Author Topic: SUP Foil Technique  (Read 906 times)

BigDoug

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SUP Foil Technique
« on: November 23, 2016, 10:54:03 AM »
Trouble staying up on foil, any ideas?

I just started SUP surf foiling here in Kauai and its not going all that well yet.   I dont know if its technique, conditions, equipment, or all of the above.  Id love to hear some suggestions on improving my setup or technique or just some encouragement. 

Me: 50 year old, 250 lb, proficient at SUP surfing.

My gear:  Liquid force low aspect kite foil, liquid force fuselage, slingshot 24 mast, Jimmy Lewis WorldWide 93.  I have two long us-fin boxes installed as a track which allows the foil to be mounted in different positions.  I also have the slingshot flight school masts (15, 24, 30) so i can change those around if need be.   Of note is that the board I am using is the same model as my go to SUP that I super comfortable on in all conditions. 

Ive had 6 sessions so far, in a variety of conditions.  My progression/observations:
1. Day 1:  figured out the gear setup, used the 15 mast cause I figured wipeout would be easier to handle, had some trouble paddling straight, caught 10 or so waves - the foil lifted twice and tossed me immediately
2. Day 2:  added center fin to board to see if that would help with paddling straight, it did.  caught 5 small waves, the foil never lifted.
3. Day 3:  switched to 24 mast,  I caught a dozen or so waves and was able to get the foil to engage and disengage by working on front and back foot pressure. I did a lot of see-sawing up and down, not really controlled, and the board was never out of the water for more than 2 seconds
4. Day 4:   Marked pad to indicate exactly where mast is when in the middle of the track.  Experimented with foot positioning behind, on, and in front of mast.  It appears that by keeping my center of gravity forward the the foil stays or goes down and by putting it further back makes it engage. Still not able to stay on foil for more than 2 seconds although I am not see-sawing quite as much and not getting tossed every time it engages.
5. Day 5:  Too small, caught some whitewash, board got up and planing but foil never engaged. then caught one freak wave that was just overhead and foil engaged as I made the steep drop.    Scared the crap out of me!  I was trying to go into a normal bottom turn, the board turned on the face to the right but somehow threw me off to the outside of the turn on the left and I got crunched.  Everything tumbled in the washing machine - luckily I didnt make contact with my gear and I was fine. 
6. Day 6:  Tried the 30 mast, foil engaged twice, but only when I forced it.  I fell on the mast once and bruised my forearm.  Im now thinking the way to go about this is to let the foil engage on its own, which I assume will happen only when I have the correct amount of foot pressure and lots of speed.  The trouble is I dont know how to consistently generate more speed without getting on bigger waves and, frankly, that scares me. 

So what do you all think I should do next?  Gear adjustment?  Go for it bigger waves? Change technique somehow to get more speed? 


blueplanetsurf

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 11:31:54 AM »
Good topic and sounds like you are making decent progress.  Foiling is like learning a whole new sport, certainly not as easy as it looks and as more foils are becoming available, this is a timely topic.   We were practicing foiling by towing, which helps in learning how to control the foil once it is flying (or engaged as you put it).  We are so used to putting weight on the back foot, on the foil you have to lean onto your front foot to keep flying level.  Using a shorter mast is definitely easier to control and safer when you are starting out.  The type of foil you use makes a big difference, too.  I believe your Liquid Force high aspect foil is designed for Kitefoiling where the kite creates lift and lots of power and speed.  To create enough lift to fly you and your board with your foil, you will have to go quite fast, which means you need steeper, more critical waves at higher speeds which is more difficult to control.  Using a foil that creates enough lift to fly at lower speeds should make things a bit easier.  We are still waiting for the release of the Go Foil Maliko foils that should create enough lift to use on downwinders and to foil on waves long before they are breaking.

This is a video of our early foiling attempts:




« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 11:37:03 AM by blueplanetsurf »
Robert Stehlik
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exiled

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 12:27:54 PM »
Unfortunately, 250 lbs probably puts you outside of the weight range the foil was designed for, so getting up and staying up are always going to be more of challenge. Props to you for trying though, I'm closer to 230 and decided to sit out the first round of SUP foils until someone comes up with something big guy specific.

DW

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 12:52:23 PM »
Whoever told you a kite foil works for paddle surf foiling told you wrong.

Most brands don't even have the huge low expect wings required for surfing in production yet.

BigDoug

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2016, 01:00:34 PM »
@blueplanet thanks for the post and sharing the video.  I don't expect to spend the $$$ on a new foil, but the good news is that my kite setup is totally modular- I should either be able to buy a new set of wings and mount or build my own if needed.

BigDoug

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2016, 01:02:16 PM »
Unfortunately, 250 lbs probably puts you outside of the weight range the foil was designed for, so getting up and staying up are always going to be more of challenge. Props to you for trying though, I'm closer to 230 and decided to sit out the first round of SUP foils until someone comes up with something big guy specific.

@exiled thanks for your post, I was thinking that weight is a real factor.  When I use this setup with my kite, I have no issues, but as @blueplanet mentioned I have lots of lift and speed from the kite

BigDoug

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2016, 01:42:14 PM »
Whoever told you a kite foil works for paddle surf foiling told you wrong.


@dw thanks, I actually know someone who is  sup surfing a kite foil - he is much smaller than me, and, interestingly, his foil has a pretty high aspect ratio.  Can you tell me specifically what makes a SUP surf foil different than a kite foil?
My front foil is really low aspect (almost 2:1)  and pretty large at 55cm x 21cm.  Here's a pic

DW

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2016, 03:08:35 PM »
I spoke with the engineer who designs LP foils at SurfExpo about what's required for SUP.

Because LP sold massive windsurf foils in addition to kite foils, I figured he'd know if mine (a huge windsurf foil) would work. He said not very well. They were working on a SUP foil that would have the huge wing span of the windsurf foil, but be low aspect to get the really slow lift off speed needed.

BigDoug

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2016, 03:17:08 PM »
thanks @dw, makes sense.  There's no way I'm going to be able to fork out $$$ for a new foil so it's over to the DIY forum to see if I can build my own wings and use with my current setup.   

 


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