Friday, December 15, 2017

Learning to foil at St Kilda - its hard!

Session 431. Foil 02. Following Ivan's advice I went to St Kilda to learn on my foil board.  There is flat water behind the breakwater and around 15 knots is ideal. 

Foiling is HARD to learn - I think its harder than learning to kitesurf.  Its about 90% board and 10% kite.

I got out of the water and on the board several times but it felt really weird. Its like having a sea anchor underneath your board.  It seems you have to forget everything you have learned to date (edging the board, pressure on rear foot etc) and focus on keeping the board flat and weight well forward on the front foot.

I had fitted the rear footstrap which helps with controlling the board.

I tumbled off it toeside a coup of times, clunking my shins on the edge of the board (and drawing some blood).

I continue along, wary of other kiters.  Struggling.

My brief attempt on the return tack was even less successful.  I walked back along the beach.

Some things I learnt today:
  • Keeping the board flat on the water makes it easier to handle.
  • When body dragging (out) have the kite on one side and the board on the other (so you don't get yanked onto it).
  • If you are crashing bail off the board to get clear of it.
  • Don't kick under the water near the board - you might hit sharp edges of the foil mast or the foil itself
  • Wear booties
  • Wear a helmet
  • Wear a steamer wetsuit to provide some all-body protection (a nuisance in summer!)
  • Keep at it!  This summer I am going to get up and going.
I have been told it takes around 10 goes like this for it to "click". 

This was the first time I had actually got up onto the board (but not the foil) for a short period and controlled it.



Unknown said...

Focus on learning to ride the board flat on the water. The desire to foil is very strong but by mastering keeping it flat on the water in both directions, you will be able to stay upwind and that gives you plenty of room to then start on foiling. As I responded to your boat towing post, using a short mast, greatly speeds up the learning process as it stops you from crashing when the board comes up too far.

Peter Campbell said...

Thanks Dwayne. I find it really hard to ride the board flat on the water - if the short mast helps with that it would be a great thing. I will see if I can borrow a board with a short mast when I am next on the water.