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Learning with a big board?

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kct
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Learning with a big board?

Postby kct » Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:46 am

I got a surf set up to learn how to kitefoil and eventually surf foil. At 60L the board is pretty huge relative to any of my traditional surfboards as well as what I see other kitefoilers with.

Took it out today for the first time and it was surprisingly terrifying. It's hard to manhandle the thing into what I assume is the takeoff position (same as strapless surfing right?). What was happening to me was that I'd spend all my effort trying to get the board into the right place, then the kite would backstall, then I'd get yanked into the foil. The wind was light but if it were strong I don't know how much would change.

Is there some trick to position the set up or is learning on a surf foil just going to be dangerous?
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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby leeuwen » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:22 am

You indeed put the board on its side to waterstart.
I pretty much always downloop unless I am really powered up. It is easier to maintain foot pressure on the board with the kite around 10-11 (in the opposite direction of where you want to go) and then downloop to the other side of the wind window to maintain pressure since going “over 12” usually loses to much pressure and the board will flip upright before you get on it. (Some setups with a big floaty foil will want to stay balanced on its side by itself which will make it easier).

Starting your foil experience without straps or even a single front hook is a LOT harder though. (especially if you have no access to a flat water spot).
Combine that with a suboptimal board and foil and you aren’t exactly setting yourself up for a quick learning curve….
I won’t say it’s technically impossible to ride that setup and
I can certainly see the attraction of a single board and foil but in reality they are two different sports requiring different gear for a good experience.

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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby ieism » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:53 am

When starting out I had trouble moving and positioning the board. I still think waterstarts are easier with a strap, even if you come from strapless.

I've seen "stick on" inserts that let you add a footstrap. Even if it's just for pulling the board on its side and keeping it there with your foot that helps a lot. Problem is where would you position it if you've never been up on the board riding?

I think you can learn on that setup if you already have some skills, you just need to stick with it for 5 sessions.
Why does the kite backstall? What are you doing with it to get into position? Make sure you are doing a normal start like on a SB, but you also want the board completely on its side and both feet on the deck one hand on the rail. If it's hard to keep the back foot on and you rotate upwind steer the kite opposite a little before diving it to start. You do not need to dive it as deep as on a surfboard.

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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby kct » Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:08 am

Probably the kite is backstalling because of light wind and me futzing around with the board and not paying attention.

> board completely on its side and both feet on the deck one hand on the rail.

Huh. This is nothing like how I get on my surfboard. For that I just have the board flat and angle upwind a bit. I redirect the board as I pop up. The foil doesn't rotate or move around easy enough for me to do that.

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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby leeuwen » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:12 am

kct wrote:
Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:08 am
Huh. This is nothing like how I get on my surfboard. For that I just have the board flat and angle upwind a bit. I redirect the board as I pop up. The foil doesn't rotate or move around easy enough for me to do that.
Watch a few YouTube videos they will all show the same technique:
The board must be on its side or it will just slip&slide away from underneath you when you try to get on the board.
AFAIK If the board gets in the flat position it is impossible to get on the board and if it is possible at all it won’t be for a beginner.

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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby ieism » Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:19 am

I know, but it doesn't really work like that on a strapless foil. You'll just get pulled over. Also don't point upwind, if the board does that steer the kite back to correct before diving it.
The rest of the start is very similar to SB, roll forward knees bend and once up weigh the front foot A LOT.

You will learn to manipulate the board with one hand, by steering it around the foil grabbing the board more at the back always. That way you will always have the kite with the other hand.

I have a 41liter board so it's not that far off.

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Re: Learning with a big board?

Postby Peter_Frank » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:23 am

Learning on a surf foil is easier, but you HAVE to put one or two straps on, for learning.

You can not start like on a strapless surfboard, everything is different when you got a foil below, and you can not put your heels up on the board and start like you do super easy with a kite on a strapless surfboard.

So get a strap mounted, so you can keep the board on its side using the strap(s), while you focus on handling the kite and board angle to the wind.

When you have learned foiling, you can ditch the strap(s), but for learning you need it.

Board size is an advantage for learning and also light wind - both with or without straps, so no problems there.

You will always hear some saying and bragging "I learned strapless" - but the reality is that 98 % can not do it, and it takes forever, compared to having at least one strap.

PS: NEVER loop the kite when starting, when you are learning - it will go horribly wrong and be dangerous. Rig a sufficiently big kite, so you dont have to worry about power, when learning.

8) Peter


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