Big shout out to Mark Shinn for his help.
I've been living on Grand Cayman for the best part of 8 years and I'd say that i know the waters around here pretty well now. I have no doubt that in a few weeks time the 90cm mast will be the weapon of choice. The problem is getting past the first few weeks with my new foil in one piece, a concern that based upon my pal's experience last Saturday.
Although I'm going to take lessons as soon as the official season begins and Jhon is open for business, until then I'm on my own and as a beginner foil boarder I have to accept that I'm going to have to start at the very beginning of the curve and that I'm going to crash a lot
Reading as much as i can I've picked up on the advice that the aim of the first few sessions is to keep the board on the water and not to fly... and that is what Tom was trying to do last Saturday. However, even though he was in 'deep' water he found that with 90cm under his board he was hitting coral heads and occasionally the bottom. Tom's opted for Naish kit and is getting a short 60cm mast when he goes over to Miami this weekend.
Shipping stuff to Cayman is time consuming & expensive. I'm going to Washington DC for a week this Sunday and had been hoping to source a 60cm mast that I could ship to my hotel and bring back with me. Unfortunately, whilst all the major brands are represented in the US, I cannot find anyone who stocks Shinn. There is an outlet in Canada but they don't appear to stock the masts separately from the foil.
So that's why I started wondering if I can use a short mast from one of the other brands, because I can easily get my mits on one of those.
But Mark has stepped up to the plate and all is now sorted. A 60cm mast is on its way to my hotel. Thank you Mark and the guys at Shinn World.
With ref to some of the other questions:
the 'private spot' is now run by White Sands and they've opened it up to all kiters. It's a great spot. Obviously I haven't foiled there, but i know Brandon Bowe and he's done loads of foiling there. In the middle the water is deep enough, but don't be tempted to go all the way out to the reef - it get's very shallow. Take note of where White Sands teach - they'll be way off shore but standing in 6" - 8" of water. There's some good wave action at the East End, but take advice on where to head out through the reef before you do - there's some wicked currents
shallow in shore but plenty of room out towards the reef. be warned through (as hinted above) there are coral heads dotted all over the place and it never really gets that deep - one time my kite blew out when I was riding by the reef. I body dragged for 50m and the walked the rest of the way in. Re booties - there are places where there's some spiky stuff on the sea bed, but I never wear booties and I've never (touch wood) had a serious issue.
kiteable with winds out of the south - very shallow in shore and lots of coral heads out by the reef. In the middle pretty deep and sandy.
Rum Point & Starfis
h - wind tends to be offshore so we only kite from there if we're doing a downwinder back to Barkers. There's now a ferry that will take you over from Camana Bay. You'll have to sort your own way back from barkers through
Seven Mile Beach
- don't even attempt to kite in anything other than an on/cross on breeze - anything goes wrong and next stop is Mexico (there is no reef) - plus the wind shadows from the large hotels and condos can really affect you. It's rare we get to kite SMB, but when we do it's epic.
There are other spots - but you'll have to seek me out for information on those