Author Topic: A question on high wind wing foiling.  (Read 2900 times)

B-Walnut

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A question on high wind wing foiling.
« on: September 18, 2021, 05:26:57 PM »
Traditionally I've kited until I get absolutely maxed out on my surfboard with a 6m kite at around 40 knots. I don't really like kiting in over 30 knots anymore. So, this coming winter I'll be wing foiling, and I'm wondering, what foils are better in high winds? Bigger, slower foils is what I would expect? 50knots is not uncommon here in the gorge and I really wonder how doable/fun it is, or if it's just so windy that it becomes relatively miserable and dangerous? Obviously smaller wings are crucial here as well.

Any thoughts from both experienced knowledgable foilers and/or people who have actually been out in those conditions?

Dwight (DW)

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2021, 06:04:23 PM »
Traditionally I've kited until I get absolutely maxed out on my surfboard with a 6m kite at around 40 knots. I don't really like kiting in over 30 knots anymore. So, this coming winter I'll be wing foiling, and I'm wondering, what foils are better in high winds? Bigger, slower foils is what I would expect? 50knots is not uncommon here in the gorge and I really wonder how doable/fun it is, or if it's just so windy that it becomes relatively miserable and dangerous? Obviously smaller wings are crucial here as well.

Any thoughts from both experienced knowledgable foilers and/or people who have actually been out in those conditions?

You want less drag from your foil in high wind. It will ride smoother and make life easier. So bigger and slower, is really bad.

StephenZ

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2021, 01:42:53 AM »
You want to size down everything for big wind.
Most important is the right size wing (hand wing).
A BRM cloud 2.2 is perfect. Maybe one of the smaller mantises.
Then  If there's any fetch, the swell is going to start getting really solid. You want a wing that's fast enough to ride it without blowing out. Maybe one of the new high aspect wings or a fast surf wing. Something like the axis 830.
Then for boards you don't need much, but whatever you're on your need decent starting technique.
Having the right gear is the difference between an epic session and taking a beating. For me with the gear mentioned above, 35 knots is comfortable, 40 is manageable, above that is starting to be just holding on.
It also depends on the location, some places are going to be a washing machine in those kind of winds, and then you really have to be on your A game. Danger levels go up when there's a lot of white water about. From what I've seen of gorge footage it seems ok in that way.

Phils

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2021, 09:02:25 AM »
Small foils for sure.

My 2 meter wing is too big above 35 kts

Wingfoil2001

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2021, 12:42:55 PM »
Small foils for sure.

My 2 meter wing is too big above 35 kts

And there lies the problem, many manufacturers stop at the 3 mtr size. When the wind is howling with great swell lines to ride my 3.3 Unit is too big.

SUPeter

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2021, 05:01:53 PM »
Great advise above.  In addition,   any  time, not often mind you, I知 foiling in 40+ kts remember to use a wing leash meant for those conditions.  I use a coiled ( I coil my own in boiling water) Stay Covered 7 ft leash meant for surfboards.  A thick one!
Also attach it to the front handle, not to the leash cord loop.  Those will just rip out when things get violent.  I was out in Hurricane Henri when my buddies brand new wing leash just snapped clean through due to the crazy whipping of the wing after a crash.  I was able to cover the 200 yds and intersected with his tumbling wing, jumping clean off my board to nab the tumbling wing out of mid air.  That値l never happen again in a million years. He drifted down to me and with a little jury rigging, he was on his way to the take out.

Beasho

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2021, 06:05:14 PM »
Great advise above.  In addition,   any  time, not often mind you, I知 foiling in 40+ kts remember to use a wing leash meant for those conditions.  I use a coiled ( I coil my own in boiling water) Stay Covered 7 ft leash meant for surfboards.  A thick one!
Also attach it to the front handle, not to the leash cord loop.  Those will just rip out when things get violent.  I was out in Hurricane Henri when my buddies brand new wing leash just snapped clean through due to the crazy whipping of the wing after a crash.  I was able to cover the 200 yds and intersected with his tumbling wing, jumping clean off my board to nab the tumbling wing out of mid air.  That値l never happen again in a million years. He drifted down to me and with a little jury rigging, he was on his way to the take out.

This is crazy good advice.  I had a brand new Duotone 5.0 Echo rip away when the line attached to that little anchor came untied.  It was whipping, too much for the 5.0 probably 25 to 30 and the wing fortunately blew IN to shore and got caught up in some rocks with soft bushes before it blew into a neighborhood.  I am going to put a second line, safety, between the front handle and that silly anchor line.

B-Walnut

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2021, 06:53:23 PM »
Great advise above.  In addition,   any  time, not often mind you, I知 foiling in 40+ kts remember to use a wing leash meant for those conditions.  I use a coiled ( I coil my own in boiling water) Stay Covered 7 ft leash meant for surfboards.  A thick one!
Also attach it to the front handle, not to the leash cord loop.  Those will just rip out when things get violent.  I was out in Hurricane Henri when my buddies brand new wing leash just snapped clean through due to the crazy whipping of the wing after a crash.  I was able to cover the 200 yds and intersected with his tumbling wing, jumping clean off my board to nab the tumbling wing out of mid air.  That値l never happen again in a million years. He drifted down to me and with a little jury rigging, he was on his way to the take out.

This is crazy good advice.  I had a brand new Duotone 5.0 Echo rip away when the line attached to that little anchor came untied.  It was whipping, too much for the 5.0 probably 25 to 30 and the wing fortunately blew IN to shore and got caught up in some rocks with soft bushes before it blew into a neighborhood.  I am going to put a second line, safety, between the front handle and that silly anchor line.

Agreed! My 5m had an absolutely pathetic wrist leash. I was taking a break in 15knots and it just drifted away from me. The stitching came undone. 3 kiters and 90 minutes later I got it back. Badly beat up though, company was good enough to warranty the wing since the leash issue was known to them. My new wings should be in this week. A couple of slicks. It will be interesting to see how secure the boom is and if it can have a leash attached to it with no worries. Haven't played with any boom gear yet so I'm pretty excited.

I almost wonder if I'm better off considering downwinding when it nukes that hard? Skip all the small wings and high wind gear to just paddle downwind instead...

Hwy1north

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2021, 08:17:09 PM »
So, this coming winter I'll be wing foiling, and I'm wondering, what foils are better in high winds? Bigger, slower foils is what I would expect? 50knots is not uncommon here in the gorge and I really wonder how doable/fun it is, or if it's just so windy that it becomes relatively miserable and dangerous?
Any thoughts from both experienced knowledgable foilers and/or people who have actually been out in those conditions?

HaHa! Thought you were a kiter who wanted to sup foil the Oregon coast... somebody's got Wing foil fever!
Doubtful you'll find many 'knowledgable' people who've been out in 50 knots on a foil.  I tried windsurfing Rooster rock once in those contitions.  Not fun. Fall and Winter are the best times to go find a protected cove and SUP the coast?!  In the Summer, at Arlington on a downwinder, maybe tops of 40mph would be really fun. But if you fall, waterstarting with waves breaking on your head is not easy. The problem with high winds and foiling is it's just not fun unless the wind is to your back... and you're really good and fit. 
In terms of gear, need a wing that does not pull when sheeted out over head like an Airush Freewing or similar.  Foil wise, I would think something more high aspect and thin as my experience with thicker, long cord foils is that they generate a lot of initial lift and will blow out of the water easily if you can't keep weight over them.  That said, I look forward to your reports as you explore uncharted territory!

PonoBill

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2021, 08:46:40 PM »
If you're heavy, as I am (220), high wind is when you get to use the same kind of gear other folks use at 30kts. I love that. My high wind gear is an Axis 860 front wing, 340 tail, F-one 2.8m wing. I've been on the river when it's gusting to 50 and it's pretty much just me and maybe one or two kiters with tiny kites. Bulk fun. Fat dude's revenge. My 2.8 feels like I'm trying to wing with a table napkin, but I've had it blow out of my hands in gusts numerous times.

The advice about wing leashes is solid, I never use the puny leash attachment. Not only can it pull out, but it can also rip out the leading edge, which means the bladder will explode and rip the leading edge apart. I've seen it happen once and heard about a second time. That's enough for me. I find the F-one spectra rope with internal shock cord leashes to be fine. I've made heavier ones from 1" web and shock cord, but they don't provide an added benefit, the F-one leash is fine if it's on the handle. To clarify, I ALWAYS use the handle. I've had people pooh-poo that saying kite manufacturers have been using those connectors for decades. and that's true--but they've been using them FOR PUMP LEASHES.

When it's blowing hard I wear a helmet, impact vest, reel leash, and harness belt. My harness and leash reel are permanently attached to my impact vest.  For more mellow days I ditch the helmet in favor of a kook-strapped bucket hat.

If you're doing it in the gorge, the easy way is to launch at the event center where the swells are minimal--knocked down by wells island and minimal current because of the spit. Once I'm up and rolling I hook in and head for the White Salmon bridge, which is easy to reach and the swells are spectacular. In high wind I don't muscle the wing, I raise the tail a little to pull the lower wingtip closer for more power and a tighter reach, lower it to luff a little and open the reach up. It's an easy and comfortable technique to learn with a harness, a lot more difficult without one.

If it's ordinary high wind I go up as far as I can. It gets progressively harder to go upwind as you reach the bigger, choppier swells above the hatchery. The reward for all that work is turning downwind and riding the swells with the wing flagged in front of you. Chris Anderson is the king of this high wind stuff--he casually launches at the hatchery in 45 gusting to WTF.



Most times when I am reaching upwind, hanging on and busting over the swells, Chris comes flying by downwind, just playing and farting around, letting his wing go and playing with it like a dog on a leash, waving and doing that funny pointing thing. He rides through maelstroms like it was 20kts. Part of the reason is that even 45kts winds are 25kts if you're doing 20 downwind.



When the wind is really nuts I tend to cycle between running up to the white salmon and downwind back to about the EC. Kind of a frantic mow zee lawn.

When I'm going downwind I'm basically just riding swells. If I need a little push I just raise the wing overhead and grab my fake boom about in the middle with my other hand still on the front handle. A gentle pull gives me all the beans I need. Lately, I've been working on doing downwind reaches powered up by the apparent wind. I saw the Spenser kids do that this summer in the Gorge Paddle Challenge downwind race and it blew me away how they were using apparent wind to close reach almost straight downwind just by going so fucking fast. A Viento run in 25 minutes--that's a 25MPH average. I can sort of do the apparent wind reach thing now--not like them, but yeah, a little.

I love those days. Living here in Hood River gives me enough opportunity to do big wind that it becomes fairly comfortable. The first time it seems insane. By the tenth time, it's business as usual.

Oh, and if it's East wind I generally go ride my motorcycle. I'm not a fan of east winds anymore.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 09:34:23 PM by PonoBill »
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.

Beasho

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2021, 09:16:10 AM »
You guys are all wearing Sneakers.  I see TJ wearing sneakers and some of the other Gorge standouts as well.

What is the theory on Sneakers?

Haley Fiske went through a phase wearing sneakers at Mavericks on his SUP.  I started wearing 7 mm Dive Boots with big thick shoe soles because my feet would get cold.  Ironically I foil in bare feet all winter now to get my feet into the footstraps.

The benefit of the shoe was the solid heel for heel side turns and having a slightly HIGHER center of gravity.   

Dwight (DW)

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2021, 11:24:54 AM »

What is the theory on Sneakers?


I switched from booties to sneakers. Water shoe sneakers. https://www.amazon.com/Under-Armour-Kilchis-Sneaker-Reaper/dp/B087NQHLDF/ref=sr_1_12?crid=OKUARW9QMQ5Z&dchild=1&keywords=under+armour+water+shoes+men&qid=1632162139&sprefix=under+armor+water+shoe%2Caps%2C200&sr=8-12

For me, they don稚 hurt walking over rocks. Booties you feel the rocks. They also don稚 grip the deck pad as much as booties, so foot work is easier.

When I ride straps, I go barefoot.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2021, 11:38:13 AM by Dwight (DW) »

PonoBill

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2021, 09:45:08 PM »
I generally either go barefoot, ouching my way across the gravel to reach my slippers, or oddly, I wear socks. I need to wear compression socks during the day sometimes to prevent cramps in the middle of the night. Circulation issues. The days that i don't wear them I'm risking leaping out of bed at 2:00 am and hopping around a while. My wife really enjoys that. Not. But the socks give enough padding to walk over gravel, fit into my straps, and don't slip on the deck when I'm strapless.

I don't do the sneaker thing. Chris Anderson has always worn them, for as long as I remember, even windsurfing. I think other people wear them because Chris does.
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.

Hwy1north

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2021, 12:55:33 PM »
Beasho, good catch on the running shoes! 

Probably because he's had one too many climb-outs on those Gorge rocks.  I remember my first visit there with the help of a book I think called "The Gorge Guide."  Most of the launches listed involved climbing up and down slippery rocks.  It also said to look out for "dead heads." At the time, I thought it meant to lock your car so some Granola-Hippy didn't grab your wallet!

I'm suffering from the occasional planter fasciitis or tear of something; maybe wearing orthotics and shoes would be a good idea.  I'll let people know that I learned it from a fellow Mavs charger!

Also a great way to keep from getting pressure dings so you can sell your gear as "used a few times!"

Beasho

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Re: A question on high wind wing foiling.
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2021, 03:32:30 PM »
I remember my first visit there with the help of a book I think called "The Gorge Guide."  Most of the launches listed involved climbing up and down slippery rocks.

"Oh the Hatchery what a place to be there is no beach far as I can see.  Where money talks and bullsh-t walks if you don't got money you launch on the rocks . . . . "

https://youtu.be/NbdQWy9ZShA?t=166

I had to check but I was barefoot.  That Rock must still be a known takeoff spot. 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 03:43:07 PM by Beasho »

 


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