Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

Do you really need a foil board? Light wind planing on slalom gear

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Created by antonmik Friday, 14 Feb 2020
antonmik
65 posts
Friday , 14 Feb 2020 3:53PM
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I love Windsurfing for speed. But on a Foil with a large wing(and even more so a super shovel from a slingshot) you will not gain. Therefore, for a light wind of 6-8 knots with a sail of 9.4 with a large wing, it makes sense to ride. And when it blows normally, you need to ride on the flat water on the fin.

Paducah
750 posts
Friday , 14 Feb 2020 9:08PM
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Balz (and many of us would disagree)

utcminusfour
31 posts
Friday , 14 Feb 2020 9:42PM
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There is no wrong way to windsurf! Assuming you are not hurting anyone. Glad to see your having fun mate!

boardsurfr
WA, 991 posts
Saturday , 14 Feb 2020 11:12PM
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Foiling is not for everyone. Light wind gains are limited for lighter windsurfers willing to use a large sail and board.

That said, if you are willing to use a 9.4, you could use a race foil in the same conditions. In light to medium wind, they are about as fast as slalom gear. You'd be foiling the entire time, instead of planing every now and then. The PWA races have made that quite clear. Slalom PWA racers can plane in 8 knots on 9.5 m gear and 130+ l boards, but they had to stop many light wind races because everyone stopped planing in the lulls. Foils just keep foiling through the same lulls. It will be interesting to see the wind thresholds for switching from foils to slalom at this year's races.

For heavier windsurfers, being able to foil in less wind is a very nice bonus. I know a few guys who tried to go the "large slalom gear" way, and now are a lot happier foiling in light winds. There are quite a few windfoilers who enjoy the totally different feeling of foiling: flying over flat water; smooth rides in chop; and crazy upwind and carving ability in waves. I enjoy raceboards and light wind freestyle, so foiling has not expanded my wind range; but it now is my favorite thing to do in lighter winds because of how it feels. But not everyone agrees.

antonmik
65 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 1:17AM
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Paducah said..
Balz (and many of us would disagree)



not a bad video. But Greg is the coolest. I would say the man is king Foil

dejavu
57 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 3:35AM
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boardsurfr said..
Foiling is not for everyone. Light wind gains are limited for lighter windsurfers willing to use a large sail and board.

That said, if you are willing to use a 9.4, you could use a race foil in the same conditions. In light to medium wind, they are about as fast as slalom gear. You'd be foiling the entire time, instead of planing every now and then. The PWA races have made that quite clear. Slalom PWA racers can plane in 8 knots on 9.5 m gear and 130+ l boards, but they had to stop many light wind races because everyone stopped planing in the lulls. Foils just keep foiling through the same lulls. It will be interesting to see the wind thresholds for switching from foils to slalom at this year's races.

For heavier windsurfers, being able to foil in less wind is a very nice bonus. I know a few guys who tried to go the "large slalom gear" way, and now are a lot happier foiling in light winds. There are quite a few windfoilers who enjoy the totally different feeling of foiling: flying over flat water; smooth rides in chop; and crazy upwind and carving ability in waves. I enjoy raceboards and light wind freestyle, so foiling has not expanded my wind range; but it now is my favorite thing to do in lighter winds because of how it feels. But not everyone agrees.





You don't need a 9.4 to foil in light winds.

I'm foiling in 7 to 12 knots on the Infinity 76 wing with a 6.0.

With the i99 wing the wind speed can be even lower as in this video. The sailor in the video is considerably heavier than me. If you aren't limiting yourself to racing foils there is a whole world of light wind foiling available with much smaller sails.

Foiling has a much different "feel" to it. I've windsurfed for 43 years and now I'm working exclusively on foiling in light, medium and strong winds -- I'm no longer windsurfing. In fact, I'm planning on also learning to use a wind wing.

&t=11s

MagicRide
299 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 3:40AM
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Paducah said..
Balz (and many of us would disagree)



Wow! That guy is good!! I'm impressed with those skills. Those sail flips are skills I never mastered in windsurfing but could do those very same sail flips in windskating. What a video, and something to shoot for on foil.

WhiteofHeart
242 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 4:12AM
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MagicRide said..



Paducah said..
Balz (and many of us would disagree)






Wow! That guy is good!! I'm impressed with those skills. Those sail flips are skills I never mastered in windsurfing but could do those very same sail flips in windskating. What a video, and something to shoot for on foil.




I can do more sailflips foiling in 12-15 knots than planing in any windspeed. Can do most in non planing 10-15 knots or so tho.

Foiling makes stuff really easy tbh because the power is closer to non planing than it is to planing, and its no problems to have your feet out of the straps. Foiling sitting down is very very easy in constant winds for example. Id say a lot easier than jibing. Same goes for a standard sail stall if you can do one on a regular non planing board.

Took me longer to learn to jibe than to do a variety of sail stalls on the foil.

Edit: jeez looks like bragging, but what I mean to say is try it, maybe try on a regular floaty non foiling board first, but if you have a 150L board like the levitator with a 5.0 in 12-15 knots you can try off the foil and once you get it go on the foil and make magic happen.

BSN101
WA, 1793 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 9:33AM
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antonmik said..

Paducah said..
Balz (and many of us would disagree)




not a bad video. But Greg is the coolest. I would say the man is king Foil



I saw a vid ages ago of a kiter doing this type of riding. So fluent, if i kited this is what id do, definately! Poetry even. This guy is a true innovator & artist on the water.

stehsegler
WA, 3019 posts
Saturday , 15 Feb 2020 2:39PM
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To the original poster... in 10-15 knts you would be on a 5.3 wave sail with a foil and it wouldn't be a stop and go situation. Arguably using a 5.3 wave sail is a lot more fun than using a 9.4 race sail.

Paducah
750 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 1:08AM
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stehsegler said..
.... Arguably using a 5.3 wave sail is a lot more fun than using a 9.4 race sail.


That point is, indeed, arguable. Nonetheless, one I agree with.

That it's substantially cheaper is not.

duzzi
171 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 8:06AM
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antonmik said..


Paducah said..
Balz (and many of us would disagree)





not a bad video. But Greg is the coolest. I would say the man is king Foil




That is nice but ... why does need a 20 meters long sail? with all those dangling cables?!

Gorgo
VIC, 4316 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 12:00PM
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Non-foilers and new foilers seriously misunderstand what foiling is all about and how to do it.

It's not just for light wind. It's for all winds and almost all conditions. You can carve and blast and cruise and slash in any wind and pretty much any water state. Take a look at the freeride kite foilers and see what they're up to.

The only limitation is the depth of the water you start in.

You only need one board, one mid-sized surf oriented foil and a normal quiver of wave sails. With that you can ride and have huge fun in 10-30+ knots. Add a tiny sail and keep riding in over 40 knots.

You're no longer limited to wearing a groove in the same piece of water. In cross onshore winds you can do 4-5km up the coast in 15-20 minutes. Add 10 minutes if you're doing beats into wind. You can then do and endless downwind wave run, repeating each wave section as much as you like.

Once you have your foiling kit sorted you can mothball most of the other gear and the huge van or trailer needed to lug it around.

You can add a dedicated wave board to the quiver to surf quality waves. That's not really necessary if you live on a bay. Slashing bay chop on a foil is pure joy.

You can pursue purpose specific foiling kit for racing or whatever. That's overkill for most people.

Different length masts can be useful, but not necessary. The main need for that is shallow water riding. Once you're skills are up you can ride in shallow water and stay high on the foil. You only need a bit of depth at the start of the session.

KDog
57 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 9:54AM
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Gorgo spot on nailed it %100.

Gestalt
QLD, 12483 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 12:46PM
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Gorgo said..
Non-foilers and new foilers seriously misunderstand what foiling is all about and how to do it.

It's not just for light wind. It's for all winds and almost all conditions. You can carve and blast and cruise and slash in any wind and pretty much any water state. Take a look at the freeride kite foilers and see what they're up to.

The only limitation is the depth of the water you start in.

You only need one board, one mid-sized surf oriented foil and a normal quiver of wave sails. With that you can ride and have huge fun in 10-30+ knots. Add a tiny sail and keep riding in over 40 knots.

You're no longer limited to wearing a groove in the same piece of water. In cross onshore winds you can do 4-5km up the coast in 15-20 minutes. Add 10 minutes if you're doing beats into wind. You can then do and endless downwind wave run, repeating each wave section as much as you like.

Once you have your foiling kit sorted you can mothball most of the other gear and the huge van or trailer needed to lug it around.

You can add a dedicated wave board to the quiver to surf quality waves. That's not really necessary if you live on a bay. Slashing bay chop on a foil is pure joy.

You can pursue purpose specific foiling kit for racing or whatever. That's overkill for most people.

Different length masts can be useful, but not necessary. The main need for that is shallow water riding. Once you're skills are up you can ride in shallow water and stay high on the foil. You only need a bit of depth at the start of the session.


for the past 8 years or so I've enjoyed one board with 3-4 wave sails in 12-35 knot winds. I don't own a foil

MagicRide
299 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 12:15PM
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Gestalt said..


for the past 8 years or so I've enjoyed one board with 3-4 wave sails in 12-35 knot winds. I don't own a foil


That was me too, but when I saw people foiling in 8-10 mph winds, and there wasn't enough wind for me to get out, it got me scratching my head. Wouldn't it be nice to get out in super light wind on the days I have off from work. So I purchased foiling gear. I love my bump n jump wave board, but I need 14 mph minimum to take it out with my largest sail, 6.8. I'm one of those who got the foil gear just for light wind only. As soon as 14-15 mph winds show up, I come to shore for my bump n jump board. 50% of the season here is 8-12 mph winds and the other 50% is 15-20 mph winds. I will be able to get out 50% more than before. It's a no brainer for me. Just had to save the money for it.

nerdycross
198 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 4:52PM
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I totally agree with all you say Magic ride I've had lots light wind kit over the last 35 plus years but am so stoked to nail this foiling for light wind stuff .
I've only been out on foil three times so complete numpty at moment but last session I had the light bulb moment after three hours on and in water and loads of wipe outs. The feeling of flight is amazing ! The additional benefits for old twat like me is how easy it will be on my old nackerd body .
I think when I've totally nailed foiling I'll still keep my wave board tho and probably reduce down my quiver.
My thoughts are windfoiling is just another option to getting on the water and not a replacement for fin sailing similar to my mountain biking I've got a analogue Mtb and a full sus E Mtb I use both depending on where I'm riding so my emtb will not replace the analogue Mtb. Just give me more options.
I wish this windfoiling had come along years ago .

Gestalt
QLD, 12483 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 8:03PM
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MagicRide said..

Gestalt said..


for the past 8 years or so I've enjoyed one board with 3-4 wave sails in 12-35 knot winds. I don't own a foil



That was me too, but when I saw people foiling in 8-10 mph winds, and there wasn't enough wind for me to get out, it got me scratching my head. Wouldn't it be nice to get out in super light wind on the days I have off from work. So I purchased foiling gear. I love my bump n jump wave board, but I need 14 mph minimum to take it out with my largest sail, 6.8. I'm one of those who got the foil gear just for light wind only. As soon as 14-15 mph winds show up, I come to shore for my bump n jump board. 50% of the season here is 8-12 mph winds and the other 50% is 15-20 mph winds. I will be able to get out 50% more than before. It's a no brainer for me. Just had to save the money for it.


Yep I get it. I'm looking around at foils so it's a matter of time.

I havent gone there yet because there are so many sub 15 knot windsurfing options already.

Wytze
13 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 9:43PM
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I also think a light wind slalom quiver is a lot of fun. For me 8.6 and 82 wide board is the limit though in size so maybe not really light wind but with a 47 fin it is a good option if the wind is (gusty) 7-10 m/s. I can also use a 7.0 if the wind is around 10 m/s and not to choppy.

If the wind is more I use a wave quiver so I have 2 quivers that cover a large wind range.I did buy a np Alu foil and although not optimal it does get me going if the wind is 5-7 m/s with the 8.6 (which is to light with a normal fin even with my weight 83 kg).

I have the idea it's better to have separate equipement for foil and fin performance wise. Maybe freestyle is ok to have hybrids. Doesn't come cheap yet :).

dejavu
57 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 9:44PM
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This video sums it up for me:

&t=55s

dejavu
57 posts
Sunday , 16 Feb 2020 9:55PM
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stehsegler said..
To the original poster... in 10-15 knts you would be on a 5.3 wave sail with a foil and it wouldn't be a stop and go situation. Arguably using a 5.3 wave sail is a lot more fun than using a 9.4 race sail.


It is also a hell of a lot easier to up-haul. I used to up-haul 12 metre sails in light winds. No fun! Big difference between up-hauling a 9 to 12 metre sail and a 5 to 6 metre sail, especially as you get older.

duzzi
171 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 12:25AM
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Wytze said..
I also think a light wind slalom quiver is a lot of fun. For me 8.6 and 82 wide board is the limit though in size so maybe not really light wind but with a 47 fin it is a good option if the wind is (gusty) 7-10 m/s. I can also use a 7.0 if the wind is around 10 m/s and not to choppy.

If the wind is more I use a wave quiver so I have 2 quivers that cover a large wind range.I did buy a np Alu foil and although not optimal it does get me going if the wind is 5-7 m/s with the 8.6 (which is to light with a normal fin even with my weight 83 kg).

I have the idea it's better to have separate equipement for foil and fin performance wise. Maybe freestyle is ok to have hybrids. Doesn't come cheap yet :).



At my weight (72Kg) and local San Francisco Bay conditions a 7.3-7.5 sail and Isonic 111 is (was) the biggest board I own. But I never sailed in the winter, breezes of 10-12 knots were not enough. Now with my Moses 790 (the big one) I am out and having fun. And coming back is no problem if the weak wind completely drops. Unlike the Isonic the foil goes upwind like it is pulled by a cable even in displacement ...

I am still scratching the surface but I can see a future where I own just (and finally) 2 boards, a B&J and the foil ... the sail quiver will also be smaller ... what will I do with my Mercedes Metris!!!!!!

To answer the original question, I was tempted to install a deep Tuttle on the Isonic and use it for foiling ... but the work involved and having a dedicated foil board won over.

LeeD
998 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 1:49AM
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Same weight, also SF.
I wonder if I had a 75cm wide slalom board and 48 fin, how that would compare to 111 Isonic with 44? Or the 122 Naish?

Paducah
750 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 2:35AM
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3:12 Someone didn't get the memo about foils. The blue Gaastra is ripping.

AlexF
259 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 3:08AM
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Paducah said..
3:12 Someone didn't get the memo about foils. The blue Gaastra is ripping.




I guess the blue GA is Seb Koerdel.

Paducah
750 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 4:06AM
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AlexF said..


Paducah said..
3:12 Someone didn't get the memo about foils. The blue Gaastra is ripping.






I guess the blue GA is Seb Koerdel.



I think so, too. He makes a cameo at the end of the video.

thedoor
127 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 4:38AM
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We are just starting to figure out light wind foiling, whereas light wind slalom is way more developed.

When I foil on my infinity 99 and a 5.7 I mostly see boats and birds, and 1 or 2 other foilers. No slalom guys and no kites

Wytze
13 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 4:40AM
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duzzi said..

Wytze said..
I also think a light wind slalom quiver is a lot of fun. For me 8.6 and 82 wide board is the limit though in size so maybe not really light wind but with a 47 fin it is a good option if the wind is (gusty) 7-10 m/s. I can also use a 7.0 if the wind is around 10 m/s and not to choppy.

If the wind is more I use a wave quiver so I have 2 quivers that cover a large wind range.I did buy a np Alu foil and although not optimal it does get me going if the wind is 5-7 m/s with the 8.6 (which is to light with a normal fin even with my weight 83 kg).

I have the idea it's better to have separate equipement for foil and fin performance wise. Maybe freestyle is ok to have hybrids. Doesn't come cheap yet :).




At my weight (72Kg) and local San Francisco Bay conditions a 7.3-7.5 sail and Isonic 111 is (was) the biggest board I own. But I never sailed in the winter, breezes of 10-12 knots were not enough. Now with my Moses 790 (the big one) I am out and having fun. And coming back is no problem if the weak wind completely drops. Unlike the Isonic the foil goes upwind like it is pulled by a cable even in displacement ...

I am still scratching the surface but I can see a future where I own just (and finally) 2 boards, a B&J and the foil ... the sail quiver will also be smaller ... what will I do with my Mercedes Metris!!!!!!

To answer the original question, I was tempted to install a deep Tuttle on the Isonic and use it for foiling ... but the work involved and having a dedicated foil board won over.


Yeah the foil is definitely an addition especially in the lighter winds. Some are now also using just the foil even in stronger winds with very small sails. So it could just be a sport on its own.

At my place (choppy & gusty lake) most are getting into race foiling and using formula boards and you can get a really wide wind range with just a 9m2 (foil)-sail (in 4-10 m/s) because you can dump a lot of power when going up/downwind.

Freestyle/wave foiling would be a cool option as well in the lighter winds when looking at Balz&Jakob Muller. Still thinking of this as well since I can use the same sails for my wave quiver.

But for those with very shallow water light-wind slalom with around 9m2 gives a quiver with a wide wind range. You can go over 30 knots with it when (over) powered up and plane nice through you jibes if the water is not to choppy.

segler
275 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 6:57AM
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Couple things.

First, yes, a foil definitely extends the wind range down to lighter winds than what most gear can keep planing in. Formula is an exception, but you need REALLY big sails. I foil in light winds with a 6.4 where I used to need a minimum of 10.0 on formula gear.

Second, we should not consider foiling as an alternative to finning. Instead, it is a whole new sport that happens to use the same sails (albeit smaller) and boards that we used to use for finning. The Zen of foiling is completely different from the Zen of finning.

antonmik
65 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 4:03PM
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I'm not a very experienced foiler yet. But we have a very ragged wind and flat water. And when it comes to the fit of 8-9 knots. I fly on the Foil and the guys on the slalom overtake me and it's with the same sail 9.4-9.6.

Paducah
750 posts
Monday , 17 Feb 2020 10:02PM
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antonmik said..
I'm not a very experienced foiler yet.


It's a whole new skill you are learning. (Segler would go as far to say as a new sport.) Your friends, especially judging from the their sails you've shown us have had years of experience and are faster windsurfers than most. At this point it's not unreasonable that they are going faster than you. When you see the PWA foil guys keeping up with their friends, remember that they've been doing this almost daily for three years. That's a lot of practice.

What will begin to happen over the next months to year:You will learn to go faster - you'll learn to deal with the increased foot pressure at speed, your stance will improve and change to handle the power; and you'll gain the confidence to sail the same gear in a much wider wind range.

You'll also learn to go much further up and downwind than they are. Yes, in a gust they may/will be a touch faster than you but it's not going to matter as often you'll be off going in a completely different direction. They are very fast but only in a limited range of directions. Change the conversation to hard upwind or deep downwind and things are a lot more even.

You'll start nailling those foiling jibes or getting close. Yes, they may still be a touch faster than you in the straight but the jibes will absolutely kill them in light air.

You'll be gliding through those 6-7 knot lulls that find them falling off the plane and standing there waiting for the next puff. Your ability to glide through lulls is significantly better than your finned friends. And, when you can chain light air jibes together, you will be in another dimension.

I posted a video from the Defi Japan day 4 live feed in the Defi Japan thread. Take a look at it at those time stamps.
www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Windsurfing/Foiling/Fin-vs-foil-Defi-Japan-Day-5?page=2
The foils and fins in those conditions had two entirely different races. You aren't there yet but this is where you are headed. And, if you just want to go out and drag race your buddies on a slalom board on any particular day - that's great. No one here is against it. Foiling is supposed to be fun. As long as you keep it fun, all these things will happen with time. Good luck, let us know how it's going and if you need help on something specific.




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"Do you really need a foil board? Light wind planing on slalom gear" started by antonmik