Forums > Windsurfing Tasmania

Learning to foil

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Created by martyj4 7 months ago, 25 Sep 2017
martyj4
147 posts
25 Sep 2017 9:31AM
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Hi all,
Not sure if this is the right forum for it, but I thought I'd put some notes together for those who are learning how to foil. It would be great to have lots of input on this, as it's a tricky thing and I think there are some BIG ticket items that, if you get them right, then things will massively improve.
I'll kick off by saying that Russ and I foiled Dorans on Sunday (when everyone else was wavesailing - good on yas). Conditions were 10-20 knots. Gusty. North west direction. Tide was full which helped a lot. It was a typical crappy Dorans day. Don't mean to brag, but we had a hoot!
We are both using the Naish Hover 122 board and foil. I found there was a lack of instructions on how to set this thing up and I relied on Russ's chats to others for ideas on setup. Here's what we came up with:
Set up the foil as far back as possible in the fin box. This seems to stabilise things. Also we were told to have the footstraps as far back as possible, but mine were in a mid/forward setting. Advice on the mast base was to also have that far back as possible, which we both did.
The rear trim foil needs to be level with the front one. I set mine with max lift the first time I used it and the foil would boil up out of the water and cavitate - impossible to control. There are maker lines on the back of the rear foil. Line these up and you should have it all set to level. For learning, I would suggest this is DEFINITELY where you want it.
Our experience: well, I found that the board erupted out of the water as soon as the sail powered up. The foil would keep lifting, so if you weren't trimming it, the foil would also pop - followed by a nose dive.
We both seemed to think that keeping mast foot pressure was good for keeping the nose of the board down, and preventing the foil from developing so much lift that it pops out of the water, and the board then nosedives (which if you're expecting it, you can recover from). So in hindsight, maybe the mast foot forward might be good for keeping the nose down. Next time...
Also, find your crappiest, oldest, most delaminated sail and rig it. I used a 2016 6m wavesail and found it developed waaaay too much power above 15 knots. Rigged a 10 yr+ old wavesail (4.6m) and it was MUCH better. If you're thinking about upgrading your sails to suit a foil, then dont. I'd suggest downgrade them first. We found when the foil was flying, you just needed to get in the 'sweet spot' where you and the board were nicely balanced, and then just trim the sail lightly.
My tip for learning (for what my 4 sessions are worth...) - get the board planing. As you feel it lift off the water, try to trim the board (depowering the sail - and mast foot pressure) to get it to go down on the water again without losing too much speed. It might sound counter to what you're trying to achieve, but we found that getting the board out of the water is dead easy. Controlling it once it's up is the trick. And keeping the nose down is the key to that for me (and probably Russ) at this stage.
Oh, and we both found the construction of the board is a little on the fragile side. Very nice finish, but has a feel of not being particularly durable. Also, undo the screws and bolts for the foil on a regular basis - and clean. Have heard they can get bound up and tight if you leave them set up long term, and that would be potentially bad.
Again, if anyone else has any tips, I'd love to hear them.

Kazza
TAS, 2145 posts
25 Sep 2017 4:46PM
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Sounds like the same front foot pressure used for snow boarding, totally opposite to what you would think.

buzzy
TAS, 2398 posts
25 Sep 2017 6:30PM
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As far as making sure stuff in pulled apart, stainless steel and aluminium will never last together when anywhere near salt water. Most of you know about corrosion but for those that don't know how Galvanic Corrosion works, here is the Galvanic Series.

"Generally, metals that are located further apart within the series are most likely to undergo galvanic corrosion, which should be stopped through proper selection and design. Metals that are further from each other have the highest rate of corrosion when combined."



"The chart above shows corrosion potentials in flowing seawater at ambient temperature. The unshaded symbols show ranges exhibited by stainless steels in acidic water such as may exist in crevices or in stagnant, low velocity or poorly aerated water. The more noble materials on the left side tend to be cathodic and hence protected; those on the right are less noble and tend to be anodic. They will therefore be the ones to corrode in a galvanic couple.
Basically, this table lists active metals according to the order of the relative activity within an electrolyte environment. The table starts with the most active, or anodic, metal in the series and lists metals down to the cathodic, or least active, metal. The list starts with the most active metals that are most likely to undergo corrosion, such as magnesium, alloys of magnesium, aluminum and zinc. The metals that are last on the list are considered cathodic and the least likely to undergo corrosion."

Moral of story, Stainless kills Aluminium and causes things to 'bind up', so keep it apart. Also, just for thought, Carbon kills Aluminium.

TASSIEROCKS
TAS, 1624 posts
25 Sep 2017 9:45PM
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Nice comments Marty,

It was my first try and a total blast. We both had some super long glides and I think we went very well all things considered.
It is very different to windsurfing and 15 knots of board speed feels like 30 at this stage. I also found it is very tiring like the first time you wave sailed. But I think it adds a whole new dimension and is worth getting into for sure. Marty thanks for your fun chats on the day we were a bit like kids in a new adventure park who discovered a cool new ride

My advice to everyone is to go for it or have a laugh at Marty and I this summer both will be fun, It is exciting challenging and very cool in under 20 knots. We both had a few crashes but that is part of learning and fun of foiling and like you Marty I think I will bring the mast track forward a touch next time,

P.S keep an eye on the trim of the back wing I think I kicked mine up later in the session water starting. When I went home and cleaned the foil it had moved up out of level trim so make sure you tighten the screws up before you go out to avoid this issue I was a bit worried about stripping the screws but they need to be firm.

Marty we will have to go again soon.

Cheers Russ

TASSIEROCKS
TAS, 1624 posts
26 Sep 2017 7:34AM
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Thanks Marty for the pictures

Kazza
TAS, 2145 posts
26 Sep 2017 8:25AM
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A Bumble Bee Or are you going for Richmond this weekend Russ?

alvadave
QLD, 40 posts
27 Sep 2017 11:21AM
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I coated all bolts with lanolin before installing and plan on removing and recoating regularly. Personel preferance but i am rarely using harness and seem to find that if I can waterstart I am probably a bit overpowered. Am using wavesails but still need the draft pretty stable. Wind gusts, current, swells, everything seems to have an effect so lots going on when your up on the foil.

jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
29 Sep 2017 9:24AM
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I've got a hover too ?? Had one go and went ok wind up to 10 knots. Had foil in middle will try it further back next. Used a old 5.5 ezzy.

Captain_Morg
TAS, 619 posts
1 Oct 2017 5:56PM
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Sorry using morgs username!!
hanging to get my foil in about two weeks , but thought it would be worth a practice on my tri fin foil




jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
1 Oct 2017 7:18PM
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Select to expand quote
jimbob SA said..
I've got a hover too ?? Had one go and went ok wind up to 10 knots. Had foil in middle will try it further back next. Used a old 5.5 ezzy.


Used foil at the back of track today was way better, had ezzy 5.5 and 5.0 up. Mast track in middle, front straps second forward and back ones second back, only my second time and had a few good flights in the straps.
Im sailing hooked in the whole time are you blokes also.

TASSIEROCKS
TAS, 1624 posts
2 Oct 2017 7:34AM
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Select to expand quote
jimbob SA said..

jimbob SA said..
I've got a hover too ?? Had one go and went ok wind up to 10 knots. Had foil in middle will try it further back next. Used a old 5.5 ezzy.



Used foil at the back of track today was way better, had ezzy 5.5 and 5.0 up. Mast track in middle, front straps second forward and back ones second back, only my second time and had a few good flights in the straps.
Im sailing hooked in the whole time are you blokes also.


Hi Jimbob,
I used the harness most of the time. I found it was easy to glide without harness as well, but better for take off to have things locked in. Bit of wind this weekend so did not have another go. I will use your tip and move the mast track forward. I think this will help balance things up a bit.

Kind Regards Russ

jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
2 Oct 2017 1:53PM
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Thanks Russ , I'm at Beachport bottom of SA so no one around here with a foil so is great to see what you guys are doing. Actually no keen windsurfers here either.
Might try shorter harness lines next time with a waist harness as I've always used a seat and will hopefully be better to sheet out after lifting off.
Gunna be a great summer as I can be on the hover the same time my wife is on her paddle board,

martyj4
147 posts
13 Oct 2017 3:40PM
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Ok. Tried mast base forward and it felt difficult to get back into the straps. Also stance was even more weird. Today went back to original setting of mast base back and felt much better. Dorans is good to sail on a full tide. Needed a smaller sail tho. 15-20 knots and 4.5 was too big. 4m next time. This is nuts!

Sail_Latte
TAS, 112 posts
14 Oct 2017 9:53AM
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You and Alan got some pretty good flight time yesterday Marty. A nice steady breeze would be useful I suspect. I thought Alan's face plant at speed from 70cm height 200 metres from launching a pretty good reminder of why watching might be all round better for ones health

martyj4
147 posts
14 Oct 2017 2:03PM
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Thanks Pete. Went out again today with Russ an justin. 10 knots gusting to 15. 5.3 and 5.7 m sails. I set the rear foil to a tiny bit negative. Found it harder to get the board to fly but once it did it was much easier to control. For overpowered conditions I would set it negative. Just 0.5mm down on the setting would be enough. Pumping the sail to make it fly also worked in lighter conditions (12 knots or so). Russ what did you think about your soft sail?

TASSIEROCKS
TAS, 1624 posts
14 Oct 2017 8:31PM
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Hi Marty

I am going to try the Naish Noa 5.8m next time was heaps of fun and nice glides again

Love the foils its just so cool...

Cheers Russ

jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
15 Oct 2017 6:38AM
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Well done guys. I've only used a 5.5 on mine, a small sea breeze here today will try a few hours on the Water and a few setups,
on the lake again but really hanging to get good enough to be out the sea in some swell, have you guys been in the open ocean yet.

alanshort
TAS, 129 posts
15 Oct 2017 10:30PM
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Marty and I had a go on the foils today at Sandy bay.
5th or 6th go for both of us.
8-12k se
So much fun
Played with the back wing to give me more lift....angled it down to lift the front...seemed to help.
Marty's front naish wing is double the area of my horue one and I'm wishing I bought the light wind one rather than the heavy wind cruiser. It would give an extra 80mm both sides.
Saw Marty doing some great glides.

martyj4
147 posts
16 Oct 2017 5:03AM
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Hey Alan, you and Justin got some good glides in too. As Alan said it was light. Settings were foil set a tiny bit negative, footstraps 1 pos back from fully forward and mast base back. I had on a 4.5m sail and it was enough in the gusts to get up. In the lulls, I could pump it onto a glide. Pumping is quirky. Pump the whole sail - front and back hands. Point off the wind a bit. I found having feet just in front of the straps to start with, then pump it up to speed, then when you shift the front foot into the front strap, then it wants to get up. Very responsive to weighting. So pump it some more and try to get it to glide, then move the back foot into the strap. And if it starts to feel like its going to fall off the glide, then pump your back foot and the sail at the same time, and usually it's enough to keep it going. And be aware of choking the sail. Try to keep the sail breathing. Choking it will usually lead to it dropping off the glide and I've found I have to start all over again to get it going.
The other thing I have been struggling with is when it develops heaps of lift, you sometimes feel like the foil will cavitate and the board seems to want to round up into the wind - it's a bit like spin-out on a conventional board. When this has happened, it usually results in the board crashing back into water and pointing into the wind. Rarely get chucked off, but you lose momentum. This time, when it feels like I was about to 'round-up' into the wind, I'd back the sail off so it developed a bit less power, then push front foot away and pull back foot in to drive the nose off the wind. Result is that the nose pointed off the wind, and the board dives a bit, but you can keep it flying.
Comparing Alan's Horue (Cruiser) with my Naish showed the Naish to have about twice the surface area of front foil than the Horue. So we suspect that's why I can carry much less sail and get gliding. That said, Alan had on a 6.2 and was getting up and going with seemingly few issues. The rear foils didn't differ much. His was also a heap lighter being full carbon. And also, mine and Russ's Naishs have shown the rear foil to slip a bit while sailing. So do up the rear foil screws very tight so that doesn't happen.
About weight, Russ, Justin and I think that board/foil weight probably has very little bearing on foil performance - but that's opinion. We think that it would have been good for the Naish board to have been constructed stronger even if it took on a few kilos of extra weight. So if there's any breakages we'll just bog it up with heaps of glue and keep sailing it. So for those who are going to retro-fit a foil to an old board, I suspect you can get away with durability and not be too concerned over weight.

martyj4
147 posts
16 Oct 2017 5:21AM
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Hey Jimbob, I used mine in swell on the second go and it was pretty messy. I was inexperienced for starters and it was blowing 20-25 knots and 1.5m swell. I'm not going there again. It might be OK if the swell was smaller and the wind lighter.

jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
16 Oct 2017 8:50AM
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Select to expand quote
martyj4 said..
Hey Jimbob, I used mine in swell on the second go and it was pretty messy. I was inexperienced for starters and it was blowing 20-25 knots and 1.5m swell. I'm not going there again. It might be OK if the swell was smaller and the wind lighter.


Thanks Marty, didn't get on the water yesterday just no mojo coming off night shift and was a bit too windy with 2 metre + swell, but it was our first 20 knot Seabreeze for the summer,
will have a few more sessions on the lake,Will try mast at back.

TASSIEROCKS
TAS, 1624 posts
16 Oct 2017 1:43PM
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Sorry for not making it down yesterday Marty. I had to take the boys to the beach.

I will be there next time.

Cheers Russ

geared4knots
TAS, 2330 posts
5 Nov 2017 10:25PM
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Finally had decent go on the Slingshot Wizard 125 and Slingshot F1 WIND FOIL.
First couple of tries have been in very windy/ gusty conditions, today was 8-12 knots with my 5,2 sail and had a few decent runs. ( up and down still!)
So still biggest problem is keeping nose down, but a bit better now i have moved track forward and leaning forward keeping rig upright .. " I am hoping this will improve with longer mast, as shorter mast has less room for error.
The Slingshot masts come in "flight school" if you prefer, 3 masts of various sizes, or just purchase the complete Slingshot Hover glide windsurf foil. that comes with the longest mast.
I have been using the flight school mast package, so step one 15 inch mast. It great for the first few goes, controlling the lift and getting some kind of glide . Time now for stage two mast 24 inch. If anyone wants they can borrow my shorter mast (s) as i grow out of them.

Board is 195 cm long, quite short, i have mast tack slightly forward in first half of track. Front straps forward and no back strap yet.
I will be putting the back strap in in the inward holes and second from front ( as recommended by slingshot ),

Very much fun , even though hard work.

p.s there are guys and girls waiting for Naish and Fanatic, they are very close, apologies for delays from importers.
This summer will see lots of nice foil gear on the water











martyj4
147 posts
6 Nov 2017 4:41AM
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Looks great Damo. We sailed nutgrove yesterday arvo. BoM observations for Hobart showed 8-11 knots, gusting 13. I had the Naish and 5.3m. Justin had the Slingshot and a 5.4. There was another guy out on conventional slalom gear with an 8.6 and we were gliding about as much as he was planing (bit over 50% of the time). Had to pump onto the plane/glide. We found that getting into the front strap and pumping was awkward. Felt too heavily weighted to the back, so we think it might be best (in marginal conditions) to move the mast of the foil forward in the fin box (since you can't move the footstraps back). Also found that once gliding, I was using my hips a lot to trim the lift and fall of the nose of the board - moving my weight forward and back. Justin went well on the slingshot. He had the fuselage set in the forward position for light winds. Comparing the 2 of us (so there could be a rider factor in here), the slingshot seemed to go upwind better than the Naish. Gliding thresholds were very similar. We could get them going in about the same wind strength.
Also, when sailing through lighter winds, I found pumping the back leg against the foil helped to keep the thing flying. Gotta keep everything straight though. If you start moving the board around too much it gets hard to control and then falls off the glide.
In future, we'll have to swap gear to see if the rider is a factor with the difference between the Naish and the Slingshot. And will move the foil mast in the Naish forward in light winds to see if that helps get the board up and going a bit earlier (and easier). I'm also keen to try using a bigger sail in the lighter conditions to see what effect that has. I'm wondering how much effect the greater sail area has in light winds.

geared4knots
TAS, 2330 posts
6 Nov 2017 11:34AM
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Marty, what board is Justin using? volume and width.
good reference for others who want to get a foil onto an existing board.

And with the Naish have you still adjusted the angle of the rear wing to stop excess lift?
The slingshot are bringing out a shim for theirs.

martyj4
147 posts
6 Nov 2017 9:18AM
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Justin's board was 130 litres and super wide (about 70cm??). Can't remeber what it was. Russ will know. Russ??
My rear wing is set to flat or slightly negative (by only 0.5mm off flat at most). It helps to keep the nose down and control the ride.
Also, getting it going was tricky in light stuff. We decided you need to get some board momentum (stay in the harness lines), then oncew the board feels like it's trying to get going, get out of the harness, pump the sail and get into the front strap as it builds speed. Then you should be able to pump it onto the plane, keep pumping and it will glide. Then quickly (and smoothly) put your foot in the back strap and get it going. If you feel like there's not enough wind, then keep pumping the sail and pump the back leg to keep it flying. That sometimes works if there's enough wind.

Sail_Latte
TAS, 112 posts
6 Nov 2017 8:44PM
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Interesting discussion and a lot being learn't. Do you feel that you are getting a speed increase when up on the foil compared to a planning windsurfer (big gear). The foiler moths seem to increase speed considerably once flying in light winds (and are able to go upwind) and the increase in apparent wind would be substantial. They are much quicker than windsurfers in these conditions. My observations from a distance is that this speed increase is not happening yet. Probably too early to be asking these sorts of questions. Keep at it.

geared4knots
TAS, 2330 posts
6 Nov 2017 11:10PM
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Pete, yes you definitely increase speed once on the foil. ( limited time experiencing that mind you!!!)

martyj4
147 posts
7 Nov 2017 5:17AM
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Hey Pete. My take on this is that in light winds, if I could get going on a conventional board with big gear (7+m sail), then I'd be maybe a little bit quicker than the foil. BUT, I'm inexperienced on the foil and a little bit scared to go too quick at the moment. (where's the chicken emoji?)
I think the difference in speed between a foil and conventional board in light conditions, is whether you can get either of them to fly/plane. I find I can get a conventional board up and going pretty easily in light stuff. The foil is harder, but I think it has a greater potential to get gliding in much lighter winds. So where my 8m sail will get my conventional board going in about 12 knots, the foil can also do this (with some effort) with a 5.3. So the interest for me is when I use a 6m or a 6.5m sail to see if the gliding threshold with work in less wind.
I guess the big benefit with a foil is they use such a small sail to get going compared to conventional gear.
Ultimately I'm looking to the foil to get me going in about 10 knots which is what we see a lot of seabreeses blow in at. For me, conventional gear will be monstrous and unweildy for me to get going in 10 knots.

jimbob SA
SA, 867 posts
12 Nov 2017 8:57PM
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Some good info here guys, haven't been out on the water enough myself with work and a family sickness,
but went out in the open sea again and it was bloody embarrassing especially as the wife was watching for the first time. Was around 6 to 8 very constant onshore with no gusts 2 meter swell and an pulling outgoing tide. Just don't have the pumping skills or the fitness had my usual 5.5 up. Much easier to get flying when there are gusts.
Hopefully get a bit better soon.

martyj4
147 posts
14 Nov 2017 4:17AM
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Foiled at Nutgrove again yesterday. Blew 10-12 knots, gusting 14. Fin mast set to mid position in fin box instead of back position. Much easier to get into front strap and pump board up. In even more marginal conditions, I'd consider moving the fin mast to the most forward position. The bigger sail (6m compared to 5.3) definitely helped to pump the board to fly. When falling off the glide, I felt I could pump the sail and back foot to stay aloft. It was hard work though.
With less wind, I'm tempted to try a bigger sail (6.5m) to see if it will get me going in lighter winds. I think pumping technique will be important for that.
Waves definitely affect handling. I could feel the board speeding up and slowing down as I went over boat wakes. Even managed to 'surf' one for a few seconds.
I checked my gps speed. Was in the low to mid 20's. For me in those conditions, a conventional board would have sat in the mid to high 20 km/h so I think the foils are a little slower, but I'm still a gumby so some improvements may change that.
Damo, Justin's board is an Exocet. 130 litres. 83 cm wide. 245 long.



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"Learning to foil" started by martyj4