Forums > Windsurfing Foiling

Going from fin to foil.

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Created by mattn A week ago, 13 Jan 2022
mattn
NSW, 87 posts
13 Jan 2022 1:34PM
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...question for those in the know, just wondering with getting long glides on the foil is it pretty similar to planing on the fin, just load up and go hard or is there more to it. I've only just started on the foil, can pop up OK but once up get pretty active on sheeting out to try and maintain a steady height out of the water. Glides are only 30 or so metres. So I'm just wondering if once up on the foil its a matter of locking down and trying to go fast like you do on a fin or is it always sheeting in/out to maintain the glide.
My foil is a Zeeko, conditions - inland gusty.
Thanks.

Grantmac
1175 posts
13 Jan 2022 10:48AM
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Don't sheet out.

Paducah
1606 posts
13 Jan 2022 12:29PM
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I'd say there's more to it and what you are doing is normal when you are starting out. Long skips like a stone but keep some pressure on the sail. Start to learn to use shifting both your body weight and rig weight fore and aft to control your height rather than sheeting out. Eventually, the skips get longer and longer until you notice it's been a while since you've touched water.

Don't feel like you have to fly high at first like the promo videos. Do sheet out if you have way too much power but learn to keep the pressure on the mast base when you do by hanging down a bit on the boom or harness (if you are using one). When you let off the power, that takes some pressure of the mast base and lets the board rise.

If you are sheeting out a lot to control height, it may be that you have too much sail. Aim for at least a meter or meter and half less than you'd use if you were just using a fin. Most of us are going at least 2m less (and some even more but don't worry about that yet). Rig for the gusts rather than the lulls; once you are up and flying in a gust, the easier glide of the foil means you can go much further in a lull.. When you do sheet in, have your hands in a balanced position, don't have them too forward requiring a hard pull with the back hand to sheet in because this will cause you to push on the back foot which tends to make the foil rise.

Most of us would suggest you take off the back straps so you can move the back foot around to find your balance easier. You'll probably find it more inboard than you are used to with a fin at first.

Have fun with it and let us know how it goes.

If you haven't already, check out Sam Ross and Cookie's videos on youtube among others.

powersloshin
NSW, 1373 posts
13 Jan 2022 3:51PM
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Its not like a fin, you should not hang out your body, but keep it much straighter on the board, then shift weight and rig fore and aft to control the flight level. First thing to learn is to make sure your foil, footstraps and mast base are balanced, ask a more advanced sailor at your spot, or check that once you gain speed the board comes up gradually with a small push down of the back leg.
After a few sessions try and use the harness lines, it helps steady your flights.

John340
QLD, 2482 posts
13 Jan 2022 3:06PM
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When learning, stand upright, hold rig at arms length and swing hips forward an back to trim foil height down and up. Either work to windward or downwind, try and avoid sailing across the wind

hardie
WA, 4067 posts
13 Jan 2022 1:20PM
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I'm going through this right at the moment. John340 explains it succinctly. Very subtly pretend you are rocking the position of the Foil under you, rock it down then rock it up, like a seesaw, Practicising rising up on the foil and then sending the foil downwards, eventually it becomes subtle and automatic, the trim of the foil is critical, unlike a fin which is stationary. Foil position control is the key, The other day I had my longest flights and only stopped because my arms fatigued. The critical moment appeared to result from the rocking/seesaw motion of the Foil, rising up and dipping down, where it got to a point where it felt like I had found the perfect angle for the foil like I was holding it still, but I was probably unconsciously starting to make only subtle adjustments.

Subsonic
WA, 2465 posts
13 Jan 2022 1:26PM
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It's not ever about leaning hard and loading up like riding a fin, more about getting settled where you can bring movement down to a minimum. Ideally you want it so you're just doing hips forward/backward to shift weight.Stance much more upright in relation to the board than on a fin. But that's in a perfect world where gusts aren't much above the average wind speed. The bigger the difference between the average wind speed and the gust speeds the more load shifting you have to do.

it sounds dangerous at the start, but you want some front foot pressure to be there. It gives you something to have to lean into, as opposed to hobby horsing around on your back foot. Time on the water helps.

SA_AL
193 posts
13 Jan 2022 3:18PM
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Select to expand quote
Subsonic said..
It's not ever about leaning hard and loading up like riding a fin, more about getting settled where you can bring movement down to a minimum. Ideally you want it so you're just doing hips forward/backward to shift weight.Stance much more upright in relation to the board than on a fin. But that's in a perfect world where gusts aren't much above the average wind speed. The bigger the difference between the average wind speed and the gust speeds the more load shifting you have to do.

I agree with what subsonic explained. I would like add that there is a difference in between freeride foils versus race foil set up. I painfully found out that the ride is completely different in these foil types. I could foil very comfortably on Slingshot, Armstrong or Moses low aspect foils ( mostly centering inward on my footstraps) but riding race foil like Starboard IQfoil seems requiring more pressure on the side of the board.

berowne
NSW, 625 posts
13 Jan 2022 6:23PM
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Only thing I would add to the excellent tips above is that.
downforce comes from the mast much more effectively than the hands. So as you go faster make sure you can stay committed to the harness. Especially when you sheet out. Long lines help. upforce from the foil is cut by rolling the foil and board to windward. Unlike a fin where you want to fly the board and lift the windward rail. time on water matters.

standing around tips.

PhilUK
301 posts
13 Jan 2022 7:04PM
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I'm in the early stages of this game. Last session was my 12th, so around 15 hours total (various reasons for doing just 1- 1/2 hour sessions).
I beat my previous 500m speed and no crashes, so was feeling happy. Top speed was a bit less, but longer flights.
Changes from previous best in 10th session were:
A bit more experience. Certain things are now automatically one without thinking, leaving me time to look ahead for gusts/lulls an be ready for them.
Slightly less wind
6.5m sail (not 7.5m and wind got up)
Front footstrap was moved 1 hole forward to control nose when going faster, previously when a gust hit the nose lifted and I crashed
Mast foot was 1cm back from before to compensate for foot strap move
Sail was rigged flatter. Previously I had been rigging 1m smaller than for fin windsurfing, but a bit fuller for more power. But in the gusts that resulted in too much sudden power an crashes. So flatter was better.
I was in the harness more and used hips to control power as Jordy's video

In summary, all of the above helped, or maybe just 1 or 2. So many variables.

LeeD
3458 posts
13 Jan 2022 9:44PM
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Remember, almost ALL of us come from a windsurfing background, most with over 20 years experience.
Foiling is constant adjustments in real world gusty winds.
As you get better, lots of those adjustments become learned response, but most still need reinforcement and repetition.
Foiling is great for it's lightwind ability.
For riding surf...not so great.
For riding windswell, pretty good.
For riding a mile out on the shoulder, excellent.
Me, 3,000+ days windsurfing, about 200 days windfoiling, maybe 10 days actually wingfoiling.

segler
WA, 1054 posts
14 Jan 2022 1:31AM
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Good tips above. What you will find is that it just plain takes a lot of practice. Sooner or later (in my case, later) it will click. Experience and muscle memory is everything in this sport. Most of it is different from the fin. Just go out and put in the hours. It looks like you are making a great start.

Grantmac
1175 posts
14 Jan 2022 2:13AM
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Subsonic's point about front foot pressure is absolutely critical. The main place where experienced fin sailors go down a rabbit hole is by adjusting their gear for back foot pressure.

FarNorthSurfer
35 posts
14 Jan 2022 7:02AM
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Time on the water to put in to practice all the good points above.
Probably the best tip which worked for me early on was I think from a Sam Ross video. Using your head to balance height control. Forward fly down back fly up.

mattn
NSW, 87 posts
14 Jan 2022 12:08PM
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Thanks everyone for the tips. Appreciated.

Sandman1221
1291 posts
14 Jan 2022 9:31AM
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Honestly, gusty conditions can make it difficult to have a level flight even if you are experienced, versus a fin where you just keep applying pressure and try not to catapult. If the gusts are ragged, so constant ups and downs in wind velocity, I will keep the board just off the water while clipping the top of the chop, feels a lot like a fin, and when the gusts get more steady will raise the board up and have a nice level flight.

segler
WA, 1054 posts
15 Jan 2022 2:26AM
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Bruce Peterson went down that rabbit hole and has never looked back. He talks all the time about how a back-oriented-stance is just like how he used to ride fins. He likes to foil that way, and he's now slouch at it.

If I ride a foil that requires a lot of front foot pressure (like a race foil on a freeride geometry), (1) I am very uncomfortable burning out my front leg, and (2) the foil is right on the ragged edge of breaching if there is any sort of gust or other change in speed before I can correct it.

So, I set the geometry (mast base and footstraps) and shims to increase back foot pressure. Now the pitch is easy to control in gusty conditions.

Sandman1221
1291 posts
Saturday , 15 Jan 2022 9:19AM
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Select to expand quote
segler said..
Bruce Peterson went down that rabbit hole and has never looked back. He talks all the time about how a back-oriented-stance is just like how he used to ride fins. He likes to foil that way, and he's now slouch at it.

If I ride a foil that requires a lot of front foot pressure (like a race foil on a freeride geometry), (1) I am very uncomfortable burning out my front leg, and (2) the foil is right on the ragged edge of breaching if there is any sort of gust or other change in speed before I can correct it.

So, I set the geometry (mast base and footstraps) and shims to increase back foot pressure. Now the pitch is easy to control in gusty conditions.



I think it is important to note that the term "gusty conditions" covers a broad range of conditions, from a gust every 5 minutes or more!, to back and forth pressure changes every 2 seconds or less, and even those rapid pressure changes can vary in intensity from one session to another, or within a session. So different "gusty conditions" can make different sessions easier or harder to maintain a level flight.

BSN101
WA, 2002 posts
Saturday , 15 Jan 2022 10:00AM
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If you can endure 20min of keeping the board in the water, when it pops or lifts out of the water slam it back in. You'll learn what it feels like when it lifts and learn how to put it down too (control). After about 20 min you'll know what it's doing and how to keep it under control. Human nature is to fly straight away but if you can actively keep it in the water then choose small flights & choose to land then take off then land you will improve rapidly & safely (gear & body). A mate here is following this sort of plan and now FlyNoDies for 100s of metres and all in control. Only 6 outings too. when it starts getting bad he instinctively knows how to land safely & get going again.

segler
WA, 1054 posts
Sunday , 16 Jan 2022 1:11AM
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Definition of "gusty."

If I am out in 15 mph winds with a 7.0 on a foil, and a razor-sharp gust of 25-30 hits, then backs off after 2 seconds, then hits again 10 seconds later, followed by another 2-second back off, then again and again...ad nauseam, that is a gusty day. Typical day at Roosevelt on the Columbia. One of those days where no matter what sail size you rig, it's wrong.

Before I adjusted things to get more back foot pressure, every one of those gusts resulted in instant breach. One of those breaches slammed my thigh into the board so hard that I was off the water for 4 weeks with a contusion that would scare the krampus. Did not damage the board.

Now the gusts push down on my sail mast base, and my back foot keeps everything in control. If I sheet out, the foil stays down better than before. Problem solved.

It also helps to have a sail that pushes down, rather than up and forward, during gusts. See below. Listen carefully. He talks about foil sails pushing down.

Grantmac
1175 posts
Sunday , 16 Jan 2022 2:36PM
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15kts on a 7.0 is over rigged unless you are going for race foiling, at which point sheeting out is the wrong technique anyway.

Sounds like you've setup your gear to match poor technique which paints you into a corner in terms of progression.

SA_AL
193 posts
Sunday , 16 Jan 2022 10:22PM
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Grantmac said..
15kts on a 7.0 is over rigged unless you are going for race foiling, at which point sheeting out is the wrong technique anyway.

Sounds like you've setup your gear to match poor technique which paints you into a corner in terms of progression.


Segler wrote 15 mph which is 13 knots. If his weight 200 lbs, and foil type he is using, 7 m sail might be OK but of course it will be become too much when the wind hits 25-30 mph.

segler
WA, 1054 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 2:02AM
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Nice try, Grant. I will admit my poor technique, but 15 mph wind with 7.0 is the sweet spot for my 200 lb weight. I could use a 6.0 in that wind, but it would be too much work. A 15 mph day with a 7.0 at such a place as Roosevelt (even with its gusts) is what I live for.

My technique is so poor that I can go out and foil for 6 hours nonstop without getting tired, without my back foot getting tired.

LeeD
3458 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 2:32AM
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Since foiling gear is so unique, I'd applaud the idea of a 7 meter sail for 13.5 knot breeze.
And, of course, a 4.2 sail can also work, but lulls would need to be dealt with.
Board size makes huge differences, as does foil sizing.
I often windfoil with a guy 10 kg lighter than me who uses 2 meters bigger sails. Si

LeeD
3458 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 2:33AM
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Similar skills.
Sorry, cell phone froze ending 1st post.

duzzi
585 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 3:56AM
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BSN101 said..
If you can endure 20min of keeping the board in the water, when it pops or lifts out of the water slam it back in. You'll learn what it feels like when it lifts and learn how to put it down too (control). After about 20 min you'll know what it's doing and how to keep it under control. Human nature is to fly straight away but if you can actively keep it in the water then choose small flights & choose to land then take off then land you will improve rapidly & safely (gear & body). A mate here is following this sort of plan and now FlyNoDies for 100s of metres and all in control. Only 6 outings too. when it starts getting bad he instinctively knows how to land safely & get going again.


Hei! That is me "foiling". I never let the board fly for more than 10 yards!!!!!!!!

Grantmac
1175 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 5:39AM
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segler said..
Nice try, Grant. I will admit my poor technique, but 15 mph wind with 7.0 is the sweet spot for my 200 lb weight. I could use a 6.0 in that wind, but it would be too much work. A 15 mph day with a 7.0 at such a place as Roosevelt (even with its gusts) is what I live for.

My technique is so poor that I can go out and foil for 6 hours nonstop without getting tired, without my back foot getting tired.


And yet not gybe in the air once. That's a technique problem being crutched by incorrect equipment setup.

LeeD
3458 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 8:42AM
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"25-30" mph, I'm on 78 liters and 4.0 flying around.

Sandman1221
1291 posts
Monday , 17 Jan 2022 9:04AM
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LeeD said..
"25-30" mph, I'm on 78 liters and 4.0 flying around.




25-30 mph, my new 4.5 Aerotech Phantom is my smallest sail and that would probably be too much for it. Right now my Freespeed 5.8 is good around 16-18 mph, guessing 4.5 will be good around 20-22, and that is on the AFS F770 wing, my weight is ~86 kg.

segler
WA, 1054 posts
Tuesday , 18 Jan 2022 12:30AM
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Grant, read my earlier post again. I said "I don't even try" to jibe in the air. That's different from not being able to.

SA_AL
193 posts
Tuesday , 18 Jan 2022 2:30AM
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Foilers are writing in this forum how small sail they could use on minimum wind like 10-12 mph. Some of the readers like beginners will be confused about this forum not realizing foil wing size (low vs high aspect), models like race vs freeride makes a big difference. I noticed someone writing that they could foil on 5-6 m sail on very low wind but that is very unlikely for a race foil.



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"Going from fin to foil." started by mattn