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Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

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UKSurf
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Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby UKSurf » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:17 pm

It would be great if some more experienced hydrofoilers could give me advice about going over larger swell on a hydrofoil. Is the basic idea to ascend rapidly with the wave with back foot pressure then dive down hard on the back side of the wave?

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davesails7
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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby davesails7 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:31 pm

UKSurf wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:17 pm
Is the basic idea to ascend rapidly with the wave with back foot pressure then dive down hard on the back side of the wave?
Yeah, that's basically it, but I feel you have to do less input than you think you should.

My guess is there is a high pressure area in front of the wave and a low pressure area behind the wave. It feels like i naturally get more lift coming up to the wave then the foil drops on its own after the wave.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby UKSurf » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:38 pm

davesails7 wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:31 pm
UKSurf wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:17 pm
Is the basic idea to ascend rapidly with the wave with back foot pressure then dive down hard on the back side of the wave?
Yeah, that's basically it, but I feel you have to do less input than you think you should.

My guess is there is a high pressure area in front of the wave and a low pressure area behind the wave. It feels like i naturally get more lift coming up to the wave then the foil drops on its own after the wave.
Yes I have noticed that although a few times - the wave seems to pick you up with it - although I have exited the back of the wave with nothing under the foil so I am probably not diving down fast enough :D

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby Starsky » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:44 pm

For the first bit getting out where the swell are steepest and your trying to head as offshore as possible, I generally use the full length of the mast, so the swell comes up and touches the board as it crests. If its really steep, I will surface ride the first bit and basically plow/punch over the swell/wash without attempting to get up on foil until there is a decent window. Once up and out on big swell, I traverse them, so generally alter my direction as not to go straight up and over but more along the crest.

I think there definitely are areas of high and low pressure that can trip you up causing drop outs. Its accentuated by not holding constant speed while making your way through the swell. I have had a few frustrating days where you just keep dropping out for no obvious reason. Things improved a lot when I began riding more in accordance with the terrain and swell as apposed to regardless of it. Being very light on your feet/foil after passing the crest or traversing crests at an angle seem to work best for me.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby BWD » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:36 pm

light on your feet/foil after passing the crest or traversing crests at an angle seem to work best for me
:thumb:
I got in a great rhythm going out through sharp 2'+ chop and swells in a river mouth a week or so ago, it was surreal to go ~20 knots close to the wind, straight through waves that had boats <40' slowing down.
I think the "light on the feet" part was key, once I had that rhythm down, and kept the foil low enough to be out of the steepest part of the waves, then trying to become "weightless" through the back of the wave, it was really unexpectedly smooth.
Just had to figure out how to get the wave to only lift me a little, and preserve foiling height by not bearing down or trimming aggressively through the back of the wave.
I thought I was pretty special for a few minutes. Even the coast guard stopped to watch.
Then I banged head on into a 3 foot breaking whitecap and had to go at another angle to get back on foil, etc.
Pure swell without whitecaps or breaking sections is similar as far as I can tell, but smoother of course.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby Mossy 757 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:27 pm

It's not about foot pressure so much as it's about bar power. You're probably pretty powered up going up the face, so you need to sheet WAY out as you roll down the backside. If you're going with the waves, you will probably be pretty sheeted as you come over the lip, then sheet way out as you drop in.

Like Dave said, there's a lot of power under the wave, and the foil will drive itself pretty well. It's mostly about controlling the kite as you bob up and down with the swell.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby TomW » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:59 pm

I ride in short period windswell and chop. It gets up to head high, but on foil most I've been out in is 1 to 1,5m " faces", about 70 cm wave height. I'm using the "keep foil deep" method, and flying dynamically up and over back using weight and kite trim adjustment, and bearing off quickly to come at waves at an angle.
More difficult is following the windswell, overtaking a good sized swell, the foil wants to lift as its overtaking the wave back, then it wants to dive as it drives over Crest onto face. And this is generally off wind, so I'm doing 30-35 km / hr or more. In think the wing makes a big difference, because I had some hairy crashes on one of my Moses wings(548) in this situation, and then changed to another wing (550) and it is considerably smoother over the swell in both directions.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby plummet » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:40 pm

Well 95% of my riding is in swell between 1m and 4m. As you hit into the swell the wave energy will lift you up. When you crest the swell you will need to push down with the front foot too so you follow the contours of the swell. With smaller shorter period swell you can "pump" through it like a bmxer pumps through rythem sections on a bmx track. Slice through any chop and focus on following the swell contours.

When you get swell on direction and wind chop from another it becomes a bit hectic, My suggestion is to foil as low as practical in that instance as its real easy breach a wing. I'm rolling 90cm mast and that is quite hard to stay in the water on choppy high swell days. A longer mast can only be better in those instances.

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby revhed » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:31 pm

Unfortunetly the Med sea has swell not so often so no expert but have found as with many "sport concepts" concentrate, feel the flow, but let both the kite AND KBHF
fly!
Light but sensing the board and same for bar. No need to push hard or death grip!
Almost the same as mountain bike down hills, let it roll.
Over controlling and, or forcing will defeat the intended goal.

Watch the swell, waves understanding your now in 3D mode and want to keep wings in H20 but board off.
As said just above seems very little need to fly higher when entering but a little lower after swell.
Helmet anyone!
R H

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Re: Going Over Swell with Hydrofoil

Postby UKSurf » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:23 pm

plummet wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:40 pm
Well 95% of my riding is in swell between 1m and 4m. As you hit into the swell the wave energy will lift you up. When you crest the swell you will need to push down with the front foot too so you follow the contours of the swell. With smaller shorter period swell you can "pump" through it like a bmxer pumps through rythem sections on a bmx track. Slice through any chop and focus on following the swell contours.

So for larger waves it will lift you up naturally but for smaller waves you have to adjust it yourself?


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