At A Glance
F-ONE have been on point with their hydrofoil game for some time; honing their skills with kite foiling years ago, they transitioned to wing foil early and had one of the best all-around foils on the market with the Phantom series. New for 2023 are the Eagle and Seven Seas foils. We tested the Eagle last issue, so it was great to jump on the latest Seven Seas foil for a few months and get a feel for where this set-up fits in the range.
The Phantom has an AR of 6.0; the Eagle uses a super high AR of 9.5; the Seven Seas, by contrast, has an AR of 7.5; in other words, it sits right between the two foils. It's not just the AR that sets a foil apart, though; there is a lot more to it than that. The 1400 is the biggest of the three sizes, with a 1000 and 1200 making up the range. The most striking thing about the Seven Seas are the small fences on the wing tips, designed to reduce induced drag (the curling vortexes that form at the tips); it certainly makes it look different to what is out there.
Designed to be paired with the C250 FENCE stab, the whole package, as ever, is stunningly finished in pre-preg carbon with a MonoBloc structure to ensure stiffness.
On The Water
I've been riding the Phantom for a while now and have ridden a few other foils from other brands, too; I always seem to be drawn back to the ease of use of the Phantom, though, and that has been my go-to set-up. So when I was asked to test the Seven Seas, I wondered what it could bring over the Phantom, which feels so well polished.
I instantly discovered the benefits of this new foil, number one it is fast; while it isn't a crazy HR design, the higher aspect and thinner profile means a lot more speed, I think on average around 3-4 knots, while that doesn't sound like much it feels a lot faster on the water. This speed brings many benefits, namely getting more distance in a shorter time, which means you can practice more.
In a straight line, that speed is impressive for a wing that is also surprisingly easy to use; I didn't find it any harder to ride than the very user-friendly Phantom; the stall point is a little higher, thanks to the AR being increased you will find it can lose lift at low speeds which the Phantom never seems to do. However, due to the nature of the speed of the foil, you aren't ever really going slow.
It's effortless to pump onto the foil in light winds, too and at the top end, it never felt maxed out, even in 40 knots with a 3.5m wing. You can carry the speed into manoeuvres, which helps you stay on the foil, especially when tacking. It's also easy to carve despite being 1400; it feels lively underfoot.
The glide on this wing is incredible; I could catch waves earlier, pump far easier and stay on the waves for much longer than the Phantom. Even getting comments from friends about how far out I was collecting the swell and how long I could cruise on it. The Seven Seas feels like an excellent foil for riders who want a little more performance but don't want the inherent drawbacks of going high aspect, namely pumping in light winds and high stall speeds.
What about the fences? Arguably the most significant new design aspect, I found when carving hard, there wasn't any tip hang-up in the turns, and also, when you got the tips out of the water, they didn't suck air down on re-entry and stall. I had loads of fun carving hard, getting the tips out, and finding no noticeable change in performance.
The Seven Seas is forgiving, easy to ride and now one of my new favourite set-ups. Fast, with amazing pumping ability and loads of glide, it's an impressive bit of kit. A worthy upgrade to anyone who loves the Phantom or for a rider looking for a higher aspect wing that isn't over the top and still has the lift to get up in light winds and inspire confidence at every turn.
This review was in Issue 14 of Tonic Mag.For more information visit F-One