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Author Topic: Learning to foil surf - catching waves  (Read 3050 times)

StandinDan

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2020, 12:00:36 PM »

One question, when or if I do get in the air and feel myself getting too high, should I fight the idea to bail and instead go heavy on the front foot?

The way to think about it is not to put "weight" on the front foot but to shift your center of gravity forward, or back, as necessary. Keep your upper body centered over your hips, and move your core fore and aft parallel to the deck. Otherwise a teeter totter oscillation starts and you either breech and go over the handlebars, or wheelie out the back and never catch the wave.
Hope that helps.
Come down to SanO, its a perfect spot to learn. It rarely if ever gets hollow, catching whitewater is always good because it reforms in the middle into fun waves again, and when your dial up the confidence, Nukes can get big and juicy with 3 to 400 yard to yard rides.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2020, 05:56:46 PM »
Thanks Clay, thanks Dan,

As to "bail" I do hear you. But I'm figuring right now my gut is scared lol. So I'll keep an eye on that. I was in the wrong waves for sure, still just over knee high so I'm either not catching the small ones, or getting the push to fly from a thigh high wave and the nose goes up. I think I need to get on the nose a bit more. (Watching that video tonight.) and I'll bet as I can paddle more, I'll get into softer waves.

Dan, yes, I should say that I've practiced the forward facing form and the hip move (fore and aft) on land for a bit. So that's what I mean, but good to call out for others reading this.

And you know, I've been driving up to Ventura and as you mention it, San O is probably another half hour so I really should go down there. I'm always skittish about the wait to get in but probably worth it. This weekend is pretty small but if I get skunked by size I'll head down there as I'll bet the reform on the inside is decent even on a waist high day.

What's the wait like these days on weekends if you're there mid am?

And to the rest of you, I'd like your take on my fear of heights. If I'm not catching the knee high waves (meaning my foil is back in the box) am I likely to be able to get the nose back down as long as I've not breached? I think I'm asking about that more than anything. And in the end, I gotta get my money's worth out of that impact vest sometime...

PonoBill

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2020, 06:36:25 PM »
You definitely want to have your weight forward--meaning your hips thrust forward, not bending at the waist. Head up, square your shoulders to the front of the board. Push your hips forward as you paddle for the wave. Keep you weight forward as you catch the wave. Once the board is moving and well caught in the wave, lift your front foot without shifting your weight back. You'll only be able to do that for a second, your weight will automatically come back on the front foot, but lifting your foot will pop the foil and then it will come back down again. Do that several times with each wave.

Once you are comfortable that you can come up and get back down, pop up and shift your weight back a little, as if you were starting to sit down. You'll fly a little ways. Keep your knees bent, torso rotated, shoulders forward. You can start extending the ride, keeping the foil up.

At this point you'll be running out of the wave and plopping down. The next step is turning so you can stay in the wave.

Keep u posted on how your'e doing. Yeah, wear the vest.
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.

StandinDan

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2020, 09:17:07 PM »
What's the wait like these days on weekends if you're there mid am?

There will be 30 cars in line by mid morning on the weekend. Gotta be in line by 5:30 to get a good parking spot at Dog Patch. Mid week is pretty much ok anytime unless there's swell on and then it gets nuts again.  We've all taken the ebike route: Park at trail 1 and ride in like you own the place. Biking in  has taken all the stress out of what had turned into a pretty stressful event. Too many times I have turned around and gone home angry due to 30 cars lined up covered in wavestorms and beat down longboards that were pulled out of the garage rafters for the latest swell.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 06:42:59 AM »
Dan, thanks for the 411. Gotta get a rack on my bike. Iíve been an e-skate guy but thatís not a cargo hauler lol.

Pono, the weight front, squared up is how Iíve been doing it, but you just gave me a great tip. Iíve been stuck with missing the waves or not taking off by being nicely forward, or launching to the sky by trying to break it loose. That little ďtry to liftĒ seems like the way to find middle ground.

Also, from watching videos and comparing feelings Iíve seen that while Iíve had my weight forward, when I start trying to take off Iím likely not getting back to that forward weight. Itís tricky, you can bend your knees and not be forward which fools you.

One interesting behavior I picked up learning to prone surf is ďhead upĒ so I am doing that. SUP allowed me and sometimes required me to watch my nose. That bad habit doesnít work prone surfing, so 2 years on a longboard got my head right so to speak. I credit that with making these early flights and touch and goís way better as Iím squared up and ready instead of all doubled over watching the nose. Big one there for any guys coming straight from SUP surfing. Foiling form is as critical as a shortboard. Donít bring your bad habits.

Iíll keep this updated as Iím using it as my journal. When I get straight catch and takeoff dialed and move to turns Iíll start a new thread. This is my gift to the old guys (for comedy) the new guys, (for learning) and the admin (for views lol.)

Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming.

SanoSlatchSup

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2020, 01:52:43 PM »
"cowboy", let me know if/when you're heading down to Sano, and since the doc says I'm going to be sidelined for a few more weeks (the bastard... >:( :D), I'll come down and shoot some video of you out there...if you've not seen yourself, and what you're doing already.

You'll be surprised on what you "think" you're doing, is really so much different from what you're actually doing on the board and wing. At least it was an eye-opener for myself the first time I saw footage, but also a great help in putting "feel" into the "reality", and I gotta say it did help quite a lot in my foil learning process.

Anytime, I'm only 15 minutes away...and I really need a good excuse to tell the wife in order to get her to unshackle me from house arrest, and let me out of her sight finally. ;)

Hope to see you soon...no seriously....the sooner the better.....pleeeeeeeeease get me out of here!! ;D
Me: 6'1"/185...6'0" Kings Foil Board...6'0" Chelu Foil Board...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 7'3" Chuck Glynn foil board backup.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2020, 05:01:59 PM »
Amazing slatch, Iíll do it. I might need to sneak down on a weekday afternoon for an evening session or take a day off. I actually love filming too, a buddy bought a nice housing and we take turns filming from the water. Iíll wait a while before I foil near him (ya think?)

But I agree, itís hard to put the muscle memory together and also Iím 100% sure that I have zero ability to judge height. What a weird sport when you say that, right?

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2020, 08:30:46 AM »
4th session. Swell about right, but tide too high and crowd too thick, so couldnít get to the best take off. That said, I paddled out and practiced to get that muscle memory.

Paddling the short, finless  foil SUP is now easy and I can usually get myself to the right takeoff in the right angle. Still blow a few due to being pointed too far down the line (over paddling, not enough hook stroke.) But 4 sessions got me back in shape and to the takeoff.

I only really caught one wave but it was a good one. Thigh to waist high, mushy, and I just put my hips forward and hung on lol. The nose went down and I rode away from the drop. Iím still at the ďoh, s&it I'm foiling!) stage so I think I was a little heel side and so when I got out in front of the wave I was leaning over a bit and so I laid it down safely. Now, to just do this 50 more times.

In a fun surprise Hdip was there and while we didnít get to meet, he messaged me after that he saw me. The Zone is pretty awesome that way. Iíve literally met people all over the world on here and anytime we get to connect in person in the surf itís been great. (Need a SoCal Zoner meetup again soon. Now that Battle of the Paddle is gone we need to DIY it.)

Changes? I listened to you guys and used your tips. Watched Clayís vids (unaffiliated, just reporting what I did) and moved my foil back an inch as Hdip suggested. (To where it was in the first place lol) speaking to that. In a 10Ē Chinook box its 1Ē back from the balance point as designated by KD Maui (Kane DeWild). That seems to allow me to take off but still hold it down.

Iím about to start myself a little diy project making myself a safer torx key to carry in my wetsuit today for playing around. Iíll post up on that for sure.

Now, as Hdip said, I just need a day or two with a peak to myself to run laps and do touch and goís.

Iíll probably do 2 or 3 more sessions on the short (45cm) mast and then Iíll move up. Also going to try to get one more boat session to play with altitude more.

But thatís the journal so far. 4 sessions to a clean (ish) flight. Now to rinse and repeat til it doesnít feel like a fluke. But I canít say enough how much the tips from Zoners and you guys sharing your progression has helped shorten the learning curve. I literally owe you all a meal lol. The fact that some of you got figured this out early and in some cases alone blows my mind.

To those considering it, I can say this at this stage. Itís not that easy, but itís not impossibly hard either. You can learn to do this if you surf. However, patience is probably the biggest skill you need. Followed by an ability to humble yourself and be a beginner again. Walking out of the water on a busy beach knowing everyone has seen you look it for 2 hours is a spiritual lesson lol. But whatís great is that every foiler is supportive and understands. But I personally believe that itís good for us all to lose our ďcool statusĒ every so often. Itís always led me to growth and fun. Going from a good SUP surfer to a horrible longboarder was educational. Same for  moving from LB to shorter boards and now this. 

Oh one thing on other foilers you meet! Every foiler you meet at a spot when you say youíre new probably thinks this first. ďPlease dude, donít be an idiot and ruin my spot.Ē So some may be stand-offish. I experienced this with a guy. Once he heard me say, ďIím looking for a spot to learn off out of the wayĒ Then when he saw me do that twice he came over after my session and offered some kind words and tips. Iím glad I didnít overthink his stand-offishness.

Canít wait to get a few more sessions under my belt.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2020, 09:45:47 PM »
And once again, Hdip is right. I went out late afternoon today and paddled around til everyone left and the tide got right. He said, ďif you get a session with a peak to your own you will dial it and thatís exactly what happened.

Turns out it takes me 5 sessions to get to where I can take off and fly straight. It was perfect knee/thigh high just at the edge of breaking and I went for it on every wave. With my foil set up right I was able to keep the nose down and once I even pushed the nose into the water. After that, a small correction and I set my hips back a bit at the bottom and rode it out. I even started some feeble pumps as the wave died out. I got maybe 6 waves in a row and only bailed on 2. The rest I rode til I came off foil and paddled straight back out and got another. The right conditions, gear set up right, and some patience getting my balance and paddling muscles back and I was off.

Iím pretty sure Iím still dragging my tail a good bit with this 45 cm beginner mast but Iím gonna keep on it for a few more sessions. I need to find the limits of it and breaching at 18Ē on a slow wave wonít be that bad if/when I do. Iíll move up when I feel like itís holding me back. Gong XL wing lifts great and is so stable I almost donít believe it. Once I locked my feet on the arch bar and squared my shoulders I flew straight as an arrow.

It. Feels. Amazing. Anyone wanna buy some surfboards? Another one bites the dust.

Hdip

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2020, 10:45:43 PM »
Stoked for you! Keep the short mast until you feel itís holding you back. Do you want to fall from this high? Or this high? 😀

I think sessions 4-6 were good for me. Then 7-9 sucked! Trying to force it in the wrong conditions probably. After ten sessions the learning curve speeds way up.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2020, 07:15:32 AM »
Thx man. And yes, I can actually see that. Also, Iím sure before long Iíll start to try to turn and Iím sure that will bring some hilarious crashes. But Iím taking it slow.

Iíve been bringing my wavestorm so if itís just a no-go, I can get in the water without pushing it. As much fun as it was I can totally see how bad conditions keep you from doing well.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2020, 08:23:40 AM »
Session 6 was my first mixing into a crowd. Still cautious but was under 50 feet now lol. Iím continuing to be patient with my sessions, balancing when I can get out with the conditions and crowd size so I only got a couple of rides. But.

I can report that my apprehension catching a wave is gone. Iím now just stoked to maybe fly. Also, wind and chop were insane but I still was able to stand and paddle into position. You can totally learn to paddle a 6í SUP with no fins in a halfway straight line btw.

Iím now able to hop/paddle and feel the board rise. I wasnít able to pump onto a wave yet but I feel that thatís coming in a few sessions, which will be necessary for downwind runs Iím sure.

That said, when beginning itís nice to have that perfect peaking wave that never closes out or breaks (a knee high reform.) Thatís really the beginner take off you need, that or even one with a tiny whitewater. Canít stress that enough. If you surf the gulf or FL and arenít foiling you are missing a huge opportunity. Iím literally planning a Texas surf trip as soon as itís safe. Until now that was a rare sentence in the English language, right up there with ďis that the banjo players Porsche outside?Ē

Also had friends at the beach whoíve never been around a foil so we spent some time playing in the shallows pushing the board and watching it fly. A few observations that are obvious to foilers but surprising to noobs.

First, Iíve noticed and my friends confirmed from prone paddling the SUP that the lift even at that speed makes the board feel lighter and paddle way faster. Prone paddling with my friends who are on 9í longboards I kept up and even passed them at times. I can totally see how people surf really short prone boards now. Canít wait to get mine out and paddle it a bit. (Itís water tight and has traction as of today!

Then thereís the crazy sail effect in wind and current. If you lose your leash in a wind or current and are more than 10í away, you may not catch that board by swimming. They can haul ass alone.

I encourage any of you learning to just spend some time pushing your boards around in the shallows watching what it does.  Itís highly educational.

Not sure if Iíll get out today, but the holiday weekend will provide some evening and early am sessions where I can get some quality flight time Iím sure. Also Iím going to start looking for a spot to practice dock starts. Hdip, if I find anything fun Iíll hit you up and we can film each otherís crash reels.

Hopefully Iíll start a thread on turning soon lol. But Iíll keep this going as a way for everyone to share tips.

jondrums

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2020, 08:41:27 AM »
If you're going to work on dock starts, definitely use the prone - lighter makes a huge difference.   tactile foot placement blocks will really help you too, because getting your feet right is key.

As far as foil surfing closer to other people - it is totally doable, you can even be right in the pack where everyone is taking off.  the key is that you need to pick a wave nobody else picks, and most importantly - be sure that you have a big swath of space between you and the beach with absolutely nobody in it.  I think of it as the cone of emptiness - I look for about 45deg angle wide area at least 100yds in front of me where nobody is sitting, paddling, or swimming.  This seems super limiting, but once you realize that you can catch just about any wave coming through - you just wait for everyone to clear the zone and paddle for the next shitty wave that nobody else wants. 

PonoBill

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2020, 09:31:40 AM »
A decent leash is pretty important for foil surfing. I've seen loose boards at Ka'a get up on foil and travel ridiculous distances in a few seconds. I've only had my board get away from me with a wing (twice). The first time I didn't realize how fast I could go body dragging with a wing. By the time I did, it was easier to run down the bank and intercept it. Headmount is snickering reading this--my version of running is like my version of pumping: The only person who can tell I'm doing it is me.

The second time was in the middle of the channel in the Columbia and if I hadn't been able to body drag it would have been gone, gone, gone. It was happily headed to Cascade Locks at a good clip. I caught it after a few hundred yards of chasing.

Bottom line, a good leash is necessary--a stout one for foil surfing since the leash tug in even a waist-high wave can be substantial. Wingfoiling I've been using one of the skinny fabric-covered FCS leashes. I might revisit that. In both cases, a waist leash is a good idea, for keeping the leash out of the water and to give you control over whether or not you still want to remain attached. I haven't been using mine for wingfoiling, which is stupid, but I still have that "rush to get into the water" affliction, and it might take ten seconds to find it and wear it.
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.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2020, 02:09:12 PM »
Def considering a combo weight belt waist leash as I hate single use gear lol.

Iím using  a 6í shortboard leash and it tangles a little. With my bird legs I wear it as a calf leash and that helps.

And yes, I basically sit on a spot til all the wavestorms take the set wave at once and then ride the cleared space.

And yes, for dock starts Iím only going prone. Canít imagine trying to handle my SUP. I have perfect arch bars on center. But might bring some stick on pads to help place my front foot fore and aft.

 


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