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Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

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Bille
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Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby Bille » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:47 pm

Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?
Ok -- How hard ; and what would be a good one to start with ?

I bin riding a few years now, and think it would be Fun to try and learn
something new. The surfboard is a kick in the pants, never actually
thought i could make one of those things Go, but i did ; got the feeling
that a hydrofoil would be Way harder though ; perhaps Too difficult for
a legless guy ?

Bille

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby geopeck » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:58 pm

I second the question.

I also want to know this - can you carve it up and make big stable heel to toe transitions, given enough windspeed? Is it satisfying to learn and progress like strapless riding?

I don't want to entirely hijack Bille's thread so if you could specify the difficulty/fun of learning legged vs. legless that would help me out.

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby gmb13 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi,

As it happens. I just taught another person to Hydrofoil today.

On average it takes good kiters (few years experience, perfect kite control etc) 2-3 hours to get the hang of it when instructed with the right material and conditions.

I use a shorter main mast as this makes the whole system a bit more forgiving when people are just starting to learn.

@Billie: I think it may be a bit more difficult in the beginning, but not impossible. I have had students that have learned with both footstraps on, although its usually a bit easier being able to position the back foot where it is needed to help trim the board without having to shift weight on your body.

Can you ride directional boards Billie? You can carve the and ride the foils toeside, so it's probably not an issue anyways not being able to switch the feet in the straps.

@geopeck: Carving is what makes hydrofoiling so great. It is very close to being in fresh powder, just more quiet. You don't need much wind, as you can use the carves to accelerate. It's super nice to unhook and just carve whilst following the kite.



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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby tautologies » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:09 pm

Took me 45 mind to get upwind. Was my second session. First was too light to even fly a kite...so I dropped the kite a floated in...that was 30 min.

I did the same mistake most people make...they know it is lightwind weapon and naturally assumes they should learn it in light wind. First time go with a bit more power. Ride flat on the wayter and really slowly move your weight back. That's it really.

Second mistake people do is to try to edge...

It is fun..but personally I prefer raceboard.

I want a combo free race board with a possiibility to add a foil.

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby gmb13 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:47 pm

tautologies wrote:Took me 45 mind to get upwind. Was my second session. First was too light to even fly a kite...so I dropped the kite a floated in...that was 30 min.

I did the same mistake most people make...they know it is lightwind weapon and naturally assumes they should learn it in light wind. First time go with a bit more power. Ride flat on the wayter and really slowly move your weight back. That's it really.

Second mistake people do is to try to edge...

It is fun..but personally I prefer raceboard.

I want a combo free race board with a possiibility to add a foil.


Come to Fuerte. We can build you exactly that!

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby juandesooka » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:38 pm

I bought one, but not yet ridden it successfully. I tried a couple times behind a boat....harder than it looks, and maybe more risk of injury than I thought. I was bobbing up and down trying to find the sweet spot, but the moment I turned even slightly to the side....CRASH. Sometimes my feet didn't come out of straps, which felt a bit iffy on ankles. And if you land on that strut, it's super sharp. So, some caution may be in order.

But I'm sure it will be super fun once mastered -- I saw a guy doing it in France, so smooth and glidey, looked awesome.

Gunnar: would you say it is easier or harder doing this with a kite vs a boat? I suspect the kite's vertical pull vs the boat's horizontal might make it a little easier? Though maybe a little less constant/steady pull perhaps.

Another problem is lots of kelp in the water where I kite ... I understand that's a big no-no for these things. I need to try it out in a nice clean lake.

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby gmb13 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:48 pm

juandesooka wrote:I bought one, but not yet ridden it successfully. I tried a couple times behind a boat....harder than it looks, and maybe more risk of injury than I thought. I was bobbing up and down trying to find the sweet spot, but the moment I turned even slightly to the side....CRASH. Sometimes my feet didn't come out of straps, which felt a bit iffy on ankles. And if you land on that strut, it's super sharp. So, some caution may be in order.

But I'm sure it will be super fun once mastered -- I saw a guy doing it in France, so smooth and glidey, looked awesome.

Gunnar: would you say it is easier or harder doing this with a kite vs a boat? I suspect the kite's vertical pull vs the boat's horizontal might make it a little easier? Though maybe a little less constant/steady pull perhaps.

Another problem is lots of kelp in the water where I kite ... I understand that's a big no-no for these things. I need to try it out in a nice clean lake.


Hi Juan,

I find it's a bit easier with a kite, as you are mainly riding against the pressure of the kite instead of following the boat. When following a boat your basically doing the same thing as going downwind with the kite and this is where having a good foil makes a huge difference.

What really separates good foils from bad is how easy they are to ride. It was easy for us to make a working foil, it was not so easy to make one that goes downwind as stable as it goes upwind. Also making one that is not so susceptible to spin outs when the wing comes out of the water took some experimentation.

I am pretty happy now with our current wings at Magma, but we are constantly trying to improve the design to make it easier to foilboard. There is still so much more we can learn and improve on foils, so the future looks bright. We have come a long way, and now we have foils that can be ridden strapless instead of with snowboard boots.

After seeing the latest Airchair vids I think its time to put the Footstraps back on my board and get to jumping it again ;-)

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby rightguard » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:44 pm

Where can you get a nice strapless set up, and could you put it on a twin tip? Are there any that fly either direction?

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby tautologies » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:24 am

rightguard wrote:Where can you get a nice strapless set up, and could you put it on a twin tip? Are there any that fly either direction?



If you get the Carafino you can basically mount it on a plank if you want :-) His board also has a fully deck. PM me for some tips.

Juan: WAY easier behind a kite.

Same thing like Gunnar say..it depends on the foil. I have tried an old type, and it is way harder to ride. The low AR are easier and will go super early.

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Re: Is it Hard to learn how to ride a Hydrofoil ?

Postby juandesooka » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:37 am

Thanks tautologies. I have a Carafino (sorry Gunnar). I am newly committed to giving this a go, next time I'm in a kelpless location with the right wind. Maybe next spring!


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