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What got you into Hydrofoiling?

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Kykeon
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What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby Kykeon » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:08 am

plummet wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:12 am
Jyoder wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:23 am
Let’s go existential. What brought you to kiteboarding? For me it was to have a sailboat I could fit in the trunk of my car, and the fun of flying a controllable kite. I was never interested in boosting, “tricks” and the skater culture, but rather a dynamic personal experience of wind-powered movement and peaceful flow. I bought a hydrofoil as soon as I could confidently ride upwind on my TT and sold the TT soon after. It’s been a long hard learning curve and I can’t even do real transitions yet, but I never consider going back. Riding any other board feels violent and jarring now.
A good question and one worthy of a thread in its self.

I came to kitesurfing and then foiling from land kiting and prior to that mountain biking. I'm not a sailor or a waterman. I'm a terrain rider. Thats what i love. I dont care if its riding a mountain on a mountain bike, blasting a sand dune on a buggy, smashing waves on the mutant or foiling at speed in the swell. For me its about an interaction with the terrian. The more challenging the terrain and conditions the better. Thus i like storm kiting and big waves and anything that challenges my skills in riding that terrain. I too have never been a trickster in any of the sports i do. It doesnt entertain me at all. Thus my selection of toys. All designed around getting the max out of aggressive terrain.

I’m opening here the thread it deserves.

In short:
Dinghy -> windsurf -> Kiteboarding -> KiteFoiling

Initially I liked the idea of being carried forward from the wind and decided I wanted to learn to sail.
Harvesting free energy and exploring/enjoying around.

Yacht sailing was a bit more complicated to learn and do (need a team etc) and got into dinghy/cat to start with.

I liked it but though that windsurfing is more intense, exciting and it’s easier to own and carry around...

Hard to learn and progress but I was passionate and fully into it!

While at the stage of trying to learn to do planning jibes, I got for a week into place where I count not rent a windsurf but could get kite classes. I said I’ll try and see…
Then I said I’ll do both…

Kite eventually won me because it’s even more practical to carry around, relatively easier to progress, has greater community where I am, is even more exciting at lower level (jumps etc), greater wind range (at the low end)

The only thing I did not like is that it was more like “skate in the park” rather than “cross country” and explore

Then foiling came and covered the low end wind and bridged everything! Every wish covered!

(Still at an early phase but so excited for the things to come and so much enjoying the present moment for learning and improving!)

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby plummet » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:08 am

An interesting byproduct of foiling is this "touring" "cross country" "exploring" or as i call it "adventure kiteing"
It is something you cannot do with a normal board very easily unless you do a down winder which requires additional logistics.

I think its a whole different type of individual that likes this type of riding. As a couple of you have said. Skate park style tricks dont appeal but adventuring up and down the coast line does.

95%of most kiters currently stick to the launch site +/- 500 meter mowing back and forth in the "skate park" either doing nothing some form of skateboard trick or wave lip smack.

Most will stay in the skatepark. But some will enjoy the adventure than foiling brings.

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby robclaisse » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:35 pm

For me it was a combination of intrigue, lighter wind kiting and that the cost of foils started to drop.

Once I'd started I was blown away by how easier it was to fly upwind. Compared to any other craft I've tried to sail upwind a kite foil is just so much easier - it's not just how quick you can get upwind but how effortless it can be on a freeride foil. (Obviously race/performance foils can go even quicker but take more effort).

Before foiling I was focused on kite-surfing and so recently I've got a surf wing and have been playing in the waves. With kite-surfing you catch a few waves and end up 800m downwind and then have a 20 minute slog to get back to where you started. With kite foiling in waves, I'd play around in waves and swell, end up a mile downwind and be back where I started 5 minutes later without even trying. It really does give us a new sense of freedom.

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby Mossy 757 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:43 pm

Lifetime dingy sailor and yacht cruiser, sailed in college on the Laser/420 team, I was a junior in college in 2005 when my mom proposed we do spring break in a town called "Cabarete" in the Dominican Republic. "They have this thing where you fly a kite behind a wakeboard, you should try it! They teach lessons at our hotel..."

So 5 days of practice later with a Gaastra C kite without a safety in a seat harness, I could not kiteboard, but I did get up and ride for about 100 yards before crashing the kite, self-rescuing, walking back to the beach, and quitting the sport for the next 9 years.

In 2014, now living in Virginia Beach a 2.5 hour ride from OBX, I decided to give a couple lessons a try because I kept seeing some local guys and wanted to combine my love of sailing and surfing.

After about 18 months on the twin tip, 6 of which were spent watching Davesails07 foil around our local spots, I bought a Sword2 and basically retired entirely from all non-foiling kiting for two reasons:

1) The sensation of riding a foil is one of the most kinesthetically pleasant sensations I've ever experienced.
2) With a proper traction device (foil versus twin tip edge), the kites are much more efficient and the range of ridable conditions doubles if not triples compared to displacement boards.

I agree with Plummet:
Plummet wrote: I'm a terrain rider.
Perhaps what I would add to that statement, is that the terrain is not just below your feet, it's also the wind/air surrounding you, so in that sense I consider extracting the kinetic energy in the air a form of terrain. I love the big burly "double black diamond" days on my hydrofoil where the beach disappears each time you drop down into the crest of a swell. I also love flatwater and racing, but it's a totally different "thing."

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby Foil » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:41 pm

I am another seasoned dinghy and catamaran club racer, spending many years racing my Dart 18 whilst active on the windsurfing race circuit, and when not doing that we spent time water skiing and even tried water ski jumping,now that is hard!
After 25 years windsurfing I took up kitesurfing in 2001,and dropped all other sports, took up foiling 11 months ago,and after a hard time learning how to go round corners on the fly I really got to grips with the sport and seem to be advancing quite quickly now the turning on the fly has been cracked.
The sheer delight of floating around at speed on my "magic carpet ride" is beyond compare, the nearest to this feeling was when my 2 man catamaran was flying on one hull with just me on board keeping the whole thing balanced and flying along in an almost silent way but always on the knife edge of control ready to punish any small mistake, but that craft had to surfaced gybed, unlike the foil which maintains all the excitement through every turn, in fact doubles the excitement.
during my early learning I realised I needed to join a gym to raise my general fitness,I got into lazy ways with the twin tip and its always easy to take a rest, where its not so easy to do so when foiling, after a good long foiling session my legs are done in and protest after getting out of the car after the drive home, the gym work is really helping my foiling with my more recent sessions on the foil lasting more than 4 or 5 hours with maybe one stop for a kite change.
so for me the gym and foiling really go well together, and I can smile knowing that in 25 years when I cant do foiling anymore due to age I can look back and say well that sport of foiling was the best thing I have ever taken up as a sport. I thank god I never said no to the jump over to it.

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby juandesooka » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:37 pm

A little different for me. Lifetime surfer, who took up kiting to make the most of the blown out days, then found out it's the best way to make the best of all those windy no-surf months. Life Changed.

First intro to foiling was videos Laird Hamilton towing into big waves with his boots and long mast in early 2000s. The surf community was blown away by this freakish jet pack hoverboard action nonsense ... I was not quite intrigued, as it seemed so far beyond possibilities. Just an interesting novelty to see what the gods do to pass the time in Olympus.

Learning to kite in 2010, I took some lessons in France, saw a guy on a carafino cruising around, floating above the water effortless. My realization: "Holy crap, the kite replaces the need for jetski and a crew, maybe this is actually achievable!?!"

When I got home, somebody listed a carafino foil for sale. He had tried it once, found it impossible and dangerous, passed it on cheap. This foil had been bought in the heady Laird-surf days by a local, who tried it and moved on, it passed through a number of hands until it got to me. I didn't even know how to kite yet, but I convinced my wife that this was an opportunity that couldn't be passed up (a super rare foil at an impossibly affordable price). I bought it, then put it in my storage room for a couple years. It took 2 years of occasional attempts until I got serious enough to really focus on learning it.

Meanwhile, foiling had taken off in the race world, and by now this carafino was considered an obsolete piece of s**t. Free ride hadn't yet been invented. I didn't really want to go fast, but I sure liked turning and carving slow. I got a foil primarily for light wind, but found the best surprise in recent years: cruising downwind in the swell trains, doing s-turns in the waves, with the wind gone silent and zero board chatter, is the closest thing I've ever experienced to powder snowboarding. Near weightless, silent, effortless carving. Hooked!

It came time to upgrade, the only options were pretty much sleek race foils (galloping thoroughbred horses) or the lowest end liquid force starter (not much of an upgrade really). The Cloud guy in Maui got bit by the foiling bug and started making videos of absolutely mind blowing riding style. He wrote blogs about how he had no interest in going fast, his groove was the curves, the carving -- like ballroom dancing on water, just a radical version. I emailed him and asked what foil he uses......simple custom home-made ones from a guy in Oregon, Stringy. I figured if I can do even 10% of what Greg can do, I'd be happy, and the best way to chase this dream is to have the equipment that works for him. I got my new wings and here we are.

Now I have experimented with 4-5 boards, made two sets of DIY G10 wings (one a canard/spitfire copy), and am branching into sup foiling. This light wind diversion has become a whole lot more! My favourite conditions for foiling now is 20kts or so with an 8m, enough wind to create some wind swells, a small enough kite to whip it around, but enough power for it to drift easily on downwind reaches with power available on demand. I still consider myself a surfer first, and if there's waves I'll be a surfboard or kite surfboard. But any time without waves, it's 90% foiling now. My standard plan is to bring 3 boards to the beach, twintip, surfboard, foil, then change boards to account for variable winds. The initial kite choice is for the foil though and it's the board ridden more than any other. I just got a wakeskate for an experimental foil platform ... drilling some holes tonight. The adventure continues.

For what it's worth, there's my story. :-)

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby plummet » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:39 pm

Foil wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:41 pm
I got into lazy ways with the twin tip and its always easy to take a rest, where its not so easy to do so when foiling, after a good long foiling session my legs are done in and protest after getting out of the car after the drive home, the gym work is really helping my foiling with my more recent sessions on the foil lasting more than 4 or 5 hours with maybe one stop for a kite change.
so for me the gym and foiling really go well together, and I can smile knowing that in 25 years when I cant do foiling anymore due to age I can look back and say well that sport of foiling was the best thing I have ever taken up as a sport. I thank god I never said no to the jump over to it.
Cycling really helps for leg strength. My other sport is mountain biking and i never get sore legs kiting. There is one proviso with foiling. ensure your set up allows for even foot pressure so you dont get the back leg burn.

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby Qiter » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:09 pm

Similar story here: Sailor, then Windsurfer for many years (Hawaii, Capetown, all the wavesailing..), then the Job/career and the family. After this was somehow under control, I took up kiting and as I live in an area with lots of moderate to low wind days, soon after, the foiling (had seen the Laird Hamilton Videos back in the 1990-2000 and remembered those when I saw the first kitefoils in the magazines and the videos).

What I like most is the explorer aspect already described above. You can roam huge areas with the foil. Its also great for the family, as they actually have a good time on the beach while I am out kiting without getting sandblasted. I now enjoy most the light wind conditions around 10kn, where you have enough power to (potentially) relaunch (and not swim :-)) but the water is not too choppy.
Its also quite a selective sport, not necessarily due to the cost but more due to the dedication you need to acquire the skills. I often get asked by people on the beach who have never seen it if its difficult and I have to honestly answer "yes, its very difficult".

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby cwood » Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:41 pm

Lifetime of sailing with my Dad, introduced to Windsurfing at 16 in 1984 and was hooked, graduated to wave sized boards and in Canada that meant summers on the great lakes and Hatteras in the spring and summer. My last real windsurfing was Diamond Head in Hawaii just before I got married....which began my 25 year break in wind sports. Two kids now 21 and 23 and a dissolved marriage....I find myself with time for me and a girlfriend that kites. She bugged me to get back at it....rapid addiction to it with one kite and a TT. Then graduated fast to foil kites and then hydrofoil. I will never look back from either.

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Re: What got you into Hydrofoiling?

Postby jumptheshark » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:07 pm

Philippe Caneri


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