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How to go fast?

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Casair
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How to go fast?

Postby Casair » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:45 pm

I've been out riding my foil almost exclusively now for the past few months. Each time I'm tracking my progress with a GPS. However, I seem to have hit a road block in progressing at the moment. So I'm looking for some advice from this group.

Currently I'm riding a Taaroa Sword with a surf board and most days I'm using my smallest kite which is a 9m with an average of 15-25knots of wind. Granted trying to foil using a 9m in anything stronger than 20knots is somewhat crazy (stupid :-? ) but that's all I've got at the moment.

Currently my upwind speed is averaging 27-30 km/h. I'm pretty happy with those number but wondering what other people are seeing in up winds speeds? Techniques to go faster?

My main issue is the downwind speed. Currently I've only managed to hit 37 km/h for a very short distance and I feel very unstable.

When I review my GPS tracks my upwind and downwind angles are very similar. I find it a little terrifying to lower my kite down towards the power zone while riding downwind when the wind is anything close to 20knots. Maybe that's where my limitation lies? Or should I stop being a _____ (aka bearded clam, fish sandwich, holiest of holies) and just lower the damn kite and prepare for the pain when I crash and explode?

How are people able to achieve 55km/h or faster and how did Heineken manage the bridge to bridge race in SF in 12minutes!?! :thumb:

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Hawaiis
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby Hawaiis » Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:56 pm

Does it ever occur to you that you might have gotten the consumer version while Johnny is using the sponsored version?

Casair
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby Casair » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:24 pm

Hawaiis wrote:Does it ever occur to you that you might have gotten the consumer version while Johnny is using the sponsored version?

Actually, I have thought about that and wondered as well.

But why make a sponsored version without selling it to the public or even making it known/available? Unless R&D within Taaroa is that rapid, which I don't think is the case.

It is possible Johnny was on the speed wings since it was a downwinder for the bridge race but then I have to wonder if the normal wings top speed is 20knots which seems slow to me?

I could squeeze 15knots out of my 2006 Carafino (vibration and all) without to much problems.

I still think my technique could use some tweaking in order for me to achieve a faster downwind speed. Therefore, I'm still looking for suggestions...

BWD
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby BWD » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:51 pm

Well the old adage that a pro board's brand sponsorship is only as deep as the decals may still hold, but it's all true that foiling is ecolving fast enough there may be a big difference between generations.
And then skill comes into play

BraCuru
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby BraCuru » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:53 pm

Casair wrote:Or should I stop being a _____ (aka bearded clam, fish sandwich, holiest of holies) and just lower the damn kite and prepare for the pain when I crash and explode?
Hours, hours, hours :idea:
I used to think the same couple months back. 25kts used to be madness for me last summer.
With every hour you will feel more comfortable.
Learn falling! Wear helmet and impact jacket.
If you feel pain a back foot - find the new foot's position.
Try to break your limits with smooth sea as much as possible. Don't try break it with rough swell and sea.
Sword from last two years should break rather easily 30kts limit (max speed).
Max upwind - at least 18kts and sometimes you should go over 20kts.

I believe that with 20kts wind, smooth sea, 9m kite and my Moses VoRace I can ride not less than 30kts on a distance of 500m or more.
I am quoting myself from the topic:
viewtopic.php?f=196&t=2383206&start=10
BraCuru wrote:For my training I recognise 4 types of speed: top (1s,10s,100m,500m), race upwind (keeping max upwind angle), race downwind (keeping max downwind angle), cruising ( on a reach) 14kts, small chop, 9m Cabrinha Velocity:
VoRace - max 1s speed 32kts, 500m - 29kts, Top averages: Upwind 18kts, Downwind 22kts, Cruising 25kts.
Silente - max 1s speed 28kts, 500m- 26kts, Top averages: Upwind 15kts, Downwind 20kts, Cruising 22kts.
Please bear in mind those are approximately values showing abilities of two different foils.

I have to admit that almost 30kts on a 500m distance seemed to me impossible couple months back. It's a matter of training, comfortable foil and wind/water conditions.
The feeling is great, adrenaline pumping like hell and I hope to learn riding 500m with speeds breaking 30kts. Now I really admire guys riding 55kts in Luderitz. The horizont line must be a tiny point :wink:

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ChristoffM
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby ChristoffM » Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:56 pm

Interesting question. I must put on a GPS again and see how I do on my Spotz. I am sure I would be doing a bit better than Casair's numbers without too much effort on the Spotz.

What does the foil feel like when you go fast? Is it difficult to keep the pitch level, or does it feel locked in and almost like it has a quite a bit of drag so that you can really load up the kite?

I find that when the balance between front and rear wings are not perfect (wing size proportions and angles) that the foil feels twichy as the speed increase and it is difficult to keep the pitch. This is the case with most beginner foils and home made foils.

But on a very well tuned foil, it should track straigh and level at all speeds, and will almost feel stuck in its position as you go faster. The Spotz is amazingly stable as you go faster, and I can load up so much power from the kite that it starts to geel like it has a lot of drag, almost like the front wing and rear wing are fighting each other to keep the foil stable. But by then I am riding much faster than I do on a badly tuned foil.

What I do notice on the Spotz is that my foil (normal commercial one) has beautiful carbon fibre finishing with a significant clear resin outer layer to look nice. But the Spotz foils on race videos by Nico Parlier looks like it has been hand sanded right down onto the carbon fibre to make the foil as thin and streamline as possible at the cost of a less aesthetically pleasing product. Did anyone else notice such differences in Spotz or any other brands?

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Re: How to go fast?

Postby tkettlepoint » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:50 pm

the reason they sand the foils is to make it faster... A sanded surface will release water better and faster then a gloss finish.. Believe it or not but a gloss finish is sticky in water, A sanded one even with 1000grit sand paper make a bunch of little air voids which releases the water and it will not stick.. In the green house industries the clear roof panels have micro scratches on one side so the water will run down the panel to the end , instead of dripping on the flowers and burning the pedals . In the housing side we put them the other way to self clean and for the snow to slide off. ( I have been on a roof when it started to rain and I had to hang on for dear life so I wouldn't slide off)

I have seen some of the high end race SUP are even sanded finish. look at the race boards from last year.. Sanded finishes. the sanded finish isn't just for looks.

I spray all our board now with matt clear which is in between shinny and sanded... I have sanded a couple of personal boards and all out you can feel it to be alittle bit faster...
This summer I'll get a GPS and see if I can record the difference . I'll sand the board at the beach on the same day and same wind / and water.


2-4knots faster is a lot when racing.

terrie
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gmb13
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby gmb13 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:13 am

Hi.

To me it sounds like casairs problem lies with his current skill level and not the foil. Practice makes a lot of difference. You need to be able to deal with the speed and the wobbles that develop.

It would be great to know what exactly casair means with unstable. Is there a noticeable wobble? Does he have porblems controling his evelation? There are many things that can make you feel unstable.

Casairs says his foil is mounted on a surfboard. How was this done. Was the board reinfored to take screws? If not the board might be flexing in the area where the bolts are going through the board. This happens to all surboards unless there is. Solid spacer laminited into the board that resists the compression. If the board is flexing that might explain the instability casair is feeling at speed.

--
gunnar

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flying grandpa
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Re: How to go fast?

Postby flying grandpa » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:25 pm

Casair wrote: Currently I'm riding a Taaroa Sword with a surf board and most days I'm using my smallest kite which is a 9m with an average of 15-25knots of wind.
My main issue is the downwind speed. Currently I've only managed to hit 37 km/h for a very short distance and I feel very unstable.
I find it a little terrifying to lower my kite down towards the power zone while riding downwind when the wind is anything close to 20knots.
9m kite is enough from 12 knots of wind. It will be easier for you to find comfort zone with a 7 or 6m kite at 20knots.
And the level of your comfort is the main speed limiting factor.

To go fast on Sword, you need to move your front foot forward successively with increasing speed.
Also, to go really fast, you need to be as heavy as possible, so keep kite low.
Bra Curu is right -hours, hours, hours - you can add them at home on a trick-board.


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