Yesterday I went foiling for the first time at a surf beach (Cronulla). Needless to say it was rather scary getting out past waves, body dragging and getting smashed by waves and losing the foilboard in the process. I kitesurf in waves with a surfboard bur have no confidence on the foil in white water.
Besides the obvious of looking for a flat area, what's the best way to get out safely, especially how to hold the foil board ? I keep my kite up at 12... Cheers
It's a pain, but I turn my foilboard upside down,then put my arm over the nose of the board and wedge it in my armpit.
Then body drag controlling the wing with the free arm.Usually I just work the kite from 12 to 10 and back, but no further back so there's no chance of the lines getting caught around the foil.It's the best way I've found and I use it when getting out through the shore dump or whitewater ducking under the waves where it's too shallow.You don't even notice the foil going through the waves.
Was that you on the 10m blue Reo? I had just come in on a 7m.
Yesterday the sets were still quite big so you needed to time your get out. Always watch for at least 10 - 15mins and longer if much overhead to sus the timing sequence.
At the moment there are deep rips every 500m so use them. (I think you did that but spent too long trying to get out beyond the break so you got caught)
Walk out as far as possible on the upwind shallow bank as you can and wait for a set to go though.
Drop into the rip until chest depth and get up immediately and ride out, you will have to go through a few smaller white water just take them slow. If a set comes turn back into the rip and wait it out.
If its low tide and no deep rips then I do the following.
Board on its side on the downwind side grab the front under your arm tight. You must keep the board 90deg to the wave (grabbing a front foot strap is easier if you have one)
With the kite in the other hand swing 10 -2 to create resistance against the board and sail out don't hang about.
When a wave come you need to swing the kite forward hard and duck as deep as possible just before the wave hits. Keep the board into the wave or it will get ripped away. Use the kite to pull you though the back recover and get ready for the next one.
As soon as you sense a lull, get up a go you don't have to be out the back.
If its really big then walk about 1 - 2Km up the beach you can always get out somewhere.
You have to take a few licks but its worth it, just avoid the shallow outer banks at all cost there is no getting though them when big.
See you next time.
Also pick the wind angle.
you do need to be powering straight into waves when bodydragging.
also don't be afraid to get on foil as soon as deep enough. Riding over the waves is maybe easier on the foil. Even if not up on foil.
Getting out in cross, cross on is by far the easiest.
Watch for the lull in the sets. You want to time your walk out so when you get to water start depth you are in a lull in the sets.
I do a similar thing to KB7. Look for a rip and exploit it. Look for dumping sections and try to avoid those. As soon as the foil is deep enough to body drag I put the foil down have board half sticking out of the water and the foil parrallel to the water surface. I then place a hand new the front strap and power up the kite and start the drag. You can actually feel the foil lifting and driving you upwind while dragging. Going through the white wash you can hold the strap and duck dive or if surf is too big and you don't want to be rinsed in the washing machine with a floating axe for a big dumper you simply push the foil away with your hand and use the kite to power you through the wave. Collect your foil after passing through the wave.
Then you need a super fast technique to get onto the board and water start, Commit and blast as fast as you can to get out past the breakers.
Yes had the same fun up at Kirra yesterday. After a failed attempt straight off the beach i walked out on a sandbar which had a deep gutter next to it. Body dragged into the gutter and was away.
i find a good vocabulary of swearing helps too.