With so many friends coming to visit recently, I haven't been working nearly as much as I should. The last week I've mostly logged a lot of hours at work. That said, I thought I would talk about a really fun event that takes place in Key West. The Havana Classic, a Hobie cat race from Key West to Havana Cuba. Last year a few close friends and myself followed the racers quite a ways out. We didn't make all the way to Cuba but it was an incredible experience non the less. One of my long term goals is to complete the race on a kiteboard! I'll be moving to Qatar this summer so unfortunately its a goal that I will have to put on hold for now.
Jumping on a foilboard is a little different than on a twintip. Don't worry though, it's not that difficult! The real trick is in the timing and the landing.
You want your mast to roughly be halfway out of the water. If you have it too low well, that is a lot of mast to get out of the water. You also want to make sure the wing is submerged fully.
Keep that mast about halfway out of the water
Pop a little early. The timing with a foilboard is just a little different than a normal kiteboard. You want to send your kite like normal but I find you have to be a little preemptive with the board and the pop. Remember you're popping with the wing, not the edge of your board. This creates a very slight sense of delay. Be sure to time it so that the wing is exiting the water as your kite hits noon.
Pop early, the wind should exit the water as your kite reaches the apex.
Angle the foil away from you. It can be up or downwind depending on the rotation or grab you might be adding in. The point is that you want to make sure the wing is clearing the water. Remember you do have a three to four foot mast protruding underneath you.
Make sure the mast clears the water.
Stay compact. This is probably the most common step in any trick but you really want to bring your knees into your chest. The more compact you are, the more control you will have. This is exponentially important with a four foot mast protruding underneath your feet. Weather its getting up on a kiteboard for the first time, making the grab, getting a rotation or even landing, Staying compact will solve 90% of your problems.
The landing is the trickiest part of jumping on a foilboard. When coming down imagine an airplane landing on a runway. Except that the runway is about one foot underneath the water. You want to angle the nose of your board downwind and slightly down at the water. This way the wing will plunge under the surface. As soon as you feel the wing enter the water you want to keep your weight centered over your front knee but lean back slightly to level off. Resist the muscle memory to edge your board against the kite. You want to board to touch down flat on the surface of the water.
With enough practice you will get the timing down and eventually you will land and glide away with out touching down.
Imagine an airplane landing on a runway. Except the runway is underwater.
Stay diligent and keep practicing. I know falls can be a little intimidation on a foil but the rewards are great! Best of all there are a lot of light wind days to get on the water and progress. I think at the end of the day the challenge that kiteboarding present are what keep us coming back. Like always, feel free to ask any questions in the comment section or request a trick you are working on. Until next week!
A Michigan boy through and through (even though he was born in Saudi Arabia), Blake is a youth with a lifetime of experiences and adventures. Not only that, he's passionate about sharing his zest for life with others. He is proficient at many fields, including kiteboarding and acting as concierge to any who simply ask. Looking for an adventure? Well, Blake is your guy. From sailing the Gulf and the Caribbean to backpacking Hawaii and Southeast Asia, he knows his stuff and can make your vacation into an adventure.
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