The "New Foil Guy"—Session 1
Conquering the First Foil Session
1st Session / May 16th, 2017
I’m not an early adopter for many new things, except for kiteboarding. When kite foilboarding first hit the market, I was pretty neutral about it. Didn’t hate the idea—didn’t like the idea. It just was. This morning, I had my first session on a foilboard, and wow—I had no idea how much fun I was missing.
Winds were around 15 mph, which was plenty for a North Neo 12m to haul my 190 lbs around on a foil. At one of our local beaches, there is a pair of long, elbow-shaped jetties. Each jetty is close to 2000 feet long, and together, they shelter a half mile wide area of butter flat water.
Yes, I went overboard in purchasing the Slingshot Hypermiler as my first board. The standard Dwarf Craft would have been plenty good. Whatever—I’ll grow into it. Using the Slingshot Flight School 15” mast was pretty fun for a flat-water session. In chop, I may have opted for the 24” instead.
The first couple of dives with the kite were hilarious. I was porpoising up, down, left and right. Using footstraps helped me to keep the board under control much better than without. After I steadied myself a bit, I was able to take off, riding the board similar to a regular board. But once I picked up a little bit of board-speed, I couldn’t resist popping that thing out of the water. Ha! I went “over the handlebars” quite a few times getting the feel for the board.
After about a half hour, I was feeling comfortable going back and forth, both directions. I was getting short rides up on the foil, combined with riding the board flat on the water. I guess that was the original intention with this short mast anyway. I was using footstraps, and I didn’t try to jibe the board. I would slow down—or crash—and then switch my feet on the board and start over, going the other way.
Granted, I have been riding for many years, and the water was butter-flat, with steady winds. So within a couple of hours, I was able to ride back and forth across the whole bay. Riding the short mast in such flat water was a blast. It’s no wonder that the wake foiling guys are digging the 24” mast for riding behind the boat. Plus, I found that it forces you to steady yourself on the board and focus on not porpoising. There’s not much margin for error with a 15” mast, and when you pick up some speed, you have to keep it steady or you’ll get pitched. Ha—good times!
So, that’s my session report. Please feel free to give me a call at the shop, or direct an email to my attention at email@example.com. I’ll always take the time to connect with you and help you to get started with kite foilboarding. This is going to be an absolute blast!
Thank you, and good winds,