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Learning to Foil
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DelmarEdward



Joined: 05 Aug 2012
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:22 am    Post subject: Learning to Foil Reply with quote

Thanks again for all the relies to my last thread about sailing after a hip replacement, I read them all and feel more secure about getting out after the procedure in October.

As one could easily glean from the title of my post, I'm wondering about learning to foil. I know one is supposed to go back to things they know well, because learning a new sport that can lead to impacts all the time could lead to injuring the new hip. I already know how to ski and windsurf poorly so I feel confident I can get back to doing those poorly afterwards.

I am thinking of learning at least the basics of foiling so I could do that afterwards after also. At least it looks to me to be a good fit because of the light wind ability and thus the gentleness of the activity in general. I am concerned with impacts, both vertical as the board drops off a plane when learning and rotating forward an a cartwheel after a who knows what.

What think you about the ease and speed of learning to foil? I am at the harness and foot strap stage, with a growing ability to really drive the fin in proper posture on the board.

Thanks, dave
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 5251
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a windsurfer for 38 years, and a windfoiler for 3, I'd say no, don't do it if you have lower body problems.
Windfoil requires constant lower body movements, no resting, and burns my ankles and knees the same as a 25 mph, 4.5 sails 85 liter board session.
Every movement stresses hips.
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1489

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dave,
Of course you need to follow your doctors advice on you hip. That said, everything we do has risk. Sitting on the couch all day included. I am 70 years old and after windsurfing since 1981 I decided to give foiling a try 4 years ago. I was up and flying the first day and had no major crashes. Since then I have not had any falls any worse than a windsurfing crash. The super smooth ride on the foil is amazing and is much easier on the old bones. Going out in lite winds on small sails instead of a 7.5 or bigger was hard to conceive at first. When I was learning I over rigged a lot of the time. I quickly learned how to pump my sail and foil and had to dig out the old 4.2 not used for a very long time.
SOOO....If you decide to try foiling here is what I think will help.
Do the Sling Shot foil academy. Its the reason I was up and flying the first day.
Its online and free. Rig a smaller sail than you would for windsurfing. Go out in lite wind at first just to get the feel on how the board and foil react under your feet. Don't use a harness or foot strap until you get the hang of it. A helmet and life jacket are a good idea. A larger low aspect foil will get going at less speed, be more stable fore and aft making it easier to control height. This type of foil has less top end speed and a lower stall speed making learning easier. You can learn on any board that has a tuttle box. Some board last some break after a few days. A dedicated foil board has a reinforced foil mount and the proper geometry set up for foiling. I think the adjustable foil track is better than a fixed foil mount. I still windsurf when its windy and foil when its not. Foiling has greatly extended my time on the water..
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1314

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning to Foil Reply with quote

I would have to say that unless you regularly sail in very light unsteady winds foil is not worth the effort it requires to learn. It is a different sport, that happens to share some sails with windsurfing. And:

* It is expensive, think $3,500-4,500
* It takes a LONG time to learn, think years to be able to jibe comfortably
* It is not easier on your body, especially at the beginning.
* It is way more dangerous in case of a collision with an under water obstacle.

Same with winging, by the way. Maybe winging is a bit easier to learn, but it possibly even more dangerous, helmet and protective vest really mandatory, and be ready to be rescued often when the wind drops.
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skonoplev



Joined: 25 Jul 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning to Foil Reply with quote

dvCali wrote:
foil is not worth the effort it requires to learn.

Dear Dave,
I agree with all points but I totally disagree with a conclusion.
1. Yes, it is expensive. Even on a budget you will pay close to $3k for a dedicated board, a foil, and a couple wings.
2. Yes, it takes a while to learn it, particularly if you are interested in winging. I am 59, it took me over a year to start jibing on the foil.
3. Yes, it is physically demanding and tiring (but it is a perfect way to be in shape). If you wing, you use your legs to control the board, your arms to control the wing, and your core to keep everything together.

But it is worth it. The difference between foiling and planning is even bigger than the difference between planning and slogging. Foiling gives you 3-dimentional feeling in contrast to 2-dimentional planning. I think that winging takes the best from windsurfing and traditional surfing and makes it the best watersport ever. Wing will also give you an opportunity to wave sail, and you do not need huge wave for that.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20813

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't overlook a WindSUP. It uses and builds upon existing skills, if strapless it doesn't stress the lower limbs or joints, and "crashes" are basically just rolling off the board and splashing gently into the water even in big winds. It got my knee surgeon's eager blessing and got me back on the water in both light and very heavy winds a year earlier than he expected. My WindSUP experiment was a totally successful, doctor-approved, very educational, very FUN, low-stress, sailable and SAFE in just about all Gorge winds, impressive to both myself and observers (they said so) HOOT. Its learning curve was a matter of hours, not months ... just long enough to learn to rely on skill and reflexes rather than a back footstrap to prevent launches even when the wind is averaging in the upper 30s. Yet with boosts from a knee-high bump and one big pump -- hey, it's bump & pump windsurfing -- it can be coaxed onto a plane in 10-12 mph winds.

My foiling experiment consisted of highly conflicting advice from everyone from Slingshot's school to foiling experts to fellow foiling newbies, a very encouraging first day, a downward spiral into zero success by the end of the season, and selling it in the fall for about $200 less than I paid for the board and foil. It was a highly definitive, inexpensive, very disappointing, valuable, confirmation that balance -- of which I have VERY little -- is required for foiling. As an example, I could not uphaul on a 125L foilboard even on perfectly flat sheltered water simply because without a powered-up sail in my hands, I can't reliably tell where "UP" is. (I should add that where I sail, weeds virtually prohibited foiling that summer.)

For much more information on my strapless windSUP choice and success, SEARCH on the word SeaLion or Sea Lion with isobars as author and POSTS (not TOPICS) in the criteria. My SeaLion will rest in my shop in its custom bag until my next injury, surgery, cancer surge, 85th birthday, etc. puts me out of footstraps again. If I lived near an ocean, where swell isn't 100% dependent on wind, I'd be riding it often. (I'm sure there are other windSUP options, but not many are designed for light-air surf sailing and paddling or can be tossed inside my Outback.)
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1489

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its not that expensive to learn. You all ready have the power source with your sails. If you have a Tuttle box board all you need is a foil. You do not need top of the line all carbon foils. A friend got a new 2020 Naish foil board for 1400 bucks on the year end sale. Cheaper than most new windsurfing boards and its a really good board. The wind surfing foil was $950 with the abracadabra foil mount. Now four years into windsurf foiling there are lots of good use gear for sale also..From my experience and the guys at the lake, the learning curve is not nearly as long as you think. Most up and flying across in a few days. The better windsurfers making foiling turns in a few weeks. The older guys like me took a bit longer to make the turns but learned quickly to bring the board down turn and fly back up to stay dry.
The most difficult of windsurfing foiling is learning how to get the gear in and out of the water...Just sayin
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dvCali



Joined: 23 Aug 2007
Posts: 1314

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOVAAN wrote:
Its not that expensive to learn. You all ready have the power source with your sails. If you have a Tuttle box board all you need is a foil.

Sure, if you have have a wide board, call it at least 80 wide, that has a Medium or Deep Tuttle Box. But going that route will make learning harder.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20813

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOVAAN wrote:
The most difficult of windsurfing foiling is learning how to get the gear in and out of the water...Just sayin

That was by far the easiest, most natural, effortless part of it for me. For the board and foil, I simply stood between the foil and the board, grabbed a footstrap and the foil mast, and began walking completely normally. Everything balanced so well that I'm sure I could have jogged if I had wanted. I'd lay those in knee-deep water, walk back to my sail, carry it with one arm to the board, plug them together, flip the board upside down, and start walking towards foil depth.. Much simpler than lugging a full WSing assembly to the water.

The not just HARD but EXHAUSTING, INFURIATING, and ultimately outright PROHIBITIVE part was the FORTY FIVE F-ING MINUTES it took to fight my way through one or two hundred feet of very dense midsummer milfoil weeds, with the board upside down, then repeat same coming back in.

No, thanks. That's when I bought up most of Hood River's supply of weed fins, ordered more online, and never looked back. Weeds? What weeds? In some locations, they are a major deterrent to not just foils but to ordinary finned kitesailing (because if one's lines touch the surface and lift off again, the quick release is completely encased in a softball to basketball sized clump of killer weeds.[/i]


Last edited by isobars on Sun Jul 04, 2021 10:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1489

PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dedicated Naish foil board is is 73 cm wide. And it works great. The trend now is toward narrower boards for free ride foiling with small sails but wide boards for racing with large sails..
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