Wanted to post some brief thoughts from my first foiling session today while they are fresh in my mind.
1. Yes, it is as good as everyone says it is.
2. It is a killer quad workout, I do not recall anyone ever mentioning that.
3. I went out in fairly strong, gusty wind and it was super choppy. I was not going to go out due to those conditions but am glad I did. Moral, don’t wait for perfect conditions- just go.
4. Put the two front foot straps in but leave the back off so you can mess around with your back foot positioning.
5. I only had a 30cm mast yet felt 6ft off the water, I can only image the feeling on a full size mast.
6. A full size board with good nose scoop seems ideal so you do not wipeout when you slam back down to water when the foil comes out the water.
I rode for 3hrs on the 30cm (short mast) cabrinha double agent with my 8m razor in 15-20kts.
First hour – was a dolphin show- jumping up onto the foil then it levitating out of the water only to slam back to the water as I tried not to bury the nose.
2nd hour – starting to ride the foil but still slamming the nose back down from time to time.
3rd hour – starting to get 100m straight foil rides and getting surfy carves on the foil (such a cool feeling!) Found the ideal back foot spot to be right over top the foil (easy to tell by the 4 screws that attach it). Riding position reminds me of when you are slogging and take the back foot out of the strap and place it in the middle of the board on a surfboard or TT.
Riding position- Was riding squatting low with the bar feeling like it was going to touch my knees and the kite 10ft off the water.
My second session was much different than my first in powered conditions. I rode 2hrs on an 11m in 10-12kts the first hour and more like 8-10kts the second.
1. I had more fun my first session when I was well powered and didn’t need to work the kite to stay on plane and get up going. Having to work the kite makes it more challenging to focus on the height of the foil in the water and your board trim.
2. I was on a demo wave kite with not much grunt, I would have had way more fun on a 12m with good low end or 14m. Next time I will rig bigger if no chance of wind getting to 15 like today. I was following everyone’s advice to go small, not next time for me if the wind is super steady like it was today.
3. OG’s that learned on big boards and kites with little to no depower are going to shine quickly on the foil in my opinion. You have to be much more aware of the gusts in the wind and water conditions on the foil and balance on the board like on the early kite gear.
SESSIONS 3-5 – August 1-7th
I have got in 3 good foil sessions in the last week. Last night I got 1.5hrs at Belle River in 8kts to start building to about 15kts at the end on the 14.5 Flite. Had a session at Cedar Beach on Erie in 4-8kts that was interesting, first try on the long mast which I hated. At the time the wind was in the 4-6kts range and I was having to loop the kite to even get riding, that might have been partially to blame. Few observations about switching to the long mast.
1. Be careful with the one front foot strap configuration with the long mast. I had one hard wipeout where the foil rocketed upwind on me and the kite was looping. I thought my angle and knee were going to snap, was a close call. On the short mast I was getting dialed in and really getting locked into the front foot strap. On the short mast the foil just seems like a really long fin, the long mast is like a dagger board on a sailboard – as if it is not even part of the board but it’s own entity that you are connected to.
2. Deep water! – On the long mast I got slammed as I hit sandbars I easily went over on the short mast.
3. Long mast is just a pain! – Just getting the board out into deep water is a chore and carrying it sucks.
The first pic is from my session on Erie last week. Was 4-8kts, about 6-8 in the pic and I was well powered on the foil and 14.5 Flite. Pretty amazing to be riding and powered in water that looks like that.