CrazyFly Foil 2019 Review
This test first appeared in KW #96 in November 2018
TEST TEAM NOTES:
Welcome to the lightest freeride production foil set up we’ve ever used! The Chill board weighs just 3 kilos and the entire carbon mast and foil system is just 2.8 kilos, so you can be swaggering down the beach with less than six kilos over your shoulder, which in the freeride world is next to nothing.
This of course isn’t a beginner set-up, but if you’ve been foiling a while and looking to upgrade your system, this CrazyFly offering is very interesting.
The Chill board’s twin-tip construction (with a carbon stringer) is relatively thin for a foil board, but strong. Much different to a delicate pop-out floaty style board that come with many foils, although there’s less volume and stability in the board itself, the Chill is stronger to allow for scuffs, scrapes and dings. As you advance with your foiling a smaller board feels so good above the water. Sitting deeper in the water for your waterstarts also means that the Chill is easier to get up on for strapless riding and the ¾ coverage deck pad is soft, comfortable and grippy. There are several insert positions for foot straps too and this is going to be a fun set-up for jumping because the natural ride speed of the Up foil is nice and quick but manageable at speed, as we’ll move on to.
You don’t need to invest in a carbon foil to progress and have fun in foiling. They’re a definite luxury and are also far more delicate than aluminium masts. So you need to be careful with them, but being so compact and light weight this design is incredibly easy to manoeuvre in the water when turning it round and pulling over for a waterstart. If you can foil confidently and have got used to being careful to avoid dings, this CrazyFly makes general life easier, both in the water and on the beach.
Foils are all so different and what feels strange to start with can relatively quickly come to feel normal. The Up has a good combination of speed without crazy amounts of lift, which means you can ride it fast and have a good position over the foil. When something is too lifty, it can quickly become quite uncomfortable to ride, needing lots of input from the rider. The Up also tracks really nicely without being overly locked in. The rear wing feels playful with easy yaw which encourages you to drive the foil round. We could pretend to wave ride nicely (we weren’t actually doing so to any degree!) but the Up is fun and if it were a surfboard would feel more free like a tri-fin than a driving quad fin.
For some intermediates a more locked-in feel will be preferable, but when powered up and downlooping into a turn with the kite driving through the middle of the window, the Chill / Up allows you to have similar pressure on both feet. You can also control a lot of power and we rarely got to the point that we were about to lose the battle, even with lots of speed and power (you probably know this feeling if you’ve started foiling!). Often when foiling you’ll be trying to slow down, but you can’t seem to move the kite forwards like you can when you dig in your rail on a twin-tip to relieve speed. You feel like you’re just holding on until inevitable explosion. Being easily manoeuvrable, the Up foil turns all that noise down and works well with the power of the kite. Equally, in very light wind, with a well timed pump of the foil you can get up and going efficiently. Nicely balanced on tacks and gybes, you can also ride along quite slowly and steadily and, as mentioned before, feel nicely balanced between your front and back foot.
The Up foil isn’t incredibly fast. It’s in the middle and really enjoyable. A fun board with a nicely matched foil and one other highlight we must add is just how tightly fitted it all feels. No vibrations at speed, humming from the mast or judders. You just need to be aware that being smaller and more like a twin-tip with less volume, the Chill board is a bit sticky when it touches down in light wind. But you don’t go foiling to ride the board and the benefits above the water are greater.
What a lovely looking bit of kit. The clean, black and shiny foil pairs well with a compact board. You feel like one of the pros walking down the beach with this… or Bruce Lee. Excellent build and quality finish, this is a good choice for someone looking to upgrade to their second foil. You won’t outgrow this one quickly and will be ready to ride in a wide range of conditions.
Super light, compact and a fun, smooth and relatively easy ride once you’ve built up some foiling experience. Plus, it’s really easy to disassemble and fit in your car!
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Nothing, but you need to be honest with your level. We’re all attracted by it, but you need to know what riding flavour you’re looking for before buying it.
Chill board 130 x 46cm
Up mast: 91cm
Front wing surface area: 580cm²
Rear wing surface area: 230cm²
Mast base plate hole spacing: 165 x 90mm
Up foil weight: 2.8kg
(Master freerace foil set-up and F-Lite carbon board also available)
More at: crazyflykites.com