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3 most important things?

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby LTD WaterSports » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:50 pm

All great posts.

Also remember to get a beginner designed foil Like the Axis Spud. I learned on a race foil that was difficult even for a experienced kiter.

Foil on to 2015~

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby danie178 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:41 pm

I Had my first session Yesterday, foiling both ways with lots of crashes inbetween.

Have been kiting for 10 years, 6 years on a strapless board. So was expecting to do ok on a foil, and spent lots of time on indo board, plank with a roller under it! In my thoughts this indo board practice helped a huge amount, that and the advice I have read here on KF.

was using the LF Fun fish, Which I'm sure made it easier too, and Ozone Cat 9m in about 15 knots.

1, no back strap at, still have a tweaked angle from the front strap
2, put your back foot forward till you can ride the board flat and on the surface.
3. small pops.
4. Its all in the hips, Going up is easy controlling your altitude is hard, LUNGE the hips forward to control height.

I spent the first 45mins crashing badly, until I remembered something written on here, "keep the back foot forward to keep the board down" this helped hugely, and from then I could ride the board flat and in some control.

From there slight movements of the hips resulted in short flights and always ending in a crash.

once in control of hips and surface riding moving my foot back a little increaced the balance ( and front to back weight shift ) which allowed me to get longer rides 30-50 meters with softer touchdowns.

Ended the 3 hour session with rides both ways not touching down, SOOOO MUCH Fun,

I think things that you cannot go out without,
INDO board practice

RESPECT, It came real close to hitting me many times.

If this can help others learn then goal achieved,

thanks to all on here for posting their tips


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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby SpaceRacer » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:45 pm

Hi, is learning behind a boat a good way to go? Especially if you don't have good consistent winds, deep water and big beaches readily available? If so, what are some tips for learning behind a boat, speed, etc? Except of course a mounted GoPro for the newbie brutal wipeouts.

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:21 pm

SpaceRacer wrote:Hi, is learning behind a boat a good way to go? Especially if you don't have good consistent winds, deep water and big beaches readily available? If so, what are some tips for learning behind a boat, speed, etc? Except of course a mounted GoPro for the newbie brutal wipeouts.
IMO no, way better to learn with a kite right away, lots of advantages :naughty:

You dont need big beaches no matter what, as you ride with a lot less power so easy to get your kite up alone in all conditions - no "stress" at all, compared to f.ex TT riding.

Deep water yes, but the first thing you gotta learn, is to board drag upwind anyways :thumb:

There has been another thread here (try a search), which I think concluded the same :D
Apart from those offering hydrofoil classes behind a boat of course ha haa :rollgrin:

8) PF

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby cleepa » Thu Jan 29, 2015 2:41 am

This coming kite season I will be learning to foil. This thread is awesome - thank you to all who added tips!

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby mikesids » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:18 pm

Hi, This is a great thread , as a newbie foiler thought I’d add my two cents worth.

Been kiting for 7 years now, maybe 4 years on freerace directionals ( Airush Sector) and surfboards. Weigh around 80kg if that helps. For you experienced guys please excuse me for stating the bleeding obvious , my comments are more designed for something thinking about getting into foiling or struggling after their first session or two.

Been out for 5 sessions so far, started foiling on the fourth but had a couple of major scary bailouts as well (eg overpowered the foil , fell towards foil then the whole foil assembly ended up through the lines above the bar and the kite was death looping –yikes !) . Respect the foil , it can bite. :)

Fifth session today, long controlled runs, no scary amputation-inducing crashes.

What I have learned so far – two main categories :

A: Set-up - Conditions and kite choice and
B: What to do on the board

A: Conditions and kite choice

1: Do NOT go out in dead onshore winds – it is a recipe for extreme , mega-swearing frustration, and grinding of your new foil. Cross shore or cross onshore is a must as others have mentioned. Even if you are desperate to try out your new toy, find a spot with cross or cross-on winds ( and sufficient water depth) or wait til another day. Seriously, two of my five days were light wind onshore write-off’s, just because I was over-keen. Onshore winds also mean you are potentially being pushed towards swimmers and other beach users, a stressful and uncool situation that won’t win you many friends (its summer here and beaches can be busy) when you are struggling to control your gear.

2: Also, don’t go out in 10 knots or less , with your slow gargantuan kite – 15 knots and a mid size kite will be WAY better. We have all seen the videos of the gurus kiting in under 10 knots , but do yourself a favour. You will drop the kite after the board ejects you while you are learning , and won’t be able to relaunch it as you’ll be out of your depth , being dragged in to shore by your kite so no line tension at that wind speed . I have suffered two of my five days of learning drifting a few hundred metres across the bay towards shore. Numerous times. I finally made progress in a 15 knot cross onshore day with a 10m kite ( 3 strut Naish Park, fast , light , easy to relaunch, and you don’t need to look at where it is all the time).

3: Expanding on point 2 above , you need to factor the kite out as much as possible – there’s enough going on just handling the board without trying to struggle to keep a kite in the air in light winds as well. You get used to handling the board reasonably quickly but it’s a PITA early on – I have to say the experience I had from using other directionals really helped , in terms of how you use the footstraps to manipulate the board . The kite needs enough wind to fly stably and relaunch so you are able to forget about it.

You don’t need much power. You really only need the power to get you up out of the water and onto the board, then it is crazy how little power you actually need from there on.
When I was on my 10 the other day the twin tippers were on 12’s. Today was on a 14 metre in 12-14 knots , had a lot of depower on at times to avoid overpowering the foil – a 12 would have been better in reality. It’s a new paradigm. I don’t see me getting a kite bigger than my 14 for the foreseeable future, if you drop a big kite in under 10 knots you are in for a big swim for sure ( hello Coast Guard !).

B: What to do on the board

1: It has been mentioned elsewhere but my number one tip is sheet out to maintain control. When you dive the kite initially you only want to get up on the board , not start moving forward at high speed .
• Dive the kite moderately ( not full bore) and sheet out as you come up. You should be going downwind , kind of like when you learned to ride a twin-tip – the first dive brings you up and over the board to start , let the board run downwind to buy you time to get the kite back up , then bring the board’s heading up a bit as you sine the kite the second time. Weight on the front foot
• Slog along with the board flat for a bit , focusing on kite control and pull through the harness. If you need to pull on some depower do so . Weight still on the front foot - DON”T DRIVE POWER FORCEFULLY THROUGH YOUR BACK FOOT !! ( unless you like to fly and swim straight afterwards). It is shocking how much lift the foil develops if you are heavy handed (or footed) as most of us have found out by now.
• If the board starts to rise onto the foil sheet out and weight your front foot to stay in control, its easy to get ejected if you don’t control the power. Get away from the board if it really rears up and you have to bail, or try to fall back if possible ( kind of carving the board into the wind) or forward into the water past the board’s nose, both of these last two leave you reasonably well set up for a restart.
• If you are foiling and see a gust coming or a big bit of chop , sheet out in anticipation and weight your front foot. Don’t fight the foil, it will win every time – makes you realise how much we just crudely force power into our twin tips and there is no real price to pay. Not the case here. You really need to actively feather the power when you are up and foiling , the bar pressure is light and the pull is through your harness.

2: If you want long sustained foiling periods bear off the wind a bit. That’s what I learned today - I went from maybe 30-50 m foiling distances heading upwind to hundreds of meters heading across / down wind, and it was easy to stay on the foil . And fast ! Although you better be wearing a good impact vest because when you come off at speed you are hitting the water hard and from a long way up. Think water skiing forces.

3: The things that other folk have mentioned are absolutely bang on
• Have straps on , keep them loose , use them to position the board, keep back foot out of strap at all times early on
• Wear helmet, full wetsuit, impact vest. The one time I wore a short suit I slashed my shin open.
• Use finesse – light kite control, ease it onto the foil via subtle transfer of weight to your back foot, when in the air use subtle weight shift to front foot and sheeting to control height
• It will take a few sessions to taste success – there is no real shortcutting it. Someone else mentioned it taking as long as learning to get up on the board when you first started kiteboarding lessons and I reckon that’s about right.
• These things go upwind like crazy – enjoy looking downwind at all your mates on their twin tips getting in each other’s way !!

Sorry for the long post ( and its more than 3 things , although there probably are 3 main things really) , I am just stoked with my progress over the last two sessions and some things really clicked. Getting the basics right ( cross shore wind of around 15 knots , small fast depowerable kite, sheeting out to avoid overpowering the foil ) has lead to much greater success instead of setting myself up for failure by rushing it in unsuitable conditions. Lots to learn yet but thought I would get it all down while it was still fresh in my head.

It’s an amazing feeling when you get up on the foil and then control it for extended periods - you are definitely flying ( gliding?) more than sailing, that’s for sure. It is strange , scary and super exhilarating. Who thought going straight could be so much fun?!!

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby IanNJ » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:56 am

This thread really has been helpful to soo many...i have been documenting my progression for folks... In the link below are some thoughts about my last two sessions ans two videos from my 7th session. So pumped to add this in my routine! Let the foil be with you... ... il-part-3/

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby Tone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:42 am

mikesids wrote:Hi, This is a great thread ,
Great insight,

Thank you :)

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby Arcsrule » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:27 pm

mike, you should try foil kites. they relaunch under 10 :)

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Re: 3 most important things?

Postby Sencillo » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:27 pm

Hi Guys, I'm based in the Montpellier, South of France and I've been foiling since 2008. The foil buzz is definitely here this year and here's a few pointers that I've taken for granted for quite a while now. If you're new to foiling you need to really take stock of a few important things some of which have already been mentioned on several posts previously.

1. Choice of condition, day & wind strength
2. Choice of foil & kite set-up
3. Patience & attitude

1. Choice of condition, day & wind strength
You have your new toy and you're an eager beaver to get out there and show your buddies that you can foil. When I started I was s_ _t scared due to the fact that I had this giant anchor underneath my board that was completely abnormal with the risk that I'd fall on it and bust my body big time.

The conditions play a key factor in simplifying the learning process. If you try and learn in full tilt 25knts with a 6m kite, plus the added complication of wind blown swell you're asking a lot from your foil and yourself.

I'd make it a golden rule that you have to have cross / cross on wind, 12 to 15knts of wind strength and if its constant - even better. If you learn in offshore winds verify that you have some sort of rescue back up. The sea state should be as flat as possible. Don't risk trying to launch if there is shore break because the likelihood is that you'll break your foil or in the worse cas scenario if you get your foil tangled up with the kite - well let's not go there.

On shore winds are a big no no to learning unless you can get towed out and then you have sufficient depth. But you need to be aware that the sea bed arrives quickly and its really easy to overlook that when your frustrated so the risk is that you'll run your foil up the sea bed or onto the rocks and then..... The pleasures of sanding your foil or repairing it begin.

2. Choice of foil & kite set-up
Equipment - Your choice of foil is key to simplifying your learning process. You can learn with a high end race foil but..... It's frustrating, dangerous and you'll progress quicker if you start at the beginning with a low aspect ratio foil.

What sort of foils are these? I have to mention my Fastafoil Sencillo but there are various different models in Twenty15 : Ketos, Zeeko, Horue, Moses, LF, Slingshot, to name a few - the thing is chose a foil that will allow you to get up and foiling early. By this I mean a foil that has a low aspect ratio front wing with sufficient surface area to allow you to foil slowly (8 to 12knts of board speed).

The nuts and bolts about foils as I understand it are quite simple. If we liken foiling to learning to drive, most folks learn in a simple car for example a Mini City. If we chose to learn to drive in an F1 car things will be slightly more complex. It's exactly the same with a foil. To go quick on a foil you have to have the minimum amount of drag from the material that's in the water. As a result the foils become smaller and smaller - once you're up and foiling all well and good but the slightest error and the foil comes off the plane and BOOM you hit the water with a clout.

Many of the latest foils have a standard beginner option and then you can update your wings to advance your riding style once you've got the nuts and bolts of foiling dialled. The bigger the front wing (Chord length = leading edge to trailing edge distance) the lower the aspect ratio.

The other thing is kite size and line length. If you normally ride with a 14m kite & TT then you'll be AOK with a 10m kite & foil. If your kite stays in the air at the zenith its usually good to go - if you're being lifted off the ground by your kite don't bother just change down. Foiling is about ease of use its not the same as riding a TT where you can go out overpowered and force yourself to make it work.

One other thing that's worth mentioning is that foiling in super light wind has its challenges.... I know guys here France who now foil and have only 2 kites a 10m & 6m, they foil in anything from 10 to 30knts. But they also have 2 bars or a set of extension lines so that in the light winds they use 32m lines. The additional line length provides a greater wind window so you can use a smaller kite however....... If you put a 10m kite in the water in 10knts of wind there's not much chance you're gonna be able to relaunch it. So it's a delicate balance. I would avocate the use of longer lines in light winds because they do provide a greater buffer for flight control errors but you still need a kite of a certain size and you need to keep it flying.

Soft foil kites have impressive performance especially in lighter winds but the technique to flying them is somewhat different and in super light winds you can not afford to make any errors with your transitions otherwise you quickly end up with the kite in the water and swimming.

3. Patience & attitude
Once you get out to 1,5m depth of water (6ft for you guys in the US ;-) you rise up on to the board and you keep you back foot well forward of the foil. Here we advocate that you ride the board with it touching the water just like a regular directional, for at least half a dozen times both ways. This is where patience is a virtue because we all want to jump up and FLY just like Jonny H. But a little patience goes a long way to getting it nailed. Persist and begin to understand how by moving your body mass the board feeling will change. If you momentarily shift your weight back the board becomes lighter - and if we liken foiling to danse the comparison is like TT = Heavy Rock and Foiling is more like Ballet. Just practice bringing the board up and then taking it back down and little by little you will fly for longer and longer periods until its a done deal. All the foiling gestures are refined - but as you become more accustomed to foiling the physical demands are telling and you have to be in good form to foil for long sessions.

Attitude has been mentioned previously and I think perseverance is also a key factor in making the learning process enjoyable - being able to pick yourself up after, yet again, not nailing another jibe and doing it over and over again until you've got it sorted.

I'm still a long way from being satisfied with my foil riding but each time I go out even after 6 years its as magical now as it was right back at the very beginning of kiting in 1997 - shit how the time flies. Enjoy but be safe

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