Tech Talk: Size down your board or your foil?


What’s up everyone, welcome back to another AppleTree Surfboards Tech Talk video. We’re here in beautiful Cape Town to record some videos for you guys. And the topic we’re going to discuss today is whether you should size down your board or your foil and in what case you would do one or the other.

We’ve been getting quite a few questions on this topic so we thought it’d be cool to make a video about it. So, there’s a couple of advantages and disadvantages about sizing down your foil and sizing down your board.

Positives of downsizing your board

Let’s look at the board first. If you size down your board, you’re going to have a couple of positives. You’re going to have a lesser weight and a smaller board will give you less swing weight, which obviously makes the board a lot more easier to maneuver.

It’s also quicker to get going in some cases, not in all, but if you have a small board, it can actually be easy to push it under water quickly, grab your wing and get going. If it’s a situation where there’s a lot of big waves coming in, for instance, sometimes it’s actually harder to have a big board in those conditions. And generally a smaller board is just a lot more maneuverable.

Downsides of downsizing your board

Of course, there’s big downsides as well to sizing down a board. It’s quite a lot harder if you’re going to go sinker style. You have to readjust your whole way of get going on a foil board. We’ve done quite a few videos already on board volumes. I would definitely check them out. We will link a few in the video description and also up here where we go deep into board volume. So keep that in mind.


Also, you’re going to have quite a lot less low end in the board so it will be harder to get going. It depends on your style of riding with whether less low end is a problem for you. But for me personally, I don’t really wing in anything other than 15 knots, so it’s not really an issue. And I tend to go down on board size quite a bit. And then finally, going down in board size also means of course that it is a lot less stable.

size down your board or your foil

Positives of downsizing your foil

Now when we look at the foil side there’s a couple of things that overlap and a couple of things that are different. A smaller foil in general will be faster, which can be a very positive. So if you’re riding fast waves and you feel that the wave is going quicker than your foil can handle, then a smaller foil, definitely a good option.

If you are riding flat water and you feel that you’re maxing out your speed, definitely try and go smaller on the foil. Also smaller foils generally are more maneuverable. So similar to losing board volume, the smaller foils also give you a bit more maneuverability.

And then for me personally, what I’ve noticed is that smaller foils do breach quite less. Because if you are riding a massive foil and you’re riding on the waves specifically, your foil tips might breach and that will cause you to fall generally.

Downsides of downsizing your foil

Of course, there’s also a few downsides. Again, you’re going to lose the low end. So this is similar to what you have with downsizing your board. So a smaller board and a smaller foil together both, you lose a lot of low end. So that’s not always a good idea to do both.

Similar to scaling down your board. It’s also going to be harder to ride these smaller foils. So those are things to keep in mind. And then finally, the smaller foils tend to be a lot tippier. Pitch stability and roll stability are quite a lot less than in the bigger foils.

Which should you downsize first: board or foil?

Going back to the question, which one should you size down first is very much a personal preference and what you want to get from your new setup.

I would say if you’re doing a lot of wave riding and the waves are getting big and your board is getting in your way when you’re trying to do turns, definitely size down your board first before sizing down your foil.

If it’s for flat water, and you’re feeling that you’re losing that top end speed, definitely size down your foil first because in the flat water, the bigger board is a lot less of an issue. So a smaller foil will get you there quicker.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about this topic, please put them down in the comments below. We will try to answer all of them. We definitely read all your comments. If you’ve liked this video, give it a thumbs up, give it a like. If you want to see more of our videos, give us a follow.

We bring out these videos every month. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years and we get a great response. So we’re always open to any of your suggestions for new videos. So hope to see you in the next one!

Next episode

Excited about our next Tech-Talk video? Or are you wondering if your question will be discussed in the next episode? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll send you an email when the next video is out!