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Foiling in shallow water

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jim666
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Foiling in shallow water

Postby jim666 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:50 pm

So does anyone think it’s possible to waterstart a foil in water shallower than the mast length?
If you’re on a bigger board that displaces water prior to getting on foil then no. But on a pocket board where you get pulled straight onto foil maybe. It would depend on how much forward pull vs upward pull.
Anyone have experience or thoughts on this? Thanks

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby Jyoder » Thu Jun 30, 2022 12:57 am

With kitefoil, certainly, but you need a decent power spike to yank you straight up onto foil. I kitefoil with my 111cm mast all the time from 1 meter or less water depth. The trick is to get enough board speed with board heeled over and then pitch up and get pulled up onto foil.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby Kitereligion » Thu Jun 30, 2022 1:19 am

Just remember that the distance from mast base to the wing tip is longer than the mast. So you need to be fast on the waterstart !

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby br44 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 2:04 am

jim666 wrote:
Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:50 pm
So does anyone think it’s possible to waterstart a foil in water shallower than the mast length?
If you’re on a bigger board that displaces water prior to getting on foil then no. But on a pocket board where you get pulled straight onto foil maybe. It would depend on how much forward pull vs upward pull.
Anyone have experience or thoughts on this? Thanks
Yes it is. I had to do it repeatedly, one time at OBX. Bigger boards are fine. The trick is to aim for forward movement. Don’t try to get up on the board - but rather to get a little out of the water and then start gaining speed right away. That’s how you can water start directly on the foil. But still - don’t use your best/longest wing, and you want the bottom to be muddy or at least sandy.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby mirza23454 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 6:17 am

Only tried this once and in lighter winds, but what seemed to work was to do a kind of “load and pop”: I’d dive the kite while edging the board against it instead of letting it pull me forward, then pop up from the edge right up to foil.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby leeuwen » Thu Jun 30, 2022 7:06 am

I have only tried this in underpowered extremely light wind (8 ish knots, needing multiple big loops to get going) 2 sessions and then could not really get it to work and needed at least 10cm of “clearance”, maybe even a bit more.
I would think in a bit higher winds with some lift from the kite it’s probably doable as other people are mentioning.

I stopped trying with this shallow spot because I could not practice anything new or do eg jumps since a touch down would mean a stuck foil. Got frustrating pretty quickly.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby nothing2seehere » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:55 am

I've done it loads with a big wing and sinker board. For me I need plenty of static pull in the kite. Its a bit like how you can sort of drag out by using the board to resist the kite and just use the momentum of the kite to scoot along 10m or so - but you allow the kite to pull you up.

I can reliably do this in maybe 20cm less than mast height? The wing length plays a big part in it too. You need the mast to drop to maybe a 45 degree angle in the water and you then need to add the depth that the wing adds. On the old spade shaped wings it wasn't so much of a problem but the high aspect wings would probably make it impossible.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby Windigo1 » Thu Jun 30, 2022 1:36 pm

Yep I do it often! You start at an angle and you get up right away you need to be reasonably powered and you need a big lifty wing that doesn't need much speed to get up!

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby caps » Thu Jun 30, 2022 2:33 pm

As long as you're well powered, no problem. While power stroking the kite, water start immediately in the ready position without getting pulled over the board- pop up from the side. Plus, too lazy to drag out.

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Re: Foiling in shallow water

Postby Peter_Frank » Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:40 pm

It is difficult...

Unless, as most say, really powered, it can not be done.

You can start in water with same depth as your foil - sometimes - sometimes not, if powered lightly for normal carving or waveriding...

But often board and foil will sink so not possible.

When sufficiently powered - you can tilt the board on its side, A LOT, as otherwise the wing will catch the bottom, and unless it is really low AR, it is crazy tough on the wing and fuselage - close to destruction.

If depth is "close" to mast length, you can usually start if okay powered, "flat", thus no risk if you touch the bottom.

Is it to save time you want to know if possible?
Or because it is too low all over?

It the latter, I would get a shorter mast instead, as you have no gain in a normal mast if it touches the bottom on touchdowns...

IMO starting with board flat in low water, is the safe way to avoid gear damage.

8) Peter


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