Session 355. Foil session 1. I got down the Hampton at around 4:30 and helped Tony with a refresher on kite rigging and flying - he went well.
Carrying the foil sideways was not too difficult. However, once in the water its a beast. The foil protudes a long way under the board and has a mind of its own. I walked out as far as I could and attempted to body drag out further, to no avail. I tried keeping the board sideways with my foot in the front straps and dragging out, that didn't work well either.
The foil acts as a massive lever under the board. When it catches it spins the board around. It was like being a rank beginner again, unable to get off the beach! Those that say learning to use a foil board is hard are correct.
Further along the beach the board was a real handful in the breaking waves. I dropped the kite a couple of times while wrestling/juggling the board. The second time I decided to come in. There was a bang then a limp kite. I think it was folded by a wave and the leading edge tore then the bladder burst. Not good.
I packed up with my tail between my legs and pondered the next foil board session with Eric and Anthony.
Its hard to learn but another kiter was out on a foil board and going well. As he said, you don't believe its possible until you see someone doing it.
Next session I think I will go for:
- Less wind and a bigger kite (flatter water, much smaller waves)
- A location where there are no reefs and groynes to worry about
- Taking off the four board - they are not necessary and not good to contact with feet or hands while handling the board
See also: Kitesurfing a foil board - Kitesurfing Handbook
A cautionary tale indeed.
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