I learned to ride a foil board about two years ago in Newport Beach, California.
My good friend and workmate, Jerry, took me out one day and helped me get my first sustained ride, and I was hooked.
Before then, I always lived in fear of my friends, who always scared me with the “huge learning curve” and all of the foiling. They were all grossly overstating it.
Sure, I had to put up with several face plants and drinking several gallons of water before it finally clicked.
The big crashes were also frequent, but I progressively developed it all as I dialed it in myself.
The fly trick wasn’t even nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Simply put your feet back a little and ever so lightly, and unweight the front and you’re good to go.
The trick is to be subtle with your movements. The last thing you do is “stab” at it with sudden movements. It’s all about taking your time and getting a feel of how it behaves.
And the good thing with foiling is that it’s unlike any other board sports.
See, I had been a wakeboarder for the longest time and can tell you that they don’t compare.
First, foiling feels different. And the best part is it works on every type of boat. For me, at least, I now borrow my uncle’s bow-rider boat for the runabouts.
Because the excitement of foiling doesn’t come from launching off the wake but simply from the sensation, you experience at speeds as low as 5 to 8 mph.
It’s a new balance point that allowed me to enjoy time on the water, even in the smaller, mushy Californian surfs. From pumping ponds to wake foiling swells to rising above the choppy waters for a buttery smooth feeling, every day was a foiling day.
Plus, it opens all sorts of new doors and will have you looking at the ocean and everyone in the water with a new perspective.
Of course, having the right equipment plays an important role in your progression in foiling.
In any case, a wake foil determines whether your experience on the water is a blast or complete frustration.
And let’s be honest, foils don’t come cheap. And the worst mistake is acquiring a foil you don’t love or worst a foil that doesn’t help you grow in the sport.
But you don’t have to worry about selecting a foil for your surfing needs. I’ve prepared a guide outlining some of my favorite foils in the market.
Table of Contents
The Best Wake Foils For The Money
#1 Phase Five Gadget Wakefoil Package - EDITOR'S CHOICE
Our choice for the best wake foil is the Phase Five Gadget Wakefoil Gadget.
This foil package is a favorite choice for many surfers for one simple reason: performance versatility.
Phase Five is challenging enough for the advanced to expert wake foilers, yet it’s nimble and stable enough to allow first-timers to wake foil without finding themselves face-first in the water.
One feature that sets up this monster for its awesome performance is the design.
Phase Five’s design includes a larger 760 Front Wing with neoprene padded wing covers. It’s a nice choice for it enhances the overall lift and side stability, making it work for anyone who would like to try.
Plus, no need to worry about bashing the surf foil on the waves because it utilizes V.R.T Technology and Epoxy resin, so it’s hard-wearing and lasts for quite a long time.
Phase Five Gadget foil package also comes with a host of features that enhance the overall performance.
For example, the surf foil track mount system lets me mount any foil on the wake foil.
And not only that!
The foil track mount system helps foilers micro-adjust the foil to meet their specific needs.
Another desirable feature that I fell in love with was the twin surf fins that allow more movement and enhance the overall maneuverability.
The twin fins, plus the 24″ mast, result in a board with a medium level of stability yet with a high response. So, the Gadget foil package is easy to surf, even the smallest wakes.
#2 Liquid Force Pod Wake Foil Set - Performance Wake Foil
The Liquid Force Pod Wake Foil Set is a high-performance and quality wake set that will certainly change your experience on the water for the better.
It has little tweaks and refinements here and there to ensure your wake foiling will never be the same again.
One of my favorite features is the folder 125″ large wings that amplify my ride. It allows me to carve effortlessly and achieve the cutting edge turns on the wake.
Plus, it also includes a 27” mast. Not the longest, but it will keep my board from touching the rough water, so I can enjoy wake foiling even in the relatively larger waves.
The Liquid Force Pod Wake Foil Set is also sturdy and will take you to places you’ve never imagined without fear of the foil breaking down on you.
A titanium-coated stainless steel ensures you benefit from a long-lasting and durable wake foil, no matter how hard the overhead waves hit you or how long you stay in the water.
Keep in mind the Liquid Force Pod Wake Foil Set is a big game. But the good thing is the generous size, with padded elements and transition plate, will help you achieve a regular speed and stability to wake foil in.
#3 Phase Five Gizmo Wake Foil Package - Fastest Wake Foil
The Phase Five Gizmo is designed for the smaller waves and wakes. It provides fun even on the 2nd or 3rd wake behind the boat.
It’s also a unique surfing foil. The Innegra and carbon inlays make the board stand out from its competitors.
As a foil-specific wake foil, the Gizmo will stand up to the abuses of wake foiling like a champ.
It’s strong and stiff and includes optional foot straps to help the expert wake foilers dial up their progressions when wake foiling aggressively. At the same time, it’s also forgiving enough to the beginners and will help them stabilize when dipping their toes into the sport.
The foil wings are covered with Neoprene, so you don’t need to worry about them getting damaged.
Beginners will particularly appreciate the Phase Five Nova Foil with the 760-front wing. It gives them plenty of surface area to stand on while improving the overall stability.
The 28” mast length is also one of the longest masts on our bundle, and it offers tons of room when pumping and cruising high out of the water. The higher raise when foiling is crucial, especially when working through the choppy and larger surf.
Expert surfers will also love Phase Five’s Foil Track Mount System that you can swap at your convenience. It’s also easy to micro-adjust and customize it for your preferences.
Overall, the Gizmo is a great wake foil, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a foil-specific board design with top-tier responsiveness. It’s particularly a wonderful option for the advanced riders who know to utilize the board responsiveness to their advantage.
#4 Slingshot Sports Hover Glide WF-1 - Best Wake Foil for Intermediates and Advanced Surfers
If you’re a fan of the Fantastic Four, then I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the Hover Glide.
It’s the wake foil that Silver Surfer used to run away with.
I love this foil because it gives surfers a levitating experience like no other wake foil on our list- something like the air chair sport.
And that’s not all!
Like most of the surf foils on our list, it features a foil mount track. It’s a handy design feature that will let you adjust and customize the lift you get from the foil.
The best part is the track will even let you wakesurf without the foil.
Hover Glide wake surfboard is also built to last and will take on a beating without breaking down.
The stringerless EPS foam construction is sturdy and can survive abuses and hits from the double overhead waves. Yet, it’s forging, and in case you take a swipe or hit, it won’t result in any injuries or bruises.
The performance of the water of this soft top foil board is also exceptional, thanks to the two classic fins and a board with a fast rocker line.
Both of these features help with better maneuverability in the water and help you cut across the face of the wake effortlessly.
The extended mast length, at 28 inches, is also quite long and will keep you floating even in the darndest conditions. It doesn’t let the board touch the water, so you can confidently surf in the choppy waters.
#5 Liquid Force Nebula Wake Foil - Unique Wake Foil Board
The Liquid Force Nebula Foil Board is one of the more advanced boards on our list.
It utilizes a unique design and structure that keeps you comfortable while riding high on your wake foil.
The other noticeable feature on the Liquid Force Foil Board is the dura-surf construction. It’s a wonderful design that keeps surfers super comfortable while offering immense stability for beginners.
And that’s not even the best part!
Nebula’s deck utilizes a concave deck, which allows you to have better control of your board. It gives a locked-in feel while helping with the gradual increase of speed as you surf.
Plus, the double concave ensures that minimal water remains on your wake foil during your water rides.
Remember, this set is a horizontal foil set and probably among the most advanced sets that will take your foil surfing to new levels.
You also get regular inserts that are extremely efficient at improving the overall balance and stability when surf foiling. This is a plus for beginners.
On the other hand, experienced riders will appreciate the large airplane wing that improves the foil’s speed, carving, and maneuverability.
And finally, you get three angled shim plates that will let you choose the desired preference when riding.
Best Wake Foils Buying Guide
What is Wake Foiling and Hydrodynamics 101
A wake foil is simply a foil equipped with a board that widens your freedom of riding waves anywhere or wherever a lift occurs.
Wake foiling, on the other hand, is an innovation of surfing.
The new surf niche gives you the ability to perform stunts behind any kind of boat, regardless of the water conditions.
Unlike other similar water-based sports, wake foiling doesn’t require speed.
It gives the best sensation of wake foiling on a board.
Generally, most foils come complete with a selection of foils and masts, compatible with all types of riders, surf style, and riding style, making it easy to customize their boards.
Now into hydrodynamics.
Hydrodynamics 1010 is the ability to master fluids. It deals with solids that are usually immersed in liquids, like a surfboard immersed in water.
Now, mastering the shape of the surfboard, its fins, and changes in the way water moves around it is known as hydrodynamics.
The other thing about mastering hydrodynamics is the surfer’s ability to control the surfboard in the water and know the different shapes of the surfboard’s underside and the type of rise it gives.
Factors to Consider When Selecting the Best Wake Foil
Wake foiling is still a relatively new water sport in the boating industry, so the guidelines for acquiring one are still hard to get.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a guide outlining everything you need to know about selecting the best wake foil.
Our guide will help you pick a foil that matches your skill level.
The board is the most important element as it connects the rider to the surface.
But the board’s shape, construction, and style are countless because the foil wing takes more weight.
However, we recommend beginners to pick the compression-molded or foam-coated boards if they’re more responsive and will perform as the rider wants.
The compression-molded boards are generally heavier and will dampen most of your vibrations, and this is useful when you’re first learning how to foil.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to progress, or are well-oriented and want to stay longer in surf foiling, consider the fiberglass-proofed foils.
The fiberglass boards and options created from carbon fiber are weightless but offer a more secure feel on the water. They’re ideal for the more advanced surfers.
The foil wing is where all the magic happens.
It’s the part that causes lift, so the most crucial piece, at least for me.
Generally, foils are placed into two groups: wake and surf.
The foils are designed to lift at slightly faster speeds, while the round surf foils lift at slower speeds.
Foil Mast Length
The mast is the connection between the soft top board and the foil.
Choice of mast and mast length is based on the rider’s experience and ability level.
For example, beginners need a short mast as they perform well at slower speeds. The beginner masts are also more forgiving and stable.
On the other hand, larger mast sizes are ideal for the more advanced riders and perform well at higher speeds.
Generally, the larger mast sizes can handle the choppy waters better because riders can stay on the foil without touching their foil boards on the water. The large masts can also handle the different surf styles and different surfers of different ability levels.
Some of the common types of foil masts include wake masts, surf masts, and starter masts. You should choose a mast that suits your experience.
Best Surf Foiling Boards Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the best wake foil Boards?
A: The best wake foils are reliable, easy to use, and float on a water well. They also have immense responsiveness, and this makes them more maneuverable for advanced surfers.
Q: Are foils dangerous?
A: Foils are like any other water sport. You need to be extra careful how you handle them. This is particularly true for beginners because mishandling the foil can cause harm. I advise beginners to stay away from crowded places.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our winner for the best wake foils is the Phase Five Gadget Wakefoil Gadget.
It’s a performance-oriented and reliable wake foil that ensures you enjoy wake foiling.
The foil is responsive, easy to use, and has plenty of stability, even for new riders.