rnelias wrote: ↑
Sat Nov 25, 2023 10:49 pm
Something that intrigues me on hydrofoil is how our body knows exactly at what height we must fly over the water.
We have a sense called proprioception
that probably explains this magic
Proprioception or kinesthesia, is the sense that lets us perceive the location, movement, and action of parts of the body. It encompasses a complex of sensations, including perception of joint position and movement, muscle force, and effort
In other words: pure magic
Yes - this seems to be true. Also, my understanding of where I am is thrown off if I look down at the water, or backwards, or sideways - the key is to look ahead.
There are two aspects to mast length: how high above
the water you are ... and how deep under
the water you are. If you're riding in shallow water, - or over a reef, or boulders - you could theoretically ride the foil high enough to avoid hitting the bottom, but that's like saying you could theoretically avoid breaching with a short mast by keeping the foil low enough to the water. The point is, you occasionally make mistakes and you don't want that mistake to lead to damaging the foil by hitting something - better to make the mistake of coming out of the water and breaching.
I don't think the thrill of foiling comes from being elevated above the water - higher isn't better - it comes primarily from the lack of drag & effortlessness of movement. That's what makes it "feel like flying". I have been using a 85cm mast for a few years now. I have developed an advanced sense of proprioception
with this setup and very rarely breach. I am going to try my 100cm mast over the coming weeks in Cabarete. The irregularity of the reef there is definitely a potential hazard - especially at low tide. Also, if you fall in the shallower areas of the reef it can be impossible to water start without drifting to a deeper spot - and that drifting is generally in the impact zone for the waves. I can understand why surf foilers may choose to use a shorter mast.