Page 1 of 5

Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:30 am
by stevez
I've been foiling for just over a year, and have got the basic skills down including gibes and foot changes, but the one skill that is totally eluding me it the tack. Not that I really need it for the sort of riding I'm doing, but I'd really like to be able to do it. I (pretty much literally) can't get my head around it.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Bonus gratefulness for tips specifically for how to do it strapless and using smaller inflatables which may fly quickly and where there isn't all that much additional upward pull available from the kite to help in any way.

I'm stuck on the first step on how to initiate the turn and get around/under the kite and pointing in the opposite direction.

Is it better to:
1. Initiate the tack from heading maximum upwind, or from more of a crosswind angle?
2. Carve hard upwind and then somehow straighten up at the critical time, or do a more gentle carve?
3. Aggressively move the kite up as you turn, or move the kite up more slowly prior to the board movement.
4. Get the kite completely overhead to 12, or get it most of the way up and just duck under the lines somehow.
5. Have more or less kite power in general.

I'm not that fussed about the foot change. I'm happy to come out toeside if that makes it easier to begin with. I've also heard that it's easier to pull off 360s, and I don't mind this either. It's the bit before that I'm struggling with. I'm also happy to touch down if that makes it easier, but I'm pretty sure touching down too early will scupper the manoevre for sure.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:41 pm
by Starsky
Sounds like you just have to try a few. It only takes a couple of attempts to get the idea. Go in with decent speed when comfortably powered, carve up into the wind as you drift your kite to the top of the window. Sheet in all the way when it gets close to 12 and continue to carve past they eye of the wind. Keep the kite going across the top and onto the other tack. You will figure it out. Flat water helps.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:01 am
by stevez
Thanks Starsky,
Believe me, I've had loads of attempts! Maybe some things don't come easy to me and I'm going to need loads more!
So if I understand you correctly, there's no real aggressive kite movement, just sheet in at the right time, but the carve has to be pretty committed.
And maybe that's my problem, just not committing enough. Going to keep trying.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:41 am
by Starsky
yeah, you got it. The kite is a steady climb, sheet in across the top to take your weight and get a bit more aggressive with the dive on the other side. The board is a more intentional carve with the end game in mind so you don't pause in the middle.

For the first little while, you might not really be sure if its going to end up as a tack or a 360. Sometimes its dictated by how aggressive you need to finish with the kite. With LEI's 9 and under I often had to dive it hard to save myself and would often down loop and end up following with the board into a 360 just to avoid falling. All part of the learning curve and you get it sorted eventually. There is definitely a sort of acceleration to the move, where it all starts pretty slow and in sync. The kite climbs at the same rate you carve upwind, so you end up pointing straight into he wind as the kite hits high noon. From that point, you shift your weight across the board to toe side and the kite input accelerates to help you get a hit of speed, stay up and ride away. No problem to do a little touch down at that point until you begin to get em on the fly.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:36 am
by stevez
Thanks again Starsky - that's going to help me for sure!

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:21 pm
by lieutenantglorp
A common mistake is carving up into the wind further while the kite climbs up to 12. Don't do this- it bleeds off your speed. Sheet out instead. When the kite is nearly overhead and you sense you can no longer maintain your course, then turn up directly into the wind while continuing to send the kite and sheeting in. It takes some time and practice to recognize how much lift you will need from the kite in order to keep the foil submerged but not so much that you fly away.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:05 am
by Mossy 757
be cautious not to oversheet during the redirect on the new tack, you can stall the kite. It's better to pull hard on one side of the bar or a rear line to redirect compared to choking it off at the chicken loop and riding away not foiling with a stalled kite at the edge of the WW.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:58 am
by Starsky
Those sound like decent bits of advice for people learning to tack with foil kites.

He's using smaller lei kites.

They're fast, don't stall much and give practically no lift when sheeted out.

He should go into the move with decent speed and smoothly climb the kite in sync with the upwind carve so the short moment the kite is straight above him is the same moment his weight shifts across the centreline then immediately dives the kite on the other tack. The whole thing is too fast to bleed off speed or worry about stalling the kite at noon. The guys on foil kites have a short eternity under the kite. I have seen them actively holding the board up by the straps and the whole tack takes three times as long as what he is going to do......

He's also doing it strapless.

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:49 am
by Mossy 757
Starsky wrote:Those sound like decent bits of advice for people learning to tack with foil kites.

He's using smaller lei kites.

They're fast, don't stall much and give practically no lift when sheeted out.

He should go into the move with decent speed and smoothly climb the kite in sync with the upwind carve so the short moment the kite is straight above him is the same moment his weight shifts across the centreline then immediately dives the kite on the other tack. The whole thing is too fast to bleed off speed or worry about stalling the kite at noon. The guys on foil kites have a short eternity under the kite. I have seen them actively holding the board up by the straps and the whole tack takes three times as long as what he is going to do......

He's also doing it strapless.
You're definitely right, I was thinking more foil kites. It's also a good idea to go easy on the sheeting though when riding large inflatables or in super marginal conditions where backstall low to the water is the devil for an LEI

Re: Help - how to tack? Especially strapless

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:58 am
by lieutenantglorp
Starsky wrote:Those sound like decent bits of advice for people learning to tack with foil kites.

He's using smaller lei kites.


???....Nope. I'm riding inflatables too. Strapless only adds a bit more finesse in keeping foot contact but otherwise I do the same.