Words & pics: Tez Plavenieks
Names mean nothing when it comes to windsurfing boards. In fact, when trying to decipher what gear does – having not actually tried the kit in question – it’s pretty hard to get a real handle on things. Most riders look at dimensions, but that too can be misleading because numbers, as with names, mean little other than giving a vague guide.
Enter Tahe’s new for 2021 Wind Foil 160L. Which on paper is a beginner windfoil board. And whilst that it is there’s much more to the 160L than simply flying above water…
Tahe are doing a great job of servicing the beginner windsurfer, early to mid-intermediate sailor and kiddy riders. All Tahe’s windsurfing equipment is aimed squarely at fun and getting on the water as easily as possible. And with kit manufactured in France the Tahe Techno range is a breath of fresh air (although it’s actually always been this way).
The Techno Wind Foil 160L is billed as a beginner windfoil board that’s especially suited to kids. Coming in tough ACE-TEC construction the Wind Foil 160L is durable and able to take knocks/scrapes and shrug them off. A full blue and grey EVA deck pad runs along the entire length with super comfy footstraps affixed to the rear. Underneath there’s a Beach WA 30 rear fin (just long enough for decent performance but short for shallow water) and FCS CONNECT II Touring 9″ centrally located fin to halt downwind drift.
Keeping the deck uncluttered by not having a daggerboard is a nice touch. With a name like Wind Foil 160L you’ll immediately think this is a dedicated fly board. There’s no question the 160L works as a levitating machine but it’s actually an awesome teaching board for beginner kiddy windsurfers and adult learners who want a sled with performance to grow into.
The Techno Wind Foil’s ample width and planted nature ensures stability’s a given. No unruly wobbles and such, even in chop. This inspires confidence in the rider and sees rapid progression. The foam deckpad lends a comfort element to proceedings with no scraped knees. In a straight line the 160L tracks well and has some decent glide translating to non-planing speed. Or, speed to get you up and planing.
It’s a fairly rapid sled, even in non-planing mode. And our kiddy windsurfers were all giggles and smiles when using it. The adult sailors also had their fair share of fun atop the Techno Wind Foil 160L.
So what of windfoil mode? Well, I took it out for a few flights and was pleasantly surprised. There’s no question the Techno Wind Foil 160L benefits from an aggressively lifting foil. I tried a few and found that the additional weight of the full length deckpad and central fun box below does add a little extra weight. So you need power from your foil to fly. But it still lifts fairly quickly, generating enough forwards momentum in light airs (12 knots ish) to raise up.
Once flying the Techno Wind Foil 160’s control is admirable. And should you touch down it will bounce back up easily. If you want to learn the art of foiling then it’s an accommodating bi of kit.
So who will Tahe’s Techno Wind Foil 160L appeal to? Families is the obvious one – partic families with young kids learning to windsurf who may go on to windfoiling. It’s a great board for getting the little ones out with potential for mum and/or dad to then go off for a blast on bigger sails in light airs or enjoy some hoverboarding fun while the sprogs take a breather.
For summer windy fun, both in the classic windsurfing sense and new school sense, Tahe’s Techno Wind Foil 160L delivers on all fronts.
Be sure to check out more of Windsurfing UK’s windsurf equipment tests here –
And if foiling’s your thing then the following will surely prick your interest –