After many hours of hard work, I finished my new ride ride.
I went straight to the beach with shallow water and bad onshore wind. I was humbled by how difficult it was to carry and avoid being stabbed by this monster with the constant onshore waves. I finally got into deeper water and swooped my under sized kite for the first time. BAM! Total beginner again, no skills whatsoever! After about an hour, I was able to stay upwind and get some tiny rides. I went in exhausted and morally beat down, I thought I could ride anything, straps or not.
The foilboard would pop all the way up, cavitate and drop down again. I could hardly control the pitch. Heel pressure did nothing to control roll angle. To get started I had to desperately muscle this contraption on it's side and quickly get moving before it rolled vertical, is this correct? I couldn't get my heels far enough off the rail, I think straps might help.
It looks like going downwind is going to be more difficult than upwind.
I suspect my front wing may be angeled slightly upward and a little bit on the large side. I also think my fuselage is on the long side and has too much surface area but I can reshape it when I start thinking about turning. I am also making another smaller, higher aspect front wing.
I sincerely hope the gusty mountain winds of Lake Tahoe will soon be my best friend again.
I would sure appreciate and consider any advice or opinions on my design and learning process.
I suspect kite foiling may be more difficult than I thought , and possibly my design is not the problem.
Thanks for any of your thoughts. Dirk
Awesome foil and nice work
You experience exactly what everyone else does for starters, even the worlds best and most talented
Learning for the first time, should be done in sideon wind, so you can drag out where it is deep, easily, as you will hit the ground many times otherwise - maybe even destroy the foil.
But you know that now.
The first many days, you are going to learn simply to ´"handle" - meaning carry, walk in/out, board drag out/in, handle it in the water and avoid getting your feet/legs cut.
And we have all been at the point, initially, where we were thinking: Holy Crap how can this be SO difficult ?
And it was only mentally because we could see that other hydrofoilers learned and made it look easy - so one continues.
Pitch control is what it is all about, and takes a lot of time to learn - really easy when learned in muscle memory - but before that, it seems impossible to do "relaxed" (as you WILL be able to later).
Pushing with your heels for roll is useless, it has no effect whatsoever - so everything you know from other boards has to be totally ditched and forgotten - thus you ARE a beginner again, and only your kitecontrol is an advantage.
When starting, you are absolutely correct - you should put it on its side, and get up at exactly the right moment, and then it works.
Putting weight on the windward edge, like on surfboards when starting, does not work at all, forget all about this method.
You HAVE to be in correct balance when getting up.
If you put straps, or at least a front strap, you can start extremely easy, as you just "roll" the board on its side by lifting up in the strap(s) - really easy and you will learn so much faster because you dont have the huge amount of missed starts (you will have strapless).
As soon as you have learned the basics, you can remove the straps again if you like (I prefer strapless).
Downwind is much more difficult than upwind, correct, as you dont have the kitepull sideways to lean against - but it will also come in time, just be patient and practice practice practice - it is like windsurfing, it takes much longer to learn and be good at it, than (old) kitesurfing which is easy peasy compared.
A big frontwing is quite easy to learn on, as it starts early and does not stall.
But when you go fast on a big wing, it is more difficult, and not easy to avoid it popping out, and downwind is even more difficult.
But as long as you go slow, it works fine - and you can most likely diminish the AOA between wing and rear wing using washers, as this could do it so much better trim at different speeds.
The length of the fuselage is no problem - actually it will give you better stability, but as you say, when you later want to turn (remember to think "yaw" movement opposed to what we are used to), it might have a quite big area seen from the side.
But maybe it works ?
You can ride for a bit you say, upwind too on your very first attempt ?
THAT is talent, and I have seen very very few, or noone, able to do this.
So just continue - you are on the right track over there in beatiful Lake Tahoe (havent been there since 1981 but just loved the area and the locals over there)
I like your post, as it showed about everything we all experience