Sunova 7'4" 2in1 Foil SUP // Review
30 January 2018
By: Andrew Cassidy
Location: Northern Beaches
Imagine if that shiny new hydrofoil you just bought could simply slot into your favourite funboard surf SUP. No sending your pride and joy off to local board repairer to be sawn, drilled, routed, packed, laminated and painted. No risking divorce for buying a new dedicated SUP foilboard - "but you just spent $2,000 on that blasted hydrofoil contraption".
Imagine no more. The Sunova 2in1 SUP Foilboard is here. And it's a cracker.
For less that the cost of most 'single purpose' surf SUPs on the market you can pick up one of these 2in1s from Sunova and have a ball on it as a surf SUP or a foil SUP.
A super comfortable platform for foiling
Now foilboards don't really need a lot of specialised features or performance characteristics. They just need to get you on the wave easily, have enough nose lift to not nose dive when you breach, be strong enough to withstand the forces of foiling and the foil boxe(s) need to be in the right place. The Sunova 2in1 does all of these things excellently.
I was on the smallest of the 2in1s, the 7'4" which is 29" wide and 111 litres. I generally ride a 90 litre board so the 7'4" floated my 95kgs quite well. This made for some easy paddling - both out the back and onto waves. The 29" width is great for cutting through the water when some frantic straight line paddling is needed and also not touching down when you push through a turn while up on the foil.
I'm still learning to do this hydrofoiling thing and I consequently breach the foil a lot. My other prototype foilboard is very flat through the nose which means I'm a bit of a regular at the old 'high speed nose dive slapdown' during these breaches. The 2in1 however has just enough nose lift to whoosh you back up during an inevitable nose dive. Not too much though that it affects paddling performance.
With foiling maestro James Casey on the Sunova design team you would expect the factory to get the boxes in the right position - and that they have. It was a smart move by Sunova to put both a tuttle box and dual finboxes into the 2in1 so it doesn't matter what brand of foil you have, this board will cater for it.
And because it's Sunova you know it'll be strong. There are a lot of pressures around the mast base of a foilboard and many after market foil installations go horribly wrong - even to the point of losing the complete kit to the bottom of the ocean. Sunova have managed to build super strong and rigid boxes and their surrounds yet keep the overall board nice and light. The 7'4" I was on came in at just over 8kg.
Turns great for a wide tail foilboard
I wasn't expecting much in terms of surf performance from the 2in1 but I figured I'd whack some fins in it and give it a whirl anyway. From my first wave I knew I'd unfairly judged it. It surfs great. I was riding it as a thruster with really big side fins but it can also take a quad set up.
It does have a very wide tail so it doesn't come off the bottom too critically but on a nice fatish wave it's an absolute pleasure to ride. Excellent planning speed, great stability and very nice carving ability had me thoroughly enjoying what would probably have been a very average surf in less than enticing conditions.
It rides very much like a fish, which I suppose is to be expected because if you reversed the big diamond tail to be a fish tail, the rest of planshape would make it look not dissimilar to a Skip Frye fish from the seventies. It's good to keep it relative flat on the wave face and concentrate on trimming, speed turns and winding up for a big gentle cutback. Surprisingly it does hit lip quite well and it definitely floats beautifully over whitewater sections with that big, wide, flat underside creating exceptional stability.
I'm very used to a tail block for my back foot so I know exactly when I'm in the right spot and so it gives me a little something to push off through turns. This test board didn't have one which had me slipping off the tail a couple of times. I've seen others with a tail block so I'm hoping this one is just an anomaly.
Like when I used it with a foil, it paddles really well and having the ability to pick up the odd set wave early from way out the back made surfing a crowded lineup that little bit more pleasurable.
A little video showing the versatility of the 2in1
- Super versatile (SUP surf, tuttle foil, plate foil)
- Great price
- Strong but light
- Great design for both surf and foil
- Paddles beautifully
- Quad or thruster option
- Recessed handle instead of a LiftSUP (can't lock the board up as easily)
- No tail block (on test board)