Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Feelin' depressed? Don't know where to turn when the man's got you down? Lay it on us!...anything about kiteboarding, or not...

Moderators: Misfit, adseguy, Pier, Bob, kris, IVO, skysurfr, West

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:30 pm

I just posted this in the kiteriders forum, and here is the same info.

In the voice of Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman, "Foil me Bitch" makes complete sense. Not a Breaking Bad fan? Then you won't get it.

And to be clear, this is about foil boards, not foil kites.

So for years, I've been intrigued with foil boards, but not until Adrien Seguy bought one while on our trip to OBX this spring did I have a chance to actually try one. It was only 15 minutes due to some gear malfunctions. Then, Jake Chanson, who moved from the Gorge area to Madison has an original MHL Lift that he's let me use for the last month. Thanks Jake. Some Miller is on the way.

I've put off and put off posting anything until I had a basic knowledge of riding these bad boys.

I wanted to ride these before ever committing to selling them so I would have some knowledge to pass on to potential customers. I have a much better understanding of the hurdles and obstacles and of course the cool stuff about riding foils boards. I have a hard time committing to something like foil boards without riding and knowing firsthand what it takes to ride them.

After finally getting to the point now where I can foil 80-90% of the time, I've been able to learn a lot in a short time frame. However, I'm still a beginner and have a long ways to go before I consider myself a good foil board rider.

I have now committed to selling MHL Lift Foilboards.

Below is Jake Chanson's white board which is one of the original MHL Lift boards and the newest generation board that just arrived now that the winds look to be laying down. Haha...just my luck.
DSC_0528.JPG
DSC_0523.JPG
DSC_0524.JPG


I have spent a lot of time looking and talking to many different brands and MHL seems to have one of the best foils and a trusting brand. It's also very reasonably priced compared to most on the market. We had some problems with the foil that Adrien bought from Real and MHL took excellent care of him until it was resolved completely.

I'm sure Adrien or Jake will chime in, but here are some things to consider. I'm not into just promoting without riders knowing what to expect and there are some major hurdles and things to consider before buying. 1st the positives.

Positives:
1) Riding foils is unlike anything out there. It's a really cool feeling and when dialed in it's very relaxing. See below about the dialing in part.
2) Once you learn how to go upwind, it fricking rips upwind. I'm not kidding, the angle of upwind is sick. In Madison, it took me 2 long tacks to get upwind to a point where I don't even bother to go when on twin tips and surf boards.
3) You can explore different parts of bodies of water. Explore.
4) Smooth. Did I say smooth? And quiet.
5) You will learn something new. Progressing is cool.
6) I'm stoked to ge to the point of doing Johnny Heineken style tacks and jibes. I can do tack transitions on surf boards and looking forward to learning them on foil boards.
7) There's a huge amount of satisfaction riding he foil. Knowing how hard it can be, makes it a greater achievement when you nail it.


Hurdles and negatives: I hate using the word negative in general, but here it's imperative that new riders or potential new riders understand what they are getting into.

1) The foil can be a weapon. I'm not kidding. Riders should and must wear helmets and should wear chest protection. Shin guards?
2) You WILL be humbled when learning.
3) You WILL be humbled when learning.
4) The foil can be a weapon.....Ok, got your attention? Fall the wrong way and the foil can hit you in places that can hurt. I've been lucky so far. Great falls of course but no serious injury yet.

At kiteriders, even with new students who are learning to kiteboard, I've always posted videos on my lessons page of what can happen if all hell breaks loose to make sure the new rides are not overconfident and have the right respect for kites, etc.

With foil boards, now magnify this aspect. Even as an expert kiteboarder and kite flyer, the foil board should be respected. It's amazing how fast the shit can hit the fan even when you are going along at ease and then BAMM.....down you go.

5) The learning curve will take you back to the basics.
6) Learning how to just handle the foil while getting to deep waters will take time. Getting it on your feet will take time. Getting up will take time. Riding the foil will take time. You get the picture. I've been taking good notes since the beginning and developing what I think is a very simple progression for new riders, but it will still take some time to learn.
7) You need deep waters that are weed free. We're lucky in Madison to have both great shallow water riding spots, but then in the rest of the lake, it's deep and perfect for riding foils.
8) They are expensive if getting a modern carbon fiber foil. All the companies are making them in mostly custom shops and MHL is doing a good job of using modern technology and manufacturing methods to make great products.
9) The designs of foils vary greatly.
10) You'll want to learn in calmer waters. Bigger waves will screw with you.
11) You'll ride about a kite size smaller when learning and maybe 2 kite sizes smaller once advanced.
12) Riding in lighter winds suck if you can't yet foil. Riding in light winds is cool when you know how to foil. Dropping the kites in these conditions may mean session over.
13) You will awaken muscles that haven't been used in normal kiteboarding.
14) I mention above that it's a really cool feeling when dialed in, but it's unnerving when on the brink of crashing when you are at speed and 3 feet above the water.


The list could probably be 2 times as big for both the positive and negatives, but this is a good start.

As mentioned above, I'm developing a good lesson progression, so if anyone wants to learn and cut way down on your learning time, call or email me and of course let me know if you want to get an MHL Lift.

http://kiteridersllc.com/karty2/index.p ... uct_id=138

Take care and always, thanks for looking.

Bob
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

User avatar
adseguy
Wind Whore
Posts: 1941
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Lincoln Park - Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by adseguy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:49 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl5p8xHRG2I

That was taken Thursday 7-17-14 with about 6-9 knots of wind.

I don't regret my purchase for one second. I thought it was just going to be my light wind tool, but it has turned out to be much more than that. I was afraid I'd get bored and "mow the lawn". The exploration side is surprising. I didn't even think about it. I can go to Foster Beach, Hollywood, North ave (of course not land at any of them) and get to cruise with SUPs, sailboats, and Catamarans. Normally we are all by ourselves on the big lake due to the wind. The speed and upwind-ability of this thing allow you to open new doors to areas you never explored. Then cruise on the rollers on the way back downwind, or start downwind, go check out a beach, a park, a boat. Doesn't matter. The confidence and the ease of up-wind lets you go ANYWHERE.

You would think it's mowing the lawn, but it's not (entirely). With a regular kiteboard when you lock in on a certain tack, that's it. With this, you really choose where you want to go. Only a 15-20* off pure upwind. You also have to concentrate. It's easy, but you still have to be paying attention unlike a kiteboard where I can close my eyes. I definitely feel like I got a good session everytime unlike a light wind session with a kiteboard where you are struggling or only mowing the lawn sometimes.

The thing is dangerous though. I think it's worse than a board leash at first. Not much we can do about it though. I've cut my feet three times all from swimming improperly next to it and these were some good gashes. Also been smacked in the rear calf and probably got a muscle bruise from it since I was limping for a good week. It almost hit my face once, but my wrist blocked it and got a nice bruise there. I gotta stay honest about it. I heard it would be the worst beating of your life for the first 2 hours and boy are they right. Just wear all your safety gear including a helmet at first and you'll know when you are ready to start shedding it all off. Don't mean to be all Debbie Downer about it, but I want to instill some humbleness to it.

All of what Bob said above is accurate too. I'm not sure yet if I recommend giving it a try for one session since it's going to take 2 -3 session before you are consistent with it. If you are up for that though and in Chicago, just let me know.
Adrien - 773-208-3443
7,12 Epic Screamers
2014 7,9,10,12,17 Blade Triggers
2014 132x41 Axis Vanguard

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:48 pm

Adrien...I saw your post on FB about using 54m lines. I tried to go out today in winds that would just barely keep my 17m in the sky on 27m lines, but had to down loop to save it a bunch, but still not enough to keep it in the sky. Looks like some good winds coming early this week and hope to get out a bunch. Winds were probably 3-7 mph. Testing the ultra low end is playing with fire as I had to do the walk of shame. Lucky I only rode 30 feet, so it was a short walk.

Ya....telling it like it is isn't being a Debbie Downer, but I think riders want to hear the truth and know what it's all about in order to make educated decisions.

It really is cool though,right?
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

User avatar
adseguy
Wind Whore
Posts: 1941
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Lincoln Park - Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by adseguy » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:07 pm

Bob, try doubling up on some lines. Hot launch the beast and try it out. I will be downlooping and barely keeping my kite up with 24M lines, but the longer lines generate more apparent wind as you move it around the wind window and I'm sure there's an extra knot of wind up there. Haven't dropped it yet and feel like I probably won't if don't get the kite too low. It's been a real revelation in trying it. There's a guy in France that kites in 3-4 knots with like 70M lines. https://vimeo.com/84118442 Crazy.

This isn't to say it will work for regular kiteboards. Once we are on the foil, very little energy is needed to keep us going. I've tried it with a kiteboard, but sure enough, it just wasn't enough gusto.
Adrien - 773-208-3443
7,12 Epic Screamers
2014 7,9,10,12,17 Blade Triggers
2014 132x41 Axis Vanguard

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:25 pm

All right....you convinced me. Next time it's light, I'll double up. Will make launching and landing interesting depending where I ride.
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

grimace
Kite Crew in Training
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:51 am
Location: NE Wisconsin

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by grimace » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:56 am

54M lines... damn. So do you find it either to use your 12m with long lines over a bigger kite and semi shorter lines (~30m)? Reason, I dont have nice sandy beaches or huge launch spots up here so for me to hot launch on land with long lines is tough.

User avatar
adseguy
Wind Whore
Posts: 1941
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Lincoln Park - Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by adseguy » Sun Jul 20, 2014 12:48 pm

I posted this up on kiteforum to get some feedback:

So I've been trying different line lengths and kite sizes in the same wind conditions. Over the last 3 weeks I've found that for light winds, line length by far plays the biggest role.

I am to the point where in the lightest of winds (4-8 knots) I can have a 12M kite with 52M lines and ride with only a little de-power. I actually cannot get going with a 17M with standard 24M lines, but with the 17M and the long lines it's too much power.

I think a little bit of power comes from the extra height which is maybe about 15M more since we keep the kite at 45* mostly, but the real power, I think, comes from the larger stroke. It's much easier to get up if you can dive the kite for that much longer, but once you turn the kite back forward it has to creep up toward the wind windows and "park." This give it more grunt as it moves foward. I also find it much easier to keep the kite in the air as it has much more room to maneuver around the window to generate apparent wind. If I fall over, I just keep the kite moving until I'm back on my board. It's a lot easier than with shorter lines. If I have to downloop the kite to save it, again, I have more room to maneuver.

What do you guys think? What setup have you found most effective? No need to mention kite brands....that's not what this is about. Sizing of kite and lines only (or anything else that's relevant) I'm just trying to steer clear of a light wind kite debate and stick to other strategies.
Adrien - 773-208-3443
7,12 Epic Screamers
2014 7,9,10,12,17 Blade Triggers
2014 132x41 Axis Vanguard

grigorib
Resident Windfreak
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by grigorib » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:20 pm

Next time I'm taking my 4m Flysurfer Viron to OBX to see you guys ride it on the foil.
Foil it times two.

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:13 pm

Grigory....you coming out this fall to OBX? Oct 11th - 25th. Details coming soon, but the house is awesome and right on the sound. Great rigging and launching and my favorite house in all of OBX..

Yea....those foils are sick. They rip upwind. I rode today in light winds and was overpowered at times on a 12m in winds that were only about 5-12.

Later.....bob
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

FullThrottle49
Board Monkey
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:21 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by FullThrottle49 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:22 am

Double foils!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrTk8WJVMHg Watched him in SF a few months back.. unreal. Just ordered a foil! Adrien i'm a big fan of line extensions have used them alot with my race board.. only issue ive had is if the wind comes up the wipeouts can get pretty nasty with the extra stroke especially when ur on a lake and cant go straight in. Do you double up lines or just use an extension?

grigorib
Resident Windfreak
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by grigorib » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:39 pm

Bob wrote:Grigory....you coming out this fall to OBX? Oct 11th - 25th. Details coming soon, but the house is awesome and right on the sound. Great rigging and launching and my favorite house in all of OBX..

Yea....those foils are sick. They rip upwind. I rode today in light winds and was overpowered at times on a 12m in winds that were only about 5-12.

Later.....bob
Bob, as you know me I'm one of the sport addicts here and I hope you'd have a spot for me again on the trip. OBX is just such an incredible place and the likeminded crew is a pleasure to be in.
BTW, that Ocean Rodeo Mako I got is such a nice quicksilver board - I rode it in Clinton Lake chop and it qualifies for OBX.
Can't wait till fall trip!

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:58 pm

Grigory...which week or both weeks? As usual, it's filling up already and I haven't even made any announcements. Glad you like the Mako. My guess is it eats up the chop, right?

You should try the foil boards one of these days. It's amazing.
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

grigorib
Resident Windfreak
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by grigorib » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:13 am

Yes it does eat the chop. Much less pressure on the heels too - definitely a fun board, I needed it!
I'd hope to go for both weeks, just need to figure out the logistics with work.
The foil is so exciting, I'd love to try it! I think I'm able to manage riding a half-size down of a kite for a given wind on a twintip so with a foil I should be able to get even further. Do they make 3m Rally or NRG for that? :)
Last edited by grigorib on Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

grigorib
Resident Windfreak
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by grigorib » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:37 am

I guess what will really need to come to market along with hydrofoils will be light wind kites of 6-10m size range. Basically really light kites optimized for cruising and drift. They don't need to have that much upwindability since the foil will do that but no crazy tug either. And obviously they'll need to stay in the air in much lighter winds compared to the same size of nowadays kites. So maybe very thin struts, less struts, less dacron.
I guess a bad wave will not just tear such a kite - it will chew and eat up all of the kite completely spitting just the lines and bridles out.

User avatar
Rorke
Zen Levitator
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:38 am
Location: TC, MI and Chicago

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Rorke » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:22 am

Lots of good info here. While I am not too interested in foilboarding, I just appreciate the depth of info shared here. Reminding me of old days!
IKO Certified Instructor
USCG Master 100T
USCG Approved Instructor/Examiner
Red Cross - First Aid / CPR Instructor

http://www.lakeeffectkite.com

User avatar
V
Unstrapped!
Posts: 4264
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 8:15 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by V » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:10 am

a friend of mine in PR has a foilboard - had it for many years. At the end of the day as the wind is dying and sun is low, he'd go out, way out, way downwind, and as the wind died, he would ride the outer winds upwind like a madman when you can't even launch a kite on the beach....and just keep riding until the sun was practically gone. Very lazy, relaxing way to wrap up the day. Not really for jumping or tricks - he'd do a 360 that's about it. But for light wind riding and just cruising along, this is the ticket to achieve very light wind day. Once apparent wind kicks in, there is plenty to ride when you can barely launch a kite.

User avatar
skysurfr
Board Beotch
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:23 am
Location: SW Burbs of Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by skysurfr » Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:58 am

Long Lines-

If you are going to ride long lines, and I mean really long, know that the wind direction can shift as you go aloft. I've see 180 swings in the wind from 500 feet down to the surface. It's not uncommon to have 50 knots of wind at 1000 feet and only 15 knots at the surface.

Im not sure at what point you would be above the "surface winds" but I'd guess at around 100 feet (33M). If you are on long lines and your kite starts doing funny stuff like twisting etc, this might explain it. You could launch in 10 knots on the beach only to find 30 lots at 100 + feet.

I was watching the foil boards here in Jupiter and thinking...."Wow that looks easy." I remember being on the beach in Cape Town RSA all those years ago watching a sport called Kitesurfing or kiteboarding....and thinking... "Wow that looks easy....".... only to have my ass handed to me for the next 15+ years. :-)
Mike

'07 Naish Thorn 144 Cape Doctor. Naish LocalTeam Rider. GoPro Cameras! 12M 10m 08 Naish Pivot's!

Bob
Wind Whore
Posts: 1716
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 9:50 am

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by Bob » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:42 am

skysurfr wrote:Long Lines-



I was watching the foil boards here in Jupiter and thinking...."Wow that looks easy." I remember being on the beach in Cape Town RSA all those years ago watching a sport called Kitesurfing or kiteboarding....and thinking... "Wow that looks easy....".... only to have my ass handed to me for the next 15+ years. :-)
yea...this will hand your ass to you even more so than learning to kite surf as a beginner, but it's worth it.
Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com
madison, wi

User avatar
V
Unstrapped!
Posts: 4264
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 8:15 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by V » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:58 am

Kinda off topic but long lines aren't for me. I tried the 50m lines before, long power stroke, but the response time isn't the same (it's slower) and its more a cruising thing like the foilboard.

For me, equipment purchase is all about how easy is it to pack up and go. Can I travel with it? Nowadays I use my 129cm board everywhere and prefer a larger kite if needed. Maybe one day I'll start to go the other way with it. Someone was working on a traveling foilboard but there were complications with durability in the mounting of the wing. In 20 years, there might be a material that is cheap, lightweight, stronger than steel, doesn't rust and easily moldable...

User avatar
adseguy
Wind Whore
Posts: 1941
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 1:07 pm
Location: Lincoln Park - Chicago
Contact:

Re: Foil me bitch - woo hoo

Post by adseguy » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:08 pm

Yeah long lines blow for anything but cruising. I actually Hindenburged the kite a few times as I was jumping or doing a backroll with the foil the first few times. You have to send it forward sooooo much earlier than you are used to. I still really like it to wring every last drop of wind out there. I was out yesterday at Montrose in the 80* heat and almost equal water temps with about 8-10 knots wind. I had the de-power pulled in about 70% on the 12M and long lines so I could have had less wind for sure.

I think the foil packs up real nice if you ask me. I can strap everything on my back with my kite bag and ride on a scooter. It's probably about 145cm - 150cm tall. I don't know if you know, but the foils and strut come off the board so it's not awkward to store or pack away.
Adrien - 773-208-3443
7,12 Epic Screamers
2014 7,9,10,12,17 Blade Triggers
2014 132x41 Axis Vanguard

Post Reply