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Messages - Admin

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1
Admin, no doubt about the learning curves, but to learn a new sport with two different things with different movements and unpredictable forces in once makes the learning success much more difficult in my opinion.
Including unnecessarily danger for you self  and for the equipment.
So if we learn to use and control the Wing with confidence, the lifting experience and riding on the Foilboard becomes a piece of cake I guess.
If you guys love to learn it on the hard way becouse your mind is younger than your body ( me too with 64) is admirable, possibly gives you when succeed  lot more satisfaction. Please keep going, we'll push our thumbs. ;D

I think that you will find that the wing on your knees, even on a small foilboard,  is comfortable and relatively easy (reaching, transitioning, returning and light pointing).  I think you will learn that and what can be gained from a large sup in a day or two.   On the foilboard, hoisting the wing with significant wind and chop is a fumbly experience at first and you lose a lot of ground.  What you know how to do with the wing on your knees or on a big stable board may not happen as smoothly when you are balancing and controlling direction on the smaller gear.  The board will want to turn downwind and you have to correct for that.  That is also one of the things that can cause problems with the wingtip getting snagged on the water if you don't adjust.   Getting up from one knee can help keep you upwind, but that is a little dicey sometimes on a smaller board and may lead to some swimming.  Because you won't know how to foil yet, you are going to end up downwind.  I am not sure how easy the foilboard will be with less chop but I am guessing quite a bit easier.  I am looking forward to some 15 to 20 and finding out.  :)

2
Guys, do not understand why you do not try the Wing at least on a 12´6´´old raceboard with boxy rails. I think the easy way is to learn  proper sailing first
(starting, manoevers, upwind, downwind, pumping) before  kill yourself with a foil board.
In any case, my way of learning will be so, when the damned wings are finally arrived.

That should be a nice way to learn.  I still think that you will have almost the whole learning curve ahead of you when you switch to a foilboard, if that is your goal. 

3
So I have spent the last 30+ years learning to windsurf. Been there done that....why not just start foiling with something you already know how to do? Sounds so simple.....

The process has to be fun for you.  This way is really challenging and fun for us.  I am wide open to people choosing another way.  The get gear, try method won't be for everyone but it is really fun and it seems doable.

4
When we learned to windsurf foil, we always went early in the morning. You should be doing the same, per that wind chart. Gusty afternoon wind is your enemy on foil when you’re a newbie.

Dawn Patrol for Chantalle is leaving at 10:30.  She will tell you that anything before that is uncivilized (we are still seeing morning lows of 50 degrees so, it turns out that 73 degrees around 11:00 is civilized) :).

5
Day 3 was fairly brutal for me.  The wind was pretty strong at our spot (chart below) with some big gusts coming through.  Our 5 meter wing had inadvertently been packed in the 4 bag and I didn't catch that when we were rigging, so I used the 5 for my 2.5 hour session.   Chan and Bill were on the 3's.  I thought I was on the 4.  I was very overpowered but didn't know why until after my session. 

The 5 flies very well, but it requires extra measures.  It carries a lot more water when it's down so its harder to clear and it comes clear with a lot more energy.  That requires much less wiggle room in terms of angles and technique and you have to go faster because it rattles you around a lot more in those sensitive seconds where you are standing, getting hit on the rail with chop, and managing a yet untamed wing (at least overpowered).  The wings add a lot of stability and lift once they are in both hands and in wing position but until then they can pull at you.  This is usually minor but is a big deal when you are overpowered.  You also have to be more careful with the longer wingtips and extra wing width.  When you are not foiling, these will catch the water at the same angles where the smaller wings will not.  Lastly, a 5 Meter wing in a 30+ gust can send you.  If it powers up in the water and flies and has a leash length of play you will find yourself launched wrist first.  You are not going to want to do that too many times. 

On the upside, I feel like I learned a ton yesterday about the wing and what needs to happen.  A low margin for error makes a good teacher.  Toward the end of my session I had a few really fun runs where it all lined up.  I had a foil that was low but level and long enough to begin to accelerate.  I wasn't ready for that so I let up on the wing, rounded up, nose dipped and stabbed.  Kicking myself for not sticking with that one.  I also think I have a better (desired) foot position for Bill's smaller board.  It is wide and I am finding that my front foot heel needs to be out towards the rail.  Otherwise that edge gets too much wind underneath it.  More windurfing foot position than surf in terms of the centerline.   

We are supposed to be getting some mellower wind now and I am really looking forward to some 15  to 20.  :)

6
Yesterday was day two.  I am showing no signs of being a prodigy :).  This is going to be a slow progress kind of deal (emphasis on slow).  On the upside, nothing seemed quite as unfamiliar as on day one.  I was on the 4 Meter SPG which felt great.  Chan was on the 3 meter SPG and Bill (who has only a 3 meter Duotone for now) used that (as well as brief stints on the SPG 5 and 4).  Bill loaned me his smaller board and with a Maliko 200 that feels like a good early platform. Chan was on my Outwit 6'6.   We were all able to make some solid reaches in surf stance, started to correct our foot positioning a bit, and started to (intentionally :) ) work on flying.  Bill has foiling experience and he knows the foot positions, the motion and the correct sensation.  We don't, and it is a really fun and silly learning process.  Lots of wheelies and chuck-offs.  What I thought was going to be getting forward enough is clearly not.  Leveling off will take some time.  Bill is saying things like, "swivel your hip" and we are saying things like, "fuck you".

Great times in the duck pond.  On to day 3.


7
I love my ion waist leash because I switch my feet riding.

We picked up some short 6' straight leashes for our wrists.  I am going to check out that waist leash tomorrow.  I like the quick release.  Two coiled leashes is a headache for me.  Way too easy to tangle and too hard to free up.  As a beginner who is down a lot, I want leash management minimized.  :)

8
I’m also stoked to hear you put a stake in the heart of the idea that these things wear out your arms. It killed me to watch videos of people holding these wings with one hand and then have folks who’ve never seen one speculate about how hard it must be to hold. Glad we can move on from that into real ride reports.

We should be considered (Myself and Chan) rank beginners (two days, now) with no foiling experience.  We have both windsurfed for a long time, surfed, SUP'ed, snowboarded, skied and skated a lot.  We have kited just enough to learn the basics (launch, back, forth, ugly transitions, land), but I would not call us kiters.  I think that a lot of those who will buy the first wave of production wings (which are just starting to show up) will have a similar group of related sports experiences.    We are basically trying to learn two new skills at once.  Foiling and Winging.  Robby Naish suggested against that (or maybe he said it would be the hard way to learn to foil) but the air wing is really our only current interest in foiling, so here we go.  I think that a lot of next entries will also be with us on that. 

So, for holding the wings.  When you have them in the right position, they lift your arms.  This is very comfortable and strain free.  It is a very cool and satisfying feeling in itself.  The wing will tell you (decisively) when you have moved from that correct position (range).  You are going to do that a lot.  Not because you don't know, but because you will be focused on a lot different things.  If you are on shore and hold the leading edge handle of one of the wings (either of these two brands)  in neutral position with the leading edge perpendicular to the wind it will fly itself (provided that there is wind).  Move both hands from the leading edge handle to the "boom" and you will quickly find a hand position (where is important) where the wing flies itself comfortably.   Now change the angle of the leading edge to the wind.  If you move the leading edge too far downwind the front wingtip will drop.  Too far and it is on the beach (soon to be water).  Too far upwind and the back wingtip will angle off over your head and behind you back.   This is going to be the situation on water before you have forward momentum.  A lot of our first wipeouts have been from this.  If you try to fight the wing being out of position, that would tire your arms and it would never work.

I am convinced now that water people are going to love this sport.  It is really fun.  If you have no foiling experience, prepare to be humbled.  You are going to do some goofy shit.

Here are some kiters giving it a try.


9
Maybe we can share some notes on hits and fails during the learning process.  I have a few that may turn out to be all wrong but here goes.

A long wrist leash is not your friend.  It is a lot more to reel in when you want to get started and if you are doing a leash uphaul style start from your feet then every second counts because you really feel at the mercy of the conditions until the wing is in lift position.  Plus, in strong wind the wing has more room to get wild far out.  I am going to get a short shortboard leash without coils and see how that goes.

With two leashes, tangles are a real issue.  tangled up seems like the easiest way to lose skin. 

If you are uphauling the leash from a standing position and you are starting on a beam reach, the board is going to want rotate to straight downwind as soon as you start lifting the wing.  You can correct that once the wing is in lift position but it is an extra step.  Getting up from a kneel with the kite already flying avoids that and the board is a little more stable due to forward motion.  But, on a small board, getting up from a kneel without hands to help destabilizes the board.  It is much easier on a bigger board.

For my gear the best carry position is with the wing right side up (flying position) with your fingers of the downwind hand through the wing's leading edge handle.  That leaves the fingertips to also grab the board's handle.  The upwind hand grabs the fuselage of the foil.  That keeps the board, foil and wing off the ground with very minimal dragging. 




10
I asked Ivan (SPG) about the extra spectra loops on the leading edge and he replied, "The 2 extra spectra loops are if you want to add harness lines, still developing this idea more but added them for now so you can get some lines and attach to last handle and do some jumping."

I had read online about the fragility of some other wings and had wondered about SPG's thoughts there.  "We have used them in gales + some big surf and been smacked around over the falls and all.  We just got off the water now using the 3, 4 and 5 wind was between 12-45 knots with a winter storm hitting Cape town.  Wild and fun. We have 7m waves tomorrow so will be out with our wings at a unique lagoon that only breaks 2x a year."

Here is the thing that gets me.  Some brands are hedging on this new sport.  They are somewhat protective of their other sports and are treating this as an easy access alternative.  Other brands are all in.  They are looking to the high performance future (that in my mind is certain to happen) and are developing products with that in mind. 

11
Here is a first day rider's report (not a review, that would be silly at this point).

Yesterday, we tried both our SPG wings and Bill's Duotone wing.  Both are very cool looking products.  But, they could not be more different.  I should underline that.  There, done.  As a beginner, going back and forth was disorienting.  They sit in the water differently, they react to a leash pull diferently.  They fly differently from the leading edge handle.  The handwork to get them into lift position is different.  The hand position on the "boom" is different.    The single boom vs twin strut (dual boom) is very different.  I started on my SPG and when I swapped with Bill for his Duotone (both 3 meters) I basically went back to the beginning.   But, it did become more familiar after a while.  I think switching back and forth as a beginner won't be helpful.  Later down the line that will likely be no problem at all.  One thing is for sure. With your hands in the correct position, both wings will fly themselves and require almost nothing from your arms, even in strong, stupid wind.  My body is beat to shit today but my arms are fine. 

12
Your ass kicking awaits, nothing worse than the first time on new discipline!

You nailed it. We got flopped around for 3 hours in all of the most ridiculous ways.  So fun, though, and a lot of learning went on.  It was a very windy day in the Gorge yesterday so we looked for a protected spot with a usable shame-walk.  That kept the swell down but the wind was coming in in blasts.  I started on the 6'6 Slingshot Outwit board with a GoFoil Maliko underneath and our SPG 3 Meter.  Chan and I had planned to 1. Start on a mellow, smooth day. 2. Spend an hour or two in good wind practicing on land.  3. Use a big SUP for our first session or two.  4. Start by cruising on the knees.  But, due to over-exuberance, we skipped to 5.  For that we were each rewarded with a half hour of extra flailing. 
Sanity eventually took hold and we did some knee runs.  Then some Bambi looking standing runs.  Bill swapped me his foil board which is super forgiving for me (but had a 280 foil underneath).    Chan used my board.  I think we will rent or buy a larger foilboard for the learning phase.  The larger boards made it way easier and allowed us to think about what had to happen with the wing and to set our sights on foiling.  The 280 on Bill's board wants to foil me at the slightest forward movement.  Ready or not...usually not. 

We tried both our SPG wings and Bill's Duotone wing.  Both are very cool looking products.  But, they could not be more different.  I should underline that.  There, done.  As a beginner, going back and forth was disorienting.  They sit in the water differently, they react to a leash pull diferently.  They fly differently from the leading edge handle.  The handwork to get them into lift position is different.  The hand position on the "boom" is different.    The single boom vs twin strut (dual boom) is very different.  I started on my SPG and when I swapped with Bill for his Duotone (both 3 meters) I basically went back to step one (mmmm, step 5).   But, it did become more familiar after a while.  I think switching back and forth as a beginner won't be helpful.  Later down the line that will likely be no problem at all.  One thing is for sure. With your hands in the correct position, both wings will fly themselves and require almost nothing from your arms, even in strong, stupid wind.  My body is beat to shit today but my arms are fine. 

Anyways, day one is out of the way.  I think we have two weeks of complete sucking ahead until the normal sucking kicks in.  Here's to day two!

13
JP posted these shots from the wall.  Maybe we start there :)






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