Rider Review – Armstrong FG Foil board

RIDER REVIEWS
Introducing our first ever rider review! This will be our way of giving genuine feed back on the kit our team riders are using day in day out. Hopefully this will be a way of helping others make the decisions on what kit will work best for them in the conditions we have here in North Wales!
We are super lucky to have a great team of talented riders who all share the same passion for spending time out on the water, so why not hear what they have to say about the kit they use…
First up we have the one and only Phil Horrocks using the long awaited Armstrong FG foil board. This is a board Armstrong have developed further from the previous Armstrong wing SUP.
Over too Phil…..
What’s it like?
I wanted to give it a good test in a variety of conditions before sharing my thoughts, 6-8 sessions in waves so far.
I chose this to replace my FG60L which was my light / medium wind wing board, I wing 15 knots + mostly, in waves / rolling swell.  If its less breeze than that, and there is still waves, I’ll go surfing!
Me: 84kg
Previously board for comparison Armstrong 60L FG 
Typical Foil setup: 865PM mast @ track no.11, 60 Fuse, HA 925, V200 or HA195
Photo’s: Funsport Rhosneigr 

  1. Getting on – knees style – A Bit More wobbly initially.
Volume feels pretty much as described, so a wee bit smaller flotation wise than the FG60 in dead wind, I immediately noticed its a bit more tippy and barrel like getting on the thing compared to the relatively stable platform of the previous 60L FG, it’s the same whenever I step down a board size, i got used to it pretty rapidly though.  No wind, I’ll sink to my thighs.
  1. Getting on – water start / feet in the straps – Way easier!
I mostly get on the board by sticking the feet in the straps whilst in the water, rolling onto my front then pulling myself up the leading edge of the wing, to rest my knees on the L/E.  Then I get the wing up from there as I partially submerge the board.  This method is WAY Easier on this board, the narrowness and compact volume makes it much easier to scissor the board and get it underneath you. Likewise, crash recovery and speed of restart is far less effort and a big energy saver.
  1. Getting going – Pump / take off – quicker pumping, faster acceleration.
The board is shorter and more c
ompact, so it sinks and rebounds well to pumping, all the energy seems to project you forward and the board accelerates quick, releasing from the water super fast, you will need to be a bit more nimble on your feet but your efforts are rewarded! i might marginally loose out on the very lightest wind days, but if its that light and there’s waves, I’ll go surfing instead!
  1. Riding – waves – Much more agile.
It feels a lot like my 40L FG wing surf when I’m riding it, really manoeuvrable, I can bank it right over and it’s very responsive to rider input. Altogether giving a very smooth through around feeling through the water. Rails seem less likely to catch mid turn.
  1. Touch down – smooth – Far less sucky, holds speed.
Hitting back down to the water at speed felt pretty smooth, board is fast so it doesn’t grab and  suck you back down to a stop.  It keeps going at the same speed.
  1. Flying – Jumping – Compact and fun!
There’s far less windage and its compact shape felt far more nimble and manoeuvrable in the air, it’s more like my FG40L but with added volume for landing things. It’s going to be fun! it should be far better for freestyle than my previous board too.

 

  1. Overall – Improved Quality – Feels smaller than the volume suggests.
It seems very stiff and quite a solid shell to it, the nose and rails seem to be way tougher so I’m hopeful its going to last, I like the deck pads too. Overall I think it’s massive step forward if you’re looking for more performance.
  1. Worth thinking about – Volume change.
Compared to the FG60L  It’s harder to get on the board, but well worth it for the performance upgrade, if you want to put that little bit of extra effort in! If you can’t be bothered to put the effort in, get a bigger one!, and you’ll be pleased to have the extra volume and still have a small feeling performance board.  
  1. Marginally cheaper than previous board – Winner.
Armstrong Wing SUP FG 60L rrp £1749
Armstrong Wing FG 58L rrp £1619