North Sonar Freeride Foil Review

Review by The Kiteboarder: North 2020 Sonar Freeride Edition

10 April 2020

"The Sonar [85 Edition with 850 wing] finds a true balance between solid high-end speed, endorphin generating high speed carves and all-around user-friendly handling for a finely tuned freeride foil package."

The Kiteboarder says;

The Sonar freeride package with the 850 front wing seems to offer up one of the best balances between high speed and user-friendly handling. The Sonar design and construction is solid with three torque head bolts mounting the front wing to the fuselage and two torque head bolts connecting the stabilizer, with all the hardware using the same size driver. The mast has a machined head, called ‘geolock,’ that slips into the machined fuselage for a really nice tight fit. The 85cm mast comes with the freeride package and adds some extra length for better upwind angles and a bigger cushion for keeping the foil surfaces wet. The Sonar offers durability balanced with a nice medium plus weight that packages carbon wings with an aluminum fuselage and the longer mast.

 

 

For the moment freeride foilboarding is divided into two major camps, one that loves reaching higher speeds and the other that craves slower speeds and carving up the faces of swell. Learning to foil equipment tends to be lobbed haphazardly between the two. With that said, the Sonar 850 does an excellent job of pulling those three groups together, offering the ultimate blend of performance that gives every camp of the foil segment something to rave about. The 850 wing offers up a bit more higher speed performance that unleashes thrills while still dialing in the qualities that work for entry-level and early progression. The foil-up speed is a little higher than your standard surf-oriented freeride low aspect wing, but its lifting range isn’t so fast that this wing is unapproachable for beginning foilers.

Some of the speed-oriented wings on the market lift abruptly and drop-off even faster when you approach foil-down speed, but the Sonar 850 seems to give you the high-end with decent low-end that beginners can wrap their heads around. The 850 definitely wants to open up the throttle and hit solid high-end speeds with a really stable feel even as you’re mashing down on the gas pedal. The control axes’ of the 850 wing all feel incredibly balanced and intuitive with the perfect mix of response to yaw, pitch and roll inputs from the rider. Our test team is generally surf-oriented, but the Sonar 850’s higher speeds and larger GS carves opened up our eyes to faster big open swell carves that got the surf endorphins going.

The foil-down speed is a bit faster, so slowing down and carving around on shorter interval faces isn’t quite the 850’s domain, but speed that up and lay into bigger turns and you will find a confidence-inspiring wing that creates tons of drive and G-forces with easy control. The 850 delivers even lift across all speeds, so when you start to hit the high-end you don’t have to factor in additional front foot pressure to keep the wing flying even. The 850 is quiet in the water and feels incredibly efficient – the longer mast does add some weight to the package over the surf foil, but it’s negligible and certainly isn’t felt when you get the board in the water.

The 850 finds a true balance between solid high-end speed, endorphin generating high speed carves and all-around user-friendly handling for a finely tuned freeride foil package.

Check the full review here