Forums > Stand Up Paddle Foiling

Newbie Questions About Foiling

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Created by Imoutthere 2 months ago, 10 Mar 2019
Imoutthere
175 posts
10 Mar 2019 9:05AM
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G'day Guys,

I am a newbie to Foiling and I have some questions about surf foiling. Where should I post?


I ask as there isn't a foiling forum it seems under shortboard surfing or anything.Any feedback here would be greatly appreciated.

Imoutthere

colas
3139 posts
10 Mar 2019 3:45PM
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I am a newbie to Foiling and I have some questions about surf foiling. Where should I post?
I ask as there isn't a foiling forum it seems under shortboard surfing or anything.Any feedback here would be greatly appreciated.


Just post here. You can see that there as nearly as many posts about surf foiling than SUP foiling (and even longboard foiling :-) ).

It makes sense, as surf and SUP foiling are very related, but different than the wind-powered variants (Kite, WInd).

exiled
192 posts
10 Mar 2019 4:38PM
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A lot of the posters here do both, so ask away.

toppleover
QLD, 1498 posts
10 Mar 2019 6:50PM
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exiled said..
A lot of the posters here do both, so ask away.


Still annoying that SB doesn't have a section for us prone/surf foilers.

But as exiled said above, right now on SB this is the best place, so ask away.

Imoutthere
175 posts
16 Mar 2019 4:06PM
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Thanks for the go ahead with my questions.

My understanding is that this category/market is somewhat kinda new (several years old perhaps). Thinking that, here I go:

Q1. Is the foil market at a stage where the first adopters have already bought, gone through heaps of cash buying the first, second and maybe third generation models, allowing models to mature and therefore be simply better products?

Q2. In align with Q1, have prices come down yet from when foils came out in general?

Q3. What are the top 3 brands/models to consider? I've read and heard some good things about Go Foil. That said, I could be off here as I am new to this space.

Q4. What kind of board should I get? I don't want to spend a fortune on a multiple board learning curve so one board to learn on and use for the next 2 - 3 years would be ideal if possible.

Stats:

Height: 180cm
Weight: 73kg
Age: 43
Prone Surfing Ability: Intermediate to Advance Ammauture since 18.

Q5. Is this a young guys sport or should I be right at 43 and for the next 20 years with foiling?

Q6. Will I need a separate shortboard for foiling or could I take my current shortboard to a local shaper and he could simply add a foil box and off I go?

Q7. How many hours do you think it will take me to learn in the ocean as option 1 or even behind a boat as option 2?

Q8. Although I would learn around Coolangatta when in town visiting relos, I'd be primarily surfing Asian waves here in Japan, as in the wave energy/intensity is little weaker here than in OZ. Would that matter?

Thanks for any feedback here.

exiled
192 posts
16 Mar 2019 5:26PM
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1) I'd say we aren't quite on to generation 3 of dedicated surf foils yet, but expect to see them soon. Hard to quantify though really.

2) Gong blew the bottom out of the market with the Allvator. Neil Pryde has also has a well reviewed surf foil that is about half what naish or gofoil runs for.

3) How much you looking to spend? Go Foil is still up there.

4) Some short boarders take to foiling really fast, but I think that most people don't wrap their minds around just how short they can go initially. Figure on a big board to learn on and a smaller one once you have it down.

5) I know several guys who are 60+ foiling.

6) If you have a super corky groveler I guess you could do it. Channel Island Biscuits have been a popular choice locally, but many shapers are making foil boards for cheap enough now that I'm not sure its worth it unless the you have board would be going to waste otherwise.

hilly
WA, 4558 posts
16 Mar 2019 5:40PM
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Get whatever this guy is on

Imoutthere
175 posts
16 Mar 2019 5:48PM
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exiled said..





Cheers exiled.I just added some more:

Q7.: How many hours do you think it will take me to learn in the ocean as option 1 or even behind a boat as option 2?

Q8. Although I would learn around Coolangatta when in town visiting relos, I'd be primarily surfing Asian waves here in Japan, as in the wave energy/intensity is little weaker here than in OZ. Would that matter?

16 Mar 2019 9:10PM
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Hi Imouthtere,
To also answer some of your questions, foils have come down in price since 2 years ago & a GoFoil Carbon IWA that was $2500 two years ago is now $1750 (actually only the Kai model was available back then) & that's with the NEW 29.5" mast so compared to an alloy Neil Pride it is great value...
The hours it will take will depend on you & the waves you have nearby because the waves are the "key" to learning to foil & yes time behind a boat will help...
I'm 53 & a shortboard surfer of 40 + years & prone & sup foil & have mates of similar ages who have just taken up prone foiling & are killing it in no time...
I'd suggest NOT retro-fitting a shortboard due to thickness, rocker & length etc... It'll only make it harder & probably more dangerous... I prone foiled with a mate in Hawaii last year that had been doing it for 2 years on a retro fitted 6'6 Surftech MR & he was struggling & as soon as he had one go on my 5'8 purpose built foil board the "lights" came on & he went next level...I now ride a 5'4 at 80kg...
When people were saying to me all summer about what **** surf we'd been having i was foiling twice a day & having a ball... Check out Tom Carroll, Barton Lynch, Parko, Wilko, Ace, Micro & all the other pros hooked on it & hooting over 2 foot waves...
Just commit & start foiling as you won't regret it....

DWF
85 posts
16 Mar 2019 9:28PM
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I would say that board designs have changed more than foils in two years. Asking a shaper to put tracks in surfboard who's not a foiler himself, is asking for failure.

Seajuice
NSW, 394 posts
17 Mar 2019 3:12PM
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Hi imoutthere.
I agree with the advice the guys have given you.
If you like your current board leave it as a shortboard.
If you've got a high volume board you don't need then maybe add a track box to that to take a foil. But way up the cost. I'm guessing at least $200. Au. Which may be better to go towards a foil dedicated board. Some shapers can make them quite cheap in price anywhere around $500. I would choose a shaper that understands & preferably rides foilboards. Otherwise a production board that can have a higher cost.
Anyway. As a learner & a very average surfer. Far from aggressive more a cruiser carver style. I have learnt that you can either make it hard or easy for yourself.
Yes. Getting towed behind a jetski or boat does help but if you cannot find someone to get towed it doesn't matter. Just find some small easy waves & your set to practise. And whitewash is great too. You don't need a drop. Just make sure the whitewash is travelling over deeper water so your foil doesn't hit the bottom.
Just remember. A foil loves to sky rocket. So keep the nose down when catching a wave, getting up on the board & riding until you are ready & steady enough for lift off. All it takes is for you to either put weight on the tail or weight off your front foot & your board will rise off the water.
But as it does you need to level out again by leaning forward or pushing front foot down. Do it immediately! Making the board head back down is better than letting it skyrocket as your ride will be over. When the board hits the water again from a low height means you can keep on riding as normal & try the lift again until you get the feel.
Left & right balance I find is the most difficult when learning & can be the most dangerous. So if you are going to fall sideways, bail out well away from the board!
If you breach the surface you will nose dive & expect the foil to come at you from behind! I have accidently hand caught mine many a time when guarding my head. Lol.
Things I have found when foiling is that I can ride my board just like any other normal board as long as I keep the nose down. And then, when I want, I can then just give it a little lift to turbo charge its speed & then lift higher & level out to fly.
With the right foil you will learn quick. For me it was about 4 two hour sessions in a month. And about 2 months for consistant rides. But that was on amore difficult foil than I have now.

Imoutthere
175 posts
18 Mar 2019 9:45AM
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Thanks for all the feedback. I'll be getting back to this thread with more individual replies. Til then....

Q1. My brother (prone surfer, SUP sometimes and Kiteboarder) reckons I personally could get going with surf foiling after about 10 hours. He is kinda new to the space of foiling too so keep that in mind when arguing for or against that suggestion. What do you think? How many hours/sessions would it take to learn?

Q2. How should I start? What board/foil/schedule or whatever do you suggest? I'm based in Japan near the coast (Shonan, Kanagawa Prefecture) but I will be on the Goldy and around Coolangatta every year or second year to learn, surf foil regularly and prone surf.

Stats:

Height: 180cm
Weight: 73kg
Age: 43
Prone Surfing Ability: Intermediate to Advance Ammauture since 18.
Athletic Ability: Slightly above average I guess. I'm no Carl Lewis but nor am I a Mr Bean.
Budget: $1,500 but would love to buy second hand and would be committed to sticking with a learners board for 12 - 18 months.

Thanks for your feedback above and below this. I think I'd love this sport for sure. Just gotta work out how to learn and how to budget for it.

P.S. Can you tag a person's name here on The Breeze, like with FB, so that they get a notification. E.g. @seasjuice

Hdip
20 posts
18 Mar 2019 1:14PM
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Check out the Gong Alavator. Get the Large, and maybe another wing if you want to go all out. Best price option I've seen. Beats the used market.

For the board a dedicated foil board would be best. Might be hard to come by where you are, but instagram leads me to believe foiling is big in japan. There is an option called "foilmount" which sticks onto the bottom of any board like a traction pad. The rocker will be weird though. Best to have a dedicated board I'd imagine.

I learned by myself in the ocean. I'd say it'll take ten sessions to get it. Very steep initial learning curve. Then you ramp up way faster after you start getting your first long flights. That really helps. Long flights where you can just point it and cruise. The flatter the wave the better. Curve makes it really hard to fly. Behind a boat in flat water is very stable, nothing throwing you off. Try to keep the board in the water at first.

colas
3139 posts
18 Mar 2019 2:56PM
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Hdip said..
Check out the Gong Alavator. Get the Large, and maybe another wing if you want to go all out.[...] Very steep initial learning curve.



I would also suggest getting the short Gong 45cm mast in supplement to the standard 65cm mast. You will only use it on the very first sessions, you will outgrow it very quickly it after learning the lateral balance (2 to 4 sessions), but at 49 euros it is worth it, knowing that you can resell it easily to other beginners (it is quite easy to send by mail).

With a 45cm mast, it will be easier to balance on. You will breach quicker, limiting the ride length, but landing back into the water will be less disruptive, you will be able to continue and re-take-off many times on the same run. And the falls will be less hard, intimidating and dangerous.

You should be flying in a controlled way in about 10 sessions, but much less with the proper conditions (small gentle waves, walling but not breaking but with some period)

And as Hdip said, a board designed for foiling is now very useful. Having boxes installed by somebody who never foiled on a standard SUP or surf is just wasting money.

toppleover
QLD, 1498 posts
18 Mar 2019 5:47PM
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There was a 2nd hand Gong foil (size L) on the Seabreeze Classified,s - maybe have a look if it's still available.
At your weight (73kg), I think you should look for a Foilboard with around 40 Litres volume.
If you have the right conditions for learning to foil you could be flying in no time but if not it may take a little longer.

Imoutthere
175 posts
18 Mar 2019 5:40PM
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Thanksguys. This is awesome.

Is Gong from Europe? I have only had a quick search but just came up with this one site in English and French:

gongsupshop.com

Any more info or feedback on Gong would be great?

PM me if needed. I remember a while back seeing some heated stuff between brand fanboys around the place in The Breeze so I certainly don't want to start anything. I know how much we all love our stuff and brand loyalty too. There's plenty of room for everyone I'm sure.

Imoutthere
175 posts
18 Mar 2019 5:49PM
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colas said..



With a 45cm mast, it will be easier to balance on. You will breach quicker, limiting the ride length, but landing back into the water will be less disruptive, you will be able to continue and re-take-off many times on the same run. And the falls will be less hard, intimidating and dangerous.



Thank you.
When it comes to mast size, is shorter the better for beginners and longer is better for advanced foilers? Are there any other factors for mast lengths?

Imoutthere
175 posts
18 Mar 2019 8:07PM
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Was Kelly just doing it wrong here?

stabmag.com/full-frame/kelly-slater-first-dig-at-the-hydrofoil-fiji/


Q11. Is it relatively doable to ride a bike to the beach with a surf foil board and foil somehow?

exiled
192 posts
19 Mar 2019 3:37AM
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Imoutthere said..
Was Kelly just doing it wrong here?

stabmag.com/full-frame/kelly-slater-first-dig-at-the-hydrofoil-fiji/


Q11. Is it relatively doable to ride a bike to the beach with a surf foil board and foil somehow?


Article is three years old. Board design is much better now and technique is more refined. Just looking at that photo you can tell his front foot is placed wrong, but three years ago no one was going to be able to tell him that.

Gong ships internationally. I got mine shipped to Hawaii from France and it was still the cheapest option available outside of making one yourself or dodgy alibaba sellers. Easy foil to learn on, my progression accelerated when I switched.

I have seen bikes rigged to carry foils. I think Beasho did one?

Hdip
20 posts
19 Mar 2019 4:17AM
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Was kelly doing it wrong? Yes and, yes that's how hard it is the first couple sessions. Don't even go near a wave that size when you're learning to foil. Here's another article, they speak about wave size in it too.

stabmag.com/style/if-youre-invited-to-foil/

Mast size: Do you want to fall from this high, or this high? I used a 55cm Naish mast for 5 months and liked it. Got a 70cm mast and can't go back now. The shorter mast is better to learn on, but the longer mast is more useful later. If you can afford both, get both.

Gong: They're a french company who designed a foil and get it manufactured in China. Basically the same as every other company out there. Some of their parts are interchangeable with the other foils that come out of the same factory, Naish, Takuma to name a couple. I did a deep dive into them when I was thinking of replacing my Naish setup. For the price, they can't be beat. There's some talk of them on the surfermag.com message board too. Until everyone switches over the the high aspect Signature Albatross design of wings I think they have the beginners market cornered.

likuid
QLD, 324 posts
19 Mar 2019 8:26AM
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I would check out the Slingshot Foils. They have a completely modular setup, with a fairly comprehensive line up of masts, front wings & rear wings.

It is something that you can start with and won't grow out of .

Also it is what that dude in the video is riding


Check out www.foil-academy.com for a comprehensive video series on how foiling, explaining all the parts and what they do and also some of the quickiest ways to learn.

Imoutthere
175 posts
19 Mar 2019 3:36PM
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Q12. What could a surf foil do for me with conditions like this today? Anything?...

Here is 1 minute of footage.





P.S. Japan

Clamsmasha
WA, 38 posts
19 Mar 2019 9:26PM
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Imoutthere said..
Q12. What could a surf foil do for me with conditions like this today? Anything?...

Here is 1 minute of footage.





P.S. Japan


Well...that is what I would call marginal.

I got got a fair bit of similar stuff this summer, and I didn't miss too many days. All you need is a tiny bit of crumble...I use a Maliko 200 for that.

the novelty of being able to pump around in that stuff hasn't worn out for me, but I'm craving winter so I can get my turns in.

exiled
192 posts
20 Mar 2019 12:52AM
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It would be very hard to learn in, that's for sure, but I think I saw a little bit of crumble there towards the end, so its probably possible. But yes, a downwind sized wing will be what you'd be looking for and a day like that.

Hdip
20 posts
20 Mar 2019 8:04AM
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You would need a bigger wing than I first recommended. It would be very hard to get into those waves prone. SUP you might be able to get something going once you know what you're doing. You need the wave to crumble a bit to get going prone, especially when learning. I wouldn't even try to paddle out to what's shown in that video. There is other stuff you could do though, dock starts, rock starts then pump around flat water.

The longer the wave the better when learning too. If that's breaking right on the shore, then it's going to be pretty hard to foil. Plus the foil is 2 feet below your board, so you need some depth to the water. Otherwise the foil will just run into the bottom when you're trying to paddle.

colas
3139 posts
20 Mar 2019 1:55PM
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Imoutthere said..
Q12. What could a surf foil do for me with conditions like this today? Anything?...


Forget it, foils need speed. So you can foil with very small waves, but they need to have some period. Also small waves break in shallow waters, and you need some depth for the foil.

Expert foilers will be able to foil by pumping in these conditions... just like they can foil on flat water anyways. But you will not be able to learn in these conditions.

Imoutthere
175 posts
21 Mar 2019 6:21PM
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Thanks for the continued feedback and info. Just got some more questions below after my stat:

Stats:

Height: 180cm
Weight: 73kg
Age: 43
Prone Surfing Ability: Intermediate to Advance Ammauture since 18.
Athletic Ability: Slightly above average I guess. I'm no Carl Lewis but nor am I a Mr Bean.
Budget: $1,500 but would love to buy second hand and would be committed to sticking with a learners board for 12 - 18 months.
Surfing Locations: Asian wind swell waves in Japan with swell periods of 5 - 12 seconds.

Q13. Are all surf foil product lines modular with all brands? If so, would the masts and wings be compatible with other brands? Perhaps all brands are proprietary by nature, maybe...

Q14. Do I need bigger wings due to my location: Asian wind swell waves in Japan with swell periods of 5 - 12 seconds. For example, I have several more liters in my prone surfboard for this reason and it was a wise decision due to the lower energy in the swell here. Should I think the same logic with foil wings and go one size bigger 70cm, 80cm or even 90cm?

Q15. I've been told that I would need about 10 sessions or so to learn, with the right equipment. How many hours in a session? 2 maybe?

Q16. Are foils dainty and easy to damage in any way, like carbon surf gear and race SUPs? If I did dent the wings or mast what DIY options are there for repairs?

Really appreciate your time with this thread everyone. Looking forward to joining the gang in the near future for sure.

Hdip
20 posts
21 Mar 2019 11:44PM
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You'd first need to have a better spot than what you showed in that video.

1. No, the brands are meant to be used within their brand only. Some of the brands come out of the same factory and are modular with different brands. The wings and masts are all proprietary though. The simple stuff like Aluminum masts and baseplates may work from another brand if it comes from the same factory. The more expensive brands IE: all carbon are proprietary as far as I know.

Yes you'd need a wing at 200sqcm or above for tiny windswell like that.

Yeah, normal session length, hour and a half to two hours probably. Just depends how much time you have up on the wing and flying. So you need longer waves to help acheive that faster. If you just stand up and fall over or running into shallow water and hitting the bottom, then you're not going to be progressing much.

They're not exactly dainty, they are expensive and do break though. The cheaper aluminum stuff is actually your friend here. Easier to replace stuff, or you can sometimes bend things back straight as I did with my original Naish fuselage.

Don't fall on your own foil. I don't know how to embed that Damien Hobgood instagram post here.

www.instagram.com/p/BvJ5kZXgmTc/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

juandesooka
213 posts
22 Mar 2019 12:37AM
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Some random thoughts, repeating and reinforcing those above.

We are progressing into 3rd generation of foil gear, which means there's a fair bit of used gear around and with people upgrading the used prices are coming down. However, there has been advancements/refinements, so the first generation gear may lead to some frustrations or slower progression. With Gong's prices, it would be difficult to match that used (take 30% off the listed prices, and non EU sales have VAT removed).

I am riding Slingshot gear. I really appreciate their dedication to interchangeable parts: same fuselage for last 3 years, same wing connections, all the wings are interchangeable from kiting through to surf/sup/wake foiling. I have an Infinity 84 which is their biggest wing. I have found it is bigger than I need/want when the waves get bigger than waist high, but it is super fun when the waves are tiny, gets up on foil in near to nothing. Recommend you get the biggest wing you can find -- 2000cm2 or bigger. Then, once you feel confident and want to push it, add a smaller wing. I added a Slingshot H2. If you do end up buying from Gong, my advice is to buy a medium to go with your very large, save on shipping with a single order....either M/XL or L/XXL

Board: I have only SUP foiled so far, just one surf foil attempt. I think SUP foil is much easier to start: already standing up, no need for pop up and figuring balance point on the fly. But I am sure surf foil would be doable too once invest the time. You can add a foil to any existing board, either with a stick on mount, or with through hull holes (drill and glass in golf club shafts), or with installing mast tracks. A bigger board is helpful for learning, but you will outgrow the size quick, a lot of extra board to fly around. I think it's ideal if you are first able to actually surf/sup the board without wings....then you are already used to it and adding the foil is a progression.

Wear a helmet! And the rule when learning is, once a ride starts to go sour, do not try to adjust, jump off and away. Your surfing instinct will be the opposite of what's needed, and you'll end up with the dreaded switchblade/jackknife wipeout, where you fall sideways onto your wing.....that's where you can get hurt. Btw, if you know anyone with a boat or jetski, your first few sessions with controlled power will dramatically shorten your learning curve.

But in the end, advice is don't over-think it. Get some gear and start trying. It's fun and addictive ... so weird to be so stoked about crap surf.

colas
3139 posts
22 Mar 2019 2:02PM
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juandesooka said..
But in the end, advice is don't over-think it. Get some gear and start trying. It's fun and addictive ... so weird to be so stoked about crap surf.


Great advice by Hdip and juandesooka.

I would add on this specific point that yes, you should not bother too much with the gear and aim to spend as much time on the water as possible, except for choosing your conditions: Trying to learn in the proper conditions (gently rolling small swell with some period and a bit of onshore wind) will make a lot of difference compared to try in normal SUPing conditions, It is worth the time moving a bit around or waiting for the good conditions. And better try in too weak waves than waves that break suddenly, which can be quite dangerous.

In my experience, foils are quite strong. The weakest link is often the board and the connection foil/board.

A helmet with a face grid is a good protection, like the ones used for Kayak Polo.

toppleover
QLD, 1498 posts
22 Mar 2019 6:40PM
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But in the end, advice is don't over-think it. Get some gear and start trying. It's fun and addictive ... so weird to be so stoked about crap surf.


Totally agree ^^^



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"Newbie Questions About Foiling" started by Imoutthere