Forums > Stand Up Paddle Foiling

SUP foiling, my first steps.

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Created by colas > 9 months ago, 9 Apr 2017
PeterP
810 posts
2 May 2017 2:56PM
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Nice to follow your progress Colas - I'm on 4 sessions with one year kitefoiling as back-up. I'm pretty much where you are with minor flights. I'm not using straps (yet) and have found that foot-positioning is critical and time behind a boat would probably sort this out quickly.

Wrt to crowded line-ups I've found that using a foil really is no different to using any other surf, sup-craft - your kill-zone is the same and you just always have to be out of harms way - whether paddling out or riding in. I bailed on a couple of waves where surfers where within the kill-zone of my preferred surfing line - rather safe than sorry just like on any other craft.

My biggest scare was on my 3rd day in conditions with straight of-shore wind with 15knot+ gusts - bailing off the board, the foil creates lift and wind gets under board and flips it out of water back towards you.....not pretty - caveat emptor.

Otherwise enjoying the new learning curve, I thought my kite foiling would give me more of an advantage but not being locked into straps allows for tiny foot misplacement on the SUP which gets punished instantly once you take flight - really considering adding straps....

colas
4971 posts
2 May 2017 5:10PM
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PeterP said..
have found that foot-positioning is critical


Thanks for the feedback!

If you do not want to use straps, I guess you should try to have some way to feel underfoot where you are. Perhaps glue some raised pad like a skimboard ridge on the stringer at the proper foot position? Or use the semi-open "hooks" like NSI FootHooks www.northshoreinc.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=243 ?

On "straight of-shore wind with 15knot+ gusts - bailing off the board, the foil creates lift and wind gets under board and flips it out of water back towards you" is where the straps help a lot, keeping you away from the foil. But I understand there is also the risk of being stuck in the straps (in my experience it can happen if you fall backside "layback style").
Which risk is higher...?

Do you use straps when kitefoiling?

PeterP
810 posts
2 May 2017 8:24PM
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colas said..

PeterP said..
have found that foot-positioning is critical



Thanks for the feedback!

If you do not want to use straps, I guess you should try to have some way to feel underfoot where you are. Perhaps glue some raised pad like a skimboard ridge on the stringer at the proper foot position? Or use the semi-open "hooks" like NSI FootHooks www.northshoreinc.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=243 ?

On "straight of-shore wind with 15knot+ gusts - bailing off the board, the foil creates lift and wind gets under board and flips it out of water back towards you" is where the straps help a lot, keeping you away from the foil. But I understand there is also the risk of being stuck in the straps (in my experience it can happen if you fall backside "layback style").
Which risk is higher...?

Do you use straps when kitefoiling?


I use footstraps when kite-foiling - but mostly just use the front one. Only use the back one when going upwind. I'm used to straps from kiting and windsurfing. I want to learn to foil without and then maybe add later...

colas
4971 posts
3 May 2017 3:54PM
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PeterP said..
I use footstraps when kite-foiling - but mostly just use the front one. Only use the back one when going upwind. I'm used to straps from kiting and windsurfing. I want to learn to foil without and then maybe add later...


I would advise the opposite: learn to foil with the straps and then go without once you know you to keep your balance, which should be quite fast with your experience. Learning the balance without the straps is where the danger lies in my opinion, no need to take more risks than necessary. Plus straps helps recover gracefully when you fly too high and stall and dive back in the water.


I'd say that using only the front strap seems quite doable however. I seemed to get all the control I needed with only the front strap in. Patrice Guenole 11 year old son (in the picture below) is using only a front strap for instance to learn foiling, I guess because he never used straps before.




When I go fast, I feel more secure with both feet in the straps, but in controllable situations, being able to adjust the rear foot seems better. But both feet in the straps, you seem to be able to "hop" into the wave on takeoffs like a snowboarder would hop on the flats to take off on non-breaking waves.

Piros
QLD, 6853 posts
3 May 2017 6:07PM
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This video on Sup foiling is the bomb and really puts to sleep the need for foot straps. The mast point mount is 21 inches from the tail (530mm) this measurement isn't super critical but is the norm for swing weight on the foil and that's why I questioned your 34 inch (863mm) mount on your board Colas. You don't need to reinvent the wheel there are tons of Sup foil videos showing 21 to 25 inch works, (its 15 inch on a prone board). That's why you are continually riding with your back foot in front of the back strap trying to push it down. The further forward the mast point the faster it rises. You need it to stay down on take off.

Props to you posting these videos , its a hard journey to learn to Sup foil but the straps have to go for learning you need to be able to paddle in with your feet forward and take off with the board flat then creep your feet back to let it rise slowly. You can't do this with straps. Straps come later when you bust out of learning phase.

Your back foot needs to be over or near the mast point for control , so by moving your back forward out of your strap you loose all control of the foil. Lose the straps and shift your front foot forward to catch the wave then creep it back to slowly rise on the foil. Plus get that mast point back near the tail to control swing weight and things will start coming together.

www.supjournal.com/article,news,amit-inbar-en-sup-foil-a-chicama,4556

colas
4971 posts
3 May 2017 6:30PM
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Frankly, I beg to differ. After trying with and without straps, I understand now why SUP foiling did not take off 7 years ago when Bruno Andre pioneered it and made a production foil and board offering:
- it is insanely hard without straps
- being positioned in the rear makes the board un-balanced in the air, with a huge swing weight far away up front, and wind catching issues that even made Bruno dig a hole in the front of his board to let the air pass through...
- it is slow as hell to paddle

And I could find many videos of people SUPing strapped (Kalama, Laird, ...) (*).

I would just ask you to ponder this fact: If I was to cut the last 33cm/13" of my board at the tail, I will have exactly the measurements that you recommend, both for the foil and foot placement. It is like I am using a 7'8" board now, with 13" added for paddling efficiency but out of the way in flight.
And in the opposite: consider adding 1' of tail to your board: it will not change anything in the air, it will just make it faster to paddle.
Note that I actually considered cutting 1' at the tail of my board once having progressed, to ease pumping (the tail can drag a bit in the water on pumping close to it) and gain some weight. But frankly, is it worth it considering that you ruin the paddling speed to be able to fetch foiling spots far away from the crowds?

In my opinion, with a foil in the rear, you are forced to move a lot forward on the board to be able to take off, that's why you think you need to have the feet free to move back in the flying position. But the trick of the centered position is to make the paddling position efficient for take off the same as the one for flying!
Basically you may feel you need to have to move your feet... because your feet are not on the proper position to begin with.

(*) Here is one with Austin Kalama. Note how when he paddles his feet are around the front footstrap. Since I paddle with the feet between the 2 straps, his paddling position would be the one I would have if I was to cut the last 1' of my board.

colas
4971 posts
4 May 2017 8:39PM
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Also, see this video: without straps, each time he touches the water again, he falls...

colas
4971 posts
5 May 2017 5:04PM
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I found out we started a thread on SUP foiling here on seabreeze ... 7 years ago!
www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Stand-Up-Paddle/SUP/SUP-Foil

I guess it was forgotten because the technique and gear at the time was too hard to learn for this new sport to take off...

19 May 2017 2:05PM
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All I can say is get behind a boat & within 3 goes you've got it sussed....No footstraps & get a proper Foil specific board that's made for it...Get a GoFoil or Naish because these guys no what they're doing...It's so addictive when you're doing it right!

Casso
NSW, 3763 posts
19 May 2017 10:27PM
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My second session in the surf:













Photos by: Chappo.

teatrea
QLD, 4177 posts
20 May 2017 4:42PM
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Only had two sessions on my go foil. Wow I'm hooked, the feeling of a magic carpet ride is great.havent been this frothed out in ages.

colas
4971 posts
20 May 2017 3:38PM
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Nice Casso! You may consider adding some pad arch under the feet position to feel where you put your feet and a bit more leverage, if you do not want to use straps.

Chuck patterson: "I've found it extremely helpful to add a surf stomp deck pad just behind where my back foot needs to be. This way, I can slide my foot back until I hit the kick pad; thus, keeping me from having to look down every time I take off on a wave in order to accurately place my foot above the foil. I also like to add an arch bar deck pad from the front foot to help with foot placement there as well. This front pad allows me to really grip the board while turning and pumping in deep open ocean swells." instandupjournal.com/gear/stand-up-paddle-foiling-puerto-rico/



Teatrea, yes. I am out of the water for some time due to a minor health problem (infected cyst), I cannot wait to resume my foiling sessions!

colas
4971 posts
20 May 2017 4:00PM
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Xavier Leroy is now learning to foil, and he is quite gifted. These videos are him on a SUP, I guess his 3rd session, and the surf foil video (on a Simmons shape) is of his 3rd surf foil session. Note that since he never used straps before, he is reluctant to use straps, so the learning curve was very steep, as he said that he was always falling on the foil, but it shows that younger riders learn faster, even not being a teen anymore...

He says that he actually felt Surf foiling was easier, since the board being much smaller, you did not have room to place the feet at the wrong place :-)

SUP:



Surf:

Piros
QLD, 6853 posts
20 May 2017 8:12PM
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Colas you know what the big difference in those 2 videos you posted above is the mast point mount. The first video is the mast point mount is way too far forward as I mentioned in my previous post. When he pumps the tail drags. The second video the mast point is way back and look how much better he rides. I don't get your love for straps you just don't need them for paddle in, tow in yes..

I've been out of the water for the past 10 weeks due to a shoulder reconstruction but today we tested another of my foil bad Ideas the Slalom Ski Foil. Epic fail but we have a new ski and foil on the way , this will happen....



and this with the Boogie board




Just one more , watch this one full screen....

ODSUP
NSW, 282 posts
20 May 2017 10:05PM
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Piros said..
Colas you know what the big difference in those 2 videos you posted above is the mast point mount. The first video is the mast point mount is way too far forward as I mentioned in my previous post. When he pumps the tail drags. The second video the mast point is way back and look how much better he rides. I don't get your love for straps you just don't need them for paddle in, tow in yes..

I've been out of the water for the past 10 weeks due to a shoulder reconstruction but today we tested another of my foil bad Ideas the Slalom Ski Foil. Epic fail but we have a new ski and foil on the way , this will happen....



and this with the Boogie board




Just one more , watch this one full screen....




amazing and great work Rob
I can see the start of living the stoke 3
love the sounds of Richard Clapton
hope you can bring the ski and foils to Scotts

Piros
QLD, 6853 posts
20 May 2017 10:23PM
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For sure mate all toys loaded for Scotts...

colas
4971 posts
21 May 2017 2:41PM
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Piros said..
Colas you know what the big difference in those 2 videos you posted above is the mast point mount. The first video is the mast point mount is way too far forward as I mentioned in my previous post. When he pumps the tail drags. The second video the mast point is way back and look how much better he rides. I don't get your love for straps you just don't need them for paddle in, tow in yes..


The mast is more centered on a SUP so that you can paddle in the straps. As you do not paddle standing up you do not have this benefit on a surf, so no need to center the mast there. Plus dragging the tail is not an issue while learning, because it doesn't make you fall or abort the ride. So it slows you downs, but does not slow down your progress or put you at risk.

Xavier attempted the surf foil after his SUP foiling sessions, so he benefited from them. Plus he is younger, and an extremely gifted surfer.

On the straps issue, bear in mind that I am not trying to convince you to use straps, nor anyone already able to foil strapless, I am advocating them for people like me, not young anymore, not on the water everyday, and not wanting to risk injuries more than necessary. I want to tell them that by using straps, they will limit a lot the risks and speed up the learning curve immensely. Xavier for instance says the first sessions were super hard and he was always falling on the foil. You will avoid this dangerous stage with straps. (although with the blunt SUP foils, I thing the danger is a bit overrated compared to kite foils). All the people I know that tried both swear by the straps.

I may remove straps in the future when totally at ease foiling, just like I enjoyed windsurfing strapless in some conditions. But for learning for older people, not using straps is doing yourself a disservice.

Ah, and another interesting point with straps is the ability to "pump" on takeoff by pulling on the rear strap, a bit like you would when trying to move forward on a flat section with both feet in the bindings on a snowboard. It seems you really can use it to take off on very weak waves...

Colas (hoping to get back in the water soon)

colas
4971 posts
29 May 2017 2:30PM
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After more than a month out of the water, I hope to be able to resume my foiling adventures in some days!

In the meantime, I copy here the advice that Patrice Guenole has made to me en English on the French Gong forum:

====================================

Thanks Coolas for sharing and your impressions of the days to come.

My Boards designated for Foil are exactly that, made for Foil. So I'm not looking to put the Foil in and area that would habitually be for Fins, because they are not Fins. I am neither looking to place the rider is the usual position on the board that he would want to find himself in while surfing, because they are completely different. Coolas can testify to this quickly.

So yes my mounting is specific :
- Box and Straps well centered for fast rowing not so you can pull back while taking off, and to have as much useful row possible, and too be able to efficiently pump.
- Negative Angle on the Box : The Mast leaning to the front for the most efficient and fast rowing, for pumping while rowing and for flying when the board is parallel with the water.

All of this is VERY important for you to have a high level of performance.

Without it you will be taking off late (Oh the nightmare!!), and it would be like riding an Oaf around making the experience bizarre.
My tuning adjustments are tip top and my videos are proof of that.

The first stage is :
- Find the spot that works well ; far from the world, a gently dying wave, not to big, a mini waist high bump.
- Get passed the shore break with damaging your goods... don't laugh, I've had the experience..
- Row with what your dragging under you, not so easy.
- Get yourself at ease and relaxed enough to make an attempt at accelerating on the shoulder of one of these humps.
- Start doing take-offs that are tranquilo just to get used to slipping into your straps.

You will soon find out that rowing isn't a mellow walk in the park : you will need :

1/ To paddle Balls Out
2/ Advance yourself further up the board than you are accustomed to.
3/ Effortlessly find the Strap.

Notice that while Paddling at the moment of take-off on Foil you will passover into the energy of the wave and you will experience a 'Relief'. I mean to say that there will be a moment when the Foil is going to want to express itself and fly and in the beginning you will confuse this with being unbalanced. And right at that moment you must :
- Find the Forward Strap and start pumping to accelerate the takeoff.
- Jump on the board to get lifted up and out of the water if you are to far forward passed the Strap or to slow.
This instance is critical because if your actions at this moment are not clean you will transform into a simple vulgar surfer (hahahahaha) and you will be forced to take off with the glide of the board only.... oh so sad for you.

Once this point of no return has been attained you will be left with one or two seconds before you cross paths with the grim reaper.
But you are allowed to have as many 'beginnings' as you desire.

The key is to not 'try' and fly. Put it all on the front foot and above all, above all, above all : manage your weight shifts from toe to heel subtlety and with finesse.
Your worst falls will come from those aligned with poor weight shifting.
To be clear you shouldn't get caught up thinking about only this. Whether or not the Foil lifts to much or to little will not change much in your life. It can't backloop while during a take off and return back to the longitudinal axis, but laterally.uuummmmm, it does love to remind you that you board is less wide than long.. it will systematically want to come out and turn your board over. So you will either have an impact with the tip either with your forehead or the nape of your neck. Oh there are some special sensations headed your way for sure. Deep internal giggle.
So finesse in weight shifting (toe to heel) is your priority and the Straps will aide you in this enormously.

Advancing your foot is totally instinctive and the back foot is more like cotton, get rid of the back Strap if it helps and you can't handle it.

Be careful not to break the wings in the foam, it is the phase the most violent for them.
Be careful not to make knots with the leash.
Be careful to not harm others and yourself.

Enjoy....and carry a gold piece in case you end up crossing the river Styx;)!

colas
4971 posts
6 Jun 2017 5:01PM
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No video, but now 3 foiling sessions more since I could get back in the water 5 days ago.

I progress in each session. I am now able to better control my height, and thus I enter a new phase: being able to play with the foiling height just like a pelican zooming along the wave face. The speed gained by long, swooping arcs on the wave "face" and leaning on the front foot when going back down is unbelievable. It is more like the boost of the take off or a re-entry than pumping.

Also I realize that one should not draw definitive conclusions while still learning to foil (which seems to be quite long, finesse to play with the wave is so rich and deep). I was worried that a long board section behind the foil may drag... but now that I begin to know how to control my height, I discover this is irrelevant: the tail don't drag, it is just a lack of technique.

Foiling is quite complimentary to SUPing. Up to now, on every session, it was quite clear whether the conditions were better for foiling or SUPing. Crumbly = foil, Hollow = SUP. It adds a lot of on the water time...

Ah, I forgot, for those interested, Patrice Guenole has published the template to position the footstraps and foil box for the Gong foil (the position will depend on the mast and wing angles, which are different for each foil brand). Note that it is based only on the board handle (which indicates the paddling position), and is totally unrelated to the board tail.
www.gong-galaxy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=8981

DWF
552 posts
8 Jun 2017 3:27AM
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Thank you Colas for sharing your experience. I love it.

With this sport still so new, I encourage everyone to be open to new ideas.

It's too early for anyone to insist their way is the right way. It's just another way, so keep the sharing alive

seanhogan
QLD, 3424 posts
8 Jun 2017 3:36PM
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www.facebook.com/benjamin.tillier.39/videos/10154981612488884/

1.15 mn ride !!

colas
4971 posts
8 Jun 2017 3:04PM
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seanhogan said..
1.15 mn ride !!


And with apparently a Windfoil board, interesting!

seanhogan
QLD, 3424 posts
8 Jun 2017 7:43PM
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yes, an old Hypersonic 111 (77 wide) with NP carbon foil, the kid behind (Clement Colmas.....) is on a Starboard hypernut sup with a taroaa foil

colas
4971 posts
25 Jun 2017 11:09PM
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19th session this morning

This was the last 30 minutes of a 3h30 session, I was over-tired (6 weeks out of the water in the last 2 months, I need to get fit again) and with the lower tide, the spot attracted other SUP and surfers, but was quite fun!
I know fly much more reliably, and can control my height (well, most of the time).
I need now to work on my lines on the wave to tap more juice by riding higher, and work on my turns: rollers are quite hard because when you get down, it is up to the rider to push the nose downwards so the the foil wing follows the wave surface: if you do it like a normal roller, your nose will be too high and the wing will break the surface. But pushing the nose down gives instant insane acceleration, so you must be quite committed!

Some notes:

At 0:36 straps are so great to avoid falling on "simple" mistakes and continue the ride. Plus carving turns is a pure joy.

At 1:08 the benefits of a centered position with pulled in tail & nose shape for the board: the transition when touching the water in turns is smooth and non disruptive.

At 1:31 this shows where I progressed most recently: initiating the lift off, and some timid pumping

At 0:34 2:09 and 2:48 show what I said above about the rollers: I do not push the nose down enough and my wing breaches the surface

It is so good to be a beginner again!

charlieuk
355 posts
26 Jun 2017 5:58AM
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great work I'm on the same quest in learning but I cant help but think that that foil looks very unstable even compared to the takuma I'm riding and I think that could be improved also.

chucktheskiffie
219 posts
26 Jun 2017 10:46AM
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How critical do you think the board is?

I have a 9'6 Fanatic Prowave. I am a big guy so eve at 9'6 and 153lt its not hard for me to push it around...

All the boards i see are smaller but then again so are all the riders.

If i can fit a foil to the prowave, i'd be happy... but what reason would i have to NOT do that?

colas
4971 posts
26 Jun 2017 11:42AM
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chucktheskiffie said..
If i can fit a foil to the prowave, i'd be happy... but what reason would i have to NOT do that?



Actually, a long board is useful for learning, as:
- it slows down the reactions of the board, useful because at first things happen so fast
- it is stabler, and at first the foil messes with your balance as it makes you trip on any underwater movement
- it has less row, useful as we are finless
- it paddles faster, so it is easy to catch weak waves before they break, or go in small onshore conditions

I would advise to adopt a centered position for the foil, this is important on a long board to keep swing weigth to a minimum. And the prowave will be nice with the pointy ends for this too.

Be aware that if you do not use straps, you will need to put some pad to know where to put your feet. The board will be so stable that you will not feel that your feet are off-center till you are airborne, and it will be too late then.

Of course, I guess that with some technique a smaller board will be better, especially for pumping and for more vertical turns, and one will learn to use the foil to balance on, but don't worry, there is so many things to learn that you will not outgrow the prowave in just some days.

colas
4971 posts
26 Jun 2017 11:46AM
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charlieuk said..
great work I'm on the same quest in learning but I cant help but think that that foil looks very unstable even compared to the takuma I'm riding and I think that could be improved also.


I have not doubt all the current foils are the first generation and will surely improve in the future. Just look back at the beginnings of Surfing, Windsurfing, Kiting, SUPing...

This said, keep in mind that I have never foiled before, people with some kitefoiling background for example have progressed much faster than me on the same foil. This is the reason I documented my progress, to show that could be expected if you never foiled before and are not a light teenager anymore...

charlieuk
355 posts
26 Jun 2017 1:25PM
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colas said..


charlieuk said..
great work I'm on the same quest in I learning but I cant help but think that that foil looks very unstable even compared to the takuma I'm riding and I think that could be improved also.




I have not doubt all the current foils are the first generation and will surely improve in the future. Just look back at the beginnings of Surfing, Windsurfing, Kiting, SUPing...

This said, keep in mind that I have never foiled before, people with some kitefoiling background for example have progressed much faster than me on the same foil. This is the reason I documented my progress, to show that could be expected if you never foiled before and are not a light teenager anymore...



I quite agree however some apear to have it more right than others, I'm starting to get my head around how they are working and what is needed and plan to make a new set of wings to test which I'm 90% sure will work after spending many years of playing with model aeroplane design it's all very similar. I'm on my 5 session now and geting some fairly long stable flights and have never done any other foiling. The short mas has helped a lot but it just looks like your foil maybe making your life a lot harder especially in roll. I have been playing a lot with angles of the hole foil set up and found quite large changes in control while airborne. I started with it set parallel to the deck but found it was hard to get a nice balance between front and back foot. Shiming the front of the mount up made a big difference here and made pitch control a lot easier to mannage

Piros
QLD, 6853 posts
26 Jun 2017 6:24PM
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Hey Charlie here's my take on it , we have been testing 7 different foils on a dozen different boards and I have been teaching heaps of guys and they are all gliding on day one . This is what I have learnt from learning and teaching people to Sup foil.

First up mast mount: - Sup boards 9-0 to 8-0 21" to 23" from tail to back of mast . Super short Sups around 18" Disagree with Colas on the mid mount point it's just too far forward on the take off on waves and you can't keep the foil down. You need your back foot back to take the drop. If your mast point is too far forward you cannot take off with your foot back otherwise it lifts on the drop which is super dangerous. Take off with the board flat then shift your feet to let it rise , this is also the reason I hate straps for learners. There must be over a 100 videos supporting my mast mount position on the web , Colas you seem to be the only person preaching a mid point mount same goes for the straps (for learners) once you get it dialed for sure mount some straps for aggressive pumping and airs.

Board Shape: - Smaller is better but you still need volume. Swing weight plays a big part (you want less) so you need a board that will float you plus the foil . In your case Charlie the Takuma is heavy unlike the Go Foil which actually floats. You don't need a 30" wide board 27" or less is fine because the foil acts as a keel . You just need volume , fat rails and tail for stability , knock out most of the rocker in the tail so the foil is at 90 degrees to the board and have good nose lift for the touch downs. Mount a kick pad a couple of inches behind the mast mount for a foot reference. Flat water speed from the board plan shape is not that important as the foil will give you glide after a couple of strokes.

Track or Tuttle mount: - This will become a Beta v VHS battle as we stand now most foils are track mount but there are a few big players using the Tuttle. In my opinion retrofitting a Tuttle is stronger and more stream lined but the advantage of tracks is you can slide the foil back for learning for less lift , it lets you catch the wave staying down and when you get a clear run in front of you shift the feet back and let it rise slowly. This really speeds up the learning process as you are not getting spat off on the take off from over foiling. Once you get better slide the mast forward and it will lift with less back foot pressure. Again another reason NOT to mount it mid board. The stick on track mounts are a great way to get on the water fast , if you have too much tail rocker just cut a wedge out of a cutting board.

Boat or surf first ride: - 100% boat and don't use straps.The real dangerous fall behind the boat is the called the Hinge , where you cut away and fall head first towards the foil . Straps will keep you locked in and can be an ankle breaker. Doesn't happen so much in the surf but be careful behind a boat.

Any questions fire away or send me a PM happy to answer



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Forums > Stand Up Paddle Foiling


"SUP foiling, my first steps." started by colas