Tech Talk: New insights on how to choose the right wing board volume


 What’s up everyone? Welcome back to Appletree Surfboards and welcome to our beautiful new studio. Please leave a comment in the section down below and let us know what you think about our new surroundings.

This is also our headquarters here in the Netherlands. So if you’re ever around. Feel welcome to send us a message, and you’re always welcome to drop by, check out some boards, and get a coffee.

From this new studio we’re going to record a whole bunch of new videos and new Tech Talks, starting with this one today, which is something of a returning subject: And it’s about volume in wing boards.

Advancing thoughts on wing board volume

We did a video on the subject, I think a year and a half ago. But because we get so many questions about it and there’s also sort of advancing thoughts on this, also with us and also our models developed a little bit further, we want to do another video on this topic.

What to avoid when choosing the right wing board volume

I think I said it last time and it is the thing that I keep saying all the time, is try to avoid your weight in kilos in liters as a volume. And the reason for this is, is the board becomes really quirky and it’s right on the surface of the water making it really susceptible for currents, for chops for waves. It’s really hard to control. So either go bigger or go smaller. But there is some other things to consider, we now realize.

Things you need to consider first when choosing your wing board size

The first thing I think you have to think about is where do you ride and what type of riding do you want to do? So, for me, I ride a lot on the open ocean. Which makes it very different for me. If you are more of a free rider, you’re on the lake somewhere I think different rules apply.

When to choose a small wing board and when a floating board?

Let’s say in general, the smaller board you can ride, the nicer it is to ride. The more free it is, the easier it carves, but you’re gonna lose your low end ability. And in some locations, or in quite a lot of locations, there’s not a lot of wind, so you need that low end ability. In those cases… Go with a floating board.

Are there any exceptions?

That’s my main thing. You can go with a floating board almost all the time. And if you want to go as small as possible, so as close to your own weight in kilos, in liters in the board the better it is. If you’re just riding flat water or you’re just riding on lakes, the issue of riding a board around your weight is not really that big because there is not so much current, there’s no waves, there’s usually a lot less chop, so it is okay to ride something that is around your weight. I would still advise to go maybe slightly higher, just for safety side, just to be able to get back home.

wing foil board volume

What is the right size for a freestyle wing board?

This advice does change a little bit if you also want to start freestyling. Because if you want to do freestyle, it is quite nice to have a lower volume board just because all the tricks become easier. Jumping is easier with a smaller board, but you have to be in a place where you know you’re going to get strong winds. So there’s a lot of freestyle locations where there is consistent winds. In those cases, definitely go for a smaller board. My advice does stand still there. If you go smaller, go proper small.

The advantages of a sinker style board

So in my case, I’m about 95 kilos, my favorite volume to ride is 60 liters. So it is almost 35, 40 percent under my weight, which seems a lot. But this is a volume that I can just super easily sink. I can actually push it underwater. I don’t have to crawl onto the board. I grab the board and push it under and put my knees on it, grab the wing, get some power, and start going.

If you’re more into wave riding and you’re more into open ocean riding, I definitely advise for advanced riders to go experiment with a sinker style board. The only thing is that you’re probably going to end up buying two boards. Because you’re gonna need a board for those lighter days. If you still want to wing, you need something that flows. If you want to have the ultimate performance, when the wind is strong and the waves are bigger, you really want that sinking style board. It’s just so much easier to ride, it’s so much nicer to carve, and in everything it’s a much nicer board.

How does board shape affect volume choice?

In general, that’s, that’s the advice that we would give you. Of course, there’s other things to consider, like the board shape does really make a difference.

Long and narrow style wing board

I’ve got a Apple Skipper here. In this case, it’s a 65 liter, so it’s around my ideal size. But the Skipper is quite a longer and narrower style board. Plus, it has a bottom that’s really efficient through the water. So, this type of board, for me, I can easily ride quite small.

I know with this board if I sink it and I grab my wing and I get enough power to get the board to the surface of the water. I know I can get it on foil as well because this board is so efficient through the water. It will just gain speed and if you pump it a little bit, you go on to foil.

Shorter and wider style wing board

If you have a wider board, so let’s say a Jazz for instance, is a much shorter and wider package. The difference is that the shorter and wider board will be easier to get to the water surface, but once it’s on the water surface, it’s not as easy as this to get up to speed.

So you can ride it actually smaller because you can get it to the surface easier, but you do need some wind to then get it going.

In between a free ride and wave board

And in our collection, the Appleslice V2 is right in between. So it’s the sort of ultimate balance between a free ride board and a wave board, and you can also freestyle on it. That would be around 60 liter as well for an ideal size for me. If then I look at a floater style board, now the, the Skipper is not designed as a floater style board. So this type is definitely a sinker. For me, with the Jazz, I tend to go for the 90L, which is around my weight. And I tend to go 95L in the Appleslice V2.

Down wind boards

If I want a board that’s really, really low end, I look at the downwind boards. Because with the downwind boards, again, you need a board that can carry your weight. So you need that volume. You need at least your weight in volume, but then it’s way longer. So in my case, it will be 7’7”, 7’3”. But those kind of boards are so efficient, you can literally get going in no wind at all. It’s a similar volume, completely different shape, completely different area where it works.

We would love your input

This volume discussion will keep on going and we would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave all your comments down below. We try to answer all the questions that you have. If you have more questions concerning volume, also drop them down below because we can make new videos.

We’re also planning a discussion with our team riders to ask them how they feel about riding which volume, but also maybe with more beginner riders who are not so competent. Give them a couple of boards to try, see what they feel.

That’s the type of videos we want to do on this. Keep the discussion open. Things will change, opinions will change. It’s a cool discussion to have.

I hope you enjoyed this video. We hope to see you in the next one. We’re gonna make a ton of more videos.

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