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Kanaha Shapes Casi Macho Foil Board Review

 
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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3777 Posts
Camas
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PostThu Feb 13, 20 3:08 pm    Kanaha Shapes Casi Macho Foil Board Review Reply with quote

I recently had the honor of being the first consumer to receive the new Casi Macho foil board from Kanaha Shapes. I wanted to give my impressions, so here I go.

First let me say the customer service I received from Horacio at KS was absolutely outstanding. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but I can say with no reservation that he is as enthusiastic about helping his customers as he is about building absolutely great foil boards. He went WAY above and beyond to see that I got my board in time for my Baja trip. 😊

Next, let me tell you what the Casi Macho is not. It is not a “pocket board” like what KS is famous for. Rather it is a board with a pretty fair amount of volume to it, 22.5 L to be exact. I’ve ridden the KS pocket boards, and while I love riding them I have a pretty big issue with any board of that style. I like to ride big wings. Mainly the Moses 790 and 873. Mounted to a pocket board these wings can actually drive the board upwind in a light wind scenario. I’ve verified this with GPS tracking and following the board in my boat. I’ve been kite boarding since 2004 and I can body drag pretty decently. I’ve never worn a board leash or felt any need to. I’ve always been able to drag back to my board with no issue. Not so with a 790 and a pocket board in light wind. The 790 has a lot of volume, and mounted to a pocket board fully half the wing sits out of the water with the foil on it’s side. The wing will not sink on it’s own, and must be forced down with some effort. After a good crash, if you don’t get back to the board within 30 seconds or so the wing angles into the wind and heads upwind. No matter how many times I tried, I could not drag back to the board unless a buddy stopped and forced the wing down so the foil would move downwind. I did some experimenting with adding weight to the fuselage, and it took almost two pounds of weight on the fuse to get the wing to sit low enough in the water that body dragging became feasible. The 873 is even worse. I never tried the 633 with a pocket board, but I have friends who complain about the same issue with that wing. The Casi Macho fixes all of that.

The board is 47” long and 7.5 pounds. It is extremely strong and stiff. It has centerline inserts for front and rear hooks or straps. The rear of the foil mount tracks are 5” from the tail and the most forward insert is just a bit over 34.5” from the tail. This allows for easily finding an ideal mast placement even with the Moses Surf wings. It has a surf style leash plug on the nose, perfect for hooking a leash to if you have to self rescue. The paint and finish of the board is stunning. A beautiful glossy red. Almost too nice! I don’t ever want to scratch it! Anyways, the red is nice and bright with a bit of orange in it. It’s very easy to spot in rough Baja swell. I’ve ridden boards that virtually disappear there if you end up too far away. Not this one.

The Casi Macho has enough volume that it sits high on the water when on it’s side, high enough that the 790 wing is forced to submerge about 80% of the wing. Body dragging to this setup is more like a typical foil and requires almost no effort, even with the rig on it’s side. Perfect. I’ve used other boards with high volume that are equally easy to drag to, but riding them is also a drag. The boards I’ve tried are both too flexy and too weak. I’ve broken multiple boards with the 873 wing. Even with the 790, these boards flexed and gave a slightly wobbly ride that made it very hard for me to progress. Enter the Casi Macho. Both incredibly stiff and strong, I noticed a vast improvement on my first ride. Gone was the wobble. Instead it was replaced with a solid and responsive ride. My downwind skills improved immediately as it was so much easier to ride faster. I started riding swell with confidence that didn’t exist just hours before. Seriously, the board made that big a difference to me.

Along with the volume comes a very forgiving rocker line. Touchdowns were smooth and easy. Light wind starts were outstanding. The combination of rocker and volume made it possible for me to start in wind that was lighter than marginal. That capability saved me a long swim back to shore when the wind died suddenly in Baja.

Obviously I love this board. If I could change one thing, I wouldn’t. Seriously It’s perfect for me. Take away weight and you make it weaker, or less stiff, or less volume. I’ll be buying a second one for keeping in Hawaii. 😊 After riding it for a week in Baja, I can’t imagine going back to anything else.


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kitebot

Since 20 Feb 2007
228 Posts

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PostFri Feb 14, 20 10:02 am     Reply with quote

Great review, thanks Nak. Since I've only foiled small, heavy foils I haven't experienced the problem with board escaping upwind. Is this purely a Gorge thing because of the currents or does it happen with no currents where the board is actually on an upwind reach?

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostFri Feb 14, 20 11:14 am     Reply with quote

Thanks!

I can't answer that from personal experience. I've not ridden a pocket board anywhere but in the Gorge. However, given the extreme difficulty/impossibility in the Gorge to drag to a PB and the 790 on it's side, I would be completely surprised if it wasn't an issue everywhere. I know I've talked to people who have difficulty with a PB and a 633 wing in Hawaii. I think that's why a lot of people prefer Stringy's outstanding wings with pocket boards. They have no volume so the wing sinks. Once that happens anyone can get to it.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1438 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostFri Feb 14, 20 1:43 pm     Reply with quote

I can answer this for the KS 37, the KS 42, and on the Moses 633 in non-Gorge locations: It will most definitely leave the scene and require a ton of body-drag effort in all winds. This became most infuriating in July in Tacoma, shipping lanes, and I'm on the Flysurfer Soul 12m in extremely light winds.... Kite hit the water, I'm struggling, and the KS 42 is long gone. Thank Gawd it was Sunday afternoon and some booze cruise party boat grabbed my board.
Here's how the 633 floats with a KS 37:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/YhwDhVLcVHLxa4Lt9

Switched over to a Stringy wing and my troubles are behind me now because the wing sinks.

I recognize the beach in the pics... SS Smile

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Kip Wylie

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kitebot

Since 20 Feb 2007
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PostFri Feb 14, 20 2:24 pm     Reply with quote

That is very interesting, not what I was expecting, thanks guys!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
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PostFri Feb 14, 20 2:42 pm     Reply with quote

With the Casi Macho and the 790 the wing still floats, most of the time. But the board sits high enough in the water that it still is a piece of cake to drag to even with the rig on it's side. Even with it on it's side I often went downwind to get it. Not once in any wind condition did I have to put any effort in to the drag at all. No streamlining and pointing an arm out, etc. Just drag over to the board. Smile

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oliver19

Since 25 Jun 2019
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PostSun Feb 16, 20 2:22 pm     Reply with quote

This can be a problem anywhere. If there is enough stuff above and below the water, the setup acts like a sail/keel and can actually sail upwind. That is why I like foils that sink slowly (Lift 170 and Kanaha 37). You can wait for it to come to you.

The Stringy foil looks great. Kip, does it ride pretty similar to the 633?

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1438 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostTue Feb 18, 20 10:43 am     Reply with quote

oliver19 wrote:

The Stringy foil looks great. Kip, does it ride pretty similar to the 633?


Yes, Very similar....but with improvements (and one semi-negative)
1. Much better in the more aggressive tighter radius carve. Definitely more fun
2. Sinks when mated to any pocket board. Currently on Brian's super lightest 36" and it's perfect.
3. Feels less turbulent than a side-by-side 633 test. Took the 633 out last week and now it's for sale. 633 feels sluggish after some Stringy months.

One minor negative is that you never want to breach the Stringy (contact air) as it's an instant crash a mili-second later. I have it on a 101cm mast until I get more skill.

Oh... and Stringy's G-10 stands up to full-speed coral reef impact better than the Moses carbon.
I have it paired with a Mose 450 stabilizer, but could've been happy with a 430 (420?)

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Kip Wylie

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blancoh2o

Since 15 Mar 2005
1109 Posts
Oregon
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PostSun Feb 23, 20 12:03 pm     Reply with quote

The only time I have had an issue body dragging back to my board is when I am pushing the light wind limits and when the wind is going the same direction as the current on the Columbia River. Sometimes the 633 floats in the eddy current. The board stays in one place but body dragging in such light wind fighting the current is the problem.
The 633 is a great wing with the small floating issue included.
I have seen NAK’s KS and it’s really good looking. It’s not my style of board but still and piece of art work. And yes Horati is a super nice guy.

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