Thread: New 2018 Launch

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  1. New 2018 Launch 
    Face Planting Noob
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    orlando, fl
    I haven’t seen a lot of new reviews on the forum so I thought I would leave one for anyone looking at the New Launch. I learned to ride in the spring of this year on an old Air Chair and as soon as I rode a friends Pro SS I never wanted to ride that AC again. The Pro SS seemed to help me fix some issues I had landing jumps right away. Over the summer months I progressed quite a bit making full wake to wake jumps from both sides and learning dismounts. A buddy and I decided if we wanted keep things interesting and progressing we should get a foil with a long strut and updated wings. We ordered it through which is local to us here in Winter Haven, FL and is owned by pro rider Geno Yauchler. The board and foil came in looking really good and blemish free. It did however have an issue with the bolt holes that bolt on the front wing. The 1st and 3rd hole back wouldn’t fully tighten. Geno handled the problem for us right away by drilling and re-tapping. This wasn’t his 1st rodeo with this issue so be aware. Not a huge deal because we had the dealer here to handle it for us but aggravating to drop $3K and have an issue that should be caught from the factory. The only other problems so far are the two black plastic spacers in the the lower part of the tower seem to keep you from being able to fully tighten the bolts going through the strut. We tightened the bolts as much as possible and the strut still had a little back and forth play. Also the Sky Ski emblems both fell off of the tower on the 1st session.

    Ok now for the good stuff. This foil is a real upgrade. The board looks amazing, it’s lighter than the Pro SS and has the latest graphics with added carbon fiber. The anodized Launch tower is very forgiving with the composite seat plate that flexes on landings. The Traxx surface seat pad and double locking belt are top notch. The T-bar is bolted together as a 2 piece but it is permanently welded together with JB Weld. This is a good thing as we have a friend with the older B39 that had to do this mod to keep his fuselage bolts from getting loose. The Max Air front wing seems to be their long time tried and true front and I can see why. The Launch is very stable flying, jumping, landing and skidding. The Launch rear wing has a bat profile which means the trailing edge of the wing has a bat wing like shape. Neither wing has winglets so there was a slight learning curve landing jumps when I came down less than perfect but it didn’t take long to figure it out. We put the front wing in the forward position which required us to add a little negative shim (a piece of a credit card) to the rear of the rear wing. We also added the Cinch foot stays which was my first time trying and now I would consider a must have upgrade. It took me about 3 sessions to get acclimated to the longer strut and more advanced wings but after that I’m able to get higher and bigger wake to wake jumps with the same rope at 2 mph less boat speed. This foil is exactly what I hoped it would be. Typos brought to you by my IPhone.
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  2. #2
    Foiling Fanatic ShagnWagn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    kansas city, ks
    Thank you for the review. Looks like a nice foil! It seems overall the hydrofoil industry isn't very refined on their manufacturing processes. It tends to be somewhat sloppy and products aren't inspected before being shipped out. When you factor in the high cost of shipping these awkward parts, it adds up quickly. The high cost of foils also is a downer when you expect well built equipment for the money.

    You have the benefit of a local experienced rider and re-seller to assist. I am glad to hear Geno helped you out. I have seen multiple times personally where people get poorly built foils and it takes weeks to months to get something that works. Often it is a brand new rider that doesn't know better and loses interest because they think it is their ability and not that it is the foil's issue. Then they are disappointed in such a large purchase.

    I would like to see the industry start at least offering the option to customer to "enhance" their foil by offering a "performance" shim kit with a purchase. A simple how-to guide would go with it. I can't stress how huge a difference it makes when it is shimmed properly.

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