There’s a lot to be thankful for in terms of design with the arrival of windfoiling. With a new discipline comes all manner of out of the box ideas and concepts that could straddle standard windsurfing in time. Not least a new brand name Duotone’s spangly foil specific F-Type 5.8m is a case in point.
Once unfurled it’s obvious the F-Type is quite different to standard windy sails. First off there’s a large surface area in the main section of the sail topped off with a long Dacron panel next to the luff. The bottom two battens (total four) are similar to old school webbing pullers and connect to Duotone’s innovative SOFT.CAMS (which can be removed if preferred).
Rigging is super simple (especially with the brand’s VTS system printed on the sail) with us ready to fly super quick. To begin with we used the F-Type 5.8m with the SOFT.CAMS in place. The brand state with cams included you get the maximum wind range whilst without manoeuvrability/handling is improved.
As a sail for beginner or progressing foilers the F-Type is non-technical and effortless to use. It’s very soft feeling yet has plenty of bottom end to get flying in low winds. In that it responds well to pumping. After a few runs we removed the SOFT.CAMS to see how that felt. We actually preferred this, but having the option to use with or without is certainly welcome.
Gybes and manoeuvres on foil are doable with the F-Type in hand. It’s a reactive sail that responds to sheeting angles. In fact, over time, we came to think it felt very like an updated One Design sail that incorporates modern features to give more efficiency. Again, it’s soft and easy going handling traits are bliss.
After a few sessions we couldn’t help but see what the 5.8m could REALLY do. We started experimenting with a few foiling forwards. Whilst the F-Type doesn’t have the whip of some sails it has enough low end grunt to pop boards and attached foils up into the air in readiness for trigger pulling. The rest is down to the rider in question.
We weren’t entirely sure what to expect with Duotone’s foil specific F-Type 5.8m. Although billed as an entry level sail there’s plenty of performance to suit experience riders. Its soft yet dependable feel makes it a joy to use – even in overpowered foiling conditions. And there’s plenty of scope for advanced foil moves if you have the skills/balls. We also doff our caps to features like Duotone’s SOFT.CAMS which are super user friendly.