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Can you use an old slalom board for foiling? (Or How to find a lost foil)

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Created by tbwonder 1 month ago, 13 Apr 2019
tbwonder
NSW, 175 posts
13 Apr 2019 9:02PM
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About a year ago I bought a second hand Neil Pryde aluminium foil and started to learn to foil. I used a twenty year old 75cm wide Caveman board. I was certainly not a natural and progress was quite slow, a few early injuries put me off a little but slowly I progressed and decided it was time to upgrade. I bought a shiny new Slingshot Ghost Whisperer. It was the most I had ever spent on a single piece of equipment. I had been using my Simmer Godzilla 85cm board for foiling for the last couple of months as it was a little wider than the Caveman. The new foil was a perfect fit in the deep tuttle box and the Whisperer has a large flange to spread the load.
My first few sessions were great, the new foil was certainly easier to fly. I checked around the fin box for signs of cracking, everything looked good. Then last Wednesday I was caught out in a strengthening southerly which must have reached 18-20 kts. I breeched badly and decided to head for home I was nearly back when suddenly I found myself in the water. I looked behind to see the tip of my foil disappearing below the surface!
Luckily I had my GPS on so I had a good fix on where it went down. I was hoping it would only be 3-5m down, but maps of the lake depth told me it was more like 10. Three days went by the more I discussed the issue with friends the less hope I had of seeing my foil again. They pointed out that the bottom was most likely not firm but either soft mud into which it would sink or deep seaweed which would obscure it. They explained the visibility would be terrible and that the foil may have drifted as it sank.
I took out my boat yesterday to see how easy it would be to get and stay in the correct spot. I measured the depth at 10 metres. Today two friends came laden with serious looking diving equipment. I had loaded a waypoint into my trusty GT31. We navigated to the spot and tossed in the anchor. They followed the anchor rope down and then attached a string to allow them to circle the anchor. Visibility was between 1 and 2 metres. For 12 agonizing minutes their bubbles floated up all around me, then up they came with the foil!

Location of foil

Blue line is the track of the foiling session, red and yellow boat tracks





Fin box completely torn out of board.

CAN17
218 posts
13 Apr 2019 10:08PM
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Glad it was a happy ending to a terrifying story.
Might want to get a leash on that foil next time and buy a lottery ticket because you are super lucky!

Are you planing on fixing up the board? Might be a job for a pro as that box looks nasty.

Windbot
73 posts
13 Apr 2019 11:10PM
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To answer your question, "yes". I am not familiar with Caveman boards but am impressed you had no troubles with the unflanged pink NP mast. I run a PowerPlate on a regular Tuttle box, it distributes load over an area bigger than the damage in your picture. It's been just fine. Lucky for you you have good friends who can dive, I don't so I just use a leash.

powersloshin
NSW, 1005 posts
14 Apr 2019 7:29AM
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Awesome story, glad you found it ! someone told me that it is a good idea to add a plate on the deck as well, that would have prevented from losing the foil or made a much bigger hole ....
If you are going to fix it you might think about adding 2 us boxes, and a bit further forward.

Matty can you come to Botany and find my Sonntag fin please !!!

aussieboats
NSW, 250 posts
14 Apr 2019 7:38AM
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well done guys, i always worry about my foil coming off , may be a simple leash would be a good idea as once your foiling it wouldnt matter

Dezza
NSW, 640 posts
14 Apr 2019 8:22AM
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Like pirates finding lost treasures!

Looks like quite a long way off the point, it must've been tricky getting back to shore with no foil/fin under the board

tbwonder
NSW, 175 posts
14 Apr 2019 5:21PM
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To repair the board would be way beyond my ability, to have it done professionally would cost more than the board is worth. I donated the board to Matt (one of the divers) who has family who can repair it. I could not fit large washers to the board as the fin/foil securing holes are very narrow and sunk deep into the Simmer board. Obviously in hindsight I should have done something, but I imagined that I would see a bit of cracking before complete failure.

Dezza, I was very lucky that I was south of the point in a southerly, so within 5 mins I was blown back to shore only a 3 minute walk from the park.

I will be thinking about a leash, a bit of dyneema tied to a rear foot strap?

PatK
26 posts
14 Apr 2019 4:06PM
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Very nice rescue, you have good friends who helped you to find it.
If you decide to use a normal board with no reinforced foil box ist is a good idea to do the reinforcement bofore you foil. This is easyer than by a broken box.

thedoor
13 posts
15 Apr 2019 12:24AM
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I created an account just to say this is one of the best gear recovery posts ever.

Serious tech, gps and all that
Mates with skills you do not have helping out (not sure if i have no mates or that I am just better at everything than all my mates)
Expensive piece of equipment that was hardly used.

Faff
VIC, 658 posts
15 Apr 2019 3:02PM
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Any tips on making a leash that's not a safety hazard? I too have a dodgy old board.

Paducah
344 posts
16 Apr 2019 10:58AM
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A US foil builder does this with the foils he builds
www.instagram.com/p/BtWJC9tHPKG/
see pic 1 and 4 . line goes through hole drilled between fin screws and then knot tied in the line.

ZYX
62 posts
17 Apr 2019 8:00PM
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Select to expand quote
Paducah said..
A US foil builder does this with the foils he builds
www.instagram.com/p/BtWJC9tHPKG/
see pic 1 and 4 . line goes through hole drilled between fin screws and then knot tied in the line.



Another Made in the USA answer to the 3 initial questions:
1. Using 20 years old slalom board (probably paid $20US)
2. Flange base to spread load for non-foil ready. Note on the video - the 20 y.o. finbox did not fail - the screw went through the hole. But if the $20 board fails you can get another one for $20
3. Floating foil. ( I think Horue makes floating foils too)
Watch the end of the video - collision and foil recovery:
&t=4s

BigG
NSW, 7 posts
18 Apr 2019 3:18PM
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The story from the bottom......
Matt had rung me a couple of days before and asked if I was up for a little dive recovery operation.
To do a search like this in expected poor vis, two sets of eyes are always going to be better than one and it also ups the safety factor once you start playing with lines that can become entangled easily underwater.
The plan was for us to get the boat anchor as close as possible to Andrew's gps position, so we could use it as a reference point for the search. Crucially, Andrew had crunched all the numbers before hand and worked out an accurate position (as it turned out). Once on the anchor, we would have to be very cautious not to stir up the silty bottom, whilst we attached a wreck reel and Matt would wind out 10 metres of line. My job was to position myself 5m along the line and sweep an inside circle, whilst Matt did the outside. This we thought best as it kept both of us in contact with the line, so no one would get lost! If we didn't find the foil in the first sweep we could reel out another 10m and repeat.
Andrew had the boat ready to go and it was a fairly straight forward matter to find the gps marks and drop the anchor right on them. As we geared up and jumped in, we were getting lots of strange looks from the boaties and yachties going by - I guess you don't see too many divers in middle of Lake Macquarie!
On descent of the anchor line we encountered the bottom 9m down, with 1 - 2m vis and were disappointed to find grey silt, not the rocky/gravelly/sandy bottom we were hoping for. Problem number 1 - the anchor rope disappeared straight into the silt as the chain to which it was attached had sunk straight in. We would have to pull up the chain to find the anchor, which of course disturbed the silt - make that 1/2m vis now!
We found the anchor, but also found problem no.2 - a long drag mark disappearing into the murk, where the boat had pulled the anchor along the bottom from its initial drop position (the carefully worked out reference point). Now - which way was that surface wind blowing again??
Problem no.3 turned out to be all mine. Matt had decided to try out his new shark shield for the first time on this dive. It has a long, whip like electrode that trails behind a diver and sends out electrical pulses that Bruce the Bull shark apparently dislikes intently. After I held up the anchor stock for Matt to tie off to, he swam off over me to begin reeling out the line. Next thing, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK! Shocks of electric fence proportions right on the back of my neck as Matt trailed his damn shark shield right over me! Never mind Bruce, I'll bite the bastard if he brings that thing near me again!
Anyway, it's time to get to work, Matt's line disappearing off in the murk is already starting to circle the anchor.
Straightaway, the first thing I found was a small speedboat wreck. It had obviously been there a long time, but still protruded about 1 foot above the silt. It had a steering wheel that still turned and a square hatch hole in its vee shaped fore deck that was full of little fish. No ghostwhisperer foil however!
Following the line across towards where Matt was now, I realised he had it snagged under the anchor chain and I set about sorting that out. He had finished his first 'circle', but realised we were still quite close to the anchor, so was getting ready to reel out further and go round again. Carefully avoiding the bloody shark shield, I followed him along the line. This time he followed the anchor drag mark out to its end, whilst I stopped about 5m from the back of the little wreck. Almost immediately, the line in my hand started giving terrific tugs. Either Matt's found the foil or the shark shield don't work and Brucey is chomping on him! Happily, it was the foil - sitting upright about 5m from the initial anchor drop point. It's uncanny how accurate those gps units are!
In his excitement at finding the foil Matt had neglected to wind the line in and was already starting to look wrapped up like an old fashioned parcel. As we ascended to do a safety stop in about 5m, I set about trying to untangle him a bit, whilst winding the excess line around the foil - don't want to have to go looking for it a 2nd time!
Checking my dive computer, I was amazed to discover we'd only been down about 12 minutes.
Back on the surface, Andrew was overwhelmed to be reunited with his foil, tempered only by the electric shock he received as Matt passed him up his 'turned off' shark shield!

ka43
NSW, 2825 posts
18 Apr 2019 3:31PM
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Well done guys!!!!!!!!
Sam Parker, Sam Williams from JPP and I spent a cold frustrating hour or so dredging Lake Dangerous in about 4 meters of water in winter looking for a lost foil. No luck. Then our local airline pilot got his boat out and did some diving and one slightly barnacled foil was delivered back to its owner. Nothing high tech, just a vague area and bucket loads of luck.

Boston!
NSW, 59 posts
18 Apr 2019 3:35PM
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Select to expand quote
BigG said..
The story from the bottom......
Matt had rung me a couple of days before and asked if I was up for a little dive recovery operation.
To do a search like this in expected poor vis, two sets of eyes are always going to be better than one and it also ups the safety factor once you start playing with lines that can become entangled easily underwater.
The plan was for us to get the boat anchor as close as possible to Andrew's gps position, so we could use it as a reference point for the search. Crucially, Andrew had crunched all the numbers before hand and worked out an accurate position (as it turned out). Once on the anchor, we would have to be very cautious not to stir up the silty bottom, whilst we attached a wreck reel and Matt would wind out 10 metres of line. My job was to position myself 5m along the line and sweep an inside circle, whilst Matt did the outside. This we thought best as it kept both of us in contact with the line, so no one would get lost! If we didn't find the foil in the first sweep we could reel out another 10m and repeat.
Andrew had the boat ready to go and it was a fairly straight forward matter to find the gps marks and drop the anchor right on them. As we geared up and jumped in, we were getting lots of strange looks from the boaties and yachties going by - I guess you don't see too many divers in middle of Lake Macquarie!
On descent of the anchor line we encountered the bottom 9m down, with 1 - 2m vis and were disappointed to find grey silt, not the rocky/gravelly/sandy bottom we were hoping for. Problem number 1 - the anchor rope disappeared straight into the silt as the chain to which it was attached had sunk straight in. We would have to pull up the chain to find the anchor, which of course disturbed the silt - make that 1/2m vis now!
We found the anchor, but also found problem no.2 - a long drag mark disappearing into the murk, where the boat had pulled the anchor along the bottom from its initial drop position (the carefully worked out reference point). Now - which way was that surface wind blowing again??
Problem no.3 turned out to be all mine. Matt had decided to try out his new shark shield for the first time on this dive. It has a long, whip like electrode that trails behind a diver and sends out electrical pulses that Bruce the Bull shark apparently dislikes intently. After I held up the anchor stock for Matt to tie off to, he swam off over me to begin reeling out the line. Next thing, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK! Shocks of electric fence proportions right on the back of my neck as Matt trailed his damn shark shield right over me! Never mind Bruce, I'll bite the bastard if he brings that thing near me again!
Anyway, it's time to get to work, Matt's line disappearing off in the murk is already starting to circle the anchor.
Straightaway, the first thing I found was a small speedboat wreck. It had obviously been there a long time, but still protruded about 1 foot above the silt. It had a steering wheel that still turned and a square hatch hole in its vee shaped fore deck that was full of little fish. No ghostwhisperer foil however!
Following the line across towards where Matt was now, I realised he had it snagged under the anchor chain and I set about sorting that out. He had finished his first 'circle', but realised we were still quite close to the anchor, so was getting ready to reel out further and go round again. Carefully avoiding the bloody shark shield, I followed him along the line. This time he followed the anchor drag mark out to its end, whilst I stopped about 5m from the back of the little wreck. Almost immediately, the line in my hand started giving terrific tugs. Either Matt's found the foil or the shark shield don't work and Brucey is chomping on him! Happily, it was the foil - sitting upright about 5m from the initial anchor drop point. It's uncanny how accurate those gps units are!
In his excitement at finding the foil Matt had neglected to wind the line in and was already starting to look wrapped up like an old fashioned parcel. As we ascended to do a safety stop in about 5m, I set about trying to untangle him a bit, whilst winding the excess line around the foil - don't want to have to go looking for it a 2nd time!
Checking my dive computer, I was amazed to discover we'd only been down about 12 minutes.
Back on the surface, Andrew was overwhelmed to be reunited with his foil, tempered only by the electric shock he received as Matt passed him up his 'turned off' shark shield!


Well done Big G! I was wondering what it was like down there. Sounds like you guys were really well organised.

Windbot
73 posts
19 Apr 2019 1:46AM
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Nice job BigG, that's a great story, thanks for sharing!

sboardcrazy
NSW, 6527 posts
24 Apr 2019 4:29PM
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Great story.. Quite shocking in fact.. ( groan.. )

WaynoB
NSW, 339 posts
24 Apr 2019 9:10PM
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Yeah for the dive boys Matt and Graham from the CC Marauders, glad Andrew got his foil back and that Bruce did not make an appearance...... a good story to tell the grandkids.



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"Can you use an old slalom board for foiling? (Or How to find a lost foil)" started by tbwonder