularly at lower speed, that makes it very suitable for towing into some waves with and staying in the power and not outrunning them. There is some definite surf foil DNA in this kite foil. Combining a relatively large and lifty front wing with a lean stabilizer and short fuselage length, makes for a really engaging and playful riding experience.
The Pocket Skim board is a minimalist and lightweight foiling solution. At 90cm long, for a big unit 187cm tall test pilot, it’s just comfortably over my normal foiling stance. To maintain a little float and planing area, it has been kept fairly wide particularly at the front of the board, with a gentle upward scoop rocker in the nose. Paired with the 1000 foil, being so tiny, it does take a little juice and technique for lower wind water starts. It might be a little challenging for a first time foiler, but for anyone intermedi-ate level and above the low swing weight and travel benefits make for a convenient and entertaining to ride package. As the nose of the board isn’t visible in your periph-eral vision, it’s as close as we’d come to flying on water sensation.