Forums > Kitesurfing Foiling

Runaway foil - beginner question !

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Created by Lambie 29 days ago, 18 Nov 2017
Lambie
VIC, 643 posts
18 Nov 2017 8:42PM
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Hi guys and girls - I had my first serious attempt on my Spotz 2 foil today and every thing Ive read and heard is true - Im absolute beginner material all over again!!

My question is about how to control the direction of the foil ? I could get up on the board and was fully focussed on front foot pressure and wasnt aiming to 'foil at all - just to feel the foil in the water under my feet - but as the water was quite choppy the board kind of got knocked in a down wind direction quite a bit and then the speed went nuts and I bailed !! When I ride my SB I just increase/decrease my edge and maintain my direction - the foil seems to have a mind of its own!!!!

So back to my question - the foil can move in 3 planes being (1) Pitch (2) Roll and (3) Yaw - I need to know how to control YAW !!!
When I was on the water today I thought YAW could be controlled by heel and toe pressure but it didnt work and I simply bailed (scared shxxless of the sharp wings!!)

Cbulota said in another thread "You will soon understand that changing your direction of travel on the foil is more about rotating hips and feet/ankles rather than leaning back over your heels or leaning forward over your toes. " So that confirms Yaw cant be controlled by Roll ??

After I read Christians comment and reflected on my first experience today it sort of made sence - but when the board is attached to the water how do I control Yaw ? And once actually foiling my same question applies ?? Is Christians answer the same in both instances?

This foiling thing is not for the faint hearted and as of today would say if your kite skills arnt intuiative - then dont try it !!
As for me - I want to go again tomorrow but armed with a little more knowledge!!

Im sorry if this has been coverd previously but I did a search and came up dry - Im wondering if the forum could do with a Foiling Newby's section ?? LOL

RAL INN
VIC, 2257 posts
18 Nov 2017 8:55PM
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It is a hip thing
then maybe a hop thing
maybe both.
but think a bit like rotation of hips to control yaw.
But if this is with board on water then maybe it's a muscle thing, or lack there of.

SavIb
NSW, 73 posts
18 Nov 2017 9:52PM
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My first session today on shortest slingy flight school mast stuck on a cab alias with "foilmount". Got to say way underpowered but figured I'd learn something so gave it a crack. Rode it from the middle of the board strapless and managed 2 surface gibes out of 5 or so attempts.

Felt like forcing front foot down wind and back foot upwind (snowboard, washing off speed or skateboard, check slide) sort of action got it around. But the board had to be flat on the water any angle and I was getting lobbed off. I'm trying to obey flight school no fly zone rule but couldn't help trying to come up occasionally. Didn't ride away once from any foiling attempt :( Still heaps of fun and a good cardio workout.

Im probably talking s#$t but ended up thinking it was easier than getting up and riding on a race board. Definitely easier to gibe anyway for sure.

jamesperth
WA, 497 posts
18 Nov 2017 8:48PM
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Congrats on giving foiling a go, and especially on an race foil like the Spotz2. That foil has quite a reputation for being very fast but hard to ride (unstable) but will do you well in the long term when you master it. As an aside most Spotz2 have problems with cracking around the front wing/ fuse - if it's been repaired then it should be fine but the will eventually break if left unattended. So just keep an eye on it and if the front wing gets wobbly you will need to fix it. SB member Pilot Pete in Perth has done a ton of them - he might be willing to help.

It's hard to explain how to control yaw but it's a rotation left/ right, as opposed to pitch and roll which are self explanatory. Once you start controlled foiling and ride fast enough, you will also be riding the foil on an angle (think edge in TT terms) and with proper amount of speed and upwind angle it will settle down. If you try and ride it flat and especially downwind, it will become more squirrely. If you look at a freeride foil like my Zeeko, they add a little TT stabiliser fin under the rear wing which greatly dampens yaw. The curved wingtips on your Spotz will do the same thing but need probably 15-18 knots of speed to work. This is the trade off you've made - it's a high performance foil that wants to ride fast upwind, and is less suited to slower, more tentative riding.

For next sessions I would work on riding the board flat on the surface of the water (rear foot in front of back strap helps ) and build your confidence on maintaining control and speed on both tacks.

Dont be underpowered - ride similar to what you'd TT with initially. A day where youd ride a 10-12 would be ideal with flat water. If you can maintain around 10-12knots (say 18-20kmh) with control, you will be able to start making small, subtle weight changes To and From your back foot (like on/off) with the aim of making a very small take off and landing. If you have massive explosions off the back you need to make smaller movements. If you end up porpoising up and down you are riding too slow to be able to fly and are simply stalling. Smooth takeoffs are the aim.

With a few hours of practice small hops will become long , sustained rides. It just takes time and there aren't many shortcuts.

If you are doing it right you should find yourself making a lot of ground upwind. Because you can lean back against your lines for support foiling upwind is heaps easier than downwind (where the lines have next to no pull so you just have to balance). I remember doing the walk of shame downwind a few times because I couldn't work out how to get back home again.

When you get to turning and carving - foiling is exactly like snowboarding - it's front foot driven. TT and SB is the opposite requiring back foot pressure.

Good luck - you will be fine , I know lots of guys who learnt on that foil.

snalberski
WA, 430 posts
18 Nov 2017 10:01PM
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What James says is right on the money but I would also suggest that you not over think it. The simple aim for the first few sessions is to get longish runs with board on the water.
If you dive the kite too hard (TT style) you may get too much uncontrollable speed and direction. Try pointing the board at the correct upwind angle and sine the kite very high and narrow ( 11-1). This generates more lift/less forward pull. Once up and standing pretty much bolt upright you can dive the kite gradually lower to get more forward pull/speed and work on steering the board as you get longer runs. Expect the walk of shame for at least half a dozen sessions

horey69
QLD, 189 posts
19 Nov 2017 5:39AM
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Savlb,
I also went with the Slingshot mast package, had trouble keeping it on the water the first session, I realised you don't need to try and push the front down just shift you upper body weight forward.
Stand as tall as possible keep your knees soft then it just clicks. Certainly reminds me of snow boarding, surfing & skating all in one.
Now cruising around happily on the 24" mast learning foiling toeside turns and riding & I'd say I've done no more then 10hrs.
Oh yeah don't be under powered makes it harder at the start.
Great foil stable and smooth.
Enjoy

Plummet
3988 posts
19 Nov 2017 12:46PM
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One of the main difference foiling is that you must keep your c of g in line with the foil. Compared to surface boards where you can be leaning port of starboard cranking hard up wind.

Foiling demands you must be centered or you are farked. I watched a video that explained this practically. So can't remember what it was called.

You can get away with being ham fisted on your surface board weighting in every direction and it doesn't matter. The foil will punish that. You now have to unlearn years of hamfisted behavior.

The good news is that you will flow better on the TT/sb once foiling.

Lambie. If you are exploding with downwind speed you are probably over powered.

I kinda disagree with James. Don't go same as TT kite size. Go under powered on a sb kite size. So maybe 8m in 15-20 knots.

That will give you enough power to water start but not enough power to explode when the foil lifts you out of the water.

Lambie
VIC, 643 posts
19 Nov 2017 7:54PM
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Thanks Plummet and to all of the others for your comments ! Im often accused of overthinking everything so yep Ill try harder to not do it but I kind of like to understand what is is Im trying to achieve - the above comments fill in quite a few of the gaps.

Ral Inn had a look at my board today and its not a beginner foil so I have a hard road (or was that water!!) ahead !! But Im going to have a crack at this !!!

SavIb
NSW, 73 posts
19 Nov 2017 10:51PM
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Thanks for all the tips guys, got lots of long foils today on both tacks. Me 115kg, speed4 21m 32m lines 6-14 knots on slingy taxi mast.

For beginners to summarise the tips that had me going in a very short time.

Front foot in strap only to get up on board. Fly Kite with forward hand and use back hand on toe side rail and elbow to hold board perpendicular. (Only to get front foot in). If you have to loop to get going your too underpowered.

Ride first session or 30min or so, no flight rule ( although bet you won't be able to lean back once or twice). As soon as you get going on surface come out of front strap but keep back foot forward enough to not allow foil to raise. You will soon work out board flat, try a few gibes if you get bored. Just don't build speed to keep everything sedate.

Second session, start and stay on the water after 30 or 40 meters (it takes a while to get the Kite high parked and your body in a good posture) then try and foil. Best tip was don't think weight back but lighten the front foot. Whoever posted that first I owe you a case of beer!

Steering upwind for speed control is gybe feeling as described before slight twisting sensation of feet is enough to change direction (hip feeling others are describing I'd suggest). Focus on very shallow foils to begin so you can get touchdown control not let it get too hectic.

One other thought was, if you need to look at the Kite at all, foiling probably isn't for you yet. That was really noticeable in an hour or so I looked at the Kite once to pull front lines to keep the Kite flying (foil Kite flapping bird technique). The rest of the session was just eying the board for flatness, height and posture checks.

Wow on the silent running, wow on the speed in light winds. Cannot believe I waited so long before trying this!

Im committing to speed control and not getting my hair wet for 30minutes before going up to the next size mast. Soo much easier than a race board!

jamesperth
WA, 497 posts
19 Nov 2017 9:28PM
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Select to expand quote
Plummet said..
I kinda disagree with James. Don't go same as TT kite size. Go under powered on a sb kite size.




Yeah plummets probably right. I mainly meant don't pull out your smallest kite thinking you'll be sweet because it'll suck.

Enough power to easily start, then you just want to park the kite. I learnt on an S321 FLYSURFER which was great because it just delivers a cable park-ish steady pull.

I foiled today for for the first time in a month. Rode a 9, the only other guys I think were on 15-17's (low yellow arrows , lots of kites on the beach, only 1 or 2 others riding. ) My new thing is using a SUP foil which requires a lot of power to ride but it's fun because it's sooo slow. Planning on using this foil for the downwinder at Midwest Windfest next weekend - needed some practice.

Keep up the good work. I cant wait to see a few more foilers on the water this summer.

RAL INN
VIC, 2257 posts
20 Nov 2017 7:09AM
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Lambie's Spotz has the speed/slalom wing which is way small but his fre race wing needs repair to the fitting so it doesn't wobble in the fuselage.
any ideas of who he could use to fix it in Melbourne area

Alysum
NSW, 247 posts
20 Nov 2017 9:00AM
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Some really good tips here. I've also on the Hoverglide with short mast but yet to give it a crack.

I'm a strapless SB rider and aiming to learn foiling without straps or is that too hard to begin with?

Is it really impossible to waterstart with the board flat like a SB as opposed to on its side?

Wow I didn't know there was a downwind walk of shame that's hilarious!

Fly on da wall
VIC, 501 posts
20 Nov 2017 10:07AM
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It's not impossible to learn to foil strapless. Much safer I found and I have only foiled strapless..
The key to getting up is slightly putting your board on it's edge and then using the kite to keep a bit
of pressure on it. It can be frustrating sometime's but you'll soon have it sorted with practice and
being strapless when you crash, you'll end up away from the foil and safe.

I have the HoverGlide also and have had a great time progressing on it. Awesome kit with Dwarfcraft board. Foil Academy helps!

Good luck

SavIb
NSW, 73 posts
20 Nov 2017 12:30PM
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Select to expand quote
Alysum said..
Some really good tips here. I've also on the Hoverglide with short mast but yet to give it a crack.

I'm a strapless SB rider and aiming to learn foiling without straps or is that too hard to begin with?

Is it really impossible to waterstart with the board flat like a SB as opposed to on its side?

Wow I didn't know there was a downwind walk of shame that's hilarious!


If you can change direction with the foil on your surfboard you are ready. Get up without the high speed heavy edge start and move forward on the board. Flight school "No fly zone!" Master this and no walk of shame.

RAL INN
VIC, 2257 posts
22 Nov 2017 10:11AM
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Having a huge fin in the form of a mast when board is in water and the inherent upwind drive of a foil in flight mode makes going upwind easy. Plus when we start out we are also still tuned into our TT/SB riding style that says we control speed by turning upwind if we need to slow down and or keep line tension and kite control.
Add the early foil flights when you find out that pointing higher into wind from a reach doesn't slow speed but increases speed, and the recipe for ending up in a downwind walk of shame is all there.
i was I suppose lucky to begin in Shallow Inlet where in a sweet WSW going upwind meant running aground so I had to go down before up.
Maybe focussing on starting by looking to balance on board without line tension as early as possible is worth considering for some.

Gorgo
VIC, 3837 posts
22 Nov 2017 3:21PM
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Too much thinking. Not enough doing. You will intuitively develop a bunch of theories about what is happening and they will help you ... a bit. They'll be complete BS but it'll keep you amused while you're learning.

Everybody (me included) has theories about how and why and what is happening when you foil and what you do. They are all wrong because they're just the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

Over the long term, foiling is exactly the same as every other discipline in kiting. All the techniques and methods and disciplines of kiting apply to foiling. Thing is, it takes months to years to develop the level of facility to do the things you're used to doing on a TT.If you're finding things hard then you just need to do it more. If people offer you magic tips and tricks and techniques, chances are they're only repeating their current level of incompetence.

Alysum
NSW, 247 posts
22 Nov 2017 11:03PM
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I had my first crack with the Hoverglide on the short taxi mast. Strapless. Managed a couple of runs which was really cool.

I could immediately see that to turn you need to twist the hips. I was also pushing with my back leg more than I thought I needed to.

The water starts are hard, I'm holding the board sideways with one hand and diving the kite with the other arm. Half way down the dive both hands reach the bars.

It was light wind so I couldn't resist pointing it downwind a bit. What's the problem with that in stronger winds? Too much power and foiling too early?

Funny thing is I could handle the foil better in the opposite direction of my usual stance on the surf board....

DukeSilver
WA, 137 posts
22 Nov 2017 8:27PM
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Select to expand quote
Alysum said..
I had my first crack with the Hoverglide on the short taxi mast. Strapless. Managed a couple of runs which was really cool.

I could immediately see that to turn you need to twist the hips. I was also pushing with my back leg more than I thought I needed to.

The water starts are hard, I'm holding the board sideways with one hand and diving the kite with the other arm. Half way down the dive both hands reach the bars.

It was light wind so I couldn't resist pointing it downwind a bit. What's the problem with that in stronger winds? Too much power and foiling too early?

Funny thing is I could handle the foil better in the opposite direction of my usual stance on the surf board....


Just FYI, you don't need to angle the board on it's side with your hand with the Taxi and Touch and Go masts. I can water start my 60cm Hoverglide mast (strapless as well) by putting my heels close to the windward rail and sining the kite side to side until I'm up on the board. Heel pressure combined with the board being pushed downwind will angle the board enough to get you going. What you are doing by holding the board on it's edge is good practice for the full length mast though.

Feeling more comfortable on your non-preferred side is a common experience for many when foiling.

Going downwind was never an issue for me so if you're finding it easy as well that's great. Prior to my first time on the foil, I had read that going downwind was tricky. I just found it fun and an amazing feeling as everything goes quiet. The Hoverglide might be the reason it seems easy as it's a pretty rock solid, stable foil. A carbon race wing might be a different beast to go downwind on.

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 527 posts
24 Nov 2017 11:59AM
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Take Salsa dance classes. I am serious. You will improve your positioning on the board in no time.

RAL INN
VIC, 2257 posts
24 Nov 2017 1:23PM
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NorthernKitesAUS said..
Take Salsa dance classes. I am serious. You will improve your positioning on the board in no time.

Ha. If I did that my wife would take over what's left of my spare time

Alysum
NSW, 247 posts
24 Nov 2017 3:21PM
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Select to expand quote
NorthernKitesAUS said..
Take Salsa dance classes. I am serious. You will improve your positioning on the board in no time.


I do pilates to work on my core/balance. That is far more important I reckon.



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"Runaway foil - beginner question !" started by Lambie