Severne Alien Review – By Our Customers! January 14, 2021 5:51 am
We often ask our customers to let us know what they think of the kit they buy from – Ciaran from Ireland is no different…….. except when he writes a review he REALLY writes a review. Ciaran is Severne through and through having Dynos, sails and more recently foiling kit. Heres what he sent us a couple months back on the NEW Alien foil board and Redwing foil.
Very Different and really versatile!
I’ve been using the Severne Alien 125 Freeride foil board for 5 sessions with different sized sails and in different conditions so far and wanted to post a quick initial review here incase anyone is sitting on the fence and wondering if it is worth the investment.
I’ve been windsurf foiling for just under 2 years and have previously used the 2018 Starboard Foil 122 Freeride board with the Starboard Freeride foil initially with an upgrade after a year to the faster, higher aspect Starboard GT-R foil. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the Alien and placed an order many months ago when I read about them in Australian social media posts.
After the initial excitement of opening the board box and unwrapping the Alien… the first impression was how different it looked to any other foil boards I’d seen so far, but also how well finished it was. I’ve come to expect this from Severne, as I have 4 other Severne windsurf boards, but it even seemed like it was a step up again in quality and finish.
I initially thought I could just lay my older board alongside the Alien, and with a tape measure, translate my preferred tried and tested setup on the older board to the new Alien 125. However, I quickly realised the geometry was very different. Aside from being 21cm shorter with the same width, the relationship between the mast track, footstraps and foil box was different in every way. So in the absence of any other guidance I decided to put the straps in the middle position and the mast foot in the middle of the track and just went out on the water to get a feel for it.
Aside from looking very different, it certainly felt very different too on the water. My first session was with the Foil Glide 6m in gusty under and overpowered choppy conditions. I found the board very lively underfoot and it was up and flying very easily. I figured this was down to the wind strength but then I quickly felt my footstraps should be further forward for more control in the air. I found a grassy spot on the shore to use my Severne Hex4 allen key (which was handily located inside the foot of my Foil Glide sail) to move the front footstraps further forward. I also decided to slide the mastfoot 2cm forwards to gain more control whilst flying. This in combination had an immediate effect and increased my control in the gusty conditions seemingly without any sacrifice to initial takeoff. Surprisingly, using the identical foil setup to my older board the gybes felt very different too. Initially in the choppy conditions I was making it around the gybes with varying success. So, after the first sail my thoughts whilst packing up the van were that it would definitely require some more tweaks in the setup.
I’ve since sailed the Alien 125 in lighter conditions with the 7m foil glide to further refine the setup and then the last three sessions have been with 5m Blade and 4.5 Blade whilst still using the GT-R foil. On my previous board I’d never wanted to try a sail smaller than 5.5m as I always felt the board would feel too big but on this board the larger and smaller sails all work incredibly well. I’ve ultimately found I now have far more success in the gybes than before as I’ve quickly honed my skills on the Alien in choppy and also relatively flat water. Delicate footwork is definitely rewarded. The board just wants to keep flying around the corners and I’ve now nailed my first fully foiling duck gybes and carving 360s.
With the sail always In the forward half of the mast track and the footstraps one hole forward of the middle (front and back) the board has impeccable manners from 7m to 4.5m in flat to choppy water. On the few really gusty occasions, where I have struggled to keep the foil under the water, the inevitable launch and touchdowns have been fairly benign thanks to the nose rocker and underside shaping. I certainly seem to be in a more upright stance to my previous board but still notching up similar top speeds as before and just loving the carving free nature of the board, even with a relatively racey foil setup. When the wind increases I can retain complete control when I move my back foot just forward of the back straps towards the centreline of the board which allows me to reduce the lift but still keep flying whilst sheeting out and carving downwind with a massive smile on my face!
My initial concerns about the different geometry are long gone and I really feel this is a big step evolution in free ride foil board design. As with any foiling kit, the setup is key, so if it doesn’t feel right then tweak it until you get the sweet spot and you’ll never look back. I’m still planning to move my footstraps again to make sure I’m in the optimum position but its hard to see the control could be any better than it has been during the last few sessions.
If I was to try to find any negative or a suggestion for improvement then maybe on the 125 there could be an additional set of inboard footstrap positions on the back of the board. I can see how this would maybe help less experienced foilers but this is a very minor point on what I can say is an otherwise excellent board!
For your info, I’m 5’10”, 94kg and my GT-R foil is setup with a 95 carbon mast, 95 fuselage, 800 front wing and 330 tail wing.
Just received this great update from Ciaran:
At the weekend I was out on my Severne Fox 120 with Severne Overdrive M3 7.8 on the Lough near my Parent’s house.
The wind dropped off a little and I thought, as a test, I would just plug the Overdrive 7.8 into the Alien 125 with my Starboard GT-R+ foil setup.
I eased the downhaul off very slightly and also slackened off the adjustable outhaul for lighter pumping conditions on the Overdrive M3.
Although the specs don’t officially list sails larger than 7m on the Alien 125 I have read different things on some of the Australian forums where sailors were talking about using an 8m on the 125 with some success.
I suspect this is why the new Foil Glide 2 will soon be available in an 8m as Severne have realised it will work with sails up to that size?
Anyway, contrary to the “official” specs… the 7.8 went really well in some iffy gusty conditions and I was able to pump and get up and going in the gusts and stay flying through the lulls and gybes. At no point did I feel like my control and leverage was lacking on the Alien 125. I suspect in stronger winds the width on the tail of the Alien may start to feel compromised but I had no indication of that during this session.
Another session saved by the Foil gear and yet again… I’m surprised by just how versatile this amazing foil board is!
All the best
Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by Neil Greentree (Team Rider)