Review: The AFS-2 Windsurf Foil, Tested!

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AFSAlien Foiling Systems is a French brand who started prototyping and testing windsurfing foils way back in the late 2000s, finally bringing the first production windsurf foil to market in 2012 with their AFS-1.  We finally took the plunge and got our hands on one in 2016, immediately becoming fully addicted to windsurf foiling.  The AFS-1 is a piece of engineering beauty, seamlessly attaching wings to space rocket-like fuselage with no tools required and sleek curves everywhere you look.  Gorgeous and effective, the AFS-1 whet our whistles for foiling and we haven't looked back since.

So it was with much anticipation that we accepted delivery of the AFS-2, the brand's only major redesign in almost ten years.  In their own words, they didn't want to put something new out unless it built substantially on what they already offered.  So the AFS-1 sits uniquely in the light wind, early flying, crossover windsurf/SUP foiling arena. The AFS-2 seeks to embrace the higher speed and more "performance-oriented" aspect of windsurf foil free riding and racing.

On first sight, the AFS-2 is substantially thinner and sharper overall in the mast and fuselage, with more blade-like wings.  The solid carbon one piece mast/fuselage are quite stiff and strong feeling, making a great musical instrument-like sound when you tap on it with your knuckles. The deep tuttle head is molded directly into the mast, so you'll need to have a deep tuttle board available.  The wings are thin and fairly narrow in chord length, with nary a straight line or flat surface on them.  The thickness actually slightly increases and bulges toward the leading edge right at the very ends of the wingtips, while most of the wing's foil resembles that of a fast and efficient slalom race fin.  The wings are fitted onto the foil with a few small bolts, threaded into stainless steel inserts which are embedded in the fuselage.  Assembly is quick and easy with the supplied torx head screwdriver.  The AFS-2 doesn't have any shims or adjustment for the rear wing angle. 

Fitted with a Deep Tuttle head, the AFS-2 pairs up well with any of the wider tailed foil boards and windsurf crossover boards that are available today.  We mostly used it with a Goya Proton 116, which is a pure slalom race board with a foil ready fin box.  At 71cm wide, the Proton worked reasonably well in a broad range of conditions, but it was obvious that a wider board would have helped uncork even more performance potential from the foil.

The first ride was exhilarating-  the foil gets up to speed quickly and effortlessly, feeling very slippery and fast like a high quality slalom fin, slicing through the water with virtually no drag.  The lift is easy to control, as the foil takes more of a back foot stance while in flight.  You do not need to fight hard to keep this foil in the water- it flies straight and true, effortless to keep trimmed, and well balanced no matter how fast (or slow) you're going.  There is no need for playing with the angle of the rear wing on this foil- it is perfectly balanced for slow speed flying and an upright, slightly sheeted out stance, as well as a full power, hiked out to the max with a big sail and crazy upwind angle, at the same time. 

This foil plants a sense of confidence in it's users with its inherent stability and forgiving nature, allowing you to push yourself faster, with higher angles upwind and downwind, or even into the freestyle arena trying out jumps and flying through turns at full speed.  Beginners love the stability and ease of use, while experts love the accessible speed and responsiveness.  Pros are averaging speeds upwards of 28-30 knots of the AFS-2.

We did have to sand down the tuttle box head a bit to get it to seat properly with our board, but that is standard fare with anything tuttle it seems...  There is also a slight whistling hum that comes out of the foil when you get up to speed, but AFS provides directions for sanding down the wing's trailing edges to clear that up if you want to.  We actually kind of like it- that's how you know that you're really cooking along in an otherwise silent world!  ;)

Overall, the AFS-2 gets TWO BIG THUMBS UP from us due to it's quality of construction and design, and free-race like sailing performance, blended with beginner friendly stability.  Anyone who wants to go fast with control needs to get one of these foils!





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