Author Topic: First ride!  (Read 1933 times)

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
First ride!
« on: August 27, 2017, 03:28:33 PM »
Got the first ride in today!

On a river, we started out with a 1500ft winch, which worked ok, but keeping the speed steady enough for foiling was the hard part.  It was hard to judge how fast to pull the person.  My friend doesn't surf or SUP, so he was struggling just to get up on my 115L board at his 185lbs.  We did a bit of falling in, and very often onto the foil.  I have to say this new sport is quite a bit riskier when learning.  I'm going to guess you have easily better than 50% chance of falling on the foil on your first trys.  I have a properly bashed shin and my buddy has a beat up wrist, all from hitting the foil when falling.  On my 3rd winch pull I was able to maintain flight for about 200ft at a time.

My buddy then said we should try his little infatable with 18hp outboard motor.  With a wake skate the boat cannot get someone out of the water, not even close.  With the SUP and foil, no problem whatsover.  The speed was much easier to judge than the winch, as a throttle man.  Having just the right speed range was pretty critical.  We guessed that the optimum speed for us was about 15mph, just slightly above the planing speed of the boat.  Any faster and it got crazy scary fast!  We may have been able to pump the foil up at very slightly slower speeds, but it was not as stable or easy to maintain flight any slower.

After about another 20min behind the boat I had it down.  I could follow the boat through larger turns (50-75ft radius) and keep up on the foil.  I would still have a hard crash once in a while, but I was 95% there.  My buddy, who doesn't surf could get about 5-10sec rides on the foil before catastrophe.  Sounds short, but that's actually a pretty long time!  Eventually both of our rear leg thighs cramped up.  The pitch moment is so sensitive on the foil I found myself holding about 90%+ of my weight on the rear, and just using the front to control the pitch ever so gently!  Sometimes we'd start a porpoising motion with the board and it always led to getting tossed off the rig in a big way! lol, pretty funny to watch, and scary as hell as the rider.

Having the right front and rear foot position, both centered EXACTLY over the center line, and within a 1/2" range for the front and back position was pretty critical.  I think my rear foot position ended up being very close to the rear of the mast edge after I got a little more comfortable moving my foot back.  Your stance needs to be pretty huge to have good control at first.  Just forget about trying to change your foot position once up on the foil, bad idea!  Those feet MUST be in the right position when you pump up onto the foil.

After just an hour on the winch and especially the boat, I feel almost ready to try the waves.  Maybe one more boat session should solidify what I've learned.  The boat is key, almost a must.  I dno't think it would really be feasable to learn in the waves.  It would take 100x longer and be super frustrating, as well as much more dangerous.  In just a few boat sessions you can have the pitch thing down.  It's like a muscle memory thing, like learning the balance of a bicycles for the first time. 

I'm sure the surf will be very challenging.  It's so cool and fun being up on the foil though I can't wait!  The sensation is just totally different.  There is almost no feedback from the board/foil at all.  I was razer focused with my eyes on the water and board/foil just so I knew what I had to do with the pitch/etc.  So smooth, even through chop... although I found the prop wash from the boat to have pretty poor lift.  A couple of times I lined up on the wake of the boat (about 6-10" wave) and I could feel the line go slack!  Seems super efficient.  Letting go of the rope you could glide about 50-70ft with no power.

Stoked!!

In case you didn't read my other threads the board is a 2011 Naish Hokua 8'5 x 28", 115L.  The foil is a Lift 170 Surf/SUP foil.  The foil is very thin, maybe 1/4-1/2" thick at most.  I'm about 175lbs.  I put the foil on the board with a "Foilmount" stick-on mount.  It seems to be holding up to the abuse so far, and we definitely abused it today!!!   ;D
 

Newps

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 216
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 04:55:24 PM »
Nice job, super stoked for you guys. 

I did some foiling behind a boat on Saturday and 100% agree with everything you said.  The surf is very challenging to learn in.  IMOP 2 to 3ft mushy glass waves is the best conditions.  Just do not try and save it, whenever is gets unstable just jump away. 
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'4" x 30 1/4" x 4 1/2" 112L
L41 SIMSUP S5 - 7'6" x 27 1/2" x 4 3/16" 106L
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'8" x 31"x 4 1/2" 122L - Modded w/ a King's TUT Tuttle box and using a King's foil.
L41 SIMSUP S4 - 7'10" x 30 1/4" x 4 1/2" 120L

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 05:24:51 PM »
Yea, getting away from the board is key.  A lot of times we'd top out the foil, get unstable, and then try to kick it away to the side, but the board would just rotate around the foil (exposing it!) and we'd nearly fall right on it!  Possibly the best thing might be to try and get some heavy front foot pressure on it when things go wrong so it dives and  at least you clear the whole board over the front.  I was too afraid to try and kick it out ahead of me.  It seems to do this weird bounce back thing when it hits the water sometimes.... might just bounce right back at you if you went off the rear.  Of course in the waves this might need to be reversed!.. since the wave would push the board over you if you go off the front.

We were a bit surprised by the speed needed to fly the foil.  I'm going to have to ride some decent waves to get this thing going.. and turning back into the wave might take some time.

Those guys in the videos who look like maybe they're still new to it, they're a lot better at it than it might appear!   :)

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 03:51:54 PM »
First day in the waves today.  Challenging for sure.  First one or two drop ins I mistakenly moved back toward the tail and launched it.  After that I just stayed in the correct foiling position. Felt weird staying in the middle down the wave, but sure enough the foil came up and out at the bottom every time.  I really had poor conditions.  I was at a beach break, only breaking on the first bar out, which is about 3ft deep.. .almost enough to clear the foil, but not quite, so I had to stay outside a bit and wait for the bigger sets, yikes!  Waves 4ft @ 10sec, and mixed direction, unpredictable breaks.  I was so afraid to fall off the back I mostly stuffed the nose when bailing, which seemed safe-ish.  I rolled over the board/foil a lot of the time though.  This foiling certainly feels a lot less safe (for the rider) than regular surfing!  I do like that the rig stops pretty solidly after a wipe out.  I bought a beefy coil leash (creatures of leisure) and never had it pulled out enough to feel a tug at all.  The coil leash worked well, no tangles or anything, I've never used one before.  Paddling parallel to the waves/swell was awkward, the wave power does some weird stuff with the foil when side-on to the foil.  I'm finding I really need to focus on standing directly on the centerline of the board when I drop in so I'm not out of balance when the foil comes up.  It doesn't feel real natural to do this, feels kind of tippy.  A very educational day, I'm whooped!  Can't wait to get out in some better conditions... for foiling.

supuk

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1931
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2017, 08:20:48 AM »
If you feel your weight is all on your back foot try shining the rear of the plate mount up a few mm at a time.

SURFFOILS

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 157
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: First ride!
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 02:32:27 PM »
Sharksupper, that's great news about your progress and how quickly you've dialled in the technique. Stoked for you !

angelasup

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • I'm a relaxed, easy going person from Florida
    • View Profile
    • Stand Up Paddle Boards
    • Email
Re: First ride!
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 04:06:39 PM »
Great! Naish boards are very cool!  8)
When in doubt, paddle out!

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 12:55:40 PM »
Second ride in the waves today.  Absolutely ideal conditions (for foiling, but not for surfing).  Waist to chest high, glassy, barely breaking, several reforms all the way to the beach, starting about 2000-2500ft out from the beach.  No surfers or paddlers were interested in these waves at all.  I had them all to myself!  I took a few crashes to reacquaint myself with the proper balance position, then caught three waves almost to the beach!  I was so tired from paddling back out I could barely catch anymore, lol.  My arms finally started cramping uncontrollably after a few hours and I was forced to come in... but I didn't want to!   ;D

I got my first cutback today, stoked!  Starting to get the hang of turning a bit.  I can't tell if it's fun or just challenging that I like it so much, but super addicting!  I did run into a fellow foiler after a while too!  It was fun sharing the waves and seeing someone else flying around.  I did not anticipate all the paddling.  The foil is so fast and efficient you're faced with a huge paddle back out each ride... not that I'm complaining! hehe

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 01:06:17 PM »
Here you can see how the mast/fuselage are pre-angled to match the board rocker.  Each time I go out I'm moving the mast further back in the tracks.

sharksupper

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 149
    • View Profile
Re: First ride!
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 11:19:48 PM »


Got two more days under my belt.  Up to about 12hrs total time in the waves. 

The 3rd day was humbling.  The waves were smaller (knee to waist) and harder to catch.  Guys with big long SUP's (10'6 +) were cleaning them up consistently.  I was either not catching them or falling in trying.  I did get a few runs, but mostly not.  Lesson learned, I need waves that I can actually drop into on the board I'm using: 8'5 @ 115L.  Somewhere between knee and wasit high and at least somewhat breaking are required to get speed up for the foil to take off in my case.  Just dropping in is not enough, there needs to be enough speed and energy to keep foiling. 

Today was the 4th day.  Late afternoon, blown out, high tide, crappiest waves ever. 5ft@10sec though.  It was miserable for a couple of long boarders just wanting to get wet, didn't look like any fun at all.  I had a blast!  The sets were a bit of a wait but waist to chest when they came.  Most were plenty enough energy to get speed up and foil to the beach, about 500ft runs.  Goes quickly on a foil!  A few times I slowed down and the white water swept the board away while I was foiling, freaking scary!  A lot of sets were complete closeouts, which was no problem at all on the foil, I just paddled or pumped a little while foiling after drop in and usually made it back into the reform with out too much effort.  That is definitely something I could not do without the foil!  I seem to be struggling with getting my backside turns down.  I get all twisted up and actually start dragging my paddle backside to try and save it and then big crash.  I hit the foil in a big way today and just lucked out and didn't hit anything critical.  Last thing that stood out was weeds, not foil friendly!  Paddling back out through the outflow avoided them though.  I just had eel grass/sea grass, I can't imagine kelp!  Super fun day, all alone!  The muscle memory thing is starting to stick.