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Just not getting it

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby tmcfarla » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:55 pm

1.) how many times have you tried foiling? It is going to take a few sessions at least, and generally recommended to not use other boards until you gain basic proficiency. It took me probably five times to comfortably ride in a straight line, and maybe another ten to start carving around a bit.
2.) are you using a board and foil that are sold together? If not, have someone else try it, it may have foot straps in the wrong place relative to mast. Otherwise, go strapless, which is a bit harder at first, but would be my recommendation. Foot placement is pretty critical.
3.) are you learning in a fairly calm place? Waves are going to extend the learning curve.
4.) I’ve never used a short mast, but people swear by them, so might be worth considering.

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby geokite » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:27 am

I wish I had a better memory of the learning phase, but what I do remember is that flat water is more important than wind quality, as long as you have the kite skills (and you should starting in 2000)

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby Flyboy » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:15 am

knucklehead beginner wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:34 pm
I learned how to kite in 2000 on 2-line kites. It was a real pain, but eventually I got it. The hydrofoil seems even more elusive to me, but perhaps I have forgotten my struggles from so long ago. I keep trying it. I am not dropping my kite or going face first over the board. I just get up and feel as wobbly as a newly born fawn. I have a hard time maintaining staying up on foil.

Yes, I have a One Wheel and I am proficient on it. Yes, I have taken lessons. Yes, I have watched a lot of videos. Yes, I have a beginner setup. Yes, I am riding the same size kite that I would to ride in the same conditions. I have been patiently trying when the conditions are steady. Seems like 20 minutes of working on the foilboard is as taxing as 4 hours riding lit on my twin tip.

I would give it up, but the promise of riding in 7 to 8 knots and jumping high in 10 to 12 knots keeps me going. I have also noticed that I am not the only one struggling with a hydrofoil. I truly suck, but I see people struggling day after day. Seems like where I ride there are only a handful of really proficient riders.

No, I am not some hack that hates hydrofoils and has never kited, I am just a bit embarrassed by how slow I have been to learn this aspect of the sport, so I created a new account.

I sure would appreciate any advice. I am in my mid-50's. I am in good shape. I kite 5 to 6 days a week and I workout regularly as well. I have good balancing skills from doing yoga. I am just not sure of what my problem is...
There are a couple of things not clear from your account. Are you actually getting up on the foil & riding for 10/20/30 metres, or are you failing to get going on foil at all? In my experience, the most difficult part to starting to foil is the initial water starting. This is because water starting a foil requires a completely different technique from what you have become accustomed to on a TT or SB - you have to overcome your learned muscle memory. Basically. you have to move your weight forward as soon as you feel the foil start to gain some speed - don't put your weight over the back foot or the board will immediately start porpoising.

One thing I found very difficult for the first 2 or 3 sessions is I had been told to "ride the board in the water" at first. I found this entirely impossible & kept falling off & onto the foil, which was demoralizing & painful. I think you've got to commit to the foil.

On the other hand, if you've successfully got up on the foil & are wobbly & crashing a lot after that, all I can say is stick at it - each ride gradually gets a little longer & a little more relaxed.

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby iwave » Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:49 am

Perhaps you should try behind a boat or a jetski.
This way, you can concentrate entirely on the waterstart, over and over again, and forget about the handling of the kite.
You can do it on very calm water.
It is also less tiring.
You don't have to worry about drifting downwind. You can take a break in the water for 5 minutes and try again.
There are a lot of advantages, and it can cut the learning time.
Depending on where you live, there are a lot of companies that propose that now, or maybe one of your friends has a jetski.

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby Foil » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:44 am

the easy path to better early results is-
good board length around 140cm
flat deck, good volume around 5cm
good nose rocker, two foot straps fitted not too tight
one rear strap fitted but not used apart from as a handle for easier water handling and a rear foot position marker, always placing foot just in front
mast 60-70 cm carbon mast (just better and you wont damage this anyways, and its a keeper) (40cm is great for first few hours, but borrow/ beg or buy cheap as its only a training wheel for a very short time)
Slow rise wing with great stability, with matching stabilizer,so many out there but so much rubbish as well,
invest in a one strut very light kite, not too small, 12-13 mtr size for 80kg rider, 15mtr for 105kg rider, 23 mtr line bar,
flat water cross on wind of 14-18 mph, no more, no less ideally
totally avoid onshore wind, avoid any sort of shore break, avoid gusty winds,
wear a seat harness, helmet, crash vest, leg and feet protection, nothing special, avoid bulky buoyancy aid.
hot tip-
get a proficient kiteboarder to check your set up by riding your kit and adjusting it for you, then record that setting after he has set it up, mark the mast setting and strap setting as your base setting, and only ever make tiny adjustments to that setting, of course the guy who is proficient should account for any body weight differences and bare foot or bootie shod settings.
take a photo even, of the correct set up as verified by a good rider, everyone has at some time screwed on their mast/ wing,stab the wrong way round or upside down.
leave the Ttip / wave board in the garage, accept the fact you will at times get worse, which is crushing, but normal,
shout about your progress, no matter how small, other foilers will relate to these little victories and give you a boost.
getting downhearted?
then ask questions and try to buddy up, get down to the water when other foilers are around, and ask questions during set up and break down periods, you will find guys who are very understanding, they are the majority not the exception,
everyone has their own style, you will develop your own as well, all you see is not all you should copy, listen to many riders and decide what suits you as you progress.
just take no notice of the few guys who claim they were up and boosting in their first two hours, total much misleading crap out there.
there are very few guys who can just jump on and go foiling, ignore these claims.
it takes time, loads of practice, enjoy learning from every frustration, celebrate every tiny step forward,be positive and avoid negative naysayers.

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby RalfsB » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:47 am

As other commentators have said, there could be something wrong with the setup. I had a setup once where I struggled a lot and somehow could not make it work; it was ok in flat water but could not start and ride in chop/waves. Then I tried a different front wing and suddenly everything became easy.

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby drsurf » Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:50 am

In my experience after kiting for 20 years, learning to foil was hard. You go from effortless competence to a rank beginner with all the embarrassment, bruises and cuts that entails.
For the average person that's normal in my experience.

Based on my time learning and watching others learn, the following pointers are most likely to help you succeed:

• Make sure the wind and water conditions are as good as you can get with approx. 12-15 knots of wind and flat water if possible. Crashes are slower in lighter wind.
• Use a reasonable sized board so that touchdowns don't submerge the board and throw you off. If the board can be thin as possible so it doesn't bob all over the place when you are getting ready all the better. Volume is not your friend.
• Start with a surf foil on a 600mm/24" mast which is known for its ease of use especially at low speed, something around 1000 to 1250 sq cm. Get a competent foiler to try it on your board and get the foil position on the board correct as well as the front foot position. If they say you've got a crap foil setup then maybe you have so you might need to try something else.
• A single front strap adjusted correctly so your foot can come out when you fall works best for me and a lot of people. It enables you to position the board easier when starting and can't snag a line like a foot hook.
• If you have the above points sorted, use a kite a size smaller than you would use on a twin tip. You don't need much power when you're up on the foil.
• Don't try and foil at first. Spend time getting used to riding the board along without getting up on the foil. It takes getting used with all that foil gear hanging off the bottom. If it keeps getting up on the foil when you don't want it to, move the foil back or the footstrap forward to keep the weight forward. (One of the locals at my beach spent almost the entire season doing this as rising up on the foil freaked him out!)
• When you're confident with the last point move your weight back gently and let the foil lift you up and then just as gently put the board back on the water. Repeat so you become comfortable with being the one in control rather than the foil.
• As you get comfortable make your time up on the foil longer until you're foiling for as long as you want both ways. One direction is likely to be easier than the other, you'll overcome this with practice.
•• You will get better with time and love foiling. It maybe all you end up doing with your kites which you may change to kites which suit foiling more :)

I did not enjoy learning to foil. It was frustrating and took up a lot of time when I could have been doing what I already knew. But it was worth it. I can now kite in ridiculously light wind and have fun. I can use inexpensive, small Peak4 kites and ride tiny waves and swell I didn't notice before.

Foiling can increase your kiting time 50% or more with suitable gear, and although you'll think I'll get on the TT or SB when the wind comes up, you may end up just using a 3m kite for wind over 20 knots on the foil and love it :D
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Re: Just not getting it

Postby cwood » Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:49 pm

Hugh2 wrote:
Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:08 pm
I've watched several guys try endlessly on ridiculous gear, like a racing high-aspect flat wing and long mast, and not get it, unsurprisingly.

For myself, starting foiling at age 62 after 12 years of kiting, the secret was a large board, short 15" mast, and simple medium aspect wing (original Slingshot Hoverglide). The unfortunate part of learning that way is that having become comfortable on that heavy old aluminum mast and wings I find it almost impossible to ride my friends' modern carbon wings. I just get tossed off them. On the other hand, a local friend managed to learn on a carbon wing and 24" mast by simply persisting endlessly, he would literally send several hours nonstop porpoising all over the place for several weeks, and two weekends ago I watched a guy at Cape Hatteras do the same. Both of them eventually smoothed it out, but that seemed like way too much effort. A short mast and large board made it much easier for me, my buddy and I were taking short flights on the first day, sustained flights the second session, and moved to 24" mast on the third session. I love riding a 36" mast now.

But yes, you feel like a complete novice to start, an unstable fawn is a great analogy, and it is very taxing. Half an hour is still about all I can handle for a session if I am working on new things, like flying gybes. And I only got the latter because I stuck with a large board that I could do touchdown gybes on and gradually advanced to turning to toeside at speed and flying. Getting back to heelside is still about 50% success, especially if I don't have enough power. But it's great not to be crashing and restarting every transition. All my friends who have mastered the flying gybe did it on short boards with endless crashes first. Now three of them are so good it is sickening, riding carbon foils with pocket boards and doing 360s etc, although none have managed to get to the foot-switch gybe, that seems really hard and I don't even aspire to it.
Much good advice in the thread.....definitely validate your setup for fundamentals....because no amount of trying will get past something not set up right. I have had multiple people up and riding wing on first day with a short mast, hoverglide and SS simulator board with mast all the way to the back. Having a setup that wants to fly at any speed makes it very difficult to learn, vs ride surface on a big board and then have to actually move back a bit to make it fly. I learned on a performance carbon setup through persistence and going back and forth to twin tip once I was tired and frustrated. Two certainties I can give you. 1. Your brain bakes what you learned in a session and you will always be a bit better when you return to the next session. 2. Your brain will begin to make the movements subconsciously in time and it will happen before you know it. (provided you are not on a dysfunctional setup).

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby PullStrings » Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:54 pm

Don't feed the knucklehead

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Re: Just not getting it

Postby cwood » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:16 pm

PullStrings wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:54 pm
Don't feed the knucklehead

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