Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

How competent do you have to be?

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Created by KIT33R 1 month ago, 16 Jan 2019
KIT33R
NSW, 1623 posts
16 Jan 2019 1:47PM
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I've been foiling now for about 6 months and happy with my progress but several people have asked me how proficient they have to be to take up foiling.

Regardless of eqipment I suggest the criteria should include
1. Being able to ride a strapless board adequately
2. Fly a kite one handed
3. Competent toeside

Any other ideas?

Plummet
4306 posts
16 Jan 2019 12:52PM
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I don't reckon you need any of those things.

Perhaps the ability to fly a kite well and thats it. Everything else you have to unlearn and relearn, It might actually be easier to learn to foil without prior surface boarding experience.

RAL INN
VIC, 2632 posts
16 Jan 2019 4:39PM
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Yeah. If anything, foiling really tests your kite control to the max.
you need to have great kite control skills well into the fly by feel level.
less just means more pain in the foil learning curve.

emmafoils
46 posts
16 Jan 2019 6:38PM
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There are no absolute inclusion criteria. Just motivation and persistence. What is important is to start with a smart plan. The right equipment, knowledge (either by watching videos and reading, talking to others or professional lessons) and riding conditions. As others have stated, the more experienced kiter may just have more ingrained habits they have to change.

Dave Whettingsteel
WA, 1341 posts
16 Jan 2019 8:44PM
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I'd like to suggest a critical criteria is a suitable wide, deep, and obstacle free space to learn in!
Have to say learning at my local beach inside the bay has been quite a pain, (literally) what with lots of sand bars, shallow reefs, boats, craypots, swimmers, divers, jetty and heaps of other things to look out for. I seem to spend more time trying to avoid / dealing with disasters than learning technique.

dafish
NSW, 1304 posts
17 Jan 2019 7:28AM
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I would also say kite skills. Being able to feel where your kite is will help you concentrate on the real job at hand, learning to foil with amputation.

djdojo
VIC, 1493 posts
17 Jan 2019 9:38AM
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Subtle kite flying skills (knowing how to loop wide and tight, figure-8, deliberately backstall and release, all without thinking about it - unconscious competence) and experience on strapless surfboards so that you are familiar with front foot pressure. Most common thing I see is newbie foilers on kites that are too big and then, to handle the power of their excessive kite size, they load up their back foot and try to edge as though on a twintip. Naturally the foil shoots up and bucks them off.

cbulota
WA, 1193 posts
19 Jan 2019 8:39AM
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I agree with the comments above. All you really need is decent kite control skills. With the right equipment (SHORT mast, larger front wing, larger board), the right conditions, the right location and the right approach, someone could learn straight on a foil without evening being able to ride a twin tip or a surfboard.

A few weeks ago, we had a student come over from Japan specifically to learn to hydrofoil. She was a beginner kitesurfer and wasn't able to ride upwind consistently on a twin tip, or ride toe side, or do clean transitions. Yet she was able to learn to foil in a week. Of course, this took more time and effort, but at the end of the week she was able to foil upwind under control on a short mast.


Christian

ActionSportsWA
WA, 642 posts
19 Jan 2019 10:06AM
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Hi Guys,

You really don't need to know how to kite to learn foiling. Behind the boat is the trick, it will teach balance and the finesse of trimming the pitch.

Reasonable kite skills are important. You just need to be able to fly the kite without looking at it. Your focus will be on the foil. Having said that, you could learn good foiling skills behind the boat and then have basic kite flying skills and still succeed.

When learning behind the boat you have to contend with the water start which is by far the most difficult part, but once you are up, its really easy to learn pitch control and stability.

By learning on a kite, the water start is really easy, but pitch control and dealing with speed and balance is really difficult. Riding downwind is very challanging.

I would say that learning behind the boat is the safest and quickest way to learn because when you crash, you simply let go of the handle and you stop, a botched water start on the kite means too much speed, a foil usually in the air and you are towed along by the kite for "a ways".

The short cut to success and progress is behind a boat for an hour, then take your new knowledge to the kite and you will be up and away.

DM




warwickl
NSW, 1099 posts
19 Jan 2019 5:55PM
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I am an average kiter and spent many years on a strapless surfboard.
Now foiling for second summer I can not do easy transitions on strapless surfboard- it wobbles.

Youngbreezy
WA, 484 posts
19 Jan 2019 8:50PM
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Select to expand quote
ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Guys,

You really don't need to know how to kite to learn foiling. Behind the boat is the trick, it will teach balance and the finesse of trimming the pitch.

Reasonable kite skills are important. You just need to be able to fly the kite without looking at it. Your focus will be on the foil. Having said that, you could learn good foiling skills behind the boat and then have basic kite flying skills and still succeed.

When learning behind the boat you have to contend with the water start which is by far the most difficult part, but once you are up, its really easy to learn pitch control and stability.

By learning on a kite, the water start is really easy, but pitch control and dealing with speed and balance is really difficult. Riding downwind is very challanging.

I would say that learning behind the boat is the safest and quickest way to learn because when you crash, you simply let go of the handle and you stop, a botched water start on the kite means too much speed, a foil usually in the air and you are towed along by the kite for "a ways".

The short cut to success and progress is behind a boat for an hour, then take your new knowledge to the kite and you will be up and away.

DM





This comment has given me the extra bit of motivation I need to conduct some foil lessons behind my boat.

A few of my mates who are great kiters have never tried and have been subjected to me chewing their ear off about it. I think it's time for a lesson

emmafoils
46 posts
20 Jan 2019 6:33PM
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I don't disagree that some experience behind a boat helps but I would not spend a lot of time with boat if goal is kite foiling. The balance point changes with lift from a kite and is very different than when pulled horizontally by a boat. In fact, for a relatively inexperienced kiter, too much time foiling behind a boat can be detrimental to learning kite foiling.

RAL INN
VIC, 2632 posts
21 Jan 2019 9:58AM
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I believe that when you learn how to foil in a certain way. You learn how to foil that way.
You then have to transpose those skills across to any other form of foiling you want.
but not all skills will transfer and some new skills particular to that style will need to be learnt.

KIT33R
NSW, 1623 posts
21 Jan 2019 11:43AM
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Select to expand quote
cbulota said..
I agree with the comments above. All you really need is decent kite control skills. With the right equipment (SHORT mast, larger front wing, larger board), the right conditions, the right location and the right approach, someone could learn straight on a foil without evening being able to ride a twin tip or a surfboard.

A few weeks ago, we had a student come over from Japan specifically to learn to hydrofoil. She was a beginner kitesurfer and wasn't able to ride upwind consistently on a twin tip, or ride toe side, or do clean transitions. Yet she was able to learn to foil in a week. Of course, this took more time and effort, but at the end of the week she was able to foil upwind under control on a short mast.


Christian


That certainly is impressive!! I have found that the whole straight line foiling thing relatively easy. It is when you start exploring the boundaries that the difficulty factor ramps up ie gybes and tacks.

Jhana
WA, 65 posts
21 Jan 2019 10:33AM
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Select to expand quote
cbulota said..
I agree with the comments above. All you really need is decent kite control skills. With the right equipment (SHORT mast, larger front wing, larger board), the right conditions, the right location and the right approach, someone could learn straight on a foil without evening being able to ride a twin tip or a surfboard.

A few weeks ago, we had a student come over from Japan specifically to learn to hydrofoil. She was a beginner kitesurfer and wasn't able to ride upwind consistently on a twin tip, or ride toe side, or do clean transitions. Yet she was able to learn to foil in a week. Of course, this took more time and effort, but at the end of the week she was able to foil upwind under control on a short mast.


Christian


Wow very impressive to learn in a week and still a beginner on a twin tip - it gives me hope

ActionSportsWA
WA, 642 posts
21 Jan 2019 7:06PM
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Select to expand quote
Youngbreezy said..

ActionSportsWA said..
Hi Guys,

You really don't need to know how to kite to learn foiling. Behind the boat is the trick, it will teach balance and the finesse of trimming the pitch.

Reasonable kite skills are important. You just need to be able to fly the kite without looking at it. Your focus will be on the foil. Having said that, you could learn good foiling skills behind the boat and then have basic kite flying skills and still succeed.

When learning behind the boat you have to contend with the water start which is by far the most difficult part, but once you are up, its really easy to learn pitch control and stability.

By learning on a kite, the water start is really easy, but pitch control and dealing with speed and balance is really difficult. Riding downwind is very challanging.

I would say that learning behind the boat is the safest and quickest way to learn because when you crash, you simply let go of the handle and you stop, a botched water start on the kite means too much speed, a foil usually in the air and you are towed along by the kite for "a ways".

The short cut to success and progress is behind a boat for an hour, then take your new knowledge to the kite and you will be up and away.

DM





This comment has given me the extra bit of motivation I need to conduct some foil lessons behind my boat.

A few of my mates who are great kiters have never tried and have been subjected to me chewing their ear off about it. I think it's time for a lesson


Hey YB,

Make sure you use a very short mast and a slow stable foil. We use the Slingshot EVA covered 5'6" Simulator with 15" mast and front strap and not and either Infinity 76 or Space Skate wing.

Once they can can control the board and pitch, we move to a 60cm or 24" mast. Once they can ride that for more than 100m, they can easily move onto a kite.

DM

hilly
WA, 4474 posts
21 Jan 2019 9:34PM
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Had my first kite foil today. I have SUP foiled for 3 weeks. Found one direction (not the band) very easy, left foot forward ie natural stance. No hope goofy. Ended up just turning back around and riding toe side back in. Was on a massive Axis 102 surf foil so any speed resulted in a massive high side. Added issues were rocks, craypots and numpty tt riders who wanted to get close not realising the danger they were in. Very accessible sport as not difficult, kite skills vital and a tow behind a boat helps.

riviere
WA, 43 posts
22 Jan 2019 9:41AM
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hilly, i ve alaways been interested to get into foiling, when you say added issues : numpty tt riders who want to get close not realising the danger they were in, what sort of danger exactly do you mean ? cheers

ActionSportsWA
WA, 642 posts
22 Jan 2019 11:00AM
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Hey Herve,

Pretty sure HIlly is referring to impaling the said Numpty TT rider on an airborne foil after a crash.

DM

riviere
WA, 43 posts
22 Jan 2019 11:38AM
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ah i see cheers darren

Gorgo
VIC, 4093 posts
22 Jan 2019 3:01PM
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Select to expand quote
riviere said..
hilly, i ve alaways been interested to get into foiling, when you say added issues : numpty tt riders who want to get close not realising the danger they were in, what sort of danger exactly do you mean ? cheers



There are two issues with numpties.

One is a new foiler with limited ability to stop and change direction. True the foiler's lack of skill is the root cause of the problem, but it is very frustrating when you've got yourself some clear water to ride in and said numpty decides to come and check out the foiling action.

The other is a TT rider decides to cut upwind and cross the path of the foiler. The upwind performance of a TT is not even close to that of the most basic foil. Generally the foiler needs to take evasive action, either stomping even further upwind, or bearing off and riding downwind around the TT.

Then there's all the generic kite related stupid about TT riders and wannabe strapless riders just generally getting in the way.

warwickl
NSW, 1099 posts
22 Jan 2019 5:48PM
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TT kiters like that probly own a jetski

hilly
WA, 4474 posts
22 Jan 2019 9:40PM
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Select to expand quote
riviere said..
hilly, i ve alaways been interested to get into foiling, when you say added issues : numpty tt riders who want to get close not realising the danger they were in, what sort of danger exactly do you mean ? cheers



I was on my own and then suddenly 4 kiters come out and want the same 5m of ocean ffs. First time on a foil with no idea wiping out frequently. Made it unenjoyable. It is a big ocean. Foils run different lines so we crossed at odd angles possibly with a foil airborne

AquaPlow
QLD, 704 posts
23 Jan 2019 7:32AM
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First time I have experienced equipment tangle.. 3rd time out foiling. Big wing went through lines..
So kite skills high on my modest list.
The vocabulary which was probably audible 50+metres away came naturally between dunkings.
Getting up on board with kite way easier 4me than boat.. I found flat pull from ski rope combined with big board/foil setup painful ??
Cheers
AP
FWIW I am addicted to straps on SB.. might change as foil skills improve

RAL INN
VIC, 2632 posts
24 Jan 2019 6:47AM
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I can remember the feeling of dread when getting first long runs on foil.
that feeling of imminent crashing.
Then a TT'er (Slapper) decides to come from front and down wind to have a closer look.
I wonder if they ever knew how close to carnage they came.



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"How competent do you have to be?" started by KIT33R