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North Kiteboarding - Review - Sonar Surf Edition - The Kiteboarder

Review by The Kiteboarder: North 2020 Sonar Surf Edition

06 April 2020

The Kiteboarder says;

The Sonar line includes three different wings, ranging from performance freeride (850), to Freeride carving (1150) and a Surf (1650). There are two established Sonar packages (Freeride and Surf), and we tested a combo of the 1150 wing with the surf package mast and fuselage. The Sonar 1150 is a really solid carving freeride performance setup that will prove dependable to the beginner foilboarder and quite adept at carving for the intermediate and advanced surf-minded foilers. The Sonar design and construction are sold 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 fitted collar that slips into the machined fuselage for a really nice tight fit. The Sonar offers durability balanced with a nice medium weight that packages carbon wings with an aluminum fuselage and mast.


The Sonar features a very friendly slow to medium foil-up speed which is not the slowest of the surf foils but definitely makes lift-off easy and approachable to lower skill level foilers. The Sonar’s carving has a nice balanced feel to it with all the axes working together in a very intuitive and user-friendly manner. The yaw and the roll axes share the same reactivity with the pitch feeling a little bit more active. The Sonar offers up a good middle of the road combo of speed range, allowing riders to enjoy slow tight carvy turns while accessing a faster medium speed high-end for booking it back upwind. The Sonar foils slow enough to carve up swell, which allows you to stall on the face of waves and choose your line without fear of constantly foiling down. When you do approach foil-down speed, you will feel some extra lift and a bit of cavitation which gives you a warning of the impending stall. We like this for freeride carving because it gives you a heads up instead of just haphazardly dropping you out of the sky. The mast length worked great for aggressive carving in windswell and on upwind tacks, we were able to access good upwind angles without breaching the wing. The North setup puts the stabilizer on top of the fuselage and the lifting front wing below, with the idea that during a breach your stabilizer will cavitate first and give you a heads up before your lift completely disappears. This feature we directly experienced, but you have to be a higher skilled level rider to react in time to avoid the complete breach. The mast and fuselage have a nice crisp solid feel and the wings are quite quiet in the water with no whistling or apparent inefficiencies. The Sonar is a great option for beginner foilers that need a friendly foil-up and slow speeds to master the basics with intuitive inputs and response. Intermediate and advanced carving freeride foilers will find its lower foil-down speed quite sufficient for carving and surfing swell and its handling quite receptive for more aggressive inputs with reliable and exciting carving output.

Check out the full review here