Friday, December 28, 2018

Windfoil Zone

Watch the whole collection from Sam Ross's Flight School. These were recommended by this site

TutorialsVideos showing how to get started for beginners, improving techniques for moderate foilers, and for the more advanced there are opportunities to see new tricks.

BlogNews, interviews, tutorials, reviews.

DirectoryAll the places where you can rent and/or learn how to windfoil
[but nothing anywhere in the Pacific or Indian Oceans at this date - December 2018]

Online Store:
Their selection of products from trusted brands.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Another Saturday

A week or two ago I had another tow behind a boat to get and idea of what to do when on the foil and the board starts to feel very vague.

Today's Saturday had south wind, quite gusty and it had been blowing for days.
We do not have anywhere that you can sail smooth water in those conditions.

There was a bit of a stuff-up with recording this session on my watch but the foiling bit was the bottom of the two lines.
I was not going flat out, just easing it up gently and getting some airtime before the next bit of chop hit the board. Recovering from these splashes - it was good practice to do that, but very draining.

In the end I gained some confidence that I can now windfoil, I know where the feet go on the board (I ride without straps - relying on rubber booties on a rubber deck).

That said I am aware that I need more practice in smooth surface conditions. The NE wind does allow this at a spot just north of where I sailed today.

At the moment it looks like the combination of windfoiling and riding waves is way beyond me. Maybe a Gerroa session would fix that.

Friday, November 9, 2018


Slowly getting there. Wind was enough to get the foil flying in the water without lifting the board clear of the surface.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Another board and a bigger foil

If at first you don't succeed - buy more gear.

Here is a photo of another board that I converted to having a foil.
Southpoint Bonga Perkins design 9'5" by about 28" wide, wide point forward.

All this stuff at the bottom is a record of riding it for the first time, SUP foil style (on-the-knees to take off).

10 waves in 2 hours was a reflection of the long period of parts of the small swell.

[I doubt I will be using the orange board again.]

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Windsurf Wave Foiling

I so want to do this by November 2018 or February 2019 at the latest..

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Towing a foil behind a boat

  1. Try the foil further forward on the board.
  2. If you are kneeling in the wrong place it is difficult to move;
  3. Acceleration can pull the person forward and the nose of the board down
  4. When the foil comes up the loose hand should go up into a slack-lining stance to help with roll control.
  5. Work out at what speed the foil comes out of the water, get to it, then stay at that speed (no faster).
I have three videos of me getting it mostly wrong. I will watch these some more and try to find more things that I can learn.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Foilsurfing beginners.

Two things that are wrong in this video:

1. They are carrying their boards nose first - should be tail first.
2. They are letting the nose ride high on the take-off.
When this happens, the wing stalls then dives.

If James did not have a broken leg he could be out in the water (at North Steyne) telling them..

Kai Lenny breaks things down with key points from how to set up your foilboard, stance and proper riding technique in this video.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wearing a watch - Suunto

I had been getting down about my lack of success with the foil. It seems that every waves ends with a wipeout and that is all I had been thinking about afterwards. Now I have now found a cure.

By recording my activity when I surf foil I am able to see how many waves I have caught; how fast I went and my total time surfing. And I can call up the session and review it.

The one above was a bit under an hour, I caught 7 waves and my top speed was 21.2 km/h

Saturday, July 14, 2018


I knew all along that pumping was worth doing but I was focussed on getting up and foiling before trying it.

Anyway in today's conditions (3.5+m and 11 secs) the sheltered bay was giving all sorts of opportunities to foil. Most of what I did was use a breaking or broken wave to get going and then as it swelled out to pump to keep going. Left me with a positive feeling that I was getting somewhere. Lots of exercise.

ALSO bumped into a bloke with a SMIK board - see photo.

I took this photo to check his tail rocker against mine. I can't see any difference. The positioning of the foil box was basically the same as mine - reassuring.
A bonus for me was that the board was also 130 litres and could be used as a sailboard.
After 5 years of doing what I do, it was strange to find someone with anything similar.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Picking the right type of wave

Here is the middle of a Kai Lenny video showing that surfers have nothing to fear from foils IF the people on the foils learn to use the waves that Kai uses.

Monday, June 11, 2018


Since I last posted I have been getting a bit down about the lack of progress.
Some wrong choices; of places to sail or surf; wrong time of day, etc. have not helped.

But the solution has been to make sure I have some fun.
So now I take both the boards in the photo and if the foil is likely to get ripped off in shallow water; if the shorebreak is too heavy; the wind too strong, then I am on the white board (no foil) having a good time.

I may hack it up and put the foil mount on it (properly this time) and a centre fin box for the mast base.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Foiling Retractable leash

Expensive but it would solve the leg rope problem in the previous post.
..from Oceanus and Blue Planet

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Recurring lessons

Lesson 1 - Stance
After I have wiped out (quickly) on a wave I remind myself that my shoulders were in the wrong position.
How I want to stand is natural surfing stance with both feet on the stringer, back foot in the foam pad.
Then the upper body should be twisted at the hip to make the chest fully facing forward. Then the arms and shoulders can provide the tiny bit of steering necessary.

Lesson 2 - Legrope
After wiping out (inevitable?) when I get back on the board I should deliberately check that the legrope is not wrapped around the foil.
If it is these two things happen: the board is dangerously close and it behaves unpredictably.

Lesson 3 - Paddle onto waves with the nose high
Until I get a board with a flatter bottom..

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Monkey does

Today I caught two waves where I took off kneeling up; got to my feet before the board went up on the foil and rode the wave mostly on the foil.

The difference was that I was surfing with a bloke riding a SUP (5'9" 90 something litres). A case of money see monkey do. Also, I had even higher spacers under the rear of the mast base.

I am still struggling with the amount of rocker on that board. When I paddle onto a wave I have the nose of the board very close to the water (force of habit). I know at this angle that the foil is diving, not flying.

I am going to either paddle on further back or tilt the foil base even more.

Watching this SMIK flat-bottom board today brought this home to me.

See these videos for more seeing for us monkeys:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Try some onshore

The video in the previous post had these ideas that I took to the beach today.
1. Onshore winds are better than strong offshore winds.
Result: did not work for me the waves in Sydney are not like Hawaiian waves - the wave face crumbles too easily.

2. There was a board with a foil in the video that also had some fins. Rather than put all four fins in I just did the back two.
Result: no noticeable difference but it looked cool.

3. The video reminded me that my coil leash is a bit stretched out. I boughr a new one.
Result: the only coil one they had was a ten foot leash, bright green with a calf fitting. Unfortunately kneeling to paddle rules out attaching it to my calf.
And guess what?
There was no screw to undo to swap that part.

4. Previously the screws that connect the foil mast with the base had worked loose.
Three slightly longer screws fixed this.

So progress of sorts but not nearly enough time on the foil in the surf today.

Foil Safety

It is an hour and twenty minutes but stay with it and remember.
Don't take a foil out in the "line up".

Find somewhere where you can use a breaking wave to get up on the foil and stay foiling through the bit where the wave swells up but does not wall up.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Try, try try again

Saturday 21 April was a chance to get the paddle on the knees thing going.
1.1 m south south-east swell at 13 seconds and a light south-easter.
So the place to go was:
Best surf in Sydney today?

I moved the foil base to the furthest back position on the track.
The rear bolts into the base plate were replaced with longer bolts.
Added to these rear bolts were fat washers that had the effect ot pointing the foil a little higher at the front.
So today I worked out:
1. How to get to and from this distant spot carrying all this gear.
2. That I forget about using the rear-most position on the mast tracks.
3. That when I come up on the foil if the weight on my knees is different the board turns almost immediately.
4. That if I am going to take off on my knees then standing up will be an opportunity for things to go wrong.

Blue Planet
on their YouTube channel suggested:
1. That instead of footstraps to use foil foot hooks (blocks of foam to help position the feet).
I had set these up and while I did not use them today I am happy with what I have set up.
2. That boards for foiling not have much bottom rocker.
Unfortunately the Starboard (potato) Pocket Rocket that I am using is famous for its bottom rocker.
3. That the places that they go to when they doing this are not classic beach breaks.
Watch closely how the waves swell up and run for a long time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Results after one month

Windfoiling - 55cm foil mast
There is a fine line between not enough wind and too much.
Gusty conditions can make it difficult to do the necessary adjustments.
Chop on the water is best avoided at the early stages of learning.

Short paddle SUP foiling - 65cm foil mast
High tide often has a fierce shorebreak that feels like it wants to break the gear.
Low tide gives more opportunities to run aground.
Going from a kneeling position to a standing position should be done before the board goes up on the foil.

Watching others do things easily and well can take its toll..

Tip from Blue Planet:
Foil Surfing Foot Hooks

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Lessons from the weekend

Stop turning up when there is no wind.
Chugging around the bay is good practice for uphaul starts and slow jibbing but it is time up on the foil that has to happen next and did not happen this weekend.

SUP Foil
Gently does it and don't over-react.
On the first wave I paddled onto on Saturday the foil started to lift and I let it up; stalled crashed down and got straight back up too high then stalled again.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sailboarding with the foil

I searched YouTube for how to get the sailboard with foil into the water; get on the board and get into position to starting sailing - no luck. All the how to videos started from the standing-on-the-board position.
So I went to the local foiling spot to watch others do it.
Having been put off previously I thought that this weekend's forecast offered a chance to try light to moderate seabreezes without riding on choppy water.
While I did not get fully up on the foil these things made me feel that steps had been taken:
1 . Footstraps
I put footstraps into every position available on the board.
That way I worked out which ones I was using.
The one over the foil mast was favoured, as expected.
Final footstrap positions are in the photo.
Previous ones were further back on the board.

2. Pull-up starts
The board has two mast base tracks. By using the middle one pull-up starts were easier. The
sailing position that results is not what I am used to but it made sense with the other things
that I had learnt on YouTube.
3. Harness lines
This is a work in progress, but while lots of little adjustments are taking place it is difficult to stay connected and not such a problem to be disconnected.
4. Mast foil height
The foil I bought came with two foil masts; a 55 cm and a 65 cm.
I had been using the 55 to date, but the 65 appeared to be a better choice for sailboarding.
The 55 is OK for surfing.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Try wind foiling again

Forecast for the weekend:

Really too much wind for a foil, but.

The plan is to go to Kyeemagh Beach Baths: try to sail before the wind gets too strong.

The remnants of a tropical cyclone are heading down the NSW coast.

I have spent the late afternoon  watching YouTube clips of starting to wind foil.

It appears that all of them start with the sail and the sailor in the right position.
It is that first bit that I need to know.

Light winds = not waterstarting
Uphaul has been too flakey in the past. Will let you know what happens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A week moving around Surf City and Mornington

A number of things were observed, or finalised, during a week of surfing Victoria's surf spots:
  1. The angle of the foil mast to the bottom of the board was worked out
  2. Wave selection was initially a wave that broke and then swelled out into deep water.
  3. This was extended to include waves previously unmakeable 
  4. It was noted that an extra 5 degrees could be added to the angle that the board could move across the wave
  5. How to bail out before the wave closes out was refined
  6. Lots of practice getting the board into and out of the water (floating with foil up)
  7. While most waves were ridden in the kneeling position some attempts to stand up gave a good idea of how much freedom (too much) was available in three dimensions (pitch, roll & yaw)
  8. My initial idea that sailboarding foil was the best way to introduce to foiling was corrected. The best way is kneeling up SUPing.
This is not the place that I surfed (it is Bells) but it gives you an idea of the swell that was available at the start of the trip.

Here is how much the foil mast base had to be adjusted to correct for the kick in the tail of the board.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Two days in Torquay

Very early morning start on Tuesday 13th March 2018.
Then a 700+ kilometer drive to Torquay in Victoria.
It gets dark late at this latitude. The swell typically has a long period, the groundswell comes out of the Southern Ocean.
Visited Bells Beach and saw the preparations for the WSL Bells contest later in the month. The big swell had a good bit of wind behind it.
Off to the shelter of Cosy Corner.
Over the next two days I:
1. worked out how to set the foil so that it was not diving on takeoff.
2  learnt how to control pitch, roll and yaw (needs more practice)
3. found out what a stall feels like.
4. got to my feet a couple of times.
5. learnt that there are waves that surfers don't want that foilers can use.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Well up at last

Off to find some space to foil.
A 1.9 m swell and a forecast of a light westerly.
Wanda Beach, north of Cronulla, had some great A frame banks, and lucky for me, was closing out on the sets with the whitewater fading out into the channel.
Plan was to use the breaking wave to get on and the fading wave to continue foiling on the swell.

ALSO I had to guess what my latest modifications had done to the board. It turned out that the footstrap plug I added lined up with where my knees wanted to be without a sailboard rig on.

I also had wedged the foil baseplate into a position that was less likely to be in a dive position on takeoff. Result
1. Got to my feet
- will not be doing that again in a hurry. 57 years of surfing have taught me how to stand up on a board and now my standing position is all wrong and my instincts to correct it just make it worse. 

2. Got well up on the foil
- could not believe the feeling and the sound of this!

3. The easiest way to get out to the line up is to wade the board, foil pointed up, until in chest deep water. Once chest deep, flip the foil into the water, jump onto the board and paddle over the waves to the line up.

The downside

  • Any lift that feels exhilarating should be a warning that the foil is about to fly straight out of the water and stall and come to a sudden stop.
  • Any surf big enough to foil comfortably will mean that going through the shore break is a recipe for disaster.
  • Every shore break will rip your foil off if you don't turn the board up-side-down.
  • Any long walk with the board and foil is going to hurt on the way back.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

SUP kneel surfing 2nd time

OK, after frustrated by the sailboard session I found an opportunity to do some more SUP kneel surfing with the foil.
1.9 m swell and 7 sec period. But what the heck I know somewhere where the SE swell and the SE wind might give me a break. The beauty of this place is that the outside bombie breaks the wave, that should get me on the wave, then the swell should keep me going despite the fact that the whitewater fizzles out. Oh, and the SE wind is offshore, or should have been, the headland made it wrap more into the east.
So I ended up with a lot to think about, especially when I get back to sailboarding - Where do I put my footstraps?
So I searched YouTube and here is the playlist that I am collecting on this topic:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sailboard - more wind

The problem in the previous session was a lack of wind. Not this time - 20 to 30 knots.
Struggled, getting up, falling down and spending more time in the water than out if it. Lost a lot of ground and had to walk back to get the car. On reflection there are these dilemmas/problems:
  • Enough wind to waterstart -v- too much wind for the foil,
  • Chop causes accidental turns that instantly get out of control,
  • The foil is still diving when the board is level,
  • Uphaul in the straps seems fine in the video below but this was not my experience on either day.
At least I came away with an idea on where to put the footstraps.
So it is back into the shed and modify the board.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sailboarding - same board

Next attempt: At Sandon (Wollongong) was a foil fail - sailboarding; chugged out (no foiling) with too small a sail; believing the hype that you don't need much sail.

Dropped the sail off the end of back Sandon and could not get it back up again.

Swam the board, foil and rig for 700+m back to the beach.

Highlight of that session was a pull-up start from a kneeling position at the start - too little wind for a water start and too little board for a pull-up standing-up start. Was not able to replicate it later out in the choppy ocean.

Friday, March 2, 2018

SUP kneel surfing

Got my first session with the board at Dee Why Point this morning.
I like a break that ends in deep water.
Waves over 1.5m are good too - lots of clearance from the bottom.

Experienced the feel of coming up on the foil.
Because of the rocker in the board taking off with the nose down has the foil in a diving position.
It is only when you stomp on the tail that the foil takes off.

Turning, relearn it - any normal turn is too much.  


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day One - foiling

The Job is Completed.

A combination the following ingredients:

Positioning the fin boxes took quite a bit of thought and contemplation.