Long post sorry...just stoked. Gonna ask questions from now on, not so much chronicle my abusive relationship with this race foil
After my first session I thought I was gonna hang the foil up. Now, I'm beyond stoked to go out in any light sea breeze the rest of the summer. I'm almost as stoked for these summer sea breezes as the nuclear sessions on a TT. Thanks for the replies and advice as always.
Let me say to any beginners like me EAR protection. I blew my ear drum out on a 30+ ft boost on a TT this winter and some of my simple crashes on the foil have been as bad on my ear in my opinion, but I have the gath surf convertible helmet with ear protection. I can't recommend the ear protection part of the helmet equation enough. If you don't have ear protection on your helmet as a beginner you've made a mistake imho. I'm so glad I paid up for that helmet.
Today, the only guys out were racers on race foils and an 18m and 15m foil kite.
I blew up the 17m Contra(with such a nasty lean to the right I won't even sell it) and waited an hour until 6pm and finally said fk it let's do this. My 1st two kite dives I crashed the kite into the water...shit show, pissed off spending 2 minutes relaunching the bitch, walked the sandbar back upwind for 10min to get back to home base meditating on what I did wrong. Lesson learned in really light wind you can't dive the hell out of the kite b/c you have to ride towards the kite so much more than a twin tip to get that board speed and you have to have the kite high enough where it can chill as you then have the board speed to edge against it and tighten the center lines. Board speed is paramount, once you have it, it's almost like the kite size doesn't matter. Makes me wonder if I'd have been better off on the 14m kite b/c it's faster. Def would have preferred the 14m once up to speed without question, still learning. Launching a 14m in 11mph winds just feels wrong, lol.
My third try in 11mph winds I cycled the kite a few times thinking this wasn't going to happen at all...then I catch a little wave that helps me and all the sudden I am hauling ass bar fully out and I'm still not even foiling yet! I go a mile out and a mile back and I am way the fk upwind!!! Crazy
Starting the day I was hell bent on foiling so I was going for broke. My next tack, I bent my legs and moved the hips a little forward and tried to foil and got up a bunch of times a few for a damn good amount of time, zero crashes! I was playing the up and down game a lot, but this was my first day on the foil so no worries. At this point when I foil I go slightly more downwind than when I just skim across the surface with a stronger edge. Either way, I was going way the fk up wind in 11mph winds bar out on a 17m inflatable.
So far my back foot has been placed ahead of my back strap, but snug against it today. My back legs were so exhausted after 5 miles of riding I had to quit. I did 3 sessions b/c of this...the last sesh I put my back foot into the the back strap and the back foot pressure was soooo much less and everything evened out, BUT DAMN the board was so much more unstable in both pitch and yaw. I couldn't believe the difference. My last two tacks, I went back to foot ahead of strap to enjoy the sunset a little and take it all in. At this point, I can foil much longer with foot ahead of strap vs in the strap, but my back leg gets worn out. My stabilizer is 2 deg offset from front wing which George at Delta Hydrofoil advises and others have rode my foil and said it is sweet, so it's something I need to work thru imo.
My goal now is to extend my foil rides and figure out how to manage putting my back foot in the strap without feeling like I'm a 350 lb linebacker on ice skates.
The takeaway I learned from this session was that you have to go downwind to get board speed much more so than on a twintip as a beginner, I see more advanced foilers get up faster, but I feel as a beginner going downwind to get that board speed up and applying forward pressure gets you stable. It's 100% counter intuitive as a beginner to do this b/c you are conditioned to safeguard yourself by edging on a TT, but if you do that on a foil it's disaster....it's safer to haul ass downwind with weight forward and VERY slowly work your way towards an upwind tack. Second, and I have never heard this before....BUT my back foot feels like it IS THE WING once I am foiling. If I need to adjust the wing in the water I do it with the back foot....I felt like they were connected to each other. I think there is too much emphasis placed on the forward foot and not enough discussion on the back foot which to me feels like the wing. Whatever my back foot did the foil did. Third, riding the board flat in the water or skimming the water going upwind is much easier than foiling, foiling is an intense moment where you are using ALL your kiting skills and board skills to offer the God's a gift as to not hit the face of the next swell and eat salt for dinner.