Information about the IQfoil classes
IQfoil class, new one design class for Olympic Games ’24
Wind foiling is still a relatively young phenomenon within windsurfing. In 2017, the first brands with wind foils cautiously entered the market. Due to a very good lobby from Olympic champion Dorian van Rijselberghe, Kiran Badloe and their coach Aaron Mcintosh , it was decided in 2019 to make wind foiling the Olympic discipline for windsurfing. After various tenders and try out events, the IQfoil concept of Starboard/Severne was chosen as the new design class for wind foiling.
What is the IQfoil class?
The IQfoil class is a one design competition class for men and women ( IQfoil senior class ). Everyone sails on the same board, with the same wind foil and the same rigging. The board and foils are produced by the Starboard brand and the rigging is produced by sister brand Severne.
In addition to the various IQfoil class championships, the selections for the Olympic Games also take place during the championships. Since the start of the IQfoil class in 2020, the IQfoil class has become the most important competition class for windsurfing. Last year, more than 150 men and more than 100 women participated in the IQfoil World Championship. The number of IQfoil race events is also growing rapidly.
IQfoil Senior class
In just a few years, the IQfoil class has become one of the largest windsurfing competitions in the world. The class uses high-end material for maximum speed and performance. In a very short time, the level of athletes in this class has grown enormously.
Most can get on the wind foil with 6 knots of wind. Speeds of up to 55 km/h are no longer exceptions. This at wind speeds of up to 20 knots! Wind foilers therefore easily go faster than the wind speed
The ladies and gentlemen use the same equipment in the IQfoil class. Only the ladies foil with a slightly smaller sail than the men. The rest of the material is identical. In addition to the women’s and men’s classification, there is also a youth classification up to 20 years (U21 class).
From 2023, athletes in the IQfoil class can qualify for the Olympic Games in 2024 Paris (Marseille for water sports).
IQfoil Junior & Youth classes
In the wake of the senior IQfoil class, Starboard & Severne introduced the IQfoil youth class in 2020. The equipment for the youth IQfoil class is derived from the senior IQfoil material. A smaller board, smaller and lighter sails make this IQfoil junior and youth class very accessible to the youth.
Youth up to the age of 18 can participate in the IQfoil youth class. At the moment there are 2 titles for boys and girls in the youth class. One title for the class for juniors up to 16 years (U17 class) and a title for the class for youth up to 18 years (U19 class).
Partly due to the Corona pandemic, the IQfoil youth class only really started in 2022. During the first world championship in 2022, more than 260 participants already started.
It is expected that the youth IQfoil class will continue to grow in the coming years with more participants and more IQfoil youth and junior races. In addition, it will become clear by 2024 at the latest whether the IQfoil youth one design equipment will also be chosen for the Youth Olympic Games of 2026.
IQfoil class equipment
The equipment that can be used for the IQfoil lessons is fully standardized according to the one design format. Most parts of the IQfoil equipment are provided with a sticker with a registered QR code. The biggest differences in equipment is between the seniors and the youth. Below you will find an overview of the most important parts of the IQfoil equipment per class.
The men and women in the senior class use a Starboard 95 cm wide carbon wind foilboard. This board has been specially developed to get ‘on the foil’ with little wind. Main goal of this board, to foil upwind and downwind courses as quickly as possible.
Both men and women use the same Starboard carbon foil with a 95 cm long carbon mast with the same size carbon front wing of 900 cm2 and a back wing of 255 cm2.
This windfoil is one of the best windfoils for up- and downwind races in a wide wind range.
The only difference is that the gentlemen use the Severne HGO with a size of 9.0m2. The ladies sail with an HGO 8.0m2. The Severne HGO has a very wide range of about 6 knots to over 30 knots!
The youth in the U19 class uses a board derived from the IQfoil 95. This board is 85 cm, 10 cm narrower.
In addition, the board is made of a stronger and cheaper construction. The purpose of this is to keep the sport more affordable for the youth.
Since 2022, the youth uses the same high end carbon foil as the men and women in the senior class with the same size front and back wing.
The youth (boys and girls!) use the same HGO 8.0m2 as the women in the senior class. Only the youth use an aluminum boom instead of the carbon boom that the ladies and gentlemen use.
This again from a cost point of view to keep the IQfoil youth and youth class as cheap as possible.
The juniors in the U17 class use the same board as in the U19 class. The performance of this board is also very good with smaller sails.
The windfoil used by the U17 has a cheaper aluminum mast of 95 cm. The back wing and fuselage of the foil are the same as with the seniors and youth. Only the front wing of 800cm2 is a bit smaller.
The biggest difference is the rigging of the juniors. The Severne FGO sails are derived from the sails that the youth and seniors sail with. For the juniors, the sail sizes are smaller and the sails are a lot lighter. This makes the sails easier to handle for the U17 juniors. For the U17 class there are 3 sizes of sails available; 5,0m2, 6,0m2 and 7,0m2. During official IQfoil events, the juniors can register 2 sizes of sails.