Monday, January 25, 2016

First kitesurfing foil board session - its as hard as they say

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.
I was very keen to have ago on my foil board (Cabrinha Double Agent) so today was the day.  There was about 18 knots at Hampton and some swell so conditions were not ideal for learning but I decided to give it ago.

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 alsoKitesurfing a foil board - Kitesurfing Handbook 

1 comment:

James Wollaston said...

A cautionary tale indeed.