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Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

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Indulang
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Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby Indulang » Sun May 09, 2021 7:41 pm

Hello folks, I'm looking for foil suggestions for 10-18kts winds. I'm a competent TT rider and plan on using my existing LEI kites with the foil.

Thank you

grigorib
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby grigorib » Sun May 09, 2021 7:45 pm

Here’s my writeup

viewtopic.php?p=1031386#p1031386

Few things to consider before thinking of becoming a foiler:
- you will feel like you’re just learning boardstarts again. 3-4 sessions realistically to ride back and forth with butt down in water to turn board around. With further practice you’ll be better and better
- falls are harder from height and at speeds. Be ready to wipe out hard
- foil is more expensive gear to get but it pays off in pleasure and number of days on water
- foiling sensation is something in between Aladdin’s magic carpet and McFly’s hoverboard. With one exception of neither cartoon nor the movie shown their epic faceplants while learning to ride.
- foils replaced completely all the boards in races (with exception of TT:R if that counts as race to start with)
- foils will replace majority of lightwind boards
- foils will dominate kite scene with exception of hardcore ramp/wake style and hardcore wave riding
- foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board.
- you'll be surprised with ease and amount of upwind, even while learning and barely riding
- when down from foil - they come downwind fast, no bodydragging really needed. Just wait for it.
- you will likely ditch all the kites larger than 12m unless you're going to race. Lightwind foils can be ridden 1-2 sizes down. Imagine riding 5m kite at 16 knots wind at 200 lbs rider weight. <- That exactly.
- you gotta be good with a kite before starting to learn foiling. You'll need to focus on the board, not paying attention to the kite

Now
Few things to consider when learning to foil:
- lessons are good (duh, like for anything else) if you can afford them, they boost progression
- if not getting lessons - learn from videos, observation, friends, from people you trust. You need to learn regardless way you get information
- have an experienced foiler which you trust to setup straps/mast position for himself, then move mast back (or straps forward) by 1"-2" for learning phase
- again - foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board
- I suggest you learn with longer lines - they give you more time at initial dive and more time to focus on the boardstarts
- two masts is a good idea - easier to learn on ~70cm length and keep it for shallows. You'd like a longer mast for waves and deep water once you're good at foiling
- try to keep your body in same plane as the mast (perpendicular to the board) - no tilting the board as TT/directional. Stay aligned with the mast.
- lots of front foot pressure when boardstarting. Imagine balance board with feet equally off the center balance (compared to TT where back foot is closer to the center and has more pressure)
- learn to ride board flat. You'll edge later when you're progressing
- if you're porposing a lot you might be going too slow or your back foot might be too much back
- when moving feet/mast do it by 10-20mm steps. The balance is really fine, large shifts will become nasty surprises
- learn with two straps (or two hooks). Hooks will save your ankles and bones from twisting/breaking just as having two straps. One strap looks cool but can cause locked foot upon fall and broken ankle. When ready for one strap - use one hook only
- when single front hook breaks - take it as a sign and learn strapless. Few sessions and you'll be all comfortable again
- set straps really loose so you can eject from board easily
- harness with a sliding spreader bar is really awesome when you're ready to ride toeside. Consider getting one
- invest into foil covers - to protect everything around foil and foil itself
- a nice learning board will have extra volume and good nose rocker. Later you might want to go smaller unless you race
- learn to loop/downloop the kite if you don't do it yet. It'll help you to foil with yet smaller kite
- expect to learn on regular size, then getting excited and riding small, then going bigger again once you can harness the power wile on the foil.

As for lessons...I was taught to ride a bike for free. I learnt swimming for free. Learnt driving for free. Didn't need to pay for my degree. Never had to hire/pay anyone for sex lessons either. On the other hand if every day of riding trip costs you $700 it makes great sense to pay $150/hour to save money overall and get riding faster.

Fly the foil
These users thanked the author grigorib for the post (total 7):
SWO_kite (Sun May 09, 2021 8:48 pm) • romian (Mon May 10, 2021 12:07 pm) • Rob112 (Mon May 10, 2021 1:43 pm) • Indulang (Mon May 10, 2021 4:58 pm) • nixmatters (Mon May 10, 2021 8:46 pm) • rnelias (Tue May 11, 2021 1:46 am) • Gestalt (Tue May 11, 2021 6:59 am)
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grigorib
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby grigorib » Sun May 09, 2021 7:49 pm

How much do you weigh and what kites/sizes do you fly?

Indulang
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby Indulang » Sun May 09, 2021 8:01 pm

Thanks for the tips. Actually, a friend and I are looking to get into foiling together. We're already considering getting a shorter mast to speed up learning. That idea came up in our research so far

I weigh 64kg and have 5m,7m,9m & 12m kites

My friend weighs 80kg and has 5m, 8m & 12m

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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby leeuwen » Sun May 09, 2021 8:17 pm

Indulang wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 7:41 pm
Hello folks, I'm looking for foil suggestions for 10-18kts winds.
Not sure what the exact question is?
Are you looking for gear suggestions? Or something else?

I use a Sabfoil/Moses 633. I think it’s generally considered one of the better carbon setups suitable for both beginner to advanced for a “reasonable” price (it is not cheap but none of the carbon setups are).

Note that at 10 knots you start to push normal 3 strut kites to imho uncomfortable limits. This will mean downlooping to keep it in the air etc. It’s not impossible but any mistake and you will swim, not what you want as a beginner.
So make sure you learn with enough wind for an easy kite relaunch. So at least 12 knots but might need more depending on kite and currents etc.

Indulang
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby Indulang » Sun May 09, 2021 8:34 pm

leeuwen wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:17 pm
Not sure what the exact question is?
Are you looking for gear suggestions? Or something else?

I use a Sabfoil/Moses 633. I think it’s generally considered one of the better carbon setups suitable for both beginner to advanced for a “reasonable” price (it is not cheap but none of the carbon setups are).
Yes, I'm looking for gear suggestions. That Sabfoil/Moses 633 seems to go for €1,490 without the board. Are there cheaper options?

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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby leeuwen » Sun May 09, 2021 8:47 pm

Yes there are cheaper options.
I think gong probably has the most friendly pricing while still having a good product.
Never ridden one though but I heard some people being happy with them.
There is probably a thread or two about the gong foils here.
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby SWO_kite » Sun May 09, 2021 9:00 pm

grigorib wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 7:45 pm
Here’s my writeup

viewtopic.php?p=1031386#p1031386

Few things to consider before thinking of becoming a foiler:
- you will feel like you’re just learning boardstarts again. 3-4 sessions realistically to ride back and forth with butt down in water to turn board around. With further practice you’ll be better and better
- falls are harder from height and at speeds. Be ready to wipe out hard
- foil is more expensive gear to get but it pays off in pleasure and number of days on water
- foiling sensation is something in between Aladdin’s magic carpet and McFly’s hoverboard. With one exception of neither cartoon nor the movie shown their epic faceplants while learning to ride.
- foils replaced completely all the boards in races (with exception of TT:R if that counts as race to start with)
- foils will replace majority of lightwind boards
- foils will dominate kite scene with exception of hardcore ramp/wake style and hardcore wave riding
- foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board.
- you'll be surprised with ease and amount of upwind, even while learning and barely riding
- when down from foil - they come downwind fast, no bodydragging really needed. Just wait for it.
- you will likely ditch all the kites larger than 12m unless you're going to race. Lightwind foils can be ridden 1-2 sizes down. Imagine riding 5m kite at 16 knots wind at 200 lbs rider weight. <- That exactly.
- you gotta be good with a kite before starting to learn foiling. You'll need to focus on the board, not paying attention to the kite

Now
Few things to consider when learning to foil:
- lessons are good (duh, like for anything else) if you can afford them, they boost progression
- if not getting lessons - learn from videos, observation, friends, from people you trust. You need to learn regardless way you get information
- have an experienced foiler which you trust to setup straps/mast position for himself, then move mast back (or straps forward) by 1"-2" for learning phase
- again - foils are sharp and aluminum setups are heavy. They're dangerous. Wear protective gear. Do not kick in water under the board. Fall as far as you can from the board - do not attempt to stay on ("saving") the board
- I suggest you learn with longer lines - they give you more time at initial dive and more time to focus on the boardstarts
- two masts is a good idea - easier to learn on ~70cm length and keep it for shallows. You'd like a longer mast for waves and deep water once you're good at foiling
- try to keep your body in same plane as the mast (perpendicular to the board) - no tilting the board as TT/directional. Stay aligned with the mast.
- lots of front foot pressure when boardstarting. Imagine balance board with feet equally off the center balance (compared to TT where back foot is closer to the center and has more pressure)
- learn to ride board flat. You'll edge later when you're progressing
- if you're porposing a lot you might be going too slow or your back foot might be too much back
- when moving feet/mast do it by 10-20mm steps. The balance is really fine, large shifts will become nasty surprises
- learn with two straps (or two hooks). Hooks will save your ankles and bones from twisting/breaking just as having two straps. One strap looks cool but can cause locked foot upon fall and broken ankle. When ready for one strap - use one hook only
- when single front hook breaks - take it as a sign and learn strapless. Few sessions and you'll be all comfortable again
- set straps really loose so you can eject from board easily
- harness with a sliding spreader bar is really awesome when you're ready to ride toeside. Consider getting one
- invest into foil covers - to protect everything around foil and foil itself
- a nice learning board will have extra volume and good nose rocker. Later you might want to go smaller unless you race
- learn to loop/downloop the kite if you don't do it yet. It'll help you to foil with yet smaller kite
- expect to learn on regular size, then getting excited and riding small, then going bigger again once you can harness the power wile on the foil.

As for lessons...I was taught to ride a bike for free. I learnt swimming for free. Learnt driving for free. Didn't need to pay for my degree. Never had to hire/pay anyone for sex lessons either. On the other hand if every day of riding trip costs you $700 it makes great sense to pay $150/hour to save money overall and get riding faster.

Fly the foil
What a good summary.

When I started foiling, I just bought the first 'complete' kit that I could afford on a used gear listing. Unless your budget allows for it, I would pretty much jump in on anything you find used - with the exemption of race foils (usually recognizable by their high aspect shape). If you can, get a ~60cm mast, it's enough height to keep you low to the water, but not so low that you can't progress when you start to get the hang of things. But even a 90cm mast will work if you're dedicated to learning.

For reference, I still fly an old 2013, 11m epic renegade as my "light wind" kite. Usually gets me down to 10-12kn on my foil. Obviously, newer, lighter kites will offer more in terms of wind range, drift, nimbleness and weight, but if you're like me, you just work with what you got.

I know my advice definitely won't sit well with some people on this forum, but I'm being realistic. If your budget is average, you won't want to spend more than $1500 on a kit without knowing anything. Ideally, if you're dedicated enough to learning, almost any setup will get you there. But if you can spare the money, a kit that's geared to beginner/intermediate will obviously help.

I've been foiling now for over 2 years and I'm just getting the hang of flying foot switches on my janky, inexpensive gear. If I can do it, you can too.

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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby redskykiter » Sun May 09, 2021 9:15 pm

Indulang wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 7:41 pm
Hello folks, I'm looking for foil suggestions for 10-18kts winds. I'm a competent TT rider and plan on using my existing LEI kites with the foil.

Thank you
Check out Slingshot Hover glide FKite. It works well in that wind range and has a medium length mast you won't outgrow fast. I use it with a similar kite quiver (only RPM's) I'm usually ride my 9 with it as the wind builds and can then switch to my TT.

grigorib
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Re: Hydrofoil suggestions for beginners?

Postby grigorib » Sun May 09, 2021 9:29 pm

Indulang wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 8:01 pm
Thanks for the tips. Actually, a friend and I are looking to get into foiling together. We're already considering getting a shorter mast to speed up learning. That idea came up in our research so far

I weigh 64kg and have 5m,7m,9m & 12m kites

My friend weighs 80kg and has 5m, 8m & 12m
At 64kg you probably won’t need (or wouldn’t even like) anything bigger than 1000 sq.cm. At 80kg 1000 sq.cm would also be pretty sufficient.

Usually most affordable options are fiberglass wings + aluminum mast. As of Slingshot it would be H2 wing (Gamma 68) and a 70 cm mast. Infiniry 76 would be too big even for lightwind

Next, more expensive is carbon wings setup with aluminum mast. Moses 679 with 70-80cm mast would do great

Most expensive is carbon wings plus carbon mast

You don’t need 60-70cm mast unless it’s very shallow where you ride. ~80 would be easy to learn on and 90cm is considered standard

For your weight wings 700-1000 sq.cm would be easy to learn on and keep riding them.

I can tell you everything about Moses/Slingshot/RDB foils if you have specific questions
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