Which discipline is most driving hydrofoil sales? Kiteboard, wing foil, wind foiling, surfing, SUP… ? And why
Wingfoiling is the discipline of the moment in terms of sales, lower cost, a crossover between kite and windsurfing, portability and ease of access to water. In Sab we are in the third year of projecting for this discipline, having believed in it, we were the first to take advantage in terms of positioning on the market. Furthermore, the possibility of introducing new models quickly and independently benefits us over those who produce, almost all, in the Far East factories.
The New Normal COVID era has affected positively (saleswise) the boardsports leisure/casual/entry-level segments. Is that true for hydrofoils as well or do foiling sports remain a core activity?
Team sports have been heavily penalized by the covid as have gyms. This has led a whole series of people already predisposed to sport and with good control of the body and movements to approach the practice of water sports. Those who started kiteboarding or windsurfing were quickly addicted to our disciplines, hence the step to hydrofoil is short
Foiling packages (hydrofoil + board, and possibly wing/kite) appeal to newcomers for the convenience and tight price. Do you market such kits and what do you see as the pros/cons ?
We have been designing and building hydrofoil since 2008 and we remain focused on this product only and today we are simply the largest carbon foils brand in the world. We leave it to others to provide everything else. It is not our intention to enter the kite / wing or windsurf sails market. We do not offer packages or aluminium foils. For this purpose, to approach beginners with low-cost equipment, there are already several cheap brands in the market that have the merit to create future customers for us
What is the current trend? Specific set-up for each sub-discipline or a do-it-all hydrofoil?
Our w790 or our w950 is multidisciplinary wings and got an incredible success but the trend is for specific wings for different disciplines within the same range.
The future goes towards an ever higher specialization that’s the reason the sabfoil range is so wide: 19 different kits with 16 different front wings and others are in the design phase. Never stop R&D is not just a motto for us
Riding foils has been made way easier in a couple of years. How so?
I think the world of kite foil has changed since the introduction of the 633. This wing is the touchstone that started a tendency to increase surface area, a trend that has never stopped. Designed in collaboration with Toni Logosz in 2017, it is still a reference when it comes to freeride and ease of use which is the secret of success. Now everything is much easier and simpler for those who approach the sport
What new foil designs are you offering for 2022?
We don’t have a new line every year, unlike our competitors. Producing in China rather than elsewhere, they need to plan today and launch on the market after 12 (minimum) months. We come out with a new model when we believe we have a winning project in hand that is better than the previous one or when we see a new trend. 14 months ago, for example, we launched the w1000 and the w800, wings never seen before with AR 10, Kai rode them and from there a new trend was born for the downwind. For the future, I would like to introduce a new wing around 1600 / 1700cm2 for winging that is as performing in terms of low-speed lift as the current + 2000cm2 and we want to focus on surfing, pure surfing and pumping. Suffice it to say that from design to mass production we are able to push and launch a new wing on the market in 30 days.
Is there a status quo regarding the materials used or do you foresee new alternatives?
You may vary from high modulus wet laminated carbon to prepreg with the heated press but these are the actual materials
Retailer Support: If the retailer’s staff aren’t foiling participants themselves, how can they receive proper education from your team?
We do clinics, every sabfoil and usually, every sabfoil vendor is a foiler
Balz’s word: “My new pro model is created for an early lift with the smallest possible front wing surface without losing control at higher speed. The direct feeling is a pure pleasure whether you want to make radical turns or crazy jumps. When I carve half the wing out the water the stiff mast and thin wingtips avoid turbulences and let me continue my flight. With the small surface, the landings are smooth and the optimized profile lifts me straight up again. Together with the stunning wide speed range, the W799 is my choice for wingfoiling (92cm -F700HS-S399) and windfoiling (92cm F900 -400)”
Cruising, carving, wave riding in small waves, the Vento 85790 does everything with amazing ease of use. Jibing has never been so easy. Everyone who tried the new Vento V85790 was impressed by how easily the foil flies. Designed to plane early with no effort, an ultra-stable foil that performs incredibly well in light to medium wind, for beginners to intermediate wind foilers.
The K91590Y is fast and stable, inspires confidence, accelerate in a very smooth way, it’s quick to plane and tracks naturally. The W590 wing, with its 650 cm2 front wing surface area permits a low lift speed, while the moderate reverse design will keep the stability you need at high speed. A foil is very easy to ride, with a good upwind angle and capable of 30+ knots.No surprise this combo W590/S330 is a best seller for all those riders who love an overall performing foil.