Author Topic: Learning to foil surf - catching waves  (Read 3026 times)

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2020, 08:20:27 AM »
Hdip, you jinxed me with you ďsessions 7-10 were frustrating for meĒ comment lol. Session 7 and too much tide and too much swell as the only waves that would push me were over waist high. But you all know the deal, I was trying to push in a session between locked down over the weekend. Iíll get more waves next time.

I really see the conditions that work now and also have a good idea on how the foil setup can be adapted for larger waves to a point. I can also feel when you just canít stop the lift now. So I feel like my bail radar is coming. I know another boat session will help my altitude radar too.

In good news, I have recovered all my SUP in chop skills. It was windy with a wicked side backwash at the spot (North LA & Ventura guys know what Iím talking about.) It wasnít fun but it was good practice. I am pretty sure Iíd have had a better session on a prone board so next week Iíll likely take both boards and practice a bit with the prone rig too.

I caught two waves. One was just too much for me and I was headed for a breach so I bailed at the top of the wave and mast. My friend on a longboard said, ďyou were so high and then I saw both wingsĒ lol I explained that that is not the correct technique.

Second one I learned more about archbars and foot placement. I caught a perfect wave and made the drop and did a dive bomb turn to the right at speed (the speed really is nuts... and fun!) when I thought about it I remembered my front foot being literally 2 inches off center to that direction. Wild.

I also laughed remembering PonoBill describing catching a wave and going down the line screaming. I get it now.

More progress, more practice. Overall I want to point out to other newbies that conditions matter way more in the beginning than what weíve been led to believe. Really, learning in Hawaii or somewhere like that (SanO)is a great idea as you can do laps. As soon as this lockdown ends Iíll be headed to one of the islands to get a week of double sessions under my belt.

I can see how, if you had the cash, buying a rig from Blue Planet or a Maui shop and doing a week would get you a long way down the road. Iím planning a local trip to San Diego soon so I can just run 2 a days at a mushy spot. (I live an hour from the beach currently.)

In the plus column, I got to surf with friends at a beautiful spot. The moon came up and I ran down my current business plan with a friend while we watched waves crashing reflecting the moonlight not a bad end to a workday. Iím healthy, happy, and am taking my time staying safe for myself and others.

Hdip

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2020, 10:52:58 AM »
HAH! I have a new Axis setup being delivered today just in time for the lockdown. So you can expect the next 2 weeks to be flat. IE: perfect foil conditions.  You're welcome. Or does that only happen when you buy a high performance surfboard?

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2020, 03:57:35 PM »
Oh man, congratulations. Canít wait to see that up close. Post in the Axis thread what you got and a review.

I finished that prone board this am. Iíll try to get the build thread up while Iím stuck.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2020, 09:10:43 AM »
Session 8 yesterday started to look sketchy but turned out great.

Finally met Hdip and his awesome water kids who were killing it in the shore break. I expect them to pass us surfing in 6 months lol.

Conditions are everything. Remind me of that. Luckily I had my awesome wife with me and so I got to just chill and wait it out. I was rewarded.

At 6pm swell was 1-2í wind was probably 10-12 (no real idea lol) side/onshore. Chop was insane. Paddled out and after 5 min came back in. Waited 30 min and went out (still 30 min too soon.) but at 7 the wind dropped and kept dropping til dark (8:30 or so)

At 7:15 the crowd died with the sun and wind and I was left with the exact same conditions as my last solid session. 1-2 mushy but a small peak that backs off so you get pushed in. I caught everything I went for and got maybe 5 waves in 30 min.

Interesting observation from me and my wife. I felt like I was flying the foil but she said, ďI couldnít really see when you took offĒ. I chalked it up to my short (45cm) mast. But then I thought about the feeling and sound and looked at the surfline replay and realized that my tail was in the wave but the front 75% of the board was ďflyingĒ. This is a great way to safely learn and I remember you guys saying, ďyou can feel the wing before you take off.Ē I could tell by sound and feel the few times I fully lifted off. This also is going to be key for learning to prone foil and I feel much better about that now knowing I can half fly on this mast.

Now that I know these conditions and crowd level I will hit this spot after work a few times and get some miles in before going to larger mast (65cm.)

Technique Tip: The archbar front and back continues to make or break waves. Now that I am careful to get my feet on the center every time itís as if the foil is on tracks. I suspect this is what made the whole ďstrappedĒ thing such a big deal back a while ago. Foot Position is key. But my experience is that you can replicate that with an arch bar and if your wing is balanced right the front/back takes care of itself if your stance is consistent.

Iím also going to bring my prone board to practice paddling in when the chop is too bad for SUP. Starting to see how Prone, SUP, and Wing fit into conditions. Hereís my early take based on limited experience. But I think I see why SUP foil surfing isnít as dominant as it was.

Too much wind, Wing. Duh.
A bit of chop, prone
Close to shore, short paddle, prone
Clean but long paddle, SUP
Clean and long session, SUP

Iím sure this will change for me but at my level of fitness I can get longer sessions on a SUP just due to the larger muscles used. Socially, Iíll probably prone more too just to sit and hang with my buddies on crappy longboard days and fit in better should we get an uncrowded session. (At least until they all give in to the dark side.)

Summary, 8 sessions, which for a weekender is 4-8 weeks, and Iím having fun now. Still just getting wings but the early frustrations are easing as long as I watch conditions and am patient.

SanoSlatchSup

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2020, 09:30:06 AM »
But I think I see why SUP foil surfing isnít as dominant as it was.

Summary, 8 sessions, which for a weekender is 4-8 weeks, and Iím having fun now. Still just getting wings but the early frustrations are easing as long as I watch conditions and am patient.
First sentence is true because a lot of the early "tryers" didn't expect the bold would last as long as it does for the most part, and throw in the towel before the "easing" part arrives. Not to mention that most of the SUP foiler tend to be of the "older" crowd...who were/are well past their "proner foil", short board popup days.

Well I know of at least one guy who fits that description, and that would have loved to have had this foil craze stuff come out when he was still prone surfing anything...but those days are way, way back in the rearview mirror by now. :-[:(

Good to hear you're having fun, and sticking with it cowboy, that's really all there is to it, and you're approaching that "aha" moment when suddenly one day it'll all click, and you'll look back at these days wondering..."geez, why did I think this was that hard to do?"  :D
« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 09:32:24 AM by SanoSlatchSup »
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 #35 on: July 12, 2020, 09:38:01 AM »
Sano, I feel you. Notice that I expect that I'll prefer SUP for longer sessions. That trend will continue should I get lucky enough to last a few more decades. In clean conditions I'll bet I can get down to the low 5' range and maybe 25" (26?) wide in clean conditions.

I agree too that the sport likely lost a lot of potential SUP foilers early on to learning curve. As I say over and over, I can't imagine learning this on a Kai Foil in 2017. It's so much easier now, I'm sure. But please don't tell anyone. I don't want to blow up the spots that I'm scoping up here. Me, Hdip, and Steamroller are enough crowd for LA County.

I still think that SUP foil is preferable for certain spots. Seems like anywhere you are getting long rides you'd want the paddle. While I like the freedom of the small board, take heart that really, paddling prone 100 yards+ over and over is not going to be fun for even the most fit of us.

SanoSlatchSup

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #36 on: July 12, 2020, 10:02:12 AM »
I still think that SUP foil is preferable for certain spots. Seems like anywhere you are getting long rides you'd want the paddle. While I like the freedom of the small board, take heart that really, paddling prone 100 yards+ over and over is not going to be fun for even the most fit of us.
That's the thing with the prone foilers...they don't paddle 100+ yards but once on the paddle out...they pump back out to wherever it is they're going, and doing it a couple times before finally running out of gas, and letting the board settle back down into the water next to the rest of their buddies in the lineup.

I applaud them...only wish I still had the skills and stamina to do the same. But as Clint once said, "A man's got to know his limitations", and I definitely know mine.  ;) ;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 #37 on: July 19, 2020, 08:51:28 AM »
Patience, wanted to post about this for other beginners. While Iím frothing this weekend the tides and conditions donít match up with my spot so Iím taking a week off. Itís killing me but Iím just not in the place to go in sub-par conditions yet.

Minor vent so that I can read it later and laugh or confirm it. Iím frustrated by the lack of suitable beginner conditions near me. My fear is that I wonít have enough spots I can foil SUP regularly and that I wonít adapt to prone foiling and be stuck with a favorite pastime that Iím even more constrained by. I know fears mostly arenít real but Iím trying to post up my whole journey here.

As far as prone goes, SanO is right, people have limits. Iím not a strong prone surfer and donít surf anything under 7í so not sure if Iíll ever have the consistent time on water to move down, though I remain positive and am going to train as best I can to do this while I might physically still have the chops. Again, the mental game, try for the best you can, but be grateful for whatever you get. This lesson is hard for many of us to learn.

Iím hoping that smaller wings and the experience to handle higher speeds (so much speed!) will get me to where I can ride junky waist high waves, of which we have a ton lol. Anyway, wanted to post this as itís part of learning. Itís a mind game as much as physical.

I also think I need some foilSUP role models as I think Steamroller might be the only guy other than Laird within like 50 miles of me lol.

For the guys complaining about gear being expensive, access to the best foil spot in LA County starts at about $4MM+ for a key. lol (Hdip, no guilt, Iím sure I know someone too, just havenít bothered to check.) Still think this sport is going to lead me to an inflatable dinghy and outboard... or Costa Rica.

Anyway, I get to surf a couple of the best longboard spots in the world today if I want. Remember gratitude always. That is the thought for today.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 09:04:47 AM by surfcowboy »

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2020, 03:58:38 PM »
Oh, and watching good SUPfoilers on YouTube helps remind you of whatís possible once you put in the time.

surfcowboy

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Re: Learning to foil surf - catching waves
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2020, 10:06:41 AM »
Session 9 - again, my beginner spot, end of the day, on the right tide and waiting for the wind to drop, waves knee high at best.

Great session. Saw Hdip leaving as I was coming. Weíd better get along because we somehow end up at the same spots at the same time weekly lol.

Progress, missed far less waves once the wind dropped and I got warmed up. If I go for a well formed wave, I get it. Was able to get the nose down on the larger waves and overall was able to start playing with altitude and getting out in front of the wave. I noticed actual silence which means I got my tail out of the wave.

Decided to try to go down the line and the acceleration is wild. I think I will need to swap out to my longer mast soon as the big wing has got to be poking out of the wave when I turn even a bit on the face.

I learned this from the videos. In fact, I understand a crash in a way that was never explained here (that I saw.) when I went to turn, I barely weighted as per suggestions and I turned down the line to the right (Iím good, so backside.) The acceleration was clear and then almost immediately I tacoíd with the board flipping left. I wasnít pushing it over (that I know) Iím assuming I breached the left tip out of the face due to my short mast. That would cause this. I hopped clear and was in no danger which brought me another tip Iíd like to offer and get feedback on.

When you start turning, go backside first. If Iíd gone frontside Iíd have most likely tacoíd with the foil going right which would have sent it at my front. With an impact vest and helmet, am I right that a back attack is likely less dangerous? This is simply due to me being in SoCal and a goofy but it feels safer to me.

Iím going to maybe do one more session on this mast unless I get a boat session in where I can get used to the tall mast. But I think Iím ready to graduate to 65cm.

Next thing to work on, turning. Not sure if I should keep this going or start a part 2 on that. Feedback? Admin?

Next steps are turning while remembering to drop the nose a bit to account for the wing depth and acceleration (which of course brings you higher.) canít wait to feel that diver bomber turn for real that I experienced during a fall. Itís addictive.

Also, while I canít seem to get the rhythm of pumping onto a wave while paddling yet, I can fully speed myself up. Thatís really fun and I can see how pumping itself becomes fun. Canít wait til I can kick out and see how far I can go.

Overall, 9 sessions and Iím ready to work on going down the line. So 2 months if youíre a weekender and itís already super fun.

 


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