At A Glance
The AK Durable Supply Co. Plasma foils are the company’s latest offering of high-end equipment designed to hone your skills and master the ocean. Having been developed in conjunction with Ultimate Waterman, Zane Schweitzer, the Plasma’s high aspect ratio shape offers more pump, glide & speed than the previous Surf Foil from AK.
The foil arrived right in the middle of summer. I received the 1300 & 1600 front wings, 260 & 300 tails, 61cm fuselage and 80cm mast. As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to get out on the water and test this high-performance gear.
Unboxing the foil it was clear from the start that AK Durable Supply Co. had put in a lot of attention to detail. The finish of the carbon is smart and incredibly smooth to the touch. The aptly named ‘Stealth’ aluminium fuselage is aerodynamic, the connections from wings to fuse to mast look as though they create very little drag. The full carbon mast starts wide at the board connection and tapers down, this makes for what feels like a very strong & robust piece of equipment. Aesthetics-wise, the graphics on the mast are bold & eye-catching without going over the top.
The tail wing is curved down slightly, this is designed to improve efficiency in your pump & loosen up the turns. As with the previous Surf Foil, the rear wing can be trimmed without the need of using shims, a clever and easy-to-use system that I believe only AK is doing at the moment.
On The Water
This foil is a multi-sport weapon. I regularly used it wingfoiling & dock-starting this summer, however, it would just as well be at home on a SUP, prone, kite, or wake foil.
Out on the wing, I found the 1600 was best for lighter days & 1300 for when it was blowing. The glide of both of these foils meant that catching bumps on the way downwind was easy, and once I was on them I’d be able to glide effortlessly. I found the 80cm mast a good height, not too short that it would breach, not too long that it felt unstable. While the foil doesn’t perhaps turn as well as some lower aspect wings, the 61cm fuselage meant that I was surprised how playful it was. It felt great to freely the wing and carve the bumps downwind. The 1300, being the faster of the two foils, was great for generating speed, loading up, and boosting high. In fact, I’d love to try the 1000 version one day as I’m it’d do that even better!
Moving onto my addiction this summer: the dock start (see the ‘Ladder Club’ article in this issue for more). The 1600 Plasma was the magical bit of kit where everything clicked for me, after several months of trying on various foils I remained unsuccessful, the first day I jumped off the ladder on the 1600 it clicked. Before I knew it my consistency in the take-off beyond what I thought possible when I started. I mainly put this down to the low stall speed of the 1600 wing, even with a poor take-off, a couple of fast pumps and I’d be able to bring the foil high & back up to speed. Once I’d mastered the 1600, I moved down to the 1300 which also worked well. I started using the ladder to dock start into waves & I was hooked for the rest of the summer, the AK Plasma foils have not left the back of my van.
My favourite tail was the 260 as it just loosened up the turns for both front wings. The trimmable rear wing is a real asset to this foil, if you take a key with you on the water you can even adjust it on the go. It’s amazing how much you can change the feel of a foil with this small adjustment.
How does this sport just keep getting better? I’m blown away by the performance & feel of AK Durable Supply Co. Plasma 1300 & 1600 foils. Anyone after an all-around foil should look no further. The only slight negative I can come up with is the slightly heavier aluminium fuselage over a carbon one, it doesn’t notice though, and keeps the price down.
This review was in Issue 10 of Tonic.For more information visit AK Durable Supply Co.