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Author Topic: Fly free little wing...  (Read 2008 times)

PonoBill

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Fly free little wing...
« on: January 19, 2020, 09:01:18 PM »
I had a little more adventure today than I planned to have. I fiddled with electronics all morning while the wind came up and then headed to Kihei to do a wing foil downwinder. But the wind was offshore so there wasn't much along the shore. I elected to "mow ze lawn" going back and forth, Kihei Canoe Hale to McGregor point. On the first pass when I got close to McGregor the wind got really weird. The gusts were coming from behind me, toward Lanai while the steady wind was straight out toward Kahoolawe. I did my cheap-ass touchdown version of a jibe and got the heck out of there.

It's a long, long reach, but I made it all the way back to the Canoe Hale with one touch down. It's really like I'm flying over the surface. When I got back I was thirsty, so I took a break to drink some slightly skanky water that's been in a water bottle for about a month.

I went back out, popped up on the foil and ran out about halfway to the power station. Coming back I had a moment of inattention and the wing flipped. I was getting myself situated to go again while the wing did the flopping around in the wind thing. And then suddenly the jerking on my wrist leash went away and my wing sailed about 50 feet away. Nasty feeling.

I got down on the board and prone paddled as hard as I could sprint with a wide SUP board dragging a foil under it. I almost got to it when the wind got under it and it flew a few hundred feet away. While I was bracing for another sprint it picked up again and started cartwheeling away. No way to catch this thing without a paddle or a motor.

So I pointed the board for the beach and started paddling. I had plenty of time to perfect my technique--I was out perhaps half a mile. For what it's worth if you're way out on a wide SUP that leaves you with the arm span of a penguin, the best technique I found is to roll shoulder to shoulder as I stroked, reaching out further and going for a little glide. When I got about 100 yards from the beach I spotted Stephen Ross waving, and then a fire truck pulled up and a whole passel of emergency folks piled out to watch me finish the last 50 yards. Firemen, a lifeguard, and an EMT. Out beyond where I started my long-ass paddle, there was a coast guard boat doing search patterns. These folks don't mess around.

I convinced them I wasn't dying. One of the guys got on the radio and directed the jet ski, that apparently had scrambled from the Kihei boat ramp to go look for my wing. I met the ski at the ramp and he handed me my wing. It was fully deflated and the valve wasn't open. He said, "it's done for, sorry". He'd stuck it with a knife I guess. In those crazy conditions there wasn't much choice since he probably didn't know how to use the deflation valve and probably couldn't have screwed with it anyway. No big deal, I'll get it repaired. The lifeguards aren't in the equipment retrieval biz and I'm glad to get it back in any condition.

My leash didn't break, it looks like it just came untied. I reworked the way the leash attaches to the wing after hearing about Shep Nelson having the weenie little sewn-in leash fixture rip out and pop the bladder. It looks like I need to rethink that. I generally try to have critical things like leashes either be super-stout or have a backup.

It was a long paddle in, but it's good to know I can manage it. My shoulders felt great after the long haul--warm and loose. I don't recommend this as an exercise, but clearly, I need to spend some time on a prone board.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

supmmmm

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2020, 09:14:55 PM »
Glad to hear that you are ok. Ive wondered about that, wing getting away, watching a bunch of videos lately and there was this one really good rider with an Fone wing which he would just let trail behind him on the leash as he surfed a wave. Id want to hang onto it a little tighter. 

surfcowboy

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2020, 10:56:55 PM »
Sucks that it happened but good for you for self rescuing. Also good to show those young folks that geezers have still got a little in the tank. ;)

MLB

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2020, 02:31:43 PM »
I had a little more adventure today than I planned to have. I fiddled with electronics all morning while the wind came up and then headed to Kihei to do a wing foil downwinder. But the wind was offshore so there wasn't much along the shore. I elected to "mow ze lawn" going back and forth, Kihei Canoe Hale to McGregor point. On the first pass when I got close to McGregor the wind got really weird. The gusts were coming from behind me, toward Lanai while the steady wind was straight out toward Kahoolawe. I did my cheap-ass touchdown version of a jibe and got the heck out of there.

It's a long, long reach, but I made it all the way back to the Canoe Hale with one touch down. It's really like I'm flying over the surface. When I got back I was thirsty, so I took a break to drink some slightly skanky water that's been in a water bottle for about a month.

I went back out, popped up on the foil and ran out about halfway to the power station. Coming back I had a moment of inattention and the wing flipped. I was getting myself situated to go again while the wing did the flopping around in the wind thing. And then suddenly the jerking on my wrist leash went away and my wing sailed about 50 feet away. Nasty feeling.

I got down on the board and prone paddled as hard as I could sprint with a wide SUP board dragging a foil under it. I almost got to it when the wind got under it and it flew a few hundred feet away. While I was bracing for another sprint it picked up again and started cartwheeling away. No way to catch this thing without a paddle or a motor.

So I pointed the board for the beach and started paddling. I had plenty of time to perfect my technique--I was out perhaps half a mile. For what it's worth if you're way out on a wide SUP that leaves you with the arm span of a penguin, the best technique I found is to roll shoulder to shoulder as I stroked, reaching out further and going for a little glide. When I got about 100 yards from the beach I spotted Stephen Ross waving, and then a fire truck pulled up and a whole passel of emergency folks piled out to watch me finish the last 50 yards. Firemen, a lifeguard, and an EMT. Out beyond where I started my long-ass paddle, there was a coast guard boat doing search patterns. These folks don't mess around.

I convinced them I wasn't dying. One of the guys got on the radio and directed the jet ski, that apparently had scrambled from the Kihei boat ramp to go look for my wing. I met the ski at the ramp and he handed me my wing. It was fully deflated and the valve wasn't open. He said, "it's done for, sorry". He'd stuck it with a knife I guess. In those crazy conditions there wasn't much choice since he probably didn't know how to use the deflation valve and probably couldn't have screwed with it anyway. No big deal, I'll get it repaired. The lifeguards aren't in the equipment retrieval biz and I'm glad to get it back in any condition.

My leash didn't break, it looks like it just came untied. I reworked the way the leash attaches to the wing after hearing about Shep Nelson having the weenie little sewn-in leash fixture rip out and pop the bladder. It looks like I need to rethink that. I generally try to have critical things like leashes either be super-stout or have a backup.

It was a long paddle in, but it's good to know I can manage it. My shoulders felt great after the long haul--warm and loose. I don't recommend this as an exercise, but clearly, I need to spend some time on a prone board.

Holy smokes, we left Kihei YESTERDAY at 10pm~   

VB_Foil

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2020, 05:03:41 PM »
Crazy! Glad you are alright.

I wonder how small of a kayak style drift anchor could keep a wing from blowing downwind.  Could fit in a small stuff sack by the cuff maybe and have a pull release. Would be nice if you needed to ditch the wing for a moment for some reason or an auto deployment via small secondary wrist attachment.

With my 4/3 wetsuit, gloves, watch, I dont have a ton of Velcro left keeping my wrist leash in place. Im worried about it coming loose and not noticing before its gone.
Im a 59 65kg rider:

Boards:
   4'5.5" 33L Armstrong
   410 37L FSM
   5'1" 74L FSM
   511 100L FSM

Foils: Armstrong 800, 1050, 1550, 1850, 2400
Wings: BRM 2M-6M

gzasinets

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2020, 05:15:15 PM »
Great story with happy ending! Good!
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surfcowboy

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2020, 08:55:27 PM »
The drag chute is a great idea. A couple of fishing weights would ground it as soon as it hit the water. Thats solid man.

stoneaxe

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 09:19:39 PM »
Yikes....that doesn't sound like a good day but nice to know you can still get yourself in.
Bob

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Caribsurf

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2020, 04:43:33 AM »
Crap! Bad day in paradise..glad you lived to tell about it.  I worry about those wrist leashes and try to avoid activating mine as little as possible.
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Tom

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2020, 08:46:14 AM »
I don't know nothing about no wingdings, but will suggest something anyway. Could you add a backup spectra line that would pull the plug on the kite if the leash failed? You could then pull in the deflated kite and prone paddle to shore.

VB_Foil

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2020, 10:14:43 AM »
The drag chute is a great idea. A couple of fishing weights would ground it as soon as it hit the water. Thats solid man.

The idea initially came from thinking of guys like Kai Lenny being able to tow themselves into waves like Jaws and ditch the wing before getting to the breaking part of the wave.  The 'drag chute' could keep the wave from flying off, but would require retrieval by a jetski before currents take it, so it kind of defeats the purpose of self propelled big wave tow-ins, haha.  Maybe another wind powered rider could retrieve.  That would be tough though!
Im a 59 65kg rider:

Boards:
   4'5.5" 33L Armstrong
   410 37L FSM
   5'1" 74L FSM
   511 100L FSM

Foils: Armstrong 800, 1050, 1550, 1850, 2400
Wings: BRM 2M-6M

PonoBill

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2020, 06:47:07 PM »
Really not that big of a deal. The prone foil paddlers at Ka'a cover that distance several times every session. Of course, their narrow boards are better for hand paddling. But I watched Kathy Shipman prone paddling her standup board back out from the far inside this morning and thought "if I could prone paddle that fast I would have caught that wing". She was casually flying along faster than I was going with a paddle. I got my wing back from Karen at Northshore Kite and Sail--a perfect repair to the leading edge, bladder and canopy. One day service. Highly recommended.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

bigmtn

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2020, 03:19:56 PM »
Can you knee paddle your sup? Easier to get your arms out wider.

PonoBill

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Re: Fly free little wing...
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 10:05:59 AM »
Can you knee paddle your sup? Easier to get your arms out wider.
Sure, but I wanted to cross the wind--which was blowing at 25 gusting to 35. I would have come in a mile downwind if I knee paddled. And half a mile downwind is a rocky, snaggletooth, wana encrusted reef.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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