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As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

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Xaxpop
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As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Xaxpop » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:49 pm

Hey guys!
I'm a beginner, been riding this year only pretty much (maybe 15 sessions in total?) and i'm at the stage currently where i can ride, transition, go upwind without any major issues and just started jumping but nothing more advanced then jumping a few meters, landing and keep on riding.
Conditions where i live are mainly very light wind meaning a lot of days where twintwip + big kite is hard work and everyone is running hydrofoils, cruising like kings. So my question is basicly when is a reasonable time to start trying to hydrofoil? Would you say its a good time for me to get into it or am i better off getting more experience on the twintip and waiting a few more month?

Thanks!

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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby elguapo » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:10 pm

i'd say once you are competent controlling your kite...and can body drag.
if you can string together a few sessions without putting your kite in the water...then go learn to foil.
if you dream of owning a board leash..then stick with riding doors.

it going to take time to learn...is pointless waiting a few months just to wait a few months.
unfortunately not much of any experiences(muscle memory) on your twintip will translate to foiling....imo, it may actually be a detriment to your learning to foil (you will have to unlearn edging and being rear foot dominant)


btw, you should document your learning...
....and make sure you have an experienced rider try out your foilboard before your first time.
a simple shim got me riding the foil instantly after way too many wasted sessions(and wipeouts) on a poorly balanced board.

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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby SWO_kite » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:18 pm

Just do it! If you've got the money for the setup, might as well grab one and introduce it to your routine.

A word of caution, light wind foiling presents it own set of difficulties that could hold your progression back rather than the opposite. While you wait to acquire a foil, make your main focus on perfecting upwind and down wind riding. Once you own the foil, make sure you mix it up all the time so you can compare and contrast different board riding disciplines. This will improve your overall skill.

Keep in mind that adding the foil in will slow your progression. But stay committed and ride as often as possible. The only way to improve in this sport is to get out there.

Xaxpop
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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Xaxpop » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:21 pm

elguapo wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:10 pm
i'd say once you are competent controlling your kite...and can body drag.
if you can string together a few sessions without putting your kite in the water...then go learn to foil.
if you dream of owning a board leash..then stick with riding doors.

it going to take time to learn...is pointless waiting a few months just to wait a few months.
unfortunately not much of any experiences(muscle memory) on your twintip will translate to foiling....imo, it may actually be a detriment to your learning to foil (you will have to unlearn edging and being rear foot dominant)


btw, you should document your learning...
....and make sure you have an experienced rider try out your foilboard before your first time.
a simple shim got me riding the foil instantly after way too many wasted sessions(and wipeouts) on a poorly balanced board.
Thanks for the answer! I'm feeling fairly competent controlling the kite, bodydraging upwind is sometimes a bit of a pain in the ass. Mostly when its hard wind and a lot of chop. Since i tend to bodydrag just fine then i get murdered by a wave, swallow half the ocean and once i'm done coughing my lungs out i'm downwind again and need to try again. So of the things you said i would say body drag might might not be what i'm best at so that might be an issue i guess.

Xaxpop
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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Xaxpop » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:25 pm

SWO_kite wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:18 pm
Just do it! If you've got the money for the setup, might as well grab one and introduce it to your routine.

A word of caution, light wind foiling presents it own set of difficulties that could hold your progression back rather than the opposite. While you wait to acquire a foil, make your main focus on perfecting upwind and down wind riding. Once you own the foil, make sure you mix it up all the time so you can compare and contrast different board riding disciplines. This will improve your overall skill.

Keep in mind that adding the foil in will slow your progression. But stay committed and ride as often as possible. The only way to improve in this sport is to get out there.
Cheers man! Alright i understand, the downside to where i am, riding on a lake about 1-2h from the sea is that the wind is often so light its borderline if you can ride with 17m2 and a door and then you might not head out because its frustrating heading out and then getting stuck on the shore or swimming. So having a hydrofoil would ensure that its worth to go out. Money wise i'll just try and get a used one i think, still expensive but saves me a little bit atleast.

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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Regis-de-giens » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:48 pm

my friend started hydrofoil without having ever ride a TT board ; just a good experience in paragliding, surf, and some training I gave him on a little kite on the beach + 1 official lesson with a LEI on the beach; then he took sone lessons of hydrofoil with a dedicated foil school (Marc Blanc), and after 5 lessions he can ride one side board down, very good ...
Last edited by Regis-de-giens on Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Tomlutz
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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Tomlutz » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:53 pm

SWO_kite wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:18 pm
A word of caution, light wind foiling presents it own set of difficulties that could hold your progression back rather than the opposite.
Totally true. Best is 11 knots and above and to learn with a tube kite, because much more responsive than a foil kite. We have few days with 11 knots and above. Too sad because on these few days its is a difficult choice between having fun on TT or hard learning to foil.

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jumptheshark
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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby jumptheshark » Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:29 pm

I live in a sailing hub. A bunch of sailors that want to race have taught themselves to foil after only a season of kiting on a TT. There have been about 4 or 5 now. All pretty young and keen. A few are now racing competently.

Kite control is the biggest determinant. After that its paramount to be a decent swimmer (read: efficient and easy body drag). All of the aforementioned new foilers have done their fair share of swimming in with a wet foil kite. Most learned to tt with an LEI, and then got a foil, and then went to foil kites. These guys had designs on racing hydrofoils with foil kites from the get go and switched from TT to foil and from LEI to Foil kite as early as soon as they felt confident.

Looking at their progression and remembering my own, I would say:

Stay disciplined with your choice of conditions. Once you crack it, you can challenge yourselve with tougher and tougher conditions, but for the first while learning to foil. 11-15 knots and not too choppy/cold/weedy/etc. You can keep using the TT when its too windy to learn to foil, but if you really want to foil take every appropriate opportunity to struggle with it, despite giving up riding time.

An appropriate learning set up can speed up progress and minimize pain and frustration. A short mast, a big wing, a big ol Alien air type board and a 10-12m easy to fly/relaunch LEI are the best recipe. I've seen a few learn on full race set ups. Doable, but much harder.

Spend some time on this type of balance board:

https://images.app.goo.gl/XAMwQoQAZdHSSYas5

I made mine out of an old skate deck, a piece of PVC and some duct tape. It will help you dial into that very small and mobile balance point while evening out the foot pressure making it easier to go from rear foot (TT) to front foot bias (Foil).

Have fun.

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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Flyboy » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:40 pm

What Sharkey said. To learn to foil you really need to be able to control the kite instinctively - without having to think about it. I am dubious that 15 sessions kiting puts you in a position to start foiling. Second to having very good kite control is having the appropriate conditions: 12 - 15 knots of steady, clean wind, deep water & minimal waves/chop. Third is to have the right equipment to make learning easier.

If you're athletic & determined you could learn to foil at this stage, but I would advise gaining more basic kiting experience before you move into foiling.
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Eduardo
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Re: As a beginner when can i start trying to hydrofoil?

Postby Eduardo » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:03 am

I say go for it now. amazingly, a lot of skills you'd learn progressing on TT won't translate anyway. You'll never learn super light wind kite flying. you'll never learn the strange new balance. if you are ambitious and determined and don't mind swimming in, you're ready. do wear a helmet.


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