personally I would always recommend carbon gear to a beginner, as long as money is not an issue,or a rocky shore line.
lightweight gear is a pure joy, heavy basic stuff is a right PITA to carry around or to force on to its side for water starts, and when you have this heavy gear its soul destroying when you get back to the car park and get to lift up someones gorgeous carbon black feather light gear, lifting the whole rig up between two fingers makes you sigh and wish it was yours.
so many of us have gone through this buyers remorse.
I got rid of mine within the week after picking up Waynes carbon set up,
John got rid of his heavy weight kit before he even used it after carrying my full carbon gear back to the car after carrying his rig to the shore line.
But I know the price may put many off.
However you may never want to swap your carbon gear, so it may end up being the cheaper option in the long run.
If you can fly the kite safely and effectively, skip lessons. If you can't kite yet, start there.
Self-taught on last generation carbon race equipment, was able to ride both directions on a stable foil after 10 hours of practice. It's pretty easy if you've ever surfed, skateboarded, snowboarded in powder, etc. A good understanding of the wind window and apparent wind help, but YouTube is the great equalizer for learning. There's a reason pro athletes watch hours and hours of tape, it makes a big difference in visualization.
Here you got the racers as one group, only foil kites except for when learning.
(and those starting on racegear but going to freestyle later instead as a changeover group, but having had carbon they never go back to alu)
Freeriders/freestylers/waveriders as another group.
A beginner racer start with the carbonracefoil immediately.
The other group start with either Moses Carbonfoil or Ketos Carbonfoil or Liquid Force Alufoil, these are the 3 main chosen and the others very rare.
Some of the last group on LF alufoils get a short LF mast for faster learning - others who has ridden directionals before start with the regular 1 m mast.
So beginners are maybe half and half on carbon or alu.
Dont know if this is a trend or not that evenly distributed, but maybe in other parts there are more alufoils chosen by beginners than around here?
Some people learn by themselves, on home made wood/carbon foils using foil kites from the start.
Others buy what they can afford or what looks the best at the time.
Not sure you can pigeon hole anyone In the foiling side of kite sports.
After doing the carbon home build thing, then trying to learn on it I wouldn’t recommend that path to anyone. Would have been quicker, cheaper and much less work to buy an alloy foil, learn on it, sell it once proficient then buy carbon. Alloy foils currently seem to hold their value better than any other piece of Kiting equipment.
It is difficult to learn on something you don’t know works in the first place.
By then you will understand foils and the directon you wish to travel, eg, speed, waves or freestyle, all of which use a different foil/board combination.
Well, I’d say the video is off advertised topic a bit
Few things to consider before thinking of becoming a foiler:
- you will feel like you’re just learning boardstarts again. 3-4 sessions realistically to ride back and forth with butt down in water to turn board around. With further practice you’ll be better and better
- falls are harder from height and at speeds. Be ready to wipe out hard
- foil is more expensive gear to get but it pays off in pleasure and number of days on water
- foiling sensation is something in between Aladdin’s magic carpet and McFly’s hoverboard. With one exception of neither cartoon nor the movie shown their epic faceplants while learning to ride.
- foils replaced completely all the boards in races (with exception of TT:R if that counts as race to start with)
- foils will replace majority of lightwind boards
- foils will dominate kite scene with exception of hardcore ramp/wake style and hardcore wave riding
- foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board.
- you'll be surprised with ease and amount of upwind, even while learning and barely riding
- when down from foil - they come downwind fast, no bodydragging really needed. Just wait for it.
- you will likely ditch all the kites larger than 12m unless you're going to race. Lightwind foils can be ridden 1-2 sizes down. Imagine riding 5m kite at 16 knots wind at 200 lbs rider weight. <- That exactly.
- you gotta be good with a kite before starting to learn foiling. You'll need to focus on the board, not paying attention to the kite
Now Few things to consider when learning to foil:
- lessons are good (duh, like for anything else) if you can afford them, they boost progression
- if not getting lessons - learn from videos, observation, friends, from people you trust. You need to learn regardless way you get information
- have an experienced foiler which you trust to setup straps/mast position for himself, then move mast back (or straps forward) by 1"-2" for learning phase
- again - foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board
- I suggest you learn with longer lines - they give you more time at initial dive and more time to focus on the boardstarts
- two masts is a good idea - easier to learn on ~70cm length and keep it for shallows. You'd like a longer mast for waves and deep water once you're good at foiling
- try to keep your body in same plane as the mast (perpendicular to the board) - no tilting the board as TT/directional. Stay aligned with the mast.
- lots of front foot pressure when boardstarting. Imagine balance board with feet equally off the center balance (compared to TT where back foot is closer to the center and has more pressure)
- learn to ride board flat. You'll edge later when you're progressing
- if you're porposing a lot you might be going too slow or your back foot might be too much back
- when moving feet/mast do it by 10-20mm steps. The balance is really fine, large shifts will become nasty surprises
- learn with two straps (or two hooks). Hooks will save your ankles and bones from twisting/breaking just as having two straps. One strap looks cool but can cause locked foot upon fall and broken ankle. When ready for one strap - use one hook only
- when single front hook breaks - take it as a sign and learn strapless. Few sessions and you'll be all comfortable again
- set straps really loose so you can eject from board easily
- harness with a sliding spreader bar is really awesome when you're ready to ride toeside. Consider getting one
- invest into foil covers - to protect everything around foil and foil itself
- a nice learning board will have extra volume and good nose rocker. Later you might want to go smaller unless you race
- learn to loop/downloop the kite if you don't do it yet. It'll help you to foil with yet smaller kite
- expect to learn on regular size, then getting excited and riding small, then going bigger again once you can harness the power wile on the foil.
As for lessons...I was taught to ride a bike for free. I learnt swimming for free. Learnt driving for free. Didn't need to pay for my degree. Never had to hire/pay anyone for sex lessons either. On the other hand if every day of riding trip costs you $700 it makes great sense to pay $150/hour to save money overall and get riding faster.