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Surf Launch and Landing

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Created by utcminusfour 1 month ago, 25 Feb 2020
utcminusfour
66 posts
25 Feb 2020 1:03AM
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Educational video of surf launch and landing with windfoil gear is desperately needed! It is not sexy footage so that is one reason it never makes the videos.

If you look close at the incredible videos from Azmuth and team you will notice that there is no shore brake. In the wind direction they sail in, the launch at Cottleshoe is in the lee of the point at North Fremantle. This may be why the surf is manageable at the beach but juicy outside.

There is killer ocean sailing footage coming out of La Ventana in Baja and if you check it is A: the Sea of Cortez with less fetch than an ocean and B: there is a huge island just offshore to block the fetch there is.

Casey and the reef warriors up on Lake Michigan also have it really good. It is big and powerful lake but not an ocean and the waves are breaking on an offshore reef.

I am sure all of these incredibly talented watermen have had to take their lumps in the soup to bring us the vids but they all sail at really unique and special venues with access to swell but little to no shore break. I really appreciate the videos they post and I have a huge respect for their skills it is just that I have never seen those conditions at on the east coast of the states. They also do not show the launch or retrieval.

The beaches on the east coast of the US where I sail often have a long distance to traverse where the surf is powerful fully closed out white water and the water is too shallow for the foil! I pick my days carefully and use old sails cause they get wrecked. My most successful launches are typically when I carry the whole kit upside down on my head. Keeping the whole kit out of the water is the key and often I chuck the kit over the last wave I can stand up in and then quickly water start.
Coming back in, so long as the wind is not straight onshore I can sometimes get the kit on my head before the next waves breaks. Hanging onto the mast head can also work coming in and it keeps you up wave of your kit. The challenge is keeping the board upside down as the waves wash over you. I found focusing on mast foot pressure helps keep the board upside down. When the board flips upright in shallow water the sail can end up draped over the tail when the next foam ball rolls in it usually results in a blown sail panel. It is pretty scary when you start to lose control in the surf and often the best approach is to bail out early and just let the kit get washed in on its own. It is not worth the risk of tumbling out of control in the vicinity of the foil.

I really hope the industry acknowledges these challenges and provides some education and lighter easier to carry gear. The modern rigs and tiny boards are very light indeed. But the solid aluminum foil components are back breaking heavy.

Phil at Horue has proven that a one piece cored carbon mast and fuse can be really light and durable but his flat high aspect wings and short fuse are challenging to ride compared to the SS 76 and the like.

I also think that because the track systems lower the reaction loads that both the board and the foil could be built lighter. The problem is that there are few windfoil masts that are built with a one piece flange and mast. The flange adaptor on my kits weighs 1.5 pounds alone! If the mast were designed and built with both the flange and fuse as one piece in cored carbon construction it could be really light! This coupled with a lighter board and we could save many pounds which will really help carrying the gear to the surf and punching through it. The track mitigates the need for fuse length adjustment. I wish a manufacturer will address this so I do not have to spend a year of my life building my own, I would rather be improving out on the water.

It would be great to hear and see from experienced surf windfoilers how to get through the soup so others can experience the joys of riding swell safely!

LeeD
1242 posts
25 Feb 2020 1:40AM
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Surfing foil masts are shorter.
Need filled in wind.
Look for more protected launch sites.
Some shorepound spots just don't allow easy access.

Grantmac
175 posts
25 Feb 2020 2:12AM
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Bring an anchor and float out with the board/foil, leave the sail onshore. Moor the board and go back for the sail. Use a mechanical u-joint and euro pin.

On the way in try to get to the float to reverse the process. If not eject the rig and let it make its way in.

Or else try SUP wave sailing or other lighter wind options. Maybe the foil just isn't the call.

LeeD
1242 posts
25 Feb 2020 2:25AM
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Like foiling in shallow water or heavily weeded waters, some conditions are not friendly for foils.
SUP surfsailing is interesting.

utcminusfour
66 posts
25 Feb 2020 2:38AM
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Grantmac and LeeD,
Thanks for the good comments they all have merit.
There is still a lot that can be learned and hopefully communicated about negotiating the surf with windfoiling gear. There is also a lot of work to be done improving the gear.

VCRWoody
48 posts
25 Feb 2020 3:20AM
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Shore break with FIN.

LeeD
1242 posts
25 Feb 2020 5:26AM
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I see a few pros carry the rig foil down with the sail tack on their head. Drop the rig in waist deep water for short masts, chest deep for long masts and beachstart.
Doubt I can at 71 and 21lbs. board with 10 lbs. foil.
Smaller gear and more wind helps lots.

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
25 Feb 2020 8:28PM
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Grantmac said..
Bring an anchor and float out with the board/foil, leave the sail onshore.


I have thought this through, but have not tried it.
The problem with your method is you have to carry an anchor on my upside-down foil board through breaking surf.
This will ding the board. Instead, next time I am going to try this:

1. Swim the anchor, rope and float out well beyond the breaking waves.
Work out how little rope you can get away with using. You don't want to create a hazard to shipping.

2. Place the anchor in a place where other boards are not going to tangle in the rope.
(Also avoid placing it in a rip as the force of even the slowest moving water will make problems.)

3. Bodysurf in and carry/swim the sail/rig out and tie it to the float.
Wear the harness on this trip and also attach it to the rope/float.
You don't want a harness on while paddling an upside-down board.
Note: the sail will sink, so work out how to use the float to keep it close to the surface.

4. Bodysurf in and bring the board out upside-down.

5. Now here is the tricky bit - joining the two.
"Use a mechanical u-joint and euro pin." I didn't know what these were, had to Google them.
I assume you are pointing out that some mast bases are easier than others to put board and rig together when you are on the water.

On the way in get to the float and reverse the process, i.e. tie off the sail and harness; land the board then recover the sail then another trip to get the anchor & float.

Another suggestion is to share the float with other foilers at the beach.

See how we go - report back here.

utcminusfour
66 posts
25 Feb 2020 11:53PM
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VCRWoody said..
Shore break with FIN.



Thanks VCRWoody, this is a great vid that has helped me when I was getting started a couple of years ago. The first thing he talks about is lifting your kit clear of the water. That's why I want lighter foils. And that is why I carry the kit upside down on my head; it keeps the kit clear of the water for as long as possible. I have seen and tried the move where the sail tack is on the head and the board hangs upright. Balz Muller did a great vid in Bonaire and showed this and pile of other great info, Thanks Balz!

What spooks me is that the sharp trailing edges are just in front of the torso. This puts those sharp things directly up wave of you breaking the first rule of the surf zone. I like and use the small board method where he has the board upside down on his hip. It is just that doesn't get the gear up above the waves and you can get scissored. I know that a shorter foil mast will help immensely but then you have a short mast and of course picking another launch site will work. And so that is what I often do, choose to sail in bays or rivers on the inside. I am trying to learn how to get more time on the front beaches without getting hurt. If I could leave a mooring in permanent I might consider that but even that is a bit impractical with all the trips through the surf. Thanks for all the input so far, this is good stuff to talk about!

Below is a shot of me portaging the kit back to the car in one trip,

In this video at 00:18 David Ezzy is starting to boost the kit on his head


I want to get more footage of these sort of details!





utcminusfour
66 posts
26 Feb 2020 12:03AM
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The gear carrying content is at 14:36 in the Balz video

LeeD
1242 posts
26 Feb 2020 1:14AM
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Carry it the same side as wavesailing only your board carry arm is under the tail of your windfoil board and part of the tail is supported by your shoulder.

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
29 Feb 2020 9:06PM
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makesurf said..

Grantmac said..
Bring an anchor and float out with the board/foil, leave the sail onshore.



I have thought this through, but have not tried it.
The problem with your method is you have to carry an anchor on my upside-down foil board through breaking surf.
This will ding the board. Instead, next time I am going to try this:


See how we go - report back here.


What could go wrong?
Here is what happened today:

1. Swim the anchor, rope and float out beyond the shore break.
I walked it as far as I could, then swam a bit; dropped the anchor, then swam the float and rope as far as I could until the anchor engaged.
- it was still in breaking waves but crumbling ones.
I kept the fender (the blue float) on the beach and tied it to the in-haul part of the boom.
3. Bodysurf in and carry/swim the sail/rig out and tie it to the float.
Big mistake here - I tied it, and too well. When I was ready to detach, I spent heaps of time trying to work out which of the knots I had to undo and heaps of time undoing it. Note to self = buy a stainless steel carabiner for this attachment.

4. Bodysurf in and bring the board out upside-down.
This was OK.5. ..the tricky bit - joining the two.
The sail on this rig comes right down to the universal joint, covering the button I have to press to join the two.
More fiddling about in the water, dragging the anchor.

Up hauling the rig, the up-haul came undone at the boom.
More fiddling around fixing that rookie error.

On the way in get to the float and reverse the process,
Easier said than done, I ended up further upwind, up the beach.
I noticed that the fender had detached from the float and washed up on the beach.
So I did not go to much trouble to get back there.

The wind dropped while I was out there sailing, it was stronger while I was setting up and picked up, a little, while I was packing up.
But chugging around I felt that if the swell was in a better direction to the swell then I would have been able to pump onto the swell.

Positives:
I will try this again.

Would you do this at a patrolled beach?

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
1 Mar 2020 8:47PM
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utcminusfour said..
The gear carrying content is at 14:36 in the Balz video


I should mention that I am seeing a physio about the pains in my neck from a summer of carrying rigs on my head.
Not boards and rigs, just rigs..

utcminusfour
66 posts
1 Mar 2020 8:13PM
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makesurf said..

utcminusfour said..
The gear carrying content is at 14:36 in the Balz video



I should mention that I am seeing a physio about the pains in my neck from a summer of carrying rigs on my head.
Not boards and rigs, just rigs..


Thanks for mentioning that. I often feel I am pushing my cervical discs a bit to hard carrying the gear on my head. Thats one more reason why I want to gear lighter.

Faff
VIC, 737 posts
2 Mar 2020 10:59AM
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Because of the shore break where I sail, this season I've used my foil... exactly once.

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
2 Mar 2020 9:50PM
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Faff said..
Because of the shore break where I sail, this season I've used my foil... exactly once.


I bought a 4kg Danforth anchor today and have done a bit of research about how to tie it.
When I try it in the surf I will report back here and let you know.

Maybe you will get a second go at surf & foil.

Paducah
830 posts
2 Mar 2020 9:25PM
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makesurf said..

Faff said..
Because of the shore break where I sail, this season I've used my foil... exactly once.



I bought a 4kg Danforth anchor today and have done a bit of research about how to tie it.
When I try it in the surf I will report back here and let you know.

Maybe you will get a second go at surf & foil.


A bowline knot is your friend. So is enough anchor line - 7-8x the water depth. The pic above didn't suggest a lot of line on yours so a potential culprit to why it dragged.

VCRWoody
48 posts
3 Mar 2020 2:12AM
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I'm not in the medical profession. Overhead carries of an individual with Posture of a-e will result in pain (arrows). I'm sure your Physio will advise you to STOP overhead carries and exercises to strengthen or correct the posture.

If anyone is tempted to do overhead carries, assess your posture and beware aware of potential pain spots (neck to knee).

I don't have large shore break where I launch. I never overhead carry and make 3 trips to water's edge (board, foil and sail). On low tide it could be a 300m from rigging area deep water. I leave the allen wrench in a bag by the shore.

Play Safe.





MagicRide
386 posts
3 Mar 2020 4:22AM
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I'm getting a headache just reading these posts. Gosh, what people do for the love of foiling! That sounds like way too much work, and all that could go wrong. Glad I'm on a lake. I can't even imagine launching in shore break waves.

thedoor
203 posts
3 Mar 2020 11:10AM
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makesurf said..

Faff said..
Because of the shore break where I sail, this season I've used my foil... exactly once.



I bought a 4kg Danforth anchor today and have done a bit of research about how to tie it.
When I try it in the surf I will report back here and let you know.

Maybe you will get a second go at surf & foil.


We really need to see drone footage of this. Perhaps slingshot can sponsor a videographer ;)

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
5 Mar 2020 1:54PM
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Paducah said..
So is enough anchor line - 7-8x the water depth.


7-8x, I had heard 5x.
With an anchor rope at that angle, we are creating hazards to foils in the water.
I suppose foils learn to avoid the windward side of anything floating.

Paducah
830 posts
5 Mar 2020 1:28PM
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makesurf said..



Paducah said..
So is enough anchor line - 7-8x the water depth.





7-8x, I had heard 5x.
With an anchor rope at that angle, we are creating hazards to foils in the water.
I suppose foils learn to avoid the windward side of anything floating.




Shorter than 7 usually requires chain to keep the pull horizontal from what I've read. I've always used 7 as a rule of thumb and most of the stuff I looked up to confirm it seems to say the same. We aren't anchoring for a tropical storm here so it's not super critical but if you are dragging, you need more scope.

Yes, it will be a hazard and, yes, foils should avoid coming close to floating objects such as crab traps and pin ends to the starting line. Ask me how I know about that... OTOH, if you are anchoring so close to shore, that'll be an indication for other foils that they are getting into shallow water.

Nicholas Goyard finds the anchor rope on a slalom mark: www.facebook.com/videociel/videos/192426395477089/

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
6 Mar 2020 10:07AM
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Paducah said..
Nicholas Goyard finds the anchor rope on a slalom mark: www.facebook.com/videociel/videos/192426395477089/




Yes,
It is rounding the mark and the rope. I am surprised they did not both get it.

Here is the latest version of the anchor. While I am sailing the blue fender would also be attached to the float.
Attached with a carabiner, not a knot.


note: 2 bowlines, my friend..

Paducah
830 posts
6 Mar 2020 9:11AM
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makesurf said..

Paducah said..
Nicholas Goyard finds the anchor rope on a slalom mark: www.facebook.com/videociel/videos/192426395477089/





Yes,
It is rounding the mark and the rope. I am surprised they did not both get it.

Here is the latest version of the anchor. While I am sailing the blue fender would also be attached to the float.
Attached with a carabiner, not a knot.


note: 2 bowlines, my friend..


You, sir (or madam), are a true person of science. Experimenting and learning from the results. I salute you! Ver. 2 looks the business.

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
12 Mar 2020 12:25PM
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I should have mentioned this:
Coming in
Clip the board to the float and swim/carry the rig in then come back to the board.
You need the board's flotation to retrieve the anchor.
Don't pull the anchor all the way up to the board.
Get it into shallower water and leave it there, while you take the board and the foil in through the surf.
Then go back and get it.

So in closing, I have assembled all the instructions on this page:
supwindfoil.blogspot.com/2020/03/surf-launch.html

Captflathead
TAS, 38 posts
12 Mar 2020 6:03PM
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Is it too stupid to design it so that foil mast can be pulled through the deck like a centre board and pushed down when in deeper water and locked in some way? Should be able to reduce the drop to the same as fin and sail it out. I know the mast poking thow the deck would be a hazard, could that be mitigated with a design innovation? - the whole process is dangerous this may be less so.

makesurf
NSW, 180 posts
13 Mar 2020 3:21PM
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Captflathead said..
Is it too stupid to design it so that foil mast can be pulled through the deck like a centre board and pushed down when in deeper water and locked in some way?


OR maybe a scissor mast like this:



Al Planet
TAS, 1473 posts
13 Mar 2020 8:14PM
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makesurf said..

Captflathead said..
Is it too stupid to design it so that foil mast can be pulled through the deck like a centre board and pushed down when in deeper water and locked in some way?



OR maybe a scissor mast like this:





Go go gadget foil..

DarrylG
WA, 235 posts
13 Mar 2020 5:32PM
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Just put a spare mast track in the bottom of the board. Then flip it over, reattach mast base and sail in ;)

AUS 808
WA, 254 posts
13 Mar 2020 11:22PM
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DarrylG said..
Just put a spare mast track in the bottom of the board. Then flip it over, reattach mast base and sail in ;)


Darryl, I find it's too hard to sail in without a fin so you would need a fin box in the top of the board as well, doesn't need to be deep Tuttle, just normal Tuttle or even Power Box will do.

Also need to carry a cushion so you can sit on the foil when sailing in.

The other option is a sliding "Through Box" (patent pending #689457256314) for the foil mast and if you had wheels on the bottom of the foil the mast would come through the deck when you ran aground.
With accurate markings on the mast you would even know exactly how deep the water is, although when the mast hit you in the arse you would know it's time to get off

RAL INN
VIC, 2817 posts
18 Mar 2020 1:24PM
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F me. This is totally abnormal.
by the time I got the anchor set I'd be knackered.



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"Surf Launch and Landing" started by utcminusfour