1st time foiling: report- continued

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webguy
Ashevillejanes
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1st time foiling: report- continued

I got out on the ever fickle Lake Julian. There was just a hint of wind and I was itching to go. Gary met me out there so I have a witness. After a lot of waiting, pumping, maneuvering etc, a longer gust rolled through and I pumped the sail, and stepped back on the board. I was excited to feel/see the board come up almost all the way out of the water then gently leaned on it's side and I was back down. It wasn't much, but I got the feel of it. I tried again until I got tired of pumping and then just meandered around the lake hoping I would get a gust strong enough that I would not have to pump much.

Questions:
-what is the minimum wind needed and what guidelines do you use? Seems like it needs to be strong enough to at least hook in and lean on the harness lines without falling over backwards.

-do you need to reach plaining speed before working on getting on the foil? or can this be done before plaining?

- hooked into the harness? or not?
- in the footstraps?

Thanks for the guidance!!

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Ashevillejanes
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

I think I found some answers here.

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webguy
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webguy
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

We are super happy for you! Did you enjoy the quiet?

Ashevillejanes wrote:

Questions: -what is the minimum wind needed and what guidelines do you use? Seems like it needs to be strong enough to at least hook in and lean on the harness lines without falling over backwards.

It's tempting to say, "you just know..." but... Biggrin I look for velvety water around 8-9 mph at the low end. Whatever the wind, I should feel resistance as I start to pump. If I don't feel much resistance, it's likely not enough.

Quote:

-do you need to reach plaining speed before working on getting on the foil? or can this be done before plaining?

For where you are, you'll need to be at planing speed to take off because so much is going on. As you get better and better, the time at planing speed diminishes until it's almost nil if your technique and gear are right. If you have a big wing, 1800cm2 or more, it's a bit easier to pump directly on to the foil. Easier but not easy. With smaller wings, you'll need to generate a bit more speed but it may not take much more effort because you are pushing less wing through the water.

I can't say about the harness. I do look both at the water and how much pressure I feel in the sail. At your stage, you can ignore the harness until you start getting flights 100 yds or more. There's too much going on to worry about it and you may get in the bad habit of leaning back and out against the harness which is not a good thing. You'll likely weight the rail too much and turn the board quickly up into the wind before you realize what you just did.

Quote:

- hooked into the harness? or not?

Unless you are well-powered, no. In super light winds, definitely no because you need to be free to pump the sail vigorously.
Quote:
- in the footstraps?
Front foot, yes. If your front foot is in front of the strap, you won't take off. At all. Back foot is best in the middle of the board somewhere just in front of the back straps for your first flights.

I don't want to dissuade you from going out on light days because every time you go out, you'll learn something new. But, just be aware that you'll have to confront multiple challenges at once instead of breaking them down. Not a bad thing but realize it if you find it frustrating. Best is to go out with a bit of breeze, enough so you can rig one sail size less than what you'd normally use in the conditions and use the gusts to get off the water because starting out, gusts are more difficult to handle than lulls. In lulls, you probably will just come off the foil but gusts, when you are starting, is more challenging (a polite way of saying where you'll see more than a few crashes).

If you are at bare minimum winds, you'll need to pump all the way up. You can't stop as soon as you get off the water. So you'll have to pump while you are in the air while trimming the board (remember what I said about having two challenges at once? Biggrin ). With a bit more wind, it will take just a few pumps for the board to clear the water and begin accelerating. Important thing to remember is that you only need to get clear of the water. Additional height doesn't help much but requires more energy. You are like a plane at take off. You can't just go at bare minimum speed on the runway and pull back on the stick. Bad things happen. Same in low winds - if you convert all your forward energy to height, you'll stall and plop back on the water. I still do this once in a while in really low winds.

Two videos that might help you and thanks to Chris Voith, the second is of me in pretty light air two years ago when I sucked even more than I do now. btw, to add a youtube video, click the youtube button and just paste in the video url or the one that the share button on the video generates.

And here's Balz Muller doing the seeming impossible

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Ashevillejanes
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

I wasn't up quite long enough to experience the quiet!

All the answers confirm my hunches.

Will you clarify that I do need front foot in front foot strap? Not trying to be nit picky, just want to make sure. I think one time I planed but stayed on the water, my feet were not in straps.

Seems like a smaller sail will be easier to pump than the 7.5 I was using. I can definitely see how a purpose built board would make a difference too, let me know if you spot one!

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Re: 1st time foiling: report
Ashevillejanes wrote:
...

Will you clarify that I do need front foot in front foot strap? Not trying to be nit picky, just want to make sure. I think one time I planed but stayed on the water, my feet were not in straps.

Seems like a smaller sail will be easier to pump than the 7.5 I was using. I can definitely see how a purpose built board would make a difference too, let me know if you spot one!

As for the front foot in the straps, again, an airplane analogy. If you put about 500 lbs of fertilizer on the hood of your car, it'll still drive. If you put it on the nose of your little Cessna airplane, you won't make it off the ground. Balance is super important for the foil. You want a little bit of nose weight (and why the stab pushes down) because it makes it more stable (and a few more reasons. But you don't want so much that no matter what the stab does and you push down with the back foot that the board won't come off the water. And, putting your front foot that much forward will do that especially at low speeds when the stab is barely working. Everything is set up to approximately balance with your weight in the front strap and around the back strap. Move things significantly and it won't work. I don't completely agree with the following video - I prefer more lift up front but it's a good starting point.

And, yes, a smaller sail (say 6.5) will be a bit easier to pump and will get you flying in the same winds you'd normally use a 7.5 or even 9.0. In theory you can sail 2-3m2 smaller than what a fin would be using but starting out, 1-1.5m2 is probably about right. That's why so few rec foilers use anything much above a 7.5 or 8. The bigger sails are harder to pump for little bottom end gain. Cams will pump easier than no cams, too, so if you have a choice, opt for the cams.

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FoilDodo
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

One thing that took me a while* to get comfortable with was the “dynamic stability” that speed brings. Trying to juke the board off the water too soon with foot pressure had me stalling and crashing a lot.

+1 on the front foot straps… locks in your weight in the right place. I’m still mostly riding without back straps - makes for easy trim adjustment for height.

* everything took me a while Good

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Ashevillejanes
webguy
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

I’m going to offer a contrarian position on foot straps. When I first started foiling I was using the front straps which forced me into a position that was much too front foot heavy and I was constantly over-foiling (and crashing hard). When I removed the straps I could move my feet wherever I felt comfortable and get my balance. Now, it’s possible your front straps will be in the sweet spot. They weren’t for me.

One idea is to keep one of your front straps on for your first 5-10 sessions to give a way to test strapless vs straps. Having a strap does make it easier to carry your gear .

Other random tidbits - my boom goes higher and I don’t use my harness much when foiling (sometimes don’t even wear it). I have had to unlearn some sailing technique that I have ingrained after 25+ years of windsurfing. Foiling needs a more upright, balanced stance. No more loading up the harness and back foot to push against the fin.

Hopefully I can meet up with you at Hartwell in the future. I was pretty much on my own the first year of foiling and got really frustrated. Don’t give up, it’s worth it.

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Langdon
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

Thanks for the comments nitro, always good to have multiple perspectives!

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Re: 1st time foiling: report

nitro's comment reminded me that I also had a problem with footstrap placement when I started out because my weight was too far forward with normal strap positions. I actually added a new footstrap insertwhich changed the position a lot to get my weight back. While I don't recommend doing this, it shows that on some boards the straps can get in the way until you get the hang of it. When I moved on to a foil specific board the spacing of straps and everything was a lot better.

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Ashevillejanes
Langdon
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

So, the pump to plane/fly, it is more about solid pumping than speed of pumping, right? Start small and increase power of pump as speed increases?

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Re: 1st time foiling: report
Ashevillejanes wrote:

So, the pump to plane/fly, it is more about solid pumping than speed of pumping, right? Start small and increase power of pump as speed increases?

A couple of small pumps to start to load the sail and get your front foot back into the strap and then strong rhythmic pumps (really using torso and legs instead of biceps) sheeting in more and more as you accelerate. If you barely are getting up, continue pumping in the air.

Beating the dead horse department: for the first few flights, it's a lot easier if you have enough power to get up with just a couple of pumps or no pumps at all so you can concentrate on the other 10,000 things that are going on.

Britt, Julien Bontemps (former RS:X sailor for France and you can see it in his form) and Bart Kramer

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1yGKGhAL-B/


Read his comments: https://www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Foiling/Pumping-on-the-foil-in-around-10-knots?page=1#2
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Re: 1st time foiling: report

I like the slo-mo in the first of the 3 videos (HOW TO PUMP?) webguy posted above. Shows the effect of full body pumping– legs are our strongest muscles. You can see the effect on the board/foil is huge. Water is so thick, pumping the board really helps. Think of the surf/SUP foil vids where you see them pumping their way back out to catch another wave.

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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

I got up on the foil this afternoon. Another light wind day in the mountains with some forecast gust up to 17knots. I slogged around for a while, working on the pumping motion and finally a solid wide gust came through. I pumped like a controlled mad man, front foot in footstrap, stepped back on back foot, board elevated, and dipped down, I continued pumping. board skipped back up and wind died. Success

Then later, a lake wide, steady gust rolled in. I started pumping, did all the right things, stepped on back foot and BOOM!! I was foiling, the ride lasted about 3-5 seconds, enough for everything to get quiet. Then the wind died and it was over.

It was great to feel the results of the pump, to figure out where to stand on the board, where to shift my weight, and to feel the stability of the foil!

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zzholt
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webguy
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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

Welcome to the club!

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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

… and so it begins. Good

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webguy
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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

Lake Julian, was expecting hurricane winds so I loaded my 111ltr and 95 ltr boars. Got to the lake and rigged my 6.6. Slogged for an hour hoping the wind would pick up and fill in. Caught 2 short rides, planning in the footstraps. Bummer, wind was not picking up. Drove home (15 minutes away} picked up my Starboard GO and foil. Back at the lake, more slogging, but was able to get several good rides. One was the best I've had so far, a few skips and some ups and downs, anticipating and shifting my weight in time to save the board from diving/stalling!

Today's observation: it is so much easier to get up on the foil when there is wind!! (I'm sure you already knew that)

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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

That's great! Good to hear you are making a GO of it with the foil!

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Ashevillejanes
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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

NW winds on Lake Julian in Asheville are terrible. Short bursting gusts, often changing directions, and sudden drops in wind make it less than fun to be out there. But since it was the remains of a hurricane, I was hoping for some longer gusts. And that worked out, but there were not many and in between the wind dropped to almost nothing. Tired from yesterday's foil learning session, I did not spend much time pumping today, I just waited for the gusts to kind of fill in and then when almost up to speed, pumped a couple times and was up. After several short hops and skips kind of rides, I finally got a lake wide gust of wind that looked like it was going to last more than 3-5 seconds. I got up on the foil with no trouble and was cruising, I was flying long enough to make adjustments, slightly shifting my weight to keep the board on the foil for about 300 yards!!

Some observations:
- once I get the technique, I feel like I'll be able to ride on some of the lighter gusts
- it helps to have stronger wind
- it does not matter how much I pump, if the wind is not there, it is not going to happen
- instead of shifting my hips, I found that shifting the boom fore and aft helped me balance while on the foil, maybe my hips were moving when I made that motion.
- no one told me about the slurping sound when the front wing comes out of the water!!

Also, I was skeptical that the GO would even be able to lift off considering the size and the weight. Pretty cool!

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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

That's great to hear you are progressing quickly. William recommended the boom/sail movement method to me and others and I found it helpful. The boom, mast and sail wieght a lot - probably 20-25 points so moving it around definitely changes the balance of weight on the board and foil. You don't need to move it much.

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Ashevillejanes
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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued

Right, small movements are key!!

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Re: 1st time foiling: report- continued
Randy wrote:

That's great to hear you are progressing quickly. William recommended the boom/sail movement method to me and others and I found it helpful. ...

Stuff I've Forgotten I've Said Dept. I've read a good description of it is that the rig is a bit like an airplane joystick - pull back a bit to take off, push forward a bit to land.

That slurping sound is dead scary halfway through a jibe in big swell. It's a long way down. Shok

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