I love the upwind angles and smoothness of foiling, the ability to adventure further afield. But I dislike the limitation of the mast height in the water. I also dislike the long learning curve before you get to a state of unconscious competence, not being able to ride a wave and boost on the same kite in the same conditions is reducing my freedom to one or the other while on the foil. That halves my fun. I have grown used to the sensation of foiling. Even tho it is cool it has become normal and not better than the other sensations I get kiting. When i get back on my normal board i love the freedom of not having to worry about the water depth or ventilating wings, The powered boosting and carving waves is fun when i'm powered up. But I hate the upwind angles of my normal board and the non smoothenss through chop. Light wind normal kite surfing is dead to me.
So I find myself wanting the best of both worlds.... if i could get the silly upwind angles of the foil with the versatility and fun of my mutant that would be kiting nirvana for me.
Where too from here?
I will probably build a new mutant with a view to improving its upwind to bridge the gap between foil and standard. I'll work on the foil skill to get more of my skill set in that unconscious competence state. See how things progress.
Doldrums is not quite the right word but I definitely reached a point where I was over the racing / speed side of things. Natural talent hit its limits after12 months or so and I needed more than 1-2 sessions a week to progress and move up in our local club results. Every session became a crash fest focused on tacks or high speed downwind, and I started to get frustrated continually hurting myself. I've still got the race kit but no longer ride it - I went out and bought the zeeko foils (Spitfire and green and white) as part of becoming a dealer. So I still can't tack but don't care anymore as I can ride toeside just the same as heelside now, and I'm fully into downwinders on the foil in waves - I just join my non foiling mates on their usual arvo run (which I never would have done before). Having both foils is a nice luxury as they have different qualities and I can decide what to ride based on how I'm feeling. I find I prefer the regular Green and white when it's flat and I want to explore upwind, and the Spitfire if it's a surf session.
Slowing down to enjoy the riding has been a real benefit for me
Anyone who rides a foil knows your disappointment with conventional upwind angles. We are easily spoiled. As to a plateau in the stoke of foiling, it must depend a bit on local conditions. Foiling is a life saver round here. Doubles your quality days on the water with the bonus of no longer having to chase it. Has had a really nice calming effect on life. The next good session is never far away so its no big deal to skip one here or there.
Regular kiting is more of a bonus now. Every day I was on a traditional board last year was highlight real conditions. Cant be tempted off the foil until close to 20 knots now. I'm happy to save the boosting for when the boosting is REALLY good, and it's so nice to no longer struggle in waves, especially because foiling in waves is far and away the new fave. Have not really felt the urge to boost on a foil. There is something about it that just doesn't appeal. Kinda like strapping a surfboard. I'd rather ride those boards strapless and wait for a really good twin tip day to get my big air fix, but were all different. I like keeping my boards separate and distinct. Makes them that much more special, and there is just enough variety in a season to keep it fresh.
Good luck with your idea. In my experience, everything you do to tune a surface riding board for better upwind takes away from how much fun it is to ride, and matching even half the angle of a foil.... well that might be a bit ambitious.
Plummet you need more boards! I'm thinking maybe the flyrace twintip. It's quite unusual and fun. The upwind is as good as a big floatie raceboard but in a more compact twintip design. I'm still a noob on the hydrofoil so it will probably be years before I get to where you are at.
I definitely don't enjoy the extended crash fest of learning difficult new skills. It is obviously good to learn that skill and enjoyable afterward. But that actual act of learning, crashing, try again, crash I do not enjoy at all. Its probably most of the reason I don't enjoy tricks. I much prefer to learn a skill then push that skill to the limit in challenging conditions. So sorta like James I think I am over going through the crash phase. The good news there is I have cracked most of the basics of hydrofoiling. So now I can push the limits of conditions that I enjoy. With the exception of jybe which I still suck at (but I'm getting better).
Perhaps the fact that I can kite almost every day if I want is detracting from my stoke? maybe the volume of kiting has just burnt me out a bit...... its become more mundane than something special that happens when the kite conditions are just right?
Starsky, my current mutant is a high rockered board for high wind boosting and big waves. Its not a good upwinding traditional board!... So I can definitely make improvements on the upwind angle without compromising too much performance.
EDT. interesting Idea. I'll put that in the thought bank. PS I'm only 3.5 months into foiling!
Juan, I have always liked the hybrid option. gives a bit of both in the same session. without having to change boards or kites. But there is a 4m coming and that is going to add some interesting high wind wave action. So lets see how that goes.
socom. I don't need a new sport yet. Got too many already. When the kids leave home. 10 yrs time. Ill look into paragliding and speed flying. But I have neither the funds or the time at the moment.
Yeah, I can't stand the twin tip any more unless it's perfectly flat (too bouncy). Even in flat though, working to stay upwind is a pain.
I have a picture in my head of what the perfect board wold be for winder conditions. Something like the sector 54, but when I've tried the sector it didn't feel quite right. I want three straps and larger-than-surf fins for blasting upwind and boosting off waves. I really like directionals and actually like gybjng though, so I think we are looking for different things.
Someone had posted a custom 4' 8" (I think) custom rogue wave board that seemed to be exactly what I want, but the idea of buying a custom board without the ability to try it is tough. If I don't like it, I'm sure there would not be a lot of buyers :-/
Same thing goes for me, but stick mountain snowkiting in place of foiling. It's hard to go back to a 4 month season of survival-type water conditions after 8 months of powder on 20 degree slopes in the alpine. Now, come summer, I'm a lot more motivated to toss the kids and some beers in the raft and head downriver.
lol..... sounds more like your're getting too much time on the water than you know what to do with.
For higher upwind angles, get some bigger fins on your Mutant - I have twin 11cm's on the rear and 5.5cm mid fins & although its nothing like a hydrofoil, its pretty good - failing that, get a sector 54 V4 which is almost as good as a hydrofoil for angles and you can just about use it waveriding.