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learning to foil behind a boat

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Grizwald
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learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Grizwald » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:53 pm

I am stuck in SW florida where there is no wind and yesterday the heat index was 127 F. Really. I am not kidding. I have it on good authority that it is cooler in hell.

So I am thinking of buying a foil and towing behind the boat. I have no foil experience and no surfboard experience and would generally rate my kiting ability as I-suck-but-I-have-fun.

Questions.
Is this a completely stupid idea?
If not, then what kind of foil would be best for this activity?

Tips for doing this?
Do I need to get a tower for the boat or can I tow with the standard waterski hook? I am not sure a tower exists for my boat so I hope the answer is it is unnecessary.
Suggested speeds? Tow up slowly or fast like wakeboarding?
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

By the way if anyone has any experience comparing efoils I would like to hear about it. Lift is way out of my price league. I contacted Takuma and they have ignored me despite repeated calls. The Waydo rep just told me the motor on the demo model burned out and he hasn't been able to get another one yet which is somewhat concerning. Any other boards that I should check out?

Thanks
Griz

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Whattheflock » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:16 pm

That's how I learnt. Itd fun. I started out at 15 mph on a slingshot h5 foil, short 18" mast, on a simulator board. Im 70kg for the record. With that giant board I need a very slow roll up to speed else the bar rip from my hands. Havent tried it with pocket boards..

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby FLandOBX » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:18 pm

Hey, friend. I feel for you. I left FL last week for more moderate temps in NC. FL summers are a test.

Is this a completely stupid idea?

Not at all, if you approach it as if it's a fun adventure. It'll be frustrating, so having the right attitude is essential, IMHO.

If not, then what kind of foil would be best for this activity?


Surf or SUP wing with a short mast (no longer than 24 inches).

Do I need to get a tower for the boat or can I tow with the standard waterski hook?

A tower is totally unnecessary. You can foil behind a jetski or pontoon boat. No problems.

Suggested speeds? Tow up slowly or fast like wakeboarding?

Tow up slowly. You won't want the burst of power that you need for skiing or wakeboarding. Speed should be slow ..... much slower than wakeboarding and skiing. It would be great to have a skilled boat driver to work with you.

Great fun. And a good way to beat the heat!! :thumb:

PS - I recall a MacKite video on foiling behind a boat. As I remember, it's very good and comprehensive. Check the video tutorials on the MacKite website. (No affiliation.)

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Johnnyrotten204 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:41 pm

Questions.
Is this a completely stupid idea? No, it's fun... Something to do when there's no wind for sure.
If not, then what kind of foil would be best for this activity?
Kitesurf foil 💯. Liquid force impulse (or similar size wing)- 54-82cm mast. You can use for kiting when you get some wind.


Tips for doing this?
Tricky if done improperly, easy if done with a driver who knows what they are doing.

My technique for strapless- put foilboard at 90 degrees with water (foil halfway out of water), 90 degrees to boat (like a wakeboard start) holding foil on rails with one hand and 2x feet, rope in other hand.
Putter slowly till rope engages, idle engine for a second till foiler starts moving a bit, Re-engage engine at slow putter when they start moving (reduces yank on their one hand). You want to keep them moving, if you get slack in the lines, the foil will come off their feet. At this point there is enough pressure on the board that they can get both hands on the rope. Once they have both hands on rope, slow/smooth acceleration (less aggressive than wakeboard), till you reach good speed, then hold.

Voila.
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Trent hink
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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Trent hink » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:21 pm

Get a hydrofoil. I am also in southwest Florida and I have been out kiting nearly every afternoon for the past few months.

Of course there is no wind in the summer, and July-September I only expect to get out riding 1-3 times a week.

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby AndersP » Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:04 pm

Bring a twintip too. It can be good to have when you get tired of falling off the foil.. Or you may be a natural and get up on first try.

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Grizwald » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:34 pm

Thx everyone
FlandOBX I took a look at the Mac kite video very useful. Thanks for that.
Johnnyrotten excellent description.
AndersP I am not a natural at anything. If messing up sports was a super power I would be legend.
Trent hink. That is the aim but given my anti-athleticism it is going to take some time.
Whattheflock What is a simulator board?
From the continuing irony department ikitesurf classifieds most of the used foil packages for sale are within about 50 miles of where I used to live in California and there is nothing listed locally.
Mac kite has a couple of beginner packages for around $1200. Are these worthy of consideration?
thx
Griz

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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby Trent hink » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:44 pm

My first tries were behind a boat on a naish surf wing. After the first session i really no clue, but a couple weeks later in the second session I starting to get the hang of it.

I suspect it might be easier to learn with a kite rather than behind a boat, but i suppose it might depend on your kite skills. I have been kiting for about 20 years now.

If you can afford an all-carbon foil they are totally worth it just for the light weight. The first one i bought came from Alibaba, by company called Rupel watersport. The screws holding the rear stabilizer on were not right and i had to install longer screws, but other than that it is a very nice all-carbon hydrofoil at around $600 delivered.

I have had the chance to try some other gear. Moses and Armstrong make some really nice stuff, buy I'll probably keep using my Rupel wing until I break it beyond repair.

Then there is kites for light wind.... For really light wind, practically all kites will not relaunch. I am using a 11 meter flysurfer peak4 in maybe 8.5 to 13 knots. The Peak kites are super easy to fly, and any size will fly nice and easy down to about 3 knots

Some kites will have better performance, and maybe offer a better chance at relaunching, but nothing instills more confidence in light wind than having a kite that always wants to stay in the air.
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nixmatters
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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby nixmatters » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:18 am

More than enough great tips above. Go for it!

I found this video extremely helpful:
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jkrug
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Re: learning to foil behind a boat

Postby jkrug » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:40 pm

learning to foil behind a boat is a lot easier than learning to foil behind a kite. your power is constant and set behind a boat, one less thing to worry about versus a kite. i've taught a few to foil behind a boat and the learning curve is way faster. BUT...after you 'get it', behind a boat is pretty boring thereafter. much more fun with a kite once you've learned to foil. oh, and stay out of turbulence directly behind the boat (i.e., foil outside the wake).
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