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Centre of balance

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hshim007
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Centre of balance

Postby hshim007 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:55 pm

I was just thinking today that no one tends to talk about the centre of balance for various foils. I spoke to a guy on the beach today who was watching me foil and when I came in he said you look like you are so balanced....I asked him what he meant? He told me that he's still learning on his Slingshot set up (without straps thank goodness!) but he said he feels like he's pushing so much with his front leg. I told him, " Why don't you just move your feet forward?" He said based on where the straps are suppose to be he thought he should put his feet there.

Hmm. I think unless you're trying to go for extreme speed and race on a foil, straps on a foil pose some problems.

First, I've talked on this forum about how I think straps on a foil are dangerous...especially for beginners. People learning on a foil should learn to push away from the board at the first sign that they lose balance. Having your feet locked in straps is just asking for injuries. Having the excuse of needing the "grab handles" is pretty lame when you weigh that against the potential injury. Every foiler that I've seen that is learning on a foil with straps is wearing a helmet which is probably wise. Almost every foiler that I've seen learning on a board without straps doesn't need a helmet if they learn to push the board away when falling. I'm not saying that people shouldn't wear a helmet if they think they need to (especially with foiling) but I don't think it's as necessary if you foil without straps.

But I digress... I think that if riders learned on strapless foil boards they would learn where the centre of balance is on their particular board and foil. Everyone's weight is different and everyone's stance width is different. Locking in a set stance especially on a foil limits your freedom on a foil board. Learning my air jibes and tacks, through trial and LOTS OF ERROR, my feet and legs have learned to save my transitions even if my feet aren't in the perfect position. I often move my feet around the board while I foil looking for the perfect balance for the kite I'm flying and the winds for the day. It might be slight variations but it makes it so much more fun and enjoyable to be able to move on the board rather than be locked into one position. If I take a wider stance for speed then for my particular foil my rear foot is slightly behind the centre of my mast and my front foot is further forward. If I'm playing around and perfectly powered for transitions then I take a narrower stance where my rear foot is right over my mast and my front foot is further back. For a different foil one might be further forward or further backwards.

I guess what I'm saying is if you're not a speed demon, drop the straps and learn to find where on your foil and board your centre of balance is rather than feeling that your rear or front leg is tiring from pushing so hard. Tell me what you think.

Harold

max
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Re: Centre of balance

Postby max » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:01 pm

hshim007 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:55 pm
I

I guess what I'm saying is if you're not a speed demon, drop the straps and learn to find where on your foil and board your centre of balance is rather than feeling that your rear or front leg is tiring from pushing so hard. Tell me what you think.

Harold

Harold . . . I agree.

I learnt strapless . . . but still recommend wearing the helmet. Also, low volume boards are great for learning strapless waterstarts.

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Pedro Marcos
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Re: Centre of balance

Postby Pedro Marcos » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:15 am

hshim007 wrote:
Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:55 pm
I was just thinking today that no one tends to talk about the centre of balance for various foils. I spoke to a guy on the beach today who was watching me foil and when I came in he said you look like you are so balanced....I asked him what he meant? He told me that he's still learning on his Slingshot set up (without straps thank goodness!) but he said he feels like he's pushing so much with his front leg. I told him, " Why don't you just move your feet forward?" He said based on where the straps are suppose to be he thought he should put his feet there.

Hmm. I think unless you're trying to go for extreme speed and race on a foil, straps on a foil pose some problems.

First, I've talked on this forum about how I think straps on a foil are dangerous...especially for beginners. People learning on a foil should learn to push away from the board at the first sign that they lose balance. Having your feet locked in straps is just asking for injuries. Having the excuse of needing the "grab handles" is pretty lame when you weigh that against the potential injury. Every foiler that I've seen that is learning on a foil with straps is wearing a helmet which is probably wise. Almost every foiler that I've seen learning on a board without straps doesn't need a helmet if they learn to push the board away when falling. I'm not saying that people shouldn't wear a helmet if they think they need to (especially with foiling) but I don't think it's as necessary if you foil without straps.

But I digress... I think that if riders learned on strapless foil boards they would learn where the centre of balance is on their particular board and foil. Everyone's weight is different and everyone's stance width is different. Locking in a set stance especially on a foil limits your freedom on a foil board. Learning my air jibes and tacks, through trial and LOTS OF ERROR, my feet and legs have learned to save my transitions even if my feet aren't in the perfect position. I often move my feet around the board while I foil looking for the perfect balance for the kite I'm flying and the winds for the day. It might be slight variations but it makes it so much more fun and enjoyable to be able to move on the board rather than be locked into one position. If I take a wider stance for speed then for my particular foil my rear foot is slightly behind the centre of my mast and my front foot is further forward. If I'm playing around and perfectly powered for transitions then I take a narrower stance where my rear foot is right over my mast and my front foot is further back. For a different foil one might be further forward or further backwards.

I guess what I'm saying is if you're not a speed demon, drop the straps and learn to find where on your foil and board your centre of balance is rather than feeling that your rear or front leg is tiring from pushing so hard. Tell me what you think.

Harold
You also forgot that you cant jump without straps, so not only speed or racing

hshim007
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Re: Centre of balance

Postby hshim007 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:56 pm

Yes I forgot about jumping but personally I think if you want to jump use a TT or surfboard. I think jumping on a foil is limited. I'd rather carve and keep the foil in the water.....but that's just me...(over 50 club!).

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Re: Centre of balance

Postby jeromeL » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:27 pm

Interesting question, I was wondering if I should move the foil forward or not?

I am learning on a Shinn El Stubbo (135cmx50cm) with zeeko foil, I set it all the way back on the foil plate.
2 front foot strap very loose, no back strap.

I feel pretty balanced, pretty much standing on top with weight pretty distributed, I thought I was suppose to move the foil in the center position after a few session but I will probably keep it there...
I think my back foot is pretty much where the back strap is supposed to be, perhaps even closer to the front..

Now I can transition to toeside but it's true that falling is pretty painfull when you fall toeside and feet hit the rail of the board ;(
You think I should remove the front foot strap?
I used those as "handle" and also I feel like it helps to position the board in water start position, I think at this stage I am still using it a lot. Also my setup doesn't have much volume so possibly a lot harder without strap to push board in position?

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Re: Centre of balance

Postby dylan* » Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:42 pm

your friend is probably just used to riding his twintip with a ton of pressure on the back foot. here's my "normal" riding stance on the slingshot foil. my foot pressure is about the same as riding a surfboard, unless im hauling ass and have to stand up too straight because of waves or something
Attachments
13584736_10101469606653615_7577818270641667860_o.jpg

juandesooka
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Re: Centre of balance

Postby juandesooka » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:02 pm

I like the idea of riding strapless, but I haven’t got my head around figuring it out. I learned with 2 straps. I rode for quite a while with 1 front strap (very loose) and one rear hook. Now I have front and rear hooks. I find I rest against them, especially water starting and riding toeside, so I’m reluctant to try without.

For center of balance, you’re right that a problem with straps is it’s not as easy to have your feet where it’s optimal. Though with the hooks you can at least move your feet inward easily if need be.

I really noticed the COB difference with some canard wings I was experimenting with. A lot of leg pressure on the rear foot, to be able to stay on the foil and avoid it dropping down (possibly non-optimal foot placement added to this). Then when I switched back to regular foil, really noticeable change to front foot pressure. With 1.5 hours on each stance in one session, the next couple days were spent gingerly walking down stairs. ;-)

hshim007
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Re: Centre of balance

Postby hshim007 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:54 pm

jeromeL wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:27 pm
Interesting question, I was wondering if I should move the foil forward or not?

I am learning on a Shinn El Stubbo (135cmx50cm) with zeeko foil, I set it all the way back on the foil plate.
2 front foot strap very loose, no back strap.

I feel pretty balanced, pretty much standing on top with weight pretty distributed, I thought I was suppose to move the foil in the center position after a few session but I will probably keep it there...
I think my back foot is pretty much where the back strap is supposed to be, perhaps even closer to the front..

Now I can transition to toeside but it's true that falling is pretty painfull when you fall toeside and feet hit the rail of the board ;(
You think I should remove the front foot strap?
I used those as "handle" and also I feel like it helps to position the board in water start position, I think at this stage I am still using it a lot. Also my setup doesn't have much volume so possibly a lot harder without strap to push board in position?
Jerome, Ditch the straps. The Shinn El Stubbo looks exactly like the Paipo layup. Very low volume neutral buoancy. It just takes a little time to get use to steering the board where you want to go when water starting. Try putting the steering hand just aft of the foil and steer the board this way. Sink the tail and windward rail and put your feet on with the board pointing just a little upwind as you dive the kite to start. Once you get use to it you'll wonder why you ever used straps in the first place...unless of course you are one of those who want to boost with your foil!

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Re: Centre of balance

Postby dylan* » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:41 pm

Yeah water starting is really the only big issue, and its a big enough of an issue for me that I put my straps back on. Since I only foil in light wind, it's too much to maintain control of the board when your kite is falling out of the sky. You get used to it and its no big deal to water start, but its still definitely harder than just slipping your feet into the straps. Riding is like 99% the same, you'd be surprised how easy it is as long as you get your feet in the right spot. It's slightly easier to get out of control at high speed but aside from that riding is almost the same. Gybing is way easier strapless too.


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