ELEVEIGHT HCS PERFORMANCE FREERIDE 860

ELEVEIGHT HCS PERFORMANCE FREERIDE 860

Eleveight’s HCS Performance Freeride foil is designed for accessible performance for a broad range of rider skill levels. Its design focus is for easy cruising at top level speeds with a fluid, loose carving, feel. The HCS comes standard with an 85 centimetre aluminum mast and a fuselage system that’s constructed from an anodized aero grade alloy making it both durable, fairly light and more corrosive resistant. The test team gave Eleveight top marks for the easy assembly of the HCS which also comes in a slim padded travel bag. Smaller mast sizes are also available for learning and cruising in shallower water. The torx head, marine grade hardware ensures nice connection and long life of the bolt heads. The HCS front wing is lightweight, stiff and reactive with carbon reinforcements in strategic areas. The solid connecting back wing is built of G10 for durability and ultimate stiffness. With the front wing of 65 centimetres and a surface area of 860 square centimetres, this was one of the smaller and faster riding foils in this year’s test grouping. Although not as quick to lift as the larger surf oriented wings, the HCS has some excellent early planing power and doesn’t lose its carving feel at higher speeds. It’s a stable and smooth riding foil in a straight line and builds confidence to push some extra speed into it without feeling like the foil is going to levitate out of the water as you push speed into it. Unlike a larger, slow powering wing, the HCS offers access to slippery speed and more control with a powered up kite. Impressive reaction to rider input and quick turn initiation and tight pivots are definitely the highlights of the HCS. This is a great foil for the aggressive beginner or intermediate that wants a well thought out foil system and performance that goes beyond just cruising and carving in lighter winds. For more ultra-light wing capability or learning at slightly slower paces, the HCS+ system with 65 centimetre mast and a sized up 120 square centimetre wing is also an option from Eleveight. Overall, Eleveight offers a well thought out, and nicely engineered system that pairs nicely with their new one strut foil kite, also tested in this round.