I've gone to the Dark Side

frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
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Picked up a used beginner setup: 5'4x19.5x2.5 35 liter Pyzel Screaming Eagle in XTR, a carbon Takuma V100 foil and a Naish 55cm mast. Will be trying it out when the swell dies down here in NCSD. I've already got 5 different spots in mind on various tides. Having never foiled before I may be dead wrong about some of them but I'm excited to surf spots I'd never look twice at before. Stoked to be a kook again!
Any tips are appreciated, tho not expected.
 
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Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
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Malibu, CA
Just an FYI that will be a hard foil to learn on. It's old. But plenty of people learned on it. I would setup the mast all the way back in the tracks to start as that foil has TONS of initial lift.

It's going to feel backwards to surfing. When you drop in do not lean back. Lean forward. You need more front foot pressure to keep the board down. Ride a few waves with the board on the water, you're still flying the foil this way and getting used to how it reacts to foot pressure.

Picture your board's rails as a line that comes up vertically along your body. DO NOT lean outside those rail lines. Since there is a slight delay in your input to the foil due to standing on a 2 foot tall mast. You'll try to re-direct like you would a surfboard. You'll lean over and end up falling right on top of your wing. Go with the board in the beginning. Very small subtle movements. No leaned over bottom turns.

Don't correct, eject.

Josh at foilshop.com in seal beach can get you setup with any gear you need. Very good shop.

EDIT: Foiling is still so new that most foiler's are happy to talk foil's in the water or parking lot. So don't worry about grumpy locals. They're all happy to point out what they've learned. It's really fun to learn new things.
 
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frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
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Thanks for these tips! The idea to not lean over wouldn't have occurred to me until some brutal trial and error, I'm sure. And changing my weight to my front foot while dropping in will be a big habit adjustment, but thanks for the input as I'm going in competely blind. The idea was to just get an easy entry into the whole deal.
Appreciate it.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
3,178
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Malibu, CA
No problem. Always happy to procrastinate from work and talk foiling. As I've thought back on my learning experience and helping others along the way those are my biggest take aways.

Falling off the nose and making sure the board pearls is a somewhat safe way to fall. Falling off the tail and making sure the board shoots away from you to the end of your leash is a safe way to fall. That's what you're focusing on learning right now. How to fall safely.

You don't need a wave over 1 foot to learn on. So ignore the sets. The smaller and mushier, the easier it is.
 
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Apr 4, 2020
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Listen to the ProgressionProject podcast. He has a recent episode for beginners.

In summary:
* If at all possible, learn behind a boat or jet ski before hitting the surf. I got 4 sessions in behind a jet ski during my first month of foiling and it definitely helped.
* Once you're up on foil, just go straight, don't try any bottom turns for awhile.
 
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frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
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NCSD?..north county san diego?
.
Yup.
Listen to the ProgressionProject podcast. He has a recent episode for beginners.

In summary:
* If at all possible, learn behind a boat or jet ski before hitting the surf. I got 4 sessions in behind a jet ski during my first month of foiling and it definitely helped.
* Once you're up on foil, just go straight, don't try any bottom turns for awhile.
That's one thing i heard in what little i've researched. i have plans to get pulled behind my buddy's boat on Saturday to get the feel for how that thing reacts.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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Yep, my guess is that 1 hour behind boat = 10 hours sup foil or 20 hours prone foil at the start. It is a massive jump start to the learning process. Trick with the boat: to begin drive too slow to get up on foil. The optimal is to be behind the boat riding on surface with foil below you. Get a feel for foil in water. Start doing side to side slow turns, maybe get outside the wake. Then you'll find that on the far edge of some turns, when you speed up through the turn, you will come up on foil momentarily, then fall back down. That's how it starts. Then you'll find you can do little skateboard ollies and get up briefly. That's pumping. Now you're ready to increase speed a little, start getting up a little sooner and easier. Then once you're feeling that's pretty easy, then can speed up a little more. [don't do what I did and punch it to wakeboard speed...chaos will result....slow n steady]

I had a China knockoff of that gen1 foil. It works ok but not great. It'll work fine behind the boat. I found it doable with sup foil for beginning, though it's so slow it doesn't have much glide. I am concerned it may have too much lift to be doable prone surf foil. You can get away with a bigger wing sup, but in prone if the foil is starting to rise before you are done your popup, it goes badly.

Hdip advice is to help avoid the dreaded taco/switchblade wipeout, where foil meets face in a hurry. Kind of inevitable, but repeating his advice, jump off rather than attempt to save it. Try to get your hands up to protect yourself (though it happens SO fast). Wear a helmet first sessions ... you already will look dorky, may as well add to it by being safer.
 
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frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
1,285
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Yep, my guess is that 1 hour behind boat = 10 hours sup foil or 20 hours prone foil at the start. It is a massive jump start to the learning process. Trick with the boat: to begin drive too slow to get up on foil. The optimal is to be behind the boat riding on surface with foil below you. Get a feel for foil in water. Start doing side to side slow turns, maybe get outside the wake. Then you'll find that on the far edge of some turns, when you speed up through the turn, you will come up on foil momentarily, then fall back down. That's how it starts. Then you'll find you can do little skateboard ollies and get up briefly. That's pumping. Now you're ready to increase speed a little, start getting up a little sooner and easier. Then once you're feeling that's pretty easy, then can speed up a little more. [don't do what I did and punch it to wakeboard speed...chaos will result....slow n steady]

I had a China knockoff of that gen1 foil. It works ok but not great. It'll work fine behind the boat. I found it doable with sup foil for beginning, though it's so slow it doesn't have much glide. I am concerned it may have too much lift to be doable prone surf foil. You can get away with a bigger wing sup, but in prone if the foil is starting to rise before you are done your popup, it goes badly.

Hdip advice is to help avoid the dreaded taco/switchblade wipeout, where foil meets face in a hurry. Kind of inevitable, but repeating his advice, jump off rather than attempt to save it. Try to get your hands up to protect yourself (though it happens SO fast). Wear a helmet first sessions ... you already will look dorky, may as well add to it by being safer.
That's super helpful. Thanks!
 

grendel95

Billy Hamilton status
Nov 1, 2005
1,602
323
83
SJC
Picked up a used beginner setup: 5'4x19.5x2.5 35 liter Pyzel Screaming Eagle in XTR, a carbon Takuma V100 foil and a Naish 55cm mast. Will be trying it out when the swell dies down here in NCSD. I've already got 5 different spots in mind on various tides. Having never foiled before I may be dead wrong about some of them but I'm excited to surf spots I'd never look twice at before. Stoked to be a kook again!
Any tips are appreciated, tho not expected.
Welcome to the club! I'm in south OC, do yourself a favor and make your first go at San Onofre dogpatch (southernmost area of the parking lot). It's the gathering place for us foilers and easily the best spot to get started safely for yourself and other folks around you.

If you have to try a spot near you, try to find a sandbar that crumbles and actually backs off. Waves that break all the way to shore aren't what you're looking for.
 

frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
1,285
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Welcome to the club! I'm in south OC, do yourself a favor and make your first go at San Onofre dogpatch (southernmost area of the parking lot). It's the gathering place for us foilers and easily the best spot to get started safely for yourself and other folks around you.

If you have to try a spot near you, try to find a sandbar that crumbles and actually backs off. Waves that break all the way to shore aren't what you're looking for.
will do! thanks for the invite
 

frontsidegrab

Gerry Lopez status
Dec 4, 2014
1,285
1,135
113
Lol, Sixty and I towed behind his dingy and got some practice in. Felt insanely fun but massively different from surfing. Haven't tried it in the surf due to either good waves or other obligations. I'm determined to jump in fully this summer.
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
2,422
3,277
113
California/Hawaii
I'm a week into prone foiling and hooked. My third session I was able to get up on a wave and ride it all the way. No carves yet but I feel like I have the pop up and ride motion down. Plan to keep going. It's so much fun and waaaayyyy better than surfing. No crowds or battling for waves. I'm leaving the water happy and stocked which was starting to not be the case with surfing.
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
2,422
3,277
113
California/Hawaii
Tip for those starting out. Go to the smallest waves you can find. My first couple sessions were tiny waves that were barely rideable. It kept things safe and casual. I went out in real waist high waves my last session and it was terrifying. The foil lifts fast and you can seriously hurt yourself.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
3,178
625
113
Malibu, CA
It's not so different from surfing once you figure it out. :) It'll turn the worst days into the best day ever. We have way more "worst days" than we do good surf days.

 

ghostshaper

Phil Edwards status
Jan 22, 2005
5,837
1,967
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1134
Tip for those starting out. Go to the smallest waves you can find. My first couple sessions were tiny waves that were barely rideable. It kept things safe and casual. I went out in real waist high waves my last session and it was terrifying. The foil lifts fast and you can seriously hurt yourself.
When I first started, I was laughing how I felt scared of waist high waves. Brought me back to my grom days and the stock that I had then.