BEHIND THE DESIGN: SKY WING TE
WITH SKY SOLBACH AND MAX PAJANK
We have just launched the brand new range of Sky TE wing models. To find out more about the design background, we caught up with our Shaper Sky Solbach and Product Manager Max Pajank. Read more hereafter!
For 2023, the new Sky Wing Team Edition boards come as as range with three models instead of one: Sky Free TE, Sky Style TE and Sky Surf TE. Which board is for what?
The Sky Free TE is the evolution of our popular Sky Wing range – the bestselling wing boards on the market! It´s designed for riders looking for the easiest board to improve in wing foiling paired with the best technology, performance and weight out there!
The Sky Style TE is designed to evolve your style – whether in the air or in the surf, pushing your wing game has never been so easy! This board helps you to maximize stability when starting and landing tricks, as well as improving turns, reactivity and take-offs for jumps.
The Sky Surf TE is perfect for prone foiling and radical winging. You can say it´s definitely a board for more advanced riders. The shape received a complete re-design in three sizes ranging from grom to mid weight ripper.
What´s the reason for three TE models instead of one like in the past?
Through our development over the past season we determined that there was room to incorporate more models into our range to appeal to a wider range of riders. Winging is rapidly evolving as a sport and riders need new and different shapes to suit their style of riding and skill level, so it made sense to add some of the new concepts we’ve been working on into the 2023 lineup.
How can I find out which model is the right one for my personal skills and demands?
We do our best to provide as much information as possible on our website about the various board models and their intended use, but it always helps to talk to other riders at your local beach as well and of course having the opportunity to demo boards is always a great way to figure out what feels right for you.
What are the main innovations for 2023?
We’ve updated and added additional sizes to our prone surf/wing crossover board - the Sky Surf- as well as our all-round freeride board – the Sky Free - and have added a new high-performance freestyle/surf board called the Sky Style. We’ve also done a major update to our Team Edition construction by going to a full carbon/PVC sandwich construction. This build is very similar to a high performance windsurf board construction, borrowing methods we have developed over several decades of windsurfing and is by far our most robust wing board construction to date.
How do I know which foil setup is the right one for the different board models?
A lot of quality information can be found on our website by reading through the product texts and by looking at the product finder, but in general if you are new to the sport and riding a big entry level board, you will want to choose a foil that matches your skill level – in this case something like the Aero High Aspect 1750 with a big tail wing and a long fuselage for stability. If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and you are an advanced rider using a low volume board like the Sky Surf, you would likely choose a smaller front wing and a shorter fuselage for more manoeuvrability. There are lots of style to choose from and at first it might seem overwhelming which wings to choose, but it’s good to start with something big and easy like the Aero High Aspect or the Aero Lift and then slowly work your way down to smaller wings and shorter fuselages as you progress. The great thing about the Fanatic foil range is that all parts are interchangeable, so you can mix and match wings and fuselages without having to buy an entirely new setup as you progress.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you work together with the riders in terms of R&D?
I design and build all the prototypes at my workshop on Maui and I guess our R&D process is pretty much what you would expect – riders comes to me with ideas and feedback about how they feel we could improve current products and then I set about translating those changes into working prototypes. Once we have tested those prototypes, we determine what’s working -or NOT working- and then move onto making more prototypes. Throughout an entire season of testing we are able to hone in on the best ideas and build our range for the following year. Construction also plays a big part of our wing board development and we have a dedicated team that is solely focused on how the boards are built, freeing up my time to focus purely on creating the best shapes. We are also lucky to have so many sources of feedback from all over the world, whether that be customers, team riders, dealers, brand ambassadors or anyone of our team working at Fanatic and Duotone, so new ideas are never in short supply!