The complete SUNOVA foil boards tour with James Casey

5th July 2023

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Do you know SUNOVA? This Thailand based brand designs and manufactures SUPs, foilboards and surfboards, with especially a special TR3 TEC technology, very recognizable with its visible (and beautiful) balsa wood. In Europe, the brand is a little less well known for its foil boards, whereas their stand-up paddles shine in all continental and international SUP race competitions. So, to help you discover the breadth of SUNOVA’s foil board range, we called on James Casey. At 31, James Casey is an Australian who does it all: SUP foil, SUP surf, wingfoil, prone foil… well, a true waterman! James also participated in the development of SUNOVA’s Casey range, and was the World SUP foil distance Record Holder (213km) before being beaten by Olivia Piana a few days ago. James Casey is also a foil coach and instructor, and has set up the Coach Casey Club, a mentoring program for progressing in foil and SUP. In short, he knows a thing or two about foiling! So if you’re looking to get fitted with one of SUNOVA’s beautiful boards, follow his advices, and you’ll find the right one for you!

6’3 Elite DW Aviator / Photo : @ianbirdphoto

Hi James and thank you for giving us this interview! First of all, can you explain to us how the Casey range was born within SUNOVA?

The Casey range was born when I first asked SUNOVA to make me a foilboard back in 2017. It snowballed with a few custom surf sups and the rest is history. The Casey range within the SUNOVA range has grown over time and I’m stoked that my mate Marcus Tardrew has been the designer for them.

6’10 Aviator / Photo : @naanuey

What is your role within the brand?

My role within the brand is to keep my finger on the pulse of trends within the SUP and Foil industry. From there I ask for prototypes from Marcus and then we finalize the range. The Revolution longboard SUP was an example of this as were the DW foil boards.

6’3 Elite DW Aviator / Photo : @ianbirdphoto

SUNOVA Casey has a wide range of foil boards, can you quickly give us a tour?

It sure has grown since the beginning. It started with the Pilot (prone foilboard) and Aviator (SUP foilboard). We now have wing specific Aviators plus a range of DW specific Aviators too.

5’0 Wing Aviator / Photo : @ianbirdphoto

To start wingfoil, which board would you recommend and why?

Personally I really like teaching with the original Aviator. It’s a forgiving shape and has plenty of volume and width to give you a good platform to fine tune the winging basics. 6’0 or 6’4 are what I mainly use to teach with.

6’10 Aviator / Photo : @naanuey

For more advanced riders looking to freestyle or ride waves, which board do you recommend? What are your feelings on this (or these) board(s)?

For prone foilers the Pilot is unreal. Great paddle speed to allow you to catch more waves and a bottom shape that prevents any rails sticking if you touch down. Originally I used it to wing on as well but the Wing Aviator has taken over as my jumping board with a squarer outline easier to get started and better for landing jumps.

SUNOVA Casey. Pilot

For the search for speed and the wingfoil race, which board would you recommend? Can you give us a feedback?

Originally the Wing Aviator was best for this but for me the new Elite DW Aviator allows you to get up on a smaller foil in less wind earlier due to the water line, volume and narrow outline. It’s my go to light wind wing setup and would work great for wing races in light winds.

SUNOVA Casey. Wing Aviator

For wingfoil downwind, do you recommend the Aviator Downwind Pro and Aviator Downwind Elite boards even if they are more designed for downwind SUP? Which of the two will be more suitable for downwing?

The Elite and Pro are both great boards good DW winging. You can get away with a smaller wing due to the bigger board and foil which in turn mean you get a more pure DW experience without being dictated by the wing. The Pro is better for messier water as it is wider and the Elite better for cleaner conditions.

SUNOVA Casey. Aviator DW Pro

And finally, if you are looking for a unique and versatile board, which one should you rather go for and why?

My quiver killer is the 6’3 Elite DW Aviator. If I go away on a trip I’ll just pack that as it allows me to user it for all disciplines, prone foil (mainly for small waves) or SUP foil, wing foil in all wave conditions or downwind sup foil. A perfect weekend away with the perfect board covering all my favorite disciplines.

SUNOVA Casey. Aviator DW Elite

Thank you very much James for these very interesting and instructive answers about the SUNOVA foil range!

More about SUNOVA:
Facebook / Instagram / Official Website

Follow James Casey:
Instagram / Linktree

About the Author

Laurie Montagner

From SUP Racing to wing foiling, through windsurfing, wakesurfing and surfing, you will always find Laurie somewhere in the South-West of France. Passionate about watersports, Laurie spends her time surfing, whether on the wave... or online! Laurie is indeed a specialist in social media marketing and web development, from writing lines of code to making professional videos. Very much a competitor, you've probably already met her on one of the SUP and wing events all over France!

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