My journey into wingfoiling

averagejoe

Miki Dora status
May 28, 2008
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Instead of bogging PRCD’s thread, I thought I’d start my own

Friday was session #3 at Shoreline Lake in Mountainview - the best flatwater spot in our area. Wind was 10-15 mph - pretty light - and I was on a 5m. My second time there. After my 1st session there, I did some recon on the area to find a spot way upwind of the normal launch so I would have more water time before doing the walk of exploration and discovery. It kind of paid off on Friday. It gave me a good warm up and I was able to get on foil for about 15 seconds on a starboard tack. Had a good post-session BS session with a guy who was pretty amazing - on a 4m and cutting an amazing line upwind. He suggested I get a 6m (which is now on the way) and had some other great pointers. Wing community is so cool.

Saturday was sesh #4 at 3rd Ave in San Mateo with a group of people I met just BSing on the beach about a month ago. 3rd is a really popular spot and for good reason. There was plenty of wind and I was pretty lit on the 5m. The downside was all the chop. The chop made it 10x harder to get to my feet and taxi. Managed to get two good, solid reaches on port tack where I was on and off the foil. Starboard tack was a mean nasty bitch. Got some good, solid pointers and encouragement from one of the guys in the group I was with. Definitely feel like I’m progressing well.

Already completely hooked
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
3,320
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Malibu, CA
Yeah, ocean chop vs lake chop is a whole new ball game. The lake is for learning new skills and practicing hard stuff like switching my feet. The ocean is for having the time of your life, but not really learning anything new. At least in my experience. Once I get to the ocean I stop trying to switch my feet and just go toeside everywhere trying to find waves or DW bumps to play in.
 

averagejoe

Miki Dora status
May 28, 2008
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So far away
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Yesterday, I started off in the upper left circle and ended up in the lower right circle an hour an hour and a half later.

Had a few runs on foil on port tack that lasted like a minute. Got comfortable, relaxed and said to myself “i got this figured out”.

Starboard tacks sucked ass for the most part. Got on foil a few times but it was awkward.

Weird to me that at this spot, I get going on foil on port tack and feel good; starboard is wonky af. At San Luis, it’s the opposite.

Wind was 13-15 kts and I was on a 6m

Totally hooked after feeling in control on foil
 

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PRCD

Tom Curren status
Feb 25, 2020
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Yesterday, I started off in the upper left circle and ended up in the lower right circle an hour an hour and a half later.

Had a few runs on foil on port tack that lasted like a minute. Got comfortable, relaxed and said to myself “i got this figured out”.

Starboard tacks sucked ass for the most part. Got on foil a few times but it was awkward.

Weird to me that at this spot, I get going on foil on port tack and feel good; starboard is wonky af. At San Luis, it’s the opposite.

Wind was 13-15 kts and I was on a 6m

Totally hooked after feeling in control on foil
How much did the 6m set you back and how much do you weigh?

seems like you're picking it up quickly.

I tried to get a 7 m this weekend but it fell through.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
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Malibu, CA
Perfect place to learn. Few days of that and you'll be holding ground. Next session you should be able to go upwind at least one way, which really lets you have more fun. Steep learning curve that ramps up really fast.
 
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averagejoe

Miki Dora status
May 28, 2008
5,286
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So far away
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Perfect place to learn. Few days of that and you'll be holding ground. Next session you should be able to go upwind at least one way, which really lets you have more fun. Steep learning curve that ramps up really fast.
I was able to go upwind pretty decently on my last port reach. There was a guy cruising downwind in a big one man ocean canoe and we were on course to collide without any changes. I twisted her upwind and sheeted in and cleared him with plenty of room to spare.

Yeah, I feel like a few more downwind sessions here and I should be in decent shape. I chatted with a wing buddy yesterday and told him it’s way nicer to spend all of my energy on the water doing the thing rather than wasting any energy doing the walk of discovery and exploration lugging a bunch of heavyass gear.
 

ShiverMeTimbers

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Mar 21, 2006
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Gig Harbor
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The shame is the closed minded surfer types who can't get their heads around how the wind and foils open up a world of fun beyond groveling with a crowd at the same old same old.
that's how I felt when I started kiting. "holy sh!t, everyone is genuinely stoked and having a good time... this is way different than surfing..."

I sold my fancy SUP last weekend, now I have cash to acquire wing things.
 

juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
346
294
63
I sold my fancy SUP last weekend, now I have cash to acquire wing things.
My advice: go cheap to start! There's lots of servicable gen1 and gen2 wings out there, more or less being given away. You'll trash your wings learning anyway. But if not, sell them later to the next noob, basically a free rental. Though if you do go new, also seek out deals, there's some crazy ones lately, like 3 for 1s.

Also advise going big on board and foil too to start. Many people jump right into intermediate gear to skip a step and prolong the learning curve painfully. If you can stand on a sup foil comfortably and can just play with the wing, that makes it super easy to learn.
 

ShiverMeTimbers

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Mar 21, 2006
8,308
919
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Gig Harbor
www.peistcharters.com
My advice: go cheap to start! There's lots of servicable gen1 and gen2 wings out there, more or less being given away. You'll trash your wings learning anyway. But if not, sell them later to the next noob, basically a free rental. Though if you do go new, also seek out deals, there's some crazy ones lately, like 3 for 1s.

Also advise going big on board and foil too to start. Many people jump right into intermediate gear to skip a step and prolong the learning curve painfully. If you can stand on a sup foil comfortably and can just play with the wing, that makes it super easy to learn.
Roger that! Cheap is the way! Once I know wtf I'm doing I'll invest my nut.
 

PRCD

Tom Curren status
Feb 25, 2020
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I found a 6.5 m 2021 duotone slick on sale. I probably could've found an individual one cheaper but your time and life are worth money too.

I've found my biggest barrier is low wind rn, and the closest spot is at a yearly nadir:
1686606033562.png

My pump finally came so I'm going to skate with the 4 m and probably do another eFoil lesson. Then I think I'm going to just start in 10 knot winds. Everyone agrees with HDip that you need at least 15 knots average winds to learn, but realistically even the spots I can travel to within 4 hours don't have this all day and are at the same nadir:

1686606386730.png

You all can laugh in my internet face, tell me I told you so, etc.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
3,320
769
113
Malibu, CA
I encourage all attempts of learning. I just am letting you know to lower your expectations. You can't surf without waves. You can't wing without wind. Still will learn balance and how to use your gear. Just won't be on foil much, or staying upwind.
 

PRCD

Tom Curren status
Feb 25, 2020
12,276
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I encourage all attempts of learning. I just am letting you know to lower your expectations. You can't surf without waves. You can't wing without wind. Still will learn balance and how to use your gear. Just won't be on foil much, or staying upwind.
Yeah, realistically I'll have to do this completely on a reach until the Fall rolls around and the winds pick up. Then I'll probably head to Castaic or Piru.
 

Hdip

Michael Peterson status
Apr 23, 2005
3,320
769
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Malibu, CA
Yeah, realistically I'll have to do this completely on a reach until the Fall rolls around and the winds pick up. Then I'll probably head to Castaic or Piru.
Or Baja. Or Maui. Or a huge # of places that you will find wind now that you're thinking about wind. It opens up a million opportunities that being surfer has never allowed for before.
 
Feb 10, 2019
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Hey - just an idea - check out Foster City Lagoon. I've winged there several times. Its a little less strong than at 3rd ave, but generally flat water more similar to shoreline lake.

The other thing to keep an eye on are the tides at 3rd ave. You need at least 3ft of water to launch at 3rd or you're really going to be doing the worst kind of walk of shame. There's plenty of water out in the channel, but that's literally a mile out. I've gone out on a falling tide and let me tell you the butt clenching trying to stay on foil for over a mile in 2ft of water knowing that if I fall, I'm wading through mud for a mile.

Besides needing 3ft of tide - for where you are now, I suggest trying to only go out when the tide is going out (sweeping you upwind) - so ideally after high tide. This will help you a ton. It is nearly impossible to learn on a strong flood tide washing you downwind - only the best riders who don't fall can make it work. The best ebb tide currents are about halfway from high tide to low tide. The 3rd ave regulars have our calendars circled for all the days in the spring and summer with an ebb tide between 2p-6p. Those are magical days. When you get better, those are also the days with good long period swell in the channel to play on.

I hope I see you out there!
 
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juandesooka

OTF status
Jan 12, 2009
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A week in somewhere with solid wind and you're a pro. Add north carolina and south padre island and san fran to the list of windy spots not that far away.
 

averagejoe

Miki Dora status
May 28, 2008
5,286
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So far away
www.mardawg.com
Yeah @PRCD you should come camp up in the Bay Area for a week to get some reps in. Camp at Sherman or I’ll go do a downwinder with you.

I’ve had a few more breakthroughs

Another downwinder from Coyote to 3rd on Saturday . Easily getting on foil on port tack. Struggled for the first half of the session going starboard. Then started to get it down towards the back half. Was heading upwind pretty well on port tack. Super amped after the session.

Felt like my front wing *Axis BSC 1060) was too big bc it kept breaching. Talked to a couple buddies and tried moving it back for yesterday’s session. That was the ticket. Moving it back 1/4” made a world of difference.

Yesterday met a few buddies at Lexington Reservoir, which is one of the closest spots from my house. I was a little skeptical when I first scoped out the logistics because the wind was pretty onshore and the launch isn’t that far upwind of the dam so it required being able to get on foil on port tack and immediately go upwind. I nailed it! Super stoked! Also worked out all the kinks in my starboard tack. Was able to get as far upwind as my buddies and was really cruising. Tried a few jibes and actually got one. Jibed on foil, brought it down on the water for the foot switch and then right back on foil. Got hoots from the boys.

I’ve been less than 10 times and this is my progress. I feel confident enough to go back to the bay, launch from the normal spots and stay upwind. Might even head to Sherman tomorrow.