Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

Advice for a beginner?

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Created by lanson 8 months ago, 2 Sep 2018
lanson
NSW, 3 posts
3 Sep 2018 12:49AM
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Hoping some of you guys might be able to provide some guidance for a beginner. I'm interested in getting into windsurfing for racing, fitness and if foiling is within reach that seems like it'd be a lot of fun. I have a lot of experience in dinghies, skiffs, sports boats, yachts, a little bit of kiting (unfortunately there was rarely enough wind when I had time) and a tiny bit of windsurfing about 15 years ago. If my memory is correct I can go in a straight line though turning corners wasn't as successful - though maybe part of that was the board being too small (~100L).

Some questions I have:
- Do I need to be an expert on windsurfers and then get a foiling setup? or is there a board & rig I can get to improve my skills before putting the foil on?
- What do I buy? Budget is a factor though I'd rather spend wisely than being super cheap. Is it possible to buy a board which will take me from learning... to foiling... to getting around a course? which sails, masts, boom?
- What's the racing like in Sydney? Preferably south side of harbour somewhere between Dobroyd and Woollahra or Botany Bay.
- What's the racing wind range?
- What's the minimum wind needed to be able to get around the course? is it possible to get around a course low riding with either the foil or a normal fin?

Sorry for having so many questions...

Thanks for your help!

elmo
WA, 7883 posts
3 Sep 2018 8:32AM
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Get your basics sorted with windsurfing first, you don't need to be a professional to foil, just competent.

With foiling everybody goes back to square 2 to learn, there's a lot to take in but once over the WTF moments of flying above the water you quickly get in the groove and pick things up.

Subsonic
WA, 1582 posts
3 Sep 2018 10:13AM
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A number of the manufacturers produce foil ready boards that can be sailed as a normal set up. Boards have grown significantly wider than when you last tried (especially foil boards) which will make things a lot easier for you when learning.

be sure to tape some foam on the nose of the board when you're learning too.

6knots gets thrown around as the minimum race wind for the pros. For the (very) average joe, im finding 10-12 knots is what i need to have fun.

Paducah
340 posts
3 Sep 2018 10:23AM
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www.windfoilzone.com/single-post/Windfoiling-In-Light-Wind-Windsurf-Destinations

Brazilian club is taking the step to get people on a foil pretty early on the learning curve. Interesting perspective.

RAL INN
VIC, 2689 posts
3 Sep 2018 5:16PM
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Get back into windsurfing and get hold of the basics.
ie: waterstarts, harness and straps and gybes.
i would expect trying to foil before this would be futile.

lanson
NSW, 3 posts
3 Sep 2018 11:42PM
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Thanks guys!

My thinking was most definitely to get the basics right first. I was hoping to avoid buying a beginners setup and then need to get a completely different setup in a few months. Sounds like a foil ready board which can be used with a fin makes sense. The foam on the nose is also a good tip!

RAL INN
VIC, 2689 posts
4 Sep 2018 10:35AM
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A Slalom type board about 75cm wide and maybe 125-145litres May let you get the basics and if it has a reinforced Tuttle box as many later models do then it will be ok for foil.
the 2018 Zeeko Windfoil for instance is designed to be used with such Slalom boards.
while the initial learning with a Slalom board might be tricky the progress past the raw beginning stages will be good.
maybe get some lessons first on some beginners gear.

IndecentExposur
72 posts
4 Sep 2018 8:36AM
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It helps to remember the basics of windsurfing first. I windsurfed as a kid 20 years ago, then took it up 2 years ago on some traditional boards. I located the widest boards I could for beginner and intermediate (Starboard Go, JP 205). I learned all the basics with those boards again.
This last winter, I was searching for a isonic (formula-ish, wide easy planning board), and ran across the newer, foil ready boards. Everyone said that learning to foil with the basics down will help a lot, but if you're an expert level windsurfer, you can bring over bad habits and need to unlearn a few skills.
I got the Starboard Foil 147 with a GT foil. I can use this board with a regular fin. So far, I haven't been on my regular windsurfers much because this board and foil are versatile enough to do most of what you want. It's wide enough to learn on, but if you want to take it up into the air you can.

My theory is, if you have the money, do it! Just buy a board that is foil ready and wide.

Heliboy999
22 posts
23 Feb 2019 8:52PM
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Hi There.

I started to learn last year.

Made a few videos charting my progress and some of the stuff I learned.

Have a look at my channel on youtube.

I knew nothing, I learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn but I am up and running with a good understanding of what happens.

Lee

&t=182s

CAN17
213 posts
23 Feb 2019 9:41PM
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Select to expand quote
Heliboy999 said..
Hi There.

I started to learn last year.

Made a few videos charting my progress and some of the stuff I learned.

Have a look at my channel on youtube.

I knew nothing, I learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn but I am up and running with a good understanding of what happens.

Lee

&t=182s


Wow, I guess he really wants people to see his video!!!!!!!!!!!

Heliboy999
22 posts
24 Feb 2019 12:43AM
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Select to expand quote
CAN17 said..

Heliboy999 said..
Hi There.

I started to learn last year.

Made a few videos charting my progress and some of the stuff I learned.

Have a look at my channel on youtube.

I knew nothing, I learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn but I am up and running with a good understanding of what happens.

Lee

&t=182s



Wow, I guess he really wants people to see his video!!!!!!!!!!!


Far from it. Thought it would be good for a beginner to know that the stuff you go through is normal and if my trials and problems can help then watch or don't watch. Wish there had been more info and help last year when I started.

segler
84 posts
24 Feb 2019 1:01AM
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I agree. When I started windfoiling in 2017 there was very little video help out there. Now there is quite a lot. This helps a lot.

I like Heliboy's videos. Any beginner can feel encouraged by those videos.

CAN17
213 posts
24 Feb 2019 6:05AM
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Select to expand quote
Heliboy999 said..


CAN17 said..



Heliboy999 said..
Hi There.

I started to learn last year.

Made a few videos charting my progress and some of the stuff I learned.

Have a look at my channel on youtube.

I knew nothing, I learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn but I am up and running with a good understanding of what happens.

Lee

&t=182s





Wow, I guess he really wants people to see his video!!!!!!!!!!!




Far from it. Thought it would be good for a beginner to know that the stuff you go through is normal and if my trials and problems can help then watch or don't watch. Wish there had been more info and help last year when I started.



Just a joke mate...no hard feelings.
Anyway the three threads you posted the vid where relivent to your video

I would still consider myself in the beginnier stages, only done it for one season and have a lot to learn...so ya I wish there were more videos of people starting out.

Also I feel that it is encouraging for heavey weights( no effence) doing well in foiling. Considering brands like Neil pryde have had problems with masts bending.


IndecentExposur
72 posts
5 Mar 2019 12:49AM
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Select to expand quote
Heliboy999 said..
Hi There.

I started to learn last year.

Made a few videos charting my progress and some of the stuff I learned.

Have a look at my channel on youtube.

I knew nothing, I learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn but I am up and running with a good understanding of what happens.

Lee

&t=182s


I just ran across your videos. Like many on here, foiling or not, we've all learned from our mistakes trying out new sports. That's why it's fun. You videos are pretty good. I could easily see why and how you're trying to relate issues with the actual solutions. Understanding why a failure happens is more helpful than just telling people "Do this, and it will work". Jem Hall (I think) has mistake/correction commentary in some of this older jibing videos.

Well done Heli! I may join you on the YouTube discussion circuit as I've been taking copious notes learning without an instructor.

IE

Paducah
340 posts
16 Mar 2019 10:33PM
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Great article regarding foiling and beginners:
www.yachtingnz.org.nz/news/foiling-helps-lift-windsurfing-new-level

"The big difference now is that the skill required to go windfoiling is minimal," says McIntosh, who first learned to windsurf on Lake Rotorua in 1979. "Eli Liefting [who is a 29er sailor] had done three hours of windsurfing and I sent him out on a normal board and 20 knots of wind and got him foiling after three hours. Normally you need about 10 hours on a windsurfer to get going."

WhiteofHeart
106 posts
18 Mar 2019 10:45AM
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Maybe an unpopular opinion, but 2 mates of mine started foiling (and windsurfing) last year and they've never used a regular windsurfboard, except for a schoolboard to learn the basics (tacking / lightwind jibe, sailing upwind, trapeze). One of them is currently starting to fly through his jibes (hes 26), the other flying comforatbly, never crashing by playing it a little safe (he's 60+). Their background is very similar to yours, with both of them competing in the 49er class before starting to foil. Foiling has some plusses in the learning stage (we let a lot of kids try it who are just starting out learning to plane), namely the insane power under the backfoot, meaning you can stand on the back all you want and the board will plane, allowing you to learn to get in the straps way faster. Some might say this implies learning the wrong technique, but thats not true, because the foilboard will automatically (if setup correctly) force you into a more front footed (weight forward) stance, very suitable for efficient windsurfing. Second is the fact that you don't have to rig overpowered (for their subjective feeling), but can rig the same size with the same power as used for learning the very basics.

Do with it what you want, in my opinion its never to early to start foiling, and you might even grasp the intricasies faster than all those people who have been windsurfing for 25 years and completely got stuck in their technique. My mates have been on the water since they started every week, twice to thrice a week (like me). All that I'm saying is based on the idea you buy a balanced and stable piece of kit, Like the 2020 F-One foil + board which are coming in a few months, or a slingshot 76/84 + board. My friends learned on F-One foils+JP 135 Board, a Manta/DUOboards combi, and a pryde alu/Jp135 combi, and liked the last one the least (booking the least progression, crashing loads and feeling unstable), together with putting a foil in a regular slalomboard. Starting with one of the latter described setups will definately impair learning, if you're not willing to put down the cash to get a decently balanced and easy setup I'd recommend starting regular windsurfing first.

EDIT: Seeing as you want to get into racing: A starboard race (PRO) setup would be suitable to begin too, for they are also very stable, especially coupled with a starboard board. However, I would discourage directly buying a 91cm wide windfoil racing board or formula board For that would imply the use of big sails immediately, better atart out smaller with something like the SB144 with a 6.0 and changing the board for a 177 later. If going for this option its paramount you practice when not really powered up (say max 15 kts for an 85kg sailor), otherwise It'd be too powerful for a beginner.

IndecentExposur
72 posts
18 Mar 2019 10:14PM
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Select to expand quote
WhiteofHeart said..
Maybe an unpopular opinion, but 2 mates of mine started foiling (and windsurfing) last year and they've never used a regular windsurfboard, except for a schoolboard to learn the basics (tacking / lightwind jibe, sailing upwind, trapeze). One of them is currently starting to fly through his jibes (hes 26), the other flying comforatbly, never crashing by playing it a little safe (he's 60+). Their background is very similar to yours, with both of them competing in the 49er class before starting to foil. Foiling has some plusses in the learning stage (we let a lot of kids try it who are just starting out learning to plane), namely the insane power under the backfoot, meaning you can stand on the back all you want and the board will plane, allowing you to learn to get in the straps way faster. Some might say this implies learning the wrong technique, but thats not true, because the foilboard will automatically (if setup correctly) force you into a more front footed (weight forward) stance, very suitable for efficient windsurfing. Second is the fact that you don't have to rig overpowered (for their subjective feeling), but can rig the same size with the same power as used for learning the very basics.

Do with it what you want, in my opinion its never to early to start foiling, and you might even grasp the intricasies faster than all those people who have been windsurfing for 25 years and completely got stuck in their technique. My mates have been on the water since they started every week, twice to thrice a week (like me). All that I'm saying is based on the idea you buy a balanced and stable piece of kit, Like the 2020 F-One foil + board which are coming in a few months, or a slingshot 76/84 + board. My friends learned on F-One foils+JP 135 Board, a Manta/DUOboards combi, and a pryde alu/Jp135 combi, and liked the last one the least (booking the least progression, crashing loads and feeling unstable), together with putting a foil in a regular slalomboard. Starting with one of the latter described setups will definately impair learning, if you're not willing to put down the cash to get a decently balanced and easy setup I'd recommend starting regular windsurfing first.

EDIT: Seeing as you want to get into racing: A starboard race (PRO) setup would be suitable to begin too, for they are also very stable, especially coupled with a starboard board. However, I would discourage directly buying a 91cm wide windfoil racing board or formula board For that would imply the use of big sails immediately, better atart out smaller with something like the SB144 with a 6.0 and changing the board for a 177 later. If going for this option its paramount you practice when not really powered up (say max 15 kts for an 85kg sailor), otherwise It'd be too powerful for a beginner.


I disagree regarding the size of the board needs to match the sail size. Even though the website matches volume to sail size, once the board is a out of the water, the only thing that matters is the foil and power behind the sail. The board helps to get planning faster, and the SB177 is arguably an easier platform to learn on in addition to having a high performing foil board. The race foils by SB are also much more stable for beginners. The only downside to the 177 is the cost.

WhiteofHeart
106 posts
20 Mar 2019 4:16PM
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Select to expand quote
IndecentExposur said..




WhiteofHeart said..
Maybe an unpopular opinion, but 2 mates of mine started foiling (and windsurfing) last year and they've never used a regular windsurfboard, except for a schoolboard to learn the basics (tacking / lightwind jibe, sailing upwind, trapeze). One of them is currently starting to fly through his jibes (hes 26), the other flying comforatbly, never crashing by playing it a little safe (he's 60+). Their background is very similar to yours, with both of them competing in the 49er class before starting to foil. Foiling has some plusses in the learning stage (we let a lot of kids try it who are just starting out learning to plane), namely the insane power under the backfoot, meaning you can stand on the back all you want and the board will plane, allowing you to learn to get in the straps way faster. Some might say this implies learning the wrong technique, but thats not true, because the foilboard will automatically (if setup correctly) force you into a more front footed (weight forward) stance, very suitable for efficient windsurfing. Second is the fact that you don't have to rig overpowered (for their subjective feeling), but can rig the same size with the same power as used for learning the very basics.

Do with it what you want, in my opinion its never to early to start foiling, and you might even grasp the intricasies faster than all those people who have been windsurfing for 25 years and completely got stuck in their technique. My mates have been on the water since they started every week, twice to thrice a week (like me). All that I'm saying is based on the idea you buy a balanced and stable piece of kit, Like the 2020 F-One foil + board which are coming in a few months, or a slingshot 76/84 + board. My friends learned on F-One foils+JP 135 Board, a Manta/DUOboards combi, and a pryde alu/Jp135 combi, and liked the last one the least (booking the least progression, crashing loads and feeling unstable), together with putting a foil in a regular slalomboard. Starting with one of the latter described setups will definately impair learning, if you're not willing to put down the cash to get a decently balanced and easy setup I'd recommend starting regular windsurfing first.

EDIT: Seeing as you want to get into racing: A starboard race (PRO) setup would be suitable to begin too, for they are also very stable, especially coupled with a starboard board. However, I would discourage directly buying a 91cm wide windfoil racing board or formula board For that would imply the use of big sails immediately, better atart out smaller with something like the SB144 with a 6.0 and changing the board for a 177 later. If going for this option its paramount you practice when not really powered up (say max 15 kts for an 85kg sailor), otherwise It'd be too powerful for a beginner.






I disagree regarding the size of the board needs to match the sail size. Even though the website matches volume to sail size, once the board is a out of the water, the only thing that matters is the foil and power behind the sail. The board helps to get planning faster, and the SB177 is arguably an easier platform to learn on in addition to having a high performing foil board. The race foils by SB are also much more stable for beginners. The only downside to the 177 is the cost.





I suppose you have only 1 foilboard, or at least no smaller ones? Im not saying its not doable, just saying the 177 is a very powerful board. However, getting both feet in the straps with a 5.0 on the 177 Will feel really really off. (On my formula the smallest comfortable sailsize is 7.0 and tbh under 5.0 already feels awkward on the 86 wide JP135) The boards volume doesnt matter at all, but the width has an impact on the strappositions and the racingboards have their masttracks positioned differently from freeride setups. A wider board feels more stable, but is also a lot more powerful across the wind and downwind, not ideal for a beginner.

A JP135 or SB144 (depending on whether you get a starboard foil or a different brand) Will be much more allround for use with smaller sails also.

To be honest, I have never used a SB177. To compensate I did get a go on other boards in the racing category, namely the JP155, 150 and Fanatic Falcon Foil which are similar boards to the SB177, and have a hand in freeride board development for F-One

seanhogan
3023 posts
20 Mar 2019 5:06PM
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tend to agree with Indecent, I use from 4.7 (cammed) to 8.6 on my fat tiki (2.18/ 1m wide) with the starboard race.
I don't feel the need to have another foil board.
WOH is right, using a small sail has a little impact on strap positionning, but nothing dramatic, I just don't use the rear strap if it's not windy enough when on a small sail.

so if you're going to have one kit go wide !

7-Nation Aust
QLD, 105 posts
22 Mar 2019 9:13AM
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Check out www.foil-academy.com/courses/wind-foil-academy

Free online video series with 10 min clips explaining all the aspects about wind foiling



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"Advice for a beginner?" started by lanson