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High wind foiling

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Flyboy
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Re: High wind foiling

Postby Flyboy » Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:46 pm

bragnouff wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:30 am
I guess it depends heavily on the spot and wind direction, but at my local ocean beach in cross-onshore over 30kts, it gets quite rough. The ratio of whitewater to clean un-churned water isn't really favorable to foiling anymore. The water condition is actually more of a problem than the strength of the wind. It's just not the right tool for the job anymore, and there are much better options, like 5m and SB. On our mountain lakes however, strong winds are much more manageable, and are usable on foils. The foil can handle a fair bit of overpowering, provided you go hard upwind and hard downwind (which is where the fun is). I have used a 4m Airush DNA in about 30-35kts, and also later that day with a surfboard, and a TT successfully, as if the lower end advantage of the foil was getting thinner. Maybe when the wind is really strong, anything just works, you can always find some power somehow to get you up to speed. Also when wind is really strong, surfboards and TT perform much better in terms of upwind ability, downwind runs and drift, so when compared to foils, the advantages of the foil become much less obvious. It's just a matter of choice, not of necessity, to foil in those conditions (unlike in sub 15kts).
In the end, it's good to mix it up!
I don't think I'd need a kite smaller than that 4m (or even than my good 5m), as the surfboard is typically a more suitable vessel for these conditions, manageable till mid forties, and then again, it's also the water conditions that start to dictate if it's still enjoyable or just survival.
Well, my point was that it's possible to foil quite comfortably with a 6m in 12 to 14 knots. In fact, I'd say that around 14 - 16 knots is optimal for moderately powered swell riding with a 6m & perhaps 16 - 18 with a 5m. So, is a 3.5 or 4m good starting at 18 knots (I wouldn't foil in anything over 24 knots as that's when the waves start to really kick in for SB riding)? If you're trying to ride swell/waves being moderately powered is an advantage as it allows you to surf the wave with less pull from the kite.

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby Flyboy » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:40 pm

I guess the BRM videos are the best expression of what I would call moderately powered (or underpowered) foiling:


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Re: High wind foiling

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:25 pm

Wish we all lived on the ocean, but half the reason foiling is so adored by those who adore it is that it makes mountains out of mole hills, opens spots that just never were, and brings the joy to conditions where there was none.

ALL our waves are wind driven, they never really get big, but they can still be incredibly well formed and fun as hell. Well, incredibly well formed is pretty rare, but still fun as hell.

I find there is little fun in less than 12 knots, despite being plenty powered on a 5m peak. Above 12 the waves begin to build and its more a function of fetch and time than outright wind strength, but more wind is always bigger and gets there faster.

My personal categories for foiling are: 12-15 knots is light. 15-20 moderate and 20+ is high wind.

Everything works well in 20 knots. Surfboard, twin tip, skate even. Foiling in those winds is deliberate.

A lot of guys around here are at the swapping from TT to surfboard stage and are all stoked on the carvy feel. They sometimes ask why I still foil when the waves show up and I tell em: I love the surfboard. Just look at em. Sexy and all, but around here its all one hit wonders on a surfboard. The foil might look gangly and weird, but it delivers on the promises the surfboard was making. Continuous wave driven turns and endless surfy feel. In short it brought something close to surfing to my doorstep.

What I do nowadays is no where near as cool looking as what I was doing 5 years ago, but I don't really care. I'm at 76 sessions this season, looking at wind for the remainder of the week and there are two months left before I let everything dry out. Have learned a shit ton this season and couldn't be happier.

High wind foiling is a thing!
Last edited by jumptheshark on Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby Janus » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:44 pm

Well put JTS, I recognize my feelings about the foiling in your writing.
Due to the Covid shit I almost didn’t fly (paraglide) but foiled a lot and really happy with it and not really missing the flying.. would declared the person crazy if I was told this a year ago..
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Re: High wind foiling

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:55 pm

Haha, same,

If you showed a pic of what I'm doing now to me a decade ago, I would be so disappointed in myself. It just looks so lame in a still. I get lame height, make no spray!

But if you showed me the clips of Caneri, Leblanc, Gofinet, Hope, Drexler, etc. I'd get it.

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby Flyboy » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:43 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:25 pm
Wish we all lived on the ocean, but half the reason foiling is so adored by those who adore it is that it makes mountains out of mole hills, opens spots that just never were, and brings the joy to conditions where there was none.

ALL our waves are wind driven, they never really get big, but they can still be incredibly well formed and fun as hell. Well, incredibly well formed is pretty rare, but still fun as hell.

I find there is little fun in less than 12 knots, despite being plenty powered on a 5m peak. Above 12 the waves begin to build and its more a function of fetch and time than outright wind strength, but more wind is always bigger and gets there faster.

My personal categories for foiling are: 12-15 knots is light. 15-20 moderate and 20+ is high wind.

Everything works well in 20 knots. Surfboard, twin tip, skate even. Foiling in those winds is deliberate.

A lot of guys around here are at the swapping from TT to surfboard stage and are all stoked on the carvy feel. They sometimes ask why I still foil when the waves show up and I tell em: I love the surfboard. Just look at em. Sexy and all, but around here its all one hit wonders on a surfboard. The foil might look gangly and weird, but it delivers on the promises the surfboard was making. Continuous wave driven turns and endless surfy feel. In short it brought something close to surfing to my doorstep.

What I do nowadays is no where near as cool looking as what I was doing 5 years ago, but I don't really care. I'm at 76 sessions this season, looking at wind for the remainder of the week and there are two months left before I let everything dry out. Have learned a shit ton this season and couldn't be happier.

High wind foiling is a thing!

Exactly! I started out foiling in flat water when it was too light to be interesting on a SB. Then during the course of this Covidy summer I gradually learned how to gybe consistently & progressed to higher winds. At that point I discovered carving on swells that would not be possible to do anything on with a SB & the weird & wonderful feeling of surfing a wave without actually being on top of a wave - pretty magic. The ability to carve swells downwind a long way & then ride back upwind to your starting point in one tack is a huge bonus.

As for looking cool ... it doesn't ... unless you wear the right gear, project an expansive attitude & add appropriate tunes, as Oyvind proves in his videos:


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Re: High wind foiling

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:57 pm

My progression in 20 years of high wind only windsurfing was slow as molasses. But I figured out that I prefer surfy turns to blasting straights.

My progression on twin tip was average. I really liked it and put in as much time as I could, but at 30 sessions a season, I had really pretty average progression.

My progression on surfboard was moderate. I had already learned a lot of kite control, and progressed to decent strapless airs for this region.

My progression on foil has been fast. The change to pocket boards, then surfy wings, and now single skin foil kites has kept me progressing at what feels like a really fast pace. Last season I just got my tacks figured out. This season I'm landing strapless air transitions with down loop landing into a bottom turn on the same swell I took off from.

I expect to keep my other gear, but likely never use it!

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby bragnouff » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:17 pm

jumptheshark wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:57 pm
progressing at what feels like a really fast pace.
I take that it's partly due to getting many more sessions per season, not having to wait till it's over 20kts to have a lively board under your feet.
and of course the cumulative result of the past 30yrs.

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby jumptheshark » Tue Oct 20, 2020 11:53 pm

Yeah, man, all of it. Was way fast figuring out what I wanted as far as style and kit to match. Soooo many more hours on the water, and lighter conditions on longer lines in the flats is like training with the settings turned down.

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Re: High wind foiling

Postby junebug » Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:32 am

Flyboy wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 4:46 pm

Well, my point was that it's possible to foil quite comfortably with a 6m in 12 to 14 knots. In fact, I'd say that around 14 - 16 knots is optimal for moderately powered swell riding with a 6m & perhaps 16 - 18 with a 5m. So, is a 3.5 or 4m good starting at 18 knots (I wouldn't foil in anything over 24 knots as that's when the waves start to really kick in for SB riding)? If you're trying to ride swell/waves being moderately powered is an advantage as it allows you to surf the wave with less pull from the kite.
Agree with these ranges for the most part. For swell riding, I like my 7m Boxer from 12-15kn, 5m Boxer from 15-18kn, and 3.5m Boxer from 18kn+ (haven't found the top end yet). I like to be a the higher end of these ranges for flat water riding, but the middle to low end ranges work best for me in swell.


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