Author Topic: Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?  (Read 674 times)

liv2surf

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Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?
« on: September 21, 2020, 08:24:30 AM »
How are different types of swell different from a foiling perspective? I hear of and see videos of people foiling different types of swells and with different forms of auxiliary power (thinking: wing, pumping, paddle).

What really prompts this question is that I am amazed watching the videos of people foiling both the Maliko run in Maui and various types of boat wakes, often without pumping, contrasted with the challenges I have staying foiling on bay wind swell (I guess these swells tend to disappear, certainly foiling technique and equipment play into this also).

What would be the differences riding the following types of swell?
•   swell like the Maliko Run (I assume wind swell + ground swell)
•   ground swell (medium period)
•   wind swell (short period)
•   wind swell augmented by current (such as Hood River or ebbing/flooding bay swell)
•   ferry, tanker and boat wakes

What properties and parameters of a wave make it most foilable? 
6'6" CRUZ 'CIM' Wing Foil SUP (130L)
9'6" CRUZ Surf foil SUP (152L)
Cabrinha Crosswing X2 4m, 5m, 6m
Axis 1020; Axis 1150, standard fuse, 500 stab
65cm (and 90 cm) Project Cedrus carbon mast
Chinook Thrust 92 Paddle -- fixed 78" length
Me: 190 lbs, 64 yo Half Moon Bay, CA

surfcowboy

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Re: Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2020, 04:01:51 PM »
Great topic man. I’ll be watching this one. This sort of discussion from the experts (and just regular folks) on here is sorely needed.

Thatspec

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Re: Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2020, 08:39:21 PM »
My only experience is with Gorge wind swell but...

Both Phil and Steamroller mentioned recently the need to keep the foil wing 'up high' in the wave (I assume this will be true of any of the wave types you mention). With longer masts it's easy to let the wing get too low, there's no push from down there. I've been having great success with these sort of 'alley oop' exaggerated pumps to get the wing back up into the power zone. There's so much upward push from the top part of the wave, your stall speed is practically zero.

Of course the bigger the wave the less this is necessary.

liv2surf

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Re: Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2020, 09:19:46 PM »
My only experience is with Gorge wind swell but...

Both Phil and Steamroller mentioned recently the need to keep the foil wing 'up high' in the wave (I assume this will be true of any of the wave types you mention). With longer masts it's easy to let the wing get too low, there's no push from down there. I've been having great success with these sort of 'alley oop' exaggerated pumps to get the wing back up into the power zone. There's so much upward push from the top part of the wave, your stall speed is practically zero.

Of course the bigger the wave the less this is necessary.

Though it may not address the different swell/wave types, that is a great point about keeping the wing closer to the surface. I have noticed that when I drop into a swell (with the wing) high up on my mast that I have more speed and more staying power.... and more fear. Armie Armstrong had a short video (which I can't find) --where he invokes Kai Lenny -- and said that with the foil up near surface you are supporting more air and less water ... which works better. I guess this decreases drag.
6'6" CRUZ 'CIM' Wing Foil SUP (130L)
9'6" CRUZ Surf foil SUP (152L)
Cabrinha Crosswing X2 4m, 5m, 6m
Axis 1020; Axis 1150, standard fuse, 500 stab
65cm (and 90 cm) Project Cedrus carbon mast
Chinook Thrust 92 Paddle -- fixed 78" length
Me: 190 lbs, 64 yo Half Moon Bay, CA

peterp

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Re: Foiling: A swell is a swell is a swell or is it?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2020, 10:29:37 PM »
A swell is generated by wind pushing down on the surface of water. Each swells travels at slightly different speeds hence they catch up to each other over distance and build in size and power.

So the more wind that helped generate the swell + duration of that wind + the distance that swell gets to travel + depth will determine it's power and how much energy your foil gets to take advantage of.

On a lake those little swells typically don't get to catch up to each other and will be small and close together and are hardly discernible when trying to foil them. Once you are in the ocean the depth and distance swells have travelled will very quickly give you some energy to work with.

Maliko has open ocean swells where the NE trade winds have travelled long distances giving solid energy. I call those open-fetch downwinders and they are great for wing-foils and longer SUP's (17ft). No-fetch downwinders, like Maui southside or Cape Town Big Bay run has off-shore winds at the start and swell builds as you go down the course - they are super fun on 14ft SUP's and paddle foils as swells are steeper and easier to catch.

 


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