Wednesday, April 06, 2022

I bought a Fliteboard, here is why

I have been keen to get into using a foil board for kitesurfing for some time. However, good conditions  and locations for learning are hard to find. The best combination is around 15 knots and flat water with some protection from swell (e.g. a breakwater). I find it is too easy to go kitesurfing instead.

I have thought about buying a Fliteboard to get more experience using a foil and for those days when there is no wind.  While there are obviously differences between electric and wind power, I am hoping more experience controlling a foil board will help.



I looked into products and decided that Fliteboard, locally designed and made in Australia, is the market leader for good reason. They are excellent quality and well designed, but they are expensive. I decided to wait and see how electric foil boards developed.

These two things changed my mind.

1. COVID-19 pandemic

Two years of restrictions of lockdowns and restrictions have given me incentive to take on new challenges and get out there as often as I can

2. Fliteboard 2.0 second generation and waves.

Fliteboard 2.0 innovations include a Trueglide prop (like a free wheel bike cluster) that reduces drag. With the prop guard also removed, drag is reduced to make it possible to foil onto a wave under power, then ride the wave on the foil with the power off.

I really like kitesurfing in big waves. This gives me the possibility of  extending flat water e-foiling into waves.

3. Fliteboard demo ride

I did a demo ride a Fliteboard at St Kilda and was able to stand and foil on the standard Fliteboard. Its like a magic carpet ride!


So I decided to get a Fliteboard.

Specifications

  • Fliteboard Pro Board - 67 litre board will harder to learn on but better once up and going.
  • 75cm mast - to cope with swell
  • Flitecell Explore battery - better endurance, more time on the water
  • Front Wing: Cruiser 1100, Flite 290 stabiliser - for learning and general use
  • Flow S 1300 wing + Flow 245 stabiliser - better turning foil for wave riding
  • Trueglide prop + prop duct removal kit - for "Pro Mode" wave riding












Monday, March 28, 2022

Fliteboard Aspendale - session 3, standing up, carving and going fast

I stood up early in the session while planing. One leg forward, then step up to stance like the yoga "warrior 2"pose.  

Once up I felt stable and was able to keep planing with out trouble. I was then able to easy back slightly and get up on the foil using gear #7.  

Touching down from the foil was good, I had no big stacks. I was able to stay on the foil for around 6 to l8 seconds each time. Its fast! 

No footage today due to a camera malfunction.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Fliteboard at Aspendale kneeling and foiling! Session 2

I got planing and on my knees quite quickly and felt very stable. I tried standing up once and fell off so I decided to focus on getting some speed up while kneeling. This went well, I was able to get on a fast plane then some short sections on the foil then touching down. 





Letting go of the trigger brought me to a rapid stop - its better to adjust "gears" to regulate speed.

#5: I can get planing prone and on my knees

#6: Faster planing and short sections on the foil

#7. Faster again and longer sections on the foil.

Turning was fun. I made good progress during this session.  Standing up is next.





Saturday, January 15, 2022

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Kitesurfing Walkerville South in gusty strong easterly #542

Session 542. A good south easterly was coming into Walkerville South. A kitesurfing was out, and another (Owen) was launching too.  I launched off the beach with my 8m kite but the wind wasn't strong enough close to the shore.  I ended up across the beach and decided to put up my 10m kite.

I got out on the 10m kite OK, but was a bit overpowered further out where the wind was much stronger.

Scored a few small waves along the reef.  Kiting further out was difficult due to the stronger wind two way swell - ocean swell wrapping around from the south and south east wind swell. 

The beach is good for launching when the wind gets in as long as its not too crowded.


Monday, January 10, 2022

Fliteboard at Aspendale - session 1

First session on my new Fliteboard Pro. 8 knots wind, there was a bit too much chop, its better to have flat water to make starting easier when learning.


I have the smaller Pro model board (67 litres) which is harder to learn on than the regular board (100 litres).  Once you are up and going the smaller board is better though.

I got going in prone position, then up on the foil which was very fast!

Kneeling was less scary and I had good control.

I lost Bluetooth control when the board nose dipped under the water, everything stops.

I had to get weight well forward on the board when prone to get planing.

The board stopped when I bailing off it.

First impressions - a bit tricky to get on the plane on the smaller board, then a lot of speed when on the foil.







Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Kitesurfing Flinders West Head reef #541

Session 541. Kited the reef brake at Flinders West Head, enjoying some good waves. Stu S's kite detached when he dropped it and his safety broke (check your lines!). He wound in his bar and tried to sail it in, but lost it. I got the kite and dragged it in while Stu W took my board in.

It was hard work as the kite was partly powered. When winding in for a self rescue make sure you wrap the front lines for 3 meters first before you included the rear lines in the wrap.

I crashed my kite while dragging the other one and lost my GoPro, so there is no video footage.

I returned later and snorkelled around but couldn't find it.  There is a lot of weed on the bottom.  

Its a great location to kite but not too good if have to self rescue.