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Foiling thoughts
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 4454

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wind-NC.com wrote:
Mr Gybe- Re- your skiing comparison- foiling is a bit like skiing bottomless powder- smooth, light, and effortless. Fun!!!!

That's a good analogy and a fair point. Personally, I enjoyed deep powder because I didn't get to do it very often. If it was available every day, I suspect it would lose some of its appeal versus groomed slopes. Main thing is that you are having fun doing it. I still have many windsurf skills to perfect before looking for a new challenge!
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2620

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been foiling since early March mostly at my local lake in our typical 9-13 mph winds with my 5.7 rig. I have taken it out in the Delta in higher winds using smaller sails, once in 24 mph with a Sailoworks Ripper 3.3 kids rig. At our classes & clinics there have been lots of questions & discussions about foiling so here are my thoughts based on where I sail.

First off let me say it is fun. Not physical fun like windsurfing, but fun and a new challenge. Foiling is branching off into many different disciplines as Andy noted. With smaller, lighter sails that need less rig tension & a smoother ride it is definitely a sport you can do in later years as NOVAAN mentioned.

It can be hard on equipment but it appears to mainly be the big formula, freeformula or JP slalom type boards that are 80+ cm wide. Foilers for sure are keeping our local board repair guy busy. The dedicated foil boards appear to be less prone to propoising. I've dropped out of the sky many of times with my Naish board with no effect & I have noticed the same with the Slingshot no nose boards.

Launching can be a real pain. At my local lake I have a sweet dock so just drop it in, hop on & go. But at Sherman, depending on tides it feels like I have to walk out a half mile. I avoid the narrow paths through the big rocks with moss for obvious reasons. The kiter launch is the best for launching but has its obvious challenges. Yes, the foil does take up space so transporting can be a real pain if you have a small car that requires you to take apart the foil every time or if you keep it together in your van it doesn't leave room for much else.

Weeds. Those freshwater/brackish water string weeds lie in wait for unwary foilers. I saw some pretty spectacular crashes at Sherman this year & got pulled out of the sky myself after the tide dropped when I wasn't paying attention.

It is new so it is popular, changing rapidly & will continue to grow. There are new sail, board & foil designs coming out every week it seem. But like any other sport it will likely peak, plateau & settle into a niche.

Like kiting, some windsurfers will leave windsurfing to do purely foiling. Foiling is less equipment intensive similar to kiting. One board, a couple of different wings & sails is all you would really need to foil at most places.

The last observation is the learning curve. A couple of things you don't need to foil that you do to windsurf. One is a water start & the other is a harness. We have been discussing about weather an absolute beginner would first need to learn to use a harness & footstraps in windsurfing before learning to foil. Right now I'm not convinced of that. I can see a good argument for going from basic sailing to learning to fly a foil without straps.

Coachg
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 431

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Foiling thoughts Reply with quote

tm00 wrote:
Started foiling this summer. Been out about 30 times trying to work through the learning curve. Have some thoughts on foiling and wonder if others has similar thoughts/comments.

* It is different from windsurfing.
* Good to try a new activity and go through a new learning curve.
* The feeling of "flying" over the water and how quiet it is was a surprise.
* Was surprised that when flying, how high you can point and how fast you go.
* The equipment is heavy and clumsy to handle on-shore.
* Can be hard on equipment. (Sails/foil/board)
* Can be terrifying when you get sky launched.
* Can be nerve racking when you start porpoising.
* There is no feel of the board being on the water.


* Makes your regular board feel about 30L less in volume.
* Can do "rail-to-rail" carving on completely flat water without coming of a plane (foil)
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marc5



Joined: 21 Oct 2015
Posts: 43
Location: SW Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll add my own experience as a foil newbie. Got my first ride in the Gorge in August on a demo Slingshot Dialer 145 and H2 wing, 24" mast. Thought it was going to be a light day--why not try a foil. By the end of the session I was able to waterstart my 4.7....whew!!!! A bit over-powered and went home with slice-up shins! Still, I had some fun rides and plenty of crashes. I saw the potential and bought the whole package to have back in Ohio.

I've probably been out with it eight times here--all with a 6.2 or 7.0, wind averaging in the teens (mph). I'm getting long flights now with a 30" mast. Still rarely in the front strap--haven't even put on the rear strap. Sometimes in a harness. The sensation when flying is really amazing--like a hoverboard or a flying fish floating above the chop. No sound but a slight hum. No pull on the arms. No full carving jibes yet. The interesting thing is how it compares to my buddies on regular gear. This week one had a 7.8, the other 8.8 when I was foiling with a 7.0. Mid-teens gusting to mid-20s. Mostly uphauling but an occasional waterstart. I could start flying before they planed. I passed them as thy were barely planing. But as the wind increased they passed me. And in the highest gusts I often foiled out and crashed. I obviously still have a long way to go, but it seems like the foil doesn't have a wide wind range for me. I wonder if I will be able to learn to control the lift in the gusts and drive the board faster.....or is this foil incapable of keeping up with my buddies on regular gear. Do some wings have wider ranges than others? Will getting into both straps make a difference? I'm 185 lbs, and with a 7.0 it seems right now my minimum for flying is around 14 mph (compared to around 17 on my regular gear). I imagine that as I gain experience I'll be able to fly in lighter wind.

Thanks for any ideas.
Marc
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in that in between stage where I use the front strap but not the back strap. Sling shot 130 board and foil. I like the freedom to move my back foot anywhere I think I need to. I use the harness if the wind is steady and I have the foil in control. Its really pretty easy once I'm up just to hang on to the boom. I foiled yesterday in gusty 15 to 25 plus winds on a 4.7 could have got my gear going on a 4.2 I won't say I was if perfect control but never foiled out or crashed. I would have ate it all over the lake in the same conditions a month ago. The thing that helped me was to learn to keep the board down in windsurf mode in the huge gusts and foiling in the lulls. In windsurfing mode I was on a full plane and would only allow the foil to lift just 6 inches or so off the water. One of the good guys was on his foil and in the straps most of the time. In these conditions he was the fastest guy on the lake. keeping up with the one windsurfer in the gusts and flying by in the lulls. He has been at it for 2 years now. Just like learning windsurfing, I need to challenge myself in conditions above my skill level to increase my wind range. Yesterday was a challenge but next time it blows that hard I will be a bit more prepared. Right now I much prefer foiling in the 10 to 15 mph range. Its crazy how much fun you can have in winds that would have you sitting and waiting before...
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dcharlton



Joined: 24 Apr 2002
Posts: 336

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my first year of foiling under my belt, my thoughts:

1) Graduated mast systems help build confidence, Slingshot has a great 3 mast system that I found worked well in the progression.

2) Experiment with different wings whenever you can, I had trouble with the H2 spinning out and not giving enough lift (I'm 210lbs) and went to the Infinity 84, boy what a tremendous difference! I use with the original stabilizer and it works great

3) Right now it's my light wind alternative, bigger winds I much prefer to windsurf but in non-planning conditions, I'm out having a great time instead of praying for that elusive 5 more knts that never comes.

DC
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 4454

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coachg wrote:
A couple of things you don't need to foil that you do to windsurf. One is a water start & the other is a harness.

Coachg, Can you explain further? Waterstarting with a small sail in light winds seems like a real problem for someone like me at 205lbs.
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is my 2 cents. I am just learning to foil and do not have the expertise of Coachg. I am very good at lite wind water starts. Without seeing your technique its difficult to say what might help. In general, don't just hang on your boom flying your sail waiting for a gust to pull you out. Wait for a gust with your boom resting on the back of your board. When it hits, throw your sail as high and as forward as you can arms strait. When the sail reaches its highest point is when you pull down on the boom and lift yourself on to the board. Be sure the sail is sheeted in before you pull. Big point for me is to keep your knees bent and roll on to the board keeping the sail forward. You'll end up a in squat position. Stand up quickly with your weight on the front foot as much as you can. A slightly lower boom can help. Windsurfing, a few well timed kicks can help but not a good idea foiling. As I learn to control my foil I'm finding I can use a bit larger sail making water starts easier...
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starik333



Joined: 19 Aug 2000
Posts: 347
Location: Philly

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You not supposed to waterstart when you foiling becase:
1. if you can waterstart your sail is too big for foiling
2. eventially you will kick foil ... ER ... stitches ...

_________________
Andrew
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A lot of great surfers were ruined by family and steady job.
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grantmac017



Joined: 04 Aug 2016
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me I'm perfectly powered on the foil when I can waterstart without any kicking. Usually I stand on the wing when getting into position then up I go.
Oddly enough I find that my waterstarting power threshold is lower with the foil, I think because of the drag and stability.
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