July 09, 2023
About the tester: I am 49 years old, weigh 97kg, sail on an AK5.6x90l and a KT5.4x22x56l with foils ranging from 1440 to 800cm2, with the 1000 being the most commonly used size. For me, it's all about wave riding. I'm not particularly interested in maximum speed, but glide and turning are important to me. If I jump, something has gone terribly wrong because I sail strapless :) I think my sailing level is advanced, I can jibe, tack, enjoy riding in the waves, but there are many people who understand the game better. I used to do a lot of windsurfing at sea and also helped with material testing and development for other brands.
Neilpryde is really a household name in windsurfing and has been one of the leading brands for years. They entered winging quite late: they previously released two foils. The first one was okay for its time, but nothing special. The HA was good, but it was also released at a time when developments were moving quickly and therefore became quite dated. NP is undergoing major innovation and has just launched the Swift carbon.
Marco from Wake-Style had the 1000cm2 demo and asked if I wanted to try it.
Specs of the Swift: 1000cm2 foil with a wingspan of 91cm and AR of 8.3 210 stab that is HUGE! 71cm Fuse (a bit longer than I'm used to). 85cm carbon mast with a sturdy block where the fuse is fixed with M8 Torx bolts.
I always enjoy trying out equipment and the mast looked nicely finished, but the plane was, let's say... different! The middle of the front wing is much thicker than the tips, the Fuse is longer and there is a huge old school looking stab on it. Everything is nicely finished in carbon (Fuse is Alu and everything including stab is fixed with M8 bolts), but based on the shape my first thought was: strange and can't be much. How wrong I was!
After experimenting with the Cabrinha H-series MKII for a few days, I met up with Adriaan van Dijk on a windy Sunday at the IJsselmeer at a spot where surprisingly fun bumps/swell roll in with West! I screwed the Pryde Swift 1000cm2 under my AK5.6x90l board and picked up a 4m. With my Cabrinha Hseries foils, the front wing is .5cm closer to the mast than with the Swift, so based on that I set the mast 1.5cm further back than "normal".
The wet experience: The 4m was nicely powered and the first thing I noticed was that the mast was spot on. Perfect balance between the front and rear foot and the foil was off very quickly. Upwind he went like crazy and everything felt very reassuring and seriously stiff! In the knee to hip high swell where we could just surf, I started off fairly calmly to get used to the foil, and then it particularly stood out that it has a low stall speed and a lot of glide. Once a bit more used to it, I made some turns and that gave so much grip and confidence while maintaining speed that it kept getting better. Front to back, back to front turns with full pressure... power surfing on the IJsselmeer who would have thought that! Even when pumping from one bump to the next, the Swift responds extremely well. The cadence is a bit slower than with my Cabrinhas, but the glide I got out of it was really more than good and I was truly flabbergasted by how well the Swift surfed in the slow IJsselmeer waves and how much confidence the set up gave me in everything I did. I switched to my 56l board for a while as the wind was strong enough for it, and it brought the foil even more to life. I'm not a Speeder, but saw a windsurfer making nice laps so thought something like let's see how fast the set runs. Half wind he hits a good 35km p/h... which was faster than the windsurfer :)
Day 2: Westeinderplassen: 4m full on with small board: again the same experience. A lot of glide, a lot of grip and confidence and in the Westeinder chop the mast is stiff enough for my 97kg to not give an inch.
Day 3: Wijk aan Zee: 90l board to get away quickly (in retrospect the 56l would also have been sufficient) with 4m wing and good waves 3m waves at the back. Also at sea the foil gives full confidence and you can really carve quite a bit on a wave/long swell. I never had a moment of spin out or anything like that which I had with the much less stiff Cabrinha mast and the foil sometimes runs scarily fast down a wave.
Author: Jeroen Van Gessel