We tested the Duotone Echo 7m wingsurfing wing last year. Whilst the brand have since launched the Slick – featuring an integrated boom and middle strut – the Echo remians a viable choice for many. Here’s the review.
Pics: Oli Lane-Peirce.
For windsurfers the Echo’s boom option has most synergy and could be best fit. Few other wings have this feature, the majprity being fully inflatable types. Additionally, the new draft control rope and battens give the Echo a distinct appearance. There are those who suggest added ‘bits’ complicate matters so in this case the brand’s fully inflatable Unit may be the one.
Rigging the Echo, even with its boom, isn’t time consuming. In fact, it’s simply seconds. And arguably, because there’s no centre strut to blow up, it’s just as quick. With boom, draft control rope and all battens in place you’re all set. The 7m is Duotone’s biggest Echo, but to be honest, even though it’s a big boy/girl toy (or super light wind option) it doesn’t feel that massive. Mainly because Duotone have designed the 7m to be as compact as possible.
On the water the boom makes the Echo 7m feel incredibly secure and dependable. Plus, as widely reported, the infinite hand positions along the boom are welcome – especially during transitions. It fills with breeze efficiently and holds a pretty good shape. Wings in general can warp and deform with gusts but the Echo doesn’t.
Its forwards pull is reassuring as another thing to bear in mind with winging is riders needing more breeze – at least during the early stages. Duotone’s Echo 7m therefore feels powerful. A command of your board and foil is still needed, and in fact the right foil for the job also. For those who already flying, however, simply tug the Echo 7m as a gust hits, pump your foil and lift off occurs. There’s dependable pressure on your backhand as well – which is welcome.
Once flying there’s no issue of the wing tips catching, as long as riders concentrate on the wing’s angle of attack and keep it higher to start. The boom comes into play once again allowing wingers to fine tune their hand placements incrementally as opposed to making do with handle positions. Through transitions, such as gybes and tacks, the Echo 7m rolls almost on remote into position allowing the rider to focus on footwork. This erases one more variable of having to concentrate on the wing.
You could take the 7m into the surf zone although we found it favoured freeriding with the smaller sizes coming into their own for waves. That said we tried a few depowers, riding rolling swell, and found it not to be too bad. It does feel a little big for this kind of thing but it’s more than doable.
Duotone’s Echo wing range is certainly an eye catching product that windsurfers will appreciate – the boom option making it so. The 7m tested here is grunty enough for lighter winds (gets a 90kg foiling in 8-10knts with a bigger foil) and/or heavier riders but doesn’t feel gargantuan once up and flying. It keeps its shape through gusts and loves a foiling tack or gybe. All in Duotone’s Echo 7m is a nice unique product that certainly does the job asked of it well.
Duotone Echo 7m wing – £749
Echo 7m wing and boom – £844
If you windsurf foil as well as wing then be sure to check out Windfoil UK by hitting the link –