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Topics - surfcowboy

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Ok so looking for another wing for the higher wind days here (20-30mph mostly.)

I have a Swing 5m and am 140lbs (63kg.) Iím comfortable on this from about 12mph to low 20ís. At my weight, 20 is rocking with a 5 and Iíd like to drop a size.

The question is do I go to 3m or 4m? Iím leaning towards 4 as I think that might be an easy overlap and 20-30 is about the best days we see in SoCal.

But 3 would give me more range on top for trips to where the wind really rocks. Whatís the real world low end on a 3m wing at my size? Or am I fine with a 4 and just borrow or buy a 3 when I make it to the islands?

Pono represents a certain size range, but Iím closer to the other end of the spectrum. Based on the Slingwing thread I wanted to see what sizes were comfortable with what wind speeds and rider size.

This is mostly selfish as Iím not ready to get into real wind yet but after feeling what a 20mph day feels like I canít imagine 30-40.

At my early stage with a 5m swing I can get foiling in 15 really easily and stay up below that of course (seems like maybe 10?) but I canít imagine riding above 25 on that wing.

What do you Gorge and HI guys ride when itís macking? And how do you put together a quiver? I doubt Iíll get into serious wind but wondering what the general ranges are like and whatís the top end. Are people really riding in 50mph wind?

Foil SUP / North County San Diego foil spots
« on: September 26, 2020, 02:06:08 PM »
Yo, please donít blow up spots here unless they are ďSanO levelĒ of public lol. But Iíd love some DMís and Iíll be happy to share back any spots that I pioneer. (I have a couple of spots from corners of Surfline and Google earth that might fit the profile.

Iím respectful, alone, and can prone or SUP depending on conditions and vibe.


The Shape Shack / Shame Bobber - wingfoil invention
« on: August 31, 2020, 08:00:49 PM »
I dub it the ďShame BobberĒ and it solves two problems.

1 Tangled leash while foiling. Need floaty bobber. Since foam floats and is also soft...

2. Walk of shame foil mast shoulder pad thatís always handy. The traction pad foam is stiffer and grooved to hold the foil mast. I wrapped it with some black duct tape to keep it from separating.

I also shoulder carry from the car so this works for surfing too.

If it works Iíll make it more hydrodynamic.

First day out on wing ding today. Light wind, maybe 8 mph Iíd guess? (I have no real sense yet but going on weather report.) Probably too much swell (and shore break) but new stuff, you know. First thing to note is that I surfed before and then the wind came up and instead of heading home, I went down the road and got in again. This is what I wanted when I got into foiling.

Anyway, my 6í6Ē x 28Ē foil SUP turns out to be a great wing board to learn on. Got advice to skip the plain SUP and it was right on. Got out and without any wind experience figured out the ďmove the wing to point the boardĒ thing. (Thank you Zone and YouTube) after 10 min on my knees I was over it. (And creaky in the knees and ankles) so I figured it was time to fall. I saw a video recently where a guy actually started with his front foot flat and back knee down and that seemed like the best for me. It was. I popped the wing up, then without waiting popped the back leg up and was standing (and surprised.) I cruised for a couple hundred yards then luffed the wing and sat down. Not enough wind to get on foil but I got to get the feel and even see how a wing pump can keep you from falling, basic stuff like that. Ok, now, toe side. Turns out thatís easy... if you just sit on the board haha. I could do it kneeling but really couldnít stand 8n the conditions. Maybe next time.

I ended up doing maybe a quarter mile walk of shame but I was surprised at how long I managed to hold out as long as I did. I joked with the lifeguards on the way back, theyíd been watching me and talking on the radios about me as I drifted past 3 of them lol. I told them about winging and thanked them for not calling the boat on me. I explained that if the see a new guy not to panic, we just blow into shore and walk back.

Anyway, I call it a win and I actually liked it. I totally get why all you guys like it. I think itís going to be a fun addition to the kit. Now, expect a thread on taking care of these things. So weird and messy coming back to a beach and packing up, wtf? Hahaha. 

Now to get COVID under control so we can shuttle again. Maybe these new 15 min tests will be an answer? ďDude, hit the local Walgreens and Iíll pick you up.Ē Iím already planning routes.


Really well done, imho.

Digital format works well and makes sense. No horrible plugins to load. Also seems like a sustainable size and scope so that it could keep going as a side hustle for a magazine or even just a good editorial who can sell ads.

My reading of this should also signal that yes, itís true, you have all gotten to me. I have a 5m swing on the way. Haha.

Foil SUP / Building a Gong foil wing quiver - Help me out here
« on: August 03, 2020, 06:46:31 PM »
Alright, another long-ass post from the Cowboy. First, thanks to all who pitch in on these. I truly appreciate it and try to write stuff up clearly in exchange for the knowledge I get for fun and for free here. (Hopefully these are educational for other folks and entertaining for others.) This is a super confusing process. I tried to gather this into something coherent but it evolved over a few days as I wrote it so bear with me if thereís repetition and call me out if Iím trying to fit too much into one wing slot as you will see thereís some leeway on what I am buying.

Iím considering some life changes (good ones) and so I want to speed up my foil progression. Part of that acceleration is... more gear! (right?) lol But seriously, as Erik A from the Progression Project Podcast says, ďnew gear teaches you things.Ē Iím not hitting the limits of my current wing yet, but I know that Iím limited in certain conditions now and assume that will only become more common. Rather than not go out, Iíd rather have lower lift/faster wing options to use. That, with the long lead time on most Gong orders, and my smaller physical size so thereís less opportunity to try others gear, have made me step up my timeline more than I might.

Here is the main info:

Rider - 5í8Ē (172cm), 135lbs (63kg), 53 year old male. ďDecentĒ shape, (depending on who Iím standing next to) but decidedly below average endurance. Lazy fitness habits, but better food habits is probably fair to say. Surf 1-2 times a week. (This is part of what will be changing. I will be surfing far more soon.)

Use cases: FoilSUP Surfing, ProneFoil Surf (limited TBD) Wind Winging (again, limited now, but likely more common in winter and spring so want to consider it lightly.)

And now the objectives, numbered for ease of tracking the thread. Iím thinking I would like to have a quiver with a total of 3-4 wings. Iíll post the Gong wing line in a reply. If you know Gong stuff, you can skip the followup post with the specs and just shoot an answer/guess.

Big Beginner and small wave ďfunĒ wing - got this covered, Rise XL

First Step Down -  Either main day to day foil, or intermediate step on the way down.

Second Step Down - Maybe optional, if First can be my day to day, but this would be my main workaday foil if I need a step in the learning curve.

High Aspect Downwind/Pump, not really needed but seems fun and interesting.

Starting Quiver: Rise XL, Pro M (Not sure where the Pro M fits yet, Iíll have it here in a week or two, thanks Thatspec!)

Ok so hereís your chance to stop reading and reply. Feel free to just offer wingspans and/or area ranges. Or... choose your own adventure and dive into my brain below and the whole Gong line. lol

1 - First Step Down: ďGo toĒ foil for everyday riding knee to chest high waves in SoCal. I love the XL for ankle to thigh high. But it feels like as I progress a lot of my SoCal riding will be knee to chest which seems just outside the XLís range for my size. Iíll likely never foil bigger waves.

Candidates: Rise M or L, Pro M, or L

My thoughts: My newly purchased Pro M ďseemsĒ like it might work? (Itís similarity to the Kai and Takuma 100 in size makes me think that it might work since a lot of you learned on those.) My only question is will I need a smaller step like staying in the Rise series which is slower, lowering lift but not picking up speed while I learn? Or do I just ďman upĒ and get used to hauling a$$ down the line? ;) If Rise, or Pro, what is the best size for me to step down to? (L Pro, or Rise M?) Iím dropping 21cm (8in) and bumping to a faster profile with the M Pro. Iím really asking, is that a mistake or likely a do-able/advisable step?

Iím fine to buy another interim wing if it makes learning easier. That 45cm mast was a great investment imho. I like easy progression, I never lose more than 6Ē at a time between my surf boards as I progress. (12Ē on SUP.)

2 - Second Step Down: This is sort of optional. If the consensus is that the Pro M will be a good step down for me right away I might skip this. But if not, Iím assuming that the Pro M will be this position. But I do wonder if for ease of use something ďLĒ is needed of any series? (Is this where the H/A comes in?)

Candidates: Pro M, Pro L

3 - Down Winder/HA: (Also, Pump foil for flat water goofing off.) Ah, and here we go. Iím not really ready for a Veloce, but at Gong prices Iíd like to have it here if I can. So, L, XL, or XXL for a guy my size to downwind and wing? Can I surf this thing? Will it wing? etc.

Assume all of this is in the surf for now. I know Iíll add a wing this year and mix it up a bit. But I know that there will be overlap and I can add again once my wing progression is in position so assume this is my first high aspect pump surf wing for this pick.

SoCal has ďfakeĒ downwind conditions. We donít get Maui swell but guys do DW here. Not giant swell, but long period, so moving along at a clip. This is largely theoretical but Iíd like to know and might throw it in just to play with it and sell later. (Or grow into.) It also seems like whatever this size is it will be useful for wind wings in certain conditions.

On DW, does my XL cover me here? Iíve heard of guys using M200ís which are similar size and shape. If so, then should I instead just get a high aspect wing in my ďregularĒ sizes to feel the difference? This is the least likely purchase and might delay this if you think this is more than 6 months out in my learning curve. The recovery from breaching does pique my interest though.

Candidates: My existing Rise XL? Pro XL or XXL? Veloce XL/XXL? What do you folks think would work for my size?

Extra points: If I wanted to surf a Veloce, but am not an expert, would a size L be solid for that?

Stabilizers / Tails

I have a Rise/Curve 45cm tail. Iíll likely add at least one more tail from Gong and then make a couple of simple variations (flat with a different couple of lengths and chords) Based on the wings above, what tail to add to the mix?

I assume Iíd add the Rise 40cm to my kit this round. If I get a Veloce wing Iíll add a matching stab and likely use surf stab at first to tame it a bit. Do I need more than a couple of options?

Summing up, really the overall idea is to end up with 3 to 5 wings to play with while I figure this out. Iíll pare down what I donít love or maybe Iíll sell it all at the end and go Axis or Go Foil, CloudIX or whatever gets good next. But for the price of a 1 or 2 wing set I will have tried a ton of foil options and learned a ton.

(All companies need to build a US rental quiver by the way. Mailing out wings with a return shipping box & label for a month at a time.)

Foil SUP / Learning to foil SUP - Riding waves
« on: August 03, 2020, 08:19:00 AM »
Ok so after my last session I feel like itís time to change focus so Iíll slow down the other thread til some other new person picks it up to ask more questions. I can catch waves on a foil SUP.

Now, I watched the surfline cam (Iíll try to figure out the best way to post video now) and saw that Iím really not getting any altitude. Iím either tail dragging or flying so low as to just be hopping off the water. So now itís time to learn to ride higher and go down the line.

My first step (I think, give me feedback) feels like leaving my 45cm (18in) mast and go to my 65cm (26in.) is this a good idea? My thinking is that Iím worried about breaching and so I bail probably before I need to. So my thought is when it feels ďway too highĒ I can rest easy that, first, itís not. (lol) And second, I have a little leeway to bring it down.

Secondly, Iím pumping on these slow waves a bit and I think I need to learn to stop the pump cleanly and fly. I sense that my movement is too abrupt and that smoother will be better.

Iím also ordering a few more wings so I hope to move down to wings with less lift so I can not worry so much about the extra lift when I get a bit more push and just know that no matter what I can land the foil.

Lastly, Iím trying to get some boat time this month (letting some buddies try my foil/tricking them into joining me.) I figure that will help me feel what the right height looks and feels like.

Post up any ideas or advice you have about sessions 10-20 where I hope to learn to fly a foot to 18Ē off the water , in control, and go down the line. Iím tired of these 10 second touch and goís. Time to progress.

Ok for those of us who teeter on the edge of having enough wind to do this sport and who have no idea what wind speeds feel like, I offer this.

What is your guess on the wind speed there?

I ask because on my weather app and surfline they will report 10mph when itís white capping like hell and is nearly impossible to SUP. These conditions donít look like ďless than 15Ē unless that means ďhalf of 15.Ē Last week  ď13Ē looked like a small day at the gorge with whitecaps everywhere.

What gives? Are we just being under reported or what?

Help us, oh wind sport oracles.

Hdip, Iím talking to you and the other closeted prone foilers.

Mine is fresh off the racks.,36197.0.html

Iím stoked to see this. Hope other folks will show up here. The other forums are lightly attended. A lot could come from collecting info here.

The Shape Shack / Custom Torx Tool for in water foil adjustments
« on: July 10, 2020, 06:42:35 PM »
Ok so sometimes there's just not the perfect tool for what you need.

Problem: Need to adjust your foil in cool water. No trunks, no pockets. Also, not stabbing yourself is a bonus feature.

Solution, use your overflow resin bucket to cut a handle out. Square and flat, so it fits in the chest zip section of your wetsuit (lies flat, not like a screwdriver), is easy to get grip on (round sucks when wet) and is short enough to not kill you even if it did somehow overcome physics to stab you.

Inspired by Josh Martin (Terry's son, look him up on Instagram, great feed!) I wanted to make an artful tool that was connected to surfing and board building. Note that the blue resin is actually from the board that I'll be adjusting the foil on.

Shots are:

1-3 cutting out the chunk from 3-4 years of resin catchment with a multi-tool

4-5 drilling the hole for the Torx Bit

6-7 the Bosch Torx Bit fitting in. Drilled a little deep, so had to put a 1/4" piece of wood dowel in to set the depth right

8-9 neon green resin mixed with some Q-cell and glass fibers for strength to hold the bit (Note that this is rough sanded to 220 grit now)

10-11 finished piece, wet sanded to 600 grit and drilled for lanyard.

I'll try both a bungee keeper and maybe an EVA piece to make a float and see which I like. EVA feels likely if a piece that fits in my wetsuit chest zip area is small enough to not bother me. Otherwise I'll tether it to my key keeper with a piece of small bungee.

I have another bit so I'll probably cut another piece from another block I have that's got weirder colors and maybe shape it a bit more too. Fun project, probably 30-45 minutes total, in 15 minute sessions after work. Perfect, low hassle, high output make. Next one will be 20 minutes I'll bet now that design decisions are made.

Ok so if this offends, think of the tiny child who could SUP this 5'6" x 20 1/2" x 3" foil board.  ;) It's Home Depot HDX orange in honor of its humble hardworking origins.

This is #2 of my Covid C-uiver project. It was shaped at the same time as the blue SUP foil then I glassed them one after another so the garage could be converted from one mess (dust) to the other (resin.) My hands got sore before I could finish the tow foil board that's coming next so I'm taking a break and learning to foil. Besides, the lockdown and pandemic has limited my boating offers for this season.

So I'll start with the stats and then run the images down with captions, (I hope)

Dims are as stated above 5'6" x 20 1/2" x 3"

Handshaped out of a 48"x96"x4" 1.5 lb eps (cost me $49, so I paid $16 per blank for these boards.) Total material cost (roughly) average $250 per board BUT if you're new to this... I have a grand worth of tools and other materials lying around. My first board cost me $800 and 100 hours of labor lol. These are boards 5-8 for me, I think.

I hotwire cut the base shape then sanded with a 36 grit 14" sanding board I made. Finished the blank to about 220 grit then sealed with fast and final sparkle diluted with distilled water.

Issues I encountered: I messed up the nose rocker and had to glue in a piece and then also had a rail chunk missing (I was cutting 3 boards out of a single sheet so I used every inch. When glueing in new pieces using Gorilla Glue, I'd recommend putting the glue only in the middle so the top layer can be sanded easier. Live and Learn.

That takes us up to the Box Install section, I'll add pics and do another post for that.

Foil SUP / Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« on: June 04, 2020, 07:55:06 PM »
Ok guys, now itís my turn to ask some questions. Iíve watched and read everything but a couple of things elude me as I suspect that most everyone moves past this phase quickly so itís not discussed much. But Iím there so help a brother out before I get out this weekend.

First, this is really a SoCal thing I think as we have few spots near LA that have super mushy waves. So if anyone wants to hip me to another spot with a reform other than Steamroller and hdipís secret spot in the next county up. Please DM me.

Here goes, Iíll number them so you can reply.

1, if a rider is on a 2000+ cm2 foil (Gong xl for me) is there a point at which you canít hold the foil in the water on a drop? And, is that point less than say chest high? I ask because itís terrifying and counter intuitive to just press the nose down when dropping in. If my foil is back in the box a bit and itís waist high or under, can I survive a drop? Asking because I suspect I should just press down and go for it but it feels. so. wrong. So I want an idea of the limits.

I suspect that, like prone foilers Iíve seen, if the wave is under 3 feet or so your board just sort of comes straight forward off the top of the wave as if itís falling away from you like a short board take off. But Iíd like to know the limits before I launch myself over the nose.

2, must I 100% avoid any sort of hollowness, even at 1-2í? Or can I soon move into those? Iím traveling to the mush burgers with a reform but Iíd like to know if itís 1í if I can deal with a little dump. Or am I better off going for a bigger day with a rolling high tide wave but no hollowness at all?

3, will I get better at paddling into non breaking waves, or is that just a hassle? I canít do it at all right now and thereís a million ďalmostĒ spots near me. Will those open up as I get my technique down and more my foil forward?

Thanks, itís fun to be a kook again. (Letís be honest, it never stopped.)

The reason I ask

Asking for a friend. lol

Iím finishing this foil SUP and trying to just prototype and not be a perfectionist. Iím shooting for say somewhere between Pono and Big Green. (Sorry guys, I had to, yíall made it ok for me to just go for it and Iíll never repay the fun Iíve had.)

But as far as watertight, do burn through spots leak? Iím figuring thereís some sort of capillary action around them but I wanted to ask.

Iíll probably just spot fix instead of another hot coat to keep weight down but Iíve never seen this discussed. Iíve gotten way faster at sanding but even with it, Iím trying to move fast and get these into the water and figure out the next size or shape without a lot of fuss.

The Shape Shack / New hotwire rail and bevel cutter
« on: April 04, 2020, 12:22:29 PM »
Made this up last night and finished it this am. Really works great.

Proud that I actually soldered up a cable too instead of my usual twist and go method.

Can and will probably improve the tension mechanism from it's current Gilligan's Island mode but this and some guides should make rail bands and bevels much easier and faster.

Ebay 12 volt 5 amp PSU about $12. Works great and will heat 30Ē of 22 gauge nichrome wire to juuuust about hot enough. Anything shorter is easy.

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