Hahaha. I've been gone a week and came back to see an old email from Ken addressing some of the things on this thread. Here's a copy/paste...
>If you loop the kite you can go directly downwind<
Yes. And if you're relying only on the kite for all power, you're good. You can avoid slack lines. But if you're hooking into a swell that speeds you up and your apparent wind goes down to 5 knots, your lines go slack and your kite crashes. To avoid slack lines you have to head up, which is fine, but then you're not surfing anymore, you're just kiting. Which is fine, but it's not the same thing. Kiting on a small wing, kiting on a big wing, Wing Foiling in a big wing . . . they're all fun; they're all different; all have different strengths and weaknesses.
>If you used a kite like Flysurfer Peak or BRM Cloud you can go pretty much directly downwind without looping the kite and still use the kite to get back upwind<
And you can use the Foil Wing to get back upwind. All good options.
>The one thing he does seem to need is plenty of wind.<
An 80kg rider can fly with the 5-meter Foil Wing in 8 knots of wind. Kite foilers can fly in less wind.
>They seem to attach a wrist leash to the nose of the wing, so there is a possibility that the wing might naturally hover in the air on the end of that leash.<
Good idea. Unfortunately, it doesn't hover yet.
>A waistband that the leash could be attached to might allow for the kite to hover while you got out to where you can get onto a sup foil and hand paddle it past the shorebreak.<
People use a waist leash and like it. How much shore break it's possible to launch through is dependent on many variables.
Related: If launching or landing in a wind shadow, the rider can lie down with the wing on his back and hand-paddle to the wind. If wind is light and going the direction the rider needs to go, he can kneel on the board, rest the back of the boom on the board, hold the wing vertical and "sail" to where the wind is better.
>I have been recovering from tennis elbow over the last 4 or 5 months and the Wing does look like it could be a tennis elbow risk if you are gripping it hard and resisting torque from the wing trying to rotate the bar from side to side.<
You don't have to grip it hard and you don't torque the boom to stabilize the wing. There are tricks to keeping the wing stable and under contol, but nothing that would cause tennis elbow.
>You mention going upwind on it - can you explain how that works in a bit more detail?<
You sheet in and head upwind, same as kiting upwind or windsurfing upwind or sailing a boat upwind. No special trick to it. Going upwind puts the most load on the arms but balancing on the board is easiest. Going downwind puts the least load on the arms (nearly none), but balancing is more difficult.
>How long is the mast? <
Most use a 75-cm mast. Others go 90cm or longer. 60cm works for novices. Pretty much just like kite foiling.
>How wide is the board?<
An 80kg beginner might use a 6'11 x 32" x 135liters. An 80kg expert might use a 5-foot x 28" x 80-liter board.
>What foil works?<
Depends on wind strength, rider weight and wing size. An 80kg rider can use a 4-meter Foil Wing with a 900sqcm windsurfing hydrofoil in 20 knots of wind. More common to use a big surf or kitesurf hydrofoil wing in the 1250sqcm to 2500sqcm range.
>I guess there is a trade off between what gear rides waves well and what goes upwind well?<
It depends on the kind of waves you want to ride. You can ride open-water swell on a good downwind SUP wing, which is the same wing that goes upwind best. Surfing breaking waves is better on a surf wing.
>No one here is gonna waste a 20 knot day on that shit.<
Good point. A lot of the people here are not the ones most likely to be interested.
>Hawk that shit to stupider people.<
Original poster raised the topic and people are asking questions, so answering questions and correcting misperceptions isn't quite the same as "hawking". But you're right that this isn't the best forum. People here are way too smart.
>Unparalleled maneuverability !!! Please<
"Unparalleled maneuverability" is a big claim. Hyperbolic, perhaps. You're right to be skeptical. I think "jfoil" was referring to the fact that the Foil Wing rider doesn't have to worry about the kite falling into the water when he or she hooks into a wave. But may also be referring to the fact that doing flying tacks and jibes with a Foil Wing is easier than with kite or windsurfing sail.
>Somehow I doubt he pops straight to foil like this guy.<
Actually, riders with way less ability and experience than "this guy" (the amazing Greg) can pop straight onto the foil.
>Am I missing something?<
No. This is not the sport for you. That's cool.
Hopefully Ken's notes help clarify things a bit.