AK Surf Foil Q&A

With the release of the updated 1300 and new 1600 surf foil completes, we caught up with AK Brand Director, Clinton Filen to learn more about the range, the team, and the surf foil potential around our HQ in Cape Town, South Africa...

1600 AK Surf Foil Large

Starting with the updated 1300 setup, what are the key changes between v1 & v2?

Most notably, the front wing has a new profile that carries more high-end speed. We’ve also increased the aspect ratio from 4.0 to 4.6, which significantly improves it’s pumping ability. In addition to this, the flatter constant arc creates a smoother turn, complimented by a similar profile in the new moustache tail wing, giving you a really effortless ride.

Why the addition of the 1600?

The 1600 creates a lot more lift than the 1300, which makes it more suitable for a rider in the 80kg weight range in smaller waves. In comparison, the 1300 has more top end, more suitable for bigger waves, use with a kite, or for a rider under 80kg.

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Can you talk us through the construction and key features?

The base plate, fuselage, and mast are made from lightweight aluminum, and we’ve stuck with the Prepreg Carbon front and rear wings, to maintain a favorable strength to weight ratio.

In terms of key features, we’ve kept our trimmable rear wing system, which has been very popular, and all the key connections are M8 Titanium bolts, with a tapered front wing connection system that locks the front wing firmly into the fuselage. We’ve also given the mast a thicker side wall, and increased the mast to fuselage connection surface area by 50%, creating a very solid assembly. Our focus here was to strengthen the connection system and improve the quick disassembly.

Who has been working on the foils and testing through development?

Our Design Engineer, Dave Kay is the guy working late at night getting the prototypes done, and then the test team, Jacques Theron and James Taylor, are up at 5am to test a variety of configurations before the wind picks up.

We also develop the foil surfboards for Starboard, as well as our own foil testing, so local shaping legend Dave Stubbs has been critical behind the scenes helping make that happen. Testing in Bali with our friends at the Rip Curl Surf & Foil School has also given us great insight into what people getting into the sport are looking for, and it’s a lot of fun working with them too.

Once we have something workable, riders such as Zane Schweitzer, Alvaro Onieva, and Dale Staples will get more involved with testing the refinements and pushing the limits of the product.

With a lot of the R&D done in Cape Town, what’s the scene like, and can you take us through some of the main surf foil breaks?

The scene is still pretty small and fragmented, but every week you see a new rider ripping on the foil that you haven’t met before. I would say the scene is centered around Melkbos in the North, and Muizenberg in the South. Both of these spots have enough space for foiling, and fun little waves.

We’re still only scratching the surface of spots, Muizenberg is just so convenient as it’s where our design center is, but we recently did a trip up the East Coast with the foil team, and that was literally mind blowing; the amount of once mediocre surf spots that are simply perfect foil spots!

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1300 Surf Foil     

1600 Surf Foil

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