Fun to read this thread 5 years later, especially for all the negative nellies. The gear has sure evolved a lot since then ... but even moreso, seems eyes and minds have opened too.
cor wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:07 pm
Those videos are looking really unimpressive. Where is the action and the fun? No cut backs, no splashes, no slashing, no tight turn angles... just riding gently down the line. When I saw the first videos of wave kiting back then, it was the exact opposite! I was stoked and addicted immediately, before I've even tried it myself.
But I don't want to judge before I haven't given it a try and I love to foil in flat water and doing tricks etc. Maybe there is something appealing to foiling in the waves that you cannot see but you need to feel to understand. Will give it definitely a try.
Yesterday we had some nice wind swells, maybe waist to chest high. On the surfboard it was kinda "meh", decent enough to drop in, do a few turns, but not much of a wave face, no breaking waves to play in. Then I got on my foil and it was next level super fun, best session I've had in a while. High speed powered carves like a rocket powered skateboard. Dropping into a marching swell and getting 5 s-turns down the line with the kite drifting, feeling the wave power re-engage with each top turn. Repeated until my quads couldn't take any more ... stoked.
Reading your post, I was reflecting on why it was kinda boring on the surfboard but so much fun on the foil. I think the challenge is a big part of it -- so much more going on when foiling that it feels like a major achievement just to make it work -- half the time I ride out of a sequence amazed that I'm still up and going. Though I'm sure it looks quite lame from the beach, "why's that guy zipping back and forth like that", probably can't even tell there's wind swells from that distance. Would look even worse on gopro, with the flattening fish eye. But I can say with certainty "it is way more fun than it looks!"
It's become a cliche, but kitefoiling swells downwind does feel similar to snowboarding powder. Maybe part of the reason is that you aren't riding the surface (as you are when snowboarding hard pack or kiting with a normal surfboard), but you are riding under the surface, within the powder/wave, almost like you're connected to the mountain/ocean. When you see dolphins or orcas playing in the waves, they are experiencing that same energy ... and yes, I consider what they are doing to be surfing, even if they aren't throwing spray with big cutbacks.
For breaking waves, I am more likely to grab my surfboard, as the surface carving is big fun too. Though riding down the line on a foil is pretty fun too ... different than a surfboard, but you can feel the wave energy for sure, also presents big logistical challenges. I am getting into sup/surf foil on no-wind days, which is opening up fun potential for waves that are otherwise considered too lame to be surfable.
Bottom line, foil's another toy in the toybox, offers great potential to mix it up and chase fun conditions.