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Hit a dolphin

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Hit a dolphin

Postby mbs » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:04 am

I saw a few dolphins rolling and thought I was passing well behind them. Either one came back to attack the foil thinking it was a fish, or there was another underwater trailing behind that I couldn’t see. I’m not sure if it was the wing or the mast that hit it, but the board crashed down hard taking a nosedive and tossed me off and I flew far forwards.

It was a hard collision and I felt terrible that maybe it hurt the dolphin. I never saw what I hit, the crash was under water and the water isn’t clear. I just assume it was a dolphin because I was passing behind a pod of them that I could see.

Where I live (Pensacola, NW FL gulf coast) there is a lot of baitfish that show up inshore this time of year as the weather starts to cool in early fall, and the dolphins get very active feasting in the sound. I wonder if the dolphin went after the foil thinking it was a fish or if I just blindsided one that didn’t see me coming. It was surprising to me to hit a dolphin because I’ve always thought they are so fast and so aware of their surroundings. With a boat you could never hit one, they always stay clear of the prop even though they love to play in the wake. But the boat is noisy and the foil is very quiet.

It was my first experience having the foil hit something underwater, and it spooked me a little. For the rest of the session I kept hallucinating underwater dolphins.

Anyone else has experienced anything similar?

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby slowboat » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:33 am

People tell me I couldn't hit a dolphin even if I tried, but I think this can definitely happen. I have come really close a couple of times.

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby plummet » Wed Oct 23, 2019 9:24 am

I hit some sort of big fish that was grunty enough to fully chuck me off the board. I never saw what I hit. But it was a fleshy thud that wasnt a bit of wood or similar.

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby Macster » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:22 am

We get jelly fish the size of basket balls in Melbourne that will knock you off your foil board

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby jespin4845 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:05 pm

Manatee, shark, tarpon

I felt bad for manatee but read they have elephant skin, I’m strapless so I think it does hurt but not as bad as a race foil at high speed

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby junebug » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:02 pm

To my knowledge, I’ve never hit a dolphin. But back when I rode a Lift 110, I used to hit sharks about 1 out of every 2 or 3 sessions. On many occasions, I looked down just in time to see them with their body curled ready to snap but too late to do anything about it. Maybe 4-6 foot bull sharks. That always made for the quickest waterstarts I could muster!

Since I’ve been using the Lift 150, it hasn’t happened once. I assume the slower speed of the 150 allows them to get out of the way, but I’m not sure. I suppose it could also be vibrations from the 150?

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby jakemoore » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:09 pm

Much easier to hit a cow nosed ray and that will definitely knock you off.

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby elguapo » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:25 pm

i thought i hit a mako or something. (i dont..believe it hit me) ((was offshore...but not WAY i dont believe it was tuna))

not exactly sure.
it was just big..and came out of nowhere and was just

but that was the last time i knowingly kited in the middle of baitfish jumping..or birds hovering/diving after them
not exactly a moment of zen "trolling" yourself back to the board when you know something down there is feeding

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:50 pm

I think dolphins have a sensory capability that prevents them from getting in our way when foiling that sharks and rays and fish don't possess. I'm not saying you didn't hit a dolphin, but I have hit lots of very things that were able to totally pitch me from my foil that were much smaller than a dolphin but stopped me dead in my tracks nonetheless. Dolphins are not only smart but armed with sonar systems that the non-mammals don't possess, so it seems a lot more likely you hit 'something' that didn't have that added advantage of hearing you coming a mile away. Especially in Pensacola where the water is teeming with stuff, honestly just a lady fish or bluefish is probably enough to eject you pretty hard at speed.

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Re: Hit a dolphin

Postby mbs » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:37 pm

Mossy, you could be right. I didn't see what I hit, but I assumed it was a Dolphin because a pod had just passed in front of me and they were still very close by. I know Dolphins have amazing sensory capability, which is why I was so surprised when I crashed.
Maybe it wasn't a Dolphin, but was a big redfish munching on the same bait that the dolphins were after. Twenty to thirty pound bull redfish also begin to show up in our sound this time of year. It seemed like whatever I crashed into had some mass, but there was no damage to the wing or the mast.

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