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Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

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cglazier
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Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby cglazier » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:25 am

Shorter mast is easier to ride.
Actually just the opposite is true. More mast height gives you more room to make altitude corrections and allows you to ride in bigger chop. All good hydrofoils use 90 to 100 cm masts.

Footstraps are scary.
On any kiteboard, twintip, directional, or hydrofoil footstraps help your control and minimize your crashes. It is certainly easier to ride a hydrofoil with footstraps. On any kiteboard be sure to adjust your footstraps so that you come out easily. Hydrofoiling is not not particularly dangerous. After you learn to foil you can try riding strapless which is fun, but it is a more advanced skill. It is possible to learn strapless ..but why make it harder on yourself.. it would be like first learning to kiteboard on a board without straps.

Hydrofoils are too expensive
Most hydrofoils and boards are custom made in low quantites. Don't expect prices comparable to high volume production runs. The top quality hydrofoils are made with prepreg carbon which is expensive to manufacture. Less expensive aluminum options are available but they are heavier and lower performance. Several companies now offer complete board and foil packages for less than the price of a new kite.. this seems inexpensive to me.

Carbon is fragile.
Nonsense. Carbon is very strong and can resist tremendous impacts. Certainly equipment can break but this is usually due to design or manufacturing issues. Some of the newest top quality carbon hydrofoils are bomb proof.

Inexpensive hydrofoils are a good buy.
Perhaps at first. Most cheap foils are slow and easy to learn on. But many riders soon upgrade to a higher performance foil. It may have been cheaper to get a better foil in the first place. And don't believe the models that offer upgradable parts.. you will have to replace every part of a cheap foil to make it a high performance one.

All I want to do is just learn to foil along slowly.
When I first started kiteboarding years ago I expected that all I ever would want to do would be to ride back and forth. I was certainly wrong. With hydrofoiling there is a world of tricks, jumps, cruising, racing, wave riding, long distance riding etc. that hydrofoiling opens up for you. You will never be satisfied just going back and forth.

Use a smaller kite size to hydrofoil
You can certainly use a smaller kite size than other kiters with your hydrofoil. But you don't need to. As you gain experience you may like being powered and you can use the same size as other riders. Many moves like tacking are easier with more power. And when learning be sure you have good power in your kite.

The board doesn't matter since it is out of the water.
A good board is very important. You need enough volume to get started and the right shape so you can recover when you touch the water. It should be light and responsive.

Footpads (padding under your feet) are nice.
Recently I was surprised to find that you don't need any pads at all. They do nothing.

Any kite works with a hydrofoil
True. But you will enjoy a higher aspect kite that sits high in the window (like a race kite). One of the joys of hydrofoiling is pointing very high and an old wave kite just doesn't help in this.

You don't need anything else.
Actually when you are learning a helmet and an impact vest are both a good idea. Once you gain experience your crashes aren't as hard and don't happen as often.

Have fun
:-)
CG

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby lupociotto » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:18 am

very good summary imho !

I hope that you don't mind that I borrowed Your summary for the german "oase.com" forum hydrofoil thread.

Reason I posted it is that I can't watch nebies spending their money for crap foils.

Redgards Wolfgang (Austria)

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby BraCuru » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:35 am

cglazier wrote:Shorter mast is easier to ride.
Actually just the opposite is true. More mast height gives you more room to make altitude corrections and allows you to ride in bigger chop. All good hydrofoils use 90 to 100 cm masts.

Footstraps are scary.
On any kiteboard, twintip, directional, or hydrofoil footstraps help your control and minimize your crashes. It is certainly easier to ride a hydrofoil with footstraps. On any kiteboard be sure to adjust your footstraps so that you come out easily. Hydrofoiling is not not particularly dangerous. After you learn to foil you can try riding strapless which is fun, but it is a more advanced skill. It is possible to learn strapless ..but why make it harder on yourself.. it would be like first learning to kiteboard on a board without straps.

Hydrofoils are too expensive
Most hydrofoils and boards are custom made in low quantites. Don't expect prices comparable to high volume production runs. The top quality hydrofoils are made with prepreg carbon which is expensive to manufacture. Less expensive aluminum options are available but they are heavier and lower performance. Several companies now offer complete board and foil packages for less than the price of a new kite.. this seems inexpensive to me.

Carbon is fragile.
Nonsense. Carbon is very strong and can resist tremendous impacts. Certainly equipment can break but this is usually due to design or manufacturing issues. Some of the newest top quality carbon hydrofoils are bomb proof.

Inexpensive hydrofoils are a good buy.
Perhaps at first. Most cheap foils are slow and easy to learn on. But many riders soon upgrade to a higher performance foil. It may have been cheaper to get a better foil in the first place. And don't believe the models that offer upgradable parts.. you will have to replace every part of a cheap foil to make it a high performance one.

All I want to do is just learn to foil along slowly.
When I first started kiteboarding years ago I expected that all I ever would want to do would be to ride back and forth. I was certainly wrong. With hydrofoiling there is a world of tricks, jumps, cruising, racing, wave riding, long distance riding etc. that hydrofoiling opens up for you. You will never be satisfied just going back and forth.

Use a smaller kite size to hydrofoil
You can certainly use a smaller kite size than other kiters with your hydrofoil. But you don't need to. As you gain experience you may like being powered and you can use the same size as other riders. Many moves like tacking are easier with more power. And when learning be sure you have good power in your kite.

The board doesn't matter since it is out of the water.
A good board is very important. You need enough volume to get started and the right shape so you can recover when you touch the water. It should be light and responsive.

Footpads (padding under your feet) are nice.
Recently I was surprised to find that you don't need any pads at all. They do nothing.

Any kite works with a hydrofoil
True. But you will enjoy a higher aspect kite that sits high in the window (like a race kite). One of the joys of hydrofoiling is pointing very high and an old wave kite just doesn't help in this.

You don't need anything else.
Actually when you are learning a helmet and an impact vest are both a good idea. Once you gain experience your crashes aren't as hard and don't happen as often.

Have fun
:-)
CG
I was thinking to write something like this. Now - I don't need it. Excellent stated. I would not change anything. Great summary!
Especially I love those ones about the board, pads and multidimension of foilboarding :bye:

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby Johhnn » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:28 am

Perfect! Well stated and true.

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby meteo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:10 pm

Very good summery of the myths...

I have now been "foiling" for 3 months... I am still using my beginners foil and I haven't out grown it yet... I often wonder if I would like a "faster" foil... Presently I am very satisfied with the one I have, and have met others that have upgraded and are not that satisfied... I presume that someday I will want to "upgrade"...

Presently I see only one negative side to my "entry level" foil... It is very heavy to transport... but this is only a small inconvenience, since one in the water, it does not seem to matter at my level of experience.

One thing I like presently is that I can foil as low as 6 mph (10km/h), and my average speed is about 12 mph (20km/h)… I presume that eventually I will want to go faster, but cruising along and learning jibes and eventually jumps is my priority presently and I feel that a beginners foil is doing the job correctly… unfortunately I do not feel like spending 2000+$ on a more advance foil only to find out, I am not ready for it…

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby windmlv » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:14 pm

Thanks for the very informative summary, Chris.
Interesting about the pads. Adam's Aguera board I purchased doesn't have pads and It was one of the first things I was going to install. Now, after using it for a while, I am liking the direct feel under the feet. Might just save myself $60.

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby juandesooka » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:05 pm

Thanks for posting this list ... good discussion topics.

There's been some interesting writing from Greg at boardridingmaui (Cloud), as he has become a big fan of foils. His kite design is certainly counter-culture, and it seems his approach to foiling is too. His May 7th blog tackles the myth: "Faster is always better"....that is a little different perspective, given how race influenced most hydrofoil design seems to be.

http://boardridingmaui.com/cloudwritings-blog.html:

When my skill level reached a confident basic flight I started trying different hydrofoils. I was amazed how similar they felt to me despite big differences in design. In total contrast, several months later I’ve now become super particular on the performance I desire from my wings. My riding passion has become focused on floating through low speed flying carves.

I fear that designs optimal at low speed are being overlooked as performance limited to beginners. I’ve ridden several hydrofoils considered high performance that were crazy awesome at insanely high speeds, but for me lacked stability at the low speeds I love to fly at.

I hear a fair bit of discussion about which is the fastest hydrofoil. I think that’s cool but of very little influence on my riding. I haven’t heard any discussion of performance differences specific to different target speeds. I’m sure the performance of the wings I’m accustomed to flying heavily influence my interest in and perception of low speed flight stability. But I now find radical performance differences between wings.

If you are considering hydrofoiling I encourage you to consider the speeds you’ll have the most fun flying at without blindly accepting that performance targeted at high speed is necessarily how you’ll define high performance for your own riding

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby BraCuru » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:05 pm

juandesooka wrote:I fear that designs optimal at low speed are being overlooked as performance limited to beginners. I’ve ridden several hydrofoils considered high performance that were crazy awesome at insanely high speeds, but for me lacked stability at the low speeds I love to fly at.
What would be your choice if you are asked to use only one foil for let's say another 5 years?

In my case it would be a slow one with the low AR which would allowed me cruising, jumping, freeriding, wave riding, kitelooping, whatever except racing and which would survive that period.

My first foil (low AR) is already 3 years old - It still works fine. I give it to friends who want to learn foilboarding.

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby eabmoto » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:07 pm

Everyone has different ways of doing things. I learned to kite without straps with no problems. Now I've learned to foil without straps. For me, it was much easier. I'm happy with a slow heavy foil on a very flat board with very little volume. I think the only myth that can be broken is that there's only one way to do anything. Everyone should go for it how ever they want.

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Re: Hydrofoiling myths .. exposed

Postby 14ToeSide » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:07 am

+1 Eabmoto!


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