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Damn foils

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Created by Ben1973 3 months ago, 21 Nov 2023
Ben1973
906 posts
21 Nov 2023 7:01AM
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I don't have a problem with foiling BUT I really think if they are going to be used in the same races as fin then there should be a handicap system in place or the slalom racing I love to watch is going to go the same way as big light wind slalom boards, Vanish!

elmo
WA, 8650 posts
21 Nov 2023 7:28AM
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Have a watch of the WindsurfingTV podcast with AA last night, they discuss this and like it as they used to spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for wind unable to compete.

Also if the wind swung they are able to still race with the foil whereas the slappers would require a course alteration which would waste an hour of racing time

This season has shown that the foils are quicker even in high winds.

As a note of reference, I'm predominately a slapper only foiling in light winds

ptsf1111
WA, 136 posts
21 Nov 2023 8:27AM
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Sadly, I don't think there is a future for fin racing. Folks need to focus on foil predominantly in order to be competitive and it wouldn't make a lot of sense to keep training on the fin and carry all the extra equipment.

Haven't watched the podcast nor have I any insights into PWA so these is just my personal thoughts. We'll probably have one season with a separate fin class or requirement to use fin in high wind or so, but I don't think that'll last long, sorry Taty ;)

We'll have wave and freestyle remaining then. Guess fin windsurfing has become an even more niche and classic sport. Let's see if the slalom gear will still get produced for the recreational sailors in a few years.

Shifu
QLD, 1886 posts
21 Nov 2023 10:48AM
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My take:

PWA and slalom racing -foil 100% - will never be fin again
Wave sailing - just keeps going
Freestyle - as above
Recreational windsurfing - FSW and freeride boards
Speed sailing boards and slalom boards - unlikley the market will support many of these being produced in the future. Choice will be limited

Maddlad
WA, 825 posts
21 Nov 2023 8:51AM
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I think foil racing is excellent to watch and as others have mentioned, you at least get to see races instead of no racing when its a bit inconsistent or light.
Having said that, all through the japan broadcast they were saying that next season there will be fin only events where you arent allowed to use foils.

kato
VIC, 3327 posts
21 Nov 2023 11:57AM
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What worries me is that if racing is just foiling will manufacturers still produce fin stuff like boards and sails? Fins can be used anywhere, foils not so.

Shifu
QLD, 1886 posts
21 Nov 2023 11:34AM
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Personally I find it all a bit of a shame. I haven't been bitten by the foil bug so the racing to me is dull as dishwater and I have no desire to try it for myself. I used to love watching PWA racing but not any more.

I'm just hoping these will still be good blasting boards and slalom fins to go with them.

Subsonic
WA, 2950 posts
21 Nov 2023 10:07AM
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kato said..
What worries me is that if racing is just foiling will manufacturers still produce fin stuff like boards and sails? Fins can be used anywhere, foils not so.


You'd think they would. The foils are spanking the fins at pwa, but in wa at least, the market for slalom foil is still not massive. Free ride foils for sure have taken off, but i think foil slalom still scares the pants off people. Certainly does me.

Mark _australia
WA, 22059 posts
21 Nov 2023 10:10AM
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Yes... the bloodletting will reduce numbers

You will still be able to race slapper slalom surely

elmo
WA, 8650 posts
21 Nov 2023 10:50AM
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windsurfing.tv/video/antoine-albeau-luderitz-speed-update-more/

Foil discussion starts at 14.00
PWA 17.50
Finishes 23.47

mr love
VIC, 2287 posts
21 Nov 2023 3:04PM
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Brands will still make slalom boards and sails if people keep buying them regardless of what happens at the professional level. Lots of sailing venues are not foil suitable, shallow, weed etc yet people will sill want to go fast. Also going really fast on a foil is scary. What is likely to happen though is way less development on fin racing gear as brands focus on foil....... but I don't think fast fin sailing will go away in a hurry,

ka43
NSW, 3061 posts
21 Nov 2023 6:43PM
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How many places are foil unfriendly!! Lots all over the country. Truck loads of guys and girls still want to go fast in shallow and weedy spots.
Lake George, Budgey, heaps of WA spots etc.
Love watching the foil and fin racing in PWA. But there is still going to be a market for the average back and forther, blaster and weekend warrior to get out and have a fang. Both foil and fin will have their place.

John340
QLD, 3030 posts
21 Nov 2023 7:07PM
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Shifu said..
My take:

PWA and slalom racing -foil 100% - will never be fin again
Wave sailing - just keeps going
Freestyle - as above
Recreational windsurfing - FSW and freeride boards
Speed sailing boards and slalom boards - unlikley the market will support many of these being produced in the future. Choice will be limited


Participation in the GPSTC is already in decline and has been for at least 3 years. High wind flat water spots like Lake George, Lilacs and Mandurah still have their allure along with other spots around Australia that can produce great conditions albeit on a more irregular basis. But regular weekly posts in average conditions are being replaced by wind and wing foiling

Ian K
WA, 4038 posts
21 Nov 2023 5:48PM
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kato said..
What worries me is that if racing is just foiling will manufacturers still produce fin stuff like boards and sails? Fins can be used anywhere, foils not so.


A bigger threat to slappers in the long term might be the need to cut back on Co2 emissions. I think personal mobility is about to peak. Fuel will become expensive, burning it unnecessarily will be frowned upon by your peers. No more driving for 12 hours to a flat water mecca to catch a 30 knot forecast. Foils don't worry about a bit of chop or not so much wind. Drive for 5 minutes to the local spot.

PhilUK
875 posts
21 Nov 2023 6:25PM
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I've compared numbers and 10 second averages on gps-speedsurfing, 2019 to 2023.

Very rough description on what is typical kit is required to achieve speeds for each band:

Foiling
>30 is hero status
25-30 you need decent speed/slalom kit
20-25 freerace type kit.
>1 - 20 is people on freeride kit.

Fin
>40 you need speed kit
>35 can be done on decent slalom kit
>30 can be done on decent freerace
>25 is more freeride

In 2023 the top 3 fin sailors also posted sessions on small & medium slalom kit. 1 in top 20 posted on large slalom kit. I think the number of sessions posted on large slalom kit will have dropped a lot in recent years. But small & medium slalom kit is still in widespread use.

The brands will be doing their own analysis of kit sold, and what they want out of PWA slalom to showcase their kit. Thats why fin isnt dead, and there will be fin only events at windy spots. I hope.




kato
VIC, 3327 posts
21 Nov 2023 9:37PM
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Ian K said..

kato said..
What worries me is that if racing is just foiling will manufacturers still produce fin stuff like boards and sails? Fins can be used anywhere, foils not so.



A bigger threat to slappers in the long term might be the need to cut back on Co2 emissions. I think personal mobility is about to peak. Fuel will become expensive, burning it unnecessarily will be frowned upon by your peers. No more driving for 12 hours to a flat water mecca to catch a 30 knot forecast. Foils don't worry about a bit of chop or not so much wind. Drive for 5 minutes to the local spot.


True but foils aren't fast and I love dancing on the chop at 30kts. Foiling for me is gliding vs Mach 2 in a 104. I like both but.

Ian K
WA, 4038 posts
21 Nov 2023 6:47PM
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kato said..

Ian K said..


kato said..
What worries me is that if racing is just foiling will manufacturers still produce fin stuff like boards and sails? Fins can be used anywhere, foils not so.




A bigger threat to slappers in the long term might be the need to cut back on Co2 emissions. I think personal mobility is about to peak. Fuel will become expensive, burning it unnecessarily will be frowned upon by your peers. No more driving for 12 hours to a flat water mecca to catch a 30 knot forecast. Foils don't worry about a bit of chop or not so much wind. Drive for 5 minutes to the local spot.



True but foils aren't fast and I love dancing on the chop at 30kts. Foiling for me is gliding vs Mach 2 in a 104. I like both but.


Not sure what a 104 is but the original question was will enough people want a 104 for the manufacturers to keep making 104s?

Gestalt
QLD, 14073 posts
21 Nov 2023 9:02PM
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I'd be a bit disappointed to see fin dropped from pwa. It's great to watch so keen to see both fin and foil in the mix.
The youth slalom titles saw huge numbers on fin. Same for the local competitors in pwa slalom who were all fin, especially in Japan.

seeing a fin/foil champ crowned would be worth it too. Best all round!

The elephant in the room will be the push to no wind and light wind venues chasing sponsor money. Boring! The string of grand slam high wind events this year was really compelling.

Cuchufleta
106 posts
21 Nov 2023 8:11PM
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Just bring back Wave Slalom on locations where it can be howling. The fins have a clear advantage there.

Gestalt
QLD, 14073 posts
21 Nov 2023 10:31PM
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Cuchufleta said..
Just bring back Wave Slalom on locations where it can be howling. The fins have a clear advantage there.


Damn right!

boardsurfr
WA, 2171 posts
21 Nov 2023 9:36PM
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Shifu said..
Speed sailing boards and slalom boards - unlikley the market will support many of these being produced in the future. Choice will be limited

That's been the case in the US for years. Stores usually don't have any slalom gear in stock, and when they do. None in the warehouses, either, so ordering was limited to preorders for the next year. The few times I have seen slalom gear in store, it often was the same board several years in a row. The only time I have seen a speed board in a store in the US was after a company cleaned out a warehouse and found a board initially reserved for Dunkerbeck many years back.

Some of the best speed brands either do not have a distributor in the US, or if they list a distributor, the distributor does not list their boards on their web site. It can be still possible to get these brands, but you may have to pay several hundred dollars per board in shipping fees.

The same store where the slalom boards used to languish for years usually has the popular free ride boards in every size from multiple brands.

bel29
253 posts
21 Nov 2023 11:58PM
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It's not as if there are a lot of guys pushing on 400 slalom wings and 5m foil race sails around me now...

duzzi
991 posts
22 Nov 2023 5:04AM
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Ben1973 said..
I don't have a problem with foiling BUT I really think if they are going to be used in the same races as fin then there should be a handicap system in place or the slalom racing I love to watch is going to go the same way as big light wind slalom boards, Vanish!



Only the PWA can think that fin and foil can race together. It is as nuts as racing Laser and Hobbie 14 together. The two classes are fundametally different, and need to be separated. Then (maybe) more racers will show up. This last season, besides the catastrophic finale, had the lowest female attendance ever, and I am sure men attendance is at the historical lowest.

JonesySail
QLD, 1057 posts
22 Nov 2023 3:05PM
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easy sorted, bring back wave slalom, simple gear requirements , the more full on the conditions the more skill and fitness win over equipment ..can be done off almost any beach anywhere, 15knt min wind is the cut off.
It actually show cases the sport to the public in an area where they might actually get to see some action, who knows maybe a sponsor might get interested.

A race like this could be done at any beach, even at your own local. (*you tube link not working but type in windsurfing wave slalom)
I don't think its any coincidence that the sport started to decline when it left off the beach wave slalom behind.

Longlines
64 posts
22 Nov 2023 1:21PM
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For the more casual fin-windsurfer the lack of wind at times is not a big deal. Plenty of other things to be doing. With the caveat that when the wind is up, the other things go back into their boxes. Not attracted to the bulk of foils at all. I like the locked in feeling of riding the fin. Not at all interested in following professional sports. Rather just go and do it myself for fun. Others here and elsewhere have made the same points. Are there enough such people to keep the WS factories interested? For a large scale operation like Cobra in Thailand it might be that a board is a board. I would be more concerned about the future of WS sail-rig production.

windsurftom
NSW, 332 posts
23 Nov 2023 6:36AM
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JonesySail said..
easy sorted, bring back wave slalom, simple gear requirements , the more full on the conditions the more skill and fitness win over equipment ..can be done off almost any beach anywhere, 15knt min wind is the cut off.
It actually show cases the sport to the public in an area where they might actually get to see some action, who knows maybe a sponsor might get interested.

A race like this could be done at any beach, even at your own local. (*you tube link not working but type in windsurfing wave slalom)
I don't think its any coincidence that the sport started to decline when it left off the beach wave slalom behind.


I'm with you, the conditions are about as exciting as it gets. The beach start and finish requires technique, Foils could still win in the right conditions but would take longer to ge out and in

Shifu
QLD, 1886 posts
23 Nov 2023 11:08AM
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Yes, wave-slalom is the way forward. More action and a better correlation to what most recreational windsurfers do. Less technical and more physical. Just needs to be added as another division in the PWA. The foil heads can still do their racing, the fin heads can do their blasting, the waves heads can do their wave sailing, and the frestyle people can do whatever it is that they do.

SurferKris
307 posts
23 Nov 2023 2:48PM
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I have never seen any foil-windsurfing around here, it is all fins in my home town.
Some are getting into wings though, I don't really know why, perhaps the novelty and smaller sized gear.

New slalom equipment needs to be pre-ordered, same goes for small wave-boards (<85l) and wave-sails (<4.0). The shops are not keeping anything in stock anymore. The high prices are killing the sport, I think, it has gone up by about 100% in the last 10-15 years (when accounting for inflation) if I remember correctly.

snorkel962
QLD, 445 posts
23 Nov 2023 6:04PM
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JonesySail said..
easy sorted, bring back wave slalom, simple gear requirements , the more full on the conditions the more skill and fitness win over equipment ..can be done off almost any beach anywhere, 15knt min wind is the cut off.
It actually show cases the sport to the public in an area where they might actually get to see some action, who knows maybe a sponsor might get interested.

A race like this could be done at any beach, even at your own local. (*you tube link not working but type in windsurfing wave slalom)
I don't think its any coincidence that the sport started to decline when it left off the beach wave slalom behind.


One of THE most fun events in Qld was the Moore Park slalom held in little waves a million years ago. Onshore wave slalom...so much fun. And a whole skipload of halved Waitatas at the end of it. More seriously there are lots of spots where foils will be a bad idea for board, sailor. or environment...Green Island challenges a 36cm fin on the course at times and is one of the very best venues around!

PhilUK
875 posts
23 Nov 2023 7:08PM
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A slight issue with wave slalom is the 2 best high wind slalom spots currently in use are Pozo and Sotavento.
Pozo could have a downwind course down to the bunker. But good luck with a beach start over those rocks.
Sotavento has a wind shadow on the inside. The course they currently have is the best they could do there, and thats not wave slalom.
At least wave slalom would mean the gear would have to be beefed up, otherwise they will be going through (literally) a sail a day.

Are there actually people who would organise a wave slalom event at other spots? Is the wind as guaranteed as those above?

Gestalt
QLD, 14073 posts
23 Nov 2023 9:19PM
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Yup.

I was 90% done organising a wave slalom event in Oz a few years back. Had a major sponsor. Paper work was in.
i walked away from it when i walked away from other events i was organising.
just needs someone dedicated.



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"Damn foils" started by Ben1973