What is the difference between a wing with High Aspect ratio and Low Aspect ratio?

When choosing your foil’s front wing, it’s evident that you need to select one that is best suited for your practice and level of riding. Wings come in all shapes and sizes, and one way to define the type and style of a wing is aspect ratio.

Aspect ratio is a measurement typically used in aeronautics, and crosses over to the world of hydrofoils in both sport and industry. The aspect ratio of a wing is the ratio of its wingspan (length) to the chord (width, or mean distance between the leading and trailing edges). Mathematically, it is equal to the square of the wingspan’s length divided by the wing’s surface area. Engineers designing surf sports hydrofoils, in addition to surface area, often use aspect ratio as a way to describe the wing’s intended purpose.

High Aspect Ratio

A high aspect ratio wing is typically longer, thinner, faster, lower drag but lower lift; a low aspect ratio wing is shorter, fatter, and has higher lift but also higher drag. High aspect ratio wings are often used in speed-oriented disciplines such as windfoil slalom and course racing, and Formula Kite racing. However, high aspect wings are also becoming more prevalent in the developing disciplines of big wave surf foiling, downwind paddling, and experimental wingfoil disciplines such as freestyle and racing. High aspect ratio wings often have less surface area than low aspect ratio wings; a typical surface area range would fall in about 700-1400 cm2. A smaller surface area wing generates less lift, and gives the rider better control in higher wind and higher foiling speeds. High aspect ratio front wings are usually designed to have a slimmer profile or leading edge for less drag.

Low Aspect Ratio

Low aspect ratio wings are typically used in surf-oriented or freemove disciplines of foiling. These wings are easier to control and slower, making them more forgiving, and ideal for learning to foil. A fatter leading edge creates more lift, and a typically more curved shape gives carving ability and tolerance for changes in rider balance. Low aspect ratio wings typically fall between 1200-2000 cm2 in surface area, and are designed for control, reactivity, and early takeoff. Low aspect wings are used across most disciplines of foiling, including downwind paddling, classic surfing, and surf-style or freeride wingfoil. They are also frequently used as a component of an ideal beginner or freeride setup for kite or windfoil.

Our different front wings

TAAROA manufactures a wide variety of both high and low aspect ratio wings to meet the needs of all foil riders. Our most versatile wings are low aspect ratio, and are used across every discipline. The LA2000 is our largest wing, and is great for downwind paddling, surfing, and wingfoil; equally created for these disciplines are the LA1600, LA1250, and LA900, great for universal foiling. These low-aspect ratio wings are designed for maneuverability, stability, and speed, especially in carving maneuvers. The smaller low-aspect wings are great for glide, control, and progression in almost any discipline. Their power makes them ideal for pumping as well. Our low aspect ratio wings are also ideal for kite and windfoil; our LA800 is an ideal freeride, waves, or maneuvers setup for a playful feel and strapless disciplines.

TAAROA’s high aspect ratio wings are also universal, and suited for speed-oriented disciplines. Here, we find our heritage racing designs like the KF HA520 and 550, engineered for high performance kitefoil course racing. The finesse of these wings’ profiles, and the curved antivortex shape, gives them massive acceleration, speed, control, and glide for serious racers. On the windfoil side, wings range from HA1050 for speed, stability, early takeoff, and glide through unstable wind, to the slalom-oriented HA700 for sailors looking for maximum speed and control in high wind. We have also developed the HA1450 wing which offers great sensations in wingfoil, pumping or downwind, while remaining really accessible.

With foil innovation continually on the horizon, we at TAAROA are focused on engineering better shapes for pioneering foil riders and enabling the accessibility of the sport. How do you ride, and what is your favorite foilsport? We’re certain we’ll have a wing just for you.

What is the difference between a wing with High Aspect ratio and Low Aspect ratio?
FLY 4 ALL SA, Corentin Legris 16 April, 2021
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