FEEDBACK: PULSE DP UPE ARAMID

Full feedback of a first wing foil racing experience by Chris with his new Pulse DP Aramid.

 

Wing foiler: Julien, GONG Team Rider, with the Pulse DP UPE Aramid and Cruzader Diamond FSP Pro.

 

Introductions

“Hi GONG friends. I thought it would be useful to share with you my first experience with Wingfoil racing… and also with the Pulse DP. I would preface this report by stating I am an intermediate level rider, I’m not the youngest (61 years old) and I only started winging in June 2022 and still have a lot to learn !”

The faster you go the more it pulls

“I received my Pulse DP 6.0m in the first batch just before Christmas. I was really excited to try it because it really is a beautiful creation. However, we have had a very windy winter here in the UK and did not have too much need for big wings. When I did get to try it for the first time, the conditions were still quite top end and I got a real shock – I found the wing immensely powerful and actually pretty damn scary ! Unlike a standard wing which you can ‘feather-out’ when overpowered the Pulse DP just keeps on pulling and the faster you go the more it pulls and to deal with the power I was allowing it to lift up – which I have since discovered is a big mistake. It was also the first time I had tried a harness and I initially found this very challenging – it’s not as straightforward as windsurf harnessing as the wing moves around. So my initial thoughts on the Pulse DP were a bit uncertain.”

First day of comp in strong winds

“So to the racing. This weekend was my first wing foil course racing competition held at Portland Harbour and run by the UK Windsurfing Association (great people). It was a mixed age and ability fleet with several pro level riders and also some amazing kids, which was great to see. Forecast was looking pretty fruity ! Saturday we were greeted by 30+ knots WNW and even in the shelter of Portland Harbour conditions were very rough with big wind blown chop. After a bit of a false start when the entire fleet was flattened by a squall gusting to 47 knots with horizontal hail we finally got in two course races using a small kit (I was using my 4.0m Pulse Boom and Ypra-S MS foil) – a very nice set up. My upwind speed was Ok but I fell numerous times on the downwind in the waves.”

Conditions for the 6m Pulse DP UPE Aramid

“Sunday dawned with slightly less wind but still gusting to 30 knots and 5.0m wings and small foils. We had 4 full on races and whilst I got around the course I fell numerous times and the leaders were far out of sight as miles ahead.

For the afternoon races the breeze had moderated to around 15 knots. Although I had very little experience of using it I decided that now was the time to give the Pulse DP a proper go. I paired it with my Ypra-S L foil and with some trepidation sailed out to the start. To say the performance transformation was startling would be an understatement – despite sitting back on the start (so not as to infringe the top guys (and because I had lost my watch)), I was able to hold my own upwind and reach the windward mark right up with the front of the pack – not leading but certainly in touch. The Pulse DP allowed me to sail a higher course (great for climbing out of dirty air) but still maintain good speed – the wing just seems to pull and then pull some more. It is so aerodynamically efficient that even in my modest hands the difference in performance was simply stunning ! Whilst on paper the results don’t look too stellar (Races 8 to 11 – see attached) this is primarily because my lack of skill to ride fast downwind let me down (I rode mostly in switch foot stance as I am far less likely to crash). Race 11 I sailed to the wrong downwind mark and lost several places. I am now so thrilled by the Pulse DP I can’t wait to get out on it again !!!!”

Conclusions on the Pulse DP

“Sunday dawned with slightly less wind but still gusting to 30 knots and 5.0m wings and small foils. We had 4 full on races and whilst I got around the course I fell numerous times and the leaders were far out of sight as miles ahead.

For the afternoon races the breeze had moderated to around 15 knots. Although I had very little experience of using it I decided that now was the time to give the Pulse DP a proper go. I paired it with my Ypra-S L foil and with some trepidation sailed out to the start. To say the performance transformation was startling would be an understatement – despite sitting back on the start (so not as to infringe the top guys (and because I had lost my watch)), I was able to hold my own upwind and reach the windward mark right up with the front of the pack – not leading but certainly in touch. The Pulse DP allowed me to sail a higher course (great for climbing out of dirty air) but still maintain good speed – the wing just seems to pull and then pull some more. It is so aerodynamically efficient that even in my modest hands the difference in performance was simply stunning ! Whilst on paper the results don’t look too stellar (Races 8 to 11 – see attached) this is primarily because my lack of skill to ride fast downwind let me down (I rode mostly in switch foot stance as I am far less likely to crash). Race 11 I sailed to the wrong downwind mark and lost several places. I am now so thrilled by the Pulse DP I can’t wait to get out on it again !!!!”

Conclusions on the Pulse DP

“So what are my conclusions about the Pulse DP now I have given it a more considered test ?

Firstly, it feels different to standard wings – take off is a little more labored as it feels less ‘alive’ at rest. However, once it starts going it comes alive – the power just builds and builds and the faster you go the more it delivers. This is combined with incredible stability. Initially it does feel pretty scary – compared with windsurfing it’s the equivalent of a rotational freeride sail compared to a full cam race sail.

After a few sessions you start to learn it and the fear reduces. You absolutely have to show it who is the boss and the key to this is keeping it sheeted in and locked and not allowing it to lift up in the gusts. To do this you have to be using a harness – and one with a decent spreader bar. Once you have mastered this you will be rewarded with what I can only describe as stunning performance – the aerodynamic performance really is a thing of beauty.

Gybing is pretty straightforward – the 6.0m floats across perhaps a little slower than a standard wing but very stable (not as twitchy as a standard wing). Tacking is also fine but I found I have to hold the boom at the front so the wing doesn’t push down on me.

So I now can’t wait both for my next session of wingfoil racing but also to get back out on my Pulse DP. Anyone who likes speed and performance even just for burning around with your mates will simply love this wing.

Attached the results sheet to show my progression and a photo from the UKWA showing the typical conditions on the Saturday – sadly I didn’t get a photo of the Pulse DP in action.”

Team Series wings in their lighter, stiffer and more dynamic UPE Aramid construction are available on demand for the most demanding wing foilers until March 29, 2024.

Gear of the sesh

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GONG WING PULSE DP UPE ARAMID

999,001249,00
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