AXIS Foils - Wake Thief Surf Edition
Our journey began in 2020, when we started Wake Thief. We are on a mission in search of the best hydrofoils for the lake. In the spring of 2022, we crowned an AXIS Foil as our “Best Foil of 2022.” You can find the complete video below. This foil received the highest overall score across the activities we like to do on the lake, which includes dock starting, pumping, surfing small wakes, and thieving the wakes of passing boats to create our own endless wave.
Those activities are distinct from enjoying the large wakes behind surf boats. When the wake is steeper and broader, it creates a larger playground on a hydrofoil. Behind the boat, we believe that fast, fluid carving emerges as critical requirements, and for this reason we went in search of the best AXIS foil for behind the surf boat.
As the area of a front wing goes up, so does its drag. The more drag, the slower the foil, so we needed small enough area to ensure high speed, yet adequate area to generate enough lift to suspend a rider in the air. As the wingspan increases, the drag of the foil is reduced, however, as the wingspan increases, so does the resistance to rolling the foil over, something critical to initiate and control carving. The perfect foil needs to have large enough wingspan to reduce the drag to reach high speeds, but not such a large wingspan that rolling the foil over is resistant and slow.
We tried 16 different AXIS front wings, all in a suitable range of area and wingspan to satisfy the demands of large wakes, and crowned our favorite, the ART 899. This Black front wing is thinner than the AXIS Red wings, enabling even lower drag than the Red Series equivalents. With a thin profile, combined with its low 850sqcm area, the ART 899 is a fast, low drag front wing. Further, with an aspect ratio of nearly 10, it has lower induced drag than many other foils, and with only 90cm of wingspan, it is manageable in terms of rolling resistance while carving. When paired with the Black Short fuselage and the 375 Progressive rear wing, we found this setup to be in a league of its own. While this is a high performance, second wake shredder, it is a technically challenging ride at its relatively small area, which requires higher speeds to takeoff and keep in flight. We recommend this foil for experienced riders, seeking high performance second wake carving.
We’ve been riding the AXIS 75cm long & 19mm thick aluminum mast. It’s one the stiffest masts we’ve been able to find. A stiff mast enables a "locked-in” feeling that brings foiling to a new level. We opt for the AXIS Power Carbon High Modulus 750 for the Surf Edition. It’s 3mm thinner than the aluminum mast near the fuselage, which is the part of the mast that remains underwater throughout the ride. At these speeds, and with the low drag design of the ART 899, mast drag is a larger portion of the overall foil drag and this carbon mast delivers an immediately noticeable higher speed on the wake. This expands the playground on the wake, and allows for faster, more aggressive carves at the top and bottom of the wake. The AXIS Power Carbon High Modulus 750 is stiff enough for aggressive and fast-paced carving with the ART 899 at the 10-12mph speed of the boat to produce an optimal wake. We like 75cm length because it’s not so long that mast flex starts to be observable, but also not so short that you can’t execute deep, sweeping carves across the wake.
We recommend pairing this board with a shorter (<120cm long), low volume (<15L) board that minimizes the inertia associated with board movement through the dynamic and thrilling ride you’ll experience behind a surf boat.
For beginners and intermediate riders, we recommend the PNG 910 front wing in place of the ART 899. This wing is larger, easier to tow start and provides plenty of lift for its 1268sqcm area because of its foil section. This front wing is easier to pump and more forgiving for beginner and intermediate riders. We recommend the PNG 910 also be paired with the 375 Progressive rear wing on either the Black or Red fuselage.