Forums General Chat Stabilizers

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    Super interested in a stab discussion. They make a big difference in performance, less expensive to replace or experiment with than the front wing. Kane and you all knowledgeable foilers, can you please share what you like, why?when? Etc? Thank you

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    Zane Saenz

    I think small stabilizer wings give the board such a looser feel and more like a shortboard or skateboard feel while on the wave, definitely should try it out as long as it has enough lift for you. Big stabilizers mean easer pumping though usually. I use a really small 150 sqcm back wing usually. The curvy stabilizers definitely give a little more hold while carving. Personally I like the upturned wings better than the downturned ones just because of how the water flows while turning feels better to me. Flat stabilizer wings are more efficient and give more speed and are so good for pumping. The type of stabilizer really depends on what you want to do with riding but they are definitely game changers and are probably almost as important if not just as important as the front wing.


    Huge differences for sure. Like Zane, for most surf foils I really like the upturned tips with some anhedral in the middle. That just seems the most intuitive and reliable to me while maintaining efficiency.

    For maximum glide and pump, can’t beat a high aspect flat stab paired with a high aspect front wing. Gofoil 18n is excellent for the GL210. Chop it down 2″ for the GL180 and chop it down 4″ for the GL140.

    Lately, I’ve been really stoked on the MFC 1250/1400 combo. It has a lot of the high aspect benefits but takes it next level with maneuverability and intuitive feel. Full-on High aspect setups are great but you do need to babysit them and ride in a certain way.

    Kane DW

    Stabilizers are a ton of fun to play with, it’s mind blowing how much of a feel difference swapping can have!

    When choosing a tailwing, every part of the design has a huge impact on feel. Things like foil section, span, chord and curve will all affect the feel in different ways and knowing how it works can really help when making or choosing a tailwing.

    Wingspan is the easiest teller of tailwing lift as most production tailwings have a similar chord and thickness. Changes in wingspan also usually come with changes in area as well. Wider wingspans have a tighter, quicker lift and more drive. A smaller wingspan has less roll resistance but sacrifices drive and efficiency.

    Curve is the other biggest factor. Any curve will increase the vertical area of the tailwing. This gives more of a stabilizing effect. Curve up or down will affect what the foil does entering and exiting turns.
    Downcurved or anhedral tails will pitch up when entering or exiting a turn. They feel very reactive and are great for open face carves with a low yaw angle. mustache shaped tailwings have a more neutral feel entering and exiting turns. They can handle tighter turns and behave better at high yaw angles. Mustache tails can also pack a lot of vertical area into a small package giving a more locked in feel.
    Upcurved and upward winglet tails pitch down slightly at high yaw angles. This makes A slight upward curve ideal for riding in the pocket and doing tight snappy turns at low speed. They give more drive on the down pump but tend to lose a little on center feel at high speed compared to a slightly downcurved tail. Winglet design can fix this to a point
    Flat tails have the least yaw resistance and like mustache tails, are neutrally balanced. They are very fast, forgiving through the foam, and are easy to make. Downside is they can be too drifty for some front wings and need to be dead level (side to side) to work right.

    Now for the fun part, thickness and foil section. Just like front wings, The thickness of a tailwing has a huge effect on how it feels. Thicker has more low end lift but more drag at high speed. Thinner can stall out in low speed pumps but is very “tight” and reactive at high speed. I’ve found my magic thickness to be 6-7mm, it has a good balance of drag and low speed lift while giving room to play with different foil sections.
    On to foil section. Along with span and thickness, the foil section will control how much lift the tail will make as speed and angle change. At this scale, the thing that matters most is symmetry and camber. A less symmetrical section will give tons of drive but won’t be as loose and forgiving as a more symmetrical, lower camber section. Weirdly, the tailwing section I end up using is usually pretty close to the front wing section.

    Angle is the last main factor. It’s pretty simple and easy to mess with, more angle equals more lift and drag from the tailwing. If you’re designing a tailwing, a safe angle is between 1.5 and 2.5 degrees between the front and back wing. The right angle for a given tail will depend on purpose and speed range.

    It’s really hard to explain how every design element affects the feel and riding characteristics. There’s so much more to talk about. The best way to learn is to make a g10 tail and modify one element at a time to get a really good idea of the changes it makes while riding.

    My end goal with tailwing design is to match the pitch resistance to my reaction time, to have even foot pressure throughout the speed range, and be forgiving in tight situations (foam, airs, turbulence, etc) so far 2 in my arsenal feel perfect. Each takes about a month of riding and adjusting to get right.

    I’d encourage every foiler to experiment with tailwings! Even if you don’t know anything about it, changing it up keeps things fresh and makes you a better rider!


    I made a rear stabilizer with a super thin 1/8 wood core at 200mm span then wrapped it in cf out to 500mm span. It flexes nicely in turns and is super responsive in terms of feedback when pumping.


    Check out my first swept stab design under chop shop I think it’s benefits foiling are definitely interesting, the disadvantages of the forward swept design seem to be largely limited by the speed being limited by the front wing

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