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.