TESTED BY: Jim & Rob


TEST TEAM NOTES: Firstly, the Pace 4’6’’ is a much easier ride than the previous model. Riding out touchdowns are now far more successful thanks, in part, to more nose rocker and shape in the rail. It really does deal with being in the water or reacting with the water’s surface very well indeed. At 137cm this is a really accessible length; on the friendly side of starting to break into the smaller, more radical looking boards.

KEEPING PACE The corduroy deck pads provide all the grip you need in bare feet and in grippy boots don’t impede your shuffling movement with big bits of tread. Board construction is thick and buoyant like a surfboard rather than an ABS twin-tip and the Pace sits really nicely in the water; neither sinking deeply or floating high enough to make board starts more of an effort. The Pace is also relatively narrow at 18 ¼’’ and as such performs really well in difficult waters. You can really crank it over and avoid a lot of water contact on the rail, which is excellent news because the two 700 wings that we rode are a lot of fun in strong winds and wavey situations.

Duotone Pace kite foil board

Spirit Freeride 700

Spirit Carve 700

WINGS 700 wings are now considered small these days BUT the Spirit range have a decent amount of stability for their size. They also rise up very steadily. We found that we could move the kite far more aggressively when getting going; much more like when riding a twintip, so the transition into foiling won’t feel so alien if you’re buying this as your first set-up. You can really dive the kite and power up with less restraint than you would on a more a sensitive wing that creates lot of lift.

Fitting together in a modular design with aluminium mast and fuselage, these Carve and Freeride wings are different shapes, as are the accompanying rear stabilisers. The Spirit Carve is also prepreg carbon while the Freeride is from an injection carbon mould and is the more economical version. It’s also more stable, more locked-in and better suited to beginners. For Rob, an advanced rider weighing 100+ kilos and over six feet tall, he accepts that he puts extreme forces through a foil, but found the Freeride set-up was still pretty easy to manage. Once up and riding and with ten minutes of adjusting his technique, he was able to do all his carving / 360 and tacking manoeuvres because it’s stable, predictable and not twitchy.

SPEED AND MANOEUVRABILITY The Spirit Freeride also doesn’t seem to have an insane top speed like some smaller wings, but instead sets itself nice and evenly allowing you to have a really relaxed riding position.

The Carve wing is more manoeuvrable, rides a bit quicker and delivers greater performance, but was more suited to Jim who weighs just 70 kilos. We had a few days of 20 – 28 knots with nice, clean, waist-to-shoulder-high waves. Throwing around a six metre wave kite and carving onto those clean swells in strong winds without any bucking up and down was where the Carve felt totally at home.

These 700s are definitely worth considering for your first foil if you’re coming directly from twin-tip riding, or are looking for a manoeuvrable smaller second wing for stronger winds.

“Big improvements in user-friendliness and therefore performance of the Pace board matches well with the steady rise of both 700 wings.”

SUMMARY: Big improvements in user-friendliness and therefore performance of the Pace board matches well with the steady rise of both 700 wings. The Carve in particular allows for a more tight and slashy riding style, while the Freeride model offers a sensation that’s easy to adapt to if you’re a light weight rider (under 80 kilos) looking for your first foil for normal 15 – 22 knot conditions. KW LIKED:

The Pace’s impressive touchdown handling. KW WOULD CHANGE: In lighter winds or difficult waters, inexperienced riders would benefit from the bigger 960 wing.

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