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18. maj 2024

F4- et kort interview

Som tidligere beskrevet faldt jeg for nogen tid siden over F4 foils. 

Ikke fordi jeg ikke kender dem, men jeg blev overrasket over, at de rent faktisk også var aktive på andre fronter end lige racefoil.
Jeg kontaktede en af stifterne Chris Radkowski med lidt spørgsmål, og det kom der nedenstående ud af.


In 2008 Al Mirel,  Chris Radkowski, and Ben Bamer – windsurfing and kitesurfing friends started F4 as a windsurfing fin company. Together they brought decades of experience with the sport, racing pedigree, engineering knowledge, Phd level math skills and endless enthusiasm and passion for the water sports.  As the sports evolved and hydrofoiling came to the scene in 2013 we were the pioneers that turned it from a dream into the fastest growing market and the phenomenon that brought life back into windsurfing and extended into many other water sports. 

Bensen: F4 have been into foils for some time now. When did you start producing on a lager scale?

We started on a greater scale after the Neil Pryde contract. Until that we were building all the foils in my garage. Ever since then we have been working on finding good suppliers as well as evolving the design. Up until now it was only myself and Al do all production, marketing, and sales so this wasn’t going to go anywhere without more help. 

Bensen: Stiffnes in the mast. What is the key difference using aluminium or carbon on the mast? 

Freeride performance is very similar, however carbon is a bit lighter and has as quicker response ( to an extent). There are many geometries that work well and a stiff well engineered aluminum system is going to be as good or better than a soft carbon system. For the race components we can be thinner and as stiff as aluminum with carbon. At less than 14mm thick, the aluminum will bend, so there are limititations as well.
Bensen: Best entry foil?
We are biased of course.. F4 freeride aluminum or carbon for windsurf and F4 1720 aluminum or carbon for Wing board
Bensen: Next step foil?
We are pushing the boundaries for both low speed and high speed performance with both speed projects as well as exploring the low end with pumping and other human powered projects. We are completing most of the major segments and certainly looking for more speed. The design options are nearly infinite and there are many ways to get to the same characteristics.

Bensen: The length of the fuselage- pros and cons?
Longer = more stability in general and worse turning, short is quicker turning and less stability

Bensen: The high aspect wings or Low Aspect wings,- how to choose?
The aspect ratio has to be consistent with the application – a surf foil has different requirements than race foils. Great question – high aspect wings have less drag from lift and are more efficient. This comes at the expense of the structural challenges and increased inertial required to move the water tip mast. The longer the span the greater the force required to change directions and the more challenges there are related to the connections. We already have 1.2m wings that are difficult to ride on windsurf boards – the wing controls you instead of the other way around. Also they aren’t faster than our other wings.
Thanks to Chris from F4.

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