Jul 05, 2019 | By Mike Galvin

How does a SUP Foil work?

Here’s everything you need to know about how a SUP foil works and what are all the parts.

The Wings

The front wing is the one that provides lift.

  • Small Front Wing – less lift, less resistance, more speed, more manoeuvrable. Ideal for surfing
  • Bigger Front Wing – more stability, more lift, less speed, less manoeuvrability. Ideal for learning and cruising.

The rear wing is the stabilizer.

Kite and Windsurfing Foils

Kite and windsurfing foils have smaller and sharper wings than SUP specific foils. They can be smaller because they have a greater control of their power with the kite/sail.

Both windsurfing and kiting foils have longer masts due to the higher speeds they travel at as well as the angle that the board gets to when turning

Carbon vs Alloy Foils

Carbon Foils – won’t corrode in the salt water, stiffer, more expensive.

Alloy Foils – cheaper, not as stiff, require all components to be rinsed in fresh water every 2 days to stop corrosion.

Tuttle Box vs Plate

Tuttle boxes were the original mounting system for foils, primarily because that’s what was already in existence. There are a couple of limitations to Tuttle Boxes, including the inability to move the mast fore and aft which you can on a plate system. Tuttle Boxes were originally designed to hold a 12” windsurfing fin, so many people believe the pressure being put on them by a foil is more than what they were designed for and are leaning towards the plate mounting system. The Plate System is purely 2x fin boxes installed parallel to each other. One of the benefits to this system is that it spreads the weight of the foil out over more of the board, and therefore reducing stress at the point of contact.

We have the adaptors that can change a Tuttle box into a plate mounted system for $250. Both systems are able to be retro fitted.

Box Installation/Placement

The box must be installed so that when the foil is in the board, the mast is perpendicular to the deck. If the foil is not flat, it will be angled down and make it hard to get up.

Read more about SUP Foils and check out our boards and foils here.