AK Durable Supply Co, abbreviated AK, is a relatively new brand from Cape Town that specializes in foiling. And falls under the ever-growing Starboard family. We are very enthusiastic about the AK Phazer V2 Wingboard and it was a bit of a wait for the wingfoils of AK. In the meantime, we have been able to try AK Tracer extensively. Time for our findings.
AK Tracer 1600 | Price € 1.298,- | Aluminium mast 80 cm | Carbon front wing 1.600 cm2 | Carbon back wing 300 cm2 | Alu fuselage 71 cm
With the unboxing of the AK Tracer wingfoil, it is immediately noticeable how much attention has been paid to the finish. Especially the wings and carbon masts look very high quality and the aluminum mast also looks sleek and has a nice streamline on the eye. The parts fit together seamlessly and without play, making the construction feel nice and solid. What is striking is that the front wing is about 1.5 cm further back than with many other brands. The back wing is trimable. On the back wing it is clearly stated what the setting is to get more or less lift. AK also follows the trend towards M8 bolts (except back wing is M6) which also all fit neatly. With a price of € 1.298,- we find the quality and finish better than many competitors in this segment.
The AK Tracer is a so-called medium aspect foil. But looking at the shape of the front wing compared to the AK Trek (low aspect foil), the AK Tracer leans more towards the AK Trek than the AK Plasma (high aspect ratio 7). Time to mount the AK Tracer with the 1600 cm2 front wing under the AK Phazer V2 5’6″ and get on the water.
With the relatively large back wing of 300 cm2 (AK Tracer with smaller front wings have a standard 260 cm2 back wing) we get very easily on the foil and we notice that the wingfoil is very stable. The straight-line stability is very nice and at the same time the turns are also very easy. Stronger after we get used to the foil we start playing and carving a bit. What immediately stands out is the confidence that the foil gives. Even at higher speeds, you can push the foil through the bend like a snowboard in the powder snow (it also gives that feeling, wonderfully :)) without you popping out of the water through the gear. The lift in the foil is good and also very predictable. That makes the foil allow you to try new things and push boundaries. The ‘glide’ is slightly less smooth (without having sanded the wings) than with SABfoils, but this is earned back twice over by the playful and predictable character of this wingfoil. Because the front wing is a little further back, we also have to place the foil a little further forward on the board.
AK Tracer very good all-rounder with very good performance
The ease with which we can wingfoil makes the AK Tracer really suitable for the novice wingfoiler. The advanced wingfoiler will also have a lot of fun with this wingfoil. The standard aluminum mast is remarkably stiff and the performance of the aluminum mast is also excellent. No resonance, whistling or anything like that. We easily reached a speed of more than 31 km per hour. Optionally, the AK Tracer can be upgraded with an extremely rigid AK carbon mast. This AK carbon mast is available separately, so the demanding wingfoiler can easily upgrade the performance of this wingfoil afterwards.
Smaller front and back wings for even more playful and challenging character
The AK Tracer is also available in other set ups with larger and smaller wings. We have extensively tested the 1300 front wing and 1000 front wing and 260 cm2 back wing. What is striking is how easily the 1300 or even the 1000 front wings fly and also stay up easily in dips and turns. The wingfoil becomes a lot faster and also the maneuverability becomes better and all that while maintaining the predictability of the wingfoil. Higher speeds and faster transitions are not only possible due to the smaller surfaces of the wings, but also because of the confidence you get, you can push the foil remarkably well.
It is of course a matter of your own foil style and circumstances, but our preference is for the 1300 cm2 front wing i.c.m. the AK phazer V2 5’6″ from about 12 knots. The balance between performance, playfulness, range of use and stability is really perfectly balanced for us. Where the predictability of the AK Tracer really stands out in a positive sense. This gives confidence and ensures that you dare to push boundaries with more confidence.
Our overall findings about the AK Tracer
We are impressed with the AK Tracer. The quality and finish clearly show the ambition and professionalism of this brand. The AK Tracer is also competitively priced and there are many separate parts for sale, so that the wingfoil can be tweaked or upgraded at your own discretion. But it’s the balance in the AK Trazer and the predictability that make this wingfoil our favorite.