At A Glance
As the wingfoil market continues its rapid growth, we see innovation at an almost unthinkable pace! It's an exciting time to be a winger, and even more so when we see a totally unique take on a common product arrive on the market!
The team over at Harlem Kitesurfing hasn't been in the wing game long, but their SuperFly V2 wing is already a solid performer. Having wings in the lineup inevitably leads to boards in the lineup, which is where the Harlem Wingman comes in. Fast, easy, and forgiving are the features that Harlem has focused on in the new Harlem Wingman.
We tracked down the Harlem team on the beach in Cape Town to try out some of their new gear and got our hands on the Wingman 5'0 with 88L of volume. We may have even gotten our hands on a new version of their popular wing, but you didn't hear it from us. ;)
At first glance, the Wingman looks like your typical full carbon construction wing board, but a closer look shows a unique base construction. The Flow tech bottom has a similar appearance to the surface of a golf ball. It uses similar technology to create a super-efficient, user-friendly wing board that breaks free from the water for early, easy planing.
In addition to the unusual base texture, the board is designed with a double concave bottom and has a flat tail, which should assist with getting up on foil and recovering from a touchdown. The deck is recessed to bring you closer to the foil and more in tune with your session.
Extra bonus features include a full deck pad, slider nuts, and a handy carry handle on the bottom. Also, unique to Harlem, an integrated Boooomtag in the board so that you can register your product and protect it.
Sizes: 4'11 60L, 5'0 88L, 6'0 120L
On The Water
We tested this board with the new Harlem Fakir EL foil and were blown away by the combo - please excuse the pun. A sceptical person might wonder if features like the Flow tech bottom might be more of a marketing gimmick than a functional design, but this was decidedly not the case.
First things first, on the way to the water's edge, we noticed that the board and foil combo were very light. The full carbon construction and the large but lightweight aluminium foil must have been a combined 10kg maximum. Having the handle on the base made carrying the board and wing at the same time a fairly painless experience. It was especially helpful to have some much-needed stability in the messy shore break. After all, there's nothing worse than putting your foil through your wing before the session even starts!
Our fairly light wind test conditions paired with the 3m wing were sure to be a recipe for a whole lot of pumping. So, imagine our surprise when the board popped straight off the water. Holy cannoli, this board really works! It was insanely easy to get up on foil, partly because we had the help of the very beginner-friendly Fakir EL foil, which had a lot of lift, but regardless, the board had a very efficient feeling. It felt as if the base and shape of the board just repelled the water, so getting up on foil was a breeze.
Even with constantly moving ocean water underfoot, we experienced very few touchdowns, and when we did catch some whitewater going over the waves, it took little to no effort to pop back up and get on foil again. The board has excellent planing ability, and even though the 5'0 size is fairly large for the surf, we found it handled super well, both for freeriding and on the wave.
The Wingman is a great beginner board design, and the largest size with 120L of volume shout be an awesome fit for a new and improving winger. The 88L board we tested is an excellent size for progression and a good fit for beginner/intermediate riders. Even an advanced rider can enjoy the nimble handling and forgiving feeling of this board, especially with the 60L option.
With a brilliant and innovative design, the team over at Harlem has created a wing board that is, as described, the ultimate Wingman! The compact shape and clever design have made this board a low-end friend while still allowing for impressive performance in the surf and for a simple freeride session.
This review was in Issue 11 of Tonic Mag.For more information visit Harlem Kitesurfing