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Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

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richy-c
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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby richy-c » Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:00 pm

Foil wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:28 am
if you were to go with the shinn jackson, I board I owned very briefly as a beginner, there will be many occasions as a beginner where you will find yourself just able to get up on your feet on the board and struggling to move forward(lack of skill lack of wind)
the jackson or other very low volume boards will sink, and that is a bugger! you will either hit the bottom and damage stuff, or struggle along up to your knees in water then splash!
shallow water will make this problem even worse, and as you are in MarMenor I would say go volume.
go volume now and then in time you will know when your ready for lower volume,
the jackson is not only very low volume it is also very heavy, and the heavily turned up edges are a tipping nightmare for some.
👍

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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby robclaisse » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:11 pm

As I think you can see if you ask any variation on the question "What is the best foil/board/kite for a beginner/intermediate/advanced/racer" you will get positive and negatives for every possible option! Hydrofoiling is very personal discipline mainly because we all have very different backgrounds in our kiting experience, the conditions we kite in / want to foil in and the equipment we plan to use (kites, foils and boards) so you can't just look at the board in isolation when learning. So here is another way to look at it and a few things to consider that may help with the board decision but also the other variables that come in to play:

Kite skills is the most important factor - the more experience you have as a kiteboarder, the confidence you have in throwing your kite around and riding the kites that you will use, particularly in lighter winds, will have the biggest impact on your foiling progression. The better you're kite skills the wider wind range you can learn in and the wider range of boards/foils that you'll realistically be able to cope with. Pretty much everyone I've taught to kitefoil says after a while that they didn't realise how crap they were at really flying a kite :-) So be honest with yourself about this and will help you with a few further choices...

Conditions - everyone will find it easier to learn to foil in 12-20 knots and flat water. If you can get out in these kind of conditions the board you ride will have less impact. Definitely in very light winds volume can help some people but also lower volume boards (of a reasonable length) are easier for others, as they can be easier to move around in the water and keep in position when waterstarting. Some people will say that in light winds a low volume board will sink once you are up but personally having rode a shinn jackson myself for 2 years and being over 100kg I don't think that is necessarily the case. Kite skills and most importantly the foil under the board will have more impact on lightwind waterstarts that the board itself.

The Foil - ultimately the foil under the board has a huge impact on the characteristics of the board you stand on. A low volume board with a big wing that gets going at very low speeds will probably get most people up and riding quicker in light winds than a higher volume board with a smaller faster performance wing that needs way more speed before it generates lift.

So personally I now ride a smallish board but with volume (F-one pocket 130), but it doesn't really make much difference compared to when I rode the low volume board (Shinn Jackson 130). I teach kitefoiling with the Shinn Jackson 145 with the 1000 sq cm P wing or the F-one TS51 with the ic6 850 sq cm wing. Both boards are low volume but different designs with reasonably large wings that work great for that ideal 12-20 knot range. On the whole, in my experience, people find the lower volume boards are easier to move around in the water so I stick with those for the teaching the early stages.

So to help you find a board I'd ask you 4 questions:
1. What foil are you planning on using?
2. What are the conditions that you will predominately learn to ride in?
3. What kites do you use? (Size and model)
4. How long have you been kiting?

Sorry for the long winded answer but context is vital! :-D

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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby Whattheflock » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:24 pm

I really like my slingshot simulator board! You dont really need to flip the board on edge to start, just leave the board flat, both hands on the bar, put your heels on the board and let the kite pull you onto the board. Look at some videos on how foilers position their feet. Back foot is usually pointed side to side and front foot angled more forward. As the kite pulls you up, roll on you heels into that position. Takes a couple trys but doable! The floaty board is nice in the wind luls and very easy to spot after recovering from a wipe out.

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Peter_Frank
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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:30 pm

Whattheflock wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:24 pm
I really like my slingshot simulator board! You dont really need to flip the board on edge to start, just leave the board flat, both hands on the bar, put your heels on the board and let the kite pull you onto the board. Look at some videos on how foilers position their feet. Back foot is usually pointed side to side and front foot angled more forward. As the kite pulls you up, roll on you heels into that position. Takes a couple trys but doable! The floaty board is nice in the wind luls and very easy to spot after recovering from a wipe out.

Sorry, but this sounds very wrong for most or all new riders...

The reason why it is so hard to start from scratch on a hydrofoil strapless is precisely that you can not start with the board flat, as it will roll over the mast and you get pulled leeward, quite opposite to a surfboard where everyone can do it right away with pressure on the heels.

If you got straps it is quite easy though (but more risky), and a very different thing; you dont write about straps here so assume you mean strapless.


But agree, the volume is excellent for both initial learning as touchdowns and just managing staying on the board in lulls or when mis-steering the kite, is so much easier, doesnt matter how big your wing is.
Later you can use this board in marginal winds too, if it is a good one that is, as here it really excel in terms of getting to the max lowend.

When okay wind, you dont need volume no, and most of us use really small boards 110-120 cm and thin.

But if the wind drops so you can not foil anymore, you will go down.

You can still rescue yourself ashore standing on a "big" board, looping the kite - great :naughty:
As this will happen quite often when out on the "lower limit".
A luxury thing maybe, but really nice.


In short: When learning, area and volume is great at the initial learning, later you want a smaller, and then a really small board instead, or together with your bigger board if you go in marginal winds.

Having said that, I think the "beginner" big boards are too heavy to use for marginal wind boards when you are good (special superlight boards is the thing here), so maybe better to go for a medium sized board you can use for a loooong time, right away.

8) Peter

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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby deniska » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:47 pm

another vote for some volume for learning:
blunt foam board wont hit you as hard as plywood.
volume boards tend to zoom downwind faster than thin ones. (could be a life saver when you drop your kite and can't relaunch in soft wind, or could be adding to problems when your foil runs faster than drifting kite and gets in to your lines :-) )
self-rescue is also easier with a volume board (you just sit on it, holding the mast with your legs)

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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby Whattheflock » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:59 pm

Peter_Frank wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:30 pm
Whattheflock wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:24 pm
I really like my slingshot simulator board! You dont really need to flip the board on edge to start, just leave the board flat, both hands on the bar, put your heels on the board and let the kite pull you onto the board. Look at some videos on how foilers position their feet. Back foot is usually pointed side to side and front foot angled more forward. As the kite pulls you up, roll on you heels into that position. Takes a couple trys but doable! The floaty board is nice in the wind luls and very easy to spot after recovering from a wipe out.

Sorry, but this sounds very wrong for most or all new riders...

The reason why it is so hard to start from scratch on a hydrofoil strapless is precisely that you can not start with the board flat, as it will roll over the mast and you get pulled leeward, quite opposite to a surfboard where everyone can do it right away with pressure on the heels.

8) Peter
Thats the simulator board though, it's a "big" floaty foil board like a small surf board. I did have a little strapless surfboard time under my belt before hoping on the foil though. To each there own though! I taught my friend how to get on that way in Cuba and he picked it up fairly quickly. I agree though on a board with little volume, itd be harder to start without having it on its sides. :)

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Re: Best hydrofoil board for beginner Volume or thinner?

Postby mar menor » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:30 pm

I think instructors ,offer the best advice.Ideally have lessons with Rob and Danny (Progression) posted above or buy their hydrofoiling instruction videos (really excellent) or both!
I have no financial involvement with them just believe they offer a great service.
As does Gunnar at Flag Beach (forum name GMB )


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