JP FREEFOIL 115 LXT 2021 TEST REVIEW
A stunningly balanced and enjoyable wind foiling master, with the capacity to also be adapted for introductory wing foiling, the FreeFoil’s performance is as bright as its colour scheme.
JP released the FreeFoil series late in the 2020 season, and its range increased to three sizes for 2021, with the inclusion of a new smaller sibling, the 105 (LXT only). This 115 is available in two constructions, the ES – dressed in a more discrete grey colourway, whilst the LXT version tested here (the brand’s new technology, an amalgamation of two past construction types – Pro and FWS) is bright and ostentatious in its red, purple and sky-blue get-up. Compact and narrow, it has a very uniform harmonious outline, with parallel rails joining a diamond nose and tail shape. On the deck there are a staggering number of footstrap plug options, enabling the rider to mount footstraps above the newly extended monopad for either windsurf foiling or wing foiling. The FreeFoil’s underside tells a similar story of versatility intent, with the inclusion of both a foil-ready Deep Tuttle box and a couple of monster 14” long US boxes, ready to mount a plate-headed foil, and adapt its position easily for the two different foiling sports. Could the FreeFoil really fulfil the role that JP profess and be the perfect foiling all-rounder? Time to try it on the water…
“JP’s unique foil all-rounder! Apparently the market has been waiting eagerly for this concept as the sales started brilliantly. These very compact shapes have little to no limitations regarding the range of use and suit the whole windsurf foil community because fun is their main target. Everybody will be able to enjoy foiling as easily as possible – in every aspect of this new discipline.”
Used in wind foiling mode initially, the footstraps were placed in their outboard positions, plugging the NP Glide Wind 13 into the Tuttle box. Composed and settled off the plane, it provides ample float for its quoted volume and with pressure in the sail, was easy to release from the water, the straps intuitive to find, its compact nature and reduced swing-weight helping to provide response in pumping the foil. Once flying, the FreeFoil has to be one of the most balanced and user-friendly wind-foiling boards we have used. It just feels right underfoot, the deck shape providing excellent connection with the foil, with near-perfect pressure and response through the feet. This is highlighted even more so in transition, the FreeFoil’s narrow outline and even volume distribution making it easy to control the flight throughout, the straps on the new tack effortless to find mid-manoeuvre, enabling the rider to finish the turn off confidently. It’s like sailing a contemporary freemove board … just flying serenely through the air! We also tried the FreeFoil fitted with a higher aspect freerace foil in, and whilst its tail is too narrow to be used with anything more than a 6.0m sail really, the FreeFoil performed admirably.
Switching disciplines to wing foiling, the FreeFoil has the capacity to be compatible with a number of different foils, such is the length of its foiling track. We experimented with quite a few, from a 2000 cm front wing down to a 1250 cm, and it worked fine with all. It’s just worth mentioning here that time playing with the foil’s position is key; sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing, so if the board doesn’t feel balanced on both feet, head back to shore and adjust accordingly. Interestingly, its narrow width is more noticeable in winging mode, unexpectedly making the FreeFoil’s 204 cm of length feel somewhat elongated! And whilst certainly not essential, a few little extra features wouldn’t go unappreciated, such as integrated carry handles, either on the deck or hull … or better still both! Maybe even a kick pad incorporated in the back of the monopod to help locate the back foot without looking? JP however feel that if you fit footstraps, these assist both carrying the board and naturally help locate the back foot position.
Volume (Quoted): 115 L.
Length: 204 cm
Width: 70 cm
1ft off: 55.3 cm
Weight (‘Naked’): 8.45 kg
Foil Box: Deep Tuttle and Foil Tracks (35.5 cm)
Sail Range (Quoted): <5.8m
Sizes Available: 105, 115, 130.
PRICE: LXT: £1749.00 ES: £1399.00
OTHER FOILS IN THIS TEST: