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The Foil Zone => Wingsurfing, Windfoiling, Wingfoiling, Wing SUP => Topic started by: jondrums on March 09, 2021, 09:38:08 AM

Title: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: jondrums on March 09, 2021, 09:38:08 AM
I used to windsurf at a pretty high level and trained to get good in both directions.  I was always weaker on one side, but I forced myself to ride a skateboard "the wrong way" whenever possible and planned vacations to go to waves where I had to ride port tack instead of my stronger starboard tack.  I wanted to be able to ride waves and jump with either foot forward.

So, when I made the plunge to learn winging, I decided that I would switch my feet for port tack and learn to wingfoil with the wrong foot forward.  Its frustrating, and honestly not going all that well.  I feel like I'm getting close wrong foot foward but it will also be a bit of a long path to get comfortable. Should I stick with it, or cut bait and ride for a while twisted up?
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: clay on March 09, 2021, 09:54:04 AM
I can relate.

I opted to go toe side twisted up, relatively quick and easy as we already know how to foil.  Got me through last years windy season and had lots of fun. 

Then when winter swells rolled around I realized how much not being able to ride on my weak side well hurt my ability to stay upwind and get to the peak where the waves are breaking.  Jeff and the guys who can ride both ways have been riding waves all winter at the points with tricky approaches while I have trouble as on toe side I can't point as high upwind as they can.

So guess what I am working on this spring...
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: juandesooka on March 09, 2021, 10:06:31 AM
Yes you should Jon!  See this thread, same topic https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,37060.0.html

The way I see it: Toeside riding is crucially important for wave riding, that's what opens up the carve.   And you can use toeside riding to get back upwind, but it's much harder.  Your body is twisted at weird angles and even if you're really good at it, still only 75% efficient.  So if you are riding in waves, and you kick out to seek another behind, you stay toeside for easy drop back in.   But if you're doing a long reach to get upwind, switch feet.  It is much more efficient and it gives your muscles a break.   

I say this as a kitefoiler who didn't invest the time to learn to kitefoil wrong foot forward, spent 5 years only riding dominant stance because I didn't want to go back to newb/kook/learning stage.  It gets really tiring on your muscles and tendons.  But as well: in kiting you have power to spare and can get away with this better. In winging, less so, unless you are maxxed out / lit.

You have to bite the bullet and invest the time. For kiting and winging, I can do both comfortably, but I am not entirely ambi-footrous: I cannot turn downwind and ride effectively wrong foot forward, so cannot ride waves switch and forget jumping.  For kitesurfing I only use wrong foot forward for upwind reaches, and same for winging.  I think that's how most surfers approach it.  People coming from windsurfing or kiting without surfing have more tendency to be equally strong either foot forward. I've not felt the need to invest the time to go there.

[exceptions: 1) being weak dominant foot forward screws you if you are in a spot that you need to break through crashing waves to get out with wrong foot forward.  If you can't "chicken gybe" effectively (turn just before a breaking wave), then you better be able to switch feet 100% certainty or you will get destroyed by the wave!  The other alternative is to break through the waves riding toeside, but you may need a lot of wind to make that work.  2) in super crowded conditions, where fast turns are needed to avoid crashes, same issue can occur...though less an issue winging than kiting]
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Caribsurf on March 09, 2021, 01:48:22 PM
Surfer 50 years, windsurfer 30 years SUP surfer 11 years  foiler 1 year.

Although it took some time , frustration and spectacular crashes, I am now switching feet and making my gibes 95% of the time.  Yesterday I made 100% in perfect conditions here in Florida.    I still have a hard time twisting my body to ride backhanded and find it very uncomfortable and foreign to me. , so I just tried time and time again switching feet and now have it dialed in. When switching to my strong side(goofy foot) I initiate the turn and switch feet just before beginning the gibe and rotating the wing.  On my weaker side, I find switching stance just AFTER the gibe works best for me at this point.  Once you get it down, it's so smooth   Just be sure you have some height on the foil so you have time to come down while changing stance
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Phils on March 13, 2021, 02:26:32 AM
Yes.

We have had a lot of side-off conditions this season at our wave location.  It would be very hard to get back up wind after riding a wave if I was trying to do it riding toeside.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Beasho on March 13, 2021, 08:01:00 AM
I used to windsurf at a pretty high level . . . I feel like I'm getting close wrong foot foward but it will also be a bit of a long path to get comfortable. Should I stick with it, or cut bait and ride for a while twisted up?

Jon you know the answer to this SWITCH YOUR FEET.

I can't believe people are even debating this topic.  With 35 years of windsurfing experience (minus the last 10 of the sports cancellation) I never even knew people would try to keep the same stance both ways.  Are you kidding me that is insane.  The only people doing this were surfers WTF.

Please add your session count experience.  I am in at 30 sessions and VERY comfortable going both ways on foil.  On the opposite side I have come to appreciate "fakey" or what I call 'Crack Head Stance' for going downwind.  Here were my tracks at Crissy Field last week.  I can't successfully foil through a gybe but I could do S turns downwind forever and REALLY FUN.  REALLY FUN!

PS: The first 5 sessions foiling the wrong side were terrifying.  I am not going to sugar coat it.  Take your medicine, bang your shins, draw some blood and get it over with.   
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Beasho on March 13, 2021, 08:06:27 AM
8 minutes on foil!!!!!   1.4 miles!!!!  A new world Record. 

Yes a world record for a kid with 8 months experience.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: jondrums on March 13, 2021, 04:49:22 PM
yes, I know the answer.  I think I just needed some experienced people to reassure me to push through.  I'm only 5 sessions in even though I started almost 6 months ago, so not like it is anything like learning windsurfing on old hammy-down gear back when even the good gear was a bitch to use.  That took an entire summer of walking up the beach every day but I got there.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: PonoBill on March 13, 2021, 07:18:19 PM
Yes you should, and I should learn to ride twisted.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Beasho on March 14, 2021, 08:03:03 PM
A new record yesterday at Davenport, CA.

I tried the ocean and managed to do this WITHOUT switching my feet.  Coming out of the turns from Fakey back to heelside is ripping fast and cool.

Wind NorthWest 20 to 25. 
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Beasho on March 14, 2021, 08:07:24 PM
Then another record (for me) today.  2.8 miles on foil.  Wind was out of the South.  (Bottom to Top). 

20 gusting to 30.  5.0 Duotone with GoFoil GL210 foil (same as yesterday). 

Funny - Exact same top speed.  I imagine in a year this will be NO big deal but for now 14 minutes on foil without crashing is a big win.

Again this was sailing Goofy Foot both ways for me. 
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: jondrums on May 19, 2021, 02:03:58 PM
Bringing this thread back to life to report:  I am now 7 whole sessions in (2 sessions more than when I posted 2 months ago - yes, 2 sessions in 2 months).  Today is the first day that I foiled weak foot forward.  Major Breakthrough!  in a 2 hour session, I got my very first extended wrong foot forward ride about half an hour in, and by the end of the session I could get up on foil every tack and stay upwind wrong footed.  WOW! 

Not that it feels natural or anything, but I can kind of do it.  I figure 5-10 more sessions and I'll do it consistently.

My goal is to be able to feel good riding either foot forward both regular and crossed up.   I'm going to stay on my biggest slowest foil with the biggest most stable tail until I get there.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: juandesooka on May 19, 2021, 04:59:46 PM
Good job Jon! You'll find it's worth the effort ... more efficient upwinding and gives your body a rest.

Once you've got it down, then you can decide if you want to commit more time to learning to do downwind turns wrong foot forward and possibly even ride toeside that way too. I have not bothered, I just switch feet after I make a heelside to toeside turn, and before I make a toeside to heelside turn.

Something I am half working on is the flying foot switch without a touch down.  That's an important functional move, because if the touch down slows you down enough that you come off foil, in light wind, that might mean you don't get back up again.  I am at the point that I can do it 99% with a 1 second touch down, without losing any speed.  But flying I only make it half the time or less....so it's a commitment to learn.

Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: PonoBill on May 19, 2021, 07:15:25 PM
I'm actually a little more comfortable wrong foot forward--mostly because that's my bad knee and I can manage the back foot better. It's a little harder to get up left foot forward
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: Beasho on May 19, 2021, 09:47:14 PM
Small Zone world this morning.  I woke up and it was blowing 16 to 24 @ 5 am.   So I went to the Half Moon Bay Harbor and winged.

Here is a sunrise shot East.  The foil is Pono's hand-me-down Maliko 280.  Thank you Pono! When I launched at 6:45 am there was only one guy out.

It was Jon Drums as described above. 

The M280 worked gliding through the lulls.  Didn't feel slow and the conditions were more like 6 to 26.  5.0 and the 280 was a great combination.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: surfcowboy on May 20, 2021, 07:26:14 PM
Keep at it JD, it comes fast now. And yeah, after a while you start to think, I could surf like this.

Looking forward to a year from now when all the guys here are foiling switch on waves. Its gonna happen.

That 6 to 26 wind sounds like us down here in SoCal.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: PonoBill on May 20, 2021, 10:26:47 PM
I did three clean toeside/heelside jibes today, and two foiling switches, Yeah, that means one of the jibes ended with a splash, but I winged out of the jibe, so I'm counting it.
Title: Re: learning: should I commit to learning switch stance?
Post by: jondrums on May 21, 2021, 11:14:23 AM
wind wasn't quite there this morning, so I decided to work on "wrong foot" in the surf.  I made myself promise that I would try to surf all morning taking off wrong foot forward.  Wow, it is much much harder to do in the waves than on a wing.   Managing the subtle weight shifts on takeoff and anticipating the way the wave changes is really a challenge compared to just managing a wing with flat-ish water.  This will be good for me - it feels like I am starting from scratch physically, but with the knowledge of what I'm supposed to do.

For the last half hour I allowed myself to go for it normal stance.  And, now I realized just how much of a leap gear has made.  I have my older big front wing (NL220) and big tail set in the long position.  I used to think this setup was amazing.  It really is extremely difficult to surf in comparison.  It is so pitch stable, which I don't find to be a good thing.  I couldn't control the height in the waves because it takes forever to adjust pitch before it will move up or down. 
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