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Kite Foil for Beginner

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Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby juice » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:08 pm

I’m looking for some advice on a board/foil setup for a beginner. I've kited about 10 years, mainly twin-tips and some surfboards really as a lighter wind set-up but also to learn strapless. I’m not a surfer and probably won’t ever be, but i don't mind riding a directional.

I've gotten recommendations to go with a no-volume board because they are easier to position for water-starts, more durable, etc. A couple local options include Shinn Jackson Sunburner (with P wing) or the North Sense (with Sonar 1150 wing). I don't particularly like the Sense board, just for lack things the Sunburner has (three foot strap positions, foam-padded rails, shape). Other locally-available offerings like Slingshot Naish and Liquid force (Galaxy) all seem to be volume-based boards. What are thoughts on no-volume vs low volume boards for a beginner?

The North Sonar 1150 foil sounds like a nice carvy board, but I haven’t seen much review wise. It may be less likely for me to outgrow it compared to the Shinn P wing. Moving to a Shinn K2 wing or similar sounds less suited for learning. Slingshot Hover Glide FKite Space Skate is another option. Seems suited to learning, and it has a good ecosystem to add other foils in the future. I can get a great deal on a 2019 Naish Thrust Surf foil but while I’ve seen online reviews for kiting, it seems intended for surfing? Not sure if its good for learning?

If a no-volume board is recommended, any issues with mating a non-Shinn foil to the Sunburner? Sunburner attachment has proprietary bolts, although the spacing appears compatible. Sunburner + Naish wing would be by far best price because they’re both last season’s on sale, but if Slingshot is better I could go that way too (+$500).

Thanks for any advice!

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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby kollac » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:53 am

I'm not sure what to advise as I am not nearly qualified to offer any such thing.

I can share some experience, however, at least for perspective.

I started kiting literally 12 months ago. Started foiling behind a jetski about 3 months ago. It was on a Slingshot WF2 softtop (4'10'' some volume) with a front half strap/foot hook, a 24 inch mast with some basic Slingshot wing (about 960 sqcm?). I have zero surfing experience, mostly just kiting (1 year), wakeboarding (maybe half a dozen tries), and some snowboarding (about the same as wakeboarding). It only took 1 session to figure out how to fly in a semi-controlled way. 2nd session was for some timid turns. 3rd session I tried going unnatural. After maybe 5 jetski attempts, I just tried with a kite, because I'm impatient.

The only thing I changed for the kite session was the board. I got my own, an on sale LF Pod Foil 4'4' which is smaller than the Slingshot. The volume has not been a problem as I use a front hook to maneuver the board into position. I've had 2 sessions on it and I can control it enough to fly in either direction. I wear a helmet, crash vest that doubles as a life jacket for my small frame (under 70kg / 152lbs), and I will start using booties each time as I keep getting small dings on my bare feet.

TL;DR: Don't overthink the whole thing. Mid size mast, mid size wing, mid size board with a front hook and you'll be fine. Trying the foil behind a boat is a huge accelerant on the learning curve. Good luck and enjoy!
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juice (Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:34 am)
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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby juice » Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:34 am

kollac wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:53 am
Don't overthink the whole thing.
Heh heh! But that's what i do, kollac!! Research to the point of info overload. Salesman at the store was telling me either option he had would work great, but I hate feeling like I'm not buying the right product.

Actually, based on some internet searches today, I'm now considering the Naish Hover 144, which is a low-volume board unlike the options above. But the "Analysis-Paralysis" is setting in, and now i'm thinking, "Maybe a wake foil board would be more versatile since I could also use it without the foil for kiting or behind a boat." (Hover 144 has no fins) :D

Your experience is helpful. I think really it's just about getting one at this point there will always be compromises. It's promising that you picked it up so quickly. Will definitely try behind a boat first, and use protection. I was just reading a thread about helmet with mask (e.g., hockey or lacross helmet) for added protection. :o

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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby 1234567Simon » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:42 am

Friend of mine got the Sonar medium size .

Either he is very talented or the Foil is pretty good for starting...
Second day he was going 200 Meter both sides...

Just my impression

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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby Dirk » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:56 am

Naish Thrust Surf Foil is very good for learning and kiting in general (if you are into cruising, carving). I have the size L and a 127 Hover board and learned on it last year (my weight is 73 kg) It starts to lift a really low speeds, stays up there in transitions easily and I found the overall speed satisfying enough for me, at least at my current skill level. It is really good if you want to get out in low winds (paired with the right kite). I started on the 55cm mast and now use the 75cm mast. I am starting to get overpowered now and then as I ride faster now and ordered a front wing one size smaller (1000 cm, it is called Jet Foil now, but the hardware is all interchangeable). At my weight I could have started with the smaller wing straight away.
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juice (Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:29 pm)
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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby richy-c » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:08 am

When you start learning to jibe you may find like I did that the thinner board without volume sinks. I tried both types. And ended up buying the slingshot Alienair. Slingshot alien air worked great for me with a moses 633 foil which you can carry on using into an advanced level. The key for me was some volume in the board and a good nose rocker. Also a short Mast for first few sessions.

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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby Mossy 757 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:10 pm

-Volume board
-Adjustable track mount versus Tuttle box
-Y footstrap configuration with no back-strap at first to learn
-Buy a local/used foil from someone who is upgrading from their learning equipment
-Plan/save for your inevitable one-day upgrade
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juice (Wed Aug 26, 2020 11:29 pm)
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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby TomW » Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:16 pm

I started 3-4 years ago back in small wing days.
I wouldn't buy any of those foils. All dead end or soon to die systems.

I would get either a moses 633/483 with 91 cm mast or a Gong Pro with 90 cm mast. ( M if under 85 kg, L if over 85 kg). Both of those systems have enough wings to change to if you get bitten. But both of those wings above are fun forever.

For a board, either buy any used foil board 130cm-150 cm and use it 20 sessions. Or until you can fly back n forth and water start easy.
If you cant find a used board, the gong 4-4 is good. Or the slingy dwarfcraft 4-6. Both these boards you will outgrow in 20 or så sessions. ( some company should start a rental / trade in scheme for beginning boards).
Then youll want a 100-120 cm board for enjoying many years.
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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby Windigo1 » Wed Aug 26, 2020 6:24 pm

I started 3 years ago with a Shinn Jackson and Shinn P wing. Definitively a good package to start after 1 hour I was doing some good stretches. If you can get one of those cheap used it a good way to learn. Eventually you will outgrow it and you will want to go faster. With the experience I have now I would get a Moses 633 or similar. I have owned many foils since then for progressing the 633 will work at an even lower speed but it can go much faster it's much lighter the only negative is the sharp trailing edge that can cut you like a knife. It.s probably best to sand it a bit. There are now other similar foils from North Duotone that offer a similar experience I haven't tried them but if you get a good deal and do your research I'm sure they are pretty good. It's like buying beginner skis or snowboard if you intermediate right away you'll use them for more than one season but learning may be a bit harder.

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Re: Kite Foil for Beginner

Postby TheJoe » Wed Aug 26, 2020 8:22 pm

I agree with TomW. I would go with something that is easy to upgrade on. I started foiling back in March and I went with the Moses 633/483 combo but with a 101cm mast. I have a 75cm aluminum mast for our shallow spot. Got it due to covid shutting down my normal foiling spot. I went with the Moses since so many locals ride them so trying new and different wings will be easy. All so there are lots of ways to upgrade for different conditions between all the stabs and wings they have. I would recommend going with something you can easily get and upgrade with out just selling cheap and buying new. I am enjoying my 633 so it is perfect for me for a good while. On top of that I'm starting to look at Sup Foiling and Winging it so all I need is a new front wing and not a whole 2k foil.

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