We interview Ivan van Vuuren founder of Signature Performance Foils, part of Signature Performance Gear (SPG). It sounds like we have only just begun to see what these guys have in store for us! So exciting!
Where is SPG based?
HQ - Paia, Maui
R&D - Cape Town, South Africa
When was SPG established?
Signature was Est. in 2013, first in the Surf, Skate + SUP arenas and then in 2017 we dived into the foil market. Signature Performance Foils are now being rated by top WSL surfers and riders around the world as their favourite performance foil.
Tell us about your foiling journey.
My foil journey started on Maui about 15 years ago while filming & documenting the first kiteboard and local tow-in crew adapting the original, sharp, heavy aluminum air chair foils onto their boards. I was given one and immediately mounted it on my windsurf board. Fast forward to 2016 and enter Kai on the scene to re-spark the flight dream and inspiration to create performance water gear to fly.
What are you riding now?
SPG 4’6 HYDRO + 175 STEALTH // 5’10 ULTRA~X SUP + 210 ALBATROSS
How and why did SPG get into making foils?
We first tried a friends foil from Hawaii and got totally hooked. We looked to importing to SA, but high shipping + the price of local import taxes made it challenging.
We then connected with a foil designer who was making a few foils locally – little did we realize that the combo of his advanced design knowledge together with our teams input would create a winning formula that was totally different to anything else on the market.
What makes your foils different to whats currently on the market?
For us, our design crew all foil and are constantly wanting to push the performance boundaries in boards, accessories and foils- rather than just copy what’s already out there. We love to create, test and ride: feather light, full carbon efficient foils that will help riders at all levels to achieve results that make them stoked, realizing that they can also attain longer glides, faster downwind runs, longer pumps and sharper turns with the right gear that has been tested by Riders4Riders.
How does SPG refine its foil design?
If done correctly, and you take a look at the intricate back end 3D file of a performance foil, you’ll realize it’s really more like creating an airplane wing- almost any foil can “fly”, but more importantly we are realizing and asking the questions - “how efficient does the foil fly, can it maintain glide, does it have a top end speed, does it have a wide rider range and most importantly, how will the foil help the rider improve?” These are just some of the basic elements as we try create new innovative designs.
What's an overview of the SPG range of foils?
We have a large foil range and new models in line to be released. Each foil design has so many different attributes;
MIRAGE 200 is insane for beginners to semi advanced and the perfect all rounder.
ALBATROSS is a downwind / pump machine.
STEALTH 175 is our advanced rail-to-rail performance foil.
Mast lengths are available in 650mm and 750mm.
What's an overview of the SPG range of boards?
Creating Boards is what our shapers and designers dream about! In our range we have the;
PEGASUS a down-wind foil board range for beginners.
Ultra~X is our advanced SUP.
Hydro & ULTRA are the surf foil board range for extreme foiling.
For more information, stop by our website www.SignatureFoils.com so we can link riders to the nearest distributor.
What's in the pipe line for the next 12 months?
Oh man its gonna be a crazy few months ahead as we start unleashing some of the new creations which could literally change the sport of foiling as we know it. From easier learning to super advanced technology that will offer foil boarders feelings they only dreamt of. We realize this is only just the beginning; so hold on tight its gonna be a wild and fun ride.
There’s a whole load of new and exciting International riders about to be announced! Some of our main R&D test pilots are:
Kane De Wilde