Author Topic: SUP Foil Technique  (Read 2680 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 »
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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.

Dwight (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

Dwight (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.   

SanoSlatchSup

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2018, 11:54:16 AM »
Was going to start a new theard, and after seeing a "Foil Technique" although old is already here, thought I'd add just resurrect this one instead.

So couple "technique" questions....

1. How high are you guys typically flying?

I ask because when I first got going, a very experienced guy said that I wasn't flying high enough at the time. His advice helped quite a bit in the beginning, but now that I'm getting much, much longer rides (a few several hundred yards long), many of them end up with the wing breaking the water, the lift ends instantaniously, and I'm over the handlebars with no warning...or at least none that I'm feeling just before I'm headed ass over tea kettle.

2. Secret(s) on pumping to connect sections (heck with wave to wave at the moment)?

When I'm losing energy in the wave, I try to pump the board/foil back up, and will get it to come up...but seem to just stall, and can't seem to get the board to edge back over to get the nose back down enough to get back up to speed, or really get too many more pumps after the first couple before just sinking back into the water.

Anything else you'd like to add beside the above two questions...I'm all ears.

Me: 6'1"/200...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...9'6" Costa Azul Wide Body...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm for when proning urges still hit, and now a 7'3" Chuck Glynn foil board.

PonoBill

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2018, 12:25:37 PM »
I wonder if BigDoug ever got anywhere with that setup. I doubt it.

1. With a two foot mast, about 15 inches high. You start losing control before the foil breaks the surface. I generally come up about ten inches, get comfortable, and then pull up a bit more. There's a bit less mast drag when you're higher, but the biggest advantage is having room to manuver. If you bank into a wave and you're low you'll hit the wave with the board. Conversely, if you're too high and you bank you might pop a wingtip out, which augers you in briskly.

2. Pumping goes along with controlling the foil. I still suck at it, but I'm getting the feeling. I sucked at skateboarding as well, but if you have a feel for doing an Ollie, then that's about it. Up, over an imaginary barrel, then down. I can do it best if I hold my paddle in one hand. I need free arm movement to make it go well. The power in pumping is on the downstroke, so you need a lot of weight on your front foot as you start pushing the nose over. I was having a lot of trouble because I was basically going up and down. The effective movement is up, over the barrel, hard down. And as always in foiling, you need to be a little ahead of the wing. You need to be pushing over the barrel when the foil is still coming up, then going down hard when the foil is still going over the barrel, then back up while the wing is going down. It helps me to constantly think of the wing not the foil. I pretend the board isn't there and I just have a wing. .
« Last Edit: May 26, 2018, 12:31:12 PM by PonoBill »
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BigDoug

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 11:48:00 AM »

Quote
I wonder if BigDoug ever got anywhere with that setup. I doubt it.


 :'( He did not. 

surfcowboy

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2018, 01:52:55 AM »
Damnit, ok, when do we start you on a replacement wing man. ;) Get over in the shape shack.

SUPeter

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2018, 10:21:31 AM »
If vacuum bagging is a skill you already are acquainted with or are willing to learn then making your own wing is very doable.  Go to airfoil tools and find the NACA 4416 wing profile(wing generator section).  Very close to Go foils wing template.  create a planshape of around 1200-1300 sq cm (for your 250lb weight) and lay them out on a level form that corresponds to the amount of anhedral you would like.  The Diy sup foil pages are extremely helpful.  Good luck.  I can make a strong and usable front wing for ,I'm guessing, 40 bucks.  That's with 2 layers of carbon 3K twill.  It could easily be done with glass only for 1/2 that.  It could be done without vacuum bagging but with considerably more difficulty.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 10:30:12 AM by SUPeter »

surfcowboy

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Re: SUP Foil Technique
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2018, 08:22:25 PM »
I can confirm and SupUK says so as well, that glass works fine. But yes, bagging is key. Check out my ghetto bag rig in my thread. It's fine for wings.