Interview with Damien Chaboud of AlpineFoil
AlpineFoil is a renowned French kitefoiling brand based out of the Alps who is known for specializing in the design and manufacture of carbon, aluminium and titanium kitefoils for kitesurfing and foil windsurfing. For this upcoming season, AlpineFoil has been innovating yet again and finally launches its first range devoted to windfoil the Windfoil A1 Aluminium and the Windfoil A1 Carbon!
Windfoil Zone will test and review AlpineFoil A1 soon, but in the meantime, we have asked the founder, Damien Chaboud, to answer a few questions to know a little bit more about the brand, its vision and its products.
Name: Damien Chaboud
Home spot: Monteynard Lake, France (Lac de Monteynard)
Profession: AlpineFoil’s founder and CEO
Windfoil Zone: Damien, thanks for answering our questions! Could you give us a little glimpse into your personal life?
I have a strong passion for everything which glides and flies! In the past, I have had the opportunity to try paragliding, then windsurfing, followed by all kinds of foiling activities since 2005.
I come from the industrial world and have an engineering background, which allowed me to acquire knowledge on composite materials and the necessary rigor in industrial processes to develop products.
This experience enabled me to master all aspects of product manufacturing and design in order to reach a high-quality level, which also meets my own standards and requirements.
WZ: Tell us about the AlpineFoil adventure? How did it start and where are you today?
Like many industrial success stories, everything started out one evening after work in a garage, where I used to make my own gear to sail so that I could get out and sail with my friends on the weekends. After that, I was asked to make some foils for my friends and then that progressed to making them for friends of friends…, and that is how it all got started.
We finally started our company in 2013, with a new building site and a production team to meet the growing demand. In 2017, we produced about 500 hydrofoils in our production plant. We are still a small company with a family culture, which makes premium hydrofoils made in France.
AlpineFoil’s development follows the sales evolution and our way of working is improving at the same time. This year, we integrated two new robots into our production in order to make the sanding of the foils easier for our employees. The goal is to free them from this tedious task so that they can focus on having a flawless finish on the products.
In 2018, AlpineFoil built the first factory in the world 100% dedicated to foil manufacturing. This is a new step in the company’s development, as this will allow us to increase our production capacity and continue to develop the technology aspect of our hydrofoils.
WZ: Kitefoiling has been around for a few years already, and like several other kite brands, AlpineFoil is now developing into windfoiling. Tell us why you’re moving in this direction and how your brand vision differs from others.
As I mentioned before, I have been windsurfing for many years before moving to kitesurfing, and I have always loved the unique sensations windsurfing gives. When I saw the possibility to build a performant windfoil, it just made logical sense to get involved with the development of this amazing sport. We could use our many years of experience in the hydrofoil world to offer a high-quality range of windfoils for windsurfers. Our windfoils benefit from the expertise of the company and all the patented technology developed by AlpineFoil, such as the “sacrificial anode”. (Aluminium is unfortunately susceptible to corrosion in the saline marine environment. After intense research, AlpineFoil has found a cure that completely revolutionizes aluminium windfoil: SACS-technology (Sacrificial Anode anti-Corrosion System), developed and patented by AlpineFoil, an ultra-efficient anti-corrosion system.)
Since the early days of AlpineFoil in my garage 13 years ago, my motto has always been to achieve excellence both for the glide and for the design of our products. We realise that mostly all foils are working, but rare are those that allow you to fly with real comfort, stability, and high performance in terms of speed. To do this, nothing can be left to chance. At AlpineFoil, we seek perfection in every detail, on the choice of materials, in our manufacturing techniques, and in the final finishing of our products, no matter the product range. Our company tries to combine the high-level precision of industrial technologies with the flexibility of a craft company at best. This is what differentiates us from the large companies on the market.
WZ: You have recently launched the A1 windfoil concept, with both alloy and carbon construction. Would you tell us a bit more about the foil and its modular concept?
The windfoil A1’s concept is clear: design a modular and scalable windfoil, as efficient as possible in order to give the rider a regular progression. The idea is to start from a foil at the top of the range and then make a more affordable version with an aluminium mast, while keeping the features of the premium version.
With this modularity concept, we wanted to offer the aluminium foil with 4 different types of foil heads: Tuttle, Deep Tuttle, Powerbox, and Plate, so that it can be adapted to wide variety of boards. AlpineFoil has established a reputation as a quality supplier in the kitefoil industry thanks to our advanced technologies, and we want to continue in the same direction when it comes to windfoiling.
WZ: Windfoiling is still very young. How do you see the future of windfoiling? Just a trend or a true revolution in modern windsurfing?
It will become a new standard, for sure. We have already seen this in the kitesurf industry. Windsurfing was a revolution in the 80’s, then kitesurfing in the 2000’s, kitefoiling became a commercial success in 2010, and now it is windfoiling’s turn to create its revolution!
Many former windsurfers, as myself, will come back to the sport to try and experience the foiling advantages. This is definitely a true revolution in which we are proud to be a part of!
WZ: Damien, thank you for answering our questions. The last word is yours. Do you have anything to add to finish off this interview?
My grandfather often said to me “why settle for ‘just ok’ when perfection is at hand?”
Today, this is the vision which guides our company.
Thanks to Windfoil Zone for all the work you do!
NB! Stocks of AlpineFoil A1 are limited due to a high demand.
Please check the amazing website of WindFoil Zone which is the bible of WindFoil : https://www.windfoilzone.com
L'outdoormix festival took place from 13 to 16 May 2016 at Lake Serre-Ponçon and the Embrun water. Many present on the event discipline with a great atmosphere, 4 days of madness punctuated by lively evenings.
Power Kite club Hautes-Alpes received like royalty with a kitefoil race competition on the bottom of the lake to discover the Mont St Michel chapel. Discovery and sportiness to go for a totally successful event.
The final podium is the following, the riders were equipped with the new breed of wing Alpinefoil
1: Benoit Billet - Alpinefoil 5.0 Carbon + New wing racefoil
2nd: Damien Chaboud: Alpinefoil Titanium + New wing racefoil
3rd: Emmanuelle Centelles: Spotz
4th: Jean Francois Blachon: Alpinefoil Ultimate + Racefoil Wing
A great performance for the team Alpinefoil with 3 riders in the top of the table, we also note the very fine second place on Romain Mandier funny race.
The riders have done a good session last Saturday at Lake Monteynard, thermal famous was the appointment to ensure a good day of kiting. The fall colors have taken over the banks of the lake, autumnal atmosphere adds a real plus in the session. Pictures of Marc BENOIT speak for themselves, the contrast is striking, it is often during these days that one performs the best photos of the lake.
Marc BENOIT has yet demonstrated that he was the pro at just picture with these beautiful photographs, a real pro
On the session, the north wind was pretty light, but steady which enabled the rider to exploit much of the lake extensively. The four riders are equipped with Ozone Chrono 1, Chrono 2 and R1 for Benoit BILLET. On the session all riders was equipped with the front fender SPORT range Alpinefoil
Remember that the company is officially Alpinedesign Ozone dealer France
Session at Lake Bourget Saturday, October 9, 2015:
Part of Team Alpinefoil France was given an appointment at the Lake Bourget Saturday, October 9, 2015 at Lake Bourget, although conditions were met, northerly flow, bad weather, parameters rather conducive to the rise of the wind .
In the end, a good session which allowed Fabio our new team member to discover the lake with his flying carpet, congratulations to him
Back to the last stage of the Speed Crossing Championship to be held in Perros Guirec. The Alpinefoil riders answered present, Benoit Billet and Nicolas Wojnacki gathered there to battle with the best. Benoit ticket was equipped with the new 5.0 with Alpinefoil wing race, which allowed him to glean a few up on other competitor. You should know that to Benoit exceeded 35 knots during his last training in Lake Monteynard with alpinefoil 5.0. Benoit has finished sixth in the standings Senior grapillant a place by beating Thomas Vaclavik and being behind Martin Turbil a big applause for this progression, in the top 10 in the General classification.
Nicolas him when equipped with the 4.5 Alpinefoil and wing Sport was not unworthy by finishing seventh in the standings veterans, he finished 27th in the general classification
Customer feedback on the Access 5.0: http://kitefoil.forumactif.org/t2745p50-new-alpin-foil-2015
Here are the first customer return on Access 5.0 fired website Kitefoil forum:
Message Benoit Miquel July 6, 2015
For those who know me, this is the "Seagull".
And yes, I started to foil: but eh quiet because it is not obvious !!
Then it is 4 times that I wrinkled foil, and I had the occassion to test it 3 models:
- ALPINE FOIL Access 5.0 (alu)
- KETOS by Orana
3 of these tests, I spring with a huge banana with the ALPINE FOIL Access 5.0.
Model with aluminum mast and fuselage.
I am at my 4th session of foil, but phew thing what I could do with alpine.
Super stable and rigid: the blow when you take a lot of speed, the foil remains super super stable compared to others.
Adaptable light wind wing or wing more efficient.
In short, easy glide, great instinctive, like a little toy for beginners like me or others that send fadas serious (dedicated to Hugo and Romain !!!).
What else to say on this foil ... oh yes the board. Pfff ... AT TOP, not big, not too small, the straps made in alpine 'were great !! I enjoyed the config 2 straps to the front and then the back foot V strapless !!
Anyway, I'm not a crack but there's not surfing, I gets off this my session with ACCESS 5.0 made by Damien Chaboud !!
I think (and even that's for sure), I'll take one!
Because I already know the team well ALPINEFOIL and they were great to me (counseling, testing etc.). Then, have a great foil perfo 'but equally accessible and finally downright moin expensive than full carbon (€ 1000 moin, what we done for € 1095) !!
Cheers everyone and soon on (above) the water!
Jm33 message of July 13, 2015
"I had the chance to try it last Sunday foil, after trying the Manta few weeks ago, the AlpineFoil gave me much more good feelings that the Manta.
Already in terms of robustness, junction mat / fuselage is much more rigid, no game like the Manta, fixings wing and stab with the same feeling ... The whole is still very heavy, taking to wear dt even to maneuver in the water, but the water start sent the clear impression is that of having always been able to find out the foil so the stability is HUGE! (that said I liked the Manta side stability).
He does not move and it has all the appearance including downwind, no breakdown detected during the test. Dt suitable speed softness in pides although I felt the inertia of the board.
A perfect foil for learning or for freeride, I think we must quickly master the "airjibe" and so transfers the foil is easy! To be confirmed by another test longer ... "
Serialkiler05 message of July 13, 2015
Testing the Access 5.0 yesterday with the wing freeride, I had already tried with the wing sports during the friendly.
Heavy to go to the water, then it is forgotten. Sensation stability at all speeds, easier curve with the sport. Max very easy to reach (well mine because I think we can go faster). Immediate feeling of gliding.
Clearly a very good freeride foil with perfs at least as much carbon foil.
You can find other alpinefoil return on the following link
The practice of kitefoil is constantly evolving to the rider Hugo CHABOUD image and deserves the top of these 16 who happens to spend just bluffing tricks.
Fanatic freestyle hugo found the same feeling but with more height and ease its hydrofoil Alpinefoil the foilstyle for him is evident in the practice of kitefoil.
A new modern area in the world of kitesurfing was born and we are proud to present you hugo in these works, here in rodeo 360
The friendly 2015 at Lake of Serre Ponçon took place from Saturday 20 to Sunday 21, a warm and trendy with unmatched wind conditions.
15 knots on Saturday and Sunday 12-14 knots with a free sun. Two races were launched during the day Saturday, here are the results:
Sunday Free shipping with exchange of friendly gear and presentation of trophy PKHA has put into play next year, the winner is Marek Mettler for his performances both on the water and ashore, it closed the bar and its corruption by the jury binouzes wagons. A big thank you to the friends of Power Kite Hautes Alpes club and Altitude Kite for the organization.
Here the return of some riders who tried Access 5.0 during the friendly (Information taken from the forum foil http://kitefoil.forumactif.org/t2745p25-new-alpin-foil-2015)
The highlight : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdn1a6ZLaDM