Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

How hard is this foiling business?

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Created by Lorgra > 9 months ago, 18 Mar 2019
airsail
QLD, 384 posts
31 Mar 2019 11:08PM
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Me too, liquid force strap with slingshot foot hook, no lock ins. On my third season foiling, yes I could go strapless but I find playing in wind swell, small kite, big wind the straps really allow me to drive the foil through turns..
I have the same setup on the race foil, crashing at over 25 knots hurts but at least I'm not locked in.

Gorgo
VIC, 4317 posts
1 Apr 2019 2:20PM
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Given the vast number of old farts out happily foiling it appears it's not that hard at all.

There are three key things you must do when learning:
- Relax. Take it easy. It takes a little time and forcing things doesn't help.
- Commit. The worst thing you can do is to leave foiling to those "perfect" foiling days. The more you do it the sooner you get good.
- Stronger winds. People think foiling is for light winds so they go in light winds. Light wind riding is a skill (both on foils and other boards). If you haven't developed the skill you won't be able to do it. You must have enough wind to easily relaunch your kite because you will crash it.

I would strongly advise against foot hooks and strapless and magic sideways foot straps. The risks of foiling are massively overstated. You will get bonked by the board and you might get stuck in the straps. It's not frequent and it's not such a drama when it happens. Doing all these dodgy avoidance things just makes things more complicated and difficult.

Straps make great handles for positioning and hanging on to the board. I like to ride with the front foot in a strap and the back foot somewhere from the top of the mast to in front. The faster you go or the rougher the water then the further the back foot comes forward.

The back foot goes in the strap when positioning to start or jumping. When water starting don't forget to take your back foot out of the strap and put it on the deck in front of the mast. If you leave it in the strap you will loop the foil.

The worst thing you can do is ride with super loose foot straps. There is a real risk your foot will push through and be trapped. Too tight is also bad because you have to wedge your feet in. Just adjust them to the right size so you can comfortably slide your feet in and out.

eppo
WA, 7460 posts
1 Apr 2019 1:01PM
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Lose the straps man....

remember that stupid post ages ago....

I've got used to having no straps, but if I was racing, I'd use them for sure.

snalberski
WA, 685 posts
1 Apr 2019 5:06PM
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Select to expand quote
Gorgo said..
Given the vast number of old farts out happily foiling it appears it's not that hard at all.

There are three key things you must do when learning:
- Relax. Take it easy. It takes a little time and forcing things doesn't help.
- Commit. The worst thing you can do is to leave foiling to those "perfect" foiling days. The more you do it the sooner you get good.
- Stronger winds. People think foiling is for light winds so they go in light winds. Light wind riding is a skill (both on foils and other boards). If you haven't developed the skill you won't be able to do it. You must have enough wind to easily relaunch your kite because you will crash it.

I would strongly advise against foot hooks and strapless and magic sideways foot straps. The risks of foiling are massively overstated. You will get bonked by the board and you might get stuck in the straps. It's not frequent and it's not such a drama when it happens. Doing all these dodgy avoidance things just makes things more complicated and difficult.

Straps make great handles for positioning and hanging on to the board. I like to ride with the front foot in a strap and the back foot somewhere from the top of the mast to in front. The faster you go or the rougher the water then the further the back foot comes forward.

The back foot goes in the strap when positioning to start or jumping. When water starting don't forget to take your back foot out of the strap and put it on the deck in front of the mast. If you leave it in the strap you will loop the foil.

The worst thing you can do is ride with super loose foot straps. There is a real risk your foot will push through and be trapped. Too tight is also bad because you have to wedge your feet in. Just adjust them to the right size so you can comfortably slide your feet in and out.


All good advice

Plummet
4673 posts
1 Apr 2019 6:16PM
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I'm a straps man. I find the strapless too limiting. I want to hit silly speeds and carve silly angles. Plus my lumpy water has also sorts of cross-currents and swells hitting the foil on a different angle. You can easily be punted off. plus hitting bigger swells I want the ability to crank hard when needed..... Oh and i also feel the need to punt some jumps every now and then.....

eppo
WA, 7460 posts
2 Apr 2019 9:31PM
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Yeh right ... might bang them on and see what you mean plummet. Must admit I like the freedom of moving my feet around the board unencumbered. But yeh those ocean swells etc reckon I'd prefer straps.

KIT33R
NSW, 1681 posts
3 Apr 2019 9:16AM
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One parallel front foot hook only, works for me. Dismounts can be quick. I'd rather have my feet free.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1368 posts
3 Apr 2019 8:50AM
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I went out on the foil last night at Point Moore, Gero to continue my learning. First time for a month.

Its a choppy place with reefs, swells and a beach break. Am more than happy using my straps, saved me a heap of crashes by being able to recover from a side to side rolling caused by partial cavitation I think.

When I get better, or am on smooth water I would love to try strapless again. But for me, in rough chop I find them useful.

bigtone667
NSW, 1144 posts
3 Apr 2019 4:26PM
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Dave Whettingsteel said..
I went out on the foil last night at Point Moore, Gero to continue my learning. First time for a month.

Its a choppy place with reefs, swells and a beach break. Am more than happy using my straps, saved me a heap of crashes by being able to recover from a side to side rolling caused by partial cavitation I think.

When I get better, or am on smooth water I would love to try strapless again. But for me, in rough chop I find them useful.


Takes a little bit of time to anticipate the consequences of chop/swell and have your legs acting as pistons to catch a rising board and drive it down.

Lorgra
WA, 142 posts
18 Oct 2019 10:03AM
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Hi all

Just a quick update on my progress.Had my first session on the board with kite on the Grand Final weekend but as the winds were not quite strong enough I spent a lot of time keeping the kite in the air.

Last Saturday morning I did a towing lesson with Action Sports WA on the river and was up and running quite quickly.

I had a session after work Wednesday. By the end of the hour session I had got up a few times with the board on the water in both directions with many walks of shame back up wind. Had a bit of trouble maneuvering to get my feet on it which is why I was pushed downwind.

Last night was out again after work and the board skills had improved and was able to go out a bit further and come back in without losing too much ground.

Got up on the foil a bit a couple of times with the inevitable foil breach and crash.

Going to keep it up and see how I go over Summer.

As they say in the classics "baby steps."

eppo
WA, 7460 posts
19 Oct 2019 6:58AM
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I've got to the point I'm comfortable in the ocean with swell etc strapless now. Starting to have full control of mast height and speed. Nailing majority of gybes on the foil. Duck tacks etc next.

Thought foiling would be an interesting add on. Now I'd rather foil than anything else. Weird.

Out all 5 days last week... wouldn't even have bothered with a TT or SB.

even prone and SUP foiling now although the latter need serious attention

Youngbreezy
WA, 607 posts
19 Oct 2019 10:38AM
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One important thing I think no one has mentioned is wearing a pfd/impact vest, also a helmet for the learning stage as the foil moves in some unpredictable ways when you're learning.

The pfd provides great flotation for when your faffing about trying to waterstart, relaunch, chase board etc but the main reason I wear one is because I reckon it really helps with the body slamming and face slapping effects you get with foil crashes. The pfd really soaks up the impact with the water and often keeps my head from slapping into the water.

For me I came from a surfing background and was riding mostly strapless surfboard. I started foiling with straps but it wasn't til I took them off that I really started progressing Then when I started to get out in the waves and wind chop was when it all really clicked and I realized I can actually surf all these unbroken lines and lumps that I barely even noticed before. Now I have thrown sup foiling into the mix and I am a total FIEND!!!

I also agree that when learning don't just focus on light winds, you want good steady winds and an easy amount of power in the kite. Some of my best progression was done on smaller kites in stronger winds when I had a good easy amount of power.

Ps. 3.7m cloud D + NP medium 1200 wing + 20 knots open ocean wind swells, I have entered a new realm of unpowered bump surfing and riding so free from the kite

bigtone667
NSW, 1144 posts
19 Oct 2019 7:31PM
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Select to expand quote
Youngbreezy said..
Ps. 3.7m cloud D + NP medium 1200 wing + 20 knots open ocean wind swells, I have entered a new realm of unpowered bump surfing and riding so free from the kite


They are just best LEI foil kite.... drift machines.

tightlines
WA, 3236 posts
19 Oct 2019 10:12PM
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Youngbreezy said..
Stuff......
then

Ps. 3.7m cloud D + NP medium 1200 wing + 20 knots open ocean wind swells, I have entered a new realm of unpowered bump surfing and riding so free from the kite


I have started down winding with a kite wing (you can switch it off at will) and big surf foil, yep I cop heaps but as you say unpowered bump riding free from the kite is great isn't it.

Lorgra
WA, 142 posts
27 Oct 2019 10:31AM
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Been having a bit of trouble with the left ankle.
I have sprained it a few times over the years and have done it in a couple of m sessions on he foil.
As this my front foot as this the direction we head out here in the west. It is the one that has got the most use in the learning process.
I have the one strap set up on the front.
As a beginner just wondering if it's worth two straps on the front or going with a half strap.
I really need to rest it while the season is in the early stages as I want to give this a good crack over Summer and not give up.
Might invest in an ankle support strap.
Cheers

Kamikuza
QLD, 4860 posts
27 Oct 2019 2:35PM
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Select to expand quote
Lorgra said..
Been having a bit of trouble with the left ankle.
I have sprained it a few times over the years and have done it in a couple of m sessions on he foil.
As this my front foot as this the direction we head out here in the west. It is the one that has got the most use in the learning process.
I have the one strap set up on the front.
As a beginner just wondering if it's worth two straps on the front or going with a half strap.
I really need to rest it while the season is in the early stages as I want to give this a good crack over Summer and not give up.
Might invest in an ankle support strap.
Cheers


No strap.

Kraut
VIC, 493 posts
27 Oct 2019 3:34PM
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Agree no straps or hooks needed. There are good vids/descriptions available how to angle the board with one hand/elbow while controlling the kite with the other hand. Just a matter of practise. I am talking about learning. Jumping, racing etc different story. Shorter mast imo not really required either unless shallow spot but whatever floats your boat. Agree with the comment regarding light wind kite skills. Always been amazed about how much wind folks seem to require to get out. Simple things like starting slightly more downwind, pick up a bit of speed, let the kite breath and use apparent wind, then when needed move the crap out of the kite but never too far into radical areas around the wind window either, keep it high-ish, use longer lines, and when on tt or sb keep it flat i.e. make yourself less resistant. Don't think about having to go upwind and it will assist in doing it naturally (once at speed). All this certainly assists with learning foiling. Don't benchmark yourself against others. There are always out there who jump straight onto it. Who cares how long it takes. Would not be fun being on a tt or even sb for most of us in sub 15 knots anyway. So just enjoy, take it easy, have a laugh about yourself and it'll come ;-)

bigtone667
NSW, 1144 posts
27 Oct 2019 5:48PM
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I started on the original liquid force 90cm aluminium foil, LF fish with loose straps, ~ 10knots, 19m Edge and a frequency of one go per month. Very slow progression in the first year .... wondered if it was worth the effort.

Best thing I did was halve the mast length, use one loose front strap to assist in board positioning and up'ed the frequency to twice a week. Half mast meant most of my breaches were no longer fatal. Front foot strap meant I was concentrating on my kite starts and not trying to manage foot positioning. Took two weeks until I was proficient.

Four years down the track and I generally kite foil an Axis 2000cm2 wing, 75cm mast, a 130cm board with no straps or an XXL Zeeko Spitfire and a 75cm mast.

That is my experience.....

warwickl
NSW, 1350 posts
27 Oct 2019 6:27PM
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bigtone667 said..
I started on the original liquid force 90cm aluminium foil, LF fish with loose straps, ~ 10knots, 19m Edge and a frequency of one go per month. Very slow progression in the first year .... wondered if it was worth the effort.

Best thing I did was halve the mast length, use one loose front strap to assist in board positioning and up'ed the frequency to twice a week. Half mast meant most of my breaches were no longer fatal. Front foot strap meant I was concentrating on my kite starts and not trying to manage foot positioning. Took two weeks until I was proficient.

Four years down the track and I generally kite foil an Axis 2000cm2 wing, 75cm mast, a 130cm board with no straps or an XXL Zeeko Spitfire and a 75cm mast.

That is my experience.....




Plus a big 1 to BT

I have tried to move in his giant foot steps in the sludge at Hali. 110 kg versus 75kg foot steps.
Good news we now foil start mostly closer to shore and return up on foil all the way back to shore without walking in the sludge.
Progression is the satisfaction.
BT is the local legend wind wing foiler nothing stops him.
Well almost as he submitted to 50kn breeze yesterday.

Kamikuza
QLD, 4860 posts
27 Oct 2019 8:05PM
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Select to expand quote
bigtone667 said..
I started on the original liquid force 90cm aluminium foil, LF fish with loose straps, ~ 10knots, 19m Edge and a frequency of one go per month. Very slow progression in the first year .... wondered if it was worth the effort.

Best thing I did was halve the mast length, use one loose front strap to assist in board positioning and up'ed the frequency to twice a week. Half mast meant most of my breaches were no longer fatal. Front foot strap meant I was concentrating on my kite starts and not trying to manage foot positioning. Took two weeks until I was proficient.

Four years down the track and I generally kite foil an Axis 2000cm2 wing, 75cm mast, a 130cm board with no straps or an XXL Zeeko Spitfire and a 75cm mast.

That is my experience.....


I dinged my 820 and have been riding my "backup" 720 for a while now. Actually really like it, bit more nimble and bombing into the swell and riding it fast is a lot of fun. Also good when the wind picks up from 12 knots to 25...!

TomW059
183 posts
28 Oct 2019 5:01AM
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Heja Lorgra,

I remember that stage. 3 + years ago. You'll soon keep upwind. Probably next session.
Light wind is tougher in beginning. Keep being powered.
Seems like everyone is learning fast now due to big wings.
I took 50 hours before I was flying confidentiality and doing some flying gybes. On a small wing and long mast. I'm soon 60, and it was brutal first 100 hours on that small wing( moses 550). My neck was thrashed from the face plants, messed up my ear drum several times. I got minor concussions from 35 km face plants.
I used foothooks first 50 hours, then only the front hook, then moved it way forward to use only on starts, then took it off. Moving feet around is major benefit. But you have to get to a certain level to do that.

All that work and punishment was worth it. I foil now in 7 to 25 knots, all kinds of water conditions. Sold all my other Surfboards and Tt and only have the foil now.

bigtone667
NSW, 1144 posts
29 Oct 2019 6:14AM
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Select to expand quote
Kamikuza said..

bigtone667 said..
I started on the original liquid force 90cm aluminium foil, LF fish with loose straps, ~ 10knots, 19m Edge and a frequency of one go per month. Very slow progression in the first year .... wondered if it was worth the effort.

Best thing I did was halve the mast length, use one loose front strap to assist in board positioning and up'ed the frequency to twice a week. Half mast meant most of my breaches were no longer fatal. Front foot strap meant I was concentrating on my kite starts and not trying to manage foot positioning. Took two weeks until I was proficient.

Four years down the track and I generally kite foil an Axis 2000cm2 wing, 75cm mast, a 130cm board with no straps or an XXL Zeeko Spitfire and a 75cm mast.

That is my experience.....



I dinged my 820 and have been riding my "backup" 720 for a while now. Actually really like it, bit more nimble and bombing into the swell and riding it fast is a lot of fun. Also good when the wind picks up from 12 knots to 25...!


As you know I have been riding the 102 for a while now and it is so so steady (I use for SUP foil, kite foil and wing foil). But I pulled out the Spitfire XXLW the other day and did about 35km on the thing. It's like a nimble ferrari compared to the AXIS, It was skatey, twitchy and heaps of fun. I breached about ten times and it was no drama. And carves so so well.

Lorgra
WA, 142 posts
22 Nov 2019 1:14PM
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Hi all

Does anyone know where I can get or if anyone has a smaller mast for sale to suit pre North Free Ride foil board before they split with Duotone.

cheers

RAL INN
VIC, 2795 posts
24 Nov 2019 7:59AM
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Lorgra said..
Hi all

Does anyone know where I can get or if anyone has a smaller mast for sale to suit pre North Free Ride foil board before they split with Duotone.

cheers


I would just go to Duotone.
same company just a name change.

Kamikuza
QLD, 4860 posts
24 Nov 2019 8:01PM
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Select to expand quote
bigtone667 said..
As you know I have been riding the 102 for a while now and it is so so steady (I use for SUP foil, kite foil and wing foil). But I pulled out the Spitfire XXLW the other day and did about 35km on the thing. It's like a nimble ferrari compared to the AXIS, It was skatey, twitchy and heaps of fun. I breached about ten times and it was no drama. And carves so so well.


Yeah but you're a weirdo 920 was as big as I got and that was just too stable and pedestrian...



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"How hard is this foiling business?" started by Lorgra