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WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

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irwe
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WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

Postby irwe » Sun Jan 28, 2024 12:16 pm

Recently I was WingFoiling in Waves at Silver Rock, Barbados (similar to photo). While riding down a Wave I fell. My Wing Board popped up and landed in front of me with the Foil up. My Wing landed (up right) up wind of me with the trailing edge facing up wind.
As soon as I surfaced I realized my perdicament and immediately tried with 2 hands to flip the board downwind, but before I could flip the board, the next wave hit me and flipped the upwind Wing into the air and on to the Foil putting a small tear in the canopy close to the leading edge by the Strut.

My questions is for those who WingFoil in Waves a lot, Do you have a technique to avoid this scenario when falling?

One mistake I made was I think I released too much compression from the board when falling. I had a lot of front foot pressure holding down the board as I was riding the Wave.
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Peter_Frank
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Re: WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

Postby Peter_Frank » Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:08 pm

Hi Irwe, it is a tough one to answer...

As so many different conditions influence, at least the wind direction can be both diagonally offshore or sideshore or dead onshore - and everything in between.

Makes a big difference in the way you ride and fall.

I only think there is the "hard" way - learning yourself how to fall, with experience :roll:

Eventhough costly yes, I destroyed my very first wing this way - got the leading edge cut by the foil so both bladder and canopy exploded and needed a huge repair.

I believe that we get more and more situation awareness, meaning with experience we know WHERE to fall and how to do it, in the exact moment it happens - as again, can happen in so many different ways and you have to fall different in many of them.


There is a very simple thing I havent found a good solution to yet - could make a new thread, but to keep this "waves fall" thread alive I will ask it here:
How do you step/jump off your board after a session?

When entering towards shore, maybe riding a little wave maybe not - but how do you get off your board?

I use two ways, in light wind I might gently push the board up into the wind, being very careful not to get it to "rise up".
And then use the wing as a parachute and stepping off the board down on the bottom - and trying not to hurt my ankles, as when you dont know how deep it is exactly, it can happen.

Quite graceful.

But in more winds, most often, I let the board glide leeward and either foil stop in the sand bottom, or reaching the leash, while I fall on my back in the water, holding the wing.
This is by far the safest way I have found - NOT graceful, but safe for both your and your gear.

If you let the board glide upwind and jump to leeward, you will risk the wind carries the foil up and it might get you or your wing - VERY risky.

If you try to lean back and fall in the water tilting your foilboard, you might get a huge torsional load on your foil when the tip touches first - I never do that and prefer the foilwing to enter the sand horisontally for least stress.

Some might simply jump in the water further out where deep and swim/drift ashore yes, but I like to end the session riding close to shore foiling high, just like when kitefoiling, I find it is worth it and you dont have to swim/walk through breakers either - which can also harm you or your wing when tumbling in waves, even small ones.

Any good tips on this one, how to "step down" or fall gracefully on low water without much stress on gear or you, is it possible?

8) Peter

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Re: WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

Postby bragnouff » Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:50 pm

In onshore conditions that have a bit of punch, when coming to shore, I unclip my belt board leash, so that the board carries on its merry way once I hop off. Otherwise if the board ever gets tilted, the foil might stay dangerously close to the wing. It's a sandy bottom, very little damage to the foil when it gets washed in. I also try to ride high, stay on the back of a wave, which gives a bit more depth to come even closer to shore, where it's even smaller, and it also gives a few seconds before the next wave to get back up on your feet and lift the wing. I tend to fall gently on my back, upwind of the board.
I avoid hoping off the board onto my feet, despite the appeal of keeping the wing all nice and dry ready to be packed. Once, I clearly misjudged the depth, and thinking there was over 50cm where there was barely 20, and I tweaked my knee and had time off water.

But for sure, sh*t happens sometimes. Try to develop a good awareness of where the foil is, where the wing is, and keep them as far apart as possible!

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Re: WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

Postby Peter_Frank » Tue Feb 13, 2024 5:12 pm

Good points bragnouff, agree

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Re: WingFoil Waves Fall Techniques

Postby OzBungy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:38 am

I don't think there's such a thing as a fall-off technique. If I have contact with the board then there's every chance I'm going to ride out whatever thing is happening. That's part of the joy of foiling.

If I don't have contact with the board then that means I've fallen and there's nothing I can do about that.

Removing the leash is not a bad concept, but it does mean you have to plan ahead and deal with the consequences of being parted from gear. It's not something I would want to do all the time.

Interestingly the worst falls I have had wingfoiling are of the "Oops. I fall down." variety. It's rare for falls to be directly proportional to the size of waves and wind. Except for gnarly shore breaks. That sucks.

It's also rare for boards and wings to neatly stream out to the ends of their respective leash. It's amazing how the board is often upwind or somewhere equally strange.

What I have done since surfing in the 70's is when I fall I curl up into a ball with one arm wrapped over my head and the other extended straight up, hold my breath and stay under until everything settles down. The extended arm is to fend off the board and the wrapped arm offers a bit more head protection. I am a not a fan of helmets for kiting but I always wing with a helmet. Taps to the head and near misses from a flipping foil are not all that rare.


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