Forums > Stand Up Paddle Foiling

Learning to DW Foil

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Created by paul.j A week ago, 12 Jan 2019
paul.j
QLD, 2727 posts
12 Jan 2019 11:49AM
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I wrote a small piece on learning to DW foil for anyone who is interested, hopefully those looking at getting into it this might just give you a few tips and help a little with the learning process.

www.oneoceansportsaustralia.com/blog/2019/1/12/learning-to-downwind-foil

PeterP
613 posts
13 Jan 2019 1:11PM
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Nice write up - you guys make it look so tantalizingly easy.

I'm 53yo and used to be pretty handy on normal downwinders, have SUP foiled for about a year and a half and downwind foiled 12-15 times....and I still can't do it.

If wind is over 23kn ave (which means gusting to 33kn here) then I can get up and at best keep it on foil for about a minute. If wind is lower than that it's a real struggle to even get up on foil. It is hands down the hardest thing I've ever tried - it's incredibly physical and so technically demanding I don't know where to start.

In waves I have managed a couple of 2 for 1's meaning the pumping is only just beginning to get there, which by the way, IMHO, is the most crucial skill to have. I wouldn't recommend anyone doing a downwind until you have at least some basic pumping skills, it helps with launching and is essential to stay up on foil.

I think our conditions are about as good as it gets (Milnerton 10km run, Cape Town) but we only have one kid who can foil the whole way (Nathan van Vuuren aka foil-freak) there's a couple of other guys who are getting it and then a handful of grovellers like me. Don't get me wrong, it's improving every time but it's hard not to sit and reflect on age and power to weight ratio after another dismal outing.

Equipment wise I think we're sort of on it - using big ass wings and custom boards.

I'd like to know if there are any other middle-aged, 90kg + foilers out there who have cracked the code and can stay up on foil for 10km's?

paul.j
QLD, 2727 posts
13 Jan 2019 4:24PM
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All sounds pretty normal mate, it will go from one of the hardest things you have ever done to one of the easiest soon enough and if you are starting to get up for a minute at a time you are not far from cracking it.

More and more guys who once were just like you are now starting to get it.

Seajuice
NSW, 271 posts
13 Jan 2019 8:44PM
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Thanks Paul.j. Sounds like I still need more practise in the surf. Ha!
I am better now at getting up & running. And just starting to look where I am going to keep on the best part of the swell. Still got to try more leaning carving & pumping before I stop.
Oh! And save enough on taxi fare with a roof rack when I do Down wind to give me that 10kms lift back. Haa!

Scotty Mac
SA, 1817 posts
14 Jan 2019 8:32AM
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PeterP,
I am 48 and kind of the unfit looking type (92kg) but a pretty regular downwind paddler and after a fair bit of practice trial and error and (goo equipment selection) I feel like I am pretty comfortable doing it now. I would say just stick at it. Its all about timing and what i mean by that is sometimes if my timing is perfect even just 2 strokes and I am up. That wreaked feeling of trying to paddle hard to get up is amost gone so just keep going and I am sure you will get it. I did our whole run many many times and didnt even get up once a few times and felt totally buggered at the end. It can be very frustrating. Wing size- go big like the 280 or similar. Board size go around 7'6" so you have heaps of paddle power. Mine is 137 litres.

Piros
QLD, 5319 posts
14 Jan 2019 10:12AM
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Agree with above , hardest form of foiling to learn but best reward. Just keep at it.

tightlines
WA, 3134 posts
14 Jan 2019 8:57AM
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Select to expand quote
Scotty Mac said..
PeterP,
I am 48 and kind of the unfit looking type (92kg) but a pretty regular downwind paddler and after a fair bit of practice trial and error and (goo equipment selection) I feel like I am pretty comfortable doing it now. I would say just stick at it. Its all about timing and what i mean by that is sometimes if my timing is perfect even just 2 strokes and I am up. That wreaked feeling of trying to paddle hard to get up is amost gone so just keep going and I am sure you will get it. I did our whole run many many times and didnt even get up once a few times and felt totally buggered at the end. It can be very frustrating. Wing size- go big like the 280 or similar. Board size go around 7'6" so you have heaps of paddle power. Mine is 137 litres.




It was good seeing Trav's footage of you cruising along as well Scotty, it gives me hope.
I'm still not there yet but starting to get it a bit more, only a few short flights each time but each run I can feel it's getting closer.
I'm sure it would have been easier for me at around 85kg ATM on something with a bit more glide than my 6'8 108ltr board but I am confident I will get there so I'm happy with the size.
I've been kiting a bit on a large kite foil lately and trying to carve downwind, just to give me a better feel for foiling downwind so hopefully that will help.
Can't wait to give it another go.

Frothing like a grom.

Scotty Mac
SA, 1817 posts
14 Jan 2019 12:28PM
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Love that "frothing like a grom". Downwind foiling is so good, I prefer it over just about anything at the moment! Best fun ever......

murf
SA, 406 posts
14 Jan 2019 12:53PM
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Comparing all the water sports I have done downwind foiling has been the hardest thing to learn. If you can foil surf and sup downwind the learning curve wont be as harsh. The hardest part is learning to un-weight the board to get started. Scotty and myself have done so many runs when we didnt even get up on the foil. Now its the only thing I want to do. Its so much fun!!!



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"Learning to DW Foil" started by paul.j