Standup Zone Forum

The Foil Zone => Foil SUP => Topic started by: APPST_Paddle on February 14, 2021, 04:37:02 AM

Title: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: APPST_Paddle on February 14, 2021, 04:37:02 AM
I'm sure this has probably been asked before, but I didn't see any direct threads. I'm pretty comfortable SUP foiling, started this summer and it's pretty much taken over my surfing. I'm mostly on a mushy inlet break, but occasionally work in a beach break. Anyways, I'm debating adding a prone setup. I haven't popped up on a surfboard since I was 16 or so (and wasn't that good then), but with the added volume and the fact that I'm actually in better shape now than I probably was then, figured I could try.

For people that made the switch, pros/cons? I'm figuring catching waves the advantage is on SUP, I also feel like I can hold on the shoulder and navigate steeper waves on a SUP. The advantage on the prone being less volume, so easier to initiate carves, and nothing in your hands which in my mind would help pumping out the back.

Anyone who's made the switch have any opinions? Keep in mind, I've been only SUP surfing for the last 8 years or so, Costa Rica, Fiji, whatever.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: juandesooka on February 14, 2021, 12:16:30 PM
Me: still picture myself a shortboard surfer, but have had to face the fact in my early 50s and have been riding longboards, then sups, then kiting, then kitefoiling, then sup foiling -- haven't really shortboarded in 10-15 years. 

My buddy was keen on prone surf only and he dedicated himself to it.  On my supfoil, I would get 5x the waves and ride them 5x as long, but he just kept slogging away. And then I noticed something changing....he was getting just as many waves as me, and on choppy days and big days (where he could take off in white water) he was getting a lot more.  And, being brutally honest, he was riding them with a way more aggressive style and more flow -- with the external evidence being bystanders commenting on how he was ripping and then "oh yeah, I saw you out there too".  ;-)

So I followed my spiritual guide, paid the humbling price in climbing the learning curve, and now am 85% prone foiler.  It is better in almost every way: faster, more dynamic, more versatile.  And it allows for riding on choppy days that are otherwise unsup-able -- same with riding inside reforms on the big days. Plus I am in the best paddling shape since my 30s....I suspect I could actually reasonably surf a shortboard again, should I ever want to try. At least a higher volume one ;-)

Sup foil still has some advantages: really tiny surf that is barely breaking is very challenging to prone paddle, can just squeak in with extra paddle power.   Breaks that have an exceptionally long ride, 500m+, it is so much faster to sup paddle back, and can change it up, with knee paddle, prone paddle, etc.  I am too old and tired to do too many half mile paddle backs.  So the exception is if walk backs are possible, then I'd still prefer prone foil.

Sup foil also has advantage for diversifying into wing foil -- where a surf foil is possible, but it is easy to start on a sup foil.  So don't get rid of that sup foil rig!

So, my advice is DO IT.  The learning curve sucks, will take 5-10 sessions to get that pop up dialed.  Then once you're up and riding, I bet you'll have the same feeling as me "this exactly the same flying feeling as sup foil, just so much more light and free".

And then a final word on top: my surf foil mentor remains a few steps ahead of me. He is now pump monkeying solidly, getting 2 for 1s and 3 for 1s and pumping all the way back outside (saving roughly half the paddling in a session).  Once I can do this too, it will open up a lot of potential ... the dream being chipping in on a small one, pumping outside to the big set, and effectively getting a self tow-in.  Keep in mind my surf mentor is same age as me, so we're not talking impossible kid dreams here!


 
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: dylbert_ on February 14, 2021, 12:33:18 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head...

I followed a similar progression: Almost no prone surfing experience, a few years of sup surfing, began sup foiling after learning to kite foil (and wing foil), then progressed to prone foiling without too much of a battle.

For me, the benefits of prone foiling are:
1) can turn much harder and fit more turns in on a wave
2) I have a much easier time pumping and linking waves  without a long, wide board.  I max out at at 2 for 1 on my sup foil, but can stay on foil linking waves for 2+ minutes on the prone.
3) I find it easier to navigate shore break with the prone because I can duck dive.
4) less stressful in crowded lineups.


I still have, and use my foil sup for when its is big/ steep (like you said, I have an easier time navigating steep drops on the sup, and the length helps when its big because you can keep the board on the water ), but the rest of the time you'll find me on the prone board!

Like juandesooka said, DO IT!
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: APPST_Paddle on February 14, 2021, 05:27:52 PM
I think you hit the nail on the head...

I followed a similar progression: Almost no prone surfing experience, a few years of sup surfing, began sup foiling after learning to kite foil (and wing foil), then progressed to prone foiling without too much of a battle.

For me, the benefits of prone foiling are:
1) can turn much harder and fit more turns in on a wave
2) I have a much easier time pumping and linking waves  without a long, wide board.  I max out at at 2 for 1 on my sup foil, but can stay on foil linking waves for 2+ minutes on the prone.
3) I find it easier to navigate shore break with the prone because I can duck dive.
4) less stressful in crowded lineups.


I still have, and use my foil sup for when its is big/ steep (like you said, I have an easier time navigating steep drops on the sup, and the length helps when its big because you can keep the board on the water ), but the rest of the time you'll find me on the prone board!

Like juandesooka said, DO IT!

Yeah, same process, surfed a bit when I was younger, moved to a small wave spot, figured I'd SUP surf, really liked it, then foiling came along, learned to kite foil last summer in a few sessions (pretty easy and now it's kinda boring), then SUP foil which I love right now. I think I'm going to ride it out until Spring and warmer water to jump on the prone.

Thanks for advice.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 15, 2021, 08:17:12 AM
It is better in almost every way: faster, more dynamic, more versatile.  And it allows for riding on choppy days that are otherwise unsup-able -- same with riding inside reforms on the big days. Plus I am in the best paddling shape since my 30s....I suspect I could actually reasonably surf a shortboard again, should I ever want to try. At least a higher volume one ;-)

Sup foil still has some advantages: really tiny surf that is barely breaking is very challenging to prone paddle, can just squeak in with extra paddle power.   Breaks that have an exceptionally long ride, 500m+, it is so much faster to sup paddle back, and can change it up, with knee paddle, prone paddle, etc.  I am too old and tired to do too many half mile paddle backs.  So the exception is if walk backs are possible, then I'd still prefer prone foil.

I am starting to realize that SUP and Prone foiling will evolve into 2 distinctly different disciplines.  I am 100% SUP Foil but have found myself on the West Coast (Northern California), East Coast (Rhode Island) and Hawaii catching waves 100's of yards outside of the prone surfers and prone foilers.  When it is choppy, or big I can get in early on my SUP foil, further out than any longboarder and chose my own destiny. 

I am regularly paddling out in 10 to 15 foot faces and catching waves on a SUP foil.  I have never ever seen a prone foiler catch a 7 foot or bigger wave.  10 - 15 feet is big and scary but this means is that when it is 6 to 8 feet, or 8 to 10 feet I am comfortably in my zone, 100% alone on a SUP foil with footstraps.  On big waves when I takeoff I will breach less than 10% of the time aka nose stays down and you chose when to fly.     

I am using a 7' 4" SUP board.  This is enormous by current standards, essentially a beginner board.  However all that nose stabilizes the takeoff on a 15 foot face and let's you fly NOSE DOWN ON THE WATER.  Good luck holding it together on a 5 foot board. 

But I may be a mutant.  If you want to stay in shape and pump in 3 to 6 foot waves then go prone.  If you want to ride feathering outside waves, catch the otherwise un-rideable and fly for hundreds upon hundreds of yards FAST then go SUP foil.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 15, 2021, 08:45:07 AM
Here is some graphical evidence.  Yesterday the swell was building.  Mark sent me the 1st set of tracks.  He rides 100% prone foil now.  He is in his 40's but extremely fit and is/was one of the best all around surfers in Northern California.  Short board, SUP, SUP racer, Mavericks charger and now prone foiler.  He is addicted to the pump.

In the afternoon I paddled out.  It was building to 9 ft @ 17 seconds, tide was dropping and the inside waves at Mavericks were starting to feather.  I missed the outside blip (2nd shot below) which would have been a 15+ foot face (very scary) and then ran out of time, paddled in and caught a mild 10 footer for 600 yards.  I highlighted his tracks in red vs. mine on the outside.  See the difference in MAX speed.  11.5 mph vs. 21 mph. 

Average speed prone = 9.7 mph.  My wave averaged 17.1 mph.  His ride lasted 30 seconds longer but was shorter.   

The speed is not so much a function of craft but of wave size.  Big waves = FAST.  Small waves = SLOW.   
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 15, 2021, 09:00:10 AM
Here is the speed profile for the entire wave. 

Note: I was still going 17.6 mph 500 yards into the ride.  To carry this speed after a full minute of riding is only possible on BIG Open Ocean swell.

To catch these waves you need a SUP foil.  Eventually some young phenom will pull it off.  But this happens regularly for me during the winter. 

--> A big SUP Foil board, with footstraps, and a GoFoil NL130 wing on 29" mast. 
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: gone_foiling on February 15, 2021, 09:05:28 AM
Beasho, why 29Ē mast? Not enough depth? I would think for those wave sizes longer masts would be a ticket.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 15, 2021, 09:14:32 AM
Beasho, why 29Ē mast? Not enough depth? I would think for those wave sizes longer masts would be a ticket.

Exactly!  Valentines might not have been the time to step up and buy a 36", $900 mast. 

Haley Fiske just ordered one.  I am slow with the "Buy" trigger finger.  But a 36" mast will be better for winging and raise my confidence another 5 feet on wave size :) .  Although its already pretty terrifying. 
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: dylbert_ on February 15, 2021, 01:58:07 PM
It is better in almost every way: faster, more dynamic, more versatile.  And it allows for riding on choppy days that are otherwise unsup-able -- same with riding inside reforms on the big days. Plus I am in the best paddling shape since my 30s....I suspect I could actually reasonably surf a shortboard again, should I ever want to try. At least a higher volume one ;-)

Sup foil still has some advantages: really tiny surf that is barely breaking is very challenging to prone paddle, can just squeak in with extra paddle power.   Breaks that have an exceptionally long ride, 500m+, it is so much faster to sup paddle back, and can change it up, with knee paddle, prone paddle, etc.  I am too old and tired to do too many half mile paddle backs.  So the exception is if walk backs are possible, then I'd still prefer prone foil.

I am starting to realize that SUP and Prone foiling will evolve into 2 distinctly different disciplines.  I am 100% SUP Foil but have found myself on the West Coast (Northern California), East Coast (Rhode Island) and Hawaii catching waves 100's of yards outside of the prone surfers and prone foilers.  When it is choppy, or big I can get in early on my SUP foil, further out than any longboarder and chose my own destiny. 

I am regularly paddling out in 10 to 15 foot faces and catching waves on a SUP foil.  I have never ever seen a prone foiler catch a 7 foot or bigger wave.  10 - 15 feet is big and scary but this means is that when it is 6 to 8 feet, or 8 to 10 feet I am comfortably in my zone, 100% alone on a SUP foil with footstraps.  On big waves when I takeoff I will breach less than 10% of the time aka nose stays down and you chose when to fly.     

I am using a 7' 4" SUP board.  This is enormous by current standards, essentially a beginner board.  However all that nose stabilizes the takeoff on a 15 foot face and let's you fly NOSE DOWN ON THE WATER.  Good luck holding it together on a 5 foot board. 

But I may be a mutant.  If you want to stay in shape and pump in 3 to 6 foot waves then go prone.  If you want to ride feathering outside waves, catch the otherwise un-rideable and fly for hundreds upon hundreds of yards FAST then go SUP foil.

Unfortunately, we don't get 10-15' faces very often (ever?) where I live, so 90% of the time, prone is more rewarding (for me). I find that I can get foiling on a small wave, and then pump out past my buddies on their sup foils.  But when we do get the 6'+ days, or if I have to paddle a long way to get to the break, I'll take out my sup foil for sure.

Let me know next time your in RI, it would be awesome to foil with a zoner!
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Hdip on February 15, 2021, 06:54:34 PM
Weíve got to get you out of your bubble beasho. Plenty of prone guys paddling into huge waves in Hawaii. Or Derek Hama paddling the smallest sup youíve seen into huge waves.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHX_chcA-BO/?igshid=uojh6xiubf7x

https://www.instagram.com/p/CK2ybWtjOzw/?igshid=jst934ijj448

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFFT4x7Dzo3/?igshid=1naez97n15ldd

https://www.instagram.com/p/B4y5vqxDAtP/?igshid=gc8a6uxpbjj

Itís all about the right tool for the job. If you have access to a JetSki itís gonna be way more fun to tow in than beating yourself up trying to paddle into big waves. And youíll get 1 million more waves. And if itís double overhead barrels Iím gonna take that over being a shoulder soldier on the side of the 10 foot mush ball any day.

Bigmtn already showed you the guy paddling into Waimea prone.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: juandesooka on February 15, 2021, 07:39:48 PM
I guess it's similar for me, if it's head high plus I can get in early on a sup foil, but the logistics don't work on surf foil. I can't paddle fast enough to get in early, and taking off where you'd normally drop in a surfboard is too steep and pitchy for me to make.  So on big days I prone the inside reform, taking off in the white water.  As the pump monkeying advances, I hope to one day pump back out to the double overhead cranker and get the mile long ride. 

Seems odd about the prone speeds you posted though.  I am going faster than that on 3' waves and I am far from the local ripper.  Something wrong with the tech maybe?  My fastest speed has also been on sup foil on a bigger day, within a few mph though.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 16, 2021, 07:03:05 AM
Weíve got to get you out of your bubble beasho. Plenty of prone guys paddling into huge waves in Hawaii. Or Derek Hama paddling the smallest sup youíve seen into huge waves.

In my bubble at Mavericks, where I bicycle surf each day, I consider these examples small to medium waves.  Not big, and definitely not huge.  I don't doubt Derek Hama could paddle in to some monsters, but he would be on a SUP foil.  Starting in flat water would be a dream scenario.

Again - There are 2 disciplines. 

1) Pumping.  When people are pumping their equipment is optimized for traveling 10 - 12 mph.  Little boards with efficient wings.  Fit guys doing loops.
 
2) Big Waves: On big waves I am recording speeds of 21 to 26 mph.  I benefit from a big stable SUP Foil board with a tiny wing.  GoFoil NL130.  At 2X to 2.5X the speed lift is squared so 4X to 5X as much lift from a comparable wing. 

This photo from the video above is what we would consider a small day.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 16, 2021, 07:06:18 AM
Here is what I would consider a Big wave on a foil.  Maybe even huge.

Haley is not a small guy and he is riding a 9' 6" foil board.  What is that 3X or 4X overhead?

But please share any comparable pictures or evidence if you have it. 
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on February 16, 2021, 07:19:18 AM
Iíll read this all later but Iím in the process of switching to prone for surfing now. Wing and prone are my foil sport goals. Once I figured out that your pop up can be crap I was all in.

If youíre avoiding it due to fitness then reevaluate your fitness goals. This might be the universeís way of saying, ďget fit and donít die so soon.Ē It is making me stretch more and do more cardio. I canít see how thatís a bad thing in any way, shape, or form.

I might switch back as I age but while I can, Iím doing it.

PS if Uncle Brian can do it, you can try. Thatís what got me.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 16, 2021, 07:19:35 AM
Seems odd about the prone speeds you posted though.  I am going faster than that on 3' waves and I am far from the local ripper.  Something wrong with the tech maybe?  My fastest speed has also been on sup foil on a bigger day, within a few mph though.

Speed is another indicator.  Big Waves = FAST.  Small Waves = SLOW.

There is a HUGE difference between 17 mph and 21 mph.  The only way to go >> 20 mph is on a big wave going straight (e.g. > 10 feet) or ripping down the line on a 6 - 8 footer at Pipeline.  Good luck on the foil.  Please share your speed data it will be informative. 

You are making the same point:  Big Days - SUP Foil.  Little days optimized for Prone foil.

Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on February 16, 2021, 08:13:45 AM
For me, big days are a no go. I simply canít justify the risk at my age and with my responsibilities. If itís head high, I ride a foamie.

On a foil a waist high wave generates more punch and speed than I want anyway.

I respect your path Beasho, I mean that. But you must admit that you are part of a probably >24 person club (>12?)

Juan called it on the white water chip in. Thatís the coolest part. Hell I'm a crappy prone paddler but I can catch whitewater and get pushed along and slowly pop up. Hdip has seen some of my terrible pop ups hahaha. Iím a bit better now due to stretching and practice. But I know Iíll catch more waves prone due to chop and currents and other issues that make SUP hard for me. And when Iím up, oh man does it feel free!

Most folks (me included) deal with sub par conditions and the foil makes those epic days. I can find something on any weekend Iím free. In FL or TX foiling actually makes surfing somewhat possible as opposed to a rare treat that you have to take off work to enjoy.

Hereís a proposed summary so far. Iím going to say that if we are talking about 300 days a year in the most crappy 80% of waves in the world for the 80% of riders in the world who could choose either, maybe prone is a good option. SUP fills the other 20%.

I have no ego attached to my gear. When I canít prone, Iíll SUP and when I canít do that Iíll shoot video of the young guys who do it all and swim in the waves and when I canít do that Iíll sit on the beach and watch and tell stories until Iím ready to not do anything anymore, God willing.

You guys enjoy your paths. They are probably as unique as the members of this board.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Beasho on February 16, 2021, 09:42:49 AM
Juan called it on the white water chip in. Thatís the coolest part. Hell I'm a crappy prone paddler but I can catch whitewater and get pushed along and slowly pop up. Hdip has seen some of my terrible pop ups hahaha. Iím a bit better now due to stretching and practice. But I know Iíll catch more waves prone due to chop and currents and other issues that make SUP hard for me. And when Iím up, oh man does it feel free!
. . . . .
You guys enjoy your paths. They are probably as unique as the members of this board.

Don't get me wrong, I referred to myself as a Mutant earlier.  I started to SUP 11 years ago because I wanted to catch MORE and BIGGER waves.  Then along comes FOILING and we can catch GREAT (worse) and longer waves.

Half Moon Bay is relatively terrible for surfing. 
TERRIBLE!!!! It is not the North Shore of Oahu that had me wondering why I was even foiling.  It doesn't have a FANTASTIC beach break like Ocean Beach in San Francisco.  Nor does it have the down-the-line RIP and glide of Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz. 

10 times per year Half Moon Bay gets the best big waves on the planet.  Another 50 days it is big, surly with chop, piss and vinegar.  Fortunately the point that is Mavericks dishes up size the other 250+ days.  But it is the size and temperament that only a foiler might enjoy.

This was my first day on the foil.  June 2017.  I could see the potential with foil eyes.  The beauty of riding the otherwise un-rideable.  Gliding for 100's of yards when everything else would stall out.  Whether SUP or Prone it is more fun than it looks in all conditions big and small.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXuFGAfer7A
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: clay on February 16, 2021, 10:48:15 AM
For me it's about the right tool for the job.

When I started foiling I had already made the switch to 100% sup surfing.  At the time pretty much everyone was learning via sup foil.

Then 3 years ago the prone foilers were ripping and it made switching seem very appealing. West coast foil club, etc...

Then Derek Hamasaki was blowing everyone's mind with his sup pumping and radical lay back turns.  Shorter sup allowed me to progress and made switching seem less appealing.

The 2 best foilers in norcal both sup foil.  If the prone guys were raising the bar the highest that might tempt me.

If I lived in FL or somewhere with mush Beach break prone would be appealing.   When ocean beach is small a handful of prone foilers are present.  At head high or bigger usually zero.

In 4 years of foil surfing I have only had one run in with a fellow foiler acting like a jerk.  Guess what board he was on?
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Hdip on February 16, 2021, 11:09:53 AM
So we didn't learn from Jeff Clark that telling the whole world "Maverick's is the best wave in the world and I'm surfing it alone" is a bad thing?
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: juandesooka on February 16, 2021, 01:31:59 PM
Speed is another indicator.  Big Waves = FAST.  Small Waves = SLOW.

There is a HUGE difference between 17 mph and 21 mph.  The only way to go >> 20 mph is on a big wave going straight (e.g. > 10 feet) or ripping down the line on a 6 - 8 footer at Pipeline.  Good luck on the foil.  Please share your speed data it will be informative. 

You are making the same point:  Big Days - SUP Foil.  Little days optimized for Prone foil.

I was recording sessions for a while, but the data is locked in my broken phone. From my journal notes: my fastest ride was on SUP on a bigger wave: 42kmh.  But my fastest prone ride on that same day, slightly smaller spot, was 41kmh.  26 vs 25mph.

I agree that sup foil has greater potential for higher speeds, given the challenges of prone paddling in to bigger waves earlier.  But I don't agree about twice as fast and definitely not on average.  Quite the opposite: on a typical day around here, on regular size foil wave, the proners are likely going 50% faster and covering way more ground with racing down the line and cutbacks to the peak, etc.

Back to the OP: I love sup foiling and still do it on its day, but prone foil is generally more dynamic and fast. I see it as roughly equivalent to SUP vs shortboard surfing for most riders.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: bigmtn on February 16, 2021, 01:45:18 PM
The pic of Haley and the pic above it of Kawika, could be the same size wave taken from a different angle. Big, slopey, with some white water on top....  But who cares how big the wave is? Are you looking for some kind of trophy or something?

Foiling is fun, big or small waves.  No need to turn it into a dick measuring contest.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on February 16, 2021, 07:10:48 PM
lol Bill, 100%

Ok Iíll pop the cork on here. How many people who have foiled both prone and SUP more than 10 sessions mostly foil SUP now?

Thatís the stat the OP would find most interesting Iíll bet. The rest is speculation, right?
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: red_tx on February 16, 2021, 07:55:46 PM
Ill tell you what.. After learning how to rip the dog shit out of my GL210 and 12 inch flip short pedestal on my Standie, I am ready to mount that puppy on my tiny HighRoller prone foil board this summer!

I tried prone foiling when I first started and it was a lot learning how to pop and fly at the same time.

From stand up paddle board I was able to bust a quick ollie and then off to the races.

Now that I know how to fly and how to taxi before takeoff I am ready to head back to prone.

I will always stand up mainly as most of the time you cannot get around prone foiling where I surf. Too much current and what not.

With the standie and foil I can make up 20-30 yards quickly north or south to get ready for the next swell.
-red
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: Vancouver_foiler on February 16, 2021, 08:24:30 PM
I have no argument (today) with what Juan says. Maybe tomorrow though since we talk basically everyday lol.
The thing with Supfoiling is the ability to get much larger waves, and go much faster dtl as a result.
convince me I'm wrong-go.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: jondrums on February 17, 2021, 01:01:29 PM
I have a bunch of thoughts - this topic is super timely because I'm trying to decide whether a prone board is my next gear project.

After 2.5yrs of SUP foiling regularly (2-300 sessions in all kinds of conditions) I spent about 10 sessions trying to learn to prone and another 20 or so sessions generally being able to prone.   After that I went back to 100% SUP foiling for a variety of reasons.  The main one is that my prone board has the tuttle in the wrong place making it super hard to get into waves.   

But I think a huge part of this question depends on exactly what kind of waves we're trying to surf.  I've taken my foil SUP to a huge variety of waves ranging from some of the stuff that Beasho is talking about in half moon bay (the smaller stuff), to beach breaks, to perfect foil waves like SanO and Cowells.  I still have not come away from a single session totally unhappy.  The SUP foil is so incredibly versatile with regards to conditions, for me it takes the cake.  Windy, choppy, huge and fast,  steep stuff, mushy and tiny, it doesn't matter, the SUP foil can do it.

I was on a SUP out this morning at Cowells and it was heavenly (hi Clay - saw you as I was leaving).  There were a handful of SUP and prone guys out at the same peak and we were all catching the same waves in roughly the same spot.  I sort of had a small edge over the prone guys on the waves that weren't quite breaking enough, but not much of an edge.  I rode the waves 3-400yds to the beach and happily paddled back out and all the prone guys kicked out after a hundred yards to either pump back or avoid the paddle back. 

I think I would have had the same amount of fun on prone or SUP, probably more fun on prone due to the swing weight and no loss of wave catch for these smallish slow moving waves.  But for an everyday, every condition, versatile solution - I still don't think you can beat a foil SUP.  I've had really great days when the prone guys were bumming.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on February 17, 2021, 07:57:29 PM
Thx Jon, sage words.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: APPST_Paddle on May 02, 2021, 05:18:38 PM
Yeah, checking back in on this post because I'm thinking about getting a prone foil setup. Now.........I get the whole size and being able to hold a bigger wave on a sup foil. That's most definitely not a problem for me, I'm in South Carolina on little knee to waist high waves. Don't feel that bad for me though, we have some great inlets and different spots that are a foil heaven.

So........taking wave size out of the equation, obviously easier to catch with a sup, and some of the longer paddles are easier with a sup. I'm thinking a mix of both possibly. I just feel like pumping back out, etc. will be easier on a prone.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: jondrums on May 03, 2021, 01:09:46 PM
100% pumping back out will be easier on a prone.  From riding several different SUP boards and a few prone boards - I will say with absolute certainty that pumping on a smaller board is much much easier.  I can almost always get 2 for 1s on prone anytime I want to.  On my SUP I can only get it once or twice a session - and I've worked really hard to optimize this setup for pumping (perfect placement of the foil, lightest construction possible, etc).  There is just no margin for error once you make a mistake pumping a SUP - AND it is a lot more work.  I'm completely gassed on my SUP when I make the transfer turn onto the second wave. 

I think the really lightweight guys can make the SUP go well because they can ride a really small (short and light) SUP.  Derek looks like he's riding a 70-80L SUP that can't be even 5' long.  Pretty huge difference compared to my 5'8" 115L.  I can really tell the difference in pumping when I drop down to my 107L board at only a half pound lighter and same length.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on May 03, 2021, 04:13:39 PM
Appst, I'm going to say that if you're in little gutless waves catching the whitewater would be the jam. And yes, less swing weight on the board is the thing. A few pounds sounds like not a lot, but when you put it out on the end of levers in basically every direction it's huge.

The first time you stand up on a prone board on foil it feels amazing. Way better and more dramatic than the difference between SUP surfing and say a longboard or midlength surfboard. This is like going from walking to flying.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: 808sup on May 03, 2021, 09:12:03 PM
I told myself I would give prone foiling a go at the beginning of the year. I primarily sup foil Downwind on the weekends wind permitting. It is physically demanding at my age but I wanted to at least try. Iíve been riding the same Naish board which I knew was a bit small (29L) for a beginner but I got a great deal on it and Iím a bit too cheap a stubborn to buy another or give up. I am using the same foil (210 signature albatross) that I Downwind on. Plenty of lift and glide but not as surfy as I would like. I can get 2 for ones sometimes but not feeling the pump like I do Downwind. Anyways, I carry it in my truck so I can surf after work if there is something to surf. I wonít switch to prone only because paddling kills my neck and in my mind nothing is better than downwinding. Itís like riding a wave for 10 miles without stopping. Never crowded 😁 So realistically I say prone if you like,sup if you like, just get in the water and enjoy something!
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: StandinDan on May 03, 2021, 10:10:36 PM
I keep threatening to give the prone game a real shot and planned to get into it this spring/summer, then Fluffy showed back up this week. She's still 12' and a little rounder in the middle since last summer, but aren't we all. She kept lurking at Nukes all afternoon today and gave me a nice big fat profile view in the face of a set wave that came my way. I know statistically we are more likely to be killed by bees or lightening than a shark, but I bet she doesn't know that.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: 808sup on May 03, 2021, 10:27:06 PM
I keep threatening to give the prone game a real shot and planned to get into it this spring/summer, then Fluffy showed back up this week. She's still 12' and a little rounder in the middle since last summer, but aren't we all. She kept lurking at Nukes all afternoon today and gave me a nice big fat profile view in the face of a set wave that came my way. I know statistically we are more likely to be killed by bees or lightening than a shark, but I bet she doesn't know that.
Yep, it can be a bit of a mind game especially when your 1/4 mile or more offshore sitting on your prone board with water up to your waist. Canít just raise your legs and rest them on top like a sup. Laying on the board ainít much better as now your life giving organs are a nibble away. A few more bodies in the water helps a bit but in the back of my mind I canít help but think getting back to shore may be the last thing I do. So....screw it and enjoy while you can! Take the best precautions you can but donít stop enjoying what you like.
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: surfcowboy on May 04, 2021, 08:25:02 PM
I see this as more incentive. Prone whitewater takeoffs happen in far too shallow water for a 12íer.

When Iím SUPing SanO Iím sitting out there where theyíre cruising. Iím far too delicious to tempt those poor hungry creatures like that. 😂
Title: Re: Switch to Prone (Pros/Cons)
Post by: PonoBill on May 04, 2021, 08:44:21 PM
While the statistics are strongly influenced by the simple fact that humans don't spend that much time in the water (unless they are nuts, like we are) you really can't find a method likely to result in serious injury or death that happens less often than shark attacks. Coke machines falling on you? nope. That's about 10X. Dogs?? Not even close. 4.5 million severe bites per year,  30 to 50 deaths, 10,000 to 30,000 hospitalizations just in the USA. Okay, how about cows. nope 20+ per year.

Anyway, the good part about not that many people hanging out in the water is that sharks do not consider us food--we are unreliable targets. They are damned effective predators, and the most important thing for a predator to do is to specialize on the most available prey and know everything about them. Thankfully that is not us.

Worry all you like about your dangly parts, but they are much more likely to be snagged by an alligator or crocodile than by a shark.
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