Hatteras wrap-up, plus a slightly cynical, but foil-curious long-time windsurfer's opinion of foiling

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Hatteras wrap-up, plus a slightly cynical, but foil-curious long-time windsurfer's opinion of foiling

Langdon and I (plus the South Carolina / Augusta crew) just got back from an excellent week in Hatteras. 6 of 7 days of 5.8 or better with a merciful break smack dab in the middle of the week, plus sunny skies and warm temps every day. With 40+ weeks of Hatteras vacation time under my belt over the last few decades, this was easily a top 3.

I wanted to give my initial impressions on my first few forays into foiling. First – big thanks to Langdon for offering the use of his foil set-up. He was walking around the Canadian Hole like a full on dealer. “Hey buddy, want to try my foil?” Actually, people were asking him, and Langdon being so darn nice, was happy to oblige. Langdon is a good ambassador to the sport. So, I ended up with 4 foiling sessions over the week, about an hour each session and noticed progress with each one. I always had at planning to flat-out overpowered wind, so it was always easy to get the board flying. I pretty much went from bugged-eye, porpesing up-and-down terror, to getting some long, controllable flights by the end of the week.

On Friday, Andy Brandt was at the Hole showing off, as Langdon would describe it, his “foiling canoe”. Who said foiling boards had to be super short? He was pulling off foiling duck jibes, 360’s, planning what the heck was that??? etc.. Langdon came in for a break and handed off his gear to me. I headed out only to notice Andy looped around to follow me. Oh crap, I’m about ready to look stupid, but Andy being a world-class instructor probably sees stupid all the time, so what the hell, let’s get this board out of the water and see what happens. I get up and foiling, Andy foiling about 10 feet behind starts yelling orders – “Body up”, “Body up”, “Pressure down”, “Into the wind”, “Into the wind”. Somehow the orders made sense to me in the moment and I finally caught that perfect angle where everything was balanced, quiet, the board was stable and I was flying at an impossibly high reach into the wind, and fast! After about 30 seconds or so, something finally happened to knock me off balance. Andy pulled up beside me and gave me a big old verbal chest-bump and high five – “Dude, that angle was perfect, I had to completely dial in to not let you get away”. I thanked him for the advice and he took off, probably to track down another stumbling, bumbling fool to help. If there was any way to put a bow around this gift-wrapped week, that was it.

A few points to wrap up:

  • Most sailors know, but it bears worth repeating. A good week in Hatteras is probably equal to 6 months of sailing time on our inland lakes. If you want to learn something, go there!
  • Was wind-foiling a mind blowing experience? Nope, at least not in same way as getting your first shortboard planning runs or nailing a 6 foot jump in 4.2 wind.
  • Do I want to continue to foil? Yep! Just because it wasn’t mind-blowing doesn’t mean it wasn’t insanely fun. I’m already plotting ways to accumulate the funds for a foil and board ASAP. I HATE big sails and light winds, but the foil has me excited to get out there on marginal days since I can run such a smaller sail. My long term strategy will be to keep my biggest sail to around 5.8-6.5. If I can’t plane on windsurfing gear, do the foiling thing. No need to carry a 460 mast or larger boom anymore. I’m not looking to push the lower limits of foiling, just want to make more out of those marginal 10-20mph days.

We did not get many, if any sailing, picture. We were just too busy sailing!

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Re: Hatteras wrap-up, plus a slightly cynical, but foil...
Quote:
I headed out only to notice Andy looped around to follow me. Oh crap, I’m about ready to look stupid, but Andy being a world-class instructor probably sees stupid all the time, so what the hell, let’s get this board out of the water and see what happens.

Good

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moredownhaul
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Re: Hatteras wrap-up, plus a slightly cynical, but foil...
nitro wrote:

With 40+ weeks of Hatteras vacation time under my belt over the last few decades, this was easily a top 3.

I believe it has been determined that Langdon is a wind good luck charm.
Nice photo Chris.

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Re: Hatteras wrap-up, plus a slightly cynical, but foil...

I had a blast..
Best trip to Hatteras for me.
Great weather, warmish water, decent wind and good friends
Had a great time foiling as long as I stayed south of the sandbar.
There were several other windfoilers at the Hole.
Nitro did great on the foil.
Windfoiling may not look fast, being quiet and not kicking up a lot of spray, but I was able to keep up with windsurfers on 1.5-2m bigger sails and even pass a few.
Wish I could have stayed

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