Sizes Available: 1500, 1850, 2200cm2
Sizes Tested: 1500cm2
The Sonar 1500R is a true crossover wing with real performance across every foiling discipline. So stable, you’ll feel like you’re like standing on the ground. The 1500R is great for prone foil surfing in medium to large waves, has a smooth, carvey feel and fits nicely in the pocket. Its predictable lift gives you time to find a comfortable stance without fighting to keep the nose down as the foil accelerates.
So you’re able to remain in the same position over the entire speed range. The balance of the foil system means you can place your back foot further behind the mast, letting you ride the board more like a shortboard. Our new, specialized reflexed-camber foil section design gives the wing pitch stability and prevents your board’s tendency to nose up strongly when you first get going. A reflexed wing gives you impressive control throughout the entire speed range, with extreme top-end speeds unheard of for a wing that size.
Visit for more info: www.northkb.com/en/products/foils/front-wings/sonar-1500r-reflexed-front-wing
The 1500R is a new wing from North that can tackle every foil discipline from kite foiling, to wingsurfing and even foil sup and surfing. Boasting easy starts with solid low-end lift, the reflexed technology gives you super user-friendly carving with a solid speed range that covers a ton of freeride and surf-oriented ground.
Design and Features
With North’s modular, plug and play system, you can switch between aluminum masts/fuselage and the growing family of wings that cover every foil discipline. We tested the 1500R with North’s 85cm pre-preg carbon mast (which is also available in a 72cm height), carbon fuselage and the S01 rear stabilizer which has a slight delta aspect ratio and a subtle concave curve with no winglets. The 1500R front wing bolts to the fuselage with M8 33mm torx head bolts, which is notable because North puts the bolt spec on each of the bolt heads in case you misplace one and need to find a replacement at your local hardware store. There’s a lot of small details baked into a modular system and the North designers have done a great job of integrating both durability, stiffness and ease of use into the Sonar setup.
The Sonar system in full carbon is impressively light with a really good feeling in your hand and features the highest quality and attention to small details on every piece. The 1500R wing has a bit less backwards swoop than the 850 and 1150 Sonar wings we had tested previously and offers a reflexed camber that helps the foil feel extra pitch stable at all speeds.
The first thing we noticed was the 1500’s super easy takeoff, with early lift easing on at fairly slow start-up speed. Finding a great balance between beginner kite, surf and wing, the 1500R begins to lift at lower board speeds which helps in situations where you have less power. There’s a slight bit of extra vertical lift on takeoff before leveling out and the pitch axis felt super stable and intuitive for easy management of the board’s height over the water. The steering axis was balanced with the yaw axis feeling a bit more active than the roll axis, but both worked to create turning that was lively and responsive for surf and aggressively carving up swell, yet smooth and reliable which increased our confidence to push the wing harder.
One of the features of the 1500R is that it combines a really efficient foil that allows you to accelerate into a faster high-end speed that lets you keep up with swells and has great glide and pump abilities that can help you drive to the next piece of swell energy without having to use too much kite power. With a lower foil-down speed the 1500R allows you to pause and carve any size swell without worry of falling off foil while you’re pivoting off the top of a swell or wave. With the slower foil-down speed, it’s easier to pump the 1500R to keep it driving until you connect with the next swell or line up more power with your kite.
The foot pressure on the 1500 feels static between low and high speeds with a very consistent slight front foot pressure that gives you a good feeling of control without requiring extra energy to maintain the foil’s balance. The 1500R has good high-end speed that will surprise you for its size and the overall feel of the carbon setup is robust with your inputs going directly into the wings. We breeched the wingtip to test its ability to reengage with the lift and found that the 1500R cleared out any cavitation along the wingtips and recovered quite easily. The same goes for when you top-out and bring the entire wing to the surface, as the 1500 recovers incredibly well and gets you back on foil to ride away from mishaps.
The 1500R surprised us with its extra maneuverability and its wide speed-range that tends to compliment carving and swell chasing. The versatility of the Sonar 1500R seems to meet quite a few needs, its slower speed capabilities make it a great entry-level foil as well as ideal for light-wind foilkiting. The 1500R is also really fun for those who want to carve and glide between swells, whether you like to do that on a kite or with an inflatable wing. Finding the perfect balance between speed, lift and maneuverability, the 1500R does an excellent job of serving as a cross platform foil that covers a lot of ground over multiple disciplines.
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