Test location: Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
Conditions: Reefy/beach break 2-3ft, mid tide rising
Rider weight: 83kg
Board: Appletree Pro-foil 4’4 24.9L
I am no stranger to the HS1250, having ridden it for nearly a year as my 'one for all' foil wing that I take out on 1-5' days paddling in, towing and kiting.
The HS1250 in my opinion is a great all round foil for any one 55-85kg, I am at the heavier end of that @ 83kg!
If you are stepping into the HS range from the CF range, then you will probably need a few sessions to dial in the wing depending upon your ability! Once you are familiar with how the wing performs, you will find that it is very forgiving, with a low stall speed compared to the HA range. This wing will take you from average surf foiler all the way to pro surf foiler!
I mostly ride this setup in Bali, Indonesia. Even when it's small in Bali the waves are powerful. Even though the 1250 is perfectly capable of handling larger waves, I find once the waves get into the 4' @13secs + range, I would benefit from using a smaller wing or moving onto the HA wings.
Build Quality & Feel
There isn't much that needs to be said about Armstrong build quality. I have crashed my wings hard into reef / coral heads many times and it has left nothing more than a scratch in most cases, which can just be buffed out!
The Armstrong team have put a lot of effort into ensuring that every single component they have within their kits is at the highest quality. Even the nuts and bolts to assemble the equipment make you feel good about your purchase!!
When you hold an Armstrong product you will notice how strong and rigid they are, with very minimal flex in the usual problem areas you might find with other foil manufacturers.
Armstrong also offer a 12 month warranty against manufacturing defects which is great for your peace of mind when purchasing these kits.
I am a huge fan of how the Armstrong foils look, the stripes over the carbon have always been visually appealing to me. From the first time I saw one, I wanted one! Hydrofoiling is an emerging sport in Bali, people always comment on how cool the Armstrong foil looks.
Armstrong have used proven design and construction techniques that are used in sailing, ship construction and engineering. Armstrong without a doubt have the toughest and well thought out foiling kits available.
The 1250 carves incredibly well, if you have come from the CF1200 wing you will notice that it performs very similarly through the turns but with a greater level of speed and efficiency. Some riders are opting to chop 1-2cm from each wing tip of the 1250 which increases the wings overall ability to handle breaching without ventilating.
The performance of the 1250 can be altered even further by using alternative tail wings. My personal favourite for an overall surf feel is the V200. I do find that although the V200 makes the foil faster and more efficient, I can pump further with the 232!
Speed & Efficiency
If you are stepping onto the HS1250 from the CF range, you will instantly notice the difference in speed and efficiency. I can foil the 3rd wake behind a small boat with the HS1250, whereas the CF1200 I could barely let go of the rope in the first wake!
When you ride the HS1250, you will go further and farther with less effort!
Pump & Glide
Before the HS1250, I was riding the CF1200. After one year riding the CF1200 I had tuned my fitness and technique to be able to pump and connect multiple waves, the HS1250 is already finely tuned so that you do not need to exhaust yourself every time you want to connect to that next wave out the back.
The HS1250 can almost come to a complete stop as the wing has a low stall speed and with a few pumps you can get the HS1250 covering ground and up to speed again. Once you have had a few sessions on the HS1250 and you have the pumping technique in your mind, you will be able to pump effortlessly as far as your fitness and stamina will allow!