a Blog About Adventure Travel for Kite-Surfing and Cycling with a Custom Built Van
Putting a Foil Kit Together for Travel
Putting a Foil Kit Together for Travel

Putting a Foil Kit Together for Travel

Putting a Foil Kit Together for Travel

Finding the perfect foil kit to take on your next kite adventure can be tricky because there are a lot of really good brands out there (Armstrong, Tacuma, Slingshot Sports, etc.) and a lot of options to consider.

This is a general review of traveling abroad with an Armstrong Foil Kit for kiteboarding.

Warning: This post is for carbon-fiber gear heads and foil nuts only!

The Pros and Cons of Traveling with an Armstrong Foil

Pros

  • Overall smooth ride
  • Lightweight carbon-fiber
  • Solid structure
  • No vibration or extra movement in the foil
  • Oozes high quality

Cons

  • Overall assembly and disassembly
  • Requires careful threading of bolts (to avoid cross-threading)
  • May require a rubber mallet or other tool to take apart (careful it’s carbon-fiber)
  • Carbon-fiber tends to float (board may tip over and stay further upwind if you loose it while kiting)
  • It’s expensive gear

The Armstrong Foil is an awesome carbon-fiber foil set-up and is a super clean ride.

Kite Foil Travel
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This is a smooth ride!

Foil Assembly

The strength of Armstrong Foils is that the whole rig is solid. There is not a lot of movement in the foil once assembled. You need a “Torx” hand screwdriver to put it together. The foil has very little vibration, whistling, humming, or other noises while riding.

The mast and front-wing are essentially shrouds that wrap around the fuselage with titanium bolts. These bolts hold the foil kit together on different axis points to create one solid unit.

Only the rear wing has a more traditional foil attachment point with two shorter titanium bolts that attach it to the fuselage. You can add a variety of different shims here as well.

Foiling in Shallow Water
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Shallow Water = Short Mast

Overall, Armstrong Foils practically ooze high quality from the clever track attachment points and solid lightweight carbon structure, to the comfortable/flexible foam foot straps.

However, the strength of this foil can be a weakness in the area of quick assembly of the foil itself.

The assembly of an Armstrong Foil takes a little patience requiring careful hand threading of the bolts. The latest foil assembly requires at least 8 bolts and a couple of barrel nuts in total.

It often requires the use of a rubber mallet to tap the fuselage to get a near perfect alignment of the holes.

Putting a foil kit together for travel
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A rubber mallet may be required.

Foil Disassembly

On disassembly, you will definitely need a rubber mallet (or wood surface, wood 4×4, etc.) to take the foil apart. The front-wing and mast often get stuck to the fuselage after taking all of the bolts and barrel nuts out.

Rotating the front-wing back and forth by hand helps a little in separating the mast from the fuselage, but it can still be tricky to take the foil apart completely by hand.

Gently tapping the back of the front wing with the mallet will help release the fuselage from the mast. Once the fuselage is apart, tap the wing again to remove it from the fuselage (check out the Armstrong Foil Manual for extra details).

If you live in a great kite or wing foiling spot already, I would simply just leave the whole foil setup assembled.

Foil Padding
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On the other hand, if you are traveling, disassembly is going to be required.

Traveling with a Foil!

Learning to foil can amplify the number kite sessions you have on a trip. Even if a given kite destination typically is known for good wind, you may still encounter some light wind conditions.

The super light weight nature of a full carbon-fiber foil setup cuts down on the overall weight of your bag. This is where an Armstrong Foil excels.

However, if you are trying to travel light (under the 50 pound or 23 Kg mark), the need of a rubber mallet to assemble or disassemble the foil setup is a disadvantage.

Carbon-fiber can be fragile!

Safely packing your kite bag for a trip can be a little bit of a puzzle. The individual padding and storage bags that Armstrong provides are excellent and helps here.

This makes packing your kite gear bag easy knowing that both the carbon fiber wings (and that your kites) are well protected.

Putting a Foil Kit Together for Travel
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Light-wind and shallow water setup: 1200 square cm front wing, 300 square cm rear wing, 60 cm mast. Nobile Skim Foil Fish Board.

Foil Destinations

The kind of foil kit you take on your next kite trip may depend a lot on the destination and conditions that you are traveling to.

For example, if you are traveling to a place that has a lot of reefs and shallow water, then it will be a good idea to take a shorter mast (such as a 60 cm mast) with you. That way you don’t have to wade a mile (1.6 Km) out to deeper water.

Kite Foiling a Black Sandy Beach
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Kite Foiling on a Black Sandy Beach

However, if you have a little more deep water to work with or you can start more on a slight angle, a longer mast will give you more to work with while foiling. You may also want to take a combination of smaller front and back wings if you know that the wind is going to be good, and you want a more zippy or sporty ride.

Final Thoughts

Nonetheless, the performance qualities of an Armstrong Foil for kiteboarding is simply top-notch and heavily outweighs any qualms that may be had with quick assembly and disassembly.

Ultimately, if you are traveling to a fantastic kite destination, an Armstrong Foil Kit deserves a place in your kiteboarding quiver and gear bag.

There are a lot of great kite destinations out there.

What is your favorite travel foil setup? Do you have a favorite kite foil destination? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Stay tuned for more kiteboarding and foil fun.

Thanks for reading. ~KiteBikeVan

Kite Travel
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Kite Foil Spots Sighted
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