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1st Try at any foiling

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lewmt
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1st Try at any foiling

Postby lewmt » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:30 pm

I haven't ridden a foil yet, behind a boat, under a kite, paddleboard....nada. I've kited for years but usually on snow, with a surfboard, or twin tip on water. I'm really curious to start my foiling journey with a wing. I thought I'd begin by getting a couple of wings and get used to them on my paddle board. Then get a foil setup to begin wingfoiling. I know I'll eventually end up with numerous foils, masts, boards etc but for my initiation into foiling what would others recommend for the beginning? I'm 170 lbs or 77KG. Very comfortable riding a paddle board or strapless surfboard with a kite. I don't really have access to a boat. I watched 1 video that suggested my 1st foil front wing should be 2000 sq. cm? How long of a mast? How much board volume? I just hope to use the gains in technology to shorten the learning curve & then go from there. Any help - much appreciated

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby tkaraszewski » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:38 pm

2000 sq cm wing, 70 cm mast, and 120L board is pretty ideal for learning.

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Slappysan
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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby Slappysan » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:51 pm

lewmt wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:30 pm
I haven't ridden a foil yet ... I'm really curious to start my foiling journey with a wing.
This doesn't really make sense, but maybe it's what you want to do.
The logical way to expedite progression is to learn to foil with a kite first as you can focus on just the foiling aspect and then once you have that down move to a wing.
Kite foiling is actually the safest way to learn to foil as well, due to the kite pulling you up and away from the foil when you crash.
And just because you have a 2000 sqcm wing does not mean you can't kite foil with it, it just means you can go fast. My preferred kite foil wing is 1600 sqcm and I'm only 75 kg / 165 lbs.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby jakemoore » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:41 pm

Slappysan wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:51 pm

This doesn't really make sense, but maybe it's what you want to do.
The logical way to expedite progression is to learn to foil with a kite first as you can focus on just the foiling aspect and then once you have that down move to a wing.
+1 for learning on kite in decent wind first rather than messing with a boat or other.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby BWD » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:35 am

To me it sounds like an ok idea to start with a foil that lifts @ 5 knots and cruises from 8-15, and has no razor sharp edges. My first one 800cm2 started early-ish about 6-7, but would happily accelerate to 20+ without any control in the “command” of a beginner. Many many bruises larer I figured out how to control the speed. Not sure there were any production wings >1000 then. I went big and got an 800
Since I kited first, kiting was the natural way to foil and being able to use the kite to pull you away from the foil is a great advantage..
I think if getting into hydrofoils now, I’d
choose something 1600-ish that could work pretty well for several applications. I now ride a 1200, and next will be probably be bigger. 1200 can go almost as fast as my 800, but only if I try to make it do so! I haven’t ridden my old smaller wings since getting the bigger wing.
Last edited by BWD on Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby grtlakes » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:38 am

My initial reaction was to disagree with you jakemoore about boat use. I found towing behind a zodiac at slow speed very helpful. On the other hand I broke a finger and had severe internal bruising from two separate boat foiling incidents. Maybe initial kite practice is safer.

Whatever you choose take it easy.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby jakemoore » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:21 pm

grtlakes wrote: towing behind a zodiac at slow speed
Lol I had some bad wipeouts too but with a kite.

Early on I found it easier to control height with kite power and concentrate on maintaining a constant pitch. Any attempt to control height with pitch was an explosion for me. Having upwards pull is really nice as Slappysan said.

I could be biased just to the way I seee most kiters succeed with foiling here. I just doubt that I would have the physical strength to persist for an hour or two making multiple starts behind a boat.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby lewmt » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:25 pm

Thanks! I may end up using my kites to help with progression. The board I'm looking at is pretty high volume(95L) for kiting but I suppose there's no reason I can't use it with a kite? Any suggestions on shortening the learning curve - greatly appreciated

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby Slappysan » Thu Apr 08, 2021 10:54 pm

lewmt wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:25 pm
pretty high volume(95L) for kiting but I suppose there's no reason I can't use it with a kite?
This is actually an important point. A board that big will be very challenging to water start on and standing starts are pretty tricky for kiting. On top of that your hook might wreck your huge board.

So if that's the only board you have access to, I would take back my recommendation to start with a kite.

If you have a hook free harness (like a rope slider or something) and a very small kite you could probably learn pretty easy doing knee starts. You could probably get away with a 7m kite in 12 knots of wind if you wont be doing water starts.

EDIT: actually you say you are very comfortable riding a paddle board with a kite, if that's the case then you'll probably be fine on the 95L board.

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Re: 1st Try at any foiling

Postby OzBungy » Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:01 am

You won't be able to water start a 95l board with a kite. It has too much size and volume. You can't tip it on it's side to water start. You'll have to climb out of the water and get on top of it before you can go. That's ok if there's enough wind for the kite to sit above you as you climb up and get ready to go. Also you want not too much chop trying to throw you off before you're moving.

In lighter winds you can get up on a big board by doing well timed sends of the kite. Send it. Climb up. Catch it. Send it again to get moving. Get to your feet. Foil away. It's all a bit of a party trick and definitely not something you want to do if you're learning to foil.

Similarly, my largest kite foil is 800cm. It works in anything from very light winds to extreme. The benefit is you can send the kite hard and balance the power to get up. A large wing foil will buck you off at the first send of the kite. My 1400cm low aspect foil takes both feet right on the front straps and a gentle hand with the kite to keep it down. My higher aspect 1500cm is a bit easier. Both require a very light touch with the kite in light winds. The 800cm foil is vastly superior.

I would have though the quickest way of learning to wing foil from scratch would be to go out behind a boat with an intelligent and aware driver and lookout on flat water. That would give you maximum time on the board learning to foil without messing around relaunching kites and swimming in and all the rest.

The alternative is to simply get out on a big board with a wing and foil in ample wind and learn how to do it the same as everybody else. It's not that hard. The vast majority of new wing foilers are SUP and windsurfers and surfers. If they can do it then you can.


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