Sizes Available: Mast: 65cm, 90cm
Sizes Tested: 90cm
The Speedster Combo is an easy accessible foil and the ideal tool to quickly improve your hydrofoiling skills. The main characteristics are a huge speed range and excellent track stability.
A special wedge was created to adjust the angle of the rear wing. This allows the foil to fly at lower speeds, which are less intimidating for first-time flyers. The incredible speed range from cruising at lowest speeds to nearly racing performance is probably the most outstanding and unique feature for everyone to enjoy. To complete the overall package, stable winglets have been added to the front and rear wings; these improve the directional tracking of the foil, but also help it to cut smoothly through turns. An optional shorter 65cm mast reduces the leverage ratio on the foil and makes it much more forgiving.
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The Speedster Foil is North’s second generation foil option that demonstrates its design team’s commitment to material development and a finely tuned user experience. Our Speedster came with the 90cm aluminum mast and a medium to high aspect wing set constructed out of a carbon compound that we found to be fairly light but also durable. You can go for the 65cm mast height option which is great for first-learner sessions, but the 90cm mast is what you want to really rail upwind and keep the wing buried when carving big turns or navigating choppier conditions.
The Speedster’s foil-up speed is a little slower than what we would expect for a higher (narrower) aspect wing, but overall the foil begins to generate lift at a middle of the road of speed which makes getting onto lift fairly approachable for beginners and easier to reach liftoff speed in underpowered conditions. The transition into flying the foil felt smooth and predictable with the three axes generally having a very balanced input/reaction that feels stable—this is not your twitchy razor-fast bucking bronco. Controlling and steering on a foilboard is just like an airplane which requires a coordinated mix of input to the pitch (up and down), roll (canting side to side) and yaw (flat turning on a compass heading) axis. Some testers reported the yaw was a little more reactive than the board’s response on the roll axis, which makes the board feel locked in on upwind legs but still lively in the carving department.
The racers didn’t think it had a super high top end while the surfers thought it wasn’t slow enough to ride waves, all of which translates roughly to the idea that the Speedster Combo is a freeride foil which straddles those two worlds comfortably as a foil you can get started with, zoom through the basics and progress comfortably into going fast (not course racing fast) or laying down big sweeping carves (but not dropping in on surf). We found the Speedster Combo to be a really well-mannered wing that is user-friendly and with a nice crisp and responsive feel that will keep you happy logging distance or carving up your backyard long after you’ve mastered your first flight.
This page was updated on July 16, 2019.
Want more gear reviews all in one place? Read detailed and objective reviews on the 30 kite models and 33 board models that Tkb and freeride testers reviewed for the 2018 Freeride Gear Review Guide.