Author Topic: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED  (Read 530 times)

Beasho

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Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« on: April 15, 2019, 07:07:46 AM »
In Northern California we have the advantage of big waves during the winter.  The people that I mostly foil with are all big wave surfers.  As with the SUP awakening we all saw the foil as a way to get into waves early.  If you can get into waves early you can get into BIG waves early.

I realize I am in a unique spot with the biggest waves on the planet within a bicycle ride away.  BUT who else is trying to surf big waves on a foil?

There are some tricks we have learned:
 
1)   You need a longer board
2)   Footstraps
3)   Small Tail
4)   Tall Mast
5)   Moveable foot positions
6)   Be ready for stuff to break

Any others out there?

Here is Haley Fiske FLYING on a bomb last weekend. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:28:55 AM by Beasho »

Beasho

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Re: Big Wave Foiling - Unassisted
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 07:09:06 AM »
Jeff Clark climbing over a beast. 

I was filming this wave hoping he would go.  When it started to break and he went over I realized I was going to get smashed.   

Unless . . I turned and caught the wave.  I did.  It was like getting hit by a bull but WITH FOOTSTRAPS your front foot stays locked in the right place.  Just keep the nose down, crouch and eventually you can coming flying out into the flats of the wave.

It was like riding the red dragon in Avatar.  Booyah!

PS:  Another thing to learn is that the FLATS are your friend in big waves.  They have a slight angle unlike small waves and let you run and bottom turn at speed.  This was something Haley figured out.  Just go straight down the face rather than running for the shoulder.  The shoulder can have TOO much power for the foil.  It has to be the right type of wave though e.g. a nasty drop and then mush.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:16:45 AM by Beasho »

Beasho

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 07:18:52 AM »
I emphasize the UN-ASSISTED.

Laird, and even Kai, has been foiling in big waves for 15 to 20 years.  Nothing new there when you have a team of people with Jet-skis and drones following you.

See the paddle in Haley's hand - I would posit this is a first!  (But please prove me wrong)

No Jet-ski assist, no tow in. 

1) He was riding a 9' 0" SUP aka long enough to get speed to get into the wave.  Generation Zero.Zero foil board (He made it himself)

2) He was riding an GoFoil IWA with Small tail.  We do NOT need small wings in big waves.  We just need to learn how to keep the big wings DOWN so that you can keep flying when the wave softens. 

3) He might have cracked his mast at the fuselage on this day.  For every one of these catches there are plenty of nasty misses with sour results. 

"If you bite and its sweet savor the glory if its sour spit it out."
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:39:06 AM by Beasho »

Beasho

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 07:33:33 AM »
You need to find the seam.  This is what 18 feet @ 14 seconds looks like. 

The wave he caught made it look easy.  It's the ugly stuff that keeps you out of the fray.

On the positive side - No Angry Short-Boarders flipping the bird.  No crowds full of piss and vinegar.  Just wide open landscape without a person in sight.  No proners need apply.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 07:36:17 AM by Beasho »

PonoBill

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 10:41:06 AM »
Cool shots. That's the kind of thing I dream about, but so far my tussle with bigger waves has a zero score on my side of the board. Nothing that size, but firmly overhead 5 to 7 at 16 or so seconds. Keeping the nose down is the fundamental problem, but it sounds like I might also be turning too soon. When I do survive the drop I head for the face, and overfoil at the end of the turn. Maybe I need to get my shortened M200 tail back from Boyum, the full M200 tail I'm currently using gets me up quicker, but I'm back to overfoiling and faceplants on the face.

I tried a rear foot strap and ditched it right away. I'm going to have to pay a new round of dues to use one.
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surfinJ

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2019, 02:03:55 PM »
Foiling is definitely not in my future. But boy would I love to paddle out there on my gun.

supthecreek

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2019, 09:25:24 PM »
Keep at it Beasho, it's fun to follow your exploits at the edge!
Speeds must be crazy and wipeouts spectacular....

You are good on the camera, but where's the drone to document this stuff?
That would be awesome!
Don't make me come out there to do it, surely some E-bikeman must have a drone and spare time!

blackeye

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 06:14:18 PM »
...When I do survive the drop I head for the face, and overfoil at the end of the turn.

Bill, I am thinking you could grok whats happening but muscle memory works against it. I'm guessing an effort to stomp forward and initiate the turn a bit earlier might help. Says me, the armchair layabout.

jondrums

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 10:43:32 PM »
Hey Beasho - thanks for posting photos and the stories!

I went out at Davenport this morning and there were some real bombs coming through - maybe double overhead and meaty.  Nothing quite like what you have up there though.  All I could think about was your suggestion to use a longer board.  It was nearly impossible for me to get into the big ones early since they moved through so fast and even though I can just about get my 7'0" board up on the foil with my paddle and some pumps, it still isn't enough to get into them.  There is just no way I was comfortable sitting deeper - taking that drop on a foilboard is just asking for injury.  So I mostly had to let them go by under me and pick off the smaller ones further in.  I got a couple after they broke and "rode the bull" like you talked about - pretty fun getting rocketed like that (no footstraps for me).

One new thing for me today.  On one of the big ones that I couldn't get into, I found myself up on the foil BEHIND the lip.  First time I just chalked it up to a windlip or a double-up swell coming along behind the face.  But the second time it happened I was paying more attention and kept riding the BACKSIDE of the wave - literally going uphill towards the back of the lip.  Not catching up to it of course, but sustaining foiling for a short time without decelerating.  Somehow the foil was finding power back there which was not coming from gravity.  I really have no idea what was going on, but it was kind of cool.

PonoBill

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2019, 01:52:41 AM »
Of course you were finding energy, there is almost as much energy on the back of the wave as on the front. It's just easier to use it on the front since the face is steeper and the energy transfer is more or less automatic.

It sounds like you have the common misconception that wave riding is like sliding down a hill--it's not. that should be even more obvious to a foiler. We can ride a three foot unbroken swell for half a mile. going ten mph or better. That three foot hill would accelerate you for less than half a second.

I had a discussion this morning with Dave Kalama about my cutback problem. He said to come up the face further, and even go past the top a little, onto the back to initiate the turn so that by the time I'm on the face again I can be down low, fully weighted on my front foot, and committed to the turn. Made a lot of sense to me. He also said to overcommit to the turn, because if I fall to the inside it's no big deal, but falling to the outside is how I'm getting hurt. True that, my shoulder is still giving me occasional shots of pins and needles from breaking my paddle shaft across it a few days ago.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 02:08:09 AM by PonoBill »
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jondrums

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Re: Big Wave Foiling: UN-ASSISTED
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2019, 11:44:56 PM »
let's see if this animated GIF embeds


My best understanding of what we're riding when foiling is the part of the wave where the red dot is going up and to the left.  I liken this to slope soaring, where the wind is sloping up an incline so a wing can stay aloft and even gain altitude because its sink ratio is less than the angle of the wind upwards.  Seems like we ride waves the same way - where the angle of the oncoming water is towards and up the face.

If this concept is true, I'm then baffled how there is energy that the wing can harness on the backside of the wave where the red dot is going down and to the right.