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Dedicated foilboard vs surfboard conversion

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Dedicated foilboard vs surfboard conversion

Postby rhorton1 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:55 pm

I'm just about halfway through my first foil-build, and now need to consider the board the foil will be attached to. I don't have a directional kiteboard to convert, so am considering whether to make a dedicated foilboard or buy a used surfboard and add a mounting system.

I've build a couple of surfboards before, but have an emotional attachment to them, and don't want to hack them up. But, seeing as I have a little bit of experience, I think I could bang out a dedicated foilboard in about a week. Cost would be around $200-$300. Buying a used surfboard would be about half that, and buying a kite-specific directional surfboard would be about the same cost.

Looking online, it seems like dedicated foilboards are relatively high volume, and 22-24 inches wide (much wider than most surfboards short enough for a conversion), and short (less than 6').

Can anyone speak to the advantages of using a dedicated foilboard? Would my learning progress be hindered or improved by using a wide, high-volume board? If a dedicated board is the way to go... can you share any tips on shape and rocker?

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Re: Dedicated foilboard vs surfboard conversion

Postby lieutenantglorp » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:36 pm

Definitely go dedicated unless you can pick up a wakesurf board for cheap. You will want extra nose rocker and ideally flat deck on top under your feet (not domed like surfboard). Along with extra width, these are the most important IMO. Extra nose rocker prevents pearling upon touch down, and flat deck increases responsiveness.

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Re: Dedicated foilboard vs surfboard conversion

Postby pitbulldoug » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:23 am

Like everything to each his own.personally I prefer my epoxy kiteboard/surfboard transformed to accommodate foil as Im very used to it when I have to touch down for some reason, it feels very familiar and comfortable after riding it in waves for a long time regular surf kiting.I would say you need at least a min 20 1/2" width though +- and some decent thickness helps.with surfboard convert you have real good leverage on cocking board/foil for water starts and buoyancy helps keeping foil up for starts too.When up foiling feel right at home too as I have so many hrs on board regular kiting just an extension of sorts up higher though S turning, jibing whatever just all comes together nicely IMO.Plus when you want you ditch the foil and put your fins on and your wave riding where the board originated.Its a personal preference and each has its pros and cons.

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Re: Dedicated foilboard vs surfboard conversion

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:12 pm

Hmmm, we disagree about this :roll:

Using a waveboard (which is what I do) for the hydrofoil, gives IMO no similarity whatsoever to when riding this wave/surfboard with surf fins instead.

Mounting a hydrofoil on a waveboard, is not just like using much bigger fins...
It totally changes everything, and the board can not be ridden on the surface in a way that resembles what used to when it was a waveboard.
You can not edge the board, for one, and the way it ride over waves has no similarity either IMO, because of the wing.

So no balance comparison, and you can not use your exprience from an existing board, if you mount a foil wing.

Also, mounting inserts for a plate (that usually require another plate and more reinforcement in the board), or for a tuttle box - will ruin the board (slightly or a lot) as it will not have the right tail flex anymore.
Maybe a luxury problem and only apparent if you ride waves a lot on your non-foil waveboards (like I do), so you become sesitive and want the best with no compromises.
Will just note this as an issue though.
I've filled the finboxes up with silicone on the waveboards I've changed to kitehydrofoilboards, as I will never use them for both.

But as said, I am picky, of course it will work okay having a waveboard for both waveriding and hydrofoiling.

The big race or racelike boards, will make learning SO much easier and faster.
You can just ride with the board on the surface, and slowly but safely pop the foil up for short intervals, while learning your body to adapt to pitch and control and to forget about edge pressure.
This becomes much more difficult with a small waveboard with a foil under, especially in small chop waves.

Later, after initial learning, when you can ride okay, it will be much easier to both tack and jibe on a racelike board, because of its stability when on the surface (maybe an advantage the first years as you will still be learning most likely).
The mast, when board on the surface, works like an anchor in a way, that makes the board+foil work completely different as used to on waveboards and raceboards, although resembling somewhat more to big finned raceboards, indeed.
Big boards will just be easier to learn to ride, to learn to turn - no doubt :thumb:

When you have learned and are medium experienced, you can just ride a really small flat plate (and maybe you can, maybe you can not, tack and jibe).
You might be in the water much more - but hey, also fun :naughty:

Only when you can nail flying tacks and jibes almost every time, I will say the board does not matter :D

Having said above, of course you can easily use a small waveboard for learning, it will still come quite fast, only downside is you will probably have to use much longer for learning non-foiling tacks and jibes.

Anyway, just my view - it seems there are different opinions about this.
Not regarding size though, because pitbulldoug also writes you will want a really wide/big surfboard :rollgrin:

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