What The Foil #2: Parts of a Hydrofoil

This week we’re covering the basic parts of a hydrofoil. Each piece has a very specific function, and subtle changes of these components can greatly affect the foils performance or application. Foils consist of a mast, fuselage, front wing and rear wing. Most of these components are available in aluminum or carbon, and come in different sizes or lengths. We’ll get into how changing these components can affect how your foil performs in a later post, but for now, here’s the basics.

Components of a hydrofoil
Here are the basic components of a hydrofoil. These components remain the same for windsurf, wing, SUP and surf foiling.


▪️The mast is the vertical strut that attaches your board to the fuselage, and allows you to control the foil from the board by your foot pressure. Changing the length will give you more or less leverage (control) over the foil.

 Starboard E-Type and S-Type mast
Here are two foil masts from Starboard. The one on the left is the Starboard Monolithic mast and the decreasing width towards the bottom of the mast really helps with speed and efficiency while foiling. The mast on your right is a standard aluminum mast.

▪️The fuselage is what the mast and wings attach to. The length of the fuselage dictates how far away your front and rear wings are from each other, and the overall geometry of the foil. That distance has a big part in determining how stable or maneuverable the foil is.

Starboard foil fuselage
Fuselages come in different lengths which will affect your stability and maneuverability.

▪️The front wing is what makes you fly! Front wings come in many different shapes and sizes but no matter the outline, their purpose is to create lift. The bigger the wing, the more lift you get. The smaller the wing, the faster and more maneuverable it becomes.

Hydrofoil front wing from Slingshot Foils.
Front Wings come in many different sizes and shapes. This is the Slingshot Hoverglide Apollo 60cm wing which is great for kite foiling and high-wind windsurf foiling.

▪️The Rear Wing is there to make sure you don’t have a bumpy flight. Rear wings help stabilize your flight and keep you from feeling like you are bucking around once you’re up on foil. The bigger the back wing, the more stability you have. Smaller back wings are more maneuverable, but harder to control.

This is the tail wing for a hydrofoil.
Rear wings, tail wings and stabilizer wings are just different names for the same thing. You can adjust sizes and even the degree of angle that the wing attaches to your foil with some manufacturers.

Next week we’re going to go over front wings.

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