Words: Windsurfing UK
Pics: WSUK, James Jagger, Nick Kingston
Regular readers and the beady-eyed will have spotted in the last few issues of Windsurfing UK we’ve featured both Slingshot’s 2019 Levitator 150L, Hoverglide foil and Infinity 76 wing and Wizard 125L. Off the back of question regarding both boards we’ve decided to publish both test reports here, as well as adding a bunch of extra pics and vids to give you a comprehensive understanding of the kit in question.
The (foiling) future – Slingshot Levitator 150 windfoil board & Hoverglide FWind Infinity 76 alu foil
Slingshot may be a new brand to some windsurfers but their history in the sport is undeniable – SS heads Tony and Jeff Logosz being involved in windsurfing for 20 years. They now bring their foiling expertise, from multiple disciplines, to the party ultimately benefitting you. From the horse’s mouth: ‘1 foil, 5 sports, all abilities, every condition’.
Following Slingshot on social media you may have seen Wyatt Miller’s (interviewed in WSUK’s autumn 2018 issue) aerial foiling antics. Based on his moves you may think Slingshot products aren’t for you.
At first glance the Levitator is futuristic and miles away from standard windsurfing boards. A chunky back end, chined rails running to its minimally rockered, short nose (the Levitator is only 6’6 in length!). Flip it over and you have the pedestal track box – all in it’s a new concept that’ll be alien at first.
Accompanying is SS’s Hoverglide FWind alu foil and Infinity 76 front wing. SS describe this as the best set up for comfortable/confident flights. Utilising their switch fuselage mechanism its 61cm mast can be tuned across multiple points. Combined with the Levitator’s settings you have kit just begging to be tinkered with.
For our money the Hoverglide worked best with the mast slotted straight into the Infinity 76’s forward point. This sat about an inch off the track box’s front. Footstraps were shoved forwards while rigs below 6m were comfortable a few cms from the start of the mast track. Anything bigger needed to be moved forwards.
On the water the Levitator takes a bit of getting used to. Its short length doesn’t deliver quite as much glide as conventional (longer) boards. It therefore needs to be scissored off the wind assertively. There’s also a degree of yaw (side to side movement) that’s easily overcome but may feel unusual at first.
SS’s Hoverglide Fwind foil and Infinity 75 wing lifts progressively and efficiently. It doesn’t rev up too quickly and is therefore a good tutor for progressing flyers. Once up the Levitator’s configuration and mechanics encourage an upright and forward stance. It’s unusual to have so little board up front but a couple of runs will see riders dial in. Minor touch downs are easily brushed off, however, if diving at speed its lack of nose rocker does mean breaches will occur. Fortunately this doesn’t happen too violently due to the composed nature of the Hoverglide foil.
Both the Levitator 150 and Hoverglide foil are superbly engineered pieces of gear. It’s equipment that sits at the new school end of the windfoiling spectrum. For totally green flyers it’d be worth logging some flight time before switching to this set up. With consistency though the Levitator 150 and Hoverglide FWind foil will take you where you never thought possible. Fun to jump, gybe and we even started getting round our first foiling loops. Great looking, well manufactured with progressive performance attributes: windfoiling equipment for the revolution.
The progression project – Slingshot Wizard 125L 2019 windfoil board
Moving on from the 150L 2019 Levitator review we turn the spotlight on the Slingshot Wizard 125L – the brand’s flagship flight sled.
We covered SS’s Hoverglide foil system in the Levitator review, the only difference here being we’re using the more versatile 90cm mast and standard deep Tuttle box head. Flying an increased length mast actually increases early take offs and once you’re up it provides more room to correct your flight height before accidentally touching down or over foiling.
As with the Levitator, SS’s Wizard is a super compact board. The short nose drastically reduces swing weight and provides a more direct foil control feeling while reducing the effect of wind gusts pushing the nose around. It’s actually a lot lighter as well, being constructed with higher grade materials – carbon being a case in point. As with all carbon boards, care should be taken to keep them in optimum condition.
Once on the water, the Wizard’s short length becomes apparent. Stand off the sweet spot and it WILL nose dive. This requires riders performing off foil moves – such as tacks – to slightly tweak their technique. It’s the same when attempting to taxi and take off.
Trusting in the Wizard’s design and the width underfoot at the back of the board is best course of action. Having gotten airborne the benefits of such a nimble sled become apparent.
Footstrap positions, the board’s thick and wide tail plus the illusion of almost
being ‘nose free’ above the brine all combine to deliver a unique feel. And it’s this experience that becomes addictive.
Obviously the act of windfoiling itself is one that keeps riders coming back but it’s the
optimised performance of the Wizard 125 that’ll keep you hooked. Additionally there’s then the progressive nature of the Wizard 125. Whilst flying back and forth – mowing the lawn – is perfectly applicable once you fancy (or if) you’re poised for all manner of foiling transitions, jumps and general flight tomfoolery that you’ve possibly seen some riders indulging in.
Slingshot are by far streets ahead with their progressive shapes and windfoiling wisdom. Aiming firmly at the freeride market, with a gentle shove towards the performance end
of the spectrum having learnt those foiling fundamentals, SS’s Wizard 125 covers the bases and takes you there with style. Riders will need a period of familiarisation but once this has been completed who knows where the Wizard 125 will take you.
Levitator 150L: £2,050
Wizard 125L: £1599
FWIND Hoverglide/Infinity 76: £1,150
Check out the Levitator 150/Wizard 125 comparison vid below –
If you have any questions about either Slingshot’s Levitator 159, Wizard 125 or Hoverglide foil and Infinity 76 wing then let us know. Likewise give us a shout with your own experiences of these two boards and foil.