I bet your pretty stagnant on the TT too. Your just content with your riding.
Regardless of talent, progression is pretty related to how willing you are to fall. Somedays you get cold, your hungover or its like the 8th day in a row and less than great conditions. Not enough time on the water? Your likely sick of falling after the first 10 min and just wanna fly around a while after that. Everyone gets sick of crashing. Some more than others. Plenty of pretty good kiters almost never bail uncontrollably on a TT or surfboard. I bet many are less than stoked to fall in every transition again, but progress comes from trying stuff you can't do. By definition, you have to accept that your likely gonna crash. Eventually you wobble through one and boom, you have the blue print with a side of motivation. As soon as you can pull off 10 straight you gotta dive into the next thing. Fresh success begets more with foiling. ie. A lot of transitions (which is likely most of what were talking about) is tempo and kite mechanics. As soon as I figured out heel side tacks one way, I attempted it toe side the other. Significantly different body positions, but managed to nail the second one simply by having the tempo and kite choreography freshly ingrained. I'll stagnate soon enough on foil, but so far I'm still willing to fall a whole bunch of times in a row, even if I don't have to.
There is a shit load of crashing in the early stages of foiling and I totally get that once you can ride around dry for a while, many will prefer to stay that way.
Whatever, once you reach the stage where you can go out and stay dry, you gotta convince yourself to get wet. Over and over and over. At this stage I pick my moments for skill work. When I'm fresh, warm, its flatter, etc. Usually only give it a good 10-20 attempts then change gears and just ride around awhile. If it went well, go back to it after a bit. Super rewarding to drop a fresh move into the flow.
Waves are a distraction. There is a big enough learning curve just learning to ride them. They can keep you playing it safe in transitions.
Also, good reply's I think I am a little bit of what everyone suggests. Taut, I refuse to evoke the spreadsheet. That just creates another nonfun job.
Yes, I am stagnant of the TT too... But at a lot higher more fun level. I don't actually need or want to progress on the TT skill wise other than riding the hell out of intense conditions which I can already do.
I don't really enjoy the constant crashing the foiling takes to master the next stupid little phase of foiling. So in that respect, my progression will be slow as I spend a portion of the session on trying to improve than I go f*** it and just go and have fun zipping around.
Also, I am currently nursing a whiplash style neck injury. A combination of mountain bike, kite buggy and hydrofoil crashes over the last year. Any little snap of the neck re-evokes the whiplash symptoms. So I am reluctant for the instant smackdown of the venting the rear wing.
Peter yes, I too struggle with tricks. I have good skill riding terrain and conditions. I can ride 40 knots, 4m swell on a hydrofoil if I can breakout through the surf. But trying to do the footwork trickery on the foil doesnt come natural.
I will think about a bigger wing. But i like to go fastish. So reducing the speed for a big slow wing just so i can practice transitions might not be fun for me.
Hah, welcome to middle age. Young kiters have no money for good gear but lots of time to practice, and get good because at the end of the day it is more about skill than gear. Older kiters have more money but less time so they buy gear thinking it will make them better. The manufacturers know this which is why they market to the older riders with money.
My advise, give in to it and start buying lots of new kit, every bad session means your gear is crap and needs to be replaced. Retail therapy man, thats what u need
I'm fairly stagnant too I guess, being kiting for 6 years now and I'm not very good. I always try to learn something new though, then take a break to stay dry, then try something new again. I want to get better but at the same time I dont really care, I'm not out to wow anyone but myself (not saying you are or arent), I'm out standing on a fin, in the middle of the bay, being pulled around by a big tarp at 40kmh. It's such a beautiful thing, even when I take a faceplant. I love this sport. Cheers!
For me the minimum time required to make any real progress beyond the basic beginner level in anything that involves learning a skill is twice a week.
That seems to have applied to everything I've ever put any significant effort into learning, be it foiling, golf, mountain biking, playing drums, guitar, salsa dancing, whatever.
And if you can get to 4 times a week, progress can be rapid. But of course you got to keep trying new things.
Once a week is maintenance mode, you don't slip back, but you sort of keep what you have.
That's been my experience at least.
Right now I'm getting out once a month, so I'm definitely going backwards.
I'd definitely +1 for a larger or easier ride wing - doesn't have to be a surf wing, there are more crossover wings that are still relatively fast but make learning gybes and tacks way easier. And you don't have to ride it forever, use it for a few session, improve your muscle memory and then go back to your faster wing.
Another option is a foiling camp or clinic - disclaimer: I run foiling camps and clinics But they can really help to kick you up a level, even just a one-day session with a foiling coach will help to give you some new ideas and help to refine your stance, which can have a huge impact overall. Particularly for the foiling gybe, which everyone wants to master and there is now such a clear path to take people down, to get it nailed. We've been running one day clinics in the UK over the summer and a couple of week-long camps overseas and the progression (no pun intended) for clients has been amazing. I think we'll see far more foiling coaches around the world next year so it could be something worth considering if you are stuck on a foiling plateau!