Author Topic: Clearwater foil kits?  (Read 7716 times)

bretrwarner

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Clearwater foil kits?
« on: April 14, 2022, 08:25:04 PM »
Would you all mind sharing your opinions on these foil kits? I know next to nothing about foils. i just bought a Duotone Slick and very much liked the price of these foil kits, especially since I already have epoxy/glass/etc in my garage.
https://www.clearwaterfoils.com/collections/hydrofoil-kits

PonoBill

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2022, 01:43:09 PM »
Nice to see Clearwater moving along in sophistication, though I suspect it's still a one-man-band working in his own shop. I bought one of the wood kits way back when I was doing an incredibly stupid project I called the Geezer Foil. I used the kit to make the rear wing on a surface piercing hydrofoil I thought would be easier on my geezer balance and a bum knee. Total fail.

the kit was nicely done, though very simple and more than a bit frail. I reinforced the heck out of mine with a bunch of carbon and it was still a bit nerve-wracking, though, in reality, it was the least of the many things wrong with that project.

I think if you want to do a DIY foil it's a fine first step. I can't say much about the carbon kit since I haven't seen or tried one, though I did watch the construction video, and based on that have to say it's unsophisticated compared to current manufacturer offings, but workable, and you certainly can't beat the price, though the Cabrina and Gong stuff comes close without requiring that you learn to laminate complex structures. For that low, low price you get a set of wings that are truly DIY, just an eps core for the wing, wood for the stabilizer, and you're on you own. Building good laminated wings is NOT a beginner project, so YMMV.

His layup instructions for the carbon wing with its EPS core is for a wet layup using just a few layers of fiberglass. That might work for very light riders in gentle conditions, but for wingfoiling I'm certain the wing would fail quickly, if not immediately. At the very least I'd use several layers of carbon, bench wetted and vacuum bagged on, with perhaps a few layers of fiberglass to prevent deep scratches from compromising the carbon. For myself, I'd probably use four or five layers of good CF, and I'd want a much stronger attachment system than a poured epoxy plug set into EPS. Obviously, a DIY kit doesn't have to worry much about durability and warranties, but no manufacturer in their right mind would make a wing with this kind of structure.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2022, 02:04:06 PM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

bretrwarner

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2022, 04:49:25 PM »
Thanks Ponobill
That’s super helpful. I’ll have to take a look at the Cabrinha and Ging foils you mentioned.

Itchy Fiberglass

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2022, 07:37:22 AM »

bretrwarner

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2022, 08:06:09 AM »
Just noticed this video yesterday. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet.

PonoBill

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2022, 10:17:58 AM »
Impressive, but not convincing. The question always is, how strong does it need to be? There's no easy answer since tooling around in a lake has a completely different set of consequences than doing a Maliko run a mile offshore by yourself. As I said, this approach has a place, and making foil fabrication feasible for someone in their garage is extremely clever, and I'm glad they're still making the kits and progressing. I'll probably buy one for the fun of it, but no manufacturer would want to support that construction with warranties.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Itchy Fiberglass

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2022, 10:37:13 AM »
Seems to be just as stiff as other wings in similar situations. What do you know that the other manufacturers are doing different? I’ve seen some slingshot wings with a solid wood core, a few layers of glass, and that’s it. Granted it did start delaminating on the leading edge seam.

Califoilia

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2022, 11:00:47 AM »
Having opened up and reshaped (refoiled) a couple wings some guys have chop-shopped, I know that the retail manufacturers aren't using an EPS foam core. Their wings are also a lot thinner and much higher aspect for better performance, and no way is a foam core stiff enough in those applications to keep the wings from flexing in turns or even at higher speeds down the line.

EDIT: But that said, I think the Clearwater kits are a cool idea, and I'm even thinking about buying a front wing just to play with, and see if I can rework the fuse adapter area to accept another brand of fuse with it. :P ;D
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 11:05:21 AM by Califoilia »
Me: 6'1"/185...5'1" Kings Foil Board...5'4" Kings Wing Board...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm if/when the proning urges still hit.

Itchy Fiberglass

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2022, 11:07:36 AM »
So what kind of core where you shaping if it wasn’t foam? Structural pvc foams?

Califoilia

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2022, 12:43:18 PM »
Yes, it is some type of much harder, denser, not white material, and definitely not the EPS foam core of this discussion. Sorry, but I'll just have to leave it at that.
Me: 6'1"/185...5'1" Kings Foil Board...5'4" Kings Wing Board...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm if/when the proning urges still hit.

jondrums

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2022, 05:50:53 PM »
I love what clearwater is doing.  GO FOR IT!  there is nothing like building your own equipment to bring you closer to a sport.

The much higher performance foils popular on the market today are quite a bit thinner in profile, and thus lower drag.  But going thin on the foil profile requires massively higher performance layup materials and process to keep the foil stiff and strong enough. 

I think the video above shows that the materials and layups they recommend are plenty stiff and strong enough.  The foils though are pretty thick and while they'll probably be great for learning with lots of low speed lift - they will also be super draggy and you'll outgrow them and want to upgrade soon enough. 

surfcowboy

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2022, 07:31:27 PM »
Seems to be just as stiff as other wings in similar situations. What do you know that the other manufacturers are doing different?

Since you asked. They are using prepreg carbon. They are molding it over an HD foam core under thousands of pounds of pressure and heating it in an autoclave to cure it. That's what they are doing now. It's changed a bit.

I'm a hacker and a garage builder. Here's why you don't want to spend $400 or $600 on this. It fits one wing. You cannot buy another wing when you need or want to progress.

I'm about to sell 3 Gong rigs used for $400-$450 each. You can buy masts and tails and front wings pretty cheap and never have to toss the whole thing. And when you're done with it you can get a lot of your money back selling it off. Finally that design for winging is ok for maybe a few months and then you will grow out of it. I love this kid. I think his stuff is cool for messing around towing behind a boat on a lake or something. But I've learned that you will change and grow through foils for the first year or two (forever?) So set yourself up to be able to do that without discarding your whole rig. The wood ones for $100 were a cool novelty. At $600 you're into a real used rig and close to a cheap new one actually.

His board blank is genius. If you intend to learn to wing and ever want to jibe, build that, buy foils.

But no, foil wings aren't made like we do in the garage anymore.

surfcowboy

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2022, 07:37:04 PM »
Sorry if that sounded salty lol. I just hate to see folks waste money and time. I've built a homemade foil and the structural parts are hard to dial correctly. One failure and all that work is gone.

But on a positive note, Pono, you see his board kit? The shipping was super cheap and then I noticed, it's shipped in pieces. Genius, I love that guy. He's got small CNC machines so he's worked out how to cut boards and ship them cheap. Really a lot of other people should do that.

PonoBill

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2022, 10:48:08 AM »
Yup, I love the look of the board kits. The guy is a wizard. I even like the track system though not tying it through to the deck limits the strength and durabilty--it's bound to flex and crush the EPS around it.

This is the same level of creativity and willingness to tackle challenging projects that I see in Kane. The only difference is that Kane happens to live in an environment (North Shore Maui) that's one of the most dynamically challenging in the world, so the things he makes and the experiments he undertakes deal with huge forces. Fat guys like me that like medium-large waves and big wind appreciate that.

I've cut open and modified more than a few front wings from Axis, GoFoil, and a Chinese knockoff. All of them are using what looks like at least five to ten layers of carbon on top of high density PVC foam. I've made a wing from marine plywood with two layers of carbon bagged onto it. It was not intended to last long but I was more than a bit disappointed when it split down the middle the first time I used it in surf.  I also built a hollow boxed carbon wing intended to have cast urethane leading and trailing edges. It didn't survive my static testing and never even got wet.

I love what clearwater is doing and wish them well, but I won't be doing any wing downwinders on wings like that. 
« Last Edit: April 19, 2022, 11:19:21 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

bretrwarner

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Re: Clearwater foil kits?
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2022, 11:56:03 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I'll be honest, I am still tempted to try and build one of the foil kits, but I have a much better idea of what I would be in for now. I will start with the board kit on the site and go from there.

 


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