Kiwi company making waves – Armstrong Foils

“The close relationships we establish with our partners and dealers is key. People love supporting true Kiwi innovation.”

Managing Director, Andrew McGregor

Enduring strength and market leading design has made Armstrong products internationally successful with the water sports community.
The New Zealand company makes a range of hydrofoils and associated products suitable for surfing, kiting, SUP, wake surfing, tow surfing and winging.
The company had its beginning as founder Armie Armstrong, a renowned name on the water sports circuit, was tired of repairing broken foils that weren’t up to the job. His goal was to develop a top of the line foil set up that could easily be used for all the foil sports he loved.
Business partner and managing director Andrew McGregor says the success of company’s products boil down to technical expertise, innovation and passion:
“We are all passionate about and active in water sports. Our products are the result of an authentic connection between our riders and designers who are constantly testing and tweaking to create that sublime foiling ride.”
Armie was exposed to his love for the ocean and design/engineering from a young age through his father David, a New Zealand architect for over half a century and lifelong global sailor and adventurer with a wealth of real world experience.
David helped turn initial concepts into working drawings with material selection and critical dimensions.  Jim Moore, legendary foil maker and boat builder including being a veteran on Team New Zealand America’s Cup wing building campaigns.
Jim offered seasoned advice especially defining the complex construction details, material selection and layups, including the masts’ unique Quad-C-Beam core layup.
Finally, aerofoil designer Rob Whittall who has a lifetime of tweaking foil sections for hang-gliders, paragliders and kites, provided pivotal input on the most stable foil sections.
He says that through better engineering, perfect material selection, attention to detail in every aspect and meticulous manufacturing, each product is simply the best money can buy and will last longer and perform perfectly throughout its life.
Materials used include highest-grade titanium and carbon fibre. Andrew says all materials are meticulously selected and rigorously tested before being utilized in products.
A good example is the company’s new A+System, which has been developed by Armie to handle the new generation of mid to high aspect foil wings, which produce high torsional leverage forces.
Further improving product longevity and flex characteristics the new A+System has been designed with custom titanium barrel nuts.
“The new system locks the mast and wings to the A+System TC Fuselage while maintaining Armstrong’s unique flex characteristics.
“The flex riders can feel in the system comes from the carbon/titanium fuselage itself and our tapered Reactive Flex Mast construction, which is at the heart of the smooth flowing Armstrong feel,” explains Andrew.
It’s no surprise then that Armstrong team riders include some of New Zealand’s biggest sporting names, including Peter Burling, who recognize the brand’s superiority.
The US is the company’s biggest market with New Zealand batting well above its weight.
Other growing markets include Australia, Europe and the Pacific Islands making Armstrong a globally recognised market leader, says Andrew.
Armstrong is constantly innovating to keep up with the rapidly developing technology. Armstrong has just released a high aspect foil range to sit along side the High Speed and Carving free ride categories to cater to the different rider styles and experience Andrew says the High Aspect Foils offer the ultimate in gliding.
“It’s more along the lines of what sailing boats use and is very efficient in the water but the HA foils are for advanced riders only being more difficult to ride than the CF or HS ranges.”
Another exciting product released in the last nine months is the A-Wing.
Andrew says that wing foiling is kind of a cross between windsurfing, kite surfing and foil surfing.
“We predict this discipline to become the fastest growing form of foiling and to bring huge exposure to foiling in general.”
Armstrong has been expanding rapidly, in the past two years in particular, due to the huge growth internationally of foiling combined with an excellent supply chain and team.
“The close relationships we establish with our partners and dealers is key. People love supporting true Kiwi innovation.”
© Waterford Press Ltd 2021

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