How To Maintain A Hydrofoil
Looking after your foil will help increase the life of it and keep the performance up.
Hydrofoils are delicate bits of kit that are designed meticulously, the lift created from the front wing in balance with the rear wing all held together with a hydrodynamic carbon/aluminium fuselage and mast. Not really a bit of kit to be left in the back of a van or dumped down on the beach let alone hit on the bottom in the shallows. So naturally you do need to maintain your foil to keep it in great condition, so here is out top tips for caring for your foil.
1. Keep it protected. Do not leave the wings unprotected in the car/van or around the house. Small chips or dents to the wing tips, leading/trailing edge will effect the flow of water over the foil so keep them wrapped up as much as possible The thin wing tips and trailing edge are the most vulnerable.
2. Give it a rinse. Loosen the bolts and get water into every gap. This will reduce the chance of corrosion and limit any wear and tear on the set up.
3. Grease your bolts. Stainless steel will react with sea water and corrode and this can cause problems with bolts seizing. So if you leave your foil built for long periods of time its worth putting some grease/tef-gel on all of the bolts to help protect them from corrosion. Most complete foils will come with a small tub of grease but any anti corrosion grease will work. This grease will not last forever and you will need to reapply.
4. Wrapping your bolts in teflon tape will also help reduce corrosion but also help prevent them unintentionally loosening through vibrations.
5. Take your foil apart. The same as above really but if your not going to be using your foil for a while take it apart and completely rinse and let it dry and store safely.
6. Use the correct tools. By using the correct tools you will minimise the chances of stripping the head of the bolt. Torx and Hex are the two most common bolts found on foils and they are slightly different so try and use the correct ones.
7. Keep the foil away from abrasive surfaces. This sound obvious but most damage happens in and around the beach/launching area when should have most control. If you going to leave your foil for any amount of time put the covers on.
8. Accidents happen but check any damage thoroughly and get it fixed by a professional if you are not sure what to do.
There are spare parts for most foils now in a worst case scenario but you can also buy different parts in order change the way your foil performs. Check out some other foil parts and accessories here.
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