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foilboarding vs raceboarding??

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davesails7
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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby davesails7 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:56 pm

SalmonSlayer wrote:The racing community is still small. I don't see a need for 2 classes. Who wants to race in the slower class when the barriers to entry into the faster class is a small additional cost? These are racers, not riders.


I don't care much about which one is faster by a few percent. Both classes are very fast.

Is there any reason we can't just let both classes race together?

Lots of cheap lightly used raceboards are available now for <$1000 complete with fins and straps.

As cglazier noted above, it seems like an average rider on a raceboard will be faster than an average rider on a hydrofoil around a course. Also he notes that it's difficult for an average rider to control a hydrofoil board in tight locations

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby davesails7 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:59 pm

ChristoffM wrote:Are there anyone here that can ride both types of boards well, and still prefer a race board for general cruising? I'll be surprised to find anyone


cglazier wrote:I own and ride both a raceboard (North LTD 2013) and a hydrofoil board (Carafino). Certainly my raceboard is faster. But there are faster hydrofoils than mine out there now.

A very fast hydrofoil board should beat anything going upwind in a straight line under ideal conditions. But I have tried to use my hydrofoil racing and it is a problem when rounding mark in crowded conditions. It is also difficult going downwind (actually it is a bit difficult all the time :wink: ). And I am uncertain about the range of a hydrofoil board. One that works for light wind may not be capable of high speed.

Don't be too quick to presume one board is far superior to the other around a race course.

:wink: CG

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby Laughingman » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:26 pm

davesails7 wrote:Is there any reason we can't just let both classes race together?


I think you could probably make a course that may favor a hydrofoil or race board so this could lead to disputes?

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby SalmonSlayer » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:44 pm

davesails7 wrote:I don't care much about which one is faster by a few percent. Both classes are very fast.

Is there any reason we can't just let both classes race together?

Lots of cheap lightly used raceboards are available now for <$1000 complete with fins and straps.

As cglazier noted above, it seems like an average rider on a raceboard will be faster than an average rider on a hydrofoil around a course. Also he notes that it's difficult for an average rider to control a hydrofoil board in tight locations


Racers care about a few percentage point of speed. if they didn't, why would the 70cm class spend so much time tweaking fin design to find the right fin?

Sure they could race together, but I predict the 70cm class holdouts would quickly convert to hydrofoils the next time they buy a board. Just look at how many people are picking up wind surfing vs kite boarding

i dont think you will see a lot of demand for new 70cm boards so board and fin R&D will taper off too. Then the pool of used 70cm boards will shrink rapidly. I dont see the demand sustaining the production of new 70cm board manufacturing.

The average racer just needs to spend more time on a hydrofoil and I think you will see even greater differences in performance between the classes. The average rider will follow with more skilled Hydrofoil riding as riding techniques are articulated in a way that the average rider understands. Monkey see monkey do.

i could be completely wrong, but that is how I see it playing out.
Last edited by SalmonSlayer on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby Peter_Frank » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:52 pm

ChristoffM wrote:I can't see the race boards surviving too long. Hydrofoils are so much more fun that they perform much better as a free-ride category for non competitive riders. And now that they are proving to be faster already (with improvements surely to come with development), I cannot see why anyone would want to stay on a 70cm wide raceboard anymore.

Are there anyone here that can ride both types of boards well, and still prefer a race board for general cruising? I'll be surprised to find anyone.


Correct :thumb:

It seems that several intermediates has ditched their raceboard (sold it) and jumped on a foil now.

And those really good at both, have their raceboard(s) collecting dust now.

Others, who are raceboard "top" riders, but havent got a foil yet - are pissed because they've obtained excellent skills and equipment - and right now the focus is totally gone (away from raceboards).
I understand that feeling - but again, it is simply (r)evolution and new things.

Just like kitesurfing has almost totally swept windsurfing away in most parts - except for some small areas where windsurfing is "at its best".

At first when we all did both, it was with mixed feelings - but now we hardly ever look back :naughty:

I dont know where Hydrofoiling is gonna end up - I just know that it is a "craze" that has taken each and everybody by surprise around the world lately - leading to an exponential growth in interest !

Eventhough some has done it for years - but the last half year or less, the interest has exploded :rollgrin:

The fact that it seems to be a bit or way faster on any course now, has stabbed the raceboard scene :roll:

It is not practical, it is not easy (but eventhough expensive - it is the same as raceboards though, no difference).
But having a "craft" that is so much faster, has made raceboards obsolete for many riders now :cry:

Some wont admit this, others have seen the light - I just look at what is happening and dont care myself - but think it is awesome that something new and extremely fast and exiting has emerged.

Yes, I think raceboards will fade out pretty fast - not dissapear fully, but somewhat be history when taking the "global" glasses on.

NOONE racing in the "good" class, want to use a huge part of their life, on something a lot slower than what exist, no matter how established the competion scene is nowadays :wink:

8) Peter

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby davesails7 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:02 pm

Laughingman wrote:I think you could probably make a course that may favor a hydrofoil or race board so this could lead to disputes?

I could be wrong, but I can't think of a way to rig the course for one or the other. Typical course is windward leward, so no matter where you put the windward mark, you have equal length of upwind and downwind legs.
SalmonSlayer wrote:The average racer just needs to spend more time on a hydrofoil and I think you will see even greater differences in performance between the classes. The average rider will follow with more skilled Hydrofoil riding as riding techniques are articulated in a way that the average rider understands. Monkey see monkey do.

If that is true and the hydrofoils are as easy to ride as the raceboards than I think you are definitely right, the hydrofoils will win out. They definitely have much more of a "cool factor". My feeling though (based on no personal experience with hydrofoils :D ) is that the hydrofoils are harder to ride fast downwind and this is the only plus for the raceboard.
Peter_Frank wrote:Others, who are raceboard "top" riders, but havent got a foil yet - are pissed because they've obtained excellent skills and equipment - and right now the focus is totally gone (away from raceboards).

I'm far from a top rider, but I am super pissed! :lol: I have a raceboard which I have been honing my skills on for 2 years and I do not own a hydrofoil. I guess I'd better start saving up just in case :thumb:

The way I see it, the speed of the board and being fun to race are two seperate things. The Laser is still the most raced boat in the world because it has decent performance, close races, and is accessible to many. Hydrofoiling Moths, 49ers, 18 ft skiffs, etc are much faster than Lasers, but they are not nearly as popular because the fun of sailing a Laser is close races in large fleets.

I wanted one design raceboards to take hold, but I was (really) in the minority on that. I'd be much happier racing in a 20 person fleet of "old" 2011-era 59cm wide one-design raceboards than in a 3 person fleet of 40 knot hydrofoils.

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby windfreak74 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:40 pm

when i was Young i learned to sail in optimist, as teenager lasers, as adult cats!
like everything there will be sailors for every craft.
top sailours wil go foil,some will use racreational raceboards.
finally in 5 years time we will have very defined categories for racing foil. raceboards and whatever comes next trend!
If you can make the budget and racing itch you will do all and become a better rider!
keep sailing! for most this is a hobbie!

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby ozchrisb » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:29 am

davesails7 wrote:Is there any reason we can't just let both classes race together?


We're doing that in San Francisco. Seems to work okay, the starts a little more complicated as the raceboards go slower to the line. The switch meant that, for the first few weeks,I got to make up a few places as the guys who were really good on raceboards and switched to foiling were slow downwind (I'm usually at the back of the fleet). That's rapidly changing, by the start of next season they'll be fast again. They're so much fast upwind that people can gybe the foil board and still beat a tacking raceboard. I fear my one year of raceboard ownership may be my last :)
Long term I think the issue with racing both is that the foils will be so much faster the raceboards won't be able to make the time limit. They really are that much quicker.

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby Don Lester » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:09 am

Great, now we're on topic............ I don't think there's any question that they're faster......... they are.

I think the question is how many people will be able to race them and have fun doing so.

The St Francis " California State " foil board races held last week-end in S.F, in very mild conditions, showed that very few, of the"best in the world" foil racers can get around the course without falling or crashing and the starts are not for the faint of heart. I think a lot of would-be young racers don't realize how difficult and dangerous these boards are to ride at racing speeds. A lot of the racers will tell you these boards are not for everyone.......I mean who would have ever thought you'd see Brain Lake wearing a padded vest and a helmet !........ They will all share with you, on request , their bumps & bruises, and these are young strong guys. However, I know "foiling" is the fashion of choice now........and in all my 68 yrs of experience I've never known a sport as fashion conscious as kiteing.

It would be interesting to have race organizers chime in on this thread............Oh, by the way, if you look at the race results, you'll find a lot of familiar names in their familiar places !
Last edited by Don Lester on Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: foilboarding vs raceboarding??

Postby Tone » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:55 am

ozchrisb wrote:
davesails7 wrote:Is there any reason we can't just let both classes race together?


We're doing that in San Francisco. Seems to work okay, the starts a little more complicated as the raceboards go slower to the line. The switch meant that, for the first few weeks,I got to make up a few places as the guys who were really good on raceboards and switched to foiling were slow downwind (I'm usually at the back of the fleet). That's rapidly changing, by the start of next season they'll be fast again. They're so much fast upwind that people can gybe the foil board and still beat a tacking raceboard. I fear my one year of raceboard ownership may be my last :)
Long term I think the issue with racing both is that the foils will be so much faster the raceboards won't be able to make the time limit. They really are that much quicker.


They have been doing it for YEARS in France and as you say, it works just fine :)


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